Posted in General

If you need a break

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Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, General, Mankind Limited News, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Mankind Limited – The Sky

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The sky to the west was as dark as a promise of Armageddon. It was punctuated occasionally by a piercing fork of blue-white lightning.

As piercing as the eyes that watched.

Mankind Ltd.

Read an excerpt here.

Available as

Kindle

or hardback

from Amazon

Posted in General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Boxy

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Worn out, knackered, done
A brimful of boxy fun
In old Legoland

Image from Pixabay

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

Posted in Daily Prompt, Fiction, General, Review, Science Fiction

Sir Richard Francis Burton

By Scott Bailey

If ever you are looking for a good and somewhat different biography to read them try Burton: A Biography of Sir Richard Francis Burton by Byron Farwell.

I am not one for biographies myself – I only read this one due to the fact that he was featured in one of my favourite old time Science Fiction series – the Riverworld books by Philip Jose Farmer. A series where every single person who ever lived is resurrected on one world all at once – just a fantastic premise in itself.

Farmer uses Burton as the main character of the first book (and others later on.)  He writes him with such passion and paints him in such an interesting way that you can’t help but find out more about him.

So I delved into this biography. Farmer had only painted a small part of his life!

Sir Richard Francis Burton, in reality, was  – complicated.

He was a man of extremes. In many ways, he was extremely admirable. On other extremely reprehensible! Unforgivably so.

He achieved more in his lifetime than many of us could on six, seven, eight lifetimes! But is beliefs were bigoted and selfish, to say the least.

For example:

He was an avid supporter of slavery! He believed women’s places were in the home or the bed! He was vehemently anti-semitic and wrote several books that still cause controversy today!

You could argue he was a product of his time but he was an intelligent man and there were plenty of contemporaries who were seeing past the constraints of their society and challenging the established views.

He was a womaniser – had affairs, frequented brothels. He was a brawler – fought at the drop of a hat earning him the nickname Ruffian Dick. He disregarded authority of all kinds and went his own way, expelled from University and often AWOL from his army career.

However:

On the flip side.

He was one of the foremost fencers of the time inventing some new moves.

He was a masterful linguist  – he was fluent in 24 languages – and in many of the different dialects of them. So much so he could pass himself off as a local in many places. He learnt much of it from prostitutes!

He was a master of disguise – not just in the fact he could dress up, makeup and talk like the locals. But that he understood them, he took the time to know their customs and etiquette, the foibles without which he would have been betrayed as an outsider. He immersed himself in their culture.

He made seven pilgrimages in his life.  Studying and being accepted into various religions – understanding their teachings while not believing any of them.

He was the epitome of an explorer, making dangerous journey in strange lands, suffering illness and injury, going back for more and pressing on.

He explored and brought to light the many sexual practices from around the world. He brought much middle eastern and eastern culture to our consciousness. He brought us translations of the Thousand and One Nights, the Karma Sutra and the Perfumed Garden.

So as I said, complicated.

It brings up a problem we often have with heroes. We want them to be perfect. We want all those good qualities without the bad. But life is not like that – people are not like that.

We kind of know that – we try and accommodate it. Modern day fictional heroes have their flaws, they are dark and brooding and have emotional baggage. But nothing we can’t handle – nothing really reprehensible.

So it got me thinking. I have a real problem with Sir Richard Francis Burton. I admire what he achieved. I dislike what he was as a person. I certainly would not like not have known him personally. 

And I see a reflection of modern men in this dilemma. I have written here about how men (and everyone in fact) are demonised in modern media. On the other side, we are brought up with a set of ideals about what a man should be what we should strive to be.

We end up with conflicting views – an ideal – heroic man to strive for, and the wretch the world tells us we are.

The conflict I feel when thinking about Richard Francis Burton is the conflict we feel about modern men – he is a kind of reflection of us.

We should, I think – start to accept our flaws more, try to improve and eliminate them, yes, but give ourselves a break. They are a part of us, a part of our nature. Nobody is perfect – natures abhors perfection as much as a vacuum.  Perfection does not exist so let’s stop trying to achieve it.

Anyway, ramble over.

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, General, Poetry, Writing

The Siege of the Stupid

By Scott Bailey © 2017

We have handed over our passport
Battered down the hatches
In a siege of our own designing
Some feeling smug justification
Others wondering if they should have done more
All responsible
All of us
Remember this
Huddled behind our walls
When the hunger strikes

Photo by Anthony Beck on Pexels.com
Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, General, Poetry, Writing

Fortune

By Scott Bailey © 2017

Fortune favours the bold
Risk equals success
People stop seeing risk
And hand over their cash
Their time
Their labour
Their lives
The minority shine
The majority are mesmerised
While they fall

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, General, Poetry, Writing

Territory

By Scott Bailey © 2017

Territory shrinks
As the walls rise again
And the drawbridge is raised
The world is smaller

The worst of times
From long ago
Are opium
Entertainment
Sleight of mind

Meanwhile
Terry the Tory
Sniggers behind
Fake pride
And cheap beer

Protest
Is the latest sport
Avarice
The virtue of power

Photo by Aaditya Arora on Pexels.com
Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, General, Poetry, Writing

The Elixir

By Scott Bailey © 2017

The Elixir
Swept through the void
Hunting
Stars glinting off the
Silver skin
The peak of human invention
Empty and silent

Photo by SpaceX on Pexels.com
Posted in Family, General, Poetry, Writing

Intentions

By Scott Bailey © 2015

“It was just a bit of fun”

To the broken hearts and home

“I meant no offence”

To the victims of riot and guns

“I was just following my dreams”

To the crushing weight of debt

“I will never do it again”

To the frightened wife and child

“I was trying to save some cash”

To the shattered future lost

“I thought I knew best”

To the chances that are gone

“My intentions were good”

To the consequences of action

 

Posted in General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Twines

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Silver twines
intricate wires
thin and delicate
stretching from misty past
to infinite future
Each one a story
a thread of life
Twisting they come together
Winding, entwining
Further down the road
The twines form a rope
Stronger
Older
Wiser
Thicker
Stiffer

Image from Pixabay

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, General, Mankind Limited News, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Mankind Limited – Succumb

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Would all the earth succumb to the concrete blanket of mankind? Was that the best legacy they could leave? Was their vision that limited?

One day there would come a time when it would be more profitable to tear these trees down than to leave them. Then there would be no power on earth that would save them. Even concerned consumers couldn’t stand in the way of profits anymore.

Read an excerpt here.

Available as

Kindle

or hardback

from Amazon

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, General, Mankind Limited News, Politics, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Mankind Limited – Nothing Changed

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Read an excerpt here.

Available as

Kindle

or hardback

from Amazon

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, General, Mankind Limited News, Politics, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Mankind Limited – Pebble

snap pebble 2

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Read an excerpt here.

Available as

Kindle

or hardback

from Amazon

Posted in General, Poetry, Writing

Where the Dark Wolf Dreams

By Scott Bailey © 2014

Image from Pixabay

A deep and dark filled cave
Upon a mountain high
Where no light dares enter
And no echo finds reply
Shallow
The dark wolf dreams

A rumble from within
Deep in the dark wolves throat
The echo of the growl
The terrifying note
Fitfully
The dark wolf dreams

Strong appear the chains
That bind him in his sleep
But stronger still the anger
That grows within him deep
Brooding
The dark wolf dreams

Bitter is the dark wolf’s heart
Long his memory too
Some will be spared his wrath
But they are counted few
Grim
The dark wolf dreams

Terrible his waking hours
Thus the grey wolves grieve
Any heart with secrets dark
Had better rise and leave
Briefly
The dark wolf dreams

So do not be deceived
By the mumbling and the snoring
Born of rage and constriction
Of rending and of roaring
And of waking
The dark wolf dreams

Posted in General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

So It Goes

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Stereotypical headlines
Reactions just the same
Ample opportunity
To apportion blame

Night time is for thinking
Sorting truth from lies
But in the sunshine morn
Dreams just fly

So it goes

Image from Pixabay

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, General, Mankind Limited News, Politics, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Mankind Limited – Fascinated

he-was-merely-fascinated 2

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Read an excerpt here.

Available as

Kindle

or hardback

from Amazon

Posted in Creative Writing, General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Daggers

By Scott Bailey © 2014

A dagger can be subtle
Not just a sharp stabbing tool
Can slowly cut away supports
Until they fray with time
And then it only takes
A single little pluck
And all comes crashing down
The betrayers hand unknown

Photo by Jaime Reimer on Pexels.com
Posted in Family, General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Red

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Red
Swathes in fields
Too many

Black and white
The headlines
That sowed the seed

Grey
The problems
The ethics
The guns

Yellow
the gas
and the memories

Red
Remembrance
and ledger

Photo by Bogdan R. Anton on Pexels.com
Posted in Creative Writing, Family, General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Eyes (A Septolet)

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Eyes
Red and raw
Seen too much

Filled
With work
and bills
and tears

Image from Pixabay
Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, General, Poetry, Writing

A Deep Green Canopy

By Scott Bailey © 2015

A deep green canopy
Back-dropped by a swathe of gold
Corn
Swaying in the wind
An overwhelming urge
To dive into that green sea
The climb and swing
And scream
With primal joy
But there is a mountain of time
Between me and that green
Eden
Made of commitments and constraints
Burdens and dependencies
So it dwindles
In my rear window
A deep green canopy
In mist

Image from Pixabay
Posted in Creative Writing, General, Poetry, Writing

Goodbye

By Scott Bailey © 2006

It’s not fair.
He started it, I didn't.
He called me names.
I had to do it to stop him.
How come I get told off?
It’s not fair.

It’s a shameful waste.
What they do to our world today.
The forests they cut down, the whales they kill.
The fields they destroy, the new roads they build.
The way they leave their scars on the world.
It’s a shameful waste.

It’s a bloody liberty.
I will not stand for it!
I earned my money fairly.
I will spend it pleasantly.
I will not stand being ripped off!
It’s a bloody liberty.

It’s a downright disgrace.
The way these youngsters behave.
They will not heed my words.
They will not do as they are told.
I will leave my mark on the world.
It’s a downright disgrace.

He needs no name on his grave.
He was a model man.
He stood for what we all stand for.
He spoke the words we all speak.
He was me and you and all those to come.
He needs no name on his grave.
Photo by Jordan Benton on Pexels.com
Posted in Creative Writing, General, Poetry, Writing

Seas

By Scott Bailey © 2015

Ideas
Dreams
Decisions
Goals
All swept away
In the rolling seas
Of other’s
Perceived
Realities

Posted in General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Time Between Times

By Scott Bailey © 2015

This is the half-light
The magic time
Deep blue light
Fresh born stars
Tales weaving
In expectant air
Firelight dimming
Shadows creep
Tales weaving
Dreams conceived
Past is close
The dead draw near
To hear
Tales weaving
With living breath

Image from Pixabay

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in General, Poetry, Writing

Vampires

By Scott Bailey © 2014

Killers
Cold and ruthless
Hungry
For blood
Hot vibrant blood

Stepping out
Of dark and mists
Striking
From dark paths
And winding ways

Wearing fear
Like flowing cloaks
Chilling hearts that see
Stilling life
Unseen

Now
They walk by day
Woo us with tragedy
Shake our hands
Enamour us with
Their smiles

Drain us
As we admire their teeth

Image from Pixabay

Posted in General, Poetry, Writing

Heavy Hands

By Scott Bailey © 2014

The blood of a million children
Is heavy in my hands
Slipping through my fingers
Like eternal sands

Not the consequence of acting
But the consequence of not
A stain upon my conscience
And ever-growing blot

So I consume and I create
And so I spend and save
Consumer and producer
But I never gave

The hand that should have proffered
Is stained with guilty red
The reproaching cry from beyond
Of the wasted dead

So my heart is heavy
With echoes of that cry
If you believe of guilt you’re free
Look me in the eye

Image from Pixabay
Posted in General, Poetry, Writing

The Ripple Effect

By Scott Bailey © 2006

Six flashes of gold beneath the mirrored air.
Ripples reach out to my feet.
Blurred images pass here and there.
Their intrusion indiscreet.

The casters of these images,
against their prison rail.
Disgust contorts their visages.
Behind a lacy veil.

What is true they scorn and spurn.
Blurred figures in a shaky land.
To look up! They will never learn.
And see the clear truth at hand.

Image from Pixabay
Posted in General, Poetry, Writing

Only Us

By Scott Bailey © 2014

We don’t understand
The fight between them and us
There is only us

(Inspired by the Peter Gabriel song of the same name.)

Posted in General, Short Stories, Writing

The Jellyfish That Froze

By Scott Bailey © 2014

The jellyfish sighed, in a jellyfish way. It wobbled awake.

Another day after another rough night.

The little jellies were disturbed, heavy currents last night. They had needed lots of comfort. He had wrapped himself around them and rocked them to sleep against the waves. Mrs Jellyfish had bumped up against him, squishing his comfort and rumbled fitfully. Bad dreams, turbulent waters.

He stretched out, taking in as much of the early morning sunbeams as he could, building up energy for the coming onslaught…

The jellyfish swore. Riding the busy jet stream he had just missed crashing into a hard-shell and getting himself shredded.  He had survived the morning scramble, the sleepy then crazed, energised little ones. The rush, the noise.  Now he was squeezing and twisting himself in and out of the flow. Avoiding the less considerate travellers. Collapsing himself sliding like and eel. Rolling up like a ball to barrel through the wake of those speeding by way too fast. One day his shifting and gyrating would not be enough. He would get hit.

The jellyfish quivered. He shook himself more awake and aware. Had to concentrate more or mistakes would be made. The others didn’t help. The one who needed to be high up to avoid the sand. The one by his side who couldn’t help bumping him with every list and move. The on behind who kept expanding and contracting. He was only here because he could adapt, shift his shape to accommodate.

Another day. And tomorrow yet another. And the day after.

The suddenly the alarm. Shark! Here! that was new. It was almost exciting, but he had all the other jellies to think of, to return to, to bear up and settle down. He could not enjoy this. Not without guilt.

They scattered. All of a sudden he was alone. Alone in the deep. No shark, no one.

Sunbeams drifted down through the undulating waves. Debris floated gently on the eddies and sway. It was silent for once. Peaceful

He basked in the peace and dreamed. This he could enjoy.

There was a sudden surge of cold. A surprise current swept in and took him. He curled up and rode it but he was at its mercy. No control.

He pulsed with, fear. And excitement.

This was out of his comfort zone, out of the everyday routine and out of his volition. Therefore he was not responsible.

He let go – he could enjoy this.

The water got colder, He suddenly noticed looming, dark shapes above him. Icebergs. He has heard of them, never seen one. They looked imposing. Hard. Unyielding.

He watched them for a while as they crashed through everything in their path.

And then he made his decision.

He froze. It was a simple act of will. He became as rigid as the icebergs. Shaped himself how he wanted and never shifted his outline again.

He returned to his home. Now, everyone had to shift their stances, adjust their positions and accommodate his new shape. They had to as it was crowded with sharp points and hard corners. He was not comfortable to be near.

Now the world was shaped around him instead of the world shaping him.

He was pleased. So please he did not notice how far everyone drifted from him.

He was frozen and would stay so.

No one had ever told him that even icebergs melt.

Image from Pixabay
Posted in General, Poetry, Writing

Where the Red Fox Roams

Where the Red Fox Roams

By Scott Bailey © 2014

Image from Pixabay

The timid beasties scatter
With tiny racing hearts
The scent of blood approaches
The herd all ways it parts
For here
The red fox roams

The scent of fear it rises
And fans the fox’s fire
Into enslaving passion
To raise the killer higher
Thus
The red fox roams

Filled with hate and ire of
Where the white wolves dance
The dance the fox desires
Denied its golden chance
Everywhere
The red fox roams

The world has grown accustomed
To fear of tooth and claw
The world has grown so weary
Of lives lived short and raw
Still
The red fox roams

The timid beasties scatter
Will never make a stand
They’ll not accept the secret
To gain the upper hand
So proud
The red fox roams

No one knows the course
Where the fox’s road is heading
All they see is darkness
The cast of all the spreading
Death
Where the red fox roams

Posted in Creative Writing, General, Poetry, Writing

Where the Grey Wolves Grieve

By Scott Bailey © 2014

Image from Pixabay

On a barren plain
Where food and joy are sparse
The desolate packs wander
Watching slow time pass
Here
The grey wolves grieve

With rose stained eyes
Patrolling their border wide
Preserving what is left
Of what they hold inside
It’s why
The grey wolves grieve

They gaze across the delta
To far off distant times
Where game and ease were plenty
Than in these austere climes
And so
The grey wolves grieve

Disgusted by the carnage
Where the red fox roams
On guard for rebel spirits
Keeping safe their homes
Where
The grey wolves grieve

Yet what they seek in earnest
Deep within their hearts
They know is far beyond them
Beyond their stilted arts
Endless
The grey wolves grieve

The packs struggle onwards
Huddled in their gloom
Their hearts so full of anguish
For hope there is no room
In this land
Where the grey wolves grieve

Posted in General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

The Coalman

By Scott Bailey © 1999

With his faithful tartan cap, its bobble flicking black dust into the air.
Holding in that tousled and already greying hair.
With half hundred weight of coal to deliver down the street.
With his smiling green lorry, tiny windows at his feet.
Walking up the narrow path, a smile upon his face.
Care worn lines deep with dust, crisscrossed like living lace.
Bringing warmth to many homes and our own.

Now the coal has gone but the lines remain beneath silver hair.
Hands hard and black with oil and years of toil and loyal care.
Has no wealth and all wealth one could want within his soft brick walls.
Always ready to respond to our lost and stranded calls.
Tall as a tree and as strong against every withering storm.
A mere spanner in his hands his wonders to perform.
Humble, with every reason to be mighty proud.
With pride these words should be read to all aloud.

Posted in Creative Writing, General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Perhaps

 

Dingy Room

By Scott Bailey © 2013

In an unremarkable flat
Next to a noisy tapas bar
Is where, perhaps, Hawkins might die
Folded in his chair
It will not be remembered
Unlike his remarkable mind
Such are the vagaries of life and death
Both ridiculous and sublime

Read more in A Spring of Dreams

Posted in Creative Writing, General

Ring of Justice (Kyrielle)

By Scott Bailey © 2013

In golden age where steel was king
Rich voices of great bards there ring
The rising pride of knights there swells
Around the ring where justice dwells

Behind the throne where power lies
The dark intent deep in his eyes
The ancient druid gathers spells
Around the ring where justice dwells

The jealous son holds his dark ire
Until it rises to a fire
Bells of doom ring their deathly knells
Around the ring where justice dwells

And so the cracks came from within
Mens’ convictions so very thin
Shattered by those doom laden bells
Around the ring where justice dwells

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Image from Pixabay
Posted in Creative Writing, General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

News

By Scott Bailey © 2013

What’s behind the story
What is the reason for that news
Who gets the benefit, the prize
The envelope with the bread
The law successfully passed
The company tracked greased
Somebody’s life made easier
At the cost of somebody else

 
www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Steely Stress

By Scott Bailey © 2013

The lights on the corners of the boxes of steel
Are giving me a pain in the head
Like the fools who drive slowly in the outside lane
They are driving but their brains are dead

They have a purpose those lights you see
And I expect them to flash
Maybe that is my big mistake
Forgetting people are so rash

Image from Pixabay

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, General, Poetry, Writing

Divine

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Imagine
Me
I kill without discrimination
for race, for age, for sex or sexuality
I take saints and sinners
I take your loved ones
in return
I deal you pain
without explanation
when asked
the answer is
that you cannot hope to understand me
As a man
you would lock me up
revile me
or label me insane
But I am divine
So that’s OK then

Image from Pixabay

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Web

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Glistening silver
A delicate spider web
Fallen tree around

Image from Pixabay

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in General, Poetry, Writing

Memory Lane

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Sound, sound, drumbeat hard
Too loud, who cares, light flashing.
Thumping beat, hot air, alcohol haze.
Saturday nights of days gone by

Image from Pixabay

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Evening Beach

By Scott Bailey © 2013

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Splashing on the beach
Throwing pebbles in the surf
With red sun sinking

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Intolerance

By Scott Bailey © 2013

I am a tolerant man no more

Intolerant of inequality
And all who promote it
Intolerant of injustice
And all those who peddle it
Time to make the world
The way it should be

Image from Pixabay

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Society

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Is society
Tension on the webs between
Elites and masses

Image from Pixabay

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Poor Race

By Scott Bailey © 2013

As a race
We should step up
To eliminate the gap
Between the haves and the have-nots
Between the singers with their bling and the slaves on the line
Between the bankers with their blank cheques and the children in poverty
For most of history most men women and children
Lived in misery, died hungry.
We are a disgrace
As a race

Image from Pixabay

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Wonder Shore

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Photo Credit: Scott Bailey 2013
Photo Credit: Scott Bailey 2013

Back from the shore
Into my arms.
After an explore
In a world of charms

A world full of wonder
Mystery and fun
Of beaches and crabs
And space to run

Breathing salty air
Hearing laughter ring
Dancing without a care
Of what tomorrow may bring

So dance some more my son
Enjoy the sun and sea
When the day is done
Run back home to me

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

www.scottandrewbailey.uk