By Farzana Hakim
Hi, all. Welcome to a colourful Thursday Connectors, with me your host, Farzana. I say colourful, because the colour palette of Spring is here and seeing it everywhere I look gives me joy. With this in mind, I bring to you a fitting array of prose to celebrate the season and my sentiments.
Flora and fauna are strong themes in my list when it comes to sketching prompts and imagery for creative writing exercises in my workshops and in my general writing practice. The mention of changing seasons brings much emotion and much depth to my writing, as I’m sure it does to anyone’s writing, whether they’re students, children, or prolific authors. Adding descriptions and references of animals, flowers, their feelings, their hues, and our affections towards them, gives life to our writing.
My Connectors today are like that, too. Using animals, flowers, or sensory references to the changes in nature, as Spring appears, our showcased writers have been selected for my page because of the emotions they all were able to depict through this imagery. I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading this collection as much as I did.
My Connectors this month come from: Tavinder Kaur New, Jade MacQueen, James Marshall, Akshitha Ramalingam, Priyanka Nawathe, Sanreet, Hongwei Bao, Eithne Cullen, Gloria Maloney and, last but not least, Irina Goncherenko.
A great line-up of poetry and prose for you all to relish. So, without making you wait for a second longer, let’s head to our first Connector.
Hi, Tavinder. Let’s connect:
Is The Spring Coming?
“Is the Spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?’
It is the sun shining in the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine, the colours of the rainbow glistening in the sky.
The electric energy I pray will make you run, Colin, as it zaps us all back from life, freshly cut grass and yellow, purple, and red gems growing from the ground starting to appear.
It is a magician, the witch, the fairy that transforms death into life as the trees come alive with green, butterflies, bees, and insects all come out from hiding as they crawl, bringing us back to life, as I hope it does to you, Colin.
Colin, you can feel it as it wraps you like Mother, kissing you softly from sleep into life. No more hiding; life has come alive. As I look outside, I can see you.
You are the sunshine, you bring me life, and you transform me every day. You are my brother, my special Spring, so no reason to look out there, just look inside yourself!
© Tavinder Kaur New, 2023
You can connect with Tavinder on Twitter: @NewTavinder and Instagram: @tavinderknew
Hi, Jade. Let’s connect:
Whispers Of The Wind
Staring through the camera lens, as I press the shutter to take the picture.
The picture I find inspiration in. The angle I use deliberately, for the best lighting.
The sun light penetrating through the branches of the trees, as the soft glow filters to the colours of its leaves.
Red, orange, yellow and brown.
A kaleidoscope of colours.
The movement from the breeze, gently dancing with them.
Rustling and quivering to their own song.
Slightly touching one another, as they all join in together, listening to the whispers of the wind.
As I witness the beauty of nature, capturing the everchanging palette of the wuthering leaves.
Holding onto one another.
Holding on has become exhausting.
Holding onto hope.
But hope never prevails.
Slowly tumbling towards their fate, through the rays of sunlight. But still, despite falling to their end, they still hold on to each other.
Hoping to hear the whispers of the wind.
© Jade McQueen, 2023
You can connect with Jade on Facebook: JadeMcQueen and Instagram: @jadeykinz182
Hi, James. Let’s connect:
The Garden Centre
So many lawn ornaments, so little time. Gnomes, water features, bird tables, stone rabbits and windmills, cast iron sculptures and clay pots all have to be stacked and sorted and sold before autumn. It’s hard enough as it is, without this bus load of bumbling fools prodding and nudging and asking ridiculous questions like:
“Does this gnome come in blue?”
“Have you got one doing a disco pose?”
“Do you sell garden shrubs?” and:
“How much is that?”
Even though the price is clearly marked in black on the white label.
I take a breath and show them. Forty-five pounds for a bird table. That’s a morning’s work for me, but the silver pound stretches infinitely. They potter around, pick up a few nick-nacks, then sit down for a cup of tea and an exorbitantly priced slice of cake.
The peaceful murmur and background trickle of a hundred water features is pierced by the scream of an infant. The high-pitched wails cause everyone to stop. Who is it? None of these old fogeys have brought a child.
I run to the noise, scattering pensioners aside like wheat in a field, past the potted plants and skid round the corner to the patio furniture. A toddler is sat against a love seat (£399) with a paving slab (£24.99) across his leg. His face is red and swollen, lips trembling. I shove through the coterie of OAPs and toss the slab aside.
“There, there,” I say. I’m not good with kids. “Are you hurt?”
The toddler’s face screws up, and I pick him up before he screams some more, “It’s okay, I’ve got you.”
“Rub some butter on it.”
“Give him some mint tea.”
The crowd were eager to give advice.
“No, a cold compress.”
Finally some common sense. I turn around and see a short brunette lady wearing a wrap around skirt and crop top that reveals a naval-pierced midriff.
“Auntie Ellen,” the toddler stops snivelling and wriggles out of my arms.
“Bus leaves in two minutes,” the stout driver in a blue blazer shouts from the cafe door. The crowd disperses, taking their ornaments and folk-remedies with them.
“Thanks for your help,” Auntie Ellen says. “Can I buy you a coffee?
© James Marshall, 2023
Hi, Akshitha. Let’s connect:
My Happy Garden
Tiny little squirrels with lines in umber,
Rushing down the gooseberry tree hastily in hunger,
Yearning to indulge in a feasting shower,
And his taste buds already sensing the pink adenium flowers,
The morning glory blooming to blush in blue,
As the tillandsia continued dancing in the breeze that blew,
My vanda orchids is sure to make me smile,
With its sprouting shoots and roots pushing in line,
That sweet sound that makes me walk into the garden every day,
Are, from the dainty little house sparrows playing hide and seek all day!
© Akshitha Ramalingam, 2023
Connect with Akishitha on Instagram: @akshitharamalingam, LinkedIn: akshitharamalingam and on her Website: akshitharamalingam.com
Hi, Priyanka. Let’s connect:
A Chilling Threat
Because the longest winter Isn’t kind to human bones,
In valleys and plains, families moan. With frosted tips,
trees and bushes stay quite still.
The longest winter
Is the one that threatens, Staining your mittens, Squealing your kittens.
You seem to have forgotten what it feels to be warm. I’m here to give you no ale, but there brews a storm.
I demand your warmth – withered bones and branch, I must ask “Would it keep you breathing?
When will you stop merely surviving?”
© Priyanka Nawathe, 2023
Connect with Priyanka on Instagram: @priyankanawathewriter and Twitter: @PriyankaNawathe
Hi, Sanreet. Let’s connect:
Deep, deep in the wilderness grows thee
Those purple wild flowers that sway to the breeze
That often man does not see
For the journey there is long and deep
Those who see are those who dare to venture deep, deep, deep
Some lose their way and stumble on thee
Some pursue this fervent quest in vengeance
Does the one who stumbled on thee lucky
Or the one who pursued so with vengeance lucky?
Does a measure of success help determine those who were lucky?
So, it be, a measure albeit considers trade-offs and what though did thy make to succeed in thee?
Is thou one would regret or cherish on thy deathbed for a measure ain’t a measure of life before grave?
Time will tell for a quest or a stumble are roads, that once taken cannot be returned!
© Sanreet, 2023
Hi, Hongwei. Let’s connect:
A small blackbird
hops into my garden,
perches on a cherry tree
pecks at red cherries.
takes a dip in the bucket
filled with glittering rainwater
and sings gleefully
in the glaring afternoon sun.
Oh, you free soul
the uninvited guest
knows no boundary
no private property
and no sorrow
I’m watching you
through the patio door
full of envy
as if I was an uninvited guest
intruding into your life
and sharing your joy, secretly.
© Hongwei Bao, 2023
You can connect with Hongwei on Twitter: @PatrickBao1
Hi, Eithne. Let’s connect:
Cotton clothes on a line
above a bed of flowers
where bees dance lazily
pinch precious powder
from delicate flower parts.
Frosty woman on the decking
sips cold gin from a glass
pollen irritates her heavy eyes
drawing a wheeze, sneeze,
a juddering heave, she sweats.
The garden buzzes.
© Eithne Cullen, 2020
Hi, Gloria. Let’s connect:
Black and white stripe head
Pokes out of the den
Scent sniffs the dank mossy air
Beady jet coal stare
Owl hoots his greeting
Into the gloaming
Elongated pink tongue
Paw paw scratch pads
Dragged over hairy wire underbelly
Squalling, screeching cubs, bombardment
Down time grooming over!
© Gloria Maloney, 2023
Hi, Irina. Let’s connect:
I loved her from the moment I saw her. Eight years ago. She was so tiny and cute. I couldn’t get enough of her. Next day, I was exhausted and ready to give her away.
However, when she got lost, I just couldn’t find her and cried for what seemed like ages.
She’s brought so much happiness to our family. Even when she’s mischievous and naughty, we still love her lots.
I adore our gentle cuddles and her sincere excitement every time she sees me.
Sometimes she climbs all over me and literally sits on my head while I’m still sleeping. It gets annoying, but it’s somehow reassuring she’s next to me.
We play chasing games around the house and snuggle under the blanket when it’s pouring outside.
She breaks my favourite cups or spills tea on my paper work and leaves a toilet in a disastrous mess.
Morning screams are the worst. They get inside of you, claws in, dragging you out of so much needed sleep.
Still. Every night she warms up by my side and sings me a gentle lullaby.
I do love her with all my heart.
My dear Bengal cat, my Cleopatra.
© Irina Goncherenko, 2023
Thank you, to all my Connectors, for making my page so vibrant in colour and emotion this month. Stay tuned next month, as I’m sure you’ll be equally impressed with what I’ll be bringing you.
Take care, see you again soon.
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Adding descriptions and references of animals, flowers, their feelings, their hues, and our affections towards them, can give life to our writing.