In the Ribboned Fog | Poetry

A leaf covered in hoar frost

In the ribboned fog of a February daybreak, dog barks stilt strangely in the dank air. Hoar frost clings to raw-fingered branches and to the tortured holly. What leaves are left from autumn’s mulch sit skeleton and crisp, drifted in between tree roots or huddled at the entrances to abandoned setts. Clouds scud over the lightening sky, looking upon their skulking brethren clinging to the dells and corries below. A time for paperboys and farmers, milk floats and commuters huddled bitter at some rural bus stop. The sensible stay put – the foxes in their underground fugues, the hares in frozen, clod-circled forms.

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Curlews and Cows | Ayr Writers

One of the best aspects of being a member of Ayr Writers is the variety of outside speakers we have in our programme. Writers are by their nature storytellers, and we’ve had some fantastic yarns spun to us in my time as a member.

Some of the most interesting talks have come from (to my mind at least) unusual sources. We’ve had workshops on writing song lyrics and publishing via Mills and Boon, both of which taught me things about writing of which I was previously ignorant.

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Heave and Harry | Haiku

Morning folks,

a couple of blustery haiku today, as Autumn has well and truly arrived…

Heave

Heaving, hissing trees

Writhe and cling on to their leaves

Early Autumn winds.

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Harry

Mackerel sky skates

Over hill and into dell

Gleam harried by gust.

*Thanks for reading, folks. Images courtesy of Rawpixel and Wikipedia. My recent short stories include ‘Cooks Matches, Lentils, and Sofa Stuffing‘ and ‘Snatched‘.


Matthew Richardson is a writer of short stories. His work has featured in Gold Dust magazine, Literally Stories, Close to the Bone, McStorytellers, Penny Shorts, Soft Cartel, Whatever Keeps the Lights On, Flashback Fiction, Cafelit, Best MicroFiction 2021, Writer’s Egg, Idle Ink, The Wild Word, and Shooter magazine. He is a doctoral student at the University of Dundee, a lucky husband, and a proud father. He blogs at www.matthewjrichardson.com and tweets at https://twitter.com/mjrichardso0

Bake and Breccia | Haiku

Morning folks,

This was going to be a couple of drought-themed haiku, but in the end I thought a refreshing one to finish was more palatable.

‘Breccia’ is a haiku based on the Flannan Isles off the west coast of Scotland, a notoriously difficult place to land a boat and the setting for a mysterious disappearance in 1900. I’ve just finished ‘The Lighthouse: The Mystery of the Eilean Mor Lighthouse Keepers’ by Keith McCloskey – an excellent book on the subject if you are interested in reading more.

Bake

Riverbed, tarmac,

Ray-baked, dust-choked munro path.

Cringing under sun.

Breccia

Foam-licked breccia teeth

Sheathed, and unsheathed as boats approach.

Steps rise to safety.

*Thanks for reading, folks. Images courtesy of Chris Downer and Wikipedia. My recent short stories include ‘The Road‘ and ‘A Kind of Magic‘.


Matthew Richardson is a writer of short stories. His work has featured in Gold Dust magazine, Literally Stories, Close to the Bone, McStorytellers, Penny Shorts, Soft Cartel, Whatever Keeps the Lights On, Flashback Fiction, Cafelit, Best MicroFiction 2021, Writer’s Egg, Idle Ink, The Wild Word, and Shooter magazine. He is a doctoral student at the University of Dundee, a lucky husband, and a proud father. He blogs at www.matthewjrichardson.com and tweets at https://twitter.com/mjrichardso0

The Road | Short Story

Beginnings everywhere, like tributaries. The barely-there footpaths over the needled forest floor, the slightest heelprint in the wet sand moments before the tide arrives. Beginnings everywhere, and nowhere.

The path begins to become more cultured, more knowable. Towpaths trail obediently canalside. Lines of scree wind up Bens Lomond, Vane, Ime, slowing only to slip underneath footworn styles or to dip beneath the scurried, hurried surfaces of highland burns.

Soon, the little country lanes with thick, sunblock hedgerows, honeysuckle woven over the threads of sunlight that have made their way through. The pitch-dark laybys overhung with blackberries and sloes, indigo fruits on an indigo road under an indigo sky.

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Fragile Castings | Poetry

White signposts pockmarked brown.

Grass sprung from tyre-trodden tracks.

Impotent cartography on shifting green and umber –

Urban creep, crawling back.

From corset-clad, rocks,

Overhanging

                        gossamer roads,

To drystone walls riven

With lichen and slate-shifting press of green.

The village-hemmed-in.

The                  trees                 canopied,

Foliage fingered across

Quivering telephone wires and fading contrails.

Concrete hauteur and mono-blocked pomp –

Temporal veneers over

Heave of hill, over

Relentless nudge of slender white root.

What hold county border

And matchstick boundary fence

On ragged geese skeins

Or paw-padded range of wolf?

Fragile castings

Atop grinding earth, beneath broiling sky.

*Thanks for reading, folks. Image courtesy of Wikipedia. Recent stories of mine include ‘The Wind off the Clyde‘ and ‘Alder, Beech, Hawthorn, and Hazel‘.


Matthew Richardson is a writer of short stories. His work has featured in Gold Dust magazine, Literally Stories, Close to the Bone, McStorytellers, Penny Shorts, Soft Cartel, Whatever Keeps the Lights On, Flashback Fiction, Cafelit, Best MicroFiction 2021, Writer’s Egg, and Shooter magazine. He is a doctoral student at the University of Dundee, a lucky husband, and a proud father. He blogs at www.matthewjrichardson.com and tweets at https://twitter.com/mjrichardso0