AWOL Week 19 Responses

The task:

Here’s a piece by that old favourite of the writing group, Anne Carson. ‘Burners Go Raw’. What the story is, I don’t have a clue. But the play of words and phrases fascinated me. All I want you to do is write a piece with the catchy title:

‘Story/Poem Beginning with a Phrase from Anne Carson’ 

and guess what? It has to start with a phrase or sentence or line from the poem. So the first line of my piece might be ‘I can almost taste it’, or ‘medieval dark’ or ‘one day you climbed in the kitchen window’. So, lots of scope there for imaginative excursions!



AWOL Week 19 Responses


of the night…   by Kathy Low

of the night… 

           “I went out to help the night”, the scream urgent, clear, summoning me.

           Stealthy, softly on suburban street.

           Alert. The dark hindered by lamp light,

           gibbous moon low in the south east, faint stars and an aspect of Venus…

                 The night enfolded me.

            On the wasteland, untended these times and the thistles thigh high

            proper purple heads soft on the palm…. shadow moves and silent

            black cat leaps a garden wall.

                  Night scented stock,

            elusively familiar,  and the mindtaste of brambles in a closeby thicket.

            A bustling rustle in the undergrowth and I stop,  watchful,

            a touch of adrenalin offers. Ancient instinct written in DNA.

                  Sudden scream again and this time a response, 

                  the sharp bark some distance away towards the park.

            Later I head slowly home, occasionally stopping just to be,

            to breathe of the darkness.  

                  In the distance the call of a tawny owl! 

                  Did I hear the answer too….faint, subliminal… sublime?

            A memory…“the owl of life calls out to coax you to his tree of dreams…”

                   ….and the night helped me….

Kathy Low



If Anne Carson Lived in Dundee   by Jodie Glass

If Anne Carson Lived in Dundee  

Drear rain, masks tears, a bonnie day reveals nothing.

Drear rain refreshes, gusts disrupt.

Drear rain, called for by angels above, to show sadness

Drear rain, perfect before thunder, and develops into a fresh start

Jodie Glass



Diving into the cool embrace of river   by Lotty

Diving into the cool embrace of river   

Diving in to the cool embrace of river, hoping as I swim the ties that binds me to  you will finally be severed; for right now I am quite content to travel alone. Forgive me for my cold and abrupt tone that I have written this in, but things I have to say before we become dust in the wind, and I can finally let the next chapter begin

The long and arduous swimming continues as the mind concentrates with all might to keep it off the blues; also to keep one’s legs from seizing up and going for a snooze tonight.

Finally dry land lies ahead; hopefully I will find somewhere with a warm cosy king-size bed to rest my  head as my slumber awaits.

by Lotty 25th July



Raw   by Elisheva Katz


Raw. Raw to the bone. It has eaten me raw to the bones. I am not the same as I was before and never will I be again. Winter now remains within, darkness never disappears from the eyes inside my head, raindrops fall from my eyelashes. Although this star of mine still shines light.

Raw. Raw to the splintered bones of us. Blistered feet abraded and bleeding from the gravel roads we have walked upon for so many wind-blasted years. And what of this! Years spent in war, years spent fighting to live, what of this!

Raw. Raw as we stand wearing our battle scars, tired from this endless war we fight. Cancer has destroyed everything, everything! Now what remains of our days when the light has gone say you to me and I say no! No!

Raw. Raw as these times have become. Even though the morning seems as though it still were night, don’t you know there is beauty even in the dark. Just look at how the moon and stars illuminate the sky.

I cut out my star from my heart. Put my light into your star, into your heart. This way we shall never fade. My light will be your guide.

Written by Elisheva Katz



Knots   by Peter Marshall

Knots   by Peter Marshall

I sat at the table in my life

where each of my virtues was on show.

I sat at the table in my life

on which every fault could be seen.

In places the grain would knot and crack

reminder of things I’d wish to mend.

The entire sweep of ridged warp and bend

plainly refer to parts I’d best take back.

And yet there’s a beauty to be found

where tiny flecks swirl round and around

in graceful flow from a central tear,

shows growth and slow spread year by year.

The table’s seen scratches and misuse

and finally to charcoal will fuse.

But for now it gives viewing pleasure

as each little segment I treasure. 

2020 07 31   Peter Marshall





Apologies for the delay.

I simply went off to play.

I hope me going out to frolic

hasn’t left you melancholic.

Everyone’s words are always a joy to read,

I’ll try next time to blog with due speed.

Now six days late,

I really should skate.

please forgive this crime,

I’ll do better next time.

It’ll be good soon to meet

in North Lindsay Street.

That’ll be just so great,

I can hardly wait.

2020 08 06



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