Friday 14th November

How are you all this morning? Looking forward to the weekend? Here's the next prompt to take you a little bit closer.


Five ways to cry and not be noticed: in the shower, staring at the sun, watching ‘Braveheart’, in a five mile tailback on the M25, in all sorts of rain.


  1. Yes, turn on the computer and no, don’t click on the Word icon, forget about the Windows update prompt. Concentrate on the timer icon and whatever you do, don’t laugh.

    coll @

  2. When he would have his prey, his nature is ever to cry and sob like a Christian body, to provoke them to come to him, then he snatcheth at them

  3. We are waiting for rain. We stare at the skies and pray. Each day the earth is drier, our footsteps sound hollow. When the first drop falls we will sing.

  4. Three ways to laugh and not be noticed: run from the room pleading sickness, bury your head deep in your sleeve and try not to snort, burst into hysterical tears.

  5. When you cry you may not be noticed while in the act. It’s just afterwards that your puffy face and bleary eyes give you away – and the empty tissue box.

  6. Sharp grief
    gnawing at her soul
    if her salty drop
    ever fell on
    a rock
    it would split in two
    a reflection of her soul

  7. The best time to go to the cinema to watch a sad movie is after dark, when it's raining - so no-one notices your tears when you leave. Take a hndkerchief.

  8. It was quiet
    rain, tender
    like frankincense
    tears, pure-
    its aroma filled her
    with scented memories
    of summer, sea
    runes in the sand
    and a never ending trail
    of sunscape.

  9. Learn how to live in rain: let its patter wake you, calm and alert, trace each tap on your tongue, kick a puddle's roundness to find a faultless frayed edge.

  10. Crowds brought the city to a halt,young and old, with a sea of banners streching in all directions. As though a floodgate had opened,tears poured down her cheeks.

  11. She steeled herself from crying...funerals, weddings, old soldiers on parade, carol-singing children, starvation, suffering. Now she couldn’t laugh; forever stony-faced as others clutched their sides, tears rolling down their cheeks.

  12. Death apart, it’s movies make me cry, not reality. Or, rather, it’s the music. I cry to its heart-stopping swell. If life had a soundtrack my cheeks would permanently glisten.

  13. 1 There was a problem with the downstairs shower. There always had been. Whilst the rest of the family enjoyed the luxury of the free flowing power shower upstairs, she would nip in to the pathetic dribble of one downstairs. It was a warm dribble but was limited to the time allowed by the mysterious 'User Protect' system which made the water go cold. She came to time her oblutions just right before the light would start flashing.

    2 There hadn't been much sun to stare at recently. Buckets and spades of optimism shovelled into rucksacks weren't enough to prevent two wet camping holidays, or to act as sandbags against the prevailing wind and rain.

    3 Braveheart. She was kind of interested in this because after all, it was supposed to be about the land of her ancestors. She didn't get around to watching it and settled for regurgitated snippets of script in bad Scottish accents from various friends. She even learned to laugh at the jokes she didn't understand and it was almost as if she had seen it after all. Just like the rest of the films.

    4 She knew for a fact that tailbacks (M25 or Mwherever) were not as private as you might have thought. She had observed many a man picking his nose. She wasn't sure whether they did it in the belief that no one would be watching or whether they didn't care anyhow. She cringed at the thought of the state of their footwells. You never saw women picking their noses, secretly or otherwise. However, they might've retouched their lipstick or checked their hair, actions geared towards observation by others.

    5 She hadn't thought about rain. And so she went out for a walk and she was washed away in a flash flood.

  14. Crying when hugged by someone close, when happy, goodbyes, remembering his smile, the garden, coming home.
    First: If in company and windy, blame watering eyes; otherwise a cold. Alone – indulge.

    Mary Rose

  15. The village was inundated with floods,
    two years ago, now no rains,
    drought, scorching sun ,not a drop
    of water, new taps , shower dry,
    parched , fields, wandering livestock,
    stealthy cry.

  16. Alison Hammet cried in the shower, the radio on the shelf (battery operated for safety) tuned to Radio One. They were playing Bronski Beat, a band from the eighties her brother had been into. He’d died three weeks after leaving home, the victim of a hate crime on the streets of Ealing. The Thames Metropolitan Police had shook their heads and said how sorry they were and if any leads turned up they’d let her know. They even sent a representative to the funeral, a ‘liaisons officer’ by the name of Julie Lyons. Alison still had her card somewhere, though it was doubtful anyone at the Met even remembered her.

    Crying for Stuart was just an excuse for her to cry for herself. He might have died, but at least he’d got away from the dingy grey concrete city they’d grown up in. Alison hadn’t. She’d got trapped in the fist boyfriend -- pregnancy – marriage trap and had been here ever since. Oh, they’d got a council flat and when Sparrow, their daughter, was six had been granted a house on the Manor Farm Estate but when Luke got her pregnant again she saw what Sparrow’s life was like with an unemployable yob for a father and wished her baby would never be born.

    She still blamed herself for the death of little Sam five years ago. Luke had lost his temper when she’d spent the housekeeping on Sparrow’s birthday party without buying any beer and his fist had knocked her onto the kitchen step. She miscarried before she’d even made it to A&E.

    “Are you all right, Mom?” Sparrow’s heavy fist hammered on the bathroom door. “You’ve bin’ in there ages.”

    “I’ll be right out.” Alison pressed a flannel over her eyes to reduce the tear-induced redness. “I’m fine.”

  17. Look at me.
    Please look.
    Look in my eyes.
    Can't you see my tears?
    Can't you feel my pain?
    Look at me.
    It's right there.
    Why can't you see it?

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  19. Humans are allegedly the only species
    whose emotions influence the lacrimal apparatus;
    An evolution of nonverbal communication.
    Yet we cry alone in the shower.
    All that communication down the drain.

  20. Every time I watch Dancer in the Dark, I cry. Huge sobs that leave my body spent. I watch, hoping that this time, the movie will have a happy ending.

    Jamieson Wolf

  21. The little girl picks 31 daisies exactly, one for each birthday. She makes a chain, laying it softly in her sleeping mother’s hair, trying not to touch her bruised face.

  22. I saw him there, standing in the street,
    Shaking, unable to voice words.
    The sound of anger, his anger.
    Rising above the houses, the traffic.

    Carrying on, head tilting slowly back.
    Breath leaving his body, lungs aching to stop.
    It didn't stop, even when he fell to his knees.
    The echo, the resonance carried on.

    No-one knew how to stop it.
    How to change that sound.
    No-one knew how to avoid the dark shadows,
    in places so alone. Places that were locked away.
    Until he showed us where to look.

    Each person at that moment knew
    what it was to be alone.
    Each felt the tears and sobs rising inside,
    filling their lungs with emptiness.

    With the wild chaos outside language,
    before ideas are fixed in place.
    Perhaps this is not enough.
    When you want only
    to read the meaning of words.

    I walked away, saying nothing again.

    Sometimes we expect to much from words.
    There should be more between the lines.
    There should be more space in what is said.

    Sometimes there is only space to cry,
    seen or not, alone or in the world
    we cry to everyone at the same moment.
    We cry to know we are not alone.

    Some say “See how much you are loved.”
    But when we lie in the dark silence,
    you can see all that is missing from the words.
    See everything that is missing.

    And when you hear that cry of the lost,
    you realise how far from the firelight you have travelled,
    head down, knowing only your own words echoing back.

    And when you turn to see how far you have come,
    Do you still see the fire?
    Do you see the shadows dancing?
    Or are you alone on the mountain top,
    searching for something that is lost?


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  25. Gerry said

    1. Wear wellies,a waterproof and cap.
    2. Go whatever sort of rain falls.
    3. Talk aloud to cows, hedges, garlic, sky.
    4. Use one of Cavafy's handkerchiefs.
    5. No one will notice you cry.

  26. He always cried crocodile tears. They streamed down his face, always on public display so he'd get all the sympathy. My tears were well disguised - hidden from view by fear.

  27. Trouble

    Tears held back turned black,
    arose like a rash
    tattooed across his chest,
    a pattern of skulls
    shadowing the heart.
    Living without his pain,
    he forgot who to blame.

  28. Two more ways.

    I sat on a train next to a man who thought I was doolally. I could have cried.

    Later a text message made me sob with laughter.

  29. It stormed that Tuesday; black ice greedy and the snow drift fierce. No miracle was pulled from the wreckage. Alone, she cries, often at any unexpected change in the weather.

  30. Tears I cried over you: beside your incubator, your first day at school, at the concert, in endless meetings, when you tried to kill yourself, everytime you are late home...

  31. Five ways to be alone: hide under the duvet, catch the flu, move to a big city, tell him it's finally over, walk on a beach in the rain, daydream.

  32. At night in the dark. He must not hear. Silent dry tears wet the pillow. Secret signs of a night of sadness and days of pain. Morning brings false joy.

  33. With eyes streaming, she sliced into the onion’s silvery layers. Masses of thin slithered arcs covered the glass, cutting surface. She would never show him just how much she cared.

    Jacqueline Smith

  34. From Douglas Bruton:


    Derby knew his father was dying. Could see it in his face. Could see that his father knew, too. And he measured the fright in his father’s eyes.

    ‘Good to see you,’ Derby lied. And his smile a lie, too, and he nodded at his father, and set a paper bag of fruit on the small table.

    Derby’s father, pillow-propped in the hospital bed, a small shape under the thin white sheet. Smaller than Derby thought his father ever was before. His skin was almost yellow, and tubes lead from a hole in his throat, and wires from his chest and his arm, and a black edged tear in him, and stitched back together, puckered like cloth when a thread is pulled.

    ‘How’re you?’ said Derby.

    He couldn’t speak. Not so Derby could hear. Not even whispers. Just his father’s dry lips making the shape of words. The mis-shape of words.

    Derby talked. Told his father about the day behind him. Took him step by step through all the steps of that day.

    And when the bell rang for the end of visiting, Derby kissed his father’s cheek, and pressed his hand, and said he’d come again, and to get better soon.

    That was it.

    A week later Derby’s father laid in a box, in a church, and flowers at his feet and his head. Derby didn’t know, what to say, to do, to feel. He wore a serious face and kept his head lowered and let others say how much they already missed his father.

    Years have passed. Slow years first, then fast. Time turning cartwheels now, though Derby could not. He thinks of his father some days, most days. And his lips give shape and mis-shape to all the things that never were said. And he cries sometimes.


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