Wednesday 12th November

Good morning! Ready to go?


Are you day-dreaming? Yes, it's lovely. Come with me. Hop on this elephant, see the colours of the birds, listen to the river. Lift your face up. Feel the sun.


  1. Good Morning to you, too...

    Suddenly he realised that this was neither the time nor place for day dreams. Snapping back to reality Gordon Brown shuffled his papers, cleared his throat and took another question.

  2. Peanuts. I lift my face and get a big slurpy kiss. I swing up on his tusks and he tiptoes down the stairs, out the door and into the sun.

  3. Leave your dust-headed bosses to puzzle on nylon carpets. Float a continent away. The office air warms, soft-baked sultry with spices and spritzed with the spray of a sapphire sea.

  4. The leviathan of Obamamania lumbers forward. Each step probes deeper into the jungle of distended expectation. As we bask in the dreamy glow are we being taken for a ride?

  5. Hold your head high or keep it down; face it head on or turn the other cheek; chin up, see eye to eye but don’t be nosey or lose face.

  6. Dive into the darkest pool. Strike fire in the jungle. Listen to the punctuating symphony of the night. Feast on wet jewels and the pale syrup wine of crushed roses.

  7. Mandalas of sand pebbles
    take us on a meditation
    of blue
    sea and sky dissolve
    into a breeze of birdsong
    and over the horizon
    pink elephants dance
    on mountain tops.

  8. Years ago an old woman talking on a payphone in the library. She said I’ll see you both again soon, I love you both, yes it’s such a lovely feeling.

  9. I got a snow globe last Christmas. Shake it for glittering falls of fake snow on shivering scenes. Why not a sun globe? Rays of golden warmth and tropical delights.

  10. There he was, late afternoon, stacking away weighty vegetables nobody bought. Driving home, he could see the web hidden behind his wing mirror. In bed he felt its delicate lift.

  11. Her feet became airborne as she stepped aboard the rainbow. She lifted her arms to a sparkling sky as she climbed up, ever upwards, finally floating among the turquoise clouds.
    Valerie Gregg

  12. “Imagine you’re lying on the beach, sun on your body, waves lapping”, urged the voice on the cassette. For ever after, beach holidays were tainted with the fear of flying.

  13. I’ve just drawn a face in the sand. It looks like Cary Grant. But now the sand’s undulating and it’s making him wink at me.

    Christ those mushrooms were strong.

  14. Do not talk of elephants in Sri Lanka.
    The hard bones on their backs are not soft as you would expect. They can cause a lifetime of dreams and nightmares.

  15. She dreamed of the river, where her sisters played in the shallow pool under the waterfall, the sun dappled through leaves of birch and chestnut; the scent of pine wafting out of the loam with every laughing step.

    Feriel was there, his nut-brown skin resting lightly against her fairer, olive tones. He whispered butterfly kisses across her abdomen and she glanced across at the younger girls. They were too bust playing, and the bushes hid Feriel’s actions from their view anyway.

    She lay back to relax in the attention, her groin warmed on the outside by the sun and on the inside by his caresses. She smiled, closed her eyes and drifted on sensation. Her skirt lifted up, Feriel’s warm breath against her labia. Her muscles tensed and relaxed, blood pumping to all the right places.

    A sudden pain jerked her awake, away from the sunlit woods and the murmur of the summer-lazy river. Torchlight flickered on rough-hewn walls and her eyes stung from the acrid tallow. She coughed and a bony hand clamped over her mouth, long talons digging into her cheek.

    “No sounds,” said a rasping voice. “Didn’t I tell you I was a good lover?”

    His face appeared above her, white skin stretched tight over a face that was impossibly thin; impossibly long, as if a man’s head had been crushed between two logs yet still allowed him to live. “Ten years, you signed for. Ten years to be the wife of a demon and bear his spawn.”

    He trailed a claw down her throat and across her breast, bringing his hand to rest over her heart. She fought to slow her breathing, her head threatening to burst.

    “Better,” he said, moving his hand until it rested on her stomach. “We wouldn’t want to alarm the baby.”

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  17. your day-dream is an extended
    metaphor of realized ambition,
    elephant, symbol of strength,
    majesty, leads to the untapped
    aviary of colourful birds,
    melody in chirping
    ryhthm in rivulets,
    mountains, mysteries.

  18. She'd spent ages getting ready. Her hair was perfect, her make-up was perfect, her dress was perfect. Now all she had to do was find Mr Perfect.

    Dream on.

  19. Everyone ignores the pink elephant in the middle of the room. He is large and the room rumbles when he talks. Everyone ignores the secret he carries. Ignorance is bliss.

    Jamieson Wolf

  20. She could smell a hint of cinnamon in the air as she stood gazing up at the sky. The wind rustling through the trees made the silk move softly against her skin. Oh to live in a place like this forever, where possibility was everywhere. Where today was not confined by the mistakes of yesterday, or held captive by the demands of tomorrow. To just be, to just remain in a place of complete peace and contentment, but she let those thoughts go so they would not spoil this moment.
    She moved softly along the path. Barefooted she could feel the warmth of the ground. In the distance she heard the calling of peacocks, and various other birds. Coming to the garden she could smell the jasmine and the honeysuckle and the fragrance of the traditional roses. There were dahlias and lilies as well. The air was alive with butterflies. She made her way through to the furthest part of the garden where she came upon a fork in the road. Looking east she saw that the path would lead to a lovely gazebo overlooking the well manicured lawns. Looking west was the more inviting way. She could see the arbor and beyond shade of the tall trees.
    She made her decision and walked onwards toward the trees that seemed to be urging her forward. The path widened as she went and in the distance she could her the low roar of the river. She glanced behind her to see if anyone was following her but they were unaware of her escape. Could this be really happening or was it only a dream?
    “Lovely, isn’t it?” He smiled at her. Coming closer, softly, gently he said, “Come with me. Hop on this elephant and we can go away from here.”

  21. There is nothing lost that cannot be found
    By staring hard through bitter walls,
    Building bridges backwards in time.
    However, there is a crucial snag:
    Blink and it's lost again.

  22. Turn off her television. Take her by the hand. Repair her rose-tinted spectacles; banish those images of ivory-poachers, of vultures circling overhead, of dried-up riverbeds and warning threats of melanoma.

  23. Dreaming's a wonderful thing. You're in the wildest of places, meeting the most marvellous people. It's a great use of imagination, but living? That's the real story.

    Well, maybe tomorrow.

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  25. As the sun slides away, I close my eyes and wait for you to arrive. But you know better now and avoid me, even in my dreams.
    I miss you.

  26. I fell off the elephant into an office where people were chained to desks and the windows covered with newspapers; their computer screens depict blue oceans, alpine mountains, flowers, deserts.

  27. Day-dreaming she used to watch teachers slowly fading into the classroom wall. Nowadays at night, it is her husband disappearing as she turns and loses herself in the yellowing wallpaper.

    Jacqueline Smith

  28. A walk by the ocean. Dinner, red roses. A kiss, cheek first, then lips, neck. The question. Bridesmaids and confetti. Was it real or a dream, now that he’s gone?

  29. I frequently day-dream. It’s more rewarding than night-dreaming for one thing, and there’s no outside interference. You choose your dreams, they don’t choose you. You can dream of saving a life – dashing out into the road to rescue a toddler, diving, into the lake in Mote Park and swimming out till you’re out of your depths, even though you’re a poor swimmer; giving a poor old tramp the kiss of life without heeding his awful breath or worrying about catching something.

    Then you can dream that when you get home, wet and tired, he’ll be there waiting for you, sitting in his favourite armchair and smiling his gentle welcome-home smile, even though you know he died two years ago. You can day-dream on the train in a packed carriage and no one will know. That when you get off the train he’ll be standing at the barrier, asking how it went; that tonight you’ll be playing Scrabble again and he’ll probably win.

    You can dream you’re young again, that when you look in shop windows your back is straight and your head held high, that when you look in the mirror at home there are no lines or wrinkles. Nightcreams are useless – don’t live up to their adverets, not a single crease diminishes. Daydreams are definitely better than nightdreams. Why are they called nightmares anyway?

    Then there are the more outlandish sort of daydreams; that you’re sitting on the arc of a rainbow and singing Judy’s song with soft dreamclouds all round you. You stay there for a while and go through most of her repertoire – those that you can remember anyway, because you’d rather be up there than coming down to earth.

    It’s better not to travel too far away from home in daydreams, in case you get lost.

  30. I tripped. Just as it was getting good. I banged my knee on a rock, the gash hanging open like a pair of hungry lips, salivating salty blood. In the distance there was a shack. Was it going up or coming down? Inside, were coffee machines and optics. There was a chiller with rolls on display. Quite casual. There was sand on the floor, trodden in by flip-flops and no one had thought to sweep it up. The d├ęcor gave the impression of driftwood, painted in pastel blues, turquoises, yellows and yes, even a pastel white. For a second, I thought that the white wood was echoing the foam on the waves, someone's idea of representing the sea. It was as if the faded colours could deny your parting from the sea; instead of facing the reality of water, pebbles, shingle, gritty sand, seaweed, broken bottles, dog poo, pavement, one could float from brine to brunch and back again without making landfall.

    But then the sky darkens. It's funny. The storm is very much of the sky. My feet are heavy on the ground and I can barely move from the spot. The howling wind can shift the sea but not the lower half of my body. I am grounded just when I could do with being a mermaid. The wooden shack starts to disintegrate. The coloured wood is sucked into the sea in strips. Soon enough, it will be washed back up and someone will collect it and concoct some story about its origins. It will be from a boat belonging to smugglers trying to make it ashore but wrecked on the rocks. Their treasure will be lying half-submerged by sand on the sea bed. And that's where I came in. I tripped. It was a trunk.

  31. From Douglas Bruton


    He was a spy. That was what my dad said. For Queen and country. Watching men come and go from the flat opposite. Taking down car numbers and noting the time, all the times. All written down in a leatherbound black notebook that made a small bulge in the back pocket of his trousers, and smelled of oil and cigarettes.

    It was like doing a jigsaw, he said. Without the lid of the box. Collecting all the pieces together and not knowing what the picture would be.

    ‘A secret jigsaw. And you can’t tell. Not anyone.’

    Jigsawa was something I understood. We did lots of them when I was young. Thousands of pieces. Smudges of colour that looked like nothing. Except when you put enough of them together and there was a picture slow-appearing. A tossing boat under a leaden laden sky of just grey. It was hardest doing the sky. All the bits looking just the same. Except they weren't. My dad could see the finest of differences, and with the patience of a saint he picked and unpicked every little piece. Until, in the morning when I woke, the storm clouds were all gathered.

    ‘Are you a spy like James Bond?’ I asked him.

    ‘Double-o-8,’ he said

    ‘With gadgets?’

    ‘An ejector seat in the car, rocket launchers hidden in the shed.’

    I could only imagine.

    He put one finger across his lips and winked.

    I didn’t know how he could be what he said. He had only a pen and a notebook, and no gun strapped to his ankle. He didn’t even have a compass hidden in the heel of his shoe. I had that.

    Then he died. My dad. Suddenly. And soldiers lined up at his funeral and my mam got a medal hanging on a short ribbon.

  32. From Douglas Bruton, no 2


    What I am about to tell you never really happened. Not to anyone called Caledon. Not really.

    That’s not to say it couldn’t have happened or even that it didn’t happen, to someone, someplace, sometime. You might even recognise it, seeing in it something you know. But for the record, I am making this up, what I am writing now. So it never really happened.

    There was this man called Caledon. Tall, with shoulders hunched, and hair that fell across his eyes. He was shy, never saying more than a few words at a time, and those he did say coming out stiff and awkward, as though rehearsed. He was in his mid-twenties and did all that was ever asked of him.

    I know what you are thinking. Maybe Caledon is me. Just the name changed. And the stature. And the age. Or maybe it’s how I was, looking back to when I was younger. But I never did what I was told, see. So it couldn’t be me.

    Anyway, there was a girl. It’s one of those stories. She worked beside him, always laughing and kidding him. And one day she laid a hand on his arm. That’s all. Maybe that’s the bit you recognise. Soft like a caress, her hand on him. And something in Caledon stirred. Or I imagine it did. If it happened to me, something would. A small change.

    Caledon could afterwards feel the touch of her hand on his arm. Carried it around with him, a lingering memory of it. On the bus home, staring out of a misted window, thinking only of her. His lips moved. A little. You had to look close to see it. Caledon saying something, over and over. Trying to get it right.

    And that’s all I made up.

  33. Let the world be without you
    for a moment,
    the noise outside is
    just the river running over rocks,
    just the wind in the trees.
    You cannot fall from here.


  34. Day three of Carl’s holiday revealed ‘the’ beach. Exploring tiny side roads on his hired scooter brought him to the edge of nowhere. He felt as if it was his own stretch of secluded white sand. He stopped, spread out his towel and lay back to enjoy the sun. At around 4:30 another scooter arrived. Disgruntled, he rolled over to look at the interloper, his objections dried up.

    The girl was slim, wore a business suit and as she pulled off her helmet an impossible mass of thick brown curls tumbled around her shoulders. She produced a towel and effortlessly changed under it into a tiny lime green bikini. She walked down to the sea with effortless grace and plunged into the crystal clear waters. Moments later she stood up and flung the mass of hair back from her face. She was there every day and so was Carl.

    Day six, Carl risked a smile and a greeting. Day nine they had dinner. Elise worked in a bank, lived with her mother and was beautiful. Her every working day finished with a swim.

    Day fourteen he went home.

    Carl gazed over the top of his screen and watched the rain. He heard a voice. “Carl, daydreaming is for twonks. You just nominated yourself for weekend work,” said Graham, slapping an inch thick system specification on the corner of the desk.

    Carl’s mind flared. What held him in his chair, his flat, or even in this country? He couldn’t think of a single reason to stay where he was. His reality was grey, his dream full of colour. Why not move into the dream? He smiled at Graham and started to work the office key off his key ring. “Graham, you finally said something right. Daydreams are for twonks. I quit.”

  35. you! on the doorstep of the moon.

    visit often with the sunset, ride horseback with the night. and when you sleep, angels will hum beautiful melodies to encourage your dreams.

  36. In my daydreams she will still be alive. Trapped inside her imperfect body, yet smiling casually up at her parents. Loving and loved, not yet weighed down by angel wings.

  37. Gerry said

    Come lovely sun, come love-birds.
    Yes, listen to the singer dreaming on
    the way the river sings his day song
    comely. Colour me, lift me up
    to face the sun.

  38. Mr Fant lived in a small, colourless flat in a boring housing estate. He wore a charcoal suit which matched his grey hair. His complexion was also tinged with grey.

    Mr Fant didn't want to live in a grey world. He wished he could be brave enough to wear coloured clothes and to drive a bright red sports car. He wished he could be outgoing, fun and gregarious. But he couldn't. He was stuck with who he was, and that was that.

    Miss Hoare was d-u-l-l, dull. Her hair was mousey-blonde. She wished she wasn't dull, and sometimes she tried really hard not to be. She put fake tan on her face once, but it turned out beige, like the rest of her. Miss Hoare's wardrobe was filled with beige clothes. She could have called them sand, biscuit, or oatmeal, but she didn't have the wherewithal. They were beige, and that was that.

    One miserable rainy day, when the sky was dull and the clouds were grey, Mr Fant met Miss Hoare, and they fell in love. At least, they think they did. One of Mr Fant's colleagues asked him if he loved Miss Hoare. He said that he did, and then added, 'whatever love is'. It reminded Miss Hoare of Prince Charles and she was rather pleased. It brightened her dull life to be linked with royalty.

    No one thought to ask Miss Hoare if she loved Mr Fant. All her colleagues knew that she hated her surname and that she would marry anyone so long as their name wasn't worse than hers.

    They had a baby. A little girl.

    Suddenly Mr and Mrs Fant were struck with creativity. They didn't want their daughter to be boring like them. So they called her Ellie.

    She never did forgive them.

  39. Four years of infertility has left them shy of dreaming. Filled with empty promises, they dapple in tomorrow; find salvation one summer morn, conjure magic in the birth of hope.


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