100-Word Fiction: ‘A Complaint About the Building of Walls’

There is no good in a wall that only divides;
That only seeks to hinder and stop;
That only aims to split into sides;
That takes rupture and acts as a prop

There is no good in a wall that feigns to protect
While causing obstruction and hurt:
If it camouflages the onslaughts it’s supposed to deflect;
If it’s just a conduit for a hatred built in dirt

Walls provide refuge, but should they only rise
At the expense of freedom, progress and scope,
And cast only shadows, and help cement lies,
Then they leave only a barrier to hope

100-Word Fiction: ‘The Storm of St Lou’

Yeah can you get some now now
Hear it comin’ yeah yeah
Howlin’ howlin’ oh yeah howl howl
All the way and back and down down
Down the line now baby
Oh come on now keep it yeah
Storm is raising
Storm is raising
Storm is raising
Can you hear it rainin’ rain rain
Whistle blowin’ blow blow
Wind is rattlin’ now a huff huff
Huffin’ puffin’ huffin huff puff
Trees a-fallin’ on the line line
Trains a-rattlin’ all the time time
Woah Mister Driver you’d better
Call it off off
Aww it’s gettin’ hot hot
Awright, lemme hear ya

100-Word Fiction: ‘A Slow News Week’

A slow news week.
A slow news week.
A slow news week.
A slow news week.
A slow news week.
Rent a smaller home.
A slow news week.
A slow news week.
A slow news week.
A slow news week.
A slow news week.
Wear a warmer jumper.
A slow news week.
A slow news week.
A slow news week.
A slow news week.
A slow news week.
Turn off the fuel.
A slow news week.
A slow news week.
A slow news week.
A slow news week.
A slow news week.
Think about living worse.
Try and die sooner.

100-Word Fiction: ‘Freedom Fruit’

They lift from the hedgerow
Light as cobweb and spun sugar
A shroud of lace for a season’s going
Displaced migrants, the bramble’s other
Temporary lover:

Jenny Long Legs rise in a cloud
In pestilent numbers this September
As hands shake the limbs of briar
For black berries and rose hips
On foraging trips.

Peace treads heavily across
These rutted trails; vaults fences,
Breaks the blades of grass,
Tramps where it needs in pursuit
Of freedom’s fruit

The insects scattered seek shelter
From flailing purpose, shoed away
From Tupperware treasure pluckings:
The world’s bounty in a field
In Essex county

100-Word Fiction: A Return (Sonnet)

Those years – did it ever really stick
In mind, this mire of brown estuarine mud?
A trick, forgot in ideals, thick
With thought: how? why? what? should?
There was no habitat here but the past:
The sweet chestnut and bluebells of a dream
A deluge of deliberations that never last
A ferry to a riverbank unseen.
And shrill, but strong, then it called –
A greenshank slits the sky across
And light comes tumbling, lives fall in
And settle. Being here now? No loss?
No rattling rail or kicking boots brought such luck
To have come here, and gained, and stuck

100-Word Fiction: ‘Barricades’

Batten down the hatches
Man the barricades
Prepare to defend your privilege
From the grenades of the betrayed

Send in water cannons
Baptise the unholy few
Shoot them with rubber bullets
But duck if they rebound onto you

Let sirens be of comfort
Reclaim the streets and the ‘feds’
Then raze the estates to the ground
And build a Tesco there instead

Let’s not look for reasons
Or concern ourselves with truth
Let’s just shout out ‘treason’
And blame it all on youth

Drugs will sedate them
Violence? Just self-harm
And if the prescription fails
Just carry on, keep calm

100-Word Fiction: ‘A Safe Bet’

Oh come on, man.

No. No more. You’ll just lose it.

I won’t. I’ve been tipped off. It’s a sure thing.

You’ve said that before.

Just £20. The odds will sort us out.

You’ve said that before too.

And I won.

You didn’t. You fucked off and I was out of pocket for months.

But I gave you it back. And I did win.

Did you? How much?

I got good odds.

How much did you win?

About £600.

With my money.

But you gave it to me.

Where’s your winnings?

I spent it. But come on, just another £20.

100-Word Fiction: ‘Horses’

Horses, statuesque and all in line. Black coats, chestnut and white. Lush manes and tails. Snorting horses standing tall. A sight to behold. A historical site. Black riders, yellow vests, black helmets. Fluorescent yellow. A bright flash across a grey street, the muddle of a crowded square, seen from a helicopter, a camera on a crane. A horse’s slow walk forward. Then the rest, following: fifteen. The horses trotting, horses at a canter, into the street, the public throng. Horses at a canter, the crowd divided, falling and crushed. A black and yellow blade to the heart of a hope.

100-Word Fiction: ‘We Will/Not’

We will prevail
We will not back down
We will be judged
We will not judge
We will be hated
We will not hate
We will tolerate
We will not be tolerated
We will watch as others take up arms
We will not lift a finger
We will love others
While others will not love us
We will sympathise
We will never be afforded sympathy
We will have lies told about us
We will not tell lies
We will respect
We will not be respected
Will we march?
We shall not march
Will we meet?
We shall never, never meet