• My Faux Pas

    Something for my dad on Father’s Day. My Faux Pas. It’s easy to be a father, harder to be a dad. The first a slip with passion, The other a choice to have. A mother labours hard And invests all she has A father might not know it Until he becomes a dad. A father gives a little A dad gives all he’s got. A father loves his lover A dad loves his lot. My dad is not my father But he loves me as his own. He made the choice, you see To dismiss blood and bone. This daughter loves her dad And thanks him for all he’s been, All the good he’s done for me, Much of it gone unseen. All I have to say On this and every day “I love you, dad.” – Amelia Beare

  • Squall

    (I really need to get back to writing. Really, really. Not that this is any good, but it was so much fun to write!) “Ballista!” The shout echoes above and below deck, a dozen voices barking back and forth with ever-increasing urgency to get it done. Bleary-eyed pirates are tipped from their cots and hammocks, running before their feet touch the floor, belts cinched as they go. “Wozzit?” A few voices ask, weather-beaten faces scrunched with concern.“Sail’s on us,” was the short reply passed through the ranks, and all the reply the ranks needed for motivation. There’d been threat of sail for days; a persistent smudge on the horizon that didn’t bode well for the weather-weary crew keen to make safe port. Heavy with cargo stolen from every nook and cranny of the coast between the far north and the distant south, they were bloated and running deep. Easy pickings for some. The smudge of sail on the horizon to stern the night before revealed itself with the first rays of morning, and the Squall’s crew was in a frenzy. It was a familiar profile, and one no life-loving pirate wanted to see in their wake with the wind against…

  • Ode to Anne McCaffrey

    I wrote this in the days after I received news of Anne McCaffrey’s death. I’m not a fan of poetry, to read or write, but I was so struck by grief to lose my childhood idol I could find no other way to get through it. She often introduced her chapters in the Pern books with verses, so it seemed appropriate, in a way. The Holds are quiet; the Halls have dimmed. The Weyrs are grieving; their banners trimmed. Drums are covered, pipes laid down; a dark day passes without renown. Holders raise a glass and take a moment or two, give thanks, rejoice, remember the words that made you true. You shall live on, and over again, your stories oft retold, your sickness and defeats, and conquests bright and bold. Harpers sing a soulful tune, Weavers thread her story, Miners and Smiths take up your crafts in homage to her glory. By thread or hide or smelted steel, your grit, your blood, your sweat; give praise to she who wrote you, for Pern must not forget. Weyrfolk lament, your dragons too. A moment of reverence is asked of you. Gold and bronze, brown, blue, and green, take flight, give…

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