Saturday, 13 October 2012

The Bog Man


When the moor succumbs

to bitter progress, they’ll dig

and find the bog man


stained by centuries

pulled from the glistening peat

like broken old roots


and rattle dumped for

an archaeological



his leathery hand

still clutch clawed over his keys,

a gold tooth glinting


in the hollow skull,

attached to slough skin fallen,

remnants of a beard


they’ll deduce he died

of cold and fear, the moor is

dangerous they’ll say,


it consumed him whole,

so satisfied they’ll drain it

and the ancient peat


will smoulder and yield

imprisoned in the concrete

silent in the mire

© Mel Melis 13/10/2012


I’ve not been entirely happy with my Haikus (on my other blog) of late. I went for a run and lo and behold, some inspiration. Running is thinking time. I wrote a poem about the mind cleansing solitude, the creativity to be garnered from a run, away from all that distracting technology which clogs our lives, how it touches something ancient, something physical, brings us closer to the animals were are.

Today I considered what it would be like if I were lost on the moor, sunk into the peat, only to be discovered hundreds of years into the future preserved like one of those bog men. What could they deduce about me? Would they work out I was more than just a stupid jogger who broke his ankle and sunk into the mire? Probably not and to be honest they wouldn’t need to, as they’d be right!

I’ve stuck this 8-haiku (5-7-5) piece on my main blog as it is more of a narrative poem. The abridged version is on my Haiku blog.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Storm Toad


Storm Toad

in the brief moment

of headlights catching

a snapshot of life,

brown-grey, born from clay,

the heavy stride of toad,

forelegs muscular, tense,



across the tarmac,

a river to cross, sheets of rain,

distant rumbles of death,

the spray of murderous tyres,

the searing light,

then unforgiving night,

resolute plod,

grim jaw dripping

with the residue of stormdrops,

mortar shells, boulders fall

all around

crash into mottled skin,

but though pained,

she’ll crawl on,

find the bed

for the long

winter sleep.

© Mel Melis 10/10/2012

Sunday, 7 October 2012

FEAR: A Modern Anthology Of Horror And Terror

So, one of my short stories has been published. Which is nice!

I speculatively submitted a short story for a great up and coming publisher Crooked Cat, they were looking to publish a short story anthology, bringing together many authors, to coincide with Halloween, with all proceeds going to charity. As you can guess from the title, the theme is horror/terror :)

(image from Crooked Cat)

So, to get the business side of things out of the way, if you want to buy it and support two great charities (Barnardo’s and Medicines sans Frontieres), then it’s available in both E-book and print versions from Crooked Cat’s own bookstore, or Amazon (UK links provided but also available around the world)

Volume 1 (print)

Volume 1 (ebook)

Volume 2 (print)

Volume 2 (ebook)

I also believe it will also be out on iTunes too.

---For info – I am in Vol2. End of Business Element of this blog post!

I was pleasantly enthused to see they considered my story good enough. It’s called Daisy and the Bear. The blurb for the book includes a reference to my story (see below). It’s about a girl and her teddy, her “loving toy”. I wont reveal any more, you’ll have to read it!

“Fear: A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror brings together, for the first time, tales of murder, monsters and madness, by sixty of the world's best indie horror authors.
Discover what lurks in the water at the end of the garden, learn of the unforgiving loyalty of a loving toy and meet a writer, just itching to finish his latest horror story.
Every author in the Anthology has generously contributed their work for free. All royalties from sales will go directly to the international charities, Barnardo's and Medecins Sans Frontieres.
Fear, with forewords by international bestselling authors, Peter James and Sherri Browning Erwin, is released in two volumes in Paperback and on Kindle.”

This is the first time I’ve put my work out there, beyond a small circle of people.

It tickles me to see this in print:

I like the photo, as it eliminates all the haggard worry lines and gives me a radiant youthful look. Almost cherubic. In real life I look like a brow beaten Cypriot mountain shepherd from the 19th Century lamenting the loss of his most powerful goat, so I’m grateful the camera is sometimes forgiving.

In summary:

Am I pleased? Of course.

Am I inspired to write more? Yes.

Am I nervous of negative scrutiny? Of course.

Am I entirely satisfied with the story? Not entirely! I’m still a baby when it comes to writing, I read it back to myself and doubt myself. Perhaps it’s slightly stilted, I don’t know. I wrote it a few years ago, I tidied it up and submitted. I like the story, I love the premise, but I think I have a problem with building suspense, the arc doesn’t feel organic enough. The only way to know is for lots of people to read it, I hope some will be kind enough to give me constructive feedback. But I wont be too hard on myself. I will strive to improve, get better and if I ever finish something novel length, then we will see. There is always room for improvement, there is always room to better oneself no matter how adept one is at their chosen craft. Perfection is elusive, perhaps out of reach, but we must always try our best.

Until then, I see this as a small but precious step in an adventure. I hope Crooked Cat make lots of money for the charities and I wish Crooked Cat and all my fellow authors, both new and established much happiness and success.