Friday, June 23, 2017

I walk a hallway

After Isaiah 24

I walk a hallway of many doors
I walk a forest of many trails
a land of many highways and roads
until, overwhelmed by choice,
I choose: not knowing
where it leads, only knowing
that the choice is irrevocable,
return not a possibility
except in memory and regret

a door opens
a path is chosen
a road is traveled
only the going forward

Photograph by Maliz Ong via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Grandfather Stories: Goldilocks and the Three Brothers

Once upon a time, three brothers lived happily in a snug little house in the forest. There was a big brother, a medium-sized brother, and a baby brother, who had lots of curly hair.

One morning, as they tasted their daily porridge and doughnuts, they discovered that their breakfast was a little too hot. So they decided to go for a walk in the woods and let their porridge and doughnuts cool a bit. And off they went, singing as they went along. They even left their iPads at home so they could fully enjoy their walk and not trip as they checked the latest available games.

A few minutes after they left, a little girl named Goldilocks came along. As she was checking her text messages on her iPhone, she didn’t notice the cottage door until she had walked smack into it.

“Oh!” she said, rubbing her head. “My goodness, what is this? And do I smell porridge and doughnuts? Perhaps it is a Starbucks!” She knocked on the door, and hearing no response, she turned the handle and opened it.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

Illustration: a page from the 1933 edition of Stories Children Love, which my mother read to as a very young child.

“Murder in Thrall” by Anne Cleeland

From the first page of Murder in Thrall by Anne Cleeland, you know this is a mystery novel about a stalker. It’s a recognition of Cleeland’s ability to write suspense that you’re creeped out from the beginning. Then you discover who’s being stalked, and then who the stalker is. That creeped-out feeling never departs, even when the stalker turns out to be one of the heroes of the story.

Murder in Thrall is a fascinating read, it is, as Kathleen Doyle, a young detective constable for New Scotland Yard, would say (she hails from Dublin). A senior officer in the detective corps, initially only referred to as Acton, requests that she be assigned to him. The team investigates the murder of a trainer at a racecourse. Then a woman, a friend of the trainer who might have information, is murdered. And the deaths don’t stop there.

Acton, whom, we eventually learn, is Michael Sinclair, Lord Acton and a peer of the realm as well as a detective chief inspector, is far more aware of what’s going on than the neophyte Doyle. After all, he’s been stalking Doyle (in a good kind of way, if that’s possible) and he knows that someone else at the Yard has been looking at her file and background records.

Anne Cleeland
It’s perhaps inevitable that the professional relationship of Acton and Doyle also becomes a personal one, despite the almost 14 years difference in their ages. As their relationship grows, so does the certainty that they are the ultimate targets of the murderer.

Murder in Thrall is the first of five Acton and Doyle mysteries published by Cleeland, and a sixth is due in September. She’s also the author of three historical novels.

Her detective duo at first sounds like the Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers novels of Elizabeth George, but the similarities are superficial – Acton and Doyle are quite a bit different.

Murder in Thrall is a hair-raising introduction to Anne Cleeland and her New Scotland Yard detective series.

Top photograph: New Scotland Yard, London.