Author Archives: cloudsmum

About cloudsmum

Writer, Author, Poet, Mum, Nanna and all round sparkly person. Love dogs, kids, horses and my garden. Spend many hours writing each day with my dog curled up on the chair with me and the phones turned off.

Excerpt from Settled on the Coast

Settled on the Coast is now finished and in the hands of the beta readers and editors. It is intended that publication will be in May.

I must have dozed off myself and wake to the bed shaking and puppy whimpering. The twins are suddenly awake and crying and I hear the familiar groaning from deep in the earth. The building starts to shake harder as the ground sways and heaves. I stand the babies clutched in my arms and hear the cries of fear going up around the village. Staggering I head for the doorway of the bedroom and slide down to the floor clutching the children tightly to my breasts and puppy curls up across my knees shaking in fear. I bow my head over the babies and cuddle them tighter as the house groans around us, but stands strong. I can feel the door frame twisting behind my spine and glance up from under my eyelashes in time to see the front window pop open and the front door sag on its hinges.

The unearthly groaning and growling fades and the erratic movements cease after what seems like hours. Then the silence that follows is punctuated by cries and yells as the village stirs from the shock of the quake and the fear. I stagger to my feet once puppy moves off my legs and head for the pram and place the twins inside. Pushing at the sagging front door I open it and wheel the babies outside.

The sight that greets my eyes tears my mind back to January and the shock of the first earthquake. I park the pram in the centre of the village green and put Sandy in charge of the small group of younger children who are gathering there as the school evacuates. With mostly women, children and elderly people available to help until the men can get up the hill I quickly organise crews to head to the school which is sagging and twisted. We have to get the children out. I also organise a crew to go from house to house and check that everyone is out. Helen arrives with her medical bag slung over her shoulder and we start to check for injuries among those gathered here on the hill.

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Update Outback Exodus

Tonight I was very honoured to receive a review on my amazon page for my debut novel Outback Exodus. I would like to thank Ellen Mae Franklin for her review and her very kind words.Please follow the link to read what Ellen Mae had to say.

http://www.amazon.com/Outback-Exodus-ebook/product-reviews/B00C2KIDAU/ref=sr_cr_hist_all?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

Sea Witch

This one is from Sea Eagles and Quiet Hours. 

Sea Eagles and quiet hours is a combination of many of my published poems and available on Amazon 

http://www.amazon.com/Sea-Eagles-Quiet-Hours-ebook/dp/B00AEXF6L6/ref=la_B008NF9JLK_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1366154542&sr=1-5

 

The Sea Witch strides along the break wall

Long hair tangling with the rising wind

She watches the birds whirling and swooping

And smiles as the spume sprays across the path

A storm is brewing out at sea

Black clouds roil across the horizon

Full of the promise of rain and wind

Dark eyes sparkling, she smiles and laughs

The water starts to rise and boil against the rocks

Sending jets of spray across her path

She shakes her fingers at the water

The spray won’t drench her now

Her magic calms the waters where she walks

The wind plays gentle games

The Sea Witch walks the break wall

To watch the storms approach

Her eyes light up with the first lightning strikes

And she follows its path with her eyes

Almost dancing along the walk now

Calling the storm towards the land

I see her joy in her dancing feet

Her smile grows wider as the storm grows too

All around her is chaos from the storm

But she is its centre, quiet and still

The waters do not break over her

She wanders alone where she will

As the storm quiets I watch her return

To the steps and off over the hill

Good Morning and Good Night

A little something from my book of poetry Sitting in the Sun available from Amazon

 

 http://www.amazon.com/Sitting-in-the-Sun-ebook/dp/B008ZIEHLC/ref=la_B008NF9JLK_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1366154542&sr=1-8

You greet me every morning

Though I never hear your voice

You call be beautiful lady

And bring up morning smiles

We chat a while about the day

Then shower together too

Although there’s no one there with me

As the water flows away

Then off you go to spend your day

Who knows where you’ll be

At night again you’ll come to visit

We’ll chat about our days

Where we’ve been and what got done

Who we’ve seen and where they are

We talk of many things you and I

Though we don’t see each other

When bed time comes together we go

Down the hall way slow

Say good night and slowly kiss

We curl around each other to sleep

But I go to bed alone

Settled on the Coast

From Chapter 26

Today I sit for a while with James and chat quietly about the settlement and his blue eyes wander over the bottle brush bushes around the village green and upwards to watch a Sea Eagle soar above the few remaining Norfolk Pines that line the grass strip near the sea wall. As we watch the bird soars up into the thermal currents then folding its wings drops quickly into the deep water at the river mouth and emerges with a fish held tightly in its talons. We watch as the beautiful bird sweeps its wings and soars back toward the sky and off to the nest hidden away in the old forestry area.

“What a beautiful sight.” James says as his eyes still follow the path of the bird. “If I had not come here I would never have seen them. I love to watch them hunt when I can.”

“They are beautiful and are such a childhood memory for me.” I tell James. “I can’t remember a time when I did not watch them hunting. I’ve always envied their flight and wondered what they see from so high up. I’m sure that I would see nothing. I wrote poems about them when I was a kid too and often sat here on the hill writing.”

Chapter One – part of…. Outback Exodus

Its 5.30am on the first day of January 2013, the sun is hanging like a big red ball just above the trees with the promise of stifling heat.  Dust motes dance along the rays of light and the world is still and quiet, even the parrots that normally screech and scream at this hour of the day are silent. No traffic on the highway in the distance either, very unusual at this hour of the morning. Something does not feel right with the world this morning. The dogs out the back are silent and cowering in their kennels, no barking to greet the new day, no tail wags and no exuberance. Something is wrong.

The silence is unnerving me, the stillness of the morning makes me feel as if I am the only person left alive in the world, something is going to happen, or maybe it already has. I can feel it, the small hairs rising on the back of my neck and down my arms. I just don’t know what is coming. I empty my coffee grounds from my cup onto the ground beside the porch rail where I stand, with a shiver I turn around.

I return to the house and turn on the radio and all I receive is static, the television is the same. The phone is dead and the internet has gone down too.  Here I am alone, twenty miles from town and something is wrong.

Heading for the bathroom to shower and get ready for the day I feel the floor of the house lurch beneath my feet and a long low rumble fills the air with an eerie vibration. The walls start to sway and I grab for the door frame to steady myself as the house lurches sideways, steadies and then moves again with a twisting motion that has windows cracking and tiles popping from the bathroom wall to shatter on the floor.

http://www.amazon.com/Outback-Exodus-ebook/dp/B00C2KIDAU/ref=la_B008NF9JLK_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365917292&sr=1-1

When Dreams Flee

When Dreams Flee

 

Another sleepless night sitting in the old red chair

The dog beside me curled up tight

Silence fills the air

The only sound is the ticking clock and the click of the computer keys

Alone with the past and the memories

In the silence of the night

In the place where dreams have fled

Beyond the scars that will not heal

Behind the choices made in haste

Back to a place where all is still

Where the waters of sweet love still flow

In gentle steams of sunlight

To a time and place where we were two

Where your hand is still held in mine

Daily conversations then of this and that

The sharing of our lives and little daily things

The pain of parting still scars my mind

Settling deep upon my heart

Tearing through the words of love

Sundering the sunlight with the storms of woe

The past is gone now lost to time

Though the dreams linger still

The sorrow bows my head and rends my beating heart

At the death of love remembered