Feltone Castle – Part 4


Hannah’s hands trembled as she held the lamp. Slowly she tiptoed and lent her ear against the door. She heard nothing. Her fingers grasped the ornate metal handle, the rippled design imprinted her skin she held it so tight. Opening it, her breath shallow and fast, relieved that the door didn’t squeak.

Out in the corridor, the blackness enshrouded her, shadows cast along the picture frames. Each step cautiously taken. Convincing herself that nothing would harm her, she had been at Feltone for two weeks and no harm had come to her so far.

From above she heard a door banging, not once but repeatedly. Then the sound of water, she held the lamp at arms length. She looked at the staircase and couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Water was springing from the floorboards pooling on each step before it toppled as a waterfall to the next.

She stepped back two steps, before she felt fingers on the back of her neck and a whisper of “get out”.

…to be continued


Feltone Castle – Part 3


Hannah was too frightened to reach for the oil lamp that sat beside her bed. She did not want any part of her body to be vunerable. The cries and footsteps continued, she hesitated before quietly drawing her legs from under the covers so she could light it. Her legs were unsteady, her feet shook as they touched the floor. What if they saw the light? Could she risk it? She knew she had to, she couldn’t lie in the darkness any longer.

She knew nothing of these children, that is all she did know, that they were children, from the sound of their cries. Were they evil? She hadn’t experienced ghosts before or any form of the supernatural.

Feltone was in her family for generations, she knew of its existence and as a young girl had dreamt of what it was like, but spending her life in another country, with no other family to call her own, she assumed she would never walk within its walls. This remained the case until one day a letter arrived from a lawyer, informing her that her great great Aunt, a woman whom she’d never met, had died and left the castle to her.

Even she hadn’t lived in Feltone, too grand, too large for just one woman to maintain. It was left for years, abandoned, unoccupied, or had it?

…to be continued

Feltone Castle – Part 1


Feltone, almost faded into insignificance, shadowed by the sky that was thick of storm. There would be no moon this night. A rolling mass of greys and black, folded together like casulaties of a artists palette knife, whilst above the ravens cawed louder as the wind gathered strength beneath them.

The frosty night air bit against the stippled glass window. There was hesitation before opening it, only doing so because of the screams. She shivered as the gush of icy wind cut at her skin, the hair on her arms rose. She peered down to the ground below, shadows of the pets tombstones, crumbling like the bones that lay beneath them. Trees in the distance fought madly against the wind, she quickly bolted it shut once more.

This place had changed, not only did it allow the cold to seep inside her rib cage , but there was a sense of foreboding. It seemed to breathe through the walls, creep out from torn wallpaper, circle through the balustrades. It frightened her.

The cries were heard when the moon rose high, or shadowed by the clouds. Footsteps heard along the oak panelled corridors, or running up the grand staircase.

Who were they, why were they here?

….to be continued.

It sleeps


Paintings once crossed the walls
that hung on knotted cords
Water danced from marble fountains
to the tunes of pipes and lyres
Laughter resounded from within
great halls where culinary delights
where spread upon wooden tables
Roasted beasts upon the plate
cumin, coriander and lovage to spice
lentils in brine as the cena began

Mosaic floors, their artistry
glistened rich with ochre, sienna
verde, vermillion, pictures of the Gods
Hammered vases glistened
set on crafted pedestals
Women draped themselves upon the bodies
of men, seductresses sipping wine
from their vessels of gold
Grapes rich grown, outside stone walls
covered in their greenery

While serfs and slaves
toiled the land for masters
across fields rough landscapes
Variegated foliage brilliant hues
the city and the opulence
now lost, sleeps beneath the streets

copyright JMTacken 7.5.2014

Not quite sure what this is, watching a documentary the other night about the Roman ruins beneath the streets of Britain and I wished to express myself. So it is what it is 🙂

A letter to Tom and Mary

DVerse and Mary have invited us to write an Epistolary piece –http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/22718
For The Poet’s Pub – http://dversepoets.com/2013/08/17/poetics-sent-with-a-stamp/
Apologies for the length.

Grandparents 1952030

Dear Mary and Tom,

May I pen a letter asking who you were? I know you are my grandparents,but that is sadly all

Grandpa we never met, I have no stories of your life - this I only blame myself
for the questions were never asked - how sad that I did not

So please I ask forgiveness, as I never knew you as a lad
nor the trials you faced in life, witnessing the wars

I know not how you met 'your Mary', or how you sang or even laughed
how regrettable, that all I know of you - are your old photographs

we did meet, but was for the shortest while, a child of eighteen I came to England to see you the first time. You took ill, a stroke struck you and I tended to your body,such an english rose with you hair of silver curls, porcelain skin, rosy cheeks, in floral dress and string of pearls

And I was young and so naive and went 'round countryside and fell in love ..or so I thought, when your death I read by telegraph and I the one too self absorbed - even to attend, this regret, in life I have and I carry it to my grave for I thought of only me, so I ask for absolution - for not honouring you in death

I shall make amends, though I know not where you lay, to pay respect, to show
my love – Australia’s so far away

I cannot lay a flower nor stand with my head bowed.I cannot say "I'm sorry" though I yell it now out loud. Your life, like Tom's I never knew, only now that I have aged - I wish I could have known you more, with remorse, I turn the page


Non-Fiction – to my Grandparents – I keep still, in silence, in memory of you.

Engraved memories – for VisDare


photo source

I know the sparkle
in eyes that I once owned
life’s adventures –
curiosity of things
in my life I’ve sailed a thousand ships
plunged words like knives
into souls I hardly knew
fought wars within myself
and won the battles

I’ve loved, hated
had wealth, been poor
toiled the earth
my days with eyes wide open in the dark
that ended with the moon and closed
I danced and downed too many
held a woman in my arms with blackened curls
that I loved

no regrets, or complaints
on the demanding road I sometimes walked
I am weary, I am old
my body crumpled
do you think your camera
can grasp my life in a frame
catch a fragment of it?
it can’t
for all that I am, or was
is mine
engraved on my heart

My favourite photo challenges from VisDare have sent another fine photograph for us writers. If you wish to join in the fun please do over at anonymous legacy

RULES: 150 words – or less. (Please – no erotica or graphic violence.) DON’T FORGET to read and comment on others’ entries!!   As always – thanks for participating!

113 words

Walk on Visdare – Atmospheric

# 13 Atmospheric
150 words – or less.
Thank you for this brilliant photo this week! Another piece of Prose – Open for Critique please.
Like soldiers aligned in rank
they maintain their stance

encircled by the mist

the ebb and flow of tides
barnacles invade
clutching wooden feet

imbedded in sand resilient
in forceful battering winds
with valour silent alone

their guard of honour
united for ever more
they persevere
defending pier

and countries shores
how many were
their battles
opposing mother nature’s force

in squalls and sheets of rain
currents circling oceans floor
with rotted splinted wood
their hubris will endure

and cut with shells they hold
wraith like soldiers marching
into war

For: http://anonymouslegacy.blogspot.com.au

Run away with me

On the bridge is where
I shall meet thee
I shall steel a kiss far
away from peering eyes
amongst fern and branches low
join me there
on mossy stone that’s where
I shall hold thee
express my love in hope
of capturing your heart
I have waited for so long
join me there
surrounded by the forest green
I shall say I love thee
and I will bare my soul
and ask you to be mine to run away
with me leave the life you lead behind
join me there
listening to the music of the water
I shall ask thee to wed me
holding your hand in mine I shall
whisper to you of my undying love 
I pray your answer be yes
join me there



This photo was taken on a trip to England (taken through a bus window – so lacking clarity) – my fascination for old bridges was the prompt.

Time to hang up the washing last of the old pics

My my I know what you’re saying “please no no no mooore, getting bored now, get over it, who are these people anyway?” but I’m not listening 😉 This is the last of the very old ones and then possibly it’s onto the hideous hairstyle of moi and non fashionable dressing (if you thought the button up cardi and skirt was a shocker) be afraid…be very afraid..

Now I know what you’re all thinking…why is she in overalls ….obviously mum only dressed me up for special ‘doos’.

Me in Overalls031then again I am playing with a toy car.. but how cute am I??? Huh Huh??? No… seriously

My Grandparents on their Wedding Day…doesn’t everyone look happy….

My Grandparents Wedding 029

Ahh now they lookGrandparents 1952030 happier!!

Dad in the middle in uniform…the guy on the end

wishing they had invented the GPSDad Army Uniform026 (1)

Capturing History

Tonight I had my parents over for dinner.

Mum is 83 dad is 85 years young.

The dinner was thoroughly enjoyed, but the best part of the evening was the beginning of history in the making.

I had decided to video them talking about their child-hood, and their lives before coming to Australia.

Dad escaped from (Czechoslavakia) as it was known then during the war. Though being captured a few times, held at gun point, almost shot by an SS guard, and endured and saw things that no one should have to in their life time, he managed to escape to England where he met my mother.

Dad spoke for an hour sometimes wavering in his thoughts and his memory and  next weekend we will continue his amazing journey before mum then talks about her life.

I wanted to capture not only their life but their voices and their faces, so that my children will remember them and their children and generations of our family to come.

Sometimes we think of doing these things and then it’s too late. The memory will sadly fade. Their great- great- great grandchildren, will not know them by voice, only by aged and yellow photos. They may hear the stories that will be handed down about what sort of life they led, but this way they will have a visual of who they were.

Our parents are to be loved, cherised and remembered.

Please seize the moments when you can.

**My Memoir – The Empty Nest A Mother’s Hidden Grief is now available through Amazon and Lulu (J M Kadane)**