The Literary Corner: Renegade Writers Guild

Published 9:28 am Thursday, July 20, 2017

“Summer Storms”

By Julie Terry Cartner

Hot summer morning,

Sun blazing,

Hazy, sultry, humid,

Shifts to sweltering afternoon.

Then ominous, darkening clouds

Invade the brilliant, endless blue

Of summer skies.

The breeze picks up,

A lone butterfly clings determinedly to a zinnia

Buffeted by the gathering gusts.

Low, growling thunder rumbles in the distance

And the trees sway with the rising gale.

A flash of lightning,

A crack of thunder,

And the storm is upon us,

Raging, howling, swirling.

Sheets of water stream from the sky,

Deafening clamor as the barrage of rain pounds relentlessly

Upon the tin roof of the porch.

I sit, a beacon of calm in the midst of the storm,

A dog on each side

Needing the comfort of a soothing hand

In rain drenched fur.

I exult

In the power of nature

Raw, tangible, real.

Slowly the rain tapers off,

A stream of light pierces the storm drenched clouds,

Jewel-like raindrops sparkle on leaves,

The greens of grass, shrubs, and trees glow with emerald sheen,

And mist rises from the sodden earth.

Slowly the clouds move away,

The rumble of thunder and clash of lightning fade into the distance,

And a rainbow crosses the sky

Reminding us, once again, that we are not in charge.

“Memories of England”

By Linda Barnette

One of the most exciting times of my life was the week that my son and I and my aunt and uncle Helen and Charlie Wrenn spent in London in January of 1988.

We did all of the usual tourist things, and I will highlight some of them here.  Our first visit was to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the place where Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married in 1981.  I distinctly remember getting up at 4:00 in the morning that day in order to watch the wedding on television but never thought I would see it in person!  The most interesting part of that tour was the visit to the crypts in the basement.  Several famous people are buried there, including the famous designer of the cathedral, Sir Christopher Wrenn who might have been an early ancestor of my uncle.  His tomb was very simple compared to those of Lord Nelson and Wellington, which were very ornate.

Westminster Abbey was also on our list.  It is breathtakingly beautiful, especially to a lover of history. Every English monarch since 1066 has been crowned there; kings and queens have been married there; several rulers of the past are buried there. All of the monarchs have used the same throne chair made during the reign of Edward I around 1200 AD.  Poet’s Corner was also interesting because many of the people I had studied in my English literature classes are buried there, including Geoffrey Chaucer, Robert Browning, Charles Dickens, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson.  Others who are buried there include Handel, the composer.  I felt I was walking on hallowed ground there.  Of course, the Abbey is beautifully furnished and painted and is elaborately decorated.  The stained glass is exquisite.  We happened to be there when the organist was practicing on the great organ in the front.

Although we saw many usual tourist attractions, the absolute best part of the trip was the visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of William Shakespeare as well as Warwick Castle.  Crossing the Avon River and seeing the castle in the distance was one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen.

As an English major, I had read about Shakespeare and was prepared to see the “cottage” in which he was born.  So I was very surprised to learn that his home was actually fairly large with a typical thatched roof and even a second-floor room where he was supposedly born.  Later that day we visited his burial site at Holy Trinity Church, a very unassuming spot for one of the world’s greatest writers.

The last part of our day in Stratford was a visit to Warwick Castle, a huge, towering edifice that was actually built by William the Conqueror in 1068 but has been added to several times through the centuries.  It was the home of many Earls of Warwick and was the scene of many political battles, most notably during the Wars of the Roses. For almost 200 years it was the home of the Beauchamp family.  Some of the towers are said to be haunted, but we didn’t see or hear anything strange that day. The absolute scariest part of the castle was the dungeon in the basement of one of the towers.  Political prisoners were kept there during the old days, and there remains an iron gibbet hanging from the ceiling and chains attached to the walls as well as various other instruments of torture.  That’s one place I won’t ever forget!

I treasure the memories of that trip and will always think of it as a special time in my life.

“PeeBee on Summer”

By Sandra Vance

It is hot!  Even I know that and I am not a human.  My mama doesn’t like hot at all, and sometimes she is grumpy when she is hot.  Daddy and I went for rides last week.  We went to the river and to that place that has so many smells!  Daddy takes some big, really big cans full of stuff I would like to check out. but he says PeeBee leave that garbage alone!  I don’t know what is garbage, but it smells very good, and I think it might taste good, but I guess I’ll never know.  There are some new birds that come and eat my food.  They have red heads….or so my daddy says, and he calls them cow birds.  All I know is there a lot of them, and the other birds chase them away all the time. That is fun to watch!  Oh, and we went to the house with the big window where daddy puts a piece of paper in a little thing that goes swoosh, and then it comes back and IHAVEATREAT, and daddy has more pieces of paper.  I love those treats!  I think my friend Izzy’s mama and daddy went away for a while, but I don’t know if Izzy went with them.  She has not told me.  Right now I feel lazy and want to sleep a lot because it is hot.  Today I helped daddy wash mama’s car.  I got splashed, but that was OK because it is so hot!  (PeeBee’s mama says, “He is impressed with the heat.  I am NOT!”) I guess that is about all.  Oh, wait!  I had salmon for supper one day not too long ago!  And it was good!  Mama said I was eating high on the hog, but I thought it was fish.  And, oh yes, daddy and me went fishing at a pond that was better than the river, but the water tasted different than the river, and I maybe liked it more.  And daddy caught some fish!   There was another man there, but he did not fish.  Daddy said he was working.  I wonder if that working is like what daddy does when he goes to work in his little car?  Oh well.  I think it is time for a nap.  Outside in the shade.  So sayeth, PeeBee the Dog.