20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers

Role Play Plays a Role?

Mass murder? I don’t understand.

I don’t suppose I am alone.

But -

Role play enables learning in many situations.

Why not through computer games and television?

Can children really differentiate between the death they cause with a button and real killings?

Have we hardened their hearts and anaesthetised their minds through role play?

Where do the lost things go?

I have a lot of pens

and pads and books

and other things that I love

but sometimes I can’t find the one I want.

I seems to

disappear -

Just poof!

It’s suddenly not there.

I wonder whether it is the lost things go?

Does someone take them

all away

and hide them?

Under the bed,

in the garden,

down the back of a chair,

under a pillow,

in the bottom of a drawer that hasn’t been opened forever?

Who knows why

and who knows where it is the lost things go?

Or do they take themselves away?

Grow legs?

Run off on their own to play?

Are they all together, dancing in some wood?

Having a party,

singing and dancing?

Doing things they couldn’t do at home?

Eating and drinking and playing a game

with no one there to see what they’re doing?

I wish they would come back.

I wonder where it is the lost things go.

Sarah’s Challenge


Writing without being present to give

life to the words and sounds to the senses,

a child writing forever, through a sieve

of adulthood. Writing, no defences,

no beginning, no end. Explanation?

Should writer need ask for reason – enough

to say driven by some aberration

of gene, Muse or some other mystic stuff.

Not author not playwright not a poet

no description encompasses this drive

to express the very nature of it –

Better part of me writing to survive

than all those thoughts be stuck inside my head

and I be sad, unfulfilled till I’m dead.



As darkness falls

One is six, the other three years old.

It’s been a busy day and they are tired,

but not tired enough to give in.

Now, there is a feeling of renewed energy

as they realise it’s growing dark.

There is a moon

and a few stars have appeared.

Christmas lights are beginning to twinkle.

It is not Christmas yet.

Not for weeks.

It’s only the garden centre

in advertising mode

dressing itself up

showing off its new seasonal wares.

The two boys

don’t care.

For them,


in the dark,

watching the lights,

Christmas has begun.


I called you this morning….

I called, but there was no one home. Left a message after the tone.

I waited for what seemed like hours then called again to your empty house,

repeated the message and called again. No one answered. Where was my friend?

I tried to eat, I tried to sleep and from the phone there was no peep.

They sit with me, but don’t understand; it’s not enough to hold my hand.

It’s not enough without you here. It’s not enough to shed a tear.

Tears are cheap and I have none for without you my life is done.

I’ve become an insomniac just waiting for you to come back.

It’s not your fault – I know you can’t, no matter how many times I chant,

no matter how many times I lift the phone and leave the message after the tone.

I do it now just to hear your voice. I do it now because I have no choice.




baby thinkingWhat are you doing with that little square thing?

I saw you put my face in there before.

Why does it flash so – what are you doing?

You’re beginning to make my eyes quite sore.

What is that wool thing and can I eat it?

No, don’t wrap me up. I can’t feel my toes.

With too many clothes I’m overheated.

I won’t need a coat like that till it snows.

I’m beginning to dream of when I’m big

and I will be able to speak my mind

and tell you the foods that make me feel sick

and all of the stuff I’ve got on my mind.

But all I can do right now is to dream

And when you get it right, give you a beam.


Party time (Shakespearean Sonnet!)

We are going to a village party.

We all have to walk to the local park.

The whole family’s going – even me,

though it’s late at night and it’s very dark.

I have never been out so late before.

We all have torches that flash in the night,

we zip up our coats and slam the front door

and crunch down the path and head for the light.

It comes from a bonfire piled very high

and then up above, right over my head

- a Bang and a Flash – green stars in the sky

followed by blue and silver and red!

Crackling and fizzing and lights very bright -

I’m so excited – it’s Firework Night!




Food Prohibition

Please -

Stop telling me I can’t eat this

and I can’t eat that

I mustn’t eat sugar

and I shouldn’t eat fat:

The tuna’s full of mercury, arsenic’s in the rice

salt’s in my baked beans and organic’s such a price!

My gran died at eight six (yes, Death got her in the end),

but no one told her what to eat and drove her round the bend.

She didn’t eat the brown bread, preferred her crusty white,

liked bacon, cheese and butter and a big unhealthy bite

of chocolate – no, not that, it’s such a sin!

Hide it in a plastic bag and put it in the bin.

She -

ate her greens and fruit

but never played squash

nor went on any diet

- thought they were hogwash.

She was full of fun and laughter, enjoyed life to the full,

Units of alcohol? – She thought that was all bull.

A little of what you fancy, don’t over-indulge

(except maybe at Christmas!) ‘cos it causes tummy bulge!

So -

Stop telling us we can’t eat this

and leave us all alone.

All things in moderation

is what we should intone.

Because -

If you say we mustn’t, then that’s what we want to do -

We ‘ll behave like naughty children, not listening to you!








Look in the Mirror

I look in the mirror and I don’t see me,

I see the child I used to be.

She has short dark hair and wide scared eyes

and to her everything’s a massive surprise.

And now she’s grown and wears her hair long

She has a young man and her heart’s full of song.

I look in the mirror and I don’t see me,

I see the woman I used to be.

There she is with a child in each hand

walking along barefoot on the sand.

Is that her there, with lines on her face

carved into her skin like old Queen Anne Lace?

Where did she go, that child, that young girl?

The mirror has clouded – the face in a swirl:

she looks a lot shorter and I can’t really see

as I look in the mirror, but I think she is me.


In the wings – palindrome


Now the dancers,

costumed, made-up, eyes closed,

rehearsing mentally

whilst waiting,

standing in the wings.

Waiting, whilst mentally rehearsing.

Closed eyes.

Made-up, costumed dancers.

Now -

The Ballet.



Off and on I have been trying to work on Palindromes, which I find so-ooo difficult. Not sure if this works at all, but I offer it as my poor attempt.


Fading dreams

in deep black.

Dark shadows appear

then sleep

comes when least expected.

Time passing


insomniacs all reading,

passing time expected least

when comes sleep.

Then appear shadows

dark, black,


in dreams.



Christmas Grumble!

I love this time of year, it’s Autumn time,

with pumpkins in the fields for Halloween,

to leave out autumn would be such a crime

yet people seem to think it’s a has-been.

Why is there so much Christmas stuff about

when that season is still three months away?

Freshly Pressed has got a Christmas post out

and Christmas mug’s on 20 Lines today!

We’ve still another ten days left to go

before the ghouls and witches gives us frights

and then we have the fireworks and the show

of bonfire, Guy Fawkes and his noisy night.

And even then it’s seven weeks before

Christmas comes a-banging on our door.

I’m sick of seeing Christmas things about

It’s Halloween I keep wanting to shout out!


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