Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Monday, 25 June 2012

Death in Islington

I was feeling a bit silly this week, which accounts for the rather laboured effort below. Still, it was fun. If you don’t know the John Betjeman original ‘Death in Leamington’ on which this is loosely based, click here. There’s probably a name for taking a word from the last line and sticking it somewhere near the beginning of the next; 'chain verse' rings a bell. Watch out Orson is coming to get you for grassing him up! Put that crossword down! 

Death in Islington
He died in the upstairs bedroom.
The bedroom door was ajar.
A jar was lit with a ghostly glow,
Aglow ‘neath the ev’ning star.
Beside him the lonely crossword,
Cross words had been exchanged.
No change of heart towards the end,
His end had been arranged.
His wife came in with the tea-things.
Things just didn’t seem right.
Right away she had grasped the scene,
Seen murder had come in the night.
She closed the big round windows,
The windows into his soul.
Soullessly lit the mantle,
A mantle of secrecy stole.
And “Ed?” she cried in a tiny voice,
Voicing her innermost fear,
“I fear that you have breathed your last.”
The last words he would hear.
Do you know that there’s blood on the carpet?
A carpet of weeds on the grass?
A Grass dies alone for his crime,
A crime that they couldn’t let pass.
She looked at the silent sofa.
So far she had kept fairly calm.
Call M for Murder!” she suddenly cried,
Ed never did anyone harm!”
She moved the table and puzzles,
Lest blood should drip from his head,
Ed’s murderer’s name was written,
Ten down, twelve across, all in RED.
© Marilyn Brindley
The image is Orson Welles in the Film Noir 'Touch of Evil’ Tess’s prompt in The Mag this week.


  1. Not at all laboured and very well done. My contribution this week is here.

  2. Fiendishly clever; congrats.

  3. Excellent- this appeals on many levels. Words almost become like numbers when used in this way. Everything flows so well, if it were spoken, it'd be hard to tell what you'd done. Clever ain't the word.

  4. Nicely done doesn't begin to describe this. I think I would agree with Berowne: fiendishly clever.

  5. ha...def clever...love the wrap of the words but also how you played with them creatively to give them different meanings....well done...

  6. I like the words interlocking from one line to another ~ Very creative ~

  7. Oh this was way too much fun! Tea-things and all...love the sofa and so far! You make me want to try it too...but oh it looks like quite a bit of labour for me....in using words that can still tell a cool story too! Excellent in so many ways!

  8. Very Cryptic, Nell, a Puzzling image of the adversary !

  9. A standing ovation for this one Little Nell. Bravo, beyond brilliantly clever. Thank you for sharing this captivating piece. =D

  10. Hey! Hey! What an utter pleasure this was to read and an outstanding piece to read aloud!


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