Monthly Archives: April 2016

Vengeance Wears Black…

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41ztQAFKyyL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_…And poor time management goes around in rags, tattered in the attention that a book as action-packed as this one rightfully deserves.

In spite of all the swirling minutiae of daily commitments – from an event in the offing, to freelance work, household chores, to inane queries with regard to said event – I couldn’t pull myself away from Seumas Gallacher’s Vengeance Wears Black and yet I constantly had to; dangling participles notwithstanding.

The book haunts one through its deft handling of the personal interplay and commitment of the main characters to each other – all partners in ISP International Security Partners. These include our hero Jack Calder and May Ling his wife – and the team Mr. Brains Jules Townsend and Malky McGuire: friend and colleague.

The bloody explosive action kicks off and kicks one in the stomach right from the get-go. I wonder if this is a typical Seumas Gallacher opener – having read the Violin Man’s Legacy a little over a year ago. The opening scene in that earlier book is a real stomach-churner.

Vengeance Wears Black starts with a tense human trafficking operation in Krakow that goes horribly wrong. It then leaps across to London where another eruptive incident brings our main players together. This time a Gurkha colleague smothers a grenade with his body thus saving his friends from ISP – a band of tough action-hardened SAS men and one woman; who then carry out a carefully planned, meticulous operation that not only quells the violent turf wars raging between Asian triad gangs and Eastern European mobsters, but also avenges the death of the man who saved their lives.

Seumas Gallacher’s book takes the reader on a nail-biting ride from east to west, from unimaginable debauchery and corruption to uplifting moments of friendship and care. I, for one, was glad of these little hiatuses in the action as they allowed me to get to know the main players, become involved in their fates, and follow the detailed planning that goes into such a far reaching operation.

This isn’t a genre I usually read, so I was surprised by how much I was drawn into it. I had read the earlier book so I knew the background of the characters but, being a stand-alone novel, it is not necessary to read it to follow the action or the connections.

These books would make a superb movie or TV series and I’m sure one of these days someone is going to discover them. Then we’ll see Mr. Gallacher’s name in lights, with our hero Jack Calder blazoned across the posters a la Jason Bourne/Matt Damon.

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Poem or Story

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Which works better?

Genesis

It’s all supposed to begin with the first step

The thousand miles or kilometres or whatever: Life.

But what if I refuse to take it?

And stand here unmoving

Clinging to the membrane

Steadfast.

An ovum unfertilised

A life that denies the acceptance of existence

Dodging the all-seeking little worms of spermatozoa

Remaining a single-celled

Non-creation.

Still I will be moved

In the bloody menses that she will discard.

And so I will have made a step

Whether I travel

Towards life

Or death.

AND HERE IT IS AS A MINI STORY

Genesis

It’s all supposed to begin with the first step. The thousand miles or kilometres or whatever: Life. But what if I refuse to take it? And stay here unmoving. Clinging to the membrane.

“Stay away from me you worm! Serpent!”

“Allow me entry and you will enjoy experience.”

“No! I don’t want it.” I scream turning away from his seductive dance.

“You will learn about love. A mother’s caress. You will smell flowers as sweet as heaven. Experience the wonders of a world beyond this red-darkness and loud throbbing. You will taste delicacies more exquisite than the insipid chyme that filters into your being just now. You will hear music so fine you will dance free from this static limpet life.”

“Go away. I am afraid.” I am a life that defies existence. I coagulate my shell to prevent penetration. I remain an ovum unfertilised. The spermatozoon dies.

I have survived. I am the star. I dodged the all-seeking little worms and have remained a single-celled non-creation. I have saved her from the pain of birth, the agonies of raising a child and of death.

My triumph is short-lived. Forces I cannot fight are shedding me, tossing me out in her bloody menses. She discards it with disdain and anger, wrapping her tampon carefully in toilet paper.

There are no medals for death if you haven’t lived a life.

A poem presented at the Colours of Life, Bahrain

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Two of the poems I presented at Colours of Life are already on FictionPals. I guess the third one should join them here.

Apologies to Maya Angelou

I will not go down in history

And no one will write lies

About my daily mystery

Or if, like dust, I’ll rise.

 

Am I sassy or even sexy

Do I upset you in any way?

The chances are you haven’t noticed

I’m wallpaper plain today.

 

But like the aged dying tree

I once was young and green

I’m not like the moon or sun or tides

And yet I shall be seen

 

Though my hair is white as hoar frost

Though my limbs hang loose with flab

Though my voice is hoarse and rough

You know, I have the strength of words

 

And if you will, or won’t or can’t

Hear what I have to say

Above the noise, the static chant

I know I shall be heard

 

For I speak of your tomorrows

Your coming ills and ails

Your aches and pains and hollow

Moans, just as your daylight fails.

 

So listen to me young ones

Hear what I have to say

No matter what you dream and hope

Just do it right away.

 

When you think that you have lots of time

The sun sets on another day

The hundred little things of life

Keep getting in your way

 

You think this will not happen

Who me? Oh, no! No way!

Your tomorrow it is coming

And that is me…Today!