Wednesday, June 09, 2010

To Mandy Smith

The following tribute to Mandy has appeared on Spring Haiku 2010.

To Mandy Smith,
an admirable creator and person,
and a great friend of the Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy (SARM)

Text: Andrei Dorian Gheorghe (cultural counsellor of SARM)
Photo: Valentin Grigore (President of SARM)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Mandy remembered

Mandy is going into a hospice and will not be returning.

Her intention was to delete this blog but, urged not to do so, has asked me to take it over and keep the contents online.

I have been asked to say that she does not want anyone to mourn for her but thanks those who have made contact with her over recent years.

Several bloggers have left messages on their blogs:

Kris at Little Town in Hungary.

Tara Bradford at Paris Parfait.

Annie at In My Dreams.

Beatrice at Autumn

Rachel Green at Autumn

Diana at Autumn

Ashi at Ashi Words

Qualcosa di Bello at Piacere

Gerald at Ackworth born, gone West

John at Autumn

Thursday, November 05, 2009

More for Mandy

Mandy has just forwarded me this email and asked me publish an edited version along with these two images:
Dear Mandy,

You are an extraordinary woman and I cannot express how much I love you as a friend. I am working to finish five new pages for the Astropetry 2009 project, and one of them will be Galilean Poetry (including your Galileo Wordle). I send you in advance the trophy of the event (with your name written on it). My only power is to think of you with love. Be strong and be blessed.
With all my best wishes,

Andrei Dorian Gheorghe

Mandy is touched by everyone's affection but will not be replying personally to anyone. I am honoured that she has allowed me to keep her blog online.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009


autumn winds
bring a rare visitor
so many eyes

Photograph by Phill Deason; words by Mandy Smith

First published on Falling Leaves.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Little Town in Hungary

cold water
ripples past reeds -
the lights are on

words by mandy smith
photograph by kris foo

This post first appeared on Little Town in Hungary

Monday, September 21, 2009


Harry Edsel Smith, Albany, New York:

Born 1903 - Died 1942

Looked up the elevator shaft
to see if the car was on the way down.
It was.


Ezekial Aikle, East Dalhousie , Nova Scotia:

Here lies Ezekial Aikle,
Age 102.
The Good Die Young.


Ann Mann, London:

Here lies Ann Mann,
Who lived an old maid
But died an old Mann.
Dec. 8, 1767


Johnny Yeast, Ruidoso, New Mexico :

Here lies Johnny Yeast..
Pardon me
For not rising.


John Penny, Wimborne, Dorset:

Reader, if cash thou art
In want of any,
Dig 6 feet deep;
And thou wilt find a Penny.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tapes of Wrath

Tapes of Wrath

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

autumn rain

autumn rain
time to be moving on
down the road

photo by Kris Foo
words by Mandy Smith

First published at Falling Leaves.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


so many blues
how can I be lonely
this afternoon?

words: mandy smith
photo: phill deason
© 2009

in response to the blue prompt at One Single Impression

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I posted this piece of flash-fiction to the blog "Taking the Broom" on 31st August 2006. When I recently checked the link to it, the site was dead. Fortunately good old google dished up a cached copy of the page and so I was able to retrieve my text.


It was a clear, calm day.

Nadia laughed as the warm, smooth hand loosely caressed her ankle. There was peace inside the cottage. A pussy purred contentedly in the sun, murmuring as though there were ten thousand souls in heavenly joy.

The window creaked open and Jason was startled at the forceful beat of a butterfly, as it fluttered in a gentle breeze. He could hear the sound of grasshoppers, and caught site of an oystercatcher in the field where the sheep were.

He was awakened by the ceaseless drip, drip, drip of what he at first thought to be red wine, but turned out to be his blood. Nadia lent across and it was warm and wet, and she laughed as he realised that the moggy was there in bed with them. Her spine thrilled deliciously at the thought of licking the cat's scratchings. His flesh crawled as hands and paws and lips probed. He felt his consciousness ebb away, like grains of sand in an hourglass. He purred in joy as outside the birds sang and the sheep baa'd. Nadia's tongue penetrated deeper into his ear. He was certain it was on a direct course for his brain!

© 2006, Mandy Smith

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How to Give a Cat a Pill

  • Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

  • Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

  • Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

  • Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

  • Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.

  • Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

  • Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for glueing later.

  • Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

  • Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink beer to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

  • Retrieve cat from neighbour's shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with rubber band.

  • Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour shot, drink. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw tee-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

  • Call fire department to retrieve the cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbour who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil-wrap.

  • Tie the little varmint's front paws to rear paws with twine and bind tightly to leg of dining room table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down.

  • Consume remainder of scotch. Get spouse to drive you to A&E, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.

  • Arrange for RSPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

This has been going around the internet for years and can be found on several web sites. It is sometimes attributed to Peggy Althoff, but I can't be certain she is the original author.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sarah's Story


Sarah stumbled as she stepped out. Peter saw the lights. They blazed into his eyes. He closed them but still could not see her approach.

As she rose to her feet, she grapped two pebbles. Her dress was in tatters. Her soles burned while her nipples were cold and wet. She could still hear the baby crying.

Sarah ran her hand over Peter's face. His hands squeezed her buttocks.

"He is gone", she said. Salt dripped from his chin. Sarah slipped the pebbles into his pocket.

After the noise of departure, the silence was broken only by an owl's hoot and a man's sob.


First published at Tuch & Automaton.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bush in Freefall

Bush in Freefall

This original flash animation was created by Pekka Sandborg and modified into Bush Freefall by an unknown artist.

(right-click and Save Link to download the .swf file)

You can drag him around with the mouse if he gets
stuck on his way down.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dynamic Dictionary

I've just come across this delightful online dictionary.

Object Graph

It seems to anticipate your requirements as you type into it.

As well as a "classical" English dictionary it has the "Free Online Dictionary of Computer Terms", a database on the Elements of the Periodic Table, a thesaurus and an English-Japanese translation tool. I'm not quite sure exactly how that works but it sounds intriquing.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


some yellow bloomers their back to the beckoning ocean

words: mandy smith
photo: phill deason
© 2009

in response to the ocean prompt at One Single Impression

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Femme Finesse

Femme Finesse performing in Montreal--New Years Day 2008

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A 19th century bill

This is a bill I came across, dated 2nd December, 1835.

Correcting the ten Commandments.5s 6d
Embellishing Pontius Pilate and putting new ribbon in his bonnet.5s 6d
Putting a new tail on the rooster of St. Peter and mending his comb.10s 0d
Replenishing and gilding the left wing of the Guardian Angel.4s 9d
Washing the servant of St. Paul and putting carmine on his cheeks.5s 6d
Renewing heaven, adjusting two stars and cleaning the moon.7s 10d
Putting five additional rays to the sun.3s 4d
Re-animating the flames of purgatory and restoring some souls.5s 4d
Reviving the flames of Hell, putting a new tail to the Devil, and mending his hoof and doing several little jobs for the damned.7s 0d
Re-bordering the robe of Herod, and re-adjusting his wig.4s 0d
Re-touching Joseph and his coat of many colours.2s 0d
Cleaning the ears of Balaam's ass and shodding him.3s 2d
Putting new ear-rings in the ears of Sarah.2s 4d
Putting new stones in David's sling, enlarging the head of Goliath and extending his legs.3s 0d
Mending the shirt of the Prodigal son and washing his hands and face.3s 0d
Total£3 15s 3d

Sunday, August 02, 2009

still waters

still waters
from one of many windows
a girl looks out

© 2009, photo by lori bierly
words by mandy smith

encouraged by the windows prompt at One Single Impression