Portsmouth, Pompey, Forever – Blog Feature

Further to being featured on the Portsmouth Literary Map, writer David E. Gates reflects on the impact of the city on his life and works, with excerpts from his writing, in a blog feature on the Portsmouth University website:

You can see the full blog here. Please feel free to share.

Happy Birthday to Access Denied!

Seven years ago today, Access Denied was released. A poignant, heart-felt story of the relationship between a father and his daughter, and the fight he had to undertake against the cruel, corrupt and dishonest Child Support Agency (CSA) and Family Courts.

It’s as relevant now as it was when it was first released. The travesties that had a life-long effect on the man and his child are still being experienced by those today that have to deal with the Child Maintenance System (CMS) and Family Courts who still lie and mislead people and make unjust and criminal judgements against them.

I’m still immensely proud of the book and how it has helped people – and even saved some of their lives – as they found themselves in the same situation I was in, without support or advice.

If you haven’t read it, you really should. With 100% positive reviews, it’s available in Audiobook, Paperback, Kindle, ePub, iBooks and all other eBook formats, and is a “must read“.

Here’s an excerpt from it:

One of my most precious memories is that of when Kelly and I went to Victoria Park, which leads down to Southampton water.

Kelly was not long at school and we walked along the nature path in the woods that would lead us down to the sea. As we walked through the woods, we came across a raised wooden pathway that enabled you to walk across the ponds and marshy environment.

It was quiet, the sound of traffic dulled into submission by the foliage and trees and only the sound of songbirds, likely warning of the invaders to their territories, could be heard.

Then, suddenly, a loud cracking sound from across the water which sat between the “bridges” we were on and the steep bank that went up several tens of feet opposite was heard. I held Kelly close to me and knelt down, hugging her close and pointing across the water to what I’d seen and urging her not to make any sound by placing my finger to my mouth.

Three deer stood upon the bank, about four feet higher up than we were, above the water line. A moment passed and I caught Kelly smiling, the wondrous sight of these beautiful animals in front of us.

Almost as soon as we’d seen them, they broke their stance and ran up the bank and deeper into the woods. Within seconds, they were gone from view.

It had been a magical moment that Kelly and I shared. Wondrous and almost dream-like in its perfection.

Even now, when I revisit the same spot, I remember that moment and what we shared that no-one else did.

©Copyright David E. Gates.

A Poem…

Some, it seems, just don’t get it.
They think they’re immune and ultra-fit.
But this thing doesn’t care who you are.
Hence its spread, near and far.

Cyclists on pavements, despite roads being clear.
Speeding through town, coming too near.
“Get off the pavement!” I yell at them all.
Because, quite simply, they’re not playing ball.

The rules are simple, but they don’t understand,
How to stop it, getting out of hand,
More weeks of lockdown, if you keep being a tool,
Going out for no reason, like a total fool.

You may be a carrier, and pass it on,
To your daughter, your mum, your dad or your son.
Do it for them, if for nobody else,
Do it for you, and your own health.

The message is clear, stay in, don’t go out,
The rules are to protect you, so please don’t flout.
Stop taking trips, for non-essential buys,
Or you may find, it causes your own demise.

At least if it happens, and you find yourself dead,
It’s one less idiot, to stop the spread.
So, do me a favour, don’t be a din.
Please, for now, just stay the fuck in!

©Copyright – David E. Gates 2020.

More poems and other stories are available in the following anthologies from David E. Gates, available from all good bookstores. And Amazon:

Unzipped - Large Format3D Cover - Cropped

World Poetry Day

It’s World Poetry Day today and, in tribute to this, and given the current circumstances, the following is my contribution which seems rather apt. For more poems and short stories, see my anthologies: First Words and Unzipped: The Mind of a Madman.

Corona

From China, Covid-19 its name,

Travelled west, and here it came.

Affecting many, making them ill.

It’s one purpose, seeming to kill.

 

Coughing, spreading, without knowing.

Events cancelled, no movies showing.

Calls for calm, as it takes its toll,

Morons stockpiling toilet roll.

 

Panic buying, hand gels and soap.

People dying, a loss of hope.

This virus, it cares not.

Though it hates the weather hot.

 

Take extra care, if you’re unwell,

And it will, be just swell.

Wash your hands, to stop the spread,

Else you may, well end up dead!

 

 

©Copyright – David E. Gates – 2020

“You’re Next” Short Story selected for Podoween Series!

The very kind people at Drunk In A Graveyard decided to deliver a little pumpkin shaped audio gift to their listeners every day in the form of a narrated story.

Day 22’s story, “You’re Next”, was submitted by David E. Gates who, apparently, you should follow on twitter for all your horror fiction needs year round.

You can access the podcast here via YouTube or listen to the audio here.

Drunk In A Graveyard

Broken Society

Youths on the rampage,
Vicious and feral.
Dare to tackle?
At your peril.

Gangs ruling streets,
Squabbling over little,
Reducing communities,
To something brittle.

Bottles thrown,
No care for others.
Mindless vandalism,
By them and their “brothers”.

Kids getting knifed.
Police unable, unwilling,
Citing lack of resources,
To stop their killing.

Where are the parents?
Kids bringing up kids.
No respect for their elders,
Life on the skids.

Society’s broken.
Is there a fix?
Which doesn’t involve,
Faces smashed in with bricks.

No-go ghettos,
And now a dead cop,
Lawless enclaves,
When will it stop?

Don’t give them holidays,
Jail them for their crime.
Repeat offenders?
Treble their time!

Punish them properly.
Stop with the excuse.
That we need to be softer.
For therein lies abuse.

Bring back the stocks.
And make prisons tough.
A six by nine cell.
For enough is enough.

 

©Copyright – David E. Gates – 2019

Normandy

Normandy

 

Upon the beach, they landed thus.
They knew their job; they made no fuss.
The ramp lowered, metal met sand,
They landed in this foreign land.

Without a sound, shipmates fell.
Bullets ringing through this hell.
Running forward, to secure the place.
From an evil, fascist, race.

Sinking in sand, feet swamped by tide.
Bodies floating, on either side.
Heat from explosions, searing hot.
As they plough on, through this rot.

Trenching through nests, of barbed wire,
Pushing on, through machine-gun fire.
Taking out turrets, killing those within.
No time to consider, the mortal sin.

Making peace, out of war.
Bodies piled, injured and sore.
We must never forget, never sway.
To always remember, D-Day.

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©David E. Gates – 6th June 2019.

In celebration of World Poetry Day…

Outrunning the Rain

Outrunning the rain.
Outgunning the pain.
Fighting back the tears.
Even though it’s been years.

Like drops from the sky,
They multiply.
Each glistening and clear.
Each a perfect tear.

Outrunning the rain.
On board the train.
Swept away on the tracks.
As emotion racks.

Biting my lip.
So my cover won’t slip.
Keeping up face.
No matter the place.

Outrunning the rain.
Feeling the strain.
Pain doesn’t subside.
I just want to hide.

Away from the looks.
And into my books.
Distraction is key.
For my sanity.

Outrunning the rain,
Another smile I feign,
They say it won’t last.
The pain will soon pass.

Isn’t like that for me.
It has longevity.
Though I’m better each day.
With strength I’ll outstay.

Outrunning the rain.
Dousing the flame.
Memories keep me sane.
Outrunning the rain.

 

Outrunning the Rain is featured in the anthology, Unzipped: The Mind of a Madman, which is available from all good bookstores in various formats. 

Unzipped - Large Format

 

 

A Flash in the Pan! New FLASH FICTION

I recently tried my hand at Flash Fiction. The requirement was to write a short story, under 150 words, that featured the word “Slice”.

I’ll be including it in my upcoming anthology, Outrunning the Rain, along with other short-stories, flash-fiction and poetry.

Hope you like it.

 

A Flash In The Pan by David E. Gates

 

Blood ran out of the meat and collected on the glistening white of the plate it was sat upon. A castle of flesh, an inch high, surrounded by a moat of its own juices.

The sound of sizzling fat in a frying pan echoed around the room. The smell, sweet and welcoming, not unlike that which accompanies the cooking of bacon, permeated the air.

“Would you like a piece?” The man holding the pan and leaning towards the slab of meat on the plate said.

Muffled sounds of protest came forth from a figure sat at the table. Their struggle was fruitless, their bonds tight, their mouth sealed.

“More for me then.” The man said, laughing as he pierced the foodstuff with a large knife, lifting and dropping it onto the pan’s surface before turning towards his prisoner.

“Hold still now.” He said, as he began to slice.

The End.

 

David E. Gates’ first anthology of short stories, scripts, poems and reviews, First Words, is available at Amazon and Smashwords.

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Bah Humbug!

Fed up of the excitement, false as it is, of companies and people “celebrating” Christmas way too early (some are advertising it and “looking forward to it” as far back as August!), I wrote the following poem which will feature in the second anthology of short stories and poetry coming in 2018.

Bah Humbug!

Christmas is coming.  

The goose is getting fat. 

But celebrate in October,  

And you’re nothing but a twat. 

 

There’s twelve days of Christmas, 

Something you should remember, 

These days start on Christmas Day, 

Not way back in September! 

 

Bonfire night comes way before, 

Though you wouldn’t know it, 

Put away your festive tree, 

Please don’t dare to show it. 

 

Get excited, by all means, 

But keep it to yourself, 

There’s a time and place for everything, 

Including watching Elf! 

 

Let’s keep Christmas special, 

Let’s really give a fuck. 

Instead of getting all worked up, 

Over a Coca-Cola truck! 

 

The holidays are coming, 

But they’re not quite here, 

Be joyous when the time is right, 

At that special time of year. 

 

Christmas is coming.  

We’ll all be getting fat.  

But let’s leave it until the day, 

To put on our Christmas hat. 

If you really can’t get enough of Christmas, why not read my short-story, The Christmas Carol, available FREE for a limited time from Smashwords.com. It’s a “Wonderfully written tale of suspense keeps you wondering what will happen next.” – Misty Reigenborn.

The Christmas Carol

If you do download and read my FREE short-story, please be so kind as to leave a review.

© David E. Gates – Shelley Show Productions – 2018.