The Blue Hour magazine

Published September 30, 2013 by Jill London

The Blue Hour anthology

Guess who’s soon to be appearing in The Blue Hour magazine for the second time? Oh all right, you guessed it, it’s me 🙂

The Blue Hour magazine is an online art and literary magazine featuring the work of some very talented writers and artists, such as the wonderful Michele Seminara and Anne Bradshaw (If you haven’t discovered their work yet let me urge you to go and have a look).

The Blue Hour magazine welcomes submissions of all kinds and the editors are lovely so if you’re interested do consider submitting your poems, stories or artwork.

The Wood Beyond the Road

Published September 23, 2013 by Jill London

ahddfThe wood beyond the road is deep and dark as a sleeper’s dream. The leafy canopy blocks the sunlight from the detritus beneath and incubates the odour of mulch and rotting things. The path winds this way and that around the lattice of spiny leaves and jagged ferns hiding chirruping insects that underline the silence. The silence that is deep and dark.

In the woods, in a small clearing unnoticed by the world, a grey stone cottage hunches against the failing light. A thin thread of smoke drifts from the chimney and this, along with the faint glow of a bulb in the lower window, suggests somebody is home.

She is quite alone. Sitting by the low fire, motionless but for the steady rise and fall of her chest she appears cut from marble, cold and white as a midnight statue. A viewer, if there had been one in that barren room, would wish for some spark of life in her eyes, for some reassurance of animation in those limbs; lost in the form of her dress as they are. Her lace sleeves are stiff and cylindrical, two tunnels through which her arms thrust. Hardly real arms at all. But she moves, her breath halts, almost in anticipation, and she rises to her feet. She sways, and steadies, and for the first time her eyelid betrays a flicker. She stands motionless as if indefinitely fixed, as if she would stand all night, wound at last to the end of her mechanism.

She is breathing, though it cannot be heard, the sound has been replaced by another. Usurped by a tiny sound, a tiny scratching from the door. Such a small and innocent sound. Perhaps it is a little mouse, a cat, one sharp hooked claw or fingernail maybe, scraping the splintered wood. Her eyes flicker to life, and there are tears in them as she looks around, as if she has awoken to find the light outside extinguished. As if she has returned to realise the door lies unlocked. As if she has just remembered…

The scratching grows in strength as the darkness crowds in suffocatingly close; the door shaking, the old-fashioned latch bouncing fit to spring open. Her marble pallor heats suddenly, flares into flesh, and she springs toward the door, slamming it shut with the remains of her shaking strength. Holding it pinned with the last of her will, she wonders; where have I been?


© Jill London 2013

Want more like this? Try my latest novel Evertrue. It is a fairy-tale twist on the story of Orpheus, and is available now. Click here for a speedy wireless delivery to your reading device.

The Mask of a Genius

Published September 16, 2013 by Jill London



He was late, though the set was ready weeks

before, and brought the women cherry nude

fondants and fondly pinched their pert young cheeks.


He preened his new suit in the interlude,

Oh, the praise he urged for his gold silk shirt!

His moustache erect and suitably crude.


The cats ran away, nibbled fleas and trod dirt

in the wet floor, drew blood when roughly dried

by assistants immune to price tag art.


Cameras whirred and bellies growled, hid by pride.

Dali grew bored and lured the assistant,

though round the corner Gala feigned to hide.


When asked her impression of that giant

the photographer paused with rheumy eyes

and framed a reply aptly elegant:

L’enfant terrible aimed to build a disguise

to cover a heap of nothing but lies.


© Jill London 2013

Deirdre’s Lament

Published August 25, 2013 by Jill London

I’ve been meaning to reblog this for a while, because I think it’s brilliant. If you don’t agree then, sadly, you’re wrong.

Opus 61

Do you remember how I dreamed of this?
On the shores of Loch Ness, in the days of our bliss
I dreamed of a dove with mead in its mouth
Pursued by a hawk, red with blood from the south
And now you lie beautiful down in your grave
Between your two brothers, whom you couldn’t save

Naoise, oh Naoise my husband, my love
With soft spoken words and the eyes of a dove
Men will remember your sword of bright steel
But your wife will remember how you made her feel
On the shores of Loch Ness, in the days of our bliss
Before that dark night when I first dreamed of this

I was a fair maiden, the world was unknown
When first I espied you, your raven hair shone
And flew like the pennant when men go to war
To meet their sad fate on death’s lonely…

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Note From The Doldrums – Monday, Monday.

Published August 12, 2013 by Jill London

My poor old blog is looking so sorry for itself of late. Posting has ceased to be fun and suddenly everything looks dingy and miserable. Oh dear, I’m in the doldrums. I’m feeling in fine Eeyore spirit, wondering when I will get back into the spirit of the thing (or if… gasp).


Yes, I know it’s dry over there but getting up is like, effort.


So it’s the same old reasons I guess, work taking up too much time, too little time writing, nobody descending from the heavens to tell me my writing is worthwhile after all and offering that hallowed book deal. Ha! Welcome to Planet Earth sucker! LOL. Funny how difficult it is to raise your mood sometimes, isn’t it? All those words of writing encouragement you read about just seem like so much magical thinking but you plod on anyhow, submitting your work, waiting to hear back from editors, scribbling yet more stuff at every opportunity to submit all over again… Hmm, for your sake I hope reading this isn’t infectious.


Life? Don’t talk to me about life…


Marvin: I’ve been talking to the main computer.
Arthur: And?
Marvin: It hates me.

Must be a Monday thing.

Before I go, thought I’d share this with you. I re-discovered it just now and yes, it makes me laugh. Thank God!




Hope you’re having a better week, wherever you are!

Three more from the notebook

Published August 11, 2013 by Jill London


With age comes wisdom,

So say the monk and poet,

To ease the journey.

Flying Fish (Detail)

Flying Fish (Photo credit: Theron Trowbridge)



Concerning Errors

Fish may learn to fly

And man may learn forgiveness.

Wonders never cease.




Rain falls silently

Seeping in through the corners

Of my pounding heart.

© Jill London 2013

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