Monday, 27 February 2012


This is BlogWatch, a new feature in which I'll be encouraging followers to follow other blogs of infinite awesomeness!

The first installment is going to bring to your attention the works of a very talented mother & daughter combo, who each have their own individual tastes and styles.

Bernadette Davies (@bernadette70) is a close Twitter friend of mine, who shares with me a penchant for all things dark and eerie. Her poetry deals with such themes as death, loneliness, fear of the unknown, and the unpredictability of human nature. Her short prose pieces also deal with similar topics, and a personal favourite, 'Like a Mouse in a Maze', has been included for your pleasure below, with kind permission from Bernadette herself. Her blog also features competitions, and amusing and interesting facts and pieces about the goings-on in her life! The blog can be viewed here: Bernadette Davies, and I recommend you follow immediately! 

Like a mouse in a maze (by Bernadette Davies)

The city had been home to generations for hundreds of years. Compact and walled, she was considered impenetrable to anyone from the outside. But for the thousands within her walls, just as hard to get out.  Based at the foot of the Tempie mountain, she was a city that appeared to have been forgotten in time.  You would easily have been mistaken if you thought her to have being originally built by a lost Mayan civilisation or perhaps even the Romans. As the city grew in population, so too did the buildings with height to accommodate them.  And for all the citizens that called her home there appeared to be no need to go anywhere else for this city offered everything you could ever need. Amenities, entertainment, beautiful homes.  It had it all.

I don't recall how it was that I was living there, nor why it was that it was being guarded by soldiers speaking German and dressed in black uniforms with medals and stars on their breast pockets and fancy black peaked caps on their heads. I don't know why I knew that we were in imminent danger, nor why the guards were keeping it a secret from everyone, nor why they were preventing anyone from leaving. More frustrating, why all its citizens where going about their daily business, oblivious and careless.  I kept preaching imminent doom, but nobody was listening.

Tempie was rumbling.  I could see the smoke and if you stopped for a second, you would be able to smell the acid and hear the groaning.  All my alarm bells were screaming and panic was setting in.  Yet everyone continued about their business.  My mouth seemed to be sewn shut, because like the guards, I couldn't utter a word.  My eyes were stretched wide in a silent scream and as I dashed up one set of stairs and down another set of endless stairs, I appeared to be running around in circles.  I couldn't find my way out.  And every time I thought I'd found a way, I ran into a guard.  They didn't speak to me, but I somehow knew to try to get past them would be suicidal, so I turned back and sought another way.

Night fell on the city and the sound of people drinking and socialising filled the streets.  The bars and taverns filled and music could be heard from the concert halls.  It was a happy atmosphere all around me, but I knew that it was to be short lived. I knew that everyone was going to die, yet I still didn't raise the alarm. I wasn't able to and I was terrified I would only draw attention to myself.  By now, the main objective seemed to be to get myself out. To live.

The walls of the city stretched high up into the sky. They could easily have been 300 ft high. It had been billed as the safest city in the world and one couldn't help but look at those walls and know that no enemy was ever going to get over them.  What it offered though was a false sense of security because I needed to get out and now all I felt was trapped.  Like a mouse in a maze I kept running, only to be met by either another wall or another guard.

And then I saw it.  A ladder that stretched up all the way to the top.  I started to climb it, higher and higher I went and as I climbed I prayed that nobody would see me.  I kept waiting to hear the scream of a guard shouting for me to stop.  Someone to take a shot at me maybe? But this didn't happen.  Eventually, at the top I reached a trapdoor and opening it, pulled myself inside.  It was a surveillance room.  A German guard sat in front of a bank of computer, studying the going's-on within the city.  He turned to look at me as I stood up straight but only smiled at me.  This left me completely confused.  Why wasn't he reacting?  Why didn't he shout for help? Why didn't he reach for his gun?  I stood motionless in the middle of this room and watched as another guard walked in from an adjoining room.  He too smiled at me and in German started conversing with the one at the computers.  I could not understand what he was saying but somehow I knew that they were talking about me.  My eyes flashed to the windows in this room and I ran over to the window facing outside and for the first time in years, caught a glimpse of the world outside the walls.  It was nothing but jungle. Way, way down below.

Then the second German guard turned to me and said. "It is too late.  You cannot leave." More damning was not his words, but the look on his face.  Like he understood my fear but knew there was nothing to be done and that he had accepted this fate. This is the thought that went through my head as I absorbed his words.  And then I heard and felt it:  The creaking of something in the process of snapping, the whoosh of something flying through the air and the rumbling under my feet .  I ran to the opposite wall and looked out of the window into the city and saw that it had started.   Where buildings had once been ablaze with lights, now they were ablaze with fire. Where people had been laughing and singing, now there was only screaming.  I watched for a few more seconds as more fire reigned down on the city and then with tears in my eyes I turned back to the guard.  He stretched his arm out, pointing to the window as if inviting me to try to escape but said nothing. I ran once more to the far window, peering out, but there was nothing there but a 300 foot drop on that side and I stood motionless, looking out the window contemplating which way I was going to choose to die. 
 Alycia Bezuidenhout (@Alycia_Bee) is the second blogger I would like to draw your attention to. Daughter to Bernadette, Alycia's blog is beautifully presented, with a wide range of material, from music videos to some splendid drawings by Alycia herself! She includes diary-like extracts on her blog, too, that are very amusing and fun to read, giving a rare insight into the life of a 17 year-old girl! 
       What brought her to my attention, though, was her first piece of poetry, published very recently on her blog. Titled First Heartbreak, the poem deals with the familiar theme of teenage romance, and all the joys and heartbreak that entails. What really struck me about the poem, more than anything else, iss the length. This isn't a mere two-stanza poem, this is a story, with a beginning, middle, and end. It's mature, well thought-out, and highly emotional. For a debut poem, it's wonderful, and one can only hope that Alycia develops her skills and produces more material! I'm sure, under the guidance of her mother, she will soon become a creative force to be reckoned with! Her gorgeous blog can be found here:, and with her kind permission, her debut poem can be seen below:

First Heartbreak (by Alycia Bezuidenhout)

An innocent crush,
the girl has everything.
Smart, pretty, loved.
It’s never enough.
Shy first kisses, an explosive infatuation.
She’s dizzy with ecstasy.
Her Romeo in a leather jacket; blonde shaggy hair and fiery hot eyes that burns passion she has never known.
            He loves me.
It’s overwhelming joy, white sweet bliss.
But sweetheart, you are blind.
She is in too deep now, an unhealthy obsession is born.
Forgetting her friends, abusing her family,
she worships him.
Its unconditional lust,
irrational love.
15 years old,
but you know it all don’t you?
            The lyrics speak our lives baby.
Cue the first fight, the crushing first heartbreak.
Bed ridden, did he hurt you sweetheart?
You had it all, how could he?
            I love you baby, never again.
Ignorance is the purest of bliss.
An all consuming perfection, like
a drug, it imprisons your mind.
Spinning out of control, it’s impossible to leave.

Another lie,
another fight; is that another heartache?
This time she’s the villain in this twisted, predictable play.
The floodlights bare your soul hunny, but it is shut from the world.
No one understands, do they?
He’s created a monster, oh how he hurt you so.
Her heart bleeds desperation, wild insecurities.
Her eyes burn jealousy, the ugliest of sins.
Sly tactics, another soul-shattering revelation.
Screaming now, she can’t breath.
A violent heave down the strangers toilet, hold you hair back sweetheart,
it isn’t over yet.
Self-destructive fantasies, 16 and through with life.
Stupid girl.
Another sham anniversary,
another meaningless kiss.
Just another empty promise. 
            It hurts so much.
Here comes the inevitable breakdown,
the cracks have burst wide open now.
She begged him this time, pleaded and prayed.
Such anger, unimaginable rage.
            Why is he doing this?!
It’s unfathomable.
So here it comes, the final showdown.
She’s finally had enough.
His eyes slam cold, he’s unreachable.
Your Romeo Romeo has turned his back.
Baby, you’re utterly alone now.

An ultimate heartbreak, the gut-retching pain.
Hold on to yourself sweetheart,
there is no going back now.
Her hands are slippery with desperation,
A phone call, all hope holds its breath.
Ring Ring. Ring Ring.
            Mommy? Help me.

And with loyal arms,
she is pulled from the fire.
Gasping the first breath she has had in a year.
Celebration is in the air,
a sweet tangible victory!
Their daughter has returned, a family reunited.
There’s a broken heart to mend,
but a full recovery is promised.
She was wrong and she is sorry.
But of course she is forgiven.
She is stronger, she is wiser.

I am ready.


  1. What wonderful words you wrote. I'm positively beaming! Thank you soooooooo much. You are super awesome yourself :)))

  2. Any time! Also on a separate page, so people can look you up there in case you get buried on here!! :)