Applied Inspiration #writephoto #creativewriting

‘I wandered lonely as a… erm stream?’ Ranulph Titcarpet waited. And waited. ‘Hello?’

The voice, when it came was familiar. ‘You want me?’

She’s not usually this tense, he thought. ‘All okay?’

‘Not really. But you don’t want to be burdened with my problems.’

‘No, it’s fine, go on.’


Ranulph was anything but sure, but his horoscope had said he needed to show more empathy – he’d had to look it up – so he nodded, certain that wherever she was right now, she could see him even if he couldn’t see her.

‘I’ve a new artist – called Martin – sees himself as a wannabe bard, whereas he’s good for a couple of sketchy haiku and the odd limerick. It’s not like there’s anything to work with and the drivel…’

Ranulph tuned out. He stared at the tumult hurtling by his feet and wondered if immersing himself might be the best way to get the poetical juices flowing. He pushed the toe of his boot towards the froth near the bank and jumped as a scream of the bloodcurdling variety rent the peace and quiet into shards of quivering surrender.

‘Don’t you dare jump in.’

Ranulph looked up and around. ‘I didn’t know that was part of the Muse service.’

‘Look Buster, when you get allocated a muse, it means someone in the Poeticals thinks you’ve got something – though goodness knows who Martin has the oracle over to be included in the programme. As such they expect output, they expect quality and they don’t expect unbridled stupidity like jumping into a torrent in spate. So let’s keep our feet where I can see them and you can tell me why you summonsed me.’

‘I’m doing the seasons…’

‘Yes we discussed this. Autumn needs more leaves and winter a bit more frost.’

‘Right. So I thought about spring…’


‘And I came here. This stream.’

‘You’re not thinking of some comic metaphor, are you?’

‘What? No, why?’

‘Spring? The stream?’

‘I know it’s bouncing along at the moment but it’s not exactly springing…’

‘No, no. Look, I thought you thought the source of this little watercourse was a spring, so you’d compare the source of the stream with the source of life, which is spring…’

‘That’s very good.’

‘Not it’s not; it’s bloody trite… and this one comes from snow melt, not a spring so it would be redundant and aquatically inaccurate. That’s not what you meant, then?’

‘No see, I had this inspiration, staring at it,’ Ranulph coughed and took a pose. ‘I wandered lonely as a stream… see, the thing is, should it be a stream or the stream or even it’s real name.’

‘The Spunt? You thinks that works?’

‘Not really. What do you think?’

‘Ah, now. Not so hasty. I’ve been to Muse school and I distinctly remember in Applied Inspiration a properly qualified Muse is meant to tease from you what you think about your work first. Self criticism is the foundation of a long term Muse-Artist relationship.’

‘Er, I don’t know. I did have an alternative.’

‘Go on, that might be a good place to start.’

Ranulph stood even taller. ‘I wandered lonely as a rock… Well?’ He felt a slight turbulence in the air and looked around. ‘You still there?’

‘Yes, sorry. Martin is trying to publish a limerick and I needed to slow him down. He’s the opposite of you, you know?’


‘Over confident.’

‘Oh. Anyway?’

‘Why a rock?’

‘Well, see that’s the thing. How did it get here? It must have wandered, right? But no one actually knows, so it must have been on its own when it arrived. If we’re exploring the great sweep of spring through the ages, focusing on the apparently immovable, we can better understand how life in all its glorious uncertainty has progressed from the days this planet was a coalescence of dust to… What?’

‘You know that’s all bollocks, don’t you?’

‘Is that part of the Applied Inspiration course?’

‘No, it’s lesson three of the second level of Telling It As It Is.’

‘What about the first version?’

‘Streams don’t wander, they’re channelled.’

‘But they look like they’re wandering.’

‘You look like a complete pillock… no scrap that. Anyway some ancient dude has already patented the lonely wandering schtick. Why… Yes, Martin, I will be there in a heart beat. Look Ranulph, mate. Take it from me. Stick to sonnets, skippy lambs and daffs and you’ll be fine. Now I must go before Martin totally trashes my reputation as a Muse.’

‘I thought your role was to make us look good. Isn’t that the job of a Muse?’

‘If the advertising said “hire a Muse and improve its image” do you think there’d be much of a take up?’

‘No I suppose not. What shall I do?’

‘You could watch some Netflix.’

‘Would that help my poetry?’

‘Not really but their series go on so long, at least I can be sure you’ll not kill yourself while I’m gone. Now, remember always rhyme mid line and iambic pentameter is for sissies. Byeeee.’

Ranulph stared at the water, wondering if he should think about going alone, Muse-free. Then again spring waits for no man… ‘Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the birdies is?’

He turned for home. Maybe there was something there he could work on.

This was written in response to this week’s #writephoto prompt

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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9 Responses to Applied Inspiration #writephoto #creativewriting

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    It seems as if the Muse, like the bird, is winging it…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. fun take Geoff

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JT Twissel says:

    I would imagine most rocks are very lonely. Creeks like to babble so they’re never really alone.


  4. I think he forgot to rhyme mid-line.

    Also, I sincerely hope you didn’t feel inspiration for this Muse from recommendations regarding another person’s poetry…


  5. Pingback: Applied Inspiration ~ Geoff Le Pard #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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