hysteria anthology cover, convolvulus image

Lady Convolvulus

Almost every year for the past ten years there has been a Hysteria Writing Competition. Back in 2012 it was for short stories and poetry and has since then included flash fiction. And every cover reflects one of the category winners entries.

Sticking with this month’s theme of being inspired by greatness, I thought it would be interesting to see what other writers make of the base cover image from Hysteria 1.

The cover of Hysteria 1 was inspired by the poem Lady Convolvulus by Abigail Wyatt

Pretty as a picture in white and pink,
Lady Convolvulus lifts up her head;
the jewels of the morning adorn her cheeks
and her green gown winds about her legs.

And My Lady creeps and My Lady runs;
on a summer wind she blows.
She tilts her chin to kiss the sun
and follows wherever he goes.

And My Lady sighs and My Lady weeps;
and My Lady cleaves and clings;
and she binds up her lover and, where he sleeps,
a green and fecund web she spins.

Please feel free to leave your first line, paragraph, stanza or even title in the comments below. You could even use this as a starting point for a complete piece of flash fiction, a poem or short story for this year’s Hysteria Writing Competition.

And here’s my effort .. please be kind 🙂

Our brand new allotment is covered in bindweed. The flowers nod their heads stately as if in a glass carriage, accepting the accolades of their admirers. Queenly waving their leaves like little handkerchiefs in the wind. And I? I want to leave them to continue their journey towards the light but am forced to snap them at their roots and untangle them from gooseberry and blackcurrant, weeping as I do so for the fallen petals of loveliness that lie broken on the cleared soil.

Oh, and if you want even more inspiration for your writing, check out the winning short story, Banana Loaf; a recipe for solace by Jayne Thickett


    (After Abigail Wyatt)

    Lady Convolvulus she claimed to be
    but we knew her better as Creeping Jenny,
    she slunk among the hedgerows, no
    better than she ought to be.

    Stealing water and spreading poison,
    gaseous gossiping among the horses
    reduced to colic coughing, hacking
    pseudotropine, not fit for courses

    where races might be run and won
    or lost, and all bets covered off at cost,
    she runs her own roads, and chokes
    the lifeblood of her greenest host.

    Pretty she, white & pink bell queen.
    Pity thee, if in your fields she’s seen.

    ~/ ~


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