Creative Work: ‘Silvia’ by Barbara Biles

Creative WorksFor this week’s post, WPN has expanded its geographical horizons, bringing you a wonderful piece of fiction from Canadian writer Barbara Biles. Biles’ work is reflective of ancient tales, drawing influence from Greek Mythology to parallel the way we live and love in the modern world. This short piece explores two generations of characters, all with their own ties to mythology and the Greek gods who have spawned them. You, the reader, are an active participant in this tale, being spoken to, almost in secret, about Silvia’s affairs and the speaker’s memories as she has grown over the years.


          Her hair was blond as a child then prematurely grey so that you thought of her as ash-blonde; beautiful but mature. In spite of her resolve to become a biologist she fell into the same trap as dozens of other girls of the sixties, believing the whole amusing idea of free love: equal opportunity to hop in the sack with no repercussions. So funny I forgot to laugh.

Silvia got pregnant the first time out and like her namesake, Rhea Silvia, who was seduced in the forest by the god Mars to become mother of Romulus and Remus, she bore twins thus ending her own concocted tale of perpetual virginity. In Silvia’s case the seduction was in the back of a Chevy Nova at the edge of Groat Ravine. She could end the resulting pregnancy or put her boys up for adoption. Unlike Rhea Silvia whose boys were set adrift on the Tiber River then rescued and suckled by the she-wolf Lupa, Silvia chose to stay with her Aunt Margaret in Toronto for a stint and from then on wondered what kind of life her boys might lead. Certainly not likely to create a city like Rome or commit fratricide.

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Creative Work: ‘Weathering (Winter on Nantucket)’ by Julia Rose Lewis

Creative WorksWPN is proud to be introducing a long line of phenomenal poets over the next few weeks, beginning with Kingston University Creative Writing MFA student, Julia Rose Lewis. Julia is not a stranger to form, often creating complicated works that rely on structure as much as content. Feel the cool rocks. Taste the salty water on your tongue. Listen to the crunch of the sand beneath your feet. All the senses are awakened as we travel to Nantucket, sitting on the rocks as the water crashes beneath us and the winter settles into our bones.

Weathering (Winter on Nantucket)






and wood.


he works with, and always water.

To the hand,

the sand is sticky and slippery the stone.

The island is a rock, Continue reading

Creative Piece: ‘The Spiders’ by Catherine Franklin

Creative WorksThis week, Words, Pauses, Noises returns to both poetry, 
and to one of our former WPN contributors. Catherine Franklin shares her alternative take on the eight-legged creatures that scurry above our heads at night in her delightful poem, ‘The Spiders’.



The Spiders


For years I watched the cobwebs lace their way
Across the ceiling high above my bed.
A canopy of tangled works of art,
Progressing nightly, thriving thread by thread.

I watched the different spiders come and go,
And saw them lie in wait to catch their prey.
Once satisfied, they left their webs behind
To gather dust, and then were on their way.

I grew used to their nocturnal routines,
And gazed in awe as they displayed their skill.
Yet as they slaved at mastering their craft,
All night through I lay completely still.

My eyes, alive, would dart around the room.
Adjusted fully to the lack of light.
The rest of me stayed motionless in bed,
My limbs so weary by that time of night.

Insomnia had rearranged my life;
The evenings dragged and filled my heart with dread.
Too tired to play like any other child,
I chose to watch the spiders live instead.


The act of watching these creatures leaves the readers with more questions about the little child, than the peculiar pastime. But there’s an emphasis on the visual that is appreciated in this iambic pentameter piece. While many may not agree to free reign that spiders have in our bedrooms at night, observing animals without disturbing their habitats is a lesson overdue. 

Thanks again for stopping in to get your weekly fix of Words, Pauses, Noises. If you would like to see your creative piece up here, email us at with your submission. Check our guidelines for more information.  See you next Sunday!

Creative Work: ‘The Magpie’ by Catherine Franklin

Creative WorksThis week, we dip back into the pool of prose within Kingston University with a piece by Catherine Franklin, debut writer to Words, Pauses, Noises. ‘The Magpie’ stumbles about the throes of mental disillusion in this short-story about one human’s compulsion for objects. 

The Magpie

I have a photo of a man whose name I don’t know. I’m a hoarder, a magpie; I collect things I don’t need. It started with something I heard on the radio; a soothing voice explained how she was unable to walk past a discarded scratchcard on the ground, just in case it was a winning ticket that had been overlooked. And once I’d mimicked this, clapped and triggered the avalanche, I couldn’t stop. I also couldn’t bring myself to throw the scratchcards away. I pinned them over each other on my noticeboard until the pin wasn’t long enough and I had to start a new pile.

Receipts came next. I didn’t need them, but I couldn’t bin them, just in case they would be of some use some day. Consequently I’ve kept every receipt for everything I’ve bought in the last five years. I have thousands, tens of thousands maybe; more than I could count. It escalated until I was keeping and collecting just about everything.

There’s always that temptation, but I’d never set out to steal. When the opportunity is there, however, I just can’t turn it down. It began on a bus. A woman bent down , picked up a glinting silver key and held it out in front of me. She asked me if it was mine, but it wasn’t. My mind said no, but my lips released the affirmative. I had no use for this little key, but I slid it into my pocket after thanking her and later blu-tacked it to my bedroom wall.

In this way and through fortunate serendipity, I’ve gained a mobile phone, three wallets, four umbrellas and twenty eight train tickets, amongst other obscure objects. Piles of jewellery crowd my bedside table, and I’ve accumulated enough scarves to wear a different one every day for a month. I have a photo of a man whose name I don’t know and it’s the most prized possession I’ve uncovered in all these years. I found him in a wallet nestled between bank notes, removed him and sat him behind the transparent window in my purse. Continue reading