Friday, July 30, 2010

My Lady Fair

I wrote this poem walking home from class one day. I remember I was walking behind my friend Donya (before we had actually met) and I was thinking of all of the women in my life, and what they were going through at the time. As I was thinking I became abstract and words started gliding around my mind. I liked the rhythm that started and I just kept going with it.

My lady fair, who walks alone
down slope and dewy dale,
why this hue upon thy skin?
For where once fairies glowed
is abandoned and left pale.

Jack Frost's own nymphs follow thee
and kiss thy hallowed face,
yet cannot cool the rage of fire
nor find its hidden base.

Why these wells, springing forth untamed,
that blind your sight with tempest's rage?
Lips, who's youth spoke love,
tremble now with age.

Why thy step hindered
by some fierce weight unseen,
though you smile with love sincere,
yet counterfeit in its gleam?

Do you not speak, angel fair,
of the troubles of mankind?
These woes that burden even
the strongest of our kind.

I am here, lady fair.
I listen and obey,
for my human heart rips and churns
when such beauty can give way.

I am here, angel blessed,
who thou hast favored high,
who thou hast given wings
and kindly taught to fly.

Lay on me, my lady fair,
your burdens and your woes,
for angels should ne'er be anchored
by fallen human woes.

Hell's Beauty

This is more of a dramatic monologue posing as a poem. I wrote this while I was really angry about something, but thankfully I can't remember what. I have a bit of a temper, and when I get mad, I get mad. Writing often helped me release my anger in a non-offensive and less damaging way. I wrote this during one of those times; this is what came out:

Leave me to my solitude,
close and dark in anger's balm.
Wandering among the devil's feud,
I grow weary of your false psalm.

What?! You come to me hither!
To ask why the victim's peace
has slipped from your lowly slither,
and blemished your unholy face!

You attack with Hell's hot dagger,
slicing vein and meat and bone,
smiling in your work; would rather
kill all beauty and be done!

And what?! When lust is over
do you crawl to someone new?!
To manipulate, to trap, to hover,
blotting virtue's image askew.

Few witness this dark masquerade.
The fire behind piety's mask.
Taking part in the master's trade,
and you would shrink from what he asks?

Originally I had a different ending but I think I like this one better. The original went like this:

Taking your part in the master's trade
and you would shrink form what you ask!

I felt that it convoluted the image that evolved throughout the rest of the monologue and slowed down the emotion. The new ending makes much more sense to me.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


This next entry is more of a story sketch than a complete idea. I wrote it during a lecture in one of my Roman and Greek History classes - apparently Caesar Augustus couldn't hold my attention that day - and never got around to doing more with it. I was reading one of Dickens' novels around the same time (as you can probably tell by the style and tone of the sketch, and the obvious reference). Maybe one day I'll take it up again; for now, this is it:

"Child what earnestness you have. Shouldn't children be joyful? Shouldn't they run and play? Their minds shouldn't be filled with such gloomy thoughts. Why do you not laugh and play with the other children?"
"Cannot sir."
"What do you mean you cannot? Do you not have legs? Do you not have arms to wave about?"
"Yes sir."
"Then why do you not play?"
"Cannot sir."
"If you do not give me a satisfactory answer I shall leave you to yourself. Enough of this 'cannot sir' nonsense."
"I'm sorry sir, I cannot."
"Have it your way you mischevious creature. I shall leave you alone. Fare thee well.
"Fare thee well sir." The humble child remained still as the old gentleman quickly strode past. He, the gentleman, had not gained forty paces when he was attracted by a rather rough looking shop-keep. "Beggin' your pardon sir, I don't mean any m'politness, but I thought I would check on you."
"What do you mean? What do mean speaking to me in such a manner?"
"I didn't want you to come to any harm."
"Well sir, I caught sight o' you down the lane there and I began to wurry."
"Why would you ever worry about me, my good man?"
"Well... um...ex'use me for askin' sir, but what was you doin' on that corner there?"
"I was conversing with a street urchin."
"Were you now."
"Of course I was! At least a dozen people must have witnessed it."
"Excuse'n me sir, but did anyone else speak with you?"
"Did you 'appen to notice anyone actin' strangely, sir?"
"No. I wasn't paying much attention, I must confess."
"Do you know what this urchin looked like sir, what 'e was wearin'?"
"Of course I do! Why do you ask me these ridiculous questions!? What does it matter to you?!"
"Pray sir, just one more. Do you see this urchin now sir?"
"No. He must be long gone by now." With a sudden thought, the gentleman checked his pockets. Being satisfied as to his wallet's location and safety he returned his attention to the shop-keep. "Why? Is the boy a trouble maker? He must be in this street often."
"Did 'e give 'is name sir?"
"Yes, Dick, or Oliver, one of the two. yes, it was Micheal. I remember that now. Why do you ask? Sir, you must tell me."
"Well, beggin' your pardon sir, but there was no one else on that corner with you."
"Of course there was, as I have already explained. Michael, the boy...the urchin."
"No sir." At that moment the gentleman felt someone firmly grab his arm. He looked about to notice two men encompassing him. "What are you doing?! Get your hands off me!"
" Come sir, you'll be missing tea if we don't hurry. They'll be serving those nice cucumber sandwiches that you love. You don't want to miss that do you?" gently said the one who had a hold of him.
"What do you mean?! Who are you?! Unhand me!"
The same man answered, "Now come sir, let's not have a scene like last time."
"Last time? No! Let me go! I don't know you! Leave me be!" The other men, seeming to sense the need for it, grabbed hold of his other arm and the three men began to lead the gentleman away. "Wait! What's happening? Do you know me?! Where are we going? Are we going home?"
"Why, yes sir. " answered the same man as before, "Come along now. That's a nice gentleman." Looking to the shop-keep, "Sorry for the inconvenience sir. You must excuse this man" nodding toward the gentleman now being led away by the other attendant, "He keeps wandering off. Hard to keep taps on him. Did he say anything to you?"
"Just 'hat he was talkin' to a little boy there. But I never saw 'im, the boy I mean. It didn't seem right, a gentleman to be actin' so, so I stopped 'im to ask 'im about it."
"Was his name Michael?"
"Why yes! 'ow did ya know?"
"He often sees Michael. Sometimes as a paper boy, sometimes as a flower boy, but always on the street. What was Michael this time?"
"A street urchin."
"Well, that's a new one. But I guess it stands to reason."
"Does it now? Why?"
"Because we were reading him 'Oliver Twist'."
"What's wrong with 'im? The gentleman. What's in 'is 'head?"
"Tragedy. Something horrible happened, though no one knows exactly what, and the poor soul couldn't bear it. His brain...he became quite unwell."
"But sir, why a boy? Why this Michael?"
"That I cannot tell you. He seems to have been some dear relation. I can only guess at that. What I've heard said is a boy was killed on the street outside the gentleman's home. A falling piano I seem to remember. That's why he walks the streets I suppose."
"Well! I've 'erd nothin' so strange in my entire life!"
"Yes, well thank you for watching him and keeping him safe." The man turned to join the others. As he came closer he could hear the gentleman continue in his reverie, "Oh yes, you must play with the other children. That's how you will be happy! Why ever not!? Why can you not? Don't be ridiculous! Let some other errand boy take you missions. Why do you answer me so!?" The shop-keep watched as the attendant reached the  gentleman and gently took his free arm. "Yes, yes sir, that's right. Nice cucumber sandwiches." As the peculiar group gained distance the shop-keep strained to hear the last words floating on the breeze. "I cannot sir."

Weight of Winter

This poem was based off of the style of Seamus Heaney, though I don't feel I did a very good job at imitating it. While I didn't base the subject on any of Heaney's poems, living in Rexburg means that winter and snow are always a topic of discussion. I had a very clear image of a minuscule twig on the side of a snow engorged mountain peak - an image that matched my feelings as an overwhelmed student from time to time. Too bad I wasn't trying to be symbolic, that could have worked! Here it is entitled 'Weight of Winter':

silence, stillness
a world of white forgetfulness
pressure builds upon a branch
unknown forces impose their will

voices and shadow carry through
an echo forever travels
the mountain and the fog,
bitter cold contracts the brow
of the yak

pressure builds upon the bough,
slender its strength is yielding,
gravity its tug-of-war,
through the blinding white
the clouds see nothing

the wind's moan is carried
from cliff to cliff,
picking a passenger it's cry
is multiplied, a highlight,
an unsettling cry

the branch has failed,
it's broken body
limps in it's former place,
pressure has released
unable the hang on,
silence, stillness
a world of white forgetfulness

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bailinon Pan

Years ago, one of my roommates created an illustration based upon E. E. Cummings' "in Just." I loved how she portrayed an old, gnarled satyr with an odd smile. You can see it on her art blog here entitled 'Pan.' Besides being enjoyable to look at, it got my imagination working. What would it be like to be in a world where everything is the same, but different. Magical in a way, but more illusive than reality. There have been thousands of movies and fiction pieces based upon such a thought. There's an entire genre devoted to it! Fantasy has never been my writing forte. I don't think I could bring that much invention to any idea. But I liked mixing a world adorned with baloonmen with the stark reality of our own. The piece that follows was a starting point of just such a twisted mixture in a novel I'm writing. Sadly, the novel has taken a more realistic and dramatic turn so this excerpt no longer worked and I had to cut it. I was playing with the idea of writing a different story based on this idea so I could still use it somewhere, but, for now, it has no home or destination. It's still in a rough-draft stage, and is by no means a complete story, but hopefully it makes enough sense to be interesting and enjoyable.

"Wake Lily, wake," she heard someone say. The voice sounded merry, if not tinged with an unnatural hint of worry. She caught a whiff of strong, sweet pipe tobacco.
"You are gone long. Wake now. I have been waiting for you." Lily opened her eyes to see a pair that almost mirrored her own; round, deep and a warm brown except for a hint of gold around the pupil. The gold reminded her more of John's golden-green eyes than her own. There was truth there; truth and understanding. In a voice of confidence, with which she surprised herself, she asked, "Who are you?"
"Oh you must know me ma'am, " he said, straightening up with pride. "You must know me. You have always known me. It is Bailinon Pan ma'am." With a mock authoritative tone he added, "'Makes the tongue twist', you say. You call me Pan." Lily couldn't help but laugh at this strange creature, uh, man's earnestness; almost like a child. It had been so long since she had laughed. What was he? Though he was standing beside her, and she only sitting, she almost matched him in height. He had a certain appeal, and yet, studying his face revealed something akin to a gnarled tree trunk. His skin seemed weathered and ancient like crumpled parchment, yet somehow new. Her surprise only deepened as she leaned back and her view took in his legs: covered in golden brown fur that matched his eyes, and ending in goat hooves. Strange as the image was it also seemed completely natural, as if everything fit perfectly in her mind. Everything was the way it was supposed to be. It was perfect. The feeling grew as she looked around her. The sun shone warmly, creating a glow among the trees that surrounded her. She was seated on a bed of lush, sweet grass, and she could smell flowers mingled with Pan's pipe smoke. She had never been anywhere like it, and yet she knew it. No, more than that. She could feel the place inside her. She could feel the pulse of life around her, as if it were her own heartbeat. The movement of a million leaves as the breeze kissed them. The vibration of a bee collecting nectar a few feet away from a blazon red...what was it called? At home she would have called it honeysuckle but that didn't seem to be right. Not here. After some thought she mumbled to herself, "A Gloryroot."
"Yes! A Gloryroot, that's the name," she said aloud triumphantly.
"Lily?" The suddenness of the voice made her jump. She had forgotten he was there. She turned to face Pan but saw John instead. "John? Where is he?" Confused she looked beyond her husband to see the familiar shadows of their bedroom.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Merchant Man

In one of my college British Lit. classes, we were often asked to compose a piece of writing that echoed the author that we were studying at the time. And I just have to say that I love British Literature! One composition assignment came when we read Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market." I don't attempt her scope, depth of feeling or epic length (it was a homework assignment after all) but I did try to capture the rhythm and mystery. I love Rossetti's poem and one day, perhaps, I will do it justice. For now, I give you "The Merchant Man."

A tingle and a tangle,
they hear the song abroad;
comes the merchant man.
With a smile poise and proper,
comes the merchant man.
Covered with cloth and bangles,
comes the merchant man.
Short and surly,
strong and burly,
with dark locks of curly,
comes the merchant man.

Mysteries from the East
surround his roving feet,
and the strange foods he eats;
the wandering merchant man.
Peep in his bag and glimpse
what he brings with knowing fee
from the foreign forest imps;
misty treasures from afar sent,
the magical merchant man.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I've started this blog because I want to practice writing; boldly offering my ideas to the silent masses and hoping for, but not expecting, feedback. I thought such random posts could be confusing, or at worst, uninteresting for those who just want a quick update about our family. Also, by having my own place to post I can appease Derek by sharing some old stuff I've already written; making the hubby happy goes a long way for a peaceful mind. So, keep checking back and hopefully my words won't run off too much.