Thursday, January 20, 2011

Early Stuff - IV

I am guilty of not keeping up my postings for you, dear readers. No one to blame but myself and a serious case of writers block.

I dug out another little bit of poetry from the old floppy I'd found and decided to treat you of this gem I came up with when I took my first steps of taking writing more seriously. Without further ado, here it is. From early September 2002.

(For Mike)
This Poem Begins With You
And Ends Without You
This Poem Begins In The Lobby Of A Hotel.

Actually, It Began Right Here.
But I Liked That Line.
You Were There, Talking To Your Sister,
About me,
Sending out Signals Of Interest.

Now You Are Gone.
And I Am Here, 
Talking To Your Sister,

About You.
And About sending out Letters.
That Are No Interest To You.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Twa Corbies

A/N: Twa Corbies is a 13 Century Scottish poem, that was set to music, an old bretonic tune, quite some time later. It is a bit gruesome for some tastes, as it describes a dead knight being divided between two hungry crows, or Corbies in archaic Scots. for some reason I felt the need to write a little bit of a story to go with the verses. The video at the end is by John Fleagle. The Lyrics used are on the page.

Twa Corbies

Bran hated having to go out into the field beside the woods all by himself. But since his father died, the tall, skinny youth was the man in the family and had to take over most of his fathers duties, had to care for Mother, the three little ones and auld Granny. In a fit of anger, he kicked at a lump of dried mud, but all it did was crumble, which only heightened his bad mood. He was only twelve, for heavens sake, how could he take care of a family? He wasn’t even sure if he could take care of himself yet…

As I was walking all alane,
I heard twa corbies making a mane;
The tane unto the t'other say,
'Where sall we gang and dine to-day?'

A ruckus to the side drew his attention. On the sad remains of an old, dead apple tree sat two big, black birds. Corbies, Crows. They cawed as if having a conversation. Bran stopped, feeling a strange kinship. After all, his own name meant “Raven” in the gaelic. With a gasp, he realized they were talking to each other…

They were hungry and looking for a meal…. One knew where to find it.

'In behint yon auld fail dyke,
I wot there lies a new slain knight;
And naebody kens that he lies there,
But his hawk, his hound, and lady fair.

The corbies had not noticed the boy, who quietly listened to them.

Bran could not remember ever having seen a wall of turf, where the knight was supposed to be. He wanted to go and see if he could find out who the knight was, but it might be farther than he could go. Besides, he had chores to do and Mother would be madder than a stirred-up swarm of bees if he went off and forgetting again.

There was more to the story than just a corpse and a full belly for carrion-eaters….

'His hound is to the hunting gane,
His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame,
His lady's ta'en another mate,
So we may mak our dinner sweet.

So the dogs and the hawk were gone… well, hawks never cared for anything but the hunt and the dogs might not have been properly trained, but ah, she's taen anither mate, another man…. This might be the reason the lady knew… obviously…

Anthony had decided to go hunting alone today. To be constantly surrounded by people, some days he could not take it. Uncle Calum’s constant reminders of what was expected of him, his mother’s nagging for a grandchild, his wife’s demands for more attention or costly trinkets or both... 

He was old enough to wear a knights spurs and title, to carry the responsibility for them all and yet everyone treated him no better than a wee boy hanging on to his mothers apron strings. With a sigh, he stopped his horse, pulled the bonnet off the haws head and threw the bird in the air. He told Elaine he would be hunting and did not want to look a daftie coming home empty-handed… 

Turning, he whistled the three dogs sniffing around the underbrush. Might as well look for that boar some of the peasants complained about ruining their crops. Would that not be a prize for their supper… When the dogs caught the scent of the beast, found it’s spoor, the young knight sent them off after their prey. He himself made his horse go down a path that was easier to follow.

He never knew where the men had come from, what they wanted and he most likely would never find out... 

A small band of men attacked him, with swords drawn. Anthony fought hard, fear making it hard to grip the sword handle, because he was trembling so. Sweat ran down his brow and stung his eyes. His heart pounded in his ears, drowning out the sounds of the fight. His arm got heavy and trembled more than ever with fear and exhaustion. Several small wounds stung and burned, soaking the light tunic with blood… 

who wore armor when going hunting? Anthony did not but wished he was…
thrust, parry, deflect...
Another hit with the blade of the fiercest attacker made the steel vibrate so hard, he nearly lost his sword.

A bolt from a crossbow made its way from one of the men across the short distance to the young knight, slamming into his side, cutting the fight and Sir Anthony’s life short…

Elaine smiled, when she received the message delivered by a little, dirty messenger boy that must have run all the way. Then she picked up the satchel containing the last of her possessions she wanted to take and made her way downstairs and out the back door, where she knew a cart loaded with her dearest things waited along with her horse. And the very handsome and very, very rich Sir Randolph…

Bran made a face as the crows divided the poor sod up among themselves….. What a world. Being higher born did not save one from having to die and get eaten by worms and scavengers.

'Ye'll sit on his white hause-bane,
And I'll pike out his bonny blue een;
Wi ae lock o his gowden hair
We'll, theek our nest when it grows bare.

He shrugged, scratched at an insect bite on his calf and decided to better hurry and get his chore here done, so he would be back in time for supper. Mother always worried when he was late, even if she covered it up by scolding.

Beginning his work, Bran wondered if anyone missed the knight.

'Mony a one for him makes mane,
But nane sall ken where he is gane;
Oer his white banes, when they we bare,
The wind sall blaw for evermair.'

Monday, November 01, 2010

Oidhche Shamhna, O'Reilly

Oidhche Shamhna is Irish Gaelic which I don't speak. (but would love to) It pretty much means Happy Halloween. :D It might not be my best, but it certainly is my first Halloween Story.

This year on Halloween the moon hung fat and bright over a little village somewhere in Ireland.

It was late, and the Mothers,  Fathers and Grandparents had finally managed to wrestle overexcited children into their beds. They extinguished lights, whispered a last "Good night, sweetums!" and went on with their plans for the rest of the evening.

Carved pumpkins and turnips shone with light from within, provided by candles or electrical, on windowsills; fence post's and garden paths. Some showed crudely carved grim faces, childish, lopsided grins, various spooky designs or whimsical cartoon figures, depending on the age, skill and personal taste of the carver.

On a night like this it was easy to believe in the magic the old Celts saw everywhere. Ireland was full of it, really. Sidhe, the wee folk; the old gods; the fabled kings; they all were very much alive in the songs and stories the Irish love so.

And believing or not, if one was out and about the moonlit Irish countryside tonight, they could not deny that it was very special night, the one that was called Oidhche Shamhna in the old Irish tongue. The old ones had believed that in this night, spirits would roam the land.

O'Reilly opened his door to let Mavourneen back in and get a spot of fresh air before turning in. He took a deep breath of the crisp autumn air and looked up at the moon.

"Well" he said to the little tabby, "I guess the old ones knew what they were talking aboot. 'Tis sure a special night."

He picked her up and turned to go back inside. He would put a dish of milk outside just as his grandparents had done.

Just to be on the safe side....

As he closed the door O'Reilly thought he'd heard someone say "Oidhche Shamhna!"

"As I wish ye." he answered, turning. Someone walked past the garden-fence, raising a hand in greeting. A tall man with long hair, a plaid wrapped around his shoulders against the November chill and a sword by his side. The old man had just figured it to be one of his neighbors dressed up for one of those silly parties, when seemingly out of nowhere a breeze blew and the figure vanished in mid-stride, right in a patch of light spilling from a window.....

A wide-eyed O'Reilly looked down at an equally wide-eyed little cat, as a chill went down his spine. Had they just.....? "Well" was all O'Reilly said.

A special night, for sure.

And remember, Legends do have a certain amount of truth in them.......

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose

Friday, August 13, 2010

Early Stuff-III

This is some more early Stuff, back from 2002 or 03. I remembered some of the Summers I had, visiting my Grandmother out in the Country for a while and playing outside on the tiny bit of property around the house with the woods behind it. (Never went to play there, because I was a fraidycat already then ;) )
Anyhoo, I thought about my Nephews missing out on all that and I guess that's what created this Poem.

Jamie Alexander

Tadpoles in a glass,
Frog in my hand;
Scraped knees
And a rip in the pants.
Blue summer skies,
Mud puddles,
Puppy dogs
And hot apple pie;
Grandpa’s buddy
And Grandma’s greatest blessing;
Bedtime stories
And Family Prayer.
The world belongs to a six-year-old.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Early Stuff-II

This is a poem I also found on aforementioned Floppy. I wrote this in 2002 for a german LDS Friend that decided to serve a mission. She was sent to Salt Lake City, to serve on Temple Square. I was asked to write a poem for her going-away-party and so this was my present for her.






Thursday, July 22, 2010

Early Stuff-I

Found this on an old Floppy-disk that gathered dust somewhere in my desk. Wrote this back in 2002 or so and it was one of the few that survived on that thing, the others were gnawed off by time's sharp teeth....
Tripping down my poetical Memory-Lane, if you will.... ;)


Here I am,
Why the last of the Elysian’s have fled
And I don’t even know what they are

Here I am,
Why writing poems seems so easy
When others do it.

Here I am,
What I am doing
With a pen in my hand
Writing a poem.....