Do sweat the little things!

Bindings. 

I am
such a little thing;
an endless circulation of argument,
a band that banned
a life once lived.
Old, cold, made heavy by stone,
I am the link in the chain between
I do and I may.
Someday.

I am token trinket, a seamless transition,
a promissory down payment for better
or worse to the bearer
from a carer.

I am such a little thing:
a though, a word.
A ring.

A couple of passing observations got me thinking about small things that have a disproportionate impact or significance. Yes, bacteria and viruses are obvious examples but in addition to being unpoetic subjects, in this instance small doesn’t mean just in size. ‘Butterfly Effect’ moments are what I’m looking for at the moment. I’ll let you know what I find :)

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Halloween Harvest

I love Hallowe’en, but I’m always agnostic about carved pumpkins: I can’t decide if they’re temporary furniture or missed food opportunity. Still, good for a verse or two… ;)

Pumpkinsong
I’ve know that since my time of birth that
I’d add deadweight to the earth.
And doing so, I’d realise a
New career: to fertilize.
But first, condemned by life to rot
Atop some distant wall. And not
Give heed or care to rain, to chill – intent
On decomposing still.
So there the burden, there the yoke:
To know this and still be the joke,
Grin wide, along with those around.
Before my deadweight hits the ground.

-D.

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Poetic memo…

Haiku Semblance.

 

It is quite easy

To write haiku that fulfil

The syllable count

.

(Also, we should never take ourselves too seriously ;) )

 

Hope you’re having a great weekend guys.

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Partial Recognition…

Somebody asked me today “Hey, aren’t you the guy who wrote that poem about a blind sailor?”

Err…almost! ;) Here from the archive…

The Painter’s Tale.

 

Upon a rocky island far across the sea
There lived a lonely painter – board and palette on his knee.
And all the day he sat there painting images of mind;
A gentle man, a quiet man, a painter who was blind.

And there he had a cabin made of local stones
Built three score years and ten before to house his ageing bones.
Within he kept his pictures – the ones he never saw:
Of peace and love, of beauty and the bitter tints of war.

But then one day a ship did come to that island of the blind
With men who brought the old man news of the world he’d left behind.
And he took them to his cabin and opened wide the door
To show them all his works of art that lay upon the floor.

When they saw his paintings their hearts were filled with joy
For they saw he captured heaven in the eyes of girl and boy.
They saw images of beauty, they saw images of peace
And their eyes were filled with the dewy tears of emotions’ sweet release.

But the paintings there of slaughter and the atrocities of man
Did cause their souls to tremble and from the hut they ran.
Then bound they up the painter shouting ‘Blasphemy!’ and ‘Lies!’
But the old man stood with head bowed down and closed his whitened eyes.

The sailors torched the cabin and the stones did hiss and crack
And they took a cat o’ nine-tails to the painters frail back.
They wrapped the old man’s carcass in a square of sail cloth
But the blood it kept on flowing and it fuelled those black men’s wrath.

Their anger turned to fear then as the blood did cease to flow,
For where the stains had filled the cloth a picture there did grow.
And the picture was of thirteen men dressed in tar’s attire,
Standing round a small stone hut that was ablaze with fire.

Down on trembling knee they fell their faces to the skies,
But even as they prayed and cursed a mist did fill their eyes.
And blinded now they staggered round groping rock and tree;
Till twelve of them did fall at last into the wine dark sea.

The one remaining soul that stood upon the rocky isle
Did seek the Gods redemption upon his sins so vile.
And suddenly a painters brush appeared in his left hand,
With paint and board and palette all around him in the sand.

Then a new stone cabin he set about to build
And realised with joy that his last prayer had been fulfilled.
Then taking up his instruments he painted, although blind,
The sorry tar sat painting all his images of mind.

And somewhere on that island the painters sitting still,
Drawing images through sightless eyes untouched by age or ill.
And all the time you see his works each time you close your eyes,
And you see his thumbnail sketches in the clouds that fill the skies.

So look and learn with heart and mind the beauty he creates
And let his love and sorrow replace your fear and hate.
And you will see the message that this Man of Sand redeems:
For his canvas is your mind and his paintings are your dreams.

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Time to begin again…

Hello again dim and distant readers!

It’s been six months since I posted my last writing for NaPoWriMo and it’s been an exceptionally busy time since. Writing time has been scare to be honest, but I have been sketching – both poetry and prose – and some of you have been asking when I intend to share some again. Well, now ;)

I’m not going to post daily, fear not, but I will start putting up occasional drafts and fragments again from now to both encourage me to stay with it and to try and garner the occasional bit of observation and criticism from you. I really do welcome it.

So. As a beginning, here’s a draft (ha!) I wrote this evening in a pub in Philadelphia while watching the Autumn wind (Fall surely?) blow leaves through the door in time to the travelling patrons. Work in progress mind…

(Title TBA, but open to suggestions?)

When all the leaves blow in, my love,

In rusted patches lie

When Autumn’s saturated gaze, my love,

Its darkened comments ply.

When howling shrieks of Storm Kings shake you

From your slumberings -

I’ll find you and I’ll keep you warm

When the leaves blow in.

.

When white-sharp lightning’s cackling bark

Quickens in your breast,

Or hailstone’s clattering remark

Put all your plans at rest.

When all these things recall for you

The Summer that has been -

I’ll find you and I’ll keep you warm

When the leaves blow in.

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Day 30 – The End.

The Ballad of the Coins – Part 2.

III

For thirty days I rested home
And time did heal the pain.
Then upon the thirtieth day
She called for me again.

‘Dear Heart your trials are almost done,
Are you of fitter mirth?
For this last quest, in part is jest:
Show me what you are worth!’

Thus she gave the final coin
The smallest of the three,
And kissing her a thricen time
We parted company.

This time Southward I did turn
To meet my final fate,
And down the long Kings Highway
I passed through the city gate.

At last I stood in cities’ heart
Agaping there for I
Was filled with awe and wonder
As gold towers filled the sky.

And all about the scream and shout
Of a thousand voices bold,
Each locked in mortal argument
O’er all the goods they sold.

I wandered through the market streets
Such wonders I beheld:
Spices, silks and rich sweetmeats,
Large sparkling emerald.

Ne’re before had I beheld
Such great a wealth as this,
and in my youth and folly
Was I filled with avarice.

But even as this evil greed
Began to fill my eyes
I saw upon a fine white steed
A face I recognized.

Then pushing quickly through the crowd
Towards that mount I ran
And coming to him finally
Beheld: Sir Cerrenan!

Most silently he stared at me
And tears did fill his face
And fell upon not tattered rags
But finest silken lace.

Then holding firmly my left arm
The elder bid me mount
and as we journeyed through the town
He bade my tale recount.

Then came we to a hostelry
This inn it was most fine
And as we entered through the door
Quoth he ‘This inn is mine!’

And having ordered iced fruits
And dark exotic wine,
The wizened gent towards me lent
And bid me to recline.

‘My lad,’ said he ‘to you I owe
The riches I possess,
As from that disk of purest gold
I’ve reaped much fruitfulness.’

‘And though I labeled quite absurd
The quest on which you rode,
I now know truth, oh glorious youth!
Creation’s seed you sowed.’

‘So stay with me, my blade most free
And from life’s cup we’ll sip.
I offer you to pay my due
An equal partnership.’

With mouth dropped wide I bare replied
My mind an inky sea,
I saw the fruits I saw the wine
(Could half of this in truth be mine?)
Dear love what blessed gift was thine
That gave this quest to me!

Then ’till crow of rampant cock
We danced and stamped our feet,
And then we ventured to the dock
To see our trading fleet.

He taught me facts of duty tax
Quoth he ‘In complication,
Use the rule most valuable:
Ethics of Situation.’

Thus three months past, then three times three
As many plans wove we,
And in that cities trading heart
We gained monopoly.

Then upon my year with him
A party Ce’n did throw,
With wine and food and dancing girls
And many folk did go.

Drank I deep upon that eve
And sense took leave of me,
And one young girl with flaming curls
I eyed lasciviously.

Thus calling maiden to me then
I asked of her the price
For us to fill, for good or ill,
The nights dark hours with spice!

Then having bargained amicably
I led her to my berth,
And laid her head upon my bed
To take my money’s worth.

But e’en before this wondrous chore
Had dutifully begun
I saw once more my loved ones coin -
Around my neck it hung.

‘My moneys worth. My moneys worth.’
That thought in mind did stick,
And understanding then my quest
My very soul was sick.

On sunrise of the following day
I rose a different man
And bidding Cerennan farewell
My journey home began.

Rapidly and silently
I reached my journeys end
And pausing not for food or thought
For my love I did send.

‘Dear love,’ spoke I ‘for one full year
I searched at your behest,
But now I have the answer
To this final, mighty quest.’

‘You said to me, to prove my love,
“Show my worth to thee”
And gave me then this small gold coin:
Which I return to thee.’

‘For now I know that my own worth
Is not my moneys gleam,
For I am worth exactly that
Which those who love me deem.’

Holding me then to her breast
I felt my spirits rise.
‘You did all that I asked of thee,
And now shall have your prize.’

Thus calling clerics unto us
My love was wed to me,
And I was blessed with that last quest:
Joyous Matrimony.

Epilogue.

And so I end my lengthy tale
Of how my youth was burned,
And those who hearken unto me
May there be lessons learned.

If you have loves and oft they ask
Some hardened task of thee,
Make no mistake they seek to break
Your youth’s naivety.

So ladies test fiancées well
And young men gird your loins!
And always as a wedding pledge
Give your love Three Gold Coins.

[Commentary]

That’s it then – another NaPoWriMo complete. Thanks for visiting and if you’ve enjoyed these bits, do let me know, it’s always hard to write in a vacuum :) . I’ll be spending the next 11 months rewriting and redrafting the poems posted from this year’s challenge into something more worthy and I look forward to seeing you all again next year. Best wishes ~Dazza x.

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Day 29 – The Beginning of the End…

The Ballad of the Coins.

I.

My love she gave me coins of gold
Three coins she gave to me.
‘And with each coin there comes a task
To prove your love to me.’

‘Take this first coin and with it go
To roam both land and sea.
And with this specie obtain the spark
Of Creativity.’

Taking then this first gold coin
I left with sword in hand;
To find for her creation’s spark
I’d venture through the land!

For three whole days and three whole nights
I searched with fevered pace
Not once did I espy the fire
Of invention’s artful grace.

So I, with heavy heart and mind,
Retraced my weary path
And doomed, so young, to loveless life
Composed loves epitaph.

But glancing up as I strode on
I spied a squalid inn. And as
Bad spirits of a feather be
I deigned to enter in.

That day I met Sir Cerrenan
(This inn he did frequent)
And spurning generation’s gap
We joined in merriment

Many a toast we offered there
Loud were the songs we sung
I told him of my quest most fair
And how it had begun

With eyes ablaze he face me then
(His voice I hardly heard)
‘You squander youth and waste your love
For this task most absurd?
Oh what a waste
Of youthful face
Is this task most absurd!’

‘Go home, go home most foolish blade
Finish not this quest,
For absence makes the head go soft
Heed my sententiousness!’

Taking pity on the man
I gave him then the coin,
And aching head I homeward turned
My love for to re-join.

But when I reached my loved one’s door
At once she asked of me
‘Why is it you brings not the fire
Of Creativity?’

And kneeling there before her fair
I told my journey’s tale
Of how I came without the flame
To stand before her failed.

II.

Having heard the story’s end
I rose at her behest
And giving me a second coin
She spoke my second quest:

‘With this second coin I give
This second task I fashion -
Bring to me, to prove thy love,
That same dear love’s compassion.’

‘Go hence and leave this place once more
And take this kiss with thee.
This time I ask, while on this task,
Keep thy sobriety!’

Then heading West from my loves side
I travelled towards the sea,
And on that road a mastiff bitch
Did give me company.

At rest around the campfire’s glow
The hound and I did play
And when I slept she closely kept
The nights dark foes away.

And as the days turned into weeks
I loved my mastiff well
And glad of her companionship
I named her Jezzabel.

For seven days then seven more
We travelled until we
Clearing icy mountain tops
At last beheld the sea.

Then coming to the deep’s dark edge
My Jezzabel and I
Were filled with awe and wonder
As the waves arose on high.

But Ah! The smell that filled the air
And set the wind afree
No mortal tongue could ‘ere describe
That ocean’s majesty.

With Jezzabel pressed to my side
Both long and still we stood
And let the sparkling salt spray spume
Fill soul and chill the blood.

Then turning North we journeyed on
With humbled heart and mind
And with the fading of the sun
A village we did find.

Heeding then my lovers words
The inn we passed it by,
And came at last to a weathered barn
Beneath a starry sky.

Thus entering through the old oak door
My strength at last did sap
And lay we down upon the floor
My pups head in my lap.

Oh blessed sleep that fills men’s souls
With dreams of heavenly grace -
For as I slept I saw once more
My loved ones joyous face.

And as this vision I beheld
(Oh tantalizing sleep!)
For even as she shone up there
I heard my loved one speak:

‘I miss thee oh my gallant youth
Please hurry back to me,
Search quickly to expose thy loves
Compassion within thee.’

Awakening then, the vision left
And sunlight filled my eyes,
And Jezzabel did lick my face
As slowly I did rise.

Thus spurred once more by my loves words
I set about my quest -
To lay a claim to that hearts flame
That beat within her breast.

So calling faithful hound to me,
An inland course we wove
And followed by a chill East wind
Our tired bodies drove.

For six more days we travelled on
As dark clouds filled the blue,
Until on dawn of seventh day
The thunderstorm broke through.

We entered then a wooded copse
To shield the storm most foul,
But even as we rested there
My hound began to growl.

Leaping up, my Jezzabel
Her yellow teeth displayed,
And seeing that all was not well
I swiftly drew my blade.

Then gazing through the gloomy depths
The trees they came alive,
For closing in with evil grin
I counted bandits five.

The faithful Jezzabel charged forth
And I charged at her side
And in our bloody battle wrath
Those evil five men died.

And panting hard I sheathed my sword
My arms awash with gore,
Then turned to praise my loving hound
And froze at what I saw:

Sweet hound she lay upon the ground
Her fur with blood festooned
For there across her supple back
Was gouged a streaming wound.

And kneeling by my mastiffs side
She opened up her eyes,
And seeing fear upon my face
My Jezz she tried to rise.

But failing once and failing twice
She tried and tried again
Until her bodies crimson tear
Did close her eyes with pain.

And lying back and whimpering
She turned to look at me
And deep within those gentle eyes
I heard her silent plea.

Thus drawing sword once more did I
A gentle kiss impart
And then with tortured cry I plunged
My blade into her heart.

Oh how can I describe
The utter loneliness I felt
My body shook with anguished sobs
As by my Jezz I knelt.

There I stayed in mourning
Till the setting of the sun,
I dug a grave not stopping once
Until my task was done.

Then travelling onward into town
My every breath a moan
I took my lovers second coin
And bought my hound a stone.

Thus having set the stone above
The place where Jezz was laid,
I turned my thoughts ahomeward
And my final farewell bade.

It was a very different youth
That finally sounded home
A youth no more: that spirit tore
When I returned alone.

[…to be continued…]

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