Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction Writers => Writers' Corner => Topic started by: Bradley Darewood on January 12, 2018, 11:33:30 PM

Title: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Bradley Darewood on January 12, 2018, 11:33:30 PM
I feel like writing poetry, even bad poetry (especially bad poetry), is practical practice for making musical your prose, capturing lyrical rhythms to unleash later in your not-yet-finished narrative masterpieces. 

Plus it's just fun.

Anyone want to join me and periodically post their prose-poetry here? I know you want to @Jmack and @The Gem Cutter !
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 13, 2018, 04:20:45 AM
I feel your summons call me,
I hear your challenge clear,
I feel my interest pull me,
To what I hold most dear.

And though my path behind me lays,
A track my feet wore through,
Before me stranger pathways lead,
To where the words ring true.

Forgotten now the lessons learned,
Abandoned all the drear,
A dance across the letters turns,
To where all things are clear.

And though my time is wasted here - no poet's skills have I -
And though I hear the snickers near, I'm better off to try,
To string the thoughts and sights I've seen (and even some I've not),
Into rhymes in awkward schemes ('cause doggerel's all I've got),

So I'll read yours if you'll read mine,
Perhaps we'll have some smiles,
And in between haphazard lines,
Forget the weary miles.
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 13, 2018, 04:39:22 AM
The Green Man

I spy a man with dirt on his hands, an ear for the winds and an eye for the lands.

I spy a man who loves what is green, who walks in the woods and sees the unseen.

I spy a man who gathers the seeds, who knows how to plant them and what they need.

I spy a man with mud on his boots, who reads the green leaves, the stalks, and the shoots.

I spy a man who knows all the seasons, who sees when things prosper and knows all the reasons.

I spy a man much wiser than I, who plants where he can - and where he can’t, passes by.
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: Bradley Darewood on January 13, 2018, 07:10:55 AM

And though my time is wasted here - no poet's skills have I -
And though I hear the snickers near, I'm better off to try,
To string the thoughts and sights I've seen (and even some I've not),
Into rhymes in awkward schemes ('cause doggerel's all I've got),

So I'll read yours if you'll read mine,
Perhaps we'll have some smiles,
And in between haphazard lines,
Forget the weary miles.

I see you caught the cues I put in the primary post.  But your rhythmic reply certainly surpassed any alliteration I could ever conjure.  Oh shit, it seems I might be stuck speaking in this style. 

But seriously, that was brilliant!!! and oh, I think you've got some poet's skills buddy!

Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: Bradley Darewood on January 13, 2018, 07:12:26 AM
Quiet
Demure
but just when everyone is watching
Everyone is always watching
Mother, father, husband, son
Her hand trembles when she slices carrots
Employer, cop, neighbor
Do they know her secret?
Cameras are everywhere
but most of all
inside her mind
She is bursting at the seams
with a silent rage she can’t contain
Quiet
Demure
There is murder in her heart, and it won’t go away
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 13, 2018, 09:32:28 AM
Quiet
Demure
but just when everyone is watching
Everyone is always watching
Mother, father, husband, son
Her hand trembles when she slices carrots
Employer, cop, neighbor
Do they know her secret?
Cameras are everywhere
but most of all
inside her mind
She is bursting at the seams
with a silent rage she can’t contain
Quiet
Demure
There is murder in her heart, and it won’t go away

Darker and edgier than I can manage, almost a little threatening. I don't want to be in her kitchen.
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: JMack on January 13, 2018, 02:07:58 PM
@Bradley Darewood and @The Gem Cutter:

I’m all in. And as much as I love SFF (or should it be FSF), I love words and our community interactions more.

Scott: I’m in awe. As usual I will be reading your poems aloud to others and bragging that I know you.
Bradley: Loved the prose poem. Talk about capturing a character and a conflict in a few words!

So, now I have to join in. Tomorrow or tonight  :)
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: ScarletBea on January 13, 2018, 04:47:36 PM
I'm loving these too!
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 13, 2018, 08:38:01 PM
This is fun, and I look forward to more postings. Bradley's poem is so distinct from my perspective, it lies in a blind spot where I can't look (bonus points for a Dune ref in a poetry discussion), and reminds me of coffee - bitter and off-putting at the initial taste in childhood. I've read it several / many times and it's got a level of chilling for me that the words themselves don't add up to. I rely on / exploit the flavor of the words, where he is leveraging dissonance in setting and other elements outside my reach. Well done @Bradley Darewood
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: JMack on January 13, 2018, 11:40:40 PM
I dip my figurative pen
Deep
Into the well
Of nothing to say

Or, words,
But only about myself
Negative space
On white

Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 14, 2018, 12:22:30 AM
I feel their eyes upon me,
Taste their judgment harsh and clear,
See the gap between myself,
And what’s expected here.

In cold objective measure,
I concede their views are sound,
By the laws that rule this place,
I’ve failed in ways profound.

Cut off from those around me,
Who will never know my paths,
And can never measure me,
By lessons from my past,

They only see my outline,
If they do see me at all,
They see only what I lack,
The scars but not the falls.
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: Lady Ty on January 14, 2018, 05:56:28 AM
Why didn’t you think of this sooner ? Go you, Bradley 😊 top idea.
Why not ask a mod to make it into its own part of FF Writers Section, like Writers’Corner ? Call it Poets’ Corner? Perhaps not as they are buried there. Live Poets’ Society?
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 14, 2018, 06:56:28 AM
That was my attempt to be edgy and cool like Bradley  :-[  I feel more comfortable with positive motifs
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 14, 2018, 09:11:13 AM
I dip my figurative pen
Deep
Into the well
Of nothing to say

Or, words,
But only about myself
Negative space
On white
I'm prone to be unclever given half a chance, and I've read this so many times, and the second stanza is throwing me. Help me understand what you're alluding to - the "Or" at the beginning is confusing me. This is not the poem's fault - I take things literally most of the time, and I know I'm missing the forest due to trees here. Is it "Or (I am dipping into) words, but only (words) about myself"? And the negative space - negative as in photographic or emotional? Or deliberate ambiguity? I know this paints me foolish to ask, but I am genuinely interested to know how to interpret this.
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: ScarletBea on January 14, 2018, 11:41:29 AM
Not sure if it's proper, but the way I interpret that is that Jmack is in a 'bad place' regarding writing. He thinks of words but they're not stories, they're only about his situation, trying to make sense of where he is now.

Or maybe this is just my projection of the little I know on him about these past couple of months...
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: JMack on January 14, 2018, 12:21:14 PM
@ScarletBea: there’s two parts of truth in what you say. I have been in a more stressed and negative space the last while than I want to be. Regarding writing, poetry is, for me, a very different mode than fiction. I can approach my story writing with confidence and joy, when I’m not frustrated about the lack of time I have/make for it. Poetry brings out this self-absorbed, morose me that I dislike.

Which, @The Gem Cutter, moves toward the mood and notions underlying my poem. I remember in college acting class how we had to break into small groups and develop dramatic scenes to improvisation for the class. Invariably one group (at least once, mine) would do a dramatic scene about students unable to develop a dramatic scene.

When I write, it often rises from a single phrase or sentence, and I follow it to see where it leads. In this case, my poem led me to write about having nothing of any real consequence to day except for self-referential and self-pitying clap-trap.

Ironically, I like the poem.

Meanwhile, TGC, you have the right parsing of the second stanza. There is for me, also, a weight to the idea of drawing water/energy/meaning/creativity from a well. To draw up only words is to have only words and not the richness of them. Not their mission or their impact.

As far as the negative space on white, the image in my mind was of the paper being real (or the iPad screen) while the letters/words are subtractions. Not raised on the paper, but subtracted from it. I like the image though because it allows the reader her own space for understanding. Your connection to photographic negatives is lovely and unintentional on the part of the poet.

The word “deep” is not ringing true. The idea of scraping a brush against dried out paint is closer to what I was reaching for.

OMG, this is getting long.

But I want to say how much I admire Scott’s approach to poetry. I’m going to play with other paths as well as what comes most easily.

Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: JMack on January 14, 2018, 12:50:10 PM
Another poem:

The unexamined life is mostly what I've got
So fuck you Socrates
Tell it to a sperm whale
Tell it to my feet walking
To Schroedinger’s Cat
To the dust of a distant disaster
that lights this sunrise

I need a different word than “lights”. The illogic of it interferes with the image. Hmm. But then, maybe that’s part of the point....
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 14, 2018, 03:55:38 PM
Thank you for your kind words, it is truly wonderful for you to say.

Thank you for walking me through things, and for my part, there's no explanation too long, esp. when the topic is so complex.

I rather agree with you that "light" is both problematic and yet, ironically, appropriate and triply meaningful.  it brings actual light and or meaning; it has the connotation of setting on fire; combined with disaster it implies nuclear/fiery events. I could go on - but I think that's good load-bearing for a 5 letter, single syllable word :)
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: Bradley Darewood on January 15, 2018, 04:02:21 AM
Invariably one group (at least once, mine) would do a dramatic scene about students unable to develop a dramatic scene.

Haha that's totally how I interpreted it @Jmack . I thought it was a really clever poem about writer's block-- and since such excellent writing couldn't possibly be the product of writer's block that made it extra clever. :) And that introspective/dissatisfied second stanza was a nice way to close!

I need a different word than “lights”. The illogic of it interferes with the image. Hmm. But then, maybe that’s part of the point....

I'd say "capturing the rays of this sunrise" "glistening in the rays of" or "lighting the rays of" since dust does that really well.  I know because I've been modding skyrim and its all about the dust mods to create volumetric god-rays.  Actually "sparking" gives a nice alliteration.

Another poem:

The unexamined life is mostly what I've got
So fuck you Socrates
Tell it to a sperm whale
Tell it to my feet walking
To Schroedinger’s Cat
To the dust of a distant disaster
sparkling in the rays of this my sunrise

Anyway speaking of telling Socrates off, I have sort of a poem to respond to your poem with-- I wrote it in back graduate school tho.

Lies we tell

Word your argument, scholar.
Take the truth and cut it
dismember it
piece by piece
disfigured
distilled
it's eyes and fingers
liquefied in your cauldron
the stench of its melting flesh on your nose
–a good scholar does not balk–
to fit into your academic mold
a monstrosity we've sewn together
an arm, a leg
a patch of hair
pieces of the truth
a grotesque concubine of the philosophers of old
old white men inhabiting bodies that aren't theirs
so that their lies may live forever.
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: Bradley Darewood on January 15, 2018, 04:11:38 AM
Doublepost!

Why didn’t you think of this sooner ? Go you, Bradley 😊 top idea.
Why not ask a mod to make it into its own part of FF Writers Section, like Writers’Corner ? Call it Poets’ Corner? Perhaps not as they are buried there. Live Poets’ Society?

Haha, I love this--  though I'm guessing they might want to see if there's enough interest/longevity before making the thread special. We might have a better chance of getting it as a sticky thread...

But we do need to change the name of the thread, don't we?

I love "Live Poets Society"
Or we could do "Not-Dead (Undead?) Poets Society"  actually, being fantasy faction, "Undead Poets Society" could really work.

Or maybe we could bring our bongos and turtlenecks and meet to do beat poetry across from mugs of mead at the "King's Paws Poets Society"
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: Lady Ty on January 15, 2018, 10:09:03 AM
Woooow, ' Lies we tell'  hit me hard and had me saying yes, so very yes. 
Was able to substitute several times over for scholar and academic and it is still relevant and sadly still rings true. Thanks Bradley.
 
 But to brighter times- you do deserve a less pedestrian header for the thread and like Undead Poets *Society, but it is for the poets to decide.

*originally came out as Zociety, is that an omen?
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 15, 2018, 05:06:22 PM
Am I being the party-pooper if I suggest we think of fantasy-derived titles?

There's a whole bunch of fun ideas relating to bards and such - and Bradley aren't you into that sort of thing in your WIP?
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 15, 2018, 06:30:30 PM
This is a longish one, and it's not even close to being finished. I am curious if it is rhythmically followable and at all entertaining.

The Summer Wizards have me, I’m trapped in this high place,
All my friends are lost to me, they lie in death’s embrace.
The ancient bridge so high and wide, the town of Ryn below,
Shadowed by the citadel, that looms like threatened blow.
Five deadly Apex Wizards, now bar me from escape,
I can neither flee nor hide, this fate I can’t evade.

My shock shortlived to see him, the false friend now revealed,
Whose bitter mocking laughter, now proves my fate is sealed.
Rachtus greater power wields, we both know that is true.
Influence - my weaker craft, its merits all unproved,
Naught to Rachtus or his ilk, Empowered wizards all,
Whose sorcerous defenses, negate what I can call.

Neither shield nor wards have I, an Influential weak,
But mine’s the greater anger, my spells I needn’t speak.
“Yield,” the bastard Rachtus says, as if I might forget,
The ashes of his victims, and pain of my regret.

My sisters and my brothers, become now fearsome foes,
Kindle wards of ghostly light, to shield them from my blows.
Around me ring the killers, likes wolves around the stag.
Strong the gusting high winds blow, that whip our capes like flags.

I feel it then the tingling, the thrill of choking fear,
But glittering in answer, the lesson learned most dear,
The southern savage told me, the day he showed my worth,
One day that it would serve me, to know that on the earth,
A harder heart has no one, than mine within my breast,
Strong enough to drive myself, beyond the drowning test.
Power is a handy thing, and wisdom is a boon,
But nothing more than trifles, when facing certain doom.
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: idledragon27 on January 23, 2018, 11:10:45 AM
Love this.

When I didn't know what to do with my (very unfinished) stories, I ended up poeming.

This is a dragon related one.

Enjoy ;D

Maligned

Much maligned am I.
In your ugly tales.
Your thoughtless myths,
Your endless  religions.
You pile the fetted mess of base human emotions,
Stinking and rotten
Upon my broad, bright shoulders
In a vain attempt to sully me.
For I am gold.
Glorious green.
Bright shining black.
Crimson sunset red.
For red in tooth and claw am I.
I refuse to accept your lies.

Much maligned am I
In diet.
So, I choose the freshest, sweetest bloom of youth.
Look to yourselves.
Look to the lamb that dances and prances
In the fresh green fields of Spring.
Then is gone.
There are no supermarket ready meals for such as I.
I pick my own from the wild and free,
No Linda McCartney veggie virgins for me.

Much maligned am I.
You try to push me into darkened corners.
Under the earth.
Behind the door.
You treat me like a child's boggie man
But I am more.
You think I am a Lambeth worm
Full of slime, spite and bubbling bile.
That can only defile the land where I slide.
You think me an evil, twisted monster,
Just existing for your heros to slay.
So that the darkness I embody
Can be kept at bay.
You think my shameful, endless death
Lights a candle against the Dark.
Think again, little ape.
I am the Dark...?

So Look at me!
I am glorious, standing tall in the shade of the glowing sun.
I am Magnificent.
Terrific, and terrifying.
Deadly, yet I shine.
As I spread my majestic wings to shade you from your small horizons
I am the mirror of your desires.
I run riot in your nightmares.
Without me, you have no dreams.
Look up at me and tremble.
I am dragon.
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: Bradley Darewood on January 23, 2018, 12:40:11 PM
Am I being the party-pooper if I suggest we think of fantasy-derived titles?

There's a whole bunch of fun ideas relating to bards and such - and Bradley aren't you into that sort of thing in your WIP?

haha, why yes, Gem, actually songs play a big role in my WIP. While reviewers had a laundry list of things I did wrong, the one thing they said I did really well was the songs (well that, and shocking character deaths were my two strong points). Back when I first wrote it I titled it "Unsung Heroes" (but then as I've been editing for like 6 years some other guy published another fantasy novel by the exact same name sooo.. who knows what I'll call it) I was rolling with that theme and songs show up in the narrative.  Its worldbuilding, but the songs also do things. Characters sing them, they dream of being sung about, and in fact they do have some songs made about them and it features in the climax.  But the songs are almost always lies and half-truths.

Anyway so are "King's Paws Poets Society" and "Undead Poets Society" fantasy enough @The Gem Cutter ? Any thoughts @idledragon27 and @Jmack and @ScarletBea ?

(PS-- TGC and Idledragon27-- loving the action-packed poems!!!!!)
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: idledragon27 on January 23, 2018, 01:31:24 PM
Bit of a Leonard when it comes to naming things, (I rarely title my poems) so either is good.

Thanks for liking the poem ;D
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: ScarletBea on January 23, 2018, 02:16:35 PM
Anyway so are "King's Paws Poets Society" and "Undead Poets Society" fantasy enough @The Gem Cutter ? Any thoughts @idledragon27 and @Jmack and @ScarletBea ?


The first one only works if people know that our 'tavern' is called King's Paws (and then it could be "King's Paws - Poets Society branch" hehe)

I like "Undead Poets Society"

What about "The Castle Bards" or "Poet Warriors"?
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 23, 2018, 04:54:50 PM
I suppose one can't be blamed for cheesiness when titling a board where we are presenting our sometimes unabashedly cheesy poems - is "Only Mostly Dead Poet Society" too cheesy?

(https://i.pinimg.com/564x/9f/ff/80/9fff80c4d1113a187357f352c4ff816b.jpg)
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: JMack on January 23, 2018, 09:32:28 PM
I LOVE LOVE LOVE
“Only mostly dead poets society”
Title: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Bradley Darewood on January 23, 2018, 10:22:22 PM
Ok I got the first and last post changed!
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: ScarletBea on January 24, 2018, 08:07:33 AM
I LOVE LOVE LOVE
“Only mostly dead poets society”
@Jmack, is it because these days you are "mostly dead"? ;)
x
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: JMack on January 24, 2018, 10:41:09 AM
I LOVE LOVE LOVE
“Only mostly dead poets society”
@Jmack, is it because these days you are "mostly dead"? ;)
x

How long the winter
Wind sweeps the empty landscape
Impatient sleepers stir

😴
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Bradley Darewood on January 24, 2018, 11:21:32 AM
I LOVE LOVE LOVE
“Only mostly dead poets society”
@Jmack, is it because these days you are "mostly dead"? ;)
x

How long the winter
Wind sweeps the empty landscape
Impatient sleepers stir

😴

Dawn kisses the winter darkness
and the tantalizing scent of coffee
draws the poet from his slumber
teasing possibilities
of a pallid white horizon painted with words
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Bradley Darewood on January 24, 2018, 11:22:40 AM

that might be  a cleaner poem without the coffee line...
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: JMack on January 24, 2018, 12:23:35 PM

that might be  a cleaner poem without the coffee line...

I like the coffee. (I like coffee.  ;D )

My own style would be to strip it down:

“The smell of coffee”

Then maybe add something interesting:

“The rough smell of coffee”
“The smell of last night’s coffee”
“The smell of unbrewed coffee”
“The lure of unbrewed coffee”
“A dream of unbrewed coffee”

Each of these has a twist in it that is more interesting than ‘tantalizing’. (Though the last two are too explicit and remove some of the twist.)
Tantalizing is interesting in its connection to Tantalus, but I think that would take the poem the wrong direction.

Meanwhile, I love the last line.
Could there be a connection rom the coffee line to that one?
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 26, 2018, 05:31:37 AM
Very frustrated with this one. Rhythm kept changing in my head. Don't ask me where it came from, it just sort of ... arrived. Anyway, at least it's out of my head and on the page where it can't get me  ;D


I know where you’re sailing. I know these seas well.
All its reefs and currents, tall waves and deep swells.

From the bow of my ship, as we pass in the night,
I sense your confusion, and also all your fright.

And you’re right to hold tight to your rudder tonight,
With sea legs all trembling as you face the long night.

I can see your ship’s course, know the rocks just ahead.
And I’d pay any price, to face them in your stead.
For my ship got its scars from those very same reefs,
Where the wind always blows and the currents run deep.

And I know what I know, and I know what you don’t.
I know what you should do - and I know what you won’t.
For I once sailed those shoals on just such an evening.
No moonlight to steer by makes distance deceiving.

Like you I once trusted in my own eyes and ears,
And knew that no captain ever sailed without fears.
For no sailor’s ventured to places worth sailing,
By turning around at the sinking sun’s failing.

I wish I could warn you of the dangers I know.
But we cannot stop here. We cannot even slow.
More waves always coming, there’s never enough time.
And too great a distance, between your ship and mine.

No advice could help you. You could not read my charts.
Storms are always coming, in spiteful fits and starts.
No good would it do you, the route cannot be taught.
The currents ever tug us, from the courses we plot.

Though you barely see me, I wave as we pass,
May good fortune find you, and your sailing luck last.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: ScarletBea on January 26, 2018, 08:07:51 AM
I'm not sure it's welcome, but I'm going to comment...

I love the message, Gem - I feel it's written on behalf of all adults on looking at young people they care about start their independent life.
(I don't mention parents/children because I don't have any yet I feel the same sometimes towards some people)
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 26, 2018, 01:56:35 PM
Thanks Bea, you're very kind. I may revisit and abandon the 6/6 structure I was toying with, which I found very easy to work with at the phrase-level but troublesome overall. It just doesn't flow and I like to try and make it, well, flow  ;D
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: ScarletBea on January 26, 2018, 02:33:55 PM
To be honest, I tend to ignore the "format", and just pay attention to the words and message :-[
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 27, 2018, 04:23:21 AM
Is there interest to launch a monthly contest? It seems unfair to pit poems against prose anyway, and you must admit, it does not take long to read a poem. Just a thought.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: idledragon27 on January 27, 2018, 01:38:30 PM

that might be  a cleaner poem without the coffee line...

No I love the coffee line. It ties it down to the every day and balances the rest of the ethereal feeling which hints at a writers imagination.

Or have I just drank too much and am hyper on the caffeine.

Either way, its ace.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Alex Hormann on January 27, 2018, 05:44:36 PM
A little something I've put together:

It seems I’ve received some sort of invite
To an elusive yet inclusive club
Where folk pen poems to please and delight
And not formal nor informal are snubbed
I do declare this club could be for me
Since I write on a regular basis
I find it pleasant and often chore-free
I hope this place does not enter stasis
So I say long live the half-dead poets
May you have paper when struck by idea
Or a keyboard or pen to help flow it
Just keep your writing implements near
May your ink be always fresh and pure
And your place with the poets be assured
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 27, 2018, 07:56:32 PM
Since this thread is about sharing poetry, I'll put some poems here that I may have shared elsewhere on the forums, and I hope that is alright. Some are a year or so old, so I can't recall if I shared them with F-F or not.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: ArhiX on January 27, 2018, 08:02:09 PM
This is what I wrote for my GF's story. It's originally in other language and I tried to translate it to english... I hope it's not very bad (hard to keep the meaning and find good rhymes when you do this frist time). And thanks to this piece I now know that there is no word "hidement"...


We will greet you, between life and devastation
Grant you a gift of sufferring, or a gift of salvation

And when you will stand, at the voids rim
Will you smile and laugh, or will you scream?
Are you other people, or your own creation?
You were born a man but do you deserve damnation?

Ours is the judgement and we hold the chains
Ours are fiery wings, and the blood you hold in veins
There is no escape and no mercy in our heart
Shatter the bones into ashes, gut the flame of life

Is this the way to a new life... Or end of your existance
We are Fire. We are death. We shall sunder your resistance
There is no place to hide and no time for atonement
Stop running and face the flames, of our eternal judgement

Will your ashes fly to haeven. Or to hell... down low
Between life and damnation, you will be greeted in Limbo
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 27, 2018, 08:09:26 PM
Life-Saver
There’s a woman out there somewhere who is living still today.
And a man who stands upon the Earth who beneath the ground would lay.
Had a stranger not been waiting, not been there on that day,
Who might read the signs between the lines and keep the dark at bay. 
All they’ll live to say and do will now still be done and said.
And their children have their parents still, not gravestones in their stead.
And forgotten now the road that led the stranger to that place.
It's gone under starless shadows and vanished with no trace.

Survivor's Anniversary
Just a few hundred days from that day to this. Some things well remembered.
Some things lost unmissed. A dozen short months from this day to that.
You've come ‘round the corner to find where you're at. Not so far
From the start as many might think. A word or a thought, then
A shuddering blink, and back you slip up the long road,
Reversing your trek, to the edge where you stepped
Out into thin air, and started your plummet,
To this place from there. From the heights
You swept down over shadowy vallies,
Made your way through the battles,
Where even brave ones can’t rally.
You climbed up the mountains,
Left the shadows behind, And stand
In the sun and the wind, And now find,
That what you lost since that time when your fortunes
All turned, what you found on the long road,
What you saw, what you learned, has marked you
And changed you. And now you see clear, there’s no distance
Or difference, between there and here. For the road never mattered,
From your before to your after. Let the sun dry your tears, the wind carry new laughter.

My Life

If I met with my school friends, what could I say,
Of the places I’ve been to since those distant days? 
How could I tell them of all that I’ve seen,
The souls I encountered, the places I’ve been? 
Would it thrill and enthrall them to hear of my travels?
Or would it just bore them, a thread that unravels?
 
I walked with giants in faraway lands,
And we ruled the nighttime with fire in our hands. 
We tasted the wind of dark starless nights,
And leapt through the clouds from ponderous heights.

Through tension filled silence we watched through dark nights,
Awaiting the thunder and dawn’s early light. 

I once lay my hand in a track that was left,
By a hungry young lion in a dry river cleft. 

Tongues foreign and strange I made my mouth master,
Learned the words that come first and the words that come after. 

I chose always hard paths and sometimes I thrived,
But sometimes I stumbled and merely survived. 

I fell through the ice and sank in the mirk.
My wings once entangled, high above earth.
I leapt a crevasse on a cold northern shore,
Where the waves never tire and the winds always roar. 

I slipped on wet sea-grass on a high barren cliff,
And pitched to the brink where I dangled as if,
Suspended on wires that were woven of fate,
Glimpsing the world as the hour grew late.   

I welcomed screaming new life to the world,
And watched as the light in old eyes finally furled. 

If I met with my school friends, what could I say,
Of the places I’ve been to since those distant days? 
Would it thrill and enthrall them to retrace my steps?
Or are our paths just our own, in a world that forgets? 

How could I tell them of what I have learned?
Of the glory and shame and the fortunes that turned,
That the purpose of life’s like a dance – just to do it,
And the joy of the dance is itself what is truest.

Pirate Maiden
Windswept seas before me, star bright skies above,
Burning ports behind me, tiller held with love.
Not for hate or hunger, I chose blackened sails,
Fleeing farms and farmers, seeking sharks and whales. 

Bringing dread to sailors, reaping what they sowed,
Preying on the weaklings, no debts ever owed.
Handsome men I often pulled from burning ships,
Tested strength and courage, tasted trembling lips. 

Oceans vast and empty, winds that struck like bombs,
Gales that snapped the masts off, endless windless calms,
Canon fire and sword points glinting in the sun,
All of them I mastered. All of them save one. 

Lady Luck that other maiden on these seas,
Ended all my sailing, brought me to my knees.
Corset ripped and dirty, rough the rope holds tight.
Staring boys will dream me, later on tonight. 

Not for fear or sadness beats my heart so swift,
Fearing not the hangman, welcoming his gift.
Best to end my voyage swiftly like I sailed,
Windswept seas before me, spirit never jailed.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: ArhiX on January 27, 2018, 08:14:17 PM
I read "Life Saver" in my head with a voice of an old woman telling a story.
Good stuff!
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 27, 2018, 08:22:05 PM
This is what I wrote for my GF's story. It's originally in other language and I tried to translate it to english... I hope it's not very bad (hard to keep the meaning and find good rhymes when you do this frist time). And thanks to this piece I now know that there is no word "hidement"...

We will greet you, between life and devastation
Grant you a gift of sufferring, or a gift of salvation

And when you will stand, at the voids rim
Will you smile and laugh, or will you scream?
Are you other people, or your own creation?
You were born a man but do you deserve damnation?

Ours is the judgement and we hold the chains
Ours are fiery wings, and the blood you hold in veins
There is no escape and no mercy in our heart
Shatter the bones into ashes, gut the flame of life

Is this the way to a new life... Or end of your existance
We are Fire. We are death. We shall sunder your resistance
There is no place to hide and no time for atonement
Stop running and face the flames, of our eternal judgement

Will your ashes fly to haeven. Or to hell... down low
Between life and damnation, you will be greeted in Limbo
I loved this and respect the work it must have taken to translate and retain some rhythm and rhyme. As a linguist, I can detect and appreciate the variations from American English, which give the poem a depth and ethereal quality it wouldn't have if someone "perfected" it by departing from the source language. Well done!
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 27, 2018, 08:28:33 PM

Homefront
We are the ones who chose to serve,
Our people and our land,
We raised our hands and oaths we took,
And dared to make a stand.

We traded innocence and youth. We took the risks and stood,
Beneath the threat of pain and death,
To serve the greater good.

Our spirits rent, our bodies bent, like strangers at the door,
Our winding paths deliver us to homes we know no more.
To strife and bitter discord,
That at least as filled with hate as wars we left.
And now bereft,
Of purpose and desire,
The land we knew,
And flag we flew,
Lie trampled in the mire.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 27, 2018, 08:32:05 PM
Memorial Day Remembrances
I remember the Fallen, the ones that I knew,
Who died for their country, and proved they were true.

I remember the Missing, the names that I’ve read,
On bracelets some wear of black, and of red. 

I remember the photos of those from before, 
Who came when we called them, and went off to war. 

I remember the seasoned, the young, and the brave,
Whatever the setting, alone, or in waves. 

I think of their courage, their pain, and their laughter,
And ponder the lives they might have had after. 

They went where we sent them, in Harm’s random way, 
So I sit, and I think, and recall on this day,
Their ranks, and their battles, their names, and their faces,   
And the orphans, and widows, and the graves in green places.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 27, 2018, 08:37:02 PM
We're Gonna
We've come a long way, and we've walked some hard paths,
We've shouldered some burdens, and had some good laughs.
We did what we had to, and done some good things,
We've won some blue ribbons, and won some brass rings.

We met some good people and seen some good days,
But we all know the ball gets played where it lays.

Mistakes yes we made them, though we did our best,
And tears yes we cried them, and took time to rest.

So here's a toast to the best of us, and a toast to the worst,
And here's to the rest of us, from the last to the first.
We're gonna keep going, and we're gonna keep trying,
We're gonna keep living, and we're gonna keep dying.

The way was not easy, the choices unclear,
The wolves they pursued us, and so did our fears.
We were cut by the sharp things, the road was not straight,
We were bruised by the hard things, and sometimes lost our way.

Sometimes we wandered, afar and alone,
And found our friends scattered, and ourselves far from home.

Because the truth of the matter, wherever you stand,
Is that this world is a rough one, so we do what we can.

So here's a toast to the best of us, and here's to the worst,
And here's to the rest of us, from the last to the first.

We're gonna keep going, and we're gonna keep trying,
We're gonna keep living, and we're gonna keep dying.

We learned some tough lessons, and we've faced some hard truths,
We paid hard dues just to get here, and our payin' aint through.
We aint got all the answers, but we all know the stakes,
So we're gonna keep rollin', and we'll do what it takes.

We don't know the future, or how this all ends,
Or if we shall ever, all meet here again.
But tonight we're together, so this place is home,
May this moment stay with you, wherever you roam.

So here's a toast to the best of us, and here's a toast to the worst,
And here's to the rest of us, from the last to the first.
We're gonna keep goin', and we're gonna keep tryin',
We're gonna keep livin', and we're gonna keep dyin'.

No matter the times, 'tween this day and that,
And no matter the weather, or the place where you're at,
Know that we'll toast you, 'cause you were our friend,
And honor your mem'ry, when your days find their end.

So here's to the best of us, from the last to the first,
And here's to the best in us, and whoever dies first.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: ArhiX on January 27, 2018, 08:40:23 PM
I loved this and respect the work it must have taken to translate and retain some rhythm and rhyme. As a linguist, I can detect and appreciate the variations from American English, which give the poem a depth and ethereal quality it wouldn't have if someone "perfected" it by departing from the source language. Well done!
I read "Life Saver" in my head with a voice of an old woman telling a story.
Good stuff!


I love how simple and ordinary is my answer and how well written and sophisticated is yours. :D
Just like the poems - you definitely know what you are doing.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 27, 2018, 08:45:43 PM
You're kind, and I thank you.

I can only speak for myself, but for most of the poems it's like a crushing weight that needs to get out. In the writing, there is some deep thought and some technical jiggling, but below and behind those things there is a relief that I struggle to describe. I'm just happy to be able to have someone read the words and feel that maybe, some of that weight has been shifted to stronger shoulders than mine.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 27, 2018, 08:52:58 PM

I Never Had Daughters

I never had daughters, I raised only sons,
And long thought that only they were the ones,
Who shouldered the burdens and went off to war,
When their country sent them to far away shores. 

But many brave women too fight by their side,
Grown far beyond girls, with honor and pride.
They shoulder great burdens and go off to war,
When their country sends them to far away shores.

I think about how their parents might feel,
To see them as I did in war that was real.
I saw them in helmets of tan, green, and brown.
I saw them in flight-suits when aircraft set down.
I saw them in sweat-stained fatigues with their gear.
I saw them in moments of laughter and fear.
I saw them on guns with game faces on.
I saw them take fire then return it dead-on.
I saw them roll over the bombs in the road.
And I saw them carry their share of the load.

These mothers and sisters, these daughters and wives,
Who shoulder these burdens and risk their young lives,
They suffer great wounds, bear scars, and see horrors.
They brave the road-bombs, the bullets, and mortars.

And I know how parents of daughters must feel,
For I felt it too, in a war that was real.
Young courage and skill in the face of great dangers,
Fosters a pride that is shared among strangers.

For daughters and sons, alike, seldom pass,
Unnoticed by parents who have stood in the grass,
‘Neath the trees and the sun and the clouds overhead,
Receiving a flag in their child’s stead.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 27, 2018, 09:00:29 PM
Ok, no more spam :) I need to get a life!
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: ScarletBea on January 27, 2018, 10:29:31 PM

Run, do, act
It's needed.
Run, do, act
It's expected.
Run, do, act
It's normal.

Think, feel, just be:
This is life.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 27, 2018, 10:53:03 PM
Lovely Bea - simple and understated, yet if I spent twelve times the words you used to compose it, I could find all kinds of subtle symbolism and nuance. And it's the first thing I've ever seen you write!
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 27, 2018, 10:57:53 PM
To be honest, I tend to ignore the "format", and just pay attention to the words and message :-[
For my part, I love writing in any form the way I admire architecture - there's form and function, embellishment and style, tone and statement, and anything else I care to look at. Sometimes more is less, and sometimes grandiose is called for. I like rhyme because it gives the 'top' of my mind something to do, and in its absence my heart strings are more easily strummed.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: ScarletBea on January 27, 2018, 11:00:47 PM
Thanks, Gem

And it's the first thing I've ever seen you write!
http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?topic=3400.msg170797#msg170797 (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?topic=3400.msg170797#msg170797) ;D
(and check the first post of the 'Depression etc' thread)
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 27, 2018, 11:28:54 PM
Shame
Those words. That I hear still as though cast through his tears just now.
Those words he said that woke me,
From my vicious fever-dream,
In which I cared more for the evil grinning of the bully’s audience,
Than for what I once held most dear: to be more loyal than any other,
More steadfast, more true, a hero on a hero’s path. But no.
That dream made all undone by those relentless rending words:
“I thought you were my friend”

“Never again,” whispered my timid inner voice into my own boy-man’s ear then,
As what soul remaining to me took the second-most noble path,
Having shunned the shame of the loud public apology I owed,
Yet lay a thousand-thousand light-years beyond my weakling’s grasp.

And the pain, undeserved, that I, the unworthy, lobbed at him, the innocent,
Who had called me friend at my earnest urging,
As though such bonds are only dew or shadow – returning unmarred without labor,
That pain became the fuel that nurtured my eternal burning shame,
Which lit my way,
My endless way,
Up the winding second-most noble path of “Never Again”
That those who never betray do not know,
That would twist and lead me round many a moment just as dire,
Where baseless scorn devours tender souls,
And steered me to defend those from wrong,
With a savagery incomprehensible in its intensity,
To shield those who cannot steel themselves,
And ever guard them from,
The likes of me.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: idledragon27 on January 28, 2018, 01:13:48 PM
We're Gonna
We've come a long way, and we've walked some hard paths,
We've shouldered some burdens, and had some good laughs.
We did what we had to, and done some good things,
We've won some blue ribbons, and won some brass rings.

We met some good people and seen some good days,
But we all know the ball gets played where it lays.

Mistakes yes we made them, though we did our best,
And tears yes we cried them, and took time to rest.

So here's a toast to the best of us, and a toast to the worst,
And here's to the rest of us, from the last to the first.
We're gonna keep going, and we're gonna keep trying,
We're gonna keep living, and we're gonna keep dying.

The way was not easy, the choices unclear,
The wolves they pursued us, and so did our fears.
We were cut by the sharp things, the road was not straight,
We were bruised by the hard things, and sometimes lost our way.

Sometimes we wandered, afar and alone,
And found our friends scattered, and ourselves far from home.

Because the truth of the matter, wherever you stand,
Is that this world is a rough one, so we do what we can.

So here's a toast to the best of us, and here's to the worst,
And here's to the rest of us, from the last to the first.

We're gonna keep going, and we're gonna keep trying,
We're gonna keep living, and we're gonna keep dying.

We learned some tough lessons, and we've faced some hard truths,
We paid hard dues just to get here, and our payin' aint through.
We aint got all the answers, but we all know the stakes,
So we're gonna keep rollin', and we'll do what it takes.

We don't know the future, or how this all ends,
Or if we shall ever, all meet here again.
But tonight we're together, so this place is home,
May this moment stay with you, wherever you roam.

So here's a toast to the best of us, and here's a toast to the worst,
And here's to the rest of us, from the last to the first.
We're gonna keep goin', and we're gonna keep tryin',
We're gonna keep livin', and we're gonna keep dyin'.

No matter the times, 'tween this day and that,
And no matter the weather, or the place where you're at,
Know that we'll toast you, 'cause you were our friend,
And honor your mem'ry, when your days find their end.

So here's to the best of us, from the last to the first,
And here's to the best in us, and whoever dies first.

I want to sing this in a pub somewhere,
With the ale flowing
and the bitter tears that salts our smiles
and makes them shine the brighter.
Bright against the night.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on January 28, 2018, 05:52:57 PM

Dawn kisses the winter darkness
and the tantalizing scent of coffee
draws the poet from his slumber
teasing possibilities
of a pallid white horizon painted with words

I love this for its simplicity and uncomplicated positive feel. In response to your mention of the word 'coffee', I would let coffee be, as it has such a wonderful morning smell and I think that sets up the positive tone, counter-balancing "pallid" with its death-associations and "winter" which often has a cold (temperature and tone) feel to it.

When you opened this thread, you mentioned sharing ideas, etc., so I offer an idea (otherwise I would not presume). I believe that one thing that writers and poets should do, when they can, is select words the way Special Operators select equipment - only rarely does a thing have only a single purpose. You might slip "stirring" into tantalizing's place, as it has several appropriate angles here: waking up (literally), the rise of emotions, mixing coffee with a spoon, etc., and presents some nice alliteration. Tonally, it literally sounds like waking up warm and energized and stretching :)

Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: JMack on January 31, 2018, 10:43:10 AM
I agree about poetry and the selection of,words. Stephen King proves that proce can consist of zillions of average words, while haiku proves the opposite for poetry.

Of course, part of the attraction of poetry for me is that I can dash it off and feel good about it. Humph.
And, um, I think that’s why I write short stories vs. novels.

Dash it off. But sometimes... polish it and file it and try to make it shine.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: JMack on February 01, 2018, 12:20:44 PM
Written on my commute:

At this moment
I feel
no difference between
my skin
and you
A kiss
a blessing
for the day
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: ScarletBea on February 01, 2018, 12:23:21 PM
(by the way, I stopped 'liking' posts here, because I like everything ::) )

Edit: can't ::)
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 01, 2018, 02:51:31 PM
Whereas I lavish praise and positive reinforcement as if it were both easy and free  8)
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 02, 2018, 04:29:43 AM
Weary now I turn to sleep, as oft has been my way,
Resentful as a schoolboy who wants to stay and play.

The day began as all days do, with promise shining bright,
But somewhere on the path between the morning and the night,
The day devoured all my plans and the evening gobbled up,
The little left remaining on my plate and in my cup.

Quietly I stumble down the hall to bedroom door,
And pausing in the darkness there, admit that like before,
The day I spent like gold for rent, that I cannot regain.
And lightly swings my purse of late, that won't be filled again.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: JMack on February 02, 2018, 10:45:10 AM
Weary now I turn to sleep, as oft has been my way,
Resentful as a schoolboy who wants to stay and play.

The day began as all days do, with promise shining bright,
But somewhere on the path between the morning and the night,
The day devoured all my plans, and the evening gobbled up
The little left remaining on my plate and in my cup.

Quietly I stumble down the hall to bedroom door,
And pausing in the darkness there, admit that like before,
The day I spent like gold for rent, that I cannot regain.
And lightly swings my purse of late, that won't be filled again.

Can you find the comma fixes?  ;D ;)
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 02, 2018, 01:53:15 PM
Thanks
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Bradley Darewood on February 03, 2018, 09:25:35 AM
Written on my commute:

At this moment
I feel
no difference between
my skin
and you
A kiss
a blessing
for the day


Awwwwwwwwwww

Weary now I turn to sleep, as oft has been my way,
Resentful as a schoolboy who wants to stay and play.

The day began as all days do, with promise shining bright,
But somewhere on the path between the morning and the night,
The day devoured all my plans and the evening gobbled up,
The little left remaining on my plate and in my cup.

Quietly I stumble down the hall to bedroom door,
And pausing in the darkness there, admit that like before,
The day I spent like gold for rent, that I cannot regain.
And lightly swings my purse of late, that won't be filled again.


Awweeeeeeeeeeeeeeee



These are good.



Run, do, act
It's needed.
Run, do, act
It's expected.
Run, do, act
It's normal.

Think, feel, just be:
This is life.

Wow!  It's amazing what you've done with such a simplicity.  It's like more Hemingway than Hemingway.  And the simplicity reflects the monotonous rhythm and repetitive, short syntax of normalcy.  There's so much here you said without saying-- you said by doing... it's crazy.

I want to sing this in a pub somewhere,
With the ale flowing
and the bitter tears that salts our smiles
and makes them shine the brighter.
Bright against the night.

This is brilliant.  I especially love the line about the "bitter tears that salt our smiles"
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Bradley Darewood on February 03, 2018, 09:29:13 AM

that might be  a cleaner poem without the coffee line...

I like the coffee. (I like coffee.  ;D )

My own style would be to strip it down:

“The smell of coffee”

Then maybe add something interesting:

“The rough smell of coffee”
“The smell of last night’s coffee”
“The smell of unbrewed coffee”
“The lure of unbrewed coffee”
“A dream of unbrewed coffee”

Each of these has a twist in it that is more interesting than ‘tantalizing’. (Though the last two are too explicit and remove some of the twist.)
Tantalizing is interesting in its connection to Tantalus, but I think that would take the poem the wrong direction.

Meanwhile, I love the last line.
Could there be a connection rom the coffee line to that one?


Dawn kisses the winter darkness
and the tantalizing scent of coffee
draws the poet from his slumber
teasing possibilities
of a pallid white horizon painted with words

I love this for its simplicity and uncomplicated positive feel. In response to your mention of the word 'coffee', I would let coffee be, as it has such a wonderful morning smell and I think that sets up the positive tone, counter-balancing "pallid" with its death-associations and "winter" which often has a cold (temperature and tone) feel to it.

When you opened this thread, you mentioned sharing ideas, etc., so I offer an idea (otherwise I would not presume). I believe that one thing that writers and poets should do, when they can, is select words the way Special Operators select equipment - only rarely does a thing have only a single purpose. You might slip "stirring" into tantalizing's place, as it has several appropriate angles here: waking up (literally), the rise of emotions, mixing coffee with a spoon, etc., and presents some nice alliteration. Tonally, it literally sounds like waking up warm and energized and stretching :)

I took your advices:


Dawn kisses the winter darkness
and the stirring scent of coffee
steals the poet from his slumber
teasing possibilities
of a cold white horizon painted warm with words
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 03, 2018, 05:07:02 PM

Run, do, act
It's needed.
Run, do, act
It's expected.
Run, do, act
It's normal.

Think, feel, just be:
This is life.

Wow!  It's amazing what you've done with such a simplicity.  It's like more Hemingway than Hemingway.  And the simplicity reflects the monotonous rhythm and repetitive, short syntax of normalcy.  There's so much here you said without saying-- you said by doing... it's crazy.

Indeed the subtext is incredible. The choice of words is very precise and economical, but not robotic: "Just Be" is my favorite decision, as "be" would be too short; this is not being, but the art of being without the hassle of trying to be "more" - knowing the distinction exists is a prerequisite to the poet's first task - to direct the eye of the audience to something they know well although they do not realize they know it.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 03, 2018, 05:26:58 PM
We're Gonna
We've come a long way, and we've walked some hard paths,
We've shouldered some burdens, and had some good laughs.
We did what we had to, and done some good things,
We've won some blue ribbons, and won some brass rings.

We met some good people and seen some good days,
But we all know the ball gets played where it lays.

Mistakes yes we made them, though we did our best,
And tears yes we cried them, and took time to rest.

So here's a toast to the best of us, and a toast to the worst,
And here's to the rest of us, from the last to the first.
We're gonna keep going, and we're gonna keep trying,
We're gonna keep living, and we're gonna keep dying.

The way was not easy, the choices unclear,
The wolves they pursued us, and so did our fears.
We were cut by the sharp things, the road was not straight,
We were bruised by the hard things, and sometimes lost our way.

Sometimes we wandered, afar and alone,
And found our friends scattered, and ourselves far from home.

Because the truth of the matter, wherever you stand,
Is that this world is a rough one, so we do what we can.

So here's a toast to the best of us, and here's to the worst,
And here's to the rest of us, from the last to the first.

We're gonna keep going, and we're gonna keep trying,
We're gonna keep living, and we're gonna keep dying.

We learned some tough lessons, and we've faced some hard truths,
We paid hard dues just to get here, and our payin' aint through.
We aint got all the answers, but we all know the stakes,
So we're gonna keep rollin', and we'll do what it takes.

We don't know the future, or how this all ends,
Or if we shall ever, all meet here again.
But tonight we're together, so this place is home,
May this moment stay with you, wherever you roam.

So here's a toast to the best of us, and here's a toast to the worst,
And here's to the rest of us, from the last to the first.
We're gonna keep goin', and we're gonna keep tryin',
We're gonna keep livin', and we're gonna keep dyin'.

No matter the times, 'tween this day and that,
And no matter the weather, or the place where you're at,
Know that we'll toast you, 'cause you were our friend,
And honor your mem'ry, when your days find their end.

So here's to the best of us, from the last to the first,
And here's to the best in us, and whoever dies first.

I want to sing this in a pub somewhere,
With the ale flowing
and the bitter tears that salts our smiles
and makes them shine the brighter.
Bright against the night.
That was a lovely bit of imagery, both the salty smiles and brightness are lovely elements.
So I must apologize, as I am quite squishy inside and I didn't recognize your lovely poem as one, since I was too busy being giddy that you recognized my pub song as a pub song! I wrote it in an irish pub while drinking Guinness and contemplating life :)
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Skip on February 04, 2018, 12:07:25 AM
OK, deal me in. Ante up.

She is deafened by the sound of her own opinions.
They echo and rattle between the walls.
She rings them like cathedral bells;
There she is in the back
red-faced as a sacristan
delirious among the bell ropes.

Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 04, 2018, 12:09:11 AM


OK, deal me in. Ante up.

She is deafened by the sound of her own opinions.
They echo and rattle between the walls.
She rings them like cathedral bells;
There she is in the back
red-faced as a sacristan
delirious among the bell ropes.


Lovely! I really really liked the imagery and the under/overtones of your word choices, and the structure. And boy it reminded me of actual people!
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: JMack on February 04, 2018, 02:09:47 AM
@Skip, @idledragon27 , you folks are worthy poets for this society.
Really enjoyed your poems.
“Delirious among the bell ropes.” What an awesome line.
And “the bitter tears that salt our smiles.” Can I steal that?

WHY OH WHY IS PLAGIARISM CONSIDERED BAD FORM!!!!!!!!!?
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 04, 2018, 03:22:49 AM
My Two Hearts
There are two hearts, not one, inside of my chest,
That heat me and beat me from beneath the same breast,
Two hearts here inside me right from my start,
Two hearts that divide me and tear me apart.

One heart is cold and it beats slowly but strong,
It only wakes from its slumber when things have gone wrong.
It cares not a bit for the details or pain;
It just does the math, sees the truths that are plain:
That the lesser evil of several is the right path to take,
Even when what is lesser is bad enough to break,
My other, warmer heart, that would quake and refuse,
To weigh grisly horrors and could never choose,
To live or to act when all acts are impure,
And strength is what’s needed to overcome or endure.
No fear has my cold heart, just a grim, evil grin,
It just shrugs and it nods when the bad things begin.

When the path to compassion and mercy leads through,
Ruthless action and endurance and dreadful deeds I must do,
My cold heart only smiles as the bad news comes in,
When the delicacies all die and it’s time to begin.

Immune to distraction, it’s that heart I trust,
When strength is what is needed to do what I must.
To do things that no one ever wishes to do,
To make tough decisions that I will come to rue,
To prevent what is worse, to save all that can be,
Knowing that one day those actions will damn me,
When my warmer heart suffers long after the danger,
Sees memories of horrors, and in my mirror, a stranger.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Bradley Darewood on February 04, 2018, 05:51:57 AM
OK, deal me in. Ante up.

She is deafened by the sound of her own opinions.
They echo and rattle between the walls.
She rings them like cathedral bells;
There she is in the back
red-faced as a sacristan
delirious among the bell ropes.

How do you know my mother well enough to write a poem about her?
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Bradley Darewood on February 04, 2018, 07:56:30 AM

I wish I could write some songs like this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlP9aJnzyZw
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: ScarletBea on February 04, 2018, 09:25:56 AM
My Two Hearts
Oh my...
the feelings it raises are uncanny
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 04, 2018, 04:43:28 PM
My Two Hearts
Oh my...
the feelings it raises are uncanny

Such as?  I am genuinely interested to hear reactions on this one, as it was a real bear to wrestle. It's long, but I did not get to specific things I wanted to mention; I was unable to control the words, and so undesired connotations remain - it is very imprecise. I almost scrapped it altogether.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: JMack on February 04, 2018, 04:54:16 PM
My Two Hearts
Oh my...
the feelings it raises are uncanny

Such as?  I am genuinely interested to hear reactions on this one, as it was a real bear to wrestle. It's long, but I did not get to specific things I wanted to mention; I was unable to control the words, and so undesired connotations remain - it is very imprecise. I almost scrapped it altogether.

You know I love your poems. I didn’t love this one, though it had intriguing ideas. I wanted more balance in the comparison of the two hearts, but the poem focused only on the hard one. I also found the shifting rhythms distracting. It seemed (though I read quickly, sorry to say) that the meter changed and wandered through the lines.

Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 04, 2018, 05:22:27 PM
I also found the shifting rhythms distracting. It seemed (though I read quickly, sorry to say) that the meter changed and wandered through the lines.
Yeah, trying to write a poem about two hearts with different beats that has two different beats was a great risk.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 04, 2018, 06:01:20 PM
I worked on Two Hearts for hours, and unlike I normally do, I had notes from previous ideas and false-starts. There are foundational problems, as I could not decide on what tone to take, nor could I decide how much of myself to use. I had intended a whole section to the warmer heart, but I sort of assumed everyone considers their own heart warm, and so it would be implied that the subject's warmer heart would be those things: warm, sentimental and empathetic/sympathetic, etc. Be glad I removed the bits about killing suffering animals and people. The meter wasn't a problem until it was. When I merged the two hearts it had impacts on the meter, but I thought it would be clever and symbolic to leave them. And horribly convenient and easy hahahahaha ;)

I remain conflicted on what I was trying to assemble, and not very happy with the result. It reads like the guy from Split :-\ until the ending, which undermines that unintended-but-specific and powerful image with a sympathetic feel that is more appropriate to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_l4Ab5FRwM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_l4Ab5FRwM)
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: ScarletBea on February 04, 2018, 10:12:29 PM
My Two Hearts
Oh my...
the feelings it raises are uncanny

Such as?  I am genuinely interested to hear reactions on this one, as it was a real bear to wrestle. It's long, but I did not get to specific things I wanted to mention; I was unable to control the words, and so undesired connotations remain - it is very imprecise. I almost scrapped it altogether.
The personality split, the knowing of what you have to do as the lesser of 2 evils, being direct, to the point, the courage of your decisions, etc etc
Don't make me analyse it ;)
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Skip on February 05, 2018, 10:46:43 AM
This one hit me in the middle of the night. Fresh poem. Git yer fresh poems here!



She flew away from the sea tower
high across the salt hills.

White horses bore her among the gardiens,
through the brown marsh of the marais,
to the Arelat city,
where young men dare the horns of black bulls.

She rode with routiers,
the wagoneers,
along dusty roads, over wide rivers,
into the mountains where lives the fierce tarrasco.

She was the silver gull,
the child of great promise.
With her came the gnome,
the trovador
and the elf chevalier.

Mighty wizards trembled at their tread.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Bradley Darewood on February 06, 2018, 02:49:17 AM
This one hit me in the middle of the night. Fresh poem. Git yer fresh poems here!



She flew away from the sea tower
high across the salt hills.

White horses bore her among the gardiens,
through the brown marsh of the marais,
to the Arelat city,
where young men dare the horns of black bulls.

She rode with routiers,
the wagoneers,
along dusty roads, over wide rivers,
into the mountains where lives the fierce tarrasco.

She was the silver gull,
the child of great promise.
With her came the gnome,
the trovador
and the elf chevalier.

Mighty wizards trembled at their tread.

I love this!!!! I can totally hear someone in a cloak singing this to their party entertain themselves as they ride along a long journey through some fantastical forest.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Bradley Darewood on February 06, 2018, 03:05:40 AM
Quote
Dawn kisses the winter darkness
and the stirring scent of coffee
steals the poet from his slumber
teasing possibilities
of a cold white horizon painted warm with words

Since my last poem became about coffee, it made me think of an earlier poem i wrote about Nyquil.

Ode to NyQuil

Oh NyQuil,
how doth I love thee!
My poetry hath not the words:
a meager ablution
that is but a distant echo of my true affections.

Thy cherry flavor
doth electrify my senses
a symphony of narcotic sweets
like ambrosia of the gods
or Mad Dog 20/20 mixed with ketamine.

My fingers doth lovingly caress
the stalwart surface of thy shatter-proof plastic.
Thy nighttime vigilance doth comfort
when all others hath abandoned me
to my springtime leprosy.

Oh NyQuil, dearest NyQuil
thy "Nighttime Relief"
to make "my bedtime my best time"
are merely banal words that cannot bespeak
the heavenly bliss of your precious gift
of comatose oblivion.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Skip on February 08, 2018, 07:35:14 PM
I call this one "Immortality"

Let death come to me in mid-stride, while I am occupied with other matters.
Let my obituary be read and forgotten.
Let my children tell their children about the grandfather they barely knew, spinning tales that make me wise and mysterious.
Let my great-grandchildren at least hear my name.

Then let me be forgotten for a time, little more than a tally in a demographer's chart.

Let the decades blow through, sweeping away generations, then let someone find my name in a genealogy, some great-grand niece, who has always been interested in history.
She will be curious about this distant relative, twice removed by marriage.
(If she finds a photo, let it be one when I was young and strong)
She will record me, one more leaf on the family tree, and there I will sit, filed and so not quite
forgotten.

At long last let me be found one more time, by a historian who will stumble across me
while pursuing other game,
like a deer hunter coming upon a pheasant.
He will be so far removed from me that he finds my life exotic and therefore fascinating.
I will find a place in his book, an anecdote illustrating a larger point.
Let me find immortality
in a footnote.
 
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 09, 2018, 04:41:35 PM
She flew away from the sea tower
high across the salt hills.

White horses bore her among the gardiens,
through the brown marsh of the marais,
to the Arelat city,
where young men dare the horns of black bulls.

She rode with routiers,
the wagoneers,
along dusty roads, over wide rivers,
into the mountains where lives the fierce tarrasco.

She was the silver gull,
the child of great promise.
With her came the gnome,
the trovador
and the elf chevalier.

Mighty wizards trembled at their tread.

This stirs many of the same sentiments and visions as this long-forgotten song, which I haven't listened to since the night the war in Iraq started:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWwGV0sdOr0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWwGV0sdOr0)
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Rostum on February 16, 2018, 03:04:32 AM
Wow how did you get to 6 pages without me noticing this thread? Some serious talent here.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 16, 2018, 04:22:25 AM
A little something I mashed together on my 50th Birthday:

The sixteenth of the third month is quite a day a for me,
Once a day of presents, cake and jubilee
Many days have come and gone and some have left their trace,
They grayed my hair and bent my back, left lines upon my face

This sixteenth of the third month is quite a day a for me,
Many things I’ve said and seen in half a century:
Quiet days and busy ones, and days that didn't end,
Crowded days and gloomy ones, with rules that wouldn't bend,
Weighty days of import, of risk and draining trials,
Days of rest and meaning, of laughter love and smiles.

The sixteenth of the third month is quite a day for me,
The end of my beginning’s gone - where did the swift time flee?
Just where my middle starts and stops I won’t know til the end,
When final fading moments close with no more left to spend.

The sixteenth of the third month, is quite a day a for me,
My mind it likes to wander down paths that cannot be,
My eyes have ever seen the world not as it is but could be,
My heart has loved what was and is and isn’t now – but should be.
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: Bradley Darewood on February 16, 2018, 04:53:22 AM
Wow how did you get to 6 pages without me noticing this thread? Some serious talent here.

Why didn’t you think of this sooner ? Go you, Bradley 😊 top idea.
Why not ask a mod to make it into its own part of FF Writers Section, like Writers’Corner ? Call it Poets’ Corner? Perhaps not as they are buried there. Live Poets’ Society?

Hmmm maybe after 7 pages we should seek a boon from the moddess @ScarletBea  to grant us a place among the threads pinned atop mount FF olympus
Title: Re: Poems and Prose-Poetry here!
Post by: ScarletBea on February 16, 2018, 08:04:39 AM
Hmmm maybe after 7 pages we should seek a boon from the moddess @ScarletBea  to grant us a place among the threads pinned atop mount FF olympus
I forgot that I could do that now ;D Pinned!!
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Skip on February 16, 2018, 06:28:28 PM
Remembrance on a Starship

When at last, green mother,
you have withered to dust and old air
and the one eye falters and fades,
when we stand at last
under other suns
we shall not forget that it was you who bore us.
We shall not forget
your sweet water
your fragrant soil
the sound of your breath upon the sea.

Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 17, 2018, 08:11:59 AM
This one hit me in the middle of the night. Fresh poem. Git yer fresh poems here!



She flew away from the sea tower
high across the salt hills.

White horses bore her among the gardiens,
through the brown marsh of the marais,
to the Arelat city,
where young men dare the horns of black bulls.

She rode with routiers,
the wagoneers,
along dusty roads, over wide rivers,
into the mountains where lives the fierce tarrasco.

She was the silver gull,
the child of great promise.
With her came the gnome,
the trovador
and the elf chevalier.

Mighty wizards trembled at their tread.

I keep re-reading this and I want to suggest a tiny but impactful (or so I imagine) suggestion: to add "and" at the front of the last line.

"And mighty wizards trembled at their tread."
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: JMack on February 17, 2018, 12:44:41 PM
Okay, only mostly dead poets, here is @Eli_Freysson’s request:

Quote
I just thought I'd ask: Are there any amateur poets on this site? I'm piecing together my next series, set in a city inspired by Victorian London, and I thought it would be cool to spice things up with some simple folk poems about various creepy things. Most notably a local boogeyman called the Smiling Man. And I have no talent for poetry at all.

And here’s my first try. This is a children’s circle game, they hold hands and turn in circles.... When they’re done, they grab one of their number and shove him into the center of the circle and all point at him. That child roars and chases them all away, and they all laugh and call out “Here, Smiley!.”

Smiley makes a red line
Smiley makes a white line
Sharp steal and meat hooks
All ‘round the town

Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Eli_Freysson on February 17, 2018, 12:53:30 PM
Well, since people offered to help:

As I mentioned in The King's Paws, I thought I'd spice up my new setting with some creepy poems, but I am no poet myself.

The setting is an expy of Victorian London. Dark slums, manor houses, rivers, narrow, winding streets, cobblestones, fog, and there is a network of very old underground tunnels.

It would be cool to have something general about fearing the dark. I'm also thinking of a scene where a character walking alone at night starts to suspect he's being followed, and thinks of a particular poem on the subject. Something about footsteps. "Whose steps are those I hear..."

And then there's the Smiling Man. He's a local boogeyman, a creepy figure with a rictus grin and wide, unblinking eyes. He is said to skulk in cellars and tunnels, and venture up at night, crawling rather than walking and snatching those who are out late. Or he crawls into a bedroom, staying just out sight of the person on the bed as he makes his way towards it. Any time an improperly closed door opens by itself it could be him...

Does any of this give you guys ideas?

EDIT:

Okay, only mostly dead poets, here is @Eli_Freysson’s request:

Quote
I just thought I'd ask: Are there any amateur poets on this site? I'm piecing together my next series, set in a city inspired by Victorian London, and I thought it would be cool to spice things up with some simple folk poems about various creepy things. Most notably a local boogeyman called the Smiling Man. And I have no talent for poetry at all.

And here’s my first try. This is a children’s circle game, they hold hands and turn in circles.... When they’re done, they grab one of their number and shove him into the center of the circle and all point at him. That child roars and chases them all away, and they all laugh and call out “Here, Smiley!.”

Smiley makes a red line
Smiley makes a white line
Sharp steal and meat hooks
All ‘round the town


Oh, I was still writing my post when you made yours.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Skip on February 17, 2018, 05:13:16 PM
This one won't help Eli, I'm afraid, but here it is, fwiw.

For Revolutionaries Real and Imagined


Don't ever think
they'll forget all about it or
write you off like a bad debt.
They don't have memories, those
sunglassed eyes and trigger fingers
those humorless smiles.
But they have miles upon miles of top secret files and
they keep you there
and they keep you there
for the day of Federal Resurrection.

Don't ever think
they know forgiveness;
they only know indifference.
Statutes of limitations may stand in the courts
but in those featureless halls
with featureless walls
your shouts still echo in little glass jars
and they have all the labels.
The other side comes around now and then
and shakes the jars to hear the shouts
to see the fists clench
to re-open the wounds
to watch the blood.

Don't ever think
you are quite beyond reach.
If it's safety you want
if it's comfort you want
if you want to remain forgotten
don't ever think.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 17, 2018, 05:38:59 PM
Just a first sketch


It would be cool to have something general about fearing the dark. I'm also thinking of a scene where a character walking alone at night starts to suspect he's being followed, and thinks of a particular poem on the subject. Something about footsteps. "Whose steps are those I hear..."


Whose steps are those I hear,
Although I tip-toe lightly?
Whose steps are those I hear,
Following me nightly?

Whose steps are those I hear,
That always seem to find me?
Whose steps are those I hear,
Nearer now, behind me?

Dare I run or dare I hide?
Dare I wait while they grow near?
Dare I seek the footstep maker,
Whose steps are those I hear?
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Eli_Freysson on February 17, 2018, 06:22:52 PM

Whose steps are those I hear,
Although I tip-toe lightly?
Whose steps are those I hear,
Following me nightly?

Whose steps are those I hear,
That always seem to find me?
Whose steps are those I hear,
Nearer now, behind me?

Dare I run or dare I hide?
Dare I wait while they grow near?
Dare I seek the footstep maker,
Whose steps are those I hear?

Cool. :)
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Alex Hormann on February 18, 2018, 12:04:03 AM
I was digging through some of my old notes and I found this. I can't remember what I wrote it for, but I kind of like it.

You're my anaesthetic against the world:
 A fiction I retreat to when day dies
 And I lie awake 'neath twisted sheets, curled
 About a worrying mind I deny.

Darkness is an opiate for the horde
 Of rushing thoughts that tumble through my head.
 That blessed laudanum happ'ly is poured
 'Til my tumultuous mind lies cold. Dead.

Then at last to slumber I do succumb
 And only in dreams do I find release
 While in reality I am struck dumb
 With Morpheus I find something like peace.

This hopelessly repeated exercise -
 Chasing that spectre from set to sunrise
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on February 24, 2018, 10:24:12 PM
Self-Evasion

I feel I’ve dropped a burden, that I’ve somehow turned a key,
I feel I’ve slipped my chains for now, and find that I am free.

I’ve every cause for confidence, I’ve earned the hope I’ve found,
There are no cracks or fissures here, I stand on solid ground.

The hope I feel this morning is not a risk or chance,
It’s neither a fool’s errand nor a fairy’s whimsy-dance.

I’ve paid my dues and ransoms, paid forward and paid back,
Those times I left the higher road I stopped and doubled-back.

I don’t need my forgiveness, my sole victim has been me,
The worst crimes I’ve inflicted were to let the needy be.

I’m sure I’ll try to catch me, I’m sure I’ll swing the whip,
But I’ll hide myself away from me and give myself the slip.

The harm I did to others was done without intent,
I did the good that I could do and now I stand content.

I hope that I don’t find me, I hope I’ll let me be,
I hope I let my trail go cold and let myself run free.

I deserve this spot of sunshine, I waited out the rain,
That washed away my grandest plans so that only I remain.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on March 02, 2018, 01:08:55 AM
While boxing my things I came across this scrap of paper that dates back at least to the 90s, perhaps earlier. I dreamed this scene and the words - perhaps the only poem dream I've ever had:

Fate

Fate
Favors but the blind who seek it,
Who welcome it breathless in off the street,
Tolerate its half coherent mumbled jumbles of modern art critiques,
Pay for its shotgunned cappuccinos before, with rolling eyes,
It explodes back out onto the street, into the hustle and bustle, and is gone.
Then,
Beneath a soiled saucer,
On a scrap of paper in fortune cookie font,
Success's phone number,
And the words: 
"Call me."
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: JMack on March 06, 2018, 12:02:07 AM
Drove home today listening to Dylan Thomas recording, him reading “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.” Reminded me why I love that poem.

And makes me wish Gerard Manley Hopkins (my favorite poet) had lived to record his poems. Which he wouldn’t have done, because, repressed Jesuit that he was, he felt the poems were a sinful waste of time and energy and asked his best friend to burn them after his (early and untimely) death. Thankfully, the friend disobeyed.

My favorite poem by my favorite poet:
AS kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies dráw fláme;   
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells   
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s   
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;   
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:           5
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;   
Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,   
Crying Whát I do is me: for that I came.   
 
Í say móre: the just man justices;   
Kéeps gráce: thát keeps all his goings graces;           10
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is—   
Chríst—for Christ plays in ten thousand places,   
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his   
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.   
 

And another favorite:
31. Spring and Fall
 
 
to a young child
 
 
MÁRGARÉT, áre you gríeving   
Over Goldengrove unleaving?   
Leáves, líke the things of man, you   
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?   
Áh! ás the heart grows older           5
It will come to such sights colder   
By and by, nor spare a sigh   
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;   
And yet you wíll weep and know why.   
Now no matter, child, the name:           10
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.   
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed   
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:   
It ís the blight man was born for,   
It is Margaret you mourn for.           15
 

And because I love them, one more:

16. In the Valley of the Elwy
 
 
I REMEMBER a house where all were good   
  To me, God knows, deserving no such thing:   
  Comforting smell breathed at very entering,   
Fetched fresh, as I suppose, off some sweet wood.   
That cordial air made those kind people a hood           5
  All over, as a bevy of eggs the mothering wing   
  Will, or mild nights the new morsels of spring:   
Why, it seemed of course; seemed of right it should.   
 
Lovely the woods, waters, meadows, combes, vales,   
All the air things wear that build this world of Wales;           10
  Only the inmate does not correspond:   
God, lover of souls, swaying considerate scales,   
Complete thy creature dear O where it fails,   
  Being mighty a master, being a father and fond.   
 
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on March 13, 2018, 04:29:22 AM
I finished the second part  :D

My Two Hearts

There are two hearts, not one, inside of my chest,
That heat me and beat me from beneath the same breast,
Two hearts here inside me all of my life,
Two hearts that divide me and lead me to strife.

One heart is cold and it beats slowly but strong,
It only wakes from its slumber when things have gone wrong.
It cares not a bit for the details or pain;
It just does the math, sees the truths that are plain:
That the lesser evil of several is the right path to take,
Even when what is lesser is bad enough to break,
My other, warmer heart, that would quake and refuse,
To weigh grisly horrors and could never choose,
To live or to act when all acts are impure,
And strength is what’s needed to overcome, to endure.
No fear has my cold heart, just a grim, evil grin,
It just shrugs and it nods when the bad things begin.

When the path to compassion and mercy leads through,
Ruthless action and endurance and dreadful deeds I must do,
My cold heart only smiles as the bad news comes in,
When the delicacies all die and it’s time to begin.

Immune to distraction, it’s that heart I trust,
When strength is what is needed to do what I must.
To do things that no one ever wishes to do,
To make tough decisions that I will come to rue,
To prevent what is worse, to save all that can be,
Knowing that one day those actions will damn me,
When my warmer heart suffers long after the danger,
Sees memories of horrors, and in my mirror, a stranger.

There are two hearts, not one, inside of my chest,
That heat me and beat me from beneath the same breast,
Two hearts here inside me right from my start,
Two hearts that divide me and tear me apart.

One heart is warm, its beats swift and sure,
With a rhythm that’s stronger when my conscience runs pure.
It burns me and turns me from cold deeds to kind,
It slows me and shows me the grief and its signs.
It hears the hurt that lies hidden in laughter,
Sees the wounds and the bruises and the scars that come after.
It wakes me and makes me reach out my hand,
To soothe and to comfort, to guide, and to stand,
Between what is weak and the things that mean harm,
It lends speed to my mind and strength to my arm.

It cares a great deal for the details and pain,
It adds them all up, sees the truth that is plain:
Limits don’t matter when choosing the right path to take,
Better to try and to fail or to break.

I try to live up to my warm heart’s ideals,
Though it shames me and blames me when things that are real,
Defeat me and beat me with my own good intentions,
Or haunt my mind with my own dark inventions.

Its my warm heart’s tender notions that make life worth living,
They sustain me and restrain me and prompt me to giving,
Recalling the days I spent on my knees,
And the moments of mercy and the wisdom shown me.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on March 13, 2018, 04:54:06 AM

And then there's the Smiling Man. He's a local boogeyman, a creepy figure with a rictus grin and wide, unblinking eyes. He is said to skulk in cellars and tunnels, and venture up at night, crawling rather than walking and snatching those who are out late. Or he crawls into a bedroom, staying just out sight of the person on the bed as he makes his way towards it. Any time an improperly closed door opens by itself it could be him...

The Smiling Man

Icy shines his toothy grin,
Pale his finger bones so thin,
Creeping silent, ever near,
Hid in shadow, never clear,

Mother, Father, save me, wake me,
Don't let the Smiling Man come take me,
Leave my lantern burning brightly,
Lest his fingers choke me tightly,
And to the shadows drag me down,
Where toothy smiles turn to frowns.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Eli_Freysson on March 14, 2018, 10:45:27 PM

The Smiling Man

Icy shines his toothy grin,
Pale his finger bones so thin,
Creeping silent, ever near,
Hid in shadow, never clear,

Mother, Father, save me, wake me,
Don't let the Smiling Man come take me,
Leave my lantern burning brightly,
Lest his fingers choke me tightly,
And to the shadows drag me down,
Where toothy smiles turn to frowns.

Very nice, @The Gem Cutter. Thank you.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Bradley Darewood on March 15, 2018, 12:14:31 AM

The Smiling Man

Icy shines his toothy grin,
Pale his finger bones so thin,
Creeping silent, ever near,
Hid in shadow, never clear,

Mother, Father, save me, wake me,
Don't let the Smiling Man come take me,
Leave my lantern burning brightly,
Lest his fingers choke me tightly,
And to the shadows drag me down,
Where toothy smiles turn to frowns.

Very nice, @The Gem Cutter. Thank you.

That definitely gave me the chills!  What do you think @Lady Ty ?
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Lady Ty on March 15, 2018, 02:37:20 AM
That was coincidence at work. When I read your question I wondered if you had ESP Brad, because was sitting in dentist waiting room while anaesthetic kicked in,  to have a horrendously broken tooth rebuilt. So toothy smile or toothy grin was scarily apt. :'( :'( :'(
Am still frozen. And HUNGRY.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on March 15, 2018, 03:20:49 AM
@JMack I spent some time working in the warmer heart stuff you thought was missing. Any thoughts? I know you don't like the rhythms  ;D
I finished the second part  :D

My Two Hearts

There are two hearts, not one, inside of my chest,
That heat me and beat me from beneath the same breast,
Two hearts here inside me all of my life,
Two hearts that divide me and lead me to strife.

One heart is cold and it beats slowly but strong,
It only wakes from its slumber when things have gone wrong.
It cares not a bit for the details or pain;
It just does the math, sees the truths that are plain:
That the lesser evil of several is the right path to take,
Even when what is lesser is bad enough to break,
My other, warmer heart, that would quake and refuse,
To weigh grisly horrors and could never choose,
To live or to act when all acts are impure,
And strength is what’s needed to overcome, to endure.
No fear has my cold heart, just a grim, evil grin,
It just shrugs and it nods when the bad things begin.

When the path to compassion and mercy leads through,
Ruthless action and endurance and dreadful deeds I must do,
My cold heart only smiles as the bad news comes in,
When the delicacies all die and it’s time to begin.

Immune to distraction, it’s that heart I trust,
When strength is what is needed to do what I must.
To do things that no one ever wishes to do,
To make tough decisions that I will come to rue,
To prevent what is worse, to save all that can be,
Knowing that one day those actions will damn me,
When my warmer heart suffers long after the danger,
Sees memories of horrors, and in my mirror, a stranger.

There are two hearts, not one, inside of my chest,
That heat me and beat me from beneath the same breast,
Two hearts here inside me right from my start,
Two hearts that divide me and tear me apart.

One heart is warm, its beats swift and sure,
With a rhythm that’s stronger when my conscience runs pure.
It burns me and turns me from cold deeds to kind,
It slows me and shows me the grief and its signs.
It hears the hurt that lies hidden in laughter,
Sees the wounds and the bruises and the scars that come after.
It wakes me and makes me reach out my hand,
To soothe and to comfort, to guide, and to stand,
Between what is weak and the things that mean harm,
It lends speed to my mind and strength to my arm.

It cares a great deal for the details and pain,
It adds them all up, sees the truth that is plain:
Limits don’t matter when choosing the right path to take,
Better to try and to fail or to break.

I try to live up to my warm heart’s ideals,
Though it shames me and blames me when things that are real,
Defeat me and beat me with my own good intentions,
Or haunt my mind with my own dark inventions.

Its my warm heart’s tender notions that make life worth living,
They sustain me and restrain me and prompt me to giving,
Recalling the days I spent on my knees,
And the moments of mercy and the wisdom shown me.

Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Eli_Freysson on March 24, 2018, 04:55:26 PM
I decided to try my own hand at a bit of poetry for my new WIP. Specifically a poem spoken by a madman in an asylum, referencing the Lovecraftian horror to come. Thoughts?

As blood opens the tunnel bright
Through terror walk in search of sight
Truth revealed, the veil will burn
Flesh, begone, as gods return
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on March 30, 2018, 04:13:46 AM
I am curious and interested to know whether the better poems I have written are really any good. Is poetry something I should consider investing more time and training in? You can PM me if that's easier. I don't mind, either way. If the answer is "Um, no" you're just saving me pain later.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Bradley Darewood on March 30, 2018, 04:14:58 AM
Yes.

Even when I don't provide feedback I enjoy them.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Skip on March 30, 2018, 05:52:42 AM
First of all, if you can stop writing poetry then you should. But if you find that you just keeping writing the stuff, then I do think poetry in particular is a form of literature where you can learn. There are lots of poetry resources around, with all the usual caveats. But poetry has a whole library of forms, which gives you a wide field for practice. And as the saying goes, practice had made plu perfect.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: ScarletBea on March 30, 2018, 08:13:20 AM
Yes.
I'm not that keen on poetry as a genre, and I prefer your shorter works, but in my limited opinion, you are good :)
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Bradley Darewood on March 30, 2018, 08:29:09 AM
The one you did for Eli was particularly brilliant.

I merge a lot of poetry into my WIP-- It was called "unsung heroes" before some a-hole stole my title, so old stories and new make their way into bard's ballads. Mimicking in-world styles is a valuable talent that can supplement your novels (and make your purple prose all that more poetic :) ).
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on March 30, 2018, 01:51:09 PM
Hah, I just thought of Braveheart and other references to 'warrior poets' and had a lengthy giggle. Maybe I'll get some poetry books for Father's Day.
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Jeni on March 31, 2018, 05:41:10 PM
Hello everyone ... I am loving this thread  :D



It would be cool to have something general about fearing the dark. I'm also thinking of a scene where a character walking alone at night starts to suspect he's being followed, and thinks of a particular poem on the subject. Something about footsteps. "Whose steps are those I hear..."

And then there's the Smiling Man. He's a local boogeyman, a creepy figure with a rictus grin and wide, unblinking eyes. He is said to skulk in cellars and tunnels, and venture up at night, crawling rather than walking and snatching those who are out late. Or he crawls into a bedroom, staying just out sight of the person on the bed as he makes his way towards it. Any time an improperly closed door opens by itself it could be him...


I had a go at this and came up with what turned out to be more of a kids playground rhyme than a poem. I am not sure if it is what you are after, but I enjoyed writing it, so here it is...


The Smiling Man

When daylight wanes
And shadows sprout

He'll crawl and creep
And sniff you out

Step quickly now
And quicker still

The Smiling Man
He wants his fill

Run home run true
Shut tight the door

The Smiley Man
Will hunt no more

For

YOU!
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on March 31, 2018, 05:42:20 PM
Loved that Jeni!
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Jeni on March 31, 2018, 06:20:40 PM
Loved that Jeni!

Thanks  :)
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: Eli_Freysson on March 31, 2018, 07:41:54 PM
Yes, that is a good one.  :)
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: ScarletBea on March 31, 2018, 08:14:47 PM
Creepy!!!!
Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on April 02, 2018, 04:06:00 PM
Thieves' Night Out

In their lair they meet each night,
Lit by golden candle light,
In mutters soft and whispers light,
They plan the theft of gold held tight.

Jerome the seasoned dodger leads,
Unfurls the maps and charts and reads,
The plans and steps that each will make,
To gleaming golden treasure take:
 
Pickpocket Lilly knows her part,
To scout the street and play the tart.

Grimly nods her henchman Ned,
Who thumps the watchman on the head.

Burly brothers Rob and Bren look on,
They throw the ropes the plan hangs on.

Ned hides the watchman in the dark,
And Lilly whistles like a lark.

The whistle Tina waits for proof,
That all is well then roof to roof,
She nimbly slides just like a spider,
Dressed in black so no one spies her.

Gable window Tina pries,
And steals within to take the prize,
With the key that Lilly plucked,
From the drunken banker’s clutch.

Tina like a wraith steals down,
The spiral stairs without a sound,
Creeping to the banker's desk,
That slides aside revealing chests,
Held within the space beneath,
Under iron chains like wreaths,
Held in place by clockwork lock.
She draws the key from out her sock.

As clever Tina turns the key,
The tower sings the chimes of three.

Jerome their leader parks hay cart,
Beneath the ropes and then the tart,
Lilly and her strongman Ned,
Slip in the back and duck their heads.

The brothers Rob and Bren slide down,
The second rope and reach the ground,
Calm and slow they mount the cart,
As Tina like an arrow darts,
Out from the rooftop rope in hand,
And swings across and lightly lands,
In the brothers' waiting arms,
Whose strength arrest her without harm.

Beneath the hay they all lay down,
While Gem's dumb grin then turned to frown,
Realizing he forgot about the treasure  ;D

Title: Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
Post by: The Gem Cutter on April 07, 2018, 08:42:08 AM
Hope for Her

The shadow lies upon her now unlit by moon or star.
So dark the silent still-young night. The dawn is still so far.
What will come to pass will be. There’s naught to do or say.
No daring deed, no clever ruse will turn this night to day.

Today’s the day the cracks all joined and split my shield in two.
It lies upon the ground beside the banner I once flew.
Today I laid my armor down and left it in the sand,
And let my useless sword fall from a weak and trembling hand.
For her foe has no fear of swords; this foe I cannot slay.
All that I can do is wait for night to turn to day.

I'm fearful but not weaponless for in my hand remains,
Hope, the final talisman, to ward me from my banes:
Fear the slayer of men's hearts, Despair his bitter queen,
From dusk till dawn I’ll stand the watch through darkness in between.

Hope, my sole remaining light, glows softly in my hand,
A beacon for a nobler soul who crosses shadowed lands.

I’d take her place a thousand times to keep her from such woe,
And wander bitter battlefields to face her fearful foe,
But I can only watch and wait and keep my hope alight,
And hold it high and sing its praise and let my hope burn bright,
And light her way till distant day finds her battle won,
And washes all her fears away and bathes her in the sun.

Until that dawn I’ll fight my fears and keep my courage strong,
For if I was the one who walked a troubled path so long,
A finer fiercer fiery flame she’d mount upon the sky,
To guide me through the valley where the darkest shadows lie.

Hope, my sole remaining light, glows softly in my hand,
A beacon for a nobler soul who crosses shadowed lands.