Entries from March 2009 ↓

The poetry’s purpose, I think?

I now have an idea why I’ve been bombarded with the idea I could write poetry. It came to me on 3-19-2009, just before our Kenosha Writer’s Group monthly meeting. And of course, out of the blue again.

It’s another book, but instead of chapters and such, this will be a poetic account of the Crusades. Something on the order of The Canterbury Tales or Tales of Ulysses.

Some of the names and events will be aligned with history while others will be fictious, accounts I’ve oftened wondered about if such characters existed and were given a chance to voice their opinions on the way the history of the Crusades unfolded.

Let me say now, that I mean no disrespect to either religon and if some of the poems offend it is not intentional. I am neither Christian nor Muslim, though I used to be a Catholic and still believe in God. If I had to label myself now, I guess a gnostic would be about right. Not that anyone should be interested in my beliefs, I just wanted to say I repect their tenets, but favor neither. 

So having said that, poem #3 has been posted. It’s titled Saladin. 

Saladin

Most merciful Allah,

all praise belongs to thee,

thee alone do I worship, 

and from thee alone do I seek help.

 The Christians have returned

and with them war.

Thy great city is clouded with despair.

Thy people shudder,

fearful Jerusalem will be set upon

by the drum of marching men desperate

to despoil thy name.

I fear their purpose.

They come not as friends or followers,

but as usurpers,

pagans seeking to conquer land fertile and rich,

a people old with traditions deeper

than those afar in Rome.

What right say I,

that they should force upon thy children,

upon me and mine,

a belief that is as foreign to us,

as ours is to them?

What right say I,

that they come in judgment,

to malign and disfigure

when they are but worldly children

in the fits of tantrums?

I beg thee great Allah,

make thee signs that I might

know thy wishes,

that I might follow in thy

footsteps and show the

Christians enlightenment.

The outrages of Godfrey lie

heavy upon my heart, upon the

holy lands his emperor claims his own.

Take my hand.

Lead me so I may lead

my brothers and strike them down

in one final battle.

Help me great Allah,

and I will give thee Jerusalem

before the mantle of dawn rises

above the dunes.

Saran’s Plea

 

Petulant King,

sword sheathed and silent,

time wearies thine restless mind,

turns thy good-nature distant to all

but lands ripe for harvest.

I know thine heart dear husband,

thy lust for Godfrey’s crusades.

Thy seek the booty of campaigns upon

battlefields rich with the blood of

thine enemy, Alexis.

Thou cannot hide it.

I have seen thy moods swing lately,

thy temper shorten,

thy enraged fits and boastful

threats heaped upon those nearest thee.

No treaty will stay thy hand,

no precious promises of peace,

whose boundaries of stone and earth

stand sentinel before thy lustful urges,

can stop thee.

Lo do I hold thee close to my bosom,

wishful that my love can sway thee

and stay thy savagery,

I know it not enough to win thy favor.

Thou will do what thy desire and

take sword in hand once more.

But I beg thee dear King,

think of our son,

thine heir.

Would thou place him perilous

before charging hooves and cursing men,

upon a wild steed wielding mace and blade

in thine honor?

What glory is buried within such folly?

What recompense?

He is but a tender child,

short of years and battle knowledge.

Would thou make me grievous,

despondent,

spiteful over his return

upon limping steed and ruined shield?

Raise thy banner if you must,

seek that which torments thee

and boils thy blood,

but I beg thee dear husband,

spare him,

leave me our son.

An urge I can’t satisfy

I have suddenly been moved to write poetry, or more correctly, prose. Why? I haven’t the foggiest idea. Lately, they’ve been popping out of the blue with regularity.

Case in point. This evening (3-10-09) I was working on my grand daughter’s novel when A lover’s Requiem suddenly popped into my head. It rumbled around inside my skull for about an hour until I finally had to quit the novel and write it.

It took all of twenty minutes from start to finish and I was amazed at the finished product. Weird huh? Wish the novels came that fast!!   

After I posted it on the website I read it a few more times just to see if it was what I wanted. And surprisingly it was. It flowed exactly how I imaged it would.

What’s nice about writing prose is that it isn’t genre specific. Some are dark, while others are inspirational and gender specific. Not that that bothers me. I’m a writer and I’m suppose to be able to write whatever I feel, whatever happens to steamroll me while working on another project.

So if you start seeing more, don’t panic. Maybe I’m a medium and guys like Chaucer, or t.s. elliot or Shakespeare are reaching out from the other side.      

A Lover’s Requiem

Oh noble prince,

if I could but drink once more

of the love

in the depths of thine fathomless eyes…

If I could but lose myself in the

rapture of thine arms

and the gentle whispers

you breathed against my neck…

I might find the strength

to carry on.

But I am weak and lost in the coldness

of loneliness,

wounded by your passing

and mired in the confusion of why

it has come…

Come back to me noble prince,

for cold is the night without you.

My dreams are empty and

I thrash the night

until our bed grows weary of me.

Come home my love,

death need not be a barrier,

it is but a shadow,

a contrivance set upon us.

Hope’s Sparkle

Swept away by the night breeze,

ragged breaths,

steeped in suffering,

are all that remain of

Hope’s life.

Her mind floats

amid essences of honeysuckles,

above a body bent and tucked,

distant of Crazy Bill’s hurt

and pain

and abuse.

All around her

the night is warm

and alive,

yet all Hope feels is the 

coldness that numbs her.

She barely notices 

the cold hand sliding beneath

her dying body.

Caked lashes flutter and

Hope’s one good eye opens to gaze

upon a fretting woman

as destitute as she.

“Dear child,

who did this to you?”

The words are emotional,

loving,

words Hope has not heard since the day

Crazy Bill stole her away.

She coughs,

spills his name,

then is lost in the woman’s smile.

The kiss is quick.

Incisive.

Invasive.

The lips smooth,

the breath old and fetid.

It is not her mother’s kiss,

yet in that fleeting moment

between life and death,

when life flees and time stops,

Hope understands

and welcomes her birth.

* * * *

Haughty and arrogant,

with words sharper than her teeth,

The woman speaks silently

to Hope again,

“Show me this thing…

this Crazy Bill, you speak of.”

Hand in hand upon the

warm night currents,

they rise together

like ghostly

apparitions escaping graves.

Hope’s thoughts swirl anew.

She is alive again,

soaring,

flying with the night birds

that flee before them.

They settle on the dark side of the road,

beneath a starry summer night,

near the park where Crazy Bill claimed her.

Hope’s eyes fix on Crazy Bill’s house.

“Is that his house?”

The woman’s question is not a question,

but a confirmation

of not who,

but what he is.

Hope nods.

Inside the cloistered hell hole,

beyond the dull glow of lights

framing shadeless windows,

his shadow moves,

striding,

malignant.

Memories stir of tortorous weeks

when Crazy Bill kept her hidden,

a thing he played with,

a toy he owned.

When Crazy Bill lurches onto the porch,

his fat-bellied T-Shirt soured and stained,

Hope licks her lips,

and then spits,

expelling a sizzling plume of hatred

that evaporates before it hits ground.

She tugs to free herself from

the woman’s hand,

but the grip is strong and firm,

unrelentling.

Wicker creaks

and rockers moan as he settles into the chair.

Light flairs around Crazy Bill’s head

and a raspy sigh

dispels a streamer of blue

white smoke into the darkness,

soiling her night.

Hope breaths deep,

inhaling his pungent essence

that is tantilizingly sweet.

“Would you like to meet him again?”

Hope nods again,

and together,

they rise and drift across the road

towards Crazy Bill.