Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Letter to Guitar (and His Butterfly)

Dear Guitar,

I also love you. Thus, I write in sadness: the blind man who thinks he sees is the closest to death. You will not believe me when I say this, but the world is full of butterflies and guitars - yet all the butterflies have broken wings, and all the guitars make music in vain.

I remember when we had adventures together, and kept each other alive with a joke or word of encouragement among the Greeks. I held a hope for you then (you know the hope of which I speak). I have not given up that hope, even with the news I have found.

You have not found clarity, dear Guitar. You have hidden your pain behind the temporary happiness of romance, and as the pain is hidden, so is the danger. Has poetry never been dark? Has poison never been sweet for a time? Have you not already seen the sweet turn bitter in your own life? For a short time, the music of a guitar may heal the broken wings of a butterfly. But that music will fade, and the wings will be shone still broken in the end, as always. The pain will only be greater for the music that was played - the music is evil.

The clarity of repentance and the hope of forgiveness stand unmatched, and will always stand. The love of a butterfly is only a broken shadow of that great love. Please forgive me if you find this pretentious, Guitar. These are only the words of a sad fool to a blind instrument.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Battle of Celden Wood

This poem is not yet finished. However, I cannot seem to reconcile the element I want included at the end with what I have in the body. So for now, enjoy.

I stepped from Celden Wood into the silent silver sun
Which drove before it Dourish spear, and horse, and sword, and drum
And glinted from the foeman’s steel, still half a mile away;
“Come meet this blade of Celden, foe, and show thee to thy grave.
Come hither, cross the frozen field, the shining, deathly snow,
Where once the farmer’s wicked scythe cut down the golden rows,
Where, when a child, I used to walk, behind my father’s plow,
My ax is sharpened, Dourish lords; come forth and meet me now.

“Come whir the dance of death with me beneath this frozen sun,
My ax has bowed, and welcomes thee to where thy blood will run,
The frost is glinting off its edge, the steel is cold and pure,
And keener than the winter air; come now, thy end is sure.”
And came the lords across snow; it thundered up behind,
Mixed frozen mud with hoof and boot, and man and beast entwined
The great black stallions plunged across, and ninety-seven fell,
Though still our arrows could not stop that frothy wave of hell.

And then, behind the devil-beasts, ten thousand foemen came;
Mortality was in their eyes: a maddened, writhing flame;
I drank it up like smold’ring myrrh, I breathed it deeply in,
And faced the horsemen with my ax, and loved the battle’s den,
And flung myself into their ranks, and cut them down like wheat,
But felt my brethren driven back, and giving in retreat,
Withdrawing to the field’s edge; pushed back into the trees,
And leaving there a stream of blood to drip and run and freeze.

The pride of Doureland’s sons kept on, and followed through the wood:
The coward’s name shall ne’er be giv’n a fighting Dourish lord;
They urged their steeds through brush and brier, until they were deep in,
Beneath the silent trees, which held the trap we’d laid for them,
And arrows poured, like seeds of wrath, into the floundering ranks,
They chased in vane: we circled ‘round and cut them at their flanks,
And felled the plunging devil-beasts into the drifted snow,
Where wild eyes turned lifeless ice, and blood, like roses, grew.

Then came the footmen, pike and sword, advancing at a rush,
But broken by the trees and hindered by the frozen brush;
We came against them, ax and bow: our souls were in our breath,
We fell, and matched our foemen blood for blood and death for death!
Then, at our shouts, the Dourish line stepped back and gave us way
And broke and scattered in the snow and fled the crimson day
Like shadows when the morning sun is risen in the east,
Chased back from rocky hill and crag across the crimson frost.