YESTERDAY – TUESDAY’S TALE

SOME OF WHAT I WROTE YESTERDAY (based either on memory of conversations or events of years past or new experience)

I slapped him on the shoulder in a friendly manner and smiled, but I was deadly serious.

“For God’s sake,” I said, “don’t do that. Don’t be a modern man. Be an actual man. Yeah, it’s always hard, and it don’t pay much most of the time. But at least you’ll be alive. Really alive. And in the end what in the hell else matters?”

from my novel The Modern Man
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It was as quiet and peaceful and warm and sunny a day as I had ever seen in my entire life. And that was fine by me. I had sure seen enough of all the other kinds of days.

from The Modern Man
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He topped the small hills that ringed the border to the north and the west and looked out before him. The blue and the green covered the land so thick that he couldn’t see the ground. Not anywhere.

It was an ocean of grass that stretched out forever, with no shore to be seen.

from my novel The Basilegate (Larmageon describing in his own mind wandering the “Blue-Green Sea” just beyond the borders of Kitharia – inspired by my hike in the forests and across the fields today; everything is in bloom and as thick as blood, especially the grass)
_______________________

“My son, as the Lord taught us, you cannot save the world alone. But if you at least set out to try then neither shall you ever fail it…”

from the Basilegate (The Abbot of Studios writing to the Viking Christian convert Drakgarm of Gotar)
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Nothing Works if you won’t.

from the Business, Career, and Work of Man
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There is no sin in seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. The sin lies in either avoiding pain merely to seek pleasure, or in seeking pleasure by inflicting pain.

from Human Effort

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THE OLD STANDING STONES – FIRST VERSE

THE OLD STANDING STONES (Both Versions)

Last week I sat down and wrote a song that I had originally intended for my Bard (his name is Larmageon and he is Welsh) to sing in one of my novels, the Basilegate. As a sort of a lament, and a dirge. It was supposed to be a rather dark song about a myth of a submerged city off the coast of Ireland that rises every so often at midnight on Samhain and the city is populated by ancient dead warriors. It was a symbolic dirge of a supposedly lost song that the Bard then used to analogously lament what had happened to his friends. That is the first version of the song/poem you see below.

Thereafter I looked at the song and said to myself, “This really is close to an Irish/Welsh real myth and I should rewrite this song as a real world song or poem.” So I did using real Irish/Celt/Welsh place and symbolic names. That version, the second version, came out to be much brighter and more upbeat, but the tempo is changed slightly. By the way after the less well known Gaelic names or terms I included, in parentheses, the more original pronunciations, and their meanings.
I like both versions but the first is a far more generalized version written for an English audience and specifically for my book. The second version is really more of a throwback Irish mythological song.

So that being said, which do you like best?

Or do you think I should keep and use, perhaps for different purposes, both versions? Or does one version strike you as good and the other bad? Let me know what you think and anyone is welcome to comment.
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THE OLD STANDING STONES (version 1)

The old standing stones
Where the ghosts all still roam
Below the Seas of Sarsa
Submerged neath the Mere
They all still come here
To haunt the tides of Current
The walls in the waves
The moon long enslaved
Both shine so like the Danaan
The People long passed
The present now past
Upon the Road of Waters
Formorian chants
Who sings of the chance
That tombs are remade Towers?
The barrows below
The streams that bestowed
The last Great Ship of Showern
To the old standing stones
Still guarding the road
Beneath the flood of Faran

Oh can you still hear
The chants and the cheers
When Chulainn took the Island?
And do you still dance
Or sing the Romance
Of the last men still left standing?

Submerged neath the waves
Deep waters their graves
The Green-men go a’feasting
The blue in their blood
The tides and the flood
Their numbers all decreasing
The stars brightly gleam
The moon often seen
To kiss the Ring of Rona
Yet still can you hear
If the night is all clear
The Lost Hope of Ilona
So tell me of old
Of the place far below
Of the dark halls deeply downing
Where the old standing stones
Still guard the last road
To the Hall of Sorrow’s Drowning…

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THE OLD STANDING STONES (version 2)

The old standing stones
Where the ghosts all still roam
Below the Seas of Saorla (Say-la – the noble queen)
Submerged neath the Mere
They all still come here
To haunt the tides of Cara (meaning, the friend)
The walls in the waves
The moon long enslaved
Both shine so like the Danaan

The People long past
The present now passed
Upon the Road of Una (Oo-nah, or Wony, meaning unity, or lamb)
Formorian chants
Who sings of the chance
That the tombs are to be Towers?

The barrows below
The streams that bestowed
The last Great Ship of Tara (tower, or crag)
To the old standing stones
Still guarding the road
Beneath the flood of Fallan (grandchild, or grandchild of the chieftain)

Oh can you still hear
The chants and the cheers
When Chulainn took the Island?
And do you still dance
Or sing the Romance
Of the last men still left standing?

Submerged neath the seas
Their limbs now at ease
The Gweneth men go feasting (Gweneth – fair or river men)
The blue in their blood
The tides and the flood
Their hall a loudly singing
The stars brightly gleam
The moon often seen
To kiss the Ring of Roise (roh-suh – a rose)
Yet still can you hear
If the night is all clear
The Last Hope of Isleena (Ish-leena – vision, the foretelling)
So tell me of old
Of the place far below
Of the dark halls deeply moaning
Where the old standing stones
Still abide all alone
In the Hall of Sorrow’s Gloaming…

THE NIGHT THAT THE KNIGHT CURSED EVIL – HIGHMOOT

THE NIGHT THAT THE KNIGHT CURSED EVIL

(A Poetic Meditation Upon America)

The Night that the Knight cursed evil a wondrous thing began
Men who once had cowered, together they did band
Beneath the Lonely Banner of the Knight who cursed the wrong
Once they had just whispered, now they sang his song

The High Lords and the Ladies corrupt upon their thrones
Had laughed to hear such curses when the Knight was all alone
Though when his profane blood-oaths thundered through the folk
Fury rose among them, with the tyrant’s whip and yoke

“Bring us now New Vows from him, make him swear to us!”
Shouted Lords and Ladies, roused now in their lust

Yet the Knight who cursed the evil would not bend to threat
Their embassies he spat upon, then harangued them ‘til they sweat

Then the High Lords and the Ladies began to see the Truth
That the Knight who cursed the Evil was fearless now forsooth!

And still the People rallied, hot now in the land,
The Knight who cursed the Evil gave heart for them to stand

“Send us an Assassin, experienced in crime,”
Said the Lords and Ladies, “to kill him ‘fore his time!”

So the black assassin crept upon the Knight
As he cursed the Evil in the shadows of the night
Yet darkness did betray him as he sought to strike
For the Knight who cursed the Evil caught him in the Light

A struggle hard and fearsome did they both attend
Blood in all directions, wounds as deep as sin
Finally the combat wound down to the Will
When the Knight triumphant the spent assassin killed

He took the ‘ssassins blood-stained blade with the warrant he
had wrecked,
Then sent it to the waiting Lords in scribbled hand,
“You’re next!”

___________________________________________________________

Yesterday I took a little nap because last weekend I contracted poison oak, or maybe sumac. It’s been miserable and I hoped to speed the healing and reduce the itch with a nap.

Anyway I awoke with this poem/song running through my kind. I had to go and take an immediate shower because the itching was so bad and in the shower I composed the rest of the sections above in my head.

Then I got out and wrote out what i had composed. It is still unfinished of course though I already have the entire poem sketched out in my head and some other sections are worked out, such as:

“Your silence speaks to your intent more surely than your pleas
For action is the pledge of life, not promises like these
If you’re determined stand your ground, if not I know you well,
Passive is the heartless man, and icy is his hell…”

THE GHOSTLAND – TUESDAY’S TALE

THE GHOSTLAND

“Within us all there is a Ghostland, but sometimes when we wander in the dark, we become the ghosts of a far stranger land.”

(Opening line of The Ghostland) *

Tonight I was walking Sam in the woods near sundown. I let him go ahead of me because I knew about a quarter mile ahead was the fenceline. When I caught back up to him it looked just like he was standing on the other side of a large steel gate and for a moment I thought, “Now how could he have passed through that gate and fence, and how will I retrieve him if he did (since the neighbors keep it chained and locked)? But as I got closer I realized it was just a trick of the light given his color as he stood against the fence-gate near sundown.

Then on the way back I thought to myself, “suppose Sam really had passed right through that gate, how would I have gotten him back and what would that mean?” And that gave me a superb idea for a short story. Which I originally thought about calling Ghost Dog.

Then as I walked on I began to see in my head I saw all of these scenes of places I’ve Vadded over the years. Especially deserted and spooky places I’ve hit at night or while working some case. Except these places and the things in them weren’t as they really are, and some were certainly weird enough just on their own, they were all changed in my imagination. Strange, surreal, and unreal places in which things like a dog walking through a steel gate was, if not normal, at least something that could happen. I kept seeing a Ghostland. And since the story kept expanding in my mind I renamed it Ghostland.

And then I started seeing weird and bizarre events in this Ghostland too. So I came home and sketched it out.

And yeah, I’ve been relistening to the Fourth Tower of Inverness lately too (it’s that time of year after all) but what I saw in my head wasn’t just weird, like the Fourth Tower, it was spooky and bizarre. I think it will make a perfect Halloween story.

AS I GO – FIRST VERSE

AS I GO…

I became what I wrote
When I knew that I did
But I learned what I didn’t
When I showed what I hid,
Yes I mastered by doing
And not by the knot
That twisted I shouldn’t
Into what I forgot,
Yes I wrote what I was
But became what I wrote
And not just because
The words were the notes,
For I knew that I knew
And I learned what I did –
That my limits were lesser
The less that I hid,

Now I can’t say forever
That forever I’ll know
But I can say with pleasure
What I know I can show,
For time works a wonder
By passing along
What’s learned in the measure
What’s right and what’s wrong,
For often you find
That you thought that you knew
But by doing again
You discover it new,
So when men ask me why
I repeat what I know
I tell them I didn’t
But I’ll learn as I go…

IN NEED OF

IN NEED OF

I am in immediate need of the following things:

1. BETA READERS for my fictional writings and novels and (if you wish) the poetry and songs that I intend to publish. I want only brutally honest opinions, and I want a wide range of readers/reader-types. (There will be no pay but I will exchange favors and see to it that you are provided with free copies of the finished works). Confidentiality regarding my writings will be expected of course, and I will restrict my beta readers to maybe 6 to 8 people, but I will treat you right. If you are interested in reading my literary writings, my popular fiction, my poetry, my song lyrics and my other Work then please visit my Literary Blog Wyrdwend at this link: https://wyrdwend.wordpress.com/category/my-writings-and-work/

2. A good, decent, hard-working, and ambitious LITERARY AGENT (to match myself). If you are interested in representing my literary writings, my popular fiction, my poetry, my song lyrics and my other Work then please visit my Literary Blog Wyrdwend at this link: https://wyrdwend.wordpress.com/category/my-writings-and-work/

3. An EMPLOYEE TEAM for my start-ups. (People to run the businesses, handle marketing, and run day to day operations while I and my partners handle funding and investors, etc.) More on that later. If you are interested in reading my business and career writings and in following my start-ups or my consulting and invention work then please visit my Business Blog at this address: https://launchport.wordpress.com/category/my-writings-and-work/

4. A TEAM OF BUSINESS BUILDERS/DEVELOPERS AND INVESTORS (start-ups primarily but we may also handle brokerage and turn-arounds on rare occasions) to be put together to found and profit from new business ventures. More on that soon. If you are interested in reviewing my business and career writings and in following my start-ups or my consulting and invention work then please visit my Business Blog at this address: https://launchport.wordpress.com/category/my-writings-and-work/

5. PARTNERS to work with me on developing and designing (CAD and prototype designs) my inventions and app designs. If you are interested in reading my business and career writings and in following my start-ups or my consulting and invention work then please read my Business Blog at this address: https://launchport.wordpress.com/category/my-writings-and-work/

6. GAME DESIGN PARTNERS who can take the games I’ve designed and/or written and either build physical products out of them or in the case of computer and video games program basic builds that we can use to pitch to game studios. If you are interested in reading and reviewing my game designs and work then please visit my Gaming Blog at this address: https://tomeandtomb.wordpress.com/category/my-writings-and-work/

A brief word of explanation on the above:

Beta Readers – I tend to write my fictional works, short stories, and novels in the following genres: children’s stories, detective and mysteries, espionage, fantasy and myth, historical fiction, horror, and science fiction. My current novel is a high fantasy/myth about Prester John and the Byzantine Empire. I tend to insert a lot of historical and literary references into most of my works. I would not expect my Beta Readers to provide me with detailed critiques or edits, though if you wished to do so that’s up to you. I’m really just looking for basic opinions and do you like the plot, stories, works, etc., and do you have any advice for improvements? As I said I’m open to favor exchanges and free copies of my works.

Also, when it comes to my songs I write the lyrics but I have no real time right now for composing. If you are a composer or lyricist and you wish to enter into a song-writing partnership with me then we will split the credits and your contributions and shares of any successful songs will be protected by contract.

Literary Agent – I want a literary agent with a wide range of interests and one with whom I can develop both a professional relationship and a personal friendship. (I much prefer doing business with people I enjoy.) I want a literary agent who is ambitious, as I am, and one who can help me make my writings successful so that we may both profit handsomely.

Employee Team – more on this later but I’m looking for a good employee team as well as a strong, tight, efficient, and profitable team of administrators, managers, and officers.

Business Builder/Investor/Investment Team – more on this later but I need good people from all areas/sections of the country, and possibly members from outside the US, who can look realistically at start-ups and help develop and fund them into successful enterprises. Backgrounds in brokerage, business building and development, communications, entrepreneurship, investment, and deal-making most desired. But we can also look at other backgrounds. Realistically risk will be high, and loss always possible, but profits should be considerable on successful ventures. This will be both a business creation and development and investment team, sort of like an Investment Club but with a far wider range of interests and with more hands on developmental involvement.

Invention Partners – partners in design and prototyping and product development. We’ll start out with my inventions and maybe yours as well and possibly graduate to taking stakes in other inventions and related businesses if the idea seems solid and viable.

Game Design Partners – people who can take my game designs, and your own, and build programs or physical products out of them. Depending on how much you contribute we’ll take profit shares on sales of the games, regardless of whether it is by the game or we sell the designs outright. As with the inventions your work will always be attributed in the design and protected as a share of profit by contract.

Finally you should know that in working with me my very basic and fundamental Worldview is that I am a Christian by religion, spirituality, philosophy, and nature, a Conservative (with some strong Libertarian leanings) in cultural and political and social matters, and a Capitalist when it comes to economics and monetary affairs.

Therefore I am a disciple and proponent of the teachings of Christ (Truth, Justice, Personal Honor, Honesty, and Fair Treatment of all based on individual behavior are extremely important to me, and I tend to like Charity and Philanthropy), God is my mentor and my best friend, I am Conservative in nature and very much believe in Hard Work and Personal Effort and Individual Initiative and Self-Discipline, and I am pro-Business, Development, Entrepreneurship, and Wealth. I also like to see people exploit their own talents and benefit and profit thereby. I set extremely high goals for both myself and others, and I expect much, but think I am fair and just to work with. I do discriminate and unapologetically so, but not regarding matters of background, class, race, or sex. I only discriminate between good and bad behavior, and between industry and laziness. As a boss or partner I will not long endure intentionally bad or destructive or self-destructive or foolish or apathetic behavior. I am not at all bothered by failure if you seek to improve and advance the next time.

If that all sounds fine by you and you are interested in any of these ventures then please contact me via email or by my Facebook or Linked-In pages or through my blogs or other webpages. We’ll begin Work.

HIGH ILLUSION from THE BASILEGATE

Alatha moved towards Marsippius as he rose. He was naked in the firelight.

When she reached him she examined him closely. Then she took her finger and began to lightly trace some of the many imperfections in his flesh.

“You have been often wounded?” she asked.

“Yes.”

“Why?” she questioned.

“Duty,” he replied wearily. “Duty and manhood.”

“It is manhood to be often wounded?”

“In part,” he said flatly. “Any man without scars is no man at all.”

She stared into his eyes. They were dark like hers. Deep Greek eyes, full of inquiry. Proud Roman eyes, full of purpose. But to him her eyes were inscrutable.

“Perhaps,” she said quietly, “a man should be more than his scars.”

He reached up and took her hand, the finger of which still lingered upon the long jagged white line of an old wound on his chest. The wound of a much younger man.

“Perhaps,” Marsippius replied, “you are very wise among your kind.”

He glanced at the fire. To him the flames in the hearth seemed to burn immensely hot, yet almost entirely silent. He wondered if the fuel of this world burned differently.

When he looked back at Alatha she was once again staring deeply into his eyes. But once again he could not read her mind. He started to move forward to kiss her and then thought better of it.

She did not. Seeing his intent she moved forward and kissed him warmly upon the lips.

Then she leaned back slightly and traced her finger gently across the lips she had just kissed.

“There seem to be no scars here,” she said.

“Illusion,” he said. “There are too many to count. They are nothing but scars. So they seem untouched. Yet…” he added, seemingly almost as an afterthought, “there is room still for a few more, if you so wish.”

She laughed quietly.

“What is wish but High Illusion?” she whispered. So she pressed against him and kissed him again.

 

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A scene from my novel The Basilegate.

KASHMIR – BOOKENDS

A poem from my book BHAIRAVANANDA

KASHMIR

The force of the blow struck me just above the eye.
A liquid odor, heavy with thick salt, burned the air.

But I knew there was no blood.

The light wood bent gracefully under my draw.
The shaft sprung forward, my essence following after.
I felt the impact yet failed to perceive an injury.
Within myself I am a hard enemy.

Deep war drums began to sound, an ordered measure,
Like some huge stallion in motion.

The air began to warm.

The desert rose from the moist earth and drifted through me.
The air was still.

I heard the strings quiver and looked upward.
Three prey-birds floated above me a moment,
Then turned earthward.

One fell beside me whistling into the soil.
The other two struck me full in my unarmored heart, drove me down,
Pierced through.

The drums continued yet I failed to hear.

The mountain banner rose above me.

The air was still.

OUT OF TIME – HIGHMOOT

I’ve been noticeably absent from blogging lately. I’ve been trying to build myself back up to at least one post for each of my blogs per week.

I’m still recovering from a broken wrist but my main problem(s) at the moment are that I have two start-up projects running simultaneously, I am writing two books (one fiction and one non-fiction), and I have an invention I am trying to secure investors and a manufacturer for.

And I’m looking for a new Literary Agent. A really good literary agent.

It seems like my entire weeks worth of free time is consumed by Monday…

THE SUN TO COME – FIRST VERSE

THE SUN TO COME

The sun to come by Son absolved
What wynd wove Wyrd have webs resolved
To write the future fate of Man
When woe is passed and wonder spans
The breadth of Earth, renewed, remade
Existence birthed, reformed, refreshed
Without that wound that scars all flesh…

(sectional – unfinished)

THE KNIGHT OF AGONY AND THE WITCH OF WOE

THE KNIGHT OF AGONY AND THE WITCH OF WOE

 

 

KNIGHT OF AGONY: “Strut of all conspiring women and bald intemperate Witch of thy sex, in these darkest charms you drive me on, and less now than my naked self, I am nonetheless repletely covered in the enchantments of your moist and damning sorcery.”

 

GREAT WITCH OF WOE: “Knight of anguished men, would you my powers any less than to wring from the sleeping Earth of night, and from thy inmost longing lower parts, those burning fires which wake the dead and melt away all obstacled defense?”

 

KNIGHT OF AGONY:Fie! Acquiteth thou thy e’er contingent ends and thereby make rich embodiment of my piercing hot desire, that all conspire, as I envision, and portend…”

 

WITCH OF WOE: “So shall it be! And with a rueful laugh I grant thee all you hide and seek, though seek you more, and hide you naught. Yet in the attainment of the barren gap between the grasp of man and the groan of ghosts you may still discover deep in me far blacker things in motion, and far more potent sorceries. Now, does this bargain still allure, or have you acted premature?”

 

KNIGHT OF AGONY: “It still suffices, and allures. Now come to me, immortal hell and all, and in thy keen and cold embrace I shall endure…. Thus shall I endure.”

 

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This morning I arose about 5:30. Immediately the above lines came to my mind, though I have since edited and improved them. I do not know why these lines came to me, but that is a common practice with me, to arise from sleep or a dream with a poem, a song, a story, or an invention in my thoughts.

So it was this morning with the Knight of Agony and the Witch of Woe.

It is part of a piece I intend to make into a short, one act play. Probably for Halloween.

While looking for an illustration or graphic to use with the post I stumbled upon illustration for TH White’s The Witch in the Wood and the Ill-Made Knight. That was not an inspiration for this piece, but when I saw the illustration I remembered the work which I read long, long ago, and found it apropos.

ARE YOU NECESSITY? – TUESDAY’S TALE

ARE YOU NECESSITY?

 

He stood up all wrong to be neighborly.

I looked up at him with a pacific expression to give him a chance to reconsider but he didn’t seem particular to my gentlemanly solicitations. So I followed suit by rising to my feet and placing my hand on the handle of my longknife.

“You know, maybe its age, or maybe its wisdom,” I explained. “Hell, I don’t know, could be a little bit of both at this point I reckon. But I’ve learned over time boy not to push myself any harder than I can stand at any given time, or to act more recklessly than I can endure at any given moment. Unless, of course, necessity dictates elsewise.

So the question I got for you son is this right here: ‘Are you necessity? Do you think of yourself as truly necessary?’

‘Cause iffin you do then I’m certainly prepared to listen to ya proposition, if you’re prepared for my considered reply.”

When he suddenly seemed uncertain and wavering in his deliberations I swung the table out from between us and took to hitting him as hard in the mouth as either one of us could stand. Until he wasn’t no more.

Then I stepped on his face turning it sideways and put the cold, clean, sharp tip of my longknife into his earhole.

“Can you make out precisely what I’m saying to ya now kid, or do I gotta keep pushing my point?”

 

From my Western: the Lettermen

DO NOT THIS WORLD ALONE – FIRST VERSE

DO NOT THIS WORLD ALONE

I awoke again this morning in a black mood. Then as dawn approached and I lay in bed thinking of my as yet unborn grandchildren this poem came to me and the dark passed.

 

For you are young and sweet
But I am old and doomed
I’m summoned to my sleep
Yet you have yet to bloom

I tremble as I walk
You’ve yet to take a step
I mutter as I talk
You babble joy instead

You’ve yet to know the dark
I search the night for light
To everything you hark
My memories I fight

Dawn she calls to you
Dusk she calls to me
To you it all seems true
I’ve been too long deceived

You laugh and coo and crawl
I’m stooped and bent and broke
I’m burdened with it all
You’re free of weight and yoke

You see just what is near
I’ve seen things from afar
My eyes drowned in my tears
Your sight is still unmarred

You hear the small birds sing
You wonder at their calls
I hear the echoed screams
I know what soon befalls

If I could by (buy) some wish
Shield you from what comes
Would that be damned foolish
Or work of High Wisdom?

I do not know my child
I never knew with me
The world was often wild
Most bloodily conceived

I will tell you this
For it is all I’ve known
Keep God deep in your heart
Do not this world alone

or, variantly:

(Do not this world bemoan)
(You’ll not this world atone)

BOOTIN UP LIKE A BOSS- TUESDAY’S TALE

This is the beginning of a short story about one of my detective characters. Well, he’s really a Deputy Sheriff acting as Sheriff while the real sheriff recuperates from a car crash as the result of a felon fleeing across county lines. This is my Tuesday’s Tale. I give you, Bootin Up Like a Boss.

BOOTIN UP LIKE A BOSS

“What are you doing?” she demanded.

He stopped tying his laces to look up at her.

“I’m bootin up like a boss,” he replied.

“What does that even mean?” she said, exasperated.

“It means, ‘I’m bootin up like a boss,’” he said evenly.

“But you are the boss!” she said loudly.

He went back to tying his laces.

“Funny how that works, ain’t it?” he said.

She paced around the room impatiently.

He finished lacing his boots tight and stood up slowly but gracefully and then he stomped both feet to see how they fit.

“Yeah, that’ll do…” he said out loud to nobody in particular.

She turned to look at him.

“Can we go now?” she pleaded.

He looked at her patiently and then walked to the coffee pot and poured himself a cup.

“When I’m good and ready. I ain’t really finished bootin up yet,” he said. “When I’m proper ready then I’ll let ya know.”

He sat down at his office desk and drank slowly from his cup of coffee. To himself and to all appearances he was alone in the room. Lost in his ruminations.

After five minutes or so he had completely drained his cup. She had tried to interrupt him several times during this interlude but he had silenced her with a single wave of his hand each time. Twice he had raised his hand an instant before she spoke, anticipating her attempts.

When his cup was empty he placed it before him on the old and weather-beaten desk, both palms cradling the still warm ceramic mug.

“Yep,” he said. “That was mighty gratifying.”

Then he stood, walked over to the high-rack and took off his field hat. He twirled it around in his hands a couple of times, running his finger along the brim as if testing it for something. Seeming to be fully satisfied with his investigations he finally placed the hat on his head, slightly askew, then took it back off, ran his fingers through his hair and settled it more evenly upon his head.

“I reckon that’ll work,” he said as if to himself.

Then he turned and looked at the woman as if seeing her for the first time.

“You ready to go now,” he asked, both casually and impatiently.

“What in the hell are you talking about!” she replied heatedly, her face reddening.

“I’m talking about doing my job,” he said as if her reaction puzzled him.

He brushed past her in a long legged stride and as stepped outside he said, “Lock up behind yerself. I ain’t yer housemaid ya know.”

He strolled out into the bright sunshine, looked around him a bit, and then crossed the street once he heard her hurrying up behind him.  That’s what bosses did…

(to be continued)

NEVER

This is a political and social poem about modern man


NEVER

I often wonder in my head
Just how naïve man can be
Especially of the modern kind
Whose ignorance is full and deep

History, replete with clues
As evidence of what will come
Makes no impression on his soul
To theory only he succumbs

A bed he’s built with his own hands
Covered it with wondrous lies
Sheeted it with foolishness
Then pissed it full of dreams at night

Of how he wished the world to be
Though never has it been as such
No matter to him, all will see
Never never mattered much

Reason tells him little now
His every fancy sophistry
Of how his hopes are truly deemed
Though spawned by phantom artistry

A little more, a little less
A tragic tale of absent jests
Nothing gained, and no one left
To even notice his behest (bequest?)

I often wonder in my heart
Just how simple man can be
Modern to his very bones
Object, abject, yet all agree

My how he wished his self-deceit
Could ever be what never was
Just one more time, then all will see
Never never matters much

THE EARTH AND MAN

THE EARTH AND MAN

The Earth is plowed
The Earth is sown
The Earth she swells
The Earth is grown,

The Earth below
The humble Earth
The Earth she knows
There is no dearth,

But for now…

The Earth is dark
With blood she’s stained
The Earth she moans
In endless pain,

We think we must
We think we shall
In constant lust
Our sins allow,

Yet…

The Earth she wants
A Man grown True
To care for her
As men should do,

The Earth desires
To grow Great
The Man should help
Her Procreate,

All that’s Good, and
All that’s Best
That is his Duty, and
His Test,

So…

The Earth is plowed
The Earth is sown
Her great renown
The better known,

When Man is Just
When Man is Strong
And escorts her
From every wrong,

Thus…

When all men steward
Their own Earth
With time and patience
Giving birth

Within themselves
To greater things
The humble Earth
Will endless bring

Forth High and Holy
Life…

WHEN NIGHT IS NO MORE – a modern poem

WHEN NIGHT IS NO MORE

When night is no more
I shall miss her winsome ways
The dark that settled on my heart
When she arose with mantled moon

When night is no more
I shall miss her distant stars
Harbingers of other worlds
That flourished in the vaulted veil

When night is no more
I shall miss her quiet sighs
The canopy and blackened sky
That no thought could penetrate

When night is no more
I shall sing of when she was
A lonely thing, yet beautiful
Ancient in her closing eve

When night is no more
I shall remember her
Not in her desperate closeness
But in her accrescent absence

FAR BETTER TO HAVE

I’ve been really excited lately at the work I’ve been doing on my novels and their plot-lines. I mean, actually very excited to be writing my fiction and plotting and replotting my books.

I’ve had a wealth of great ideas in the past few weeks. Some difficulty, of course, as to how to best arrange all of these great ideas into the body of my novels, for some of these ideas complicate (and enrich) the plot considerably, and I’m not sure I can use all of the ideas I have – I may have to reserve some of these ideas for other books.

But still, overall, I’d much rather have these ideas and not be able to use them right now, than not have these ideas at all and so never use them because I lacked them.

NIBBLES AND NUBBLES – A Children’s Book

This is a section of a Children’s Book I am writing (in verse) called Nibbles and Nubbles. I am still not quite finished with it, but I am close.

“You’re gonna get fed boy I promise you that
You’re gonna get fed and you’re gonna grow fat,
You will not go hungry or do without much
Your breakfast will simmer and steam like your lunch,
Your dinner will mountain all piled on your plate
Your drinks will all sparkle and never be late,
Snacks by the cartful will park at your door
Sweet candies and ice-cakes will litter your floor,
So don’t worry now son, just nibble away
You’ve way too much eating to do in one day,
And when your new friend comes to say his hello
I’ll feed him leftovers and then he will know,
That I am the baker and master of chefs
For my food is better than feasting itself…”

Nibbells and Nubbles

THE VIKING CATS: THE TALES OF HALE

The Poetic Song:

The Tales of Hale

In ancient lands of ice and fire
Was born a boy to roam the world

Old Conn was both his friend and sire
Long woven was his fate unfurled

For brothers true in danger shared
He had the faithful Viking Cats

As frontiers, monsters, ruins dared
They wandered far to come at last

To lands and climates they knew not
The Earth, the Sea, and Heaven’s Knot

As Conn’s Own Heart the boy first known
Explorer, Roamer, Viking son

Strong and tall he sprang, well-grown
To wander waves beneath the sun

Adventures deep and dangers dire
He chased full round the earth and seas

Disaster overtook his sire
As heir to father did accede

Of myths and legends many sing
The Tales of Hale heroic ring…

THE TALES OF HALE AND THE VIKING CATS

Continuing on with the Tales of Hale and the Viking Cats. More entries on this story can be found in category, The Viking Cats. This is the first-part of the poetic section of the novel I am writing, the Viking Cats. The book will be a children’s book aimed primarily at young boys, aged 7 to 13 or so.

The Book is about the boy Hale, who is the son of an Explorer/Merchant Viking (not the raping, burning, pillaging kind), and his adventures traveling the world with his newly converted Christian father Conn. (At least until his father is killed and Hale must assume leadership of his exploratory/trading expedition.)

Hale however is a very strange lad. He is preternaturally strong and uncannily intelligent and inquisitive and it is discovered later in the story that Conn’s father made a strange deal with God prior to Hale’s birth to give his son a unique Wyrd, which will follow him for the rest of his life and will fashion for him a peculiar and unforeseen fate.

Hale is also accompanied by three enchanted Viking Cats who are both his close companions and oftentimes his rescuers or guardians. Many other bizarre things will occur throughout the course of the book as Hale and his crew and cats wander the wide world.

The book will be divided into two sections. The first part will be the prose story, or the Proeric Tale. The second part will be the poetic section, and will be a poetic retelling of the prose story with certain variants in the storyline, and it will, of course, be presented in verse as a semi-Skaldic or Scopic song meant to be sung upon the lyre or the lute.

NOT THE WAY

Friday, December 12, 2014

How NOT to Query an Agent

Working for a literary agent, definitely has its moments of hilarity. My most recent reason to LOL? I was pitched to.

Yes. Me. The administrative assistant. And here is the crazy part: I was pitched a manuscript to an email address that really isn’t really common knowledge. And on top of that: I don’t get the query emails. That goes to a completely different person.

So why did it come to me, you ask?

I have no idea. Which prompted this post: how NOT to query a literary agent. Sharpen your pencils; get out your note pads, this is going to be riveting (and maybe save you the embarrassment of making easy, amateur mistakes)

  • You hear it everywhere. You’re about to hear it here too: READ THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES ON OUR WEBSITE. Yes, I just used about every function on the Word program to emphasize that statement. Seriously, all your problems will be solved if you take a few minutes to get these few facts straight. When you do, you’re a sight for sore eyes for those of us who get the queries (or shouldn’t get the queries as the case may be…)
  • Don’t put your entire chapter outline/back cover copy/reasons why you wrote this story in the query letter. Take an hour (or two) and Google query letters. Figure out how to write a good one. Have a critique partner give it a once-over (at the least). This is your first impression. It needs to be a good—GREAT—one.
  • Don’t tell the agent that you are going to be “the next NYT bestseller” or “Nicolas Sparks” or “Janet Oke”. Yes, these things just came through in a query letter that landed in my inbox. And if you are going to claim to be the next hot name, please be sure to at least spell it right.
  • Don’t tell the agent that you need them to publish their book. Um, excuse me, but duh. Be humble when you approach an agent. They have a ton on their plate. Usually many, many authors that they are managing their books and careers. To take the time to read your next best synopsis is a chunk of time out of their day. Realize that it’s not all about your needs and frame the tone of your query accordingly.
  • Don’t give your life story. The reason why you wrote the book. The story behind the story. Nothing. Don’t go there. Stay away. The agent doesn’t care. Now, if he/she picks up the book, reads it, signs you to their agency and you become friends, well, then yes, you probably will tell them the why behind the book. But right now you’re not BFFs, you’re strangers. You wouldn’t walk up to a handsome stranger-dude at a cocktail party, stick out your hand and tell him all about your dog dying when you were four, right away would you? Of course not. Don’t do that to the agent you are querying either.

Yes, that’s a lot of don’ts. Believe it or not, these all came out of a query letter I should have never gotten this week. So: read the guidelines. Write a pithy, word-catchy query. Have a great product to share with the agent. Be humble. Be patient. Email the right person and you won’t become an illustration on some agent’s blog anytime in the near future. 😉

THE SECRET PLANET KILLER AND THE INVERSIS

In the past couple of days I’ve had two excellent ideas for science fiction stories/possible novels/novel technology components.

1. Last night, while soaking in a hot bath, I had a great idea for a science fiction story involving a planetary kinetic kill weapon employed by an alien species. I haven’t worked out all of the details yet but the weapon is so effective because it is first projected at the planetary (or planetoid or moon, etc.) target as a near massless object at near light speeds and only within reaching a certain distance from its target does it decelerate rapidly regaining its original mass.

At this “transformational point,” or “weaponizing kenesis point” (kenesis being a term incorporating both kinetic energy and genesis or transformation point) the near massless projection becomes massive again (reabsorbing its original mass which it had been projecting ahead of itself as a gravitational anomaly) and it slows by conversion to about half its original speed, but because it transforms near the target and is still traveling at such tremendous velocity (which increases as it moves into the gravitational field of the target) it is almost impossible to defend against.

The only way to detect it is in energy form as a near massless projection and as a gravitational anomaly traveling in a tightly constricted area immediately preceding the projection. But neither of those would be able to be detected by the target until the projection reconverts to a massive state near/at the target site.

To detect it you would have to both understand what you are perceiving and it would have to pass through or by an early detection system, such as a DEW Line. In effect it would be a secret or stealthy planet killer and kinetic kill weapon which could be projected from almost any direction/angle against a target and unless detected by a pre-existed warming system it would literally impact against a target before the target was even aware of its’ presence.

Needless to say this weapon would be terrifying to anyone against whom it is employed and extremely difficult to successfully defend against.

I have a couple of ideas about how others might defend against such an attack but I’m only just now sketching them out.

I also have an idea of how the weapon itself might work, but that is all entirely theoretical of course.

2. This afternoon, while walking through our woods with my children and my dog Sam I had another idea for a piece of very advanced technology. What the device would do is disrupt the gravitational field around smaller volume massive objects, like White Dwarf stars, Pulsars, Neutron Stars, etc. causing the gravitational fields they produce to rapidly oscillate and fluctuate.

The point of such a device is to create fluctuations so intense that many of the higher level energies (x-rays, microwaves, etc.) and exotic particles being produced or ejected or radiated or compressed by the lower order observational event horizons in and around such objects can be freed for practical use. The same or a secondary device is then used to harvest, contain, and utilize these gathered energies, including the associated gravitational waves produced by the initial fluctuations.

At this point I’m calling this device the Inversis. Or that is what humans will call it. It is basically a very advanced exotic energy and particle harvester that operates by creating intense gravitational fluctuations in massive stellar bodies.

Theoretically the same device could be used to create temporary fluctuations in the outer gravitational field (near the outer edge of the event horizon) of a black hole as well.

In real life such a device would require so much energy to operate, even when concentrated upon a relatively small area of the overall target that I cannot in all reality say that it would actually produce and harvest more energy than it consumed.

But at this point it is only a sci-fi story idea anyway. So I don’t have to worry about real energy costs or anything like that right now.

At this point I plan to incorporate both of these ideas as working models for technologies to be included in my Curae series of science fiction novels.

In any case it has been a nice weekend for good ideas.

ONCE

a poem

ONCE

I once was myself but I wasn’t
Cause I was who I wasn’t at all
The cold in me seemed to burn hotter
Than my soul could unfreeze in the thaw
I forgot that my Nature was something
Not contrived of some plastic and steel
But alive in a Forest of Ventures
Asleep, yet with dreams unfulfilled

A man is a wandering spirit
Unhomed in a world not his own
To go where he must or come near it
In the end he must go there alone
What is it man is long-seeking?
What does he hunt in the night?
When will he find that he’s keeping
It hidden within beyond sight?

I am not now who was never
Never will be who I’m not
Still in my hoards I do treasure
Those things that my heart does allot
There is something within me that festers
And something that won’t seem to die
The one thing is well-nigh invested
In the guile, and the wiles, and the lie

But the other thing still it does slumber
Awaiting that dawn and that day
When it wakes to the Spring of New Thunder
To wander and wonder away
I’ll be who I’m not yet tomorrow
Today I will start on my way
Will it end in bright glory, or sorrow?
Does it matter, I cannot yet say…

SNOBBLE GOBBLES

Yesterday evening, after all of the Thanksgiving festivities I wrote a new children’s book. A Picture Book or possibly an Early Reader or Hi-Lo book.

Here are some of the sections:

SNOBBLE GOBBLES

”There once was a Snobble
Who lived in the woods
He gobbled and gobbled
All that he could,

His friend was a Smarty
Who was covered in warts
Smarty the Warty
Though he was a young Hort…

Now the Snobble who gobbled
And lived in the woods
Came from Far-Elsewhere
And did as he would,

His friend the Hort Smarty
Came from Near-By
But everyone swore
He had dropped from the sky

Together they rambled,
Together they roamed
Playing, exploring,
So far from their home,

Then one day they noticed
A cave in a hill, and
Decided to enter
Most curious-filled…”

THE MIDDLE WAY

I planned it all for everything
But nothing was what came,
Then started out at once from here
To find it all the same

Once I took up all my time
Planning my whole life,
That never got me anywhere
Or very much but strife

I’d sometimes head out sans a plan
That never went so well,
I’d some of this, and some of that,
But rarely did excel

I recall these habits old and lost
To wonder where they led?
Neither ever led to(o) much
Or kept me warm and fed

Now I see them as extremes
And both as incomplete
Neither one quite workable, and
Filled with dead conceits

Today I plan for what I should
Not for what I can’t,
Flexible at either end
There is no “must” or “shan’t”

Your life is yours so plan it well
That is some Wise advice;
But life is unpredictable –
Opportunity’s Device

So make your plans and work them well
Til better comes your way,
Then be ready thus to pounce
Without a planned delay.

THE CONSPIRACY OF DEATH from THE CURAE

From my science-fiction novel The Curae.

“Sin, Hell, and Death are the bastards of God. By that I mean we have no origin in God, so we have no real Father. But know that I am a secretly adopted Child of God, and one day soon I shall turn upon the other two and become something altogether different. On that day I shall come to you and you shall help me break Sin and Hell into pieces.”

Death disclosing his true intentions to the Priests of the Order of the Curae.

THE RIME OF THE MODERN ABJURER

(with apologies to a Better Poet)

Progress, progress everywhere
Of every theory drink;
Progress, progress we all share
But not a man to think

Our very souls do rot: O Christ!
That ever we should be
Like slimy things that have no will
Our voices dead banshees

About, about, we should so rout
The death-fires of our night;
Our minds like bitter witch’s oils
Our blood and bones made wights

Our darkest dreams assured are
That Spirit plagues us so;
Deep within he’s fathomed us
Our Natures now he knows

And everyone, through utter doubt
We’ve withered at the root;
We can not do a single good
For all our ways are moot

Ah! Well today, what darkened looks
From all we, old and young!
Unlike the Cross, our sins emboss
The evils round us hung

We could repent, we could revolt
If blood ran in our veins!
But ice, it will not circulate
So only waste remains

Rime she coats our inner selves
While we sails seas of death;
We travel far, but go nowhere
Our black hearts without breath

Oh progress, progress everywhere
Do we even know the term?
Our vices grow fat like a worm
That one day soon must turn…

INTERMINABLY SO… from DIVINE SOPHIA

God is the least passive and static Being and Force in the universe. Any universe. If you are “waiting upon God” then it is only because you have gravely mistaken your real position in relation to things. God long ago easily and immediately surpassed you and is merely waiting upon you to catch up to him, not the other way around.

Do not deceive yourself. You do not “sit and wait upon God.” God sits and waits upon you… sometimes interminably.

THE FREE, THE NOBLE, AND THE GOOD from HUMAN EFFORT

When the Free and Good and Noble Man is too powerful to resist then you have peace and prosperity. When the Free and Good and Noble Man is too weak to resist then you have tyranny and war.

THE DISPLACEMENT LATHE

Woke up with a superb idea for an invention this morning. I’m going to post it here because frankly I have no idea of how to build it at this point and it may be several decades before it can be properly developed (if ever) given current technological limits. Nevertheless I really, really, really wish that I could build it. Right now. The idea was extremely exciting to me.

It’s called a displacement lathe. Also known as a Vaultex Lathe – Vaultex being the proprietary name – and I must have been dreaming about the lathe and the company that makes it having already been built, right before waking.

The lathe operates by removing matter at any internal point within an object (for purposes of illustration let’s say the very center point of any object) but in this case without touching any other point on the object. That is to say that you could hollow out the center of the object without touching the surface or any of the intervening matter on the object or in any way damaging any of the other matter in/on or along the object. You would simply hollow out the internal matter to create a cavity or space within the object without touching any other point of/on the object.

Such a lathe would obviously take almost Star Trek like matter transportational qualities but the technique in this case is called displacement. Since you are displacing the matter in question to create shaped and hollowed areas internal to an object of any size or shape you wish. The lather would work on matter of almost any density or molecular configuration.

But the lathe far better than that for it also has a reverse or “constructive function” which allows the operator of the lathe to construct objects or even complex machines in the “hollow points” created by it. These new and “Internal Placements” can be built up simultaneously atom by atom from the existing material as the new space is being created, or such IPs can simply be built up at a later date by the injection/reinjection of new matter into the hollow space previously created. For the device can also re-hollow and then reconstruct new internal placements over and over again, as needed.

The implications and possible applications of having such a lathe are so obvious and so infinite there is no need for me to belabor that point any with an explanation. I’ve even thought or how it might be weaponized and employed as a machine of sabotage.

As I said I really, really, really want to build this device right now, but I know of no technology or means that would allow such a machine to actually function. My dream (whenever I have technological dreams of devices too complex to currently build I suspect it is the result of the fact that my old man was a tool and die maker and an inventor), or whatever it was, only gave me the function, not an idea for the method or means of construction. So for now it must remain just a sort of technological science-fiction concept (for my writings) until I can figure out a way to make it function.

WAITING ON GOD

Waiting on God to save the world I never raised my hand
I trusted him to do it all as was his holy plan
I thought he’d cure my poverty, I thought he’d make me smart
I thought he’d make me popular so I’d not stand apart
I thought he’d answer all my prayers, isn’t that his job?
I thought he’d bring me great success and save me from the mob
I thought he’d send me other men to mend and fix myself
I thought he knew my talents weren’t worth taking off the shelf
I thought he’d make me holier than if I (n)ever tried
I hoped he’d make me famous so I’d never be denied
I trusted him to make me strong, no effort on my part
I trusted him to think for me and sanctify my heart
I trusted him to cure my sin and make me into Him
All I had to say was, “Lord!” and it would all begin
He’d do it all, he’d do it all, nothing more from me
Would ever be required as far as I could see
Then I would be the Perfect Man because my God was true
And everything he’d do for me just like I always knew
Yet still I find myself the same and still I’m waiting so
Why has God not fixed it all for me down here below?
I cannot fathom why this is, and why is life so dark?
I said to him, “Here, do it all,” before I disembarked
You’d almost think – no, could it be – that God expects from me
Some effort to repair myself and fix the world I see?
Is that what I’m missing when I shirk it all away
That somehow I might have a part, a part of mine to play?
Oh, now I see, oh, now I hear, yes, all that wasted time
He was always hoping that I’d finally make the climb
I trusted him to do it all as per his holy plan
I never understood, that here, I am his hired hand…

THE OMENS AND PROPHECIES: THE KEIN, THE KITHE, AND THE KÏTHÊL

THE KEIN, THE KITHE, AND THE KÏTHÊL

Before starting to work on my novel, The Viking Cats, I decided to take Sam for our regular afternoon mile walk through the woods. As we did we came across a large herd of cattle in one of the adjacent fields because a neighbor is clearing the next field for pasture land.

The herd was mixed white and black cattle. When I saw this it gave me an idea for an omen in one of my other novels, the Fantasy/Myth novel of The Other World.

In these novels a series of prophecies and omens appear which forewarn the various nations and characters of what is about to happen, but few pay any attention to such omens anymore. As a result only a small minority of people actually understand and prepare for what is about to occur.

In any case this is the background of this particular omen:

In the other world (Iÿarlðma) there is a tradition among the Sidèhl and the Lorahń (the two most contentious, numerous, and powerful races among the Eldeven peoples) of Symbolic Sacrifice Exchange.

The Sidh and the Lorahn have often fought in the past, usually involving small skirmishes, but in the distant past they fought many bloody and desperate wars leading to great destruction and on occasion even Civil War. So almost 3000 years ago they developed a ritual act of Peace and Fealty through Mutual Sacrifice Exchange.

The Sidh developed a herd of pure white cattle (not really cattle as we think of them, far more massive, powerful, and wild creatures but for purposes of illustration I will use the term cattle) with white eyes and without any blemish or other coloring. This herd is called the Kein, or the Kein-Sidh.

The Lorahn developed a herd of absolutely black cattle with jet back eyes. This herd is called the Kithe, of the Kithe of the Lorahn.

Each folk keep a herd of 300 or so such cattle only for the purpose of the exchange and as an act of peace-keeping and bond-searing.

Every three years, at the summer solstice, the herds are intermixed and interbred. Whatever is produced, regardless of numbers, if it is all it black goes to the Lorahn, if it is all white then it goes to the Sidh. If the offspring are of any other color, blemished, have any other color eyes, or are in any other way not like their father or mother herd then they are given to other folk, such as the Jukarn.

But every now and then, every few hundred years or so, one cow will give birth to a set of Twin Cattle, alike in every way except coloring. One calf will be blood-red in coloring, the other sea-blue in coloring. These twin calves are called the Kïthêl, and they are a powerful omen of things to come.

Almost inevitably one calf will be born with a congenital defect and will die within a few weeks of birth.

If the blue calf dies and the red one lives then it foreshadows a disastrous and destructive war, not necessarily between the Sidh and Lorahn (though that might be the case) but possibly one that will afflict all of the Eldeven peoples. Or the omen may signal an invasion upon the Eldevens by a powerful foreign force or people.

If the red calf dies and the blue calf lives then it foreshadows a terrible plague, catastrophe, or disaster that may well kill large numbers of Sidh, Lorahn, or the other Eldeven peoples.

However, on very, very rare occasion both calves may either be stillborn or may die shortly after birth. In this case there is an ancient but well known prophecy that such an event signals both a terrible war and horrible catastrophe.

But in the novel which I am writing the Kïthêl both live and begin to grow to adulthood as healthy and massive and seemingly tame and intelligent animals, an event that has never before occurred (that anyone knows of) and no-one can interpret what this actually means.

Some assume it testifies to a long period of peace, prosperity, and plenty, others assume it means the collapse of either the Sidh or Lorahn peoples; others have no idea what it might signify.

Actually there is a very ancient prophecy that was written and hidden away, being encoded within another text and even within an artefact, that was proclaimed long before the herds of Kein and Kithe ever existed. It tells of a blue calf and a red calf, born of the same mother, who grow to adulthood and what that prophesies for the future. But none of the characters in the book are immediately aware of this ancient prophecy or even that it exists. Only slowly do the characters become aware of what it is and what it might mean.

Well, I had best return to writing my novel.

By the way, this is a prime example of what a good walk does to stimulate your imagination…

THE EASY PAIN

I woke this morning with these lines running through my head.

(That often happens to me with poetry, I awake with a poem or a set of song lyrics already running through my head – it is a lifelong habit going back to when I was a kid. Don’t ask me why this happens, maybe it is a result of part of my dreaming or sleep cycle. To me it’s just the way it works. And has always worked.)

To me this poem is a sort of psychological or sub-conscious encapsulation in verse of how I feel about pain in general, and what purpose is served by pain in particular.

I know that a lot of people, especially modern people, think pain and suffering is something to be avoided at all costs, a thing to be eliminated, ignored, or at the very least escaped by lifelong periods of “treatments” or self-medications of one form or another. Something they would rather not endure. And truth be told, sometimes at least, even I am sympathetic to that point of view. In certain cases anyway.

But to me, at least in general and in most circumstances, pain (of most any kind) is not an enemy, it is not something to be dulled or medicated, or cured (except in specific situations – such as injury recovery) but rather you should use it as a tool and a weapon to Cure and control the lesser and weaker parts of yourself.

Pain is not something you fear or flee, but rather embrace and use to reforge yourself into a much harder, tougher, and stronger man. Pain cures you of your own smallness and frailties. It is both a method and a means to become a much bigger, stronger, tougher, capable, and a much greater man. (Or woman, or child.)

I am sympathetic, even empathetic to the pain of others in most cases (unless it is needlessly self-inflicted pain used as an puny excuse to lazily escape their better natures), and many have been the times in my life I wish I could have cured others of whatever they suffered. But not always. Sometimes I wish they had simply employed their pain for their own advantage.

As for me, and seemingly contrary to modern man in general, I think it is mostly (not always, but mostly) a grave mistake to view pain as an enemy to overcome, rather than a valuable Friend and Ally to beneficially exploit.

Pain, well used, is treasured gain.

Hence, the ultimate folly of, The Easy Pain.
Note: this poem is unfished as of yet. This is just a first draft and it is in part at least fragmented. I wrote down as much as I could compose and remember before having to go downstairs and tend my animals and start breakfast for the family. I’ll correct, edit, and finish it later.

 

THE EASY PAIN

The easy pain is nothing, the harder pain is true
Numb your pain with medicines, it dulls the things you do

Exploit you pain with action, suffer for your aim
Give your anguish meaning; give your pain a name

Modern men think hardship something to escape
A prison cell of torment, an inconvenience they do hate

So remedies attempt them, with surgeries and drugs
To treat their pain relentless, or kill it like a thug

Yet still pain hammers on them, but tempers not their soul
The longer they do flee it the weaker that they grow

Agony is iron-dust if suffered not in Truth
Corrupt the ore is broken, not forged to better use – yet,

When men make their anguish the raw drive of their life
And consume it like ambrosia it feeds them in their strife

When they shape and craft their pain into their sword and tool
They shape themselves in better ways, Grow Wise, and not a fool

Anger righteous is no vice, Justice is a christ
And pain is not a fearsome foe, but a Holy Geist

Man you flee your sacred pain, and to what avail?
Meant to grow you into gods, you’ve made it into hell

One day you should thank the God who made you suffer such
If only you might use your pain to make yourself as much…
End of fragment…

FLIGHT AND FURY

A brief scene of combat between Marsippius Nicea (the de facto commander of the Byzantine special forces team the Basilegate) and a creature he has never before encountered.

This creature had been attempting to ambush Marsippius as he traveled alone through unknown territory but Marsippius observes him first and sets for personal combat.

From one of my Other World novels.

This is the second draft of this scene.

_________________________________________________

Marsippius bent his stave so fiercely that the bow seemed to double backwards like the horns of a fresh waxing moon, halving in height while multiplying many times in deadliness. He drew the shaft end all the way back past his furthest eyesight, feeling the soft fletching touch his ear like the passing wings of a fleet bird of prey at the final swoop. His left arm held steady being guided by the narrowing of his sight, the subtle turn of his stance, and the short hold of his breath. The spine of the shaft seemed perfectly still and straight, being of Eldeven make, and nearly perfect in heft and balance, and absolutely square and true in line. It was a killing shaft, an instrument of unfettered war and swift death, and he meant to use it as such, having been trained by the Sidèhl themselves in its best and most effective use. Both stave and shaft had been made for him, and he alone, presented as personal presents for his leal and long service to the Kitharians and the Samarl of Samarkand, and he had high faith in their making and great certainty in their sharpness and surety of purpose.

The creature came on in a rush, howling and growling all at once, its unnatural darkness and emanations of malice preceding it like an angry stormcloud swelled with preternatural fury. It ran in a lope, explosively at each new stride, seeming to leap both upwards and outwards to cover great distances as it moved in a bizarre, uncanny, and unsteady gait. Yet on it came, eerily but surely, 120 feet away, 100 feet away, 80 feet away, 60 feet away, and then Marsippius loosed his arrow. The shaft sped ahead a few feet into the open space before him, quivering and twisting in the air as it too lept forward uncannily, and then the shaft disappeared from sight as if Marsippius had loosed a thunderbolt, and not a crafted shaft of mortal make.

Marsippius saw nothing of the arrow’s flight but the shaft reappeared almost instantly, buried deep within the monstrous folds of fat and muscle that were the thing’s lower belly. It howled anew, grunted ferociously, twisted in its wild careen, fell sidelong with its massive and hairy arms outstretched to try and absorb the blow it would feel as it crashed to the broken ground in a wreck. The black soil churned when it struck, and a cloud of dark debris exploded violently at the impact. The thing rolled catastrophically, filling the air with guttural and awful noises, and screaming unknown curses in an unknown tongue. If it was a tongue, and not the signaled sound of diseased damnation spout out from the ugly mouth of hell. The creature rolled out lengthwise and then stopped moving.
Yet only for a moment.

Then it twisted away from the earth as if the ground underneath offended it, stood to one knee, and ponderously, painfully, used its powerful hands and forearms to rise once more to its monstrous height.

Marsippius bent forward slightly and quickly plucked another upright arrow from the ground where he had placed five more silver shafts before him. He nocked the new arrow, drew once more, and lowered his aim upon the hard gasping but still living thing.

The speed and momentum of its crash and fall had cast it forward towards Marsippius even farther than perhaps its loping run might have, save for the momentary pause as it stopped to rise and examine itself and the severity of its wound. Barely more than thirty feet now separated the Roman soldier from the obscene and unnatural beast – the thing, the monster, whatever it might in truth really be.

Marsippius could see the slick and slimy foam fleck upon its bloody and crusted lips, and a sort of black ichor was seeping from the terrible wound left by the arrow the Roman had shot deep into it. The fall and roll had shattered the Eldeven shaft, leaving only a few splintered shards of dirty debris still protruding from the gape that the crash had made by gouging out an even bigger and more vile tear in whatever this thing called flesh. Marsippius reasoned, or perhaps hoped, that the fall had not only broken the Sidhelic shaft and torn the wound too wide to heal, but had perhaps driven the remaining end of the shaft and arrow head deep into its bowels, therefore assuring it bled to death in time, or eventually killed the creature with a black infection grown from its own foulness and rot.

The creature stood erect again, but then bent forward, heaving to breathe, its dreadful and reddened, bulging orbs fixed upon the Roman like the terrible eyes of venomous serpents spawned in the torture pits of the far Orient. Marsippius could see the thing debating with itself – would it try and close the gap between them as quickly as possible, risking another wound like the terrible one it now suffered? Or would it turn and attempt a reckless and wholesale flight hoping the Roman could not shoot it twice with the same skill and near lethal effect?

Marsippius for his part considered that if he shot again and missed he might not have enough time to make a good third shot before the thing was upon him, and in his own mind he rehearsed his next actions in sequence, as his training and experience had taught him to imagine and prepare for each engagement. First he would fire, and kill the thing or not, he would then draw his Spatha from its sling along his back and await the charge of the monster, hoping that in its fury or desperation he could spy a spot to drive his blade so deeply and true that the shock and force would prevent a counter-attack, and do the thing swiftly to death. In his mind Marsippius was practiced, cold, watchful, and wary, as his years of combat and warfare had taught him to be when faced with great danger, but in his heart he knew that if the creature took him in its grasp it might very well rip him to pieces as a man might pull apart the soft limbs of a roasted hare well before he might hope to kill it.

So the Roman aimed for the center of the beast, at its deep barreled and protruding breast, focusing his attention so absolutely that he saw nothing else but what he imagined to be the misshapen and misbeaten heart of the fearsome creature. Hearing nothing but the ragged breathing of the beast as it struggled to catch its breath and overmaster the agony of its vicious wound. If it came on he would place another shot with all his skill and the full fury of his toxon, and if it fled he would exchange its rounded chest for its flat and wide back as the target of his aim.

Almost as if sensing what he thought the creature turned sideways, making itself a much smaller target than before and momentarily confusing the soldier’s aim. It also almost assured that even if Marsippius hit him squarely, it would likely not be a lethal wound, since unless struck in the head or neck the thing’s cobbled and disordered armor or his thick muscled chest, thighs, or arms would most likely absorb the greater part of the damage of the shot. Marsippius therefore refocused his aim, for he still meant to either partially cripple or hobble the creature, but he now suspected he could not kill it with but another single shaft. He also now wondered if the thing might hope to stand still long enough to exhaust his bow arm, attempting thereafter to dodge or deflect his shaft, then come rushing on with whatever strength it might have left intending to overpower Marsippius in close combat. Again the Roman practiced in his mind what he would do next; fire, draw his blade, await the charge, and strike his best blow, or if the thing avoided his shot and then took to flight, whether to pursue or try to shoot him again as he fled.

Marsippius waited, but the thing shifted not again, and even seemed to calm, to relax, to gain mastery of its breath and pain to such a degree that it seemed to become more inanimate stone than living thing. Marsippius resisted the urge to shoot until he felt both his arms begin to quiver slightly, and fearing that exhaustion at the long draw might weaken him at sword-arm should combat become necessary, he relaxed monetarily, caught his breath, and loosed.

The shaft hummed warmly as it took flight, quivered, sped like a flash of lightning, and disappeared. It seemed to Marsippius that the shaft flew entirely true but the creature was cunningly crooked, or else some unnoticed witchcraft was hard at work as the arrow sped, for the flight went awry and clearly missed its mark. This time Marsippius thought to himself, the thing was ready, and not arrogant and reckless in attack. It now knows I am dangerous, it now will be doubly so.

Marsippius cast his bow aside, reached down and slung his shield to his left, sliding his hand and forearm into the bracings and setting himself for the coming fight. He reached behind him and swiftly drew his Spatha, the weapon of his youth and the ancient heirloom of his command. Having been recently recast by Eldeven art at the request of the Samarl it seemed to both shiver and shimmer in the noonday sun, but the creature came on again covered in grim and grimy gore, hot with renewed fury and bent on unholy vengeance. It met the Roman’s bright blade with a darkness it cast out from itself. If there was to be any further flight, thought Marsippius, then it would be because one of them fled this world entirely and for the very last time.

THE THRONE OF WISDOM

Had an interesting idea this morning while walking Sam for one (or maybe more than one) of my fantasy/mythological novels. Probably first and foremost for The Other World.

It is called the Throne of Wisdom and it is based upon my own experiences with my office chair (which I intend to replace today with a new and far better engineered chair).

The Throne of Wisdom is a chair/throne employed by one of the Kingdoms in my novels. The throne is beautiful and seems luxurious to all appearances and whoever sits in/on it (after being properly appointed or elected or having won the chair by right – different methods apply but the throne is never hereditary) will be King.

However by law the new king must sit in the chair for four hours each day, no exceptions, seven days a week. For two hours he must pass judgments and for two hours he must conduct other business. He is not allowed to move from the chair, stand, or go elsewhere. For any reason – of any kind. He cannot go to the bathroom or receive food or drink. He must “Work Upon the Throne of Wisdom without rest or complaint or cease.

At first the chair seems comfortable but over time, because the throne is enchanted, it becomes slowly ever more excruciating to sit in it. (Like my office chair.) Eventually the throne will physically and mentally cripple and finally kill the one who sits upon the throne. The Wise Man realizes early on that the chair is not what it appears to be and that the throne, while seemingly beautiful and comfortable, is actually a high and heavy burden.

The Wise Man therefore eventually “steps down” when the throne becomes too painful to endure (usually after three to seven years) and gives it over to another, whoever his successor might be. All the wiser for the experience.

The fool and he who grasps at power tries to continue to sit the throne indefinitely until it either cripples him, drives him mad, or kills him.

The Throne will be as much a story about the surrounding population and People of the Kingdom, and about those who attend and serve the king, as it will be about the “king.”

For whenever the People and officers of the court and soldiers and the king’s guardsmen are cowards and fools in their own rights they allow the king to sit indefinitely without overthrowing him, and they follow whatever orders he gives no matter how tyrannical, foolish, reckless, self-destructive (to the Kingdom), and unlawful. Their own foolishness and cowardice makes them craven and witless accomplices in the tyranny of the “Fool King and the Fool’s Throne.”

But whenever the People and officers of the court are Wise they refuse the orders of the Fool King and revolt against and overthrow whoever would sit madly or recklessly forever upon the Throne.

For a Wise People give birth to Wise Rulers and a Wise Ruler knows both his own limitations and his True Duties to his People.

But a cowardly and foolish and self-absorbed people give birth to selfish and foolish rulers and a ruler who is a fool both dictatorially oppresses his people and gives birth to more just like himself.

THE RACES OF EARTH AND IŸARLÐMA – THE OTHER WORLD

Some background on the various folk, people, and races inhabiting my novel series The Other World (the Kithariãd) and how they relate to one another.

 

Human Race – divided into normal human sub-racial groupings. Human beings live on Terra or the Kosmos (Earth) and only by accident (or some would say misfortune or fate) ever visit other worlds, such as Iÿarlðma.

Eldeven Race(s) – divided into several separate sub-racial groupings. These include the Sidèhl, Jükaŗn, Lorahń, Ghêriel, and some say the Avafał and Maştur of Iÿarlðma. Also called the Telwé-Iÿarlðmayn or “Free Peoples of Iÿarlðma.”

Sidèhl or Sidhel also named by men the Caer – Similar in many ways to the Western concept of Elves, but not so much the Tolkien-type elves as mythological elves, the Sidh being an extremely cunning and dangerous group of beings. The Sidh are a noble people but are extremely inscrutable and severe. Highly organized (and some say ruthless) they are considered the de facto leaders and political force among the Eldevens. The Sidh are the natural organizers of the Eldevens. As a result they are the most powerful political and military force among the Eldevens. They are said to be a diplomatic race but are swift to anger and lethal when agitated. In addition it is said that the Sidh are the most naturally gifted of all users of Elturgy (magic) among the Eldeven, yet many of them also are instinctively wary and distrustful of Elturgy. The Sidhel possess extremely sensitive eyesight and can see at great distances. It is also said that some Sidh can see the invisible and some even possess “foresight.” Outsiders often refer to them as the “Wyrd Folk,” or the “Folk of High Dooms.”

Jükaŗn also named by men the Dwelvar – Similar in many ways to Nordic Dwarves, also an extremely dangerous and fearsome people if properly provoked. They also hold generation’s long grudges and occasionally feud violently and bloodily among themselves. The Jukarn are slow to breed and often attempt to hide or segregate their females, who are said to be extraordinarily beautiful and shapely, even if small and fiery, from the rest of the world. Male Jukarn are, however, notorious womanizers of their own females and of the females of other races and many fights and wars have started among them for this reason. The Jukarn are excellent engineers and builders of massive siege engines. They rarely prefer to personally engage in war (for political or non-personal reasons) but are renown as excellent armorers and builders of war-engines. Jukarn tend to be highly intelligent, yet often guileful. The Jukarn are well known for two things, their ability to detect vibrations in their very bones, often providing them with forewarning of approaching disaster or danger, and their extremely keen sense of hearing. Therefore they are often called the “Listeners.” They are also sometimes called the “Blood Folk” for their habit of smearing themselves with a blood red dye for adornment.

Lorahń also named by men the Sylf or Sylvar – a sub-group of the Sidhel and distantly related to them. The Sidh tend to be urbanized and civilized. The Lorahn disdain cities and settlements preferring to live in loose tribal associations (like American Indians once did) and to live off the land, preferring a naturalistic existence. They much favor Elturgy (and naturalistic Elturgy at that) to technology and craft as the Sidhel and Jukarnians do, and distrust collectivism, urbanization, and a reliance upon groups. They value individualism above all else. They are natural Frontiersmen and of all the Eldevens they breed the fastest, live the hardest, and die the youngest, often by misadventure or sheer love of danger. They are however almost totally immune to most diseases. Of all Eldevens they are the most xenophobic, especially towards Men and Sidh. The Lorahn are possessed of two extremely discriminating senses, the sense of smell and the ability to hear. They can often smell faint odors for leagues, having a sense of smell like a bear. Their hearing is so keen that it rivals or even exceeds that of a wolf. Perhaps because of this the Lorahn find themselves most naturally aligned with the Jukarn when it comes to other Eldevens. Many call them the “Green Folk.” Both because of their naturalistic lifestyle and because they can actually cause their flesh to assume a bluish or tan or greenish hue in order to blend into their environments.

Ghêriel also named by men the Gnössom, or Gnömso – a subrace distantly related to the Sidh but much smaller in physical size. Like the Lorahn they prefer to keep to themselves but they are also master craftsmen and builders of small and complicated artifacts. Known for their enormously sensitive and discerning sense of touch. They are also known for being crafty, cunning, hidden, and secretive by nature. The Gheriel folk often produce geniuses of various types. These geniuses however tend to be loners who prefer to work by themselves. A small percentage of Gheriel are born blind yet nevertheless their skin and other senses become so sensitive that they naturally possess a gnosense which gives them an uncanny ability to both understand how things work and to perceive things others cannot. The Gheriel are said by some (although they keep such things secrets among themselves) to be the longest lived of all the Eldeven peoples with some living to be over 1500 years old. Many call them the “Sharp Folk,” or the “Secret Folk.” Some name them the “Gold Folk,” because as they age their skin takes on a peculiar golden hue. It is said by some that right before a Gheriel dies he will turn the color of purified gold.

Avafał also named by men the Eladruin – a Race (the New Ones or the Fallen Ones) or sub-race (depending upon your point of view) that occurs when some member of the Eldeven Race mates and produces an off-spring with some member of a Human Race. Extremely rare as most such matings produce no offspring and even when such a mating is successful the child often does not survive into adulthood. Those that do survive often become extremely wise and trusted advisors and explorers possessing keen senses and a deep curiosity, an active mind, and a restless and searching spirit. They also tend to be a good and noble mixture of the more positive traits of their parents. They are sometimes called the “Gray Folk,” or the “Twilight Folk.” However some Avafal become Balkar or Fallen Ones, bitter outcasts and wanderers, hating and eschewing one parent or another, or both, with a tendency towards lifelong hatred and a desire for vengeance against the people of one parent or another for what they perceive as the supposed injustice of their birth and life.

Maştur – known as the “Black Eldevens,” or the Dark-Haired Elds” even though their skin tends to be very pale to almost albino white or sun-burned reddish in color. Their hair however is usually as jet black as their eyes, the tips of their ears, and the palms of their hands. Unlike the Sidh who tend to usually be near man-sized, or the Jukarn who tend to be short, the Mastur appear in a wide range of heights and sizes, from almost seven feet tall near giants to short four to five foot tall individuals. The Mastur long ago separated themselves from the other Eldeven peoples of their world, taking to the Sea, hence their other nickname, “The Sea-Farers.” Eventually they settled in a single large colony (with nearby smaller colonies) near the North Pole. Some actually live in hollowed out glaciers as hermits and it is also said that the Mastur either discovered a long abandoned and dead city in the arctic that had been built by a vanished race (possibly the Orasta) or that they built their own Capital city and port deep beneath a huge ice-sheet in the Frozen Sea of Ilkfriģ. It is not known whether or not either story is true or merely legend. It is also said that in the arctic that the Mastur discovered a strange form of magic or a weird artefact which gave them control over a weird form of magic they call Ylturgy, or Ulturgy. It is also not known whether or not this rumor has any basis in fact.

Farmarhlýan – Long before the Skëma (the Great Sundering that led to the various races of the Eldeven Folk) there was another group of the Eldeven peoples. The Sire and leader of these Eldevens, Farmarhl, one day stood before all of the gathered Eldeven peoples and said that he had received a Vision and a Dream that told him he must journey East with his people, to follow a Giant Silvered Stag to some new and unknown land. Few believed him until three days later when a giant silvered stag actually did appear and presented itself before Farmarhl. The stag was wild and would allow no one else to touch it except Farmarhl. Farmarhl named it the Yärnalaös, or Yärn (Stag) of the Dawn, and within a week he and his people were following it into the East. For seven years Farmarhl sent riders and messages back to the other Eldevens regarding his people’s progress but in eighth year all messages stopped and no more messengers appeared. The Farmarhlyan have never been heard from again, not in thousands and thousands of years, and no trace of them has since been discovered. They are now only remembered in song and lore and in a few brief and ancient copies of some of their early messages. Some call them the “Lost Folk,” and the “People of the Unseen Dawn.”

Adhařma Race also named by men the Anakös or Yettin – A race of powerful demi-giants who are excellent engineers and architects. These giants are known as the greatest builders on their world and the Eldevens (especially the Sidhel and the Jukarn) often contract with them to build their cities. The Adharmenes are highly intelligent but rather short lived compared to the Eldevens. This race may live to 75 or 80 years before succumbing to death. They also tend to suffer many health problems throughout life (probably due to their size) though they also tend to be enormously tough and immensely strong. However they are often susceptible to disease and injury, taking longer than most other peoples to heal. For this reason the Adharma invented the Harmindir (the Healing Hall) and have become expert healers and physicians. The Adharma practically built the Capital (and many say greatest) City of the Sidh, Samarkand. The Adharma also seem to share an odd an affectionate bond with the Gheriel, despite their enormous differences in size and longevity. They are sometimes called the Keldthŗengs (Walking Towers).

Gabraen Race – also known as the Ekronëv or Renown Ones. This race is a half-brother race to the Adharmenes and although only slightly taller and more bulky than humans they also seem to possess enormous and almost preternatural strength similar to that of the Adharma. Hairy and muscular many consider them coarse in appearance and ungainly in nature. Especially compared to the Sidh and the Lorahn who are considered attractive in appearance and graceful in motion. They are most renowned though for being physically fearless, incredibly tough, and enormously skillful hunters. They are not particularly susceptible to disease and injury but they are a violent and aggressive and forthright race and often die young and in combat. They are however master and spellbinding storytellers and well versed in song and music. Generally though they are disliked by the Eldeven peoples, whereas the Adharma are often admired by and friendly with the Sidh and Jukarn and Gheriel. The Gabraen typically tend to live only to be about 50 years old, and will tolerate the company only of the Adharma, the Lorahn, and some men. The Gabraen as a whole seem to be an outcast race, and to consider themselves as such.

Orasta (the Dawn People) Race – A lost race about whom not much is known except for the ruins of their high and bloody and brutal culture. They were said to have at one time been great explorers and colonizers having explored much of “the Old World,” before the Great Remaking or High Reforging of Iÿarlðma. What eventually happened to them or how they may have been destroyed no one is really sure and even the oldest legends and myths fail to mention their final fate. But not a single body or tomb of their dead has ever been uncovered. Many among the Sidh believe that the Orasta were the nascent forebears of the Eldeven races or that they never actually vanished, but opinions on the matter are hotly debated and disputed. The Jukarn say they were a wholly evil race and the Adharma greatly fear the ruins of the Orasta but will not say why. The Orasta are also called the Meilorein Race (Lost or Invisible Ones) by the Sidh.

 

There are also other obscure and vanished races of Iÿarlðma but little to nothing is actually known of their true natures and cultures by the Eldevens or by Men.

 

 

THE ENGINE OF EVERYTHING

Had a superb idea for a science fiction short story today.

The Engine of Everything.

It’s not what it sounds like. It was an interesting idea to me. It will be part of my God-Technology series.

Of course I’ve still gotta finish The Vengeance of Tôl Karuţha and Scarecrow. A lot of things have been vying for my time lately and slowing me down.

Also last night I began writing a new song, Until She Is No More.

I think it will be a good song.

THE LEXICON OF IŸARLÐMA (THE OTHER WORLD)

Because the plot, story, and terminology of my novel series (The Other World – the Kithariãd) has become so complicated and involved over time I have begun the construction of a Lexicon so that I and my readers may track all of the various languages, neologisms, and terms I have invented for the novels.

It will eventually include all of the arcane and neologistic and specialty terms I use or have invented in Latin and Greek and Hebrew and English as well, but for now I am only compiling those terms I have invented for the various Eldeven languages used in the book.

At this point it runs to 20 pages or so, but I expect it to grow significantly over time and I have yet to alphabetize the lexicon for ease of use. A hard chore but a necessary one.

Eventually I expect this Lexicon to be to my mythopoeiac works something like Alfred the Great’s lexiconographical works were to the Real World.

HAUBERK AND MAEL – A DREAM IN VERSE

I woke this morning with these lines running through my head. Don’t ask me why, I’ve never understood how this crap really works. This kinda thing just happens to me from time to time.

HAUBERK AND MAEL

Jerkin and wainscoat, both fitted well
Shield trimmed with cold steel, hauberk and mael

Bodkin and longbow, employed at range
Pierced through at angles, hauberk and mael

Gorgelet and gauntlets, painted with shells
Baldric beseasoned, hauberk and mael

 

Also there were a bunch of other words and terms in my head (I wrote them all down) some of them archaic, or archaic or foreign versions of better known terms (such as mael for mail) which are also plays on words (mael also meaning bald, shaven, defenseless, blunt, hornless, the Welsh saint Mael, a Keltic name for Ireland and Wales and Brittany, and of course a variation on the armor – mail – yeah, I looked it all up), and weird forms of other words such as wainscoat.

(Which I suppose to probably be related to waistcoat, though perhaps my mind had created a different neologism altogether – wanescoat – a faded or shrinking coat, or coating. It was hard to tell. I didn’t see the verses or words, just heard them as I woke, so I used wainscoat. Maybe it was supposed to be “wanescoat.” Don’t really know at this point what was meant.)

Gorgelet also seems a strange (though poetic) variation on the term gorget (the plated neck armor of a knight) but the word also seems to me to imply something woven over or covering the gorget, like a piece of painted silk or cloth. Maybe a piece of decorated heraldry. Just a working theory.

My “verse dreams” are weird in that way, the way they alter terms and languages and definitions. Oftentimes I create new words in my dreams, and then later on have to figure out what they probably mean, or how to relate them to other or more established terms.

Finally there were also some stand-alone lines that I woke up with, such as, “Great gloppen and gore” but they were not part of stanzas and I don’t yet have any idea of where to put them.

It’s all sominpathy to me at this point.

I have a feeling though that this one is gonna be like pulling teeth. For some reason it wants to be written, but I don’t know why or how to proceed right now.

So I’m gonna let it sit and set awhile in my mind and see where it all goes. And what it might mean.

THE LORD OF TABLES

I post this as one of my Halloween posts for this year.

This is a fable in verse I wrote about one of the characters in some of my novels (The Other World). He is called The Lord of Tables because he keeps a stronghold in which no war or discord is allowed and he freely fetes and entertains many (from his seemingly inexhaustible stores), even those who are notorious and devotedly sworn enemies of one another.

His home seems a place of sanctuary and feasting and goodwill, and indeed it is, but underneath it all the Lord of Tables is engaged in a long-flowering and on-going Act of Justice which will one day break forth in a terrible setting to rights of all of the wrongs that have ever come to his notice.

The Lord of Tables is called such by others because they see him as a “table-maker,” a man of great hospitality. He calls himself the Lord of Tables because to him the title is a metaphor implying basically the same thing as the Scales of Justice. And one day the Lord of Tables hopes to “turn the tables” and therefore achieve his true end.

The poem below, which the Lord of Tables wrote himself about himself (actually I wrote it, of course, but in the book he writes it about himself), is designed to be either recited or sung at the various feasts which he hosts.

It seems a very innocuous and innocent poem/song until you know his actual and real intent. Then almost every line is “spiced and seasoned” with an underlying and very ominous meaning. The song is in truth not a recounting in verse of what is happening at the moment, but is actually a poetic prophecy of things to come.

The poem is therefore a coded warning of the Lord’s future and truer intentions.

The Lord of Tables is a very accomplished poet and minstrel in his own right, but thinks of himself first and foremost as an instrument of long-delayed Justice, while others think of him merely as a generous and compliant and diplomatic King and peace-maker.

The Lord of Tables never recites or sings the last 4 stanzas of his Song, he only ever sings or allows to be sung the first 8 stanzas of his Song to those he fetes and feasts. He has never sung or recited the last four stanzas to anyone; he keeps those in secret reserve for his Day of Justice.

One day however, when the time is right, he shall gather all of his guests together in his “Hording Halls” and sing the last four stanzas of his Lay.

Then he shall lay on thick and bloody with Justice, and many will eat their fill and far more than their appetite can withstand.

 

THE LORD OF TABLES

I spice my ales, I spice my wine
My bread I make with honeyed rhymes
I spice my beer with mint and thyme
My meat I sauce with sweets and brine

My greens I grow to touch the sky
My fruit trees flower day and night
My soups on fires boil to heights
That feed my foes to my ally

My table it is amply lain
With treats aplenty, lack allayed
Desire too is swift arrayed
Then conquered there ‘til naught remain

My drink it quenches every thirst
As all who taste it will confer
Seasoned as the guest prefers
So potent that the skins will burst

My grapes are sharp, both strong and tart
My vineyards yield without regard
No dearth grows there, no discard
Nothing lost or set apart

My cheeses mellow in their vault
Their taste like silvered dewdrops wrought
Their ken and kine both dearly bought
I treasure them against assault

Some come to feast where I make keep
I gather them in halls to heed
That none may hunger or know need
A Hoard of Plenty, high and steep

Some though come to me to fast
I serve them true as they have asked
Yet seeing all the goods that bask
Upon my table wont won’t last…

Secret Stanzas:

Songs are sung as men do fête
Contests fair of measured state
Marque these men in their estates
To see which evidences fate

Shouts and roars of merriment
Oaths are called, while some are sent
Deep beyond all banishment
To be stored with my consent

Now King I am of fruitful fare
Others think me mild as air
Because I share with no despair
My bounty’s gain without compare

Yet what they know not as I sit
This Lord of Tables none abets
To forget the wrong I’ll set
To right forever – not acquit.