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Archive for May, 2013

Eire!

One week from Thursday I will be on my way to Ireland. That’s right–Ireland. The plan is to do a bit of writing whilst I’m there. I’m not sure that will happen, but an effort shall be made. The weather is a balmy sixty degrees. I am a-tingle with anticipation. I won’t be posting anything while I’m gone and probably not for a few days after I return. Unless something strikes me between now and my departure, this will be the last upload for a couple of weeks. So, here’s a poem about dreaming…

Black as night and blacker still.

A growing emptiness I cannot fill.

Blind and unseeing, I stumble on,

Hoping and waiting for the dawn.

Terrors before me, fear behind,

Pulling, pushing me out of my mind.

Neither up nor down, near nor far –

Lost without a guiding star.

Falling then for time untold,

Rushing water, brisk and cold,

A sudden light before my eyes,

The sound of loud and desperate cries.

I hear the words as a gentle stream:

Awake! Awake! It’s just a dream!

 

Z.

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Shakespeare

This was written for a history class a couple of years ago.

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The Common Man
The stage was set, the players in the wings;

The lights were dimmed, the crowd was silent, hushed.
Long had the world been thus in her waitings.
Thank thou those men of noble birth who brushed
Upon the canvas of the populace
Colors, shades, and shapes anew; men who wrote
With mighty pen, words valued then far less
Than older thoughts more beloved, yet they smote
The hearts of men, women, even the young,
The kingly and common, there to ensconce
Within their souls a song as yet unsung.
Thank thou, my friend, those men of Renaissance.
For it is their work in science and art,
Of paint and stone, of spirit’s love and fear,
That crafted the stage, that readied the heart.
It is they who paved the way for Shakespeare.
When all was prepared and his time was come,
When great works fled noble halls and did fan
The winds of change which turned the minds of some,
Then was greatness bestowed on common man.
For the words of this man, revered someday,
Were heard by more than the gold-gilded few.
They were the joys and sorrows meant to sway
The farmers, traders, butchers, shipmen, too.
 
Upon any given day, before noon,
The Globe theatre could its flag unfold
And announce to the city its platoon
Of actors later there a play would hold.
Across the city and in varied places,
Two or three tales in a night they would tell.
Woes of the day, the story erases,
Starting at two and ending near eighth bell.
From dingy alleys and manicured lanes,
From unkempt hovels and pristine abodes,
The people would come, all decked in their chains,
Wearing their finest, coloring the roads
With the layers of purples, reds and blues,
Yellows and greens, like a vivid patchwork,
All manner of dress, all manner of hues,
Embroidery coupled with bead and quirk.
Linen, wool, and silk – together they strode
Up to the doors of the common playhouse.
Regardless of means, regardless of mode,
No matter the credo one did espouse,
Here all were welcome and none turned away.
Each paid he the price, then was bid enter.
If giv’n one penny, the wage of a day,
Stand he could before the stage’s center.
If paid he two pennies, got he a seat.
With one penny more, a cushion was lent.
Additional coin for drink, food to eat.
Thus, then, were time and money both well-spent.
Enraptured by love – Juliet! One kiss –
Ensnared by the chase – fair Kate, shrew untamed –
Enraged by greed – Macbeth destroyed by this –
From play to play, each his own hero named.
 
Now, centuries later, much has been changed.
For ’tis thought that he is common no more;
That famed Shakespeare is from hence estranged;
Minds of the “normal” his words only bore.
Think thou this is true? Shakespeare is removed?
Only scholars, elitists, can divine
The morals therein, which were well-improved
From bygone tales, and thus his work enshrine?
That is not the case, here I assure thee.
As in days of yore, our theaters hold
Tradesmen and scholars, rich and poor jointly,
Though Shakespeare’s tales are not often there told.
However, my friend, the truth still remains:
He wrote for the nobles, farmers, and thee.
The themes in his plays are not ancient strains,
But the music that shapes the melody
To which we each in turn still sway and dance.
For love and hate, fear and joy, time will span.
Into the glass, cast ye a careful glance.
Meet in thy reflection, the common man.

___________________________________________________________________

Z.

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As I’m sure you know by now, the semester has ended. I spent the last week working and playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. There was some eating and sleeping in there, but that’s about it.

A few months ago, I decided that I would not take any classes this summer. This was due in part to my desire to breathe. It was also because I wanted to write–really write. I’ve started one novel and an anthology of sorts; their bits and pieces can be found scrawled on scrap paper or in MS Word documents. I mostly write poems and short stories. Until this point, my only audience has been my family and teachers. I considered posting a few things here, but I was always worried about copyright and somehow losing my pieces to unscrupulous characters.

Google is both a blight and boon. Never use it to research medical symptoms. However, I did find some helpful stuff about copyrighting that has eased my mind somewhat. It also occurred to me–like a lightning bolt to the brain–that nothing will come of my words if I don’t show them to folks. Rest assured that there is much tremulation and trepidation on my part. My squeak of choice is meep, high pitched and mouse like.

Be that as it may, in addition to being exposed to my random musings you’ll now be subjected to scribbles! You know about my infatuation with fantasy; the things I write, though, are kind of all over the place. Leave comments at your leisure.

This first one is the result of my sister’s wedding plans. Hope you guys like it…

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I don’t know how many times I asked her over the years. My question was always the same, “How will I know?” Her answer was always the same. She’d shake her head while she fiddled with whatever she could get her hands on to give her time to dodge the question. Then she’d answer the way that nearly all adults do, “You’ll know.” Only once was her answer different from this.

It was a rainy night in September, cool in the twilight hours. She sat in her usual chair and I sat on the couch, doing homework while watching a movie on the TV. Mother was writing in her journal – something she used to do after I went to bed, but I was staying up later and later these days. The film was in its final scene. I wasn’t watching too closely as we’d seen it at least three times. My eyes were on the algebraic equations on my paper when I heard it – a contented sigh. I glanced up to see the inevitable long, slow kiss wrapped in smiles and bathed in those happy tears about which we’ve all heard. Even though I’d seen it before, it still held my gaze. Something about the scene just made me feel better…about everything.

“Did you guys do that?” I asked as innocently as I could.

She blinked twice, quickly. “Hmm?”

“You and dad – were you guys like that?”

“Oh, I suppose so.”

“You ran after him?”

“Of course not. He ran after me.” She smiled at this and winked. “He used to say that I was his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: always visible, yet ever out of reach.”

“What? You didn’t like him?” I knew the answer, but it was fun to get her talking about how they met.

As expected, she rolled her eyes. “Now you know that’s not true. I just didn’t like him as much as he liked me. Though I wasn’t really paying that much attention at the beginning.”

“So…when did you know?”

She didn’t hesitate this time or shake her head. She just started talking, “All fairy tales end the same, you know. ‘And they lived happily ever after.’ Even these romantic comedies end that way. Oh, they don’t say it, but that’s what the last scene means. They kiss and walk off holding hands with each other, smiling and laughing at things you can’t hear. That’s what those screenwriters intend: ‘Happily ever after.’

“Oh, I know you think it’s silly. ‘No one can live happily ever after.’ You’re right. We can live happily for a while, but happiness comes and goes. You see, love, it’s not the ‘happily ever after’ that gets us. It’s the hope of the happily ever after.

“You want to know how you’ll know when you’ve met the one? Because there’ll be a moment when all of those happily ever afters don’t seem so impossible, when you’ll feel as though you really could be happy forever as long as that one person is by your side. In that moment, fairy tales will become real.”

*                                                 *                                                    *

That was years ago, now. I hadn’t actually thought about that talk for quite some time. It came back to me, though, just the other day. I had asked you to meet me at our restaurant, remember? As usual, you arrived first and got a table for two. By the time I got there, you and the waiter were on a first-name basis. I walked through the door and looked around for you. But I’m observant, like Sherlock Holmes. It was at least a minute or so until I spotted you. You must have seen me through the window because you were already waving your hand over your head.  You were standing awkwardly with one leg still partially tucked under the table, a huge grin on your face because you were laughing at me (or maybe at both of us), and a napkin somehow sticking to your lap. That was it. That was when I remembered.

You see, don’t you? You understand what I’m saying? That was the moment, love. Right then, I believed every word of every fairy tale I’d ever heard. Right then, I knew that I could have a happily ever after. Right then, you changed my world.

__________________________________________

Z.

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