Poetry — NaPoWriMo: Assimilated Rebel

The day 20 poem prompt of the 2018 NaPoWriMo challenges me to write a poem that involves rebellion. For example, defy a rule, or write something either funny or serious. My poem should open a path beyond the standard, hum-drum ruts that every poet sometimes falls into.

Warning, this poem is bleak. It is written to reflect panicked frustration and to respond to the prompt. The dark side of reality interests me. I am not disturbed by it and I accept its existence. Many of you feel the same or Stephen King would be a retired teacher today.

I use the f-word a lot here, cuz I use the spoken f-word a lot, except when I know some prudish soul may be crushed. So, if those two things bother you, please give this driveling twaddle the sack.

One more thing. I am fine. Please try not to think otherwise. Yes, I recently got some bad news, but that has nothing to do with this stream-of-dark-consciousness writing (and if it does, so what?). It’s hard enough to write without folks asking if I’m suicidal.

The poem is rebellion from my POV. If you do read this, and you happen to be, or have been, a Teacher of English grammar, take a deep breath and perhaps a glass or two of wine first. It is one sentence. I know. Many great poems (one of which, this is not) are.

 

Assimilated Rebel

one must dress like this or that and think thusly and carry this torch to that goal and be always right and feel like shit when not and one must win, always win, a looser dont be, dont say that is not me because bukowski said just do it, just do it, and live and work for the glory of no god or whatever, but to survive and whatnot, and to help them survive, the ones you love and them ya dont and its a beautiful life and we will all just fucking die because thats what we do in the end middle or start, and then go to some nonexistent haven or fucking hell foe-evah cuz ya didnt cross da tee or dit-da-dot on a dam i and smile for a kodak if yer not, then dont fucking try cuz anyway they all die no matter how hard ya try and then dunna fuckin cry, just be stoic, thats a lie but i dno why, just go along to get along and be different and ah independent thinker, just be creative and spell it my way in stripes with plads or circles, and socks wit sandals, and man-buns and feet with pit hair, lay and never lie, its all so jacked up nothin’ fucking matters so fuck it, and fuck it all.

(bill reynolds, 420 day y2k+18; freddie mercury tribute concert day; and a. hitler’s b-day)

Look both ways today to see who’s got the loco weed tea.
Allow no gaps of toke.

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month

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A2Z Challenge: O is for Orcs and Ogres

The traditional mythological creature is the ogre. Orcs are more contemporary and were used by Tolkien in literature (Lord of the Rings), and have since found their way into RP games such as D&D. But ogres and orcs have much in common.

Ogre

Both are brutish, aggressive, repulsive, malevolent, and nasty creatures. Both characterize evil and represent deadly harm to humans in some way. Both are generally presented as creatures that eat people. Orcs are cannibalistic. In most cases, both are presented as somewhat stupid creatures. There is one clever orc in Tolkien’s stories, but he was still evil.

In the case of Orcs, they often end up as fodder or pawns in battles or doing the bidding of another more intelligent character. They can also be cowardly.

Orc

Orc

Generally, Ogres, while rightly and properly representing evil, are used or fooled by others and are often tricked into things leading to their own demise, precipitated by their own greed and nastiness. But these creatures are more classic and date back farther in history than orcs.

Scary cartoon character?

A note about cartoons and nice little very un-Brothers-Grimmly characters such as Shrek. When these characters are depicted as sweet and not-so-ugly, misunderstood, and mistreated heroes; it is playing with folklore and a silly cartoon. Ogres are bad news, period. No exceptions. A character is an ogre based on behavior and outlook, not skin color, size, or birthright. I like Shrek, but he is no ogre, regardless of what the Hollywood script says.

 

You say I’m not an ogre?

To further jump the fence to human mischaracterization, peeps are often metaphorically referred to as ogres. This is not because they look like ogres (some may). It’s because they are considered by someone as bad people based upon their behavior. There are no good orcs or ogres. If they are good, behave well, and hold some moral high ground, then they are something other then an orc or ogre. Evil is what they do, and that defines what they are.

Remember: Scorpions sting frogs. Frogs that can be persuaded otherwise drown. If you don’t know that story, click here.

 

Look both ways for any harm coming your way.
Avoid doers of evil and mind your own gaps.

 

Poetry — NaPoWriMo: Night Witch

The day eight poem prompt of the 2018 National Poetry Writing Month challenge was for me to write a poem in which mysterious and magical things occur. Last year, I wrote a long poetic story with a slightly different, yet similar twist. You can read it here.

 

Night Witch

For years I negotiated my labyrinth of life.
Then one day the path all went dark,
It filled me with alarm and I shook with a fright.

Burning deep within me watchful eyes I felt,
My temptation was rising to the oldest of times,
fear continued to grip me, from within and without.

She was the blackest of darks, that witch of the nights.
Her gaze was upon me when I opened my eyes,
I was blinded by flashes, visions of the enchantress.
I saw in her wonders worlds of exquisite pleasures.
She came from the magic of the eternal hereafter.

Without moving her lips, she spoke directly to me,
“Return with your love, to the darkness and danger,
back to my universe we can travel with ease.
Give over your being to my mystical kisses,
my promise of love will grant all your wishes.”

As she reached out and touched me,
I felt pain and wondrous pleasure,
Yet, drawn to her I nodded my answer.

She took my hand, and with a rapturous laughter,
I saw in the distance her dragons and castles.

She marked our arrival with thunder and lightning.
I saw in her army both imps and her glories
All served at her pleasure.
Now was I there, her newest found treasure.

To me she said, “Through pain and with suffering,
you’ve found a new realm.
Transition, dear man, as best that you can.
Give over your being to the queen of this land.
And she shall make you our king,
if the pleasures don’t kill you.
Together we’ll dance, for our love and our glory.
Let’s begin to write this wonderful story.”

(Bill Reynolds 4/8/2018)

In the labyrinth of life, look both ways for witches of the night.
Mind the gaps.

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month

A to Z Challenge — G is for Grendel

Taken from the epic and ancient poem Beowulf, Grendel, the first and most terrifying monster in English literature, is said to be a direct descendant of Cain, the first biblical murderer. This poetic story of unknown authorship barely survived the atrocious monastic destruction perpetrated by Henry VIII in England. One copy of the poem survived, and it had to be patched up in a few places. But we do have it.

 

Beowulf may be the oldest example of English (nothing we might recognize) language literature. Dating back to about 700 to 1000 AD, it deals with life and culture around the sixth century. The story is set during a time and in a place when battle, conquest, and death were honored descriptions of what life was like.

The protagonist is Beowulf, a young, strong, and powerful warrior who eventually becomes a king. Unlike the average leader of the time, Beowulf seemed to care about his people and introduced leadership with compassion as opposed to fear and dread. Beowulf must defeat three antagonists: Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon.

A mead hall

The story tells us that Grendel had been attacking and killing Danes every night for 12 years. Beowulf comes to the aid of the Dane king whose mead hall had been under nightly attack by the monster.

If Beowulf was to fight Grendel to the death on Grendel’s terms, it would be unarmed and (presumably) naked. Since Grendel used no weapons, Beowulf chose the same. Grendel had done a lot of damage and killed many of the king’s mead hall drinkers in his years of harassment. In the poem, Grendel is presented as an evil that must be stopped and Beowulf is the man to do it.

Flash forward a thousand years or so, and in an interesting twist, another side of the story is told in the 1971 book by John Gardner, titled, Grendel. In this frequently banned book, Grendel tells his side of the story. This is a retelling of Beowulf that follows the monster Grendel as he learns about humans and fights the war at the center of the Anglo Saxon classic epic.

I have always felt that there are at least two sides to every story, but one must wonder what the Danes were thinking when they returned to the mead hall every night for 12 years, there to drink and sleep, only to be attacked by the monster. With so many being killed during so many attacks, the Danes must have been close to decimated before Beowulf made his mark.

Open the window and look both ways, the monster approaches.
Mind the gaps as you escape his anger and his vengeance.

A to Z Challenge — F is for Frankenstein’s Monster

One book published many times.

Two hundred years ago in London, on 1 January 1818, 20-year-old Mary Shelley anonymously published the first edition of her novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.

Mary was 18 when she wrote the book, the genesis of which goes to the topic of galvanism and other occult ideas that were themes of conversation among Mary and her companions, particularly her lover and future husband, Percy Shelley. Mary, Percy, Lord Byron, and John Polidori competed to see who could write the best horror story. After thinking for days, Mary Shelley dreamt about a scientist who created life and was horrified. Her dream evolved into the novel’s long-famous story.

The problem with this story is that history, Hollywood, and human imagination have been unfair, if not unkind, and inaccurate regarding Victor Frankenstein’s creation. Even Victor was too quick to judge by outside appearance, unpleasant as it undoubtedly was. In Shelley’s book, the outcome of Frankenstein’s experiment is never given a name, although the creature did suggest that he was Victor’s Adam.

At first, the creation is kind and gentle and only wants to be accepted. The creature was eight feet tall and ugly and he knew it. Yet, he sought life and normalcy, but he could not achieve that due to the fearful nature of mankind, and specifically Victor Frankenstein’s fear of what might happen.

I find it interesting that even in the mind of an 18-year-old girl 200 years ago, the innate goodness of a man’s creation can be judged as evil before ever doing anything but kindnesses to others.

One hundred thirty-six years later, the first human body part/organ transplant is completed. Numerous human lives have been extended through science and organ donations and transplants. I would not say we take that for granted, but we’re getting close and for some tissue, there are insufficient donors. One organ not transplanted is the human brain. I have read that it is the one donation where the donor would be the greater beneficiary in the process.

I wonder how Mary, her husband, and their circle of friends would react to the knowledge of today’s reality, scientific knowledge, and literary fantasy if they could suddenly be here and learn about it.

Lord Byron wrote his poem Darkness about the same time as Mary Shelley wrote this book. Given the nature of the book, the poem, and earth during 1816, I do wonder if his poem came to be for similar reasons as her Frankenstein story.

‘tis a dark world after all.
Skeptically, look both ways,
yet apply judgement of others and their creations carefully.
Mind the gaps in your own humanity.

Poetry – NaPoWriMo: The Sad Warrior

Day 1. My first 2018 National Poetry Writing Month Prompt: Write a poem that is based on a secret shame, or a secret pleasure.

 

The Sad Warrior

Young and strong the warrior stood,
Seeking prey with eyes so sharp
with gleam of heart and prideful soul
The tiger walked and looked and stalked.

The sun was warm that wistful day,
All such power was closed in hand
To fell his victim by trebu-shay
Trophy kill – the warrior’s way.

The test took light within his sight,
on proud knee shot from his right.
Song he heard had a bitter bite,
First quarry down and there it lay.

The warrior now was just a boy
The bird just killed was not a toy,
The ache he felt was not of joy,
Tears of guilt now filled his day.

(Bill Reynolds 4/1/2018)

Poetic license, “trebu-shay” for trebuchet, an up-scale name for a weapon (slingshot).

Look both ways, inside and out.
Mind the gaps or feel the guilt.

 

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month

Poetry – Eternal Mistress of Darkness

Poetry – Eternal Mistress of Darkness

My inspiration.

You were the moon. All this time.
And he was always there for you to make you shine.”

“Was he the sun?”

“No, honey, he was the darkness.”

Darkness was always there
Before firmament formed, she was
Before Earth, Moon, Sun, or Stars.

She was waiting when Chaos came.

Darkness comforts me
My eyes open or closed, her arms around
in sweet and loving tranquil repose.

Touch me softly, my old friend.

More certain she is than the Sun
Who sends burning fire to each day,
With passing twilight she allows
Sun’s return to warm us all.

Before light again warms my soul,
She grants me respite from the day.
She allows my night a chance to rest
In dreams we dance the night away.

As each day ends, she comforts me,
Harbors my soul, balances my heart.

Touch me Darkness when you come,
Grant me peace as you depart.

With resting shadows, I cannot see.
Hold me Darkness, help me mend.

When I’m alone you understand
You are my nature, my old friend.

She gives my spirit a life to spend,
There’s yet Darkness for me to tend.

Grant me courage one more day,
Thank you, Darkness my old friend.

(Bill Reynolds 3/11/2018)

Don’t look both ways, Darkness is everywhere.
In the dark, adjust to see, then mind the gaps.

I like this: “Yet it is far better to light the candle than to curse the darkness.” From a sermon by W. L. Watkinson. I would add, “Better to love the darkness than to light a candle.” It mixes metaphors, but makes a point.