Location: Shire of Trisel, Trimaris

I am in my late forties, a proud husband, father, and a bard. I am a book pedlar by trade and a bookman by vocation. I am a romantic, a realist, and a Believer. I like a good joke, and a bad one even better. I admire all ladies for the innate beauty that is in each one, but my heart is sworn to the fair and gentle Lady Lorelei, who has consented to share my life and my name.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Clann Mac Aoidh

We gather in a circle round the fire
Breathing in the music and the lore
From ages past; our history entire
Infuses us to make us something more
Than individuals. We are a clan, a tribe,
Made one by blood and culture's memory,
Down through the generations to describe
The unity of kinship: family.
Thus, did our forebears gather in the hills,
United by the same blood that we share,
To share the lore that now in us instills
Our pride and honor in the name we bear.
In tribute to our fathers, here we stand:
We Sons of Fire, with a mighty hand.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Because I can write verses now and then,
I sometimes can present myself a sage;
A savant offering wisdom with my pen,
Pouring out deep thoughts upon the page.
But when the matter comes to my own heart,
I do not even pretend to be wise.
I fool myself before I even start,
And mis-perceive what's right before my eyes.
Too eager to connect, I find I lack
Sufficient grace to move you to conform
Your own desires with mine. And so it's back
To where I started. Failure is my norm.
The wisdom of the poet's but a pose
When love makes foolishness of all he does.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Water Under The Bridge

Quiet waters flow under the bridge
Where I sit with a book and cheap wine,
Pretending to fish while I soak up the cool
Of the shade, as I bide out my time.
It's a good day for dozing here, out of the way.
My ambition levels are low.
No one will disturb me as I turn the page.
I tell no one here's where I go.

Over my head the traffic roars on
Oblivious to my presence here.
They have places to do and people to be
And right now, I'm too lazy to care.
I brought a lunch which I fed to the crows,
My companions the afternoon through.
They laugh at my indolence, scoff at my sloth.
They don't know I'm thinking of you.

Tomorrow I'll be my usual self,
Preoccupied, busy and rushed.
I'll sweat all the details, cross all the T's,
Be industrious as I must.
But in back of my mind in its own private file
The memory of this afternoon
Carries me back from the noise and the fuss
To a place that is all my own.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Pest Control With Steel

I suppose I shouldn't recommend this method of getting rid of Jehovah's Witnesses, but I can attest that it works.

They set out from their kingdom hall
Prepared to spread the word,
Travelling from door to door
To all who hadn't heard,
Determined to visit the fallen
With a mesage from the Lord,
Never expecting they would meet
A fellow with a sword.

One knocked at the door of a humble cot
Ready to launch his spiel
About the advantages of their cult
With ardent holy zeal.
He started to speak, but came up short
At a sight that made him wilt.
Cause he was looking at three feet of steel
Backed with a basket hilt.

All thoughts of proseletizing
Vanish into thin air
When you find yourself the focus
Of a broadsword naked and bare.
They quickly turned back to their car
And beat a hasty retreat.
And the last that anyone saw of them
They were peeling down the street.

It's true that Jehovah's Witnesses
Make themselves unwanted pests,
As they twist scripture from door to door
Disturbing you in your rest.
But it's easy to be rid of them
If you have the nerve and the will
To face them down forthrightly
With three feet of highland steel.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

To Her Most Gracious Excellency Carol Jane

The excitment of Red Tower's at an end.
But now that the festivities are through,
Tis only proper I take up my pen
To pause and offer thanks once more to you.
My daughter and I both appreciate
Your kindness and your generosity,
Inviting us to share table and plate.
The honor due to you, you shared with me.
Tis said the measure of nobility,
The evidence of a pure and gentle heart,
Is expressed in your hospitality.
A pleasure unexpected on my part.
This humble bard is proud to serve your hall.
My pen is ever at your beck and call.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Red Tower Challenges

Red Tower Baroness' Rapier Champion Tourney 2006

Lord Cillian Mac Caudwell stands today
With sword and dagger, ready for to play
Against all comers who will take a chance
To stand against him in the Rapier Dance.
Mirror his weapons, he will gladly fight
Five lethal touches with his weapons bright.
Of all the MOBsters here, he would rejoice,
To fight whoever is the Crown's best choice.
But if he had a choice for whom he'd ask
'Twould be the son of a (thump) who creased his mask!

Sweet Sironna stands before your throne,
As fair a lass as any here have known.
Yet cross her on the field and you will feel
The glorious resources of her steel.
Send whom you wish with single sword in hand.
Best two of thre, we'll see who last shall stand.
She'll fight to lethal touch in every round,
Confident she'll put your MOBster down.

For your pleasure, here is Christopher,
Ready to fight whomever you prefer.
With rapier and dagger, he's prepared
To fight the same, and witness: He's not scared
To fight the best two matches out of three,
With lethal touches, so our lords can see
The honor that's inherent in the man
Who dares to fight with true steel in his hand.

From the Shire of Owl's Nest now, Paul Egbert comes
Before fair ladies and yon gentille hommes.
A picture of courage, he comes with single blade
To fight your choice within this martial glade.
Let his opponent carry a brace of swords,
He's confident his deeds will match my words.
Bring your best, let mortal thrusts be made,
Best of five rounds. Let Glory be portrayed.

And the fights that never were.

Lord Cillian calls out Leon to the field.
Bring case of rapier, he will make you yield.
Three lethal touches in this martial glen
Will determine who receives the win.

The fair Sironna calls out Jean-Michel
For this special challenge wherein now I tell.
Ere she can touch him to do grievious harm,
Jean-Michel must the lady first disarm,
Taking the weapon from the lady's hand,
Which she'll defend until her final stand.
Single rapiers only, flashing bright.
Bring your best. the glory's in the fight.

Christopher wants to try out Leon's steel.
Bring single rapier prepared to deal
Out lethal blows, until the best of three
Reveals to all the joy of Chivalry.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Price

It's said of old that he who passed the night
Asleep upon some eldritch fairie mound
Would awaken touched by power come the light,
Enchanted by those hidden in the ground,
Touched by bardic fire to his tongue
Unleashed within his music or his pen,
Or driven mad, by elvish spells undone;
That is, if he could even wake again.
The presents of the Sidhe carry a price.
A penalty extracted from the soul.
If carelessly received they would suffice
To utterly consume the gifted whole.
Before you risk the magic, please regard:
The price to be a bard...is be a bard.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


There's no joy among the warrors,
Both the heavys and the lights;
No time for trying out new moves,
No chance for pick-up fights,
No point in getting dressed for war
In our best fighting togs.
The weather gods have scorned us.
It's raining cats and dogs.

For those whom fighter practice
Is the highlight of the week,
Who, like me, would otherwise have
No social life to speak,
The company of our fellows
Is well and truly missed,
Leaving me a little grumpy,
And more than a little pissed.

My gear is still all packed to go,
And stay a while it must;
Cause bringing swords in through the wet
Only encourages rust.
But worse still is the rust that forms
On my sword arm and my brain
From sitting at home on a Tuesday night
Listening to the rain.

Well, the weather gods have spoken
And made their viewpoint plain.
They've drowned our weekly pleasures
In an overflow of rain.
While tonight's a disappointment,
I'll venture to predict
Though practice was a wash-out,
Next week's gonna kick!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sea Curse

Though sheltered safe within these welcome walls
Far from the surf that pounds against the shore,
We hear the syren's voice above the squalls
Calling us to go to sea once more.
We may rest a month or two, a year
At most, before the calling overwhelms
Our senses. All that we can hear:
The singing of the rigging 'fore the storms.
Then, we can't rest till wild beneath our feet;
A surging deck that brings us sweet release.
Our land-born ties may try but cannot meet
The hunger for the sea that will not cease.
You see it in our eyes; we're haunted men,
But half-alive until we sail again.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Pick Up Your Weapon

I know this isn't exactly how it happened, but it does make for a very nice poem, I think.

Welcome to the other side.
You’ll find that we don’t care
How important you may be
To your followers over there.
We know that you’ve got titles
And honors to your name.
But the only thing that matters here
Is how you play the game.

Getting authorized to fight
Is only just the start.
It’s your ticket to the arena
But only plays a part.
Your stick-jock skills may prove a trick
To help you to advance.
But don’t think that they will see you to
The finals of the dance.

Even royalty must start
By learning the simplest skills.
The basics are the building blocks
That get you to the thrills.
Don’t laugh about your footwork.
Pay attention to your form;
The difference between victory
And grievous bodily harm.

And once you’ve heard the music
Of the ring of steel on steel,
Known the elegance of a well-made blade,
Her balance and her feel,
You’ll never desire to go back
To anything as crude,
Ungainly and unlovely
As a taped-up piece of wood.

The grace that marks a gentleman,
Honored in deed and word
Is born of constant practice,
A student of the sword.
Master the blade, master your heart.
The fantasy is real.
You’re baptized and made welcome
To the Brotherhood of Steel.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Heart's Caution

I do not call it love. It's premature
To use that bastard word to ill describe
What actually is felt until I'm sure
That I've accurately identified
That illogical emotion in my heart.
Emotion can't be trusted. Feelings lie.
You can't expect they'll any truth impart.
You only fool yourself and make a wreck
Of all your high-flung hopes and fantasies.
It's better to go slow and circumspect.
The wise man questions all he thinks he sees.
Love does not happen instantaneously.
It grows in secret where no one can see.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

To The Last

Although I take great pleasure in the art
Of swordsmanship, and relish my time spent
With rapier in hand, within my heart
I know that I'm not likely to present
A dashing figure with a flashing blade.
I'm too late come to play, far past my prime.
My back, my creaking knees, I'm quite dismayed
To face the fact I'm fencing most with time.
A few years yet remain till I admit
My aching bones no further can go on.
But while I can, I'm resolved not to quit
Until my last ability is gone.
My glory may be fleeting. Ah, but then
I'll do my finest fencing with my pen.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


As evening turns to night we gather round,
Our bellies full, our drink within our hands.
Though weary from the day's events, the sound
Of music by the fire's glow demands
We come together, join in company,
An impromptu assembly in the night,
Unite our voices in glad harmony,
Blending to ignite our heart's delight.
The drums, the flutes, the fiddles and guitar
joined together in an ancient tune,
As our fire dwindles down to coals, we are
Alive with melody beneath the moon.
The night is magic, born of happy chance.
With music that invites our souls to dance.

Monday, September 04, 2006


There is a fine line drawn
Between poetry and verse.
A thin dimension separates
The spirit and emotion.
And so, 'tis easy to confuse the two
So that, when you think
That you are talking to God
You are but mumbling to yourself
And when you pour out
Your inner longings in verse,
That's when God listens closest
To what you didn't mean to say.
For the heart that stands revealed in poetry
Speaks through the spirit to the Eternal.
And through your verse's heart laid bare
God whispers in your ear.
What he wants you to discover for yourself,
Expresses itself upon your empty page.
And the things your spirit
Needs the most to hear
Are hidden in the rhythms of your song.
So take up your pen while you are on your knees,
When your spirit is most open to that
Which is most holy and unseen.
Let the words you write be written on your soul.
For as you commune with the Holy Muse,
The poet and the penitent are one.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Forgive me if I seem to take
Too deep an interest.
I’ve no wish to intrude on your privacy.
Though yes, you are attractive, and I’ve been long alone,
I dare not to assume that y
You want me.

We are refugees together
From where we’d thought we’d be,
The wreckage of our past lives round our feet.
It seems life happened to us
While we were making other plans,
But perhaps the bitterness can be made sweet.

I hope I don’t offend too much
By standing by your side.
I admit that I enjoy your company.
Proceeding very carefully to shelter each our pride,
Yet still I’m glad to have you near to me.

We are refugees together
From where we thought we’d be,
The wreckage of our past lives round our feet.
It seems life happened to us
While we were making other plans,
But perhaps the bitterness can be made sweet.

Nothing happens quickly,
And I do not presume
To choose for both of us against your will.
So I make myself available to aid you as I can
Till we can both be sure of how we feel.

We are refugees together
From where we thought we’d be,
The wreckage of our past live round our feet.
It seems life happened to us
While we were making other plans,
But perhaps the bitterness can be made sweet.

Please help me try and make the bitter sweet.
Together we can make the bitter sweet.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Ladies Richly Garbed

Tell me what would be the point
Of playing at chivalry
Without a lady richly garbed
To reward your bravery?
Who would not dare Some valorous deed
Of Herculean scope.
When from the side some fair eyes smile
And breed within him hope.
Our ladies inspire us to excel
And to surpass all foes.
He does his best when his lady fair
Dressed in her finest goes.
Our swords are bright, our arms are strong
Our wits are keenly barbed
When from the sidelines cheering us go
Our ladies richly garbed.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Jester

Among the circle gathered, he's apart,
Separated by a hidden screen,
A silken filter fitted to his heart,
Making him the other once again,

Tentative when joining with the crowd,
Unsure of his acceptance in their midst,
Fearful to reveal his thoughts out loud,
Lest he be discovered and dismissed.
And so he plays it safe; he plays the fool.
Smiling, he makes jests at his expense,
A bittersweet performance, as a rule,
For his wounded spirit's self-defense.

To hear his patter, one would never guess
He maintains distance by his open-ness.