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.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Lady, Will You Dance?

If you can, try to find Loreena McKinnett's Marco Polo to play while reading this.

The music starts; I offer you my hand
To lead you through your fear onto the floor.
Smiling shyly, I make no demand
But wait till you are ready to explore
The smoky eastern rhythm as it plays
Whispering of harems, caravans,
Borne on the trade winds of forgotten days,
And evening passions spent on desert sands.
The rhythm takes us, your hand on my heart,
Back and forth in stately melody,
Graceful steps, united though apart,
Improvised together, you and me.
The magic takes us when we take the chance
To step out of ourselves into the dance.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Lines Of Repentance

This is a very old piece, and also one of my first true sonnets. It is also one of my forays into classic hymnody. My faith, as a believer, has always been central to me and to my writing., though not always as explicitly as seen here.

My Lord, forgive me for I have done wrong.
It seems I always to temptation fall,
So that my prayers must e’er be mourner’s song,
And poems writ to Thee repent ant’s scrawl.

And yet, my Lord, You bid me to draw near
To taste the joys of Heaven at your feet.
Ashamed, I kneel before you filled with fear
And awe that You, Your servant thus should greet.

The slave to be adopted as a son,
Bought out of slavery at great expense.
And not because of any work I’ve done;
By grace alone am I delivered hence.

My Lord, you know the heart that dwells in me
And still forgive; how can I not praise Thee?

Monday, December 25, 2006

There's Got To Be A Pony

Thank God I'm not where I was when I wrote this any more.

I keep telling myself, somewhere there’s got to be a pony.
I’m digging through the shit for all I’m worth
And it seems all I get for my efforts
Is more shit.
More let-downs of my own making,
Because I’m working at counter-purposes to myself.

How do I break that circle?
How do I stop defeating myself?
How do I die to my own nature
So that something new can take its place?

I recall all the good words about this and that,
And I believe, but I find
The doing don’t happen, and I fall back again.
Still yearning, still hungry, still hurting
For the promised release that hasn’t appeared yet.
Cause I want to know, and know that I know
That this is all behind me.
I want the calm assurance of a Christian with four aces.
I want the Spirit to sweep in And drive out the old me.
To remove the desire so I can move on.
But for now, I keep digging
And fighting myself,
And telling myself
There’s got to be a pony.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Greetings

The Revels of the wintertime are here,
When every hall with celebration rings,
Toasting friends with bottles of good cheer,
Enjoying all the gifts the season brings.

Tis good that we make merry in this way
As long as we don’t fail to keep in mind
The greatest gift twas given on this day
To teach all souls to be both good and kind.

Before we let the coming new year start,
For the moment, let all bustle cease.
Let’s pause and come together in each heart,
In honor of the infant Prince of Peace.

With all the Season’s joy may you be blessed,
This Christmas, in the Shire of Owl’s Nest.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


The Knowne Worlde Bardic List is doing drottkvaets this month, a scandinavian poetic form that lends itself well to the telling of epics. I think I have kept to the spirit of the concept.

A Modern Saga

On electronic pathways,
The internet highway,
Bright souls go surfing
Seeking for knowledge,
Finding companions
With like-minded interests,
Alliances forming,
Bulletin boards joining
Pooled wisdom sharing,
Through long night’s computing.

But lurking in secret,
Haunting the websites,
Are thrice-cursed spammers,
Blood-sucking parasites,
Dishonestly joining,
Wasting good bandwidth,
On boards interfering,
Cheap Viagra pushing
Pitching lame chat sites,
Porn unsolicited.
Oh, what can be done
To banish these scammers,
Protect our good websites
From unwanted spammers?

In the Shire of Owl’s Nest,
Meridies’ jewel,
Medieval knights playing,
Scadians together,
Each evening relating,
Our BBS using.
But the spammers attack,
Our patience abusing,
Our website invading,
Our tempers enraging,
Who will stand for us,
These twerps ejecting?
Comes Asbrand of Norway,
With graying locks flowing,
Scadian long-standing,
Our BBS owning,
Controlling the pathways,
Owls Nest web minister,
Wielding strong weapon
‘Gainst spammers sinister.
The moment they log on
He swings his spam hammer,
Sends spammers winging,
Their doom he is bringing,
Thus blocking their access,
They’re banished to darkness,
No spammer endures
The doom hammer’s singing.
To online oblivion
These jerks are sent packing,
For their rudeness despised,
And their courtesy lacking.

Now Owl’s Nest rests easy
In online communion,
Sure our web minister
Is guarding our union,
Like Asgardian warrior
On Bifrost Bridge standing.
And when spammers show up,
Hard blows he is landing.
So what if he armors up
On Tuesday nights rarely,
Blowing off fighter practice
For easy chair’s comfort.
For he battles nightly
The scum of the internet
Swinging his mighty
Spamhammer of Doom.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Christmas Poem

Next Case:

Unwed mother, aged sixteen,
Recommended to us by court when
Reported missing by parents.
Was later found in the home of an aunt.
Family background is strict Jewish tradition,
Fundamentalist in nature,
Strong emphasis on guilt.
The subject is engaged to be married
To a local carpenter who,
Though all agree he’s not the father,
Still accepts the subject as his betrothed.
Her physical health is good,
But is exhibiting some mental instability.
She has consistently denied the reality of her situation
And, perhaps in repression of guilt feelings
Brought on by her religious background,
Continues to insist on her virginity.
Further, she retreats into a religious mysticism,
Claiming her condition is the result
Of some heavenly manifestation,
Designed to produce a god on Earth.
Her parents also support her in these delusions,
Making any hopes for successfully treating
Her in the home doubtful at best.

We recommend that the court commit her
To the care of an institution
Until such time as she may cope with reality.
The child will have to be aborted.
The mother is in no condition to give a baby
The love and care that it needs.
Also, the marriage must be postponed indefinitely.
We feel that the pressures of a working class
Marriage too great for anyone so young.
And her mental state makes the question
Of her raising the child alone unthinkable.
But not to worry. We are confident
With the proper environment,
And the benefits of enlightened influence,
We can start her back on the road to recovery.
She may not understand now,
And th process will be painful.
But someday, she will see
That it was all for her own good,

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Quest For The Keys

It was after fighter practice
On a freezing Tuesday night,
When the stars above were twinkling,
And the moon was shining bright.
We had stowed our gear and were headed
To a tavern to take our ease.
But first, there was the matter of Elianora’s keys.

When she went to enter her auto
Elianora was shocked
To see her keys still in the ignition,
And all the doors were locked.
She let out a cry of sorrow.
Begged, “Somebody help me please!
For I cannot go anywhere
If I can’t get to my keys!”

We assembled around her vehicle
With tools and coat hangers and such.
But our efforts to try and reach the lock
Did not avail us much.
No matter how we twisted the wire
To achieve the lock’s release,
The smooth design proved burgle proof,
And we couldn’t reach the keys.

Bad Thomas had a cunning plan
He’d learned from a wily convict,
How you could use a tennis ball
To force air through the lock with a hit.
And so a tennis ball he obtained,
But the results failed to please.
“Lying convicts!” muttered Bad Thomas,
And we still didn’t have the keys.

The evening was growing colder.
The minutes were starting to drag.
The frustration levels were mounting.
And our spirits were stating to sag.
Then, the Wee One returned from the tavern,
Said, “There’s no need to stand here and freeze.
Cause I’ve done this many times, myself.\
I know how to get the keys.

The solution is not in the lock,
But in the door handle and latch.
Cause if you can force it to operate,
Then it will release the catch.
Opening the door from the inside,
Will unlock the door, mes amis.
You’ll finally be able to get inside
And get the bloody keys!”

So with a laurel’s precision,
Manipulating her tools,
Elianora looped the latch
As easy as April Fools.
She pulled with the loop and pushed with the wire
And gave the latch a squeeze.
And just like that, the door opened
And she finally had her keys!

Now we’re taking up a collection.
Contribute, if you can share,
To buy Eleanora a magnet,
And manufacture a spare
Key she can keep hidden
On her car where nobody sees,
So she’ll always be able to get inside
If again, she forgets her keys.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I Have Never Written A Sonnet

This is a very old piece, and the title is certainly no longer accurate. Although I think the sentiment now, a bit naive, I still like some of the images and the wordplay contained therein.

I have never written a sonnet.
Although I’ve often lain awake at night
Trying to think in iambic pentameter,
I keep tripping over my own anapestic feet;
Not like the old masters,
Whose perfectly balanced lines
Never sounded forced, or contrived.
There are times when I am pleased with my attempts
At verse. But when I read them to myself,
They sound much more like prose,
Not very disciplined.
Perhaps each poem should be a Gethsemene of effort,
Sweating blood in order to get the message across.
And I need to suffer more, feel more pain.
Nothing alive is born without pain.
Maybe, when I finally write a sonnet,
Finally piece together fourteen lines
In perfect Iambic,
I’ll carve it in stone on the side of a mountain.
It will be beautiful, profound,
Pain dipped in honey
And served on wry bread.
Then having proved myself to myself,
If not to anyone else,
Maybe I’ll have the courage
To chisel my name underneath.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Don't Call Me Your Hero

Don’t call me your hero,
Your knight in shining armor.
Everyone knows the hero
Is supposed to get the girl.
I did everything I could
All the power I had to charm you.
I may have won the battle
But I never won your heart.

I heard your cries for rescue,
A damsel in distress.
I risked myself in battle
Your sorrows to redress.
I chased away your dragons
To bring you happiness.
I gladly fought because you needed me.

Don’t call me your hero,
Your knight in shining armor.
Everyone knows the hero
Is supposed to get the girl.
I did everything I could
All the power I had to charm you.
I may have won the battle
But I never won your heart.

I rescued you from danger.
Your wish was my command.
I bore you home to safety
By the strength of my right hand.
I delivered you to the comfort
Of the arms of another man.
It seems that “need” and “want” mean different things.

Don’t call me your hero,
Your knight in shining armor.
Everyone knows the hero
Is supposed to get the girl.
I did everything I could
All the power I had to charm you.
I may have won the battle
But I never won your heart.

I don’t begrudge the battles,
The dangers that I faced.
You made your choice; I understand.
I’ll accept it with good grace.
But he must be your hero
Or your love it is misplaced.
And if he fails, you know where I will be.

Don’t call me your hero,
Your knight in shining armor.
Everyone knows the hero
Is supposed to get the girl.
I did everything I could
All the power I had to charm you.
I may have won the battle
But I never won your heart.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Dignity Is Highly Over-Rated

What they might give stays bottled up inside.

Dignity is highly over-rated.
Don’t be afraid to be ridiculous.
Believe me, there’s no shame
In joining in the game.
The fantasy is real for all of us.

Give me the man who gets into the spirit;
Who doesn’t let his ego rule his head.
Who dares to be uncool,
Willing to look the fool
To make the dream more real for all instead.

Dignity is highly over-rated.
Don’t be afraid to be ridiculous.
Believe me, there’s no shame
In joining in the game.
The fantasy is real for all of us.

Happy is the one who takes his pleasure
Indulging in his spirit’s need to play:
Who answers to the call
To share the joy of all
Of us who dream together in this way.

Dignity is highly over-rated.
Don’t be afraid to be ridiculous.
Believe me, there’s no shame
In joining in the game.
The fantasy is real for all of us.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Lai: Honor Of A Bard

Another contribution to the Knowne Worlde Bardic List. The lai has a specific meter and rhyme scheme that makes the form a little tricky to fit into.

We two stand before
A fair lady’s door
And wait

A proud and strong knight
With honor and might,
And me.

We two both have sought,
And hopefully caught
Her eye.

We dare not betray
Fear, in any way,
Of loss.

Her door opens out.
My heart skips about
And hopes.

Her countenance bright
Shines in the light
Of morn.

Her voice is a song
That my two ears long
To hear.

Her blue linen gown
Sweeps the ground round
Her feet.

She looks at us two,
The both of us who
Love her.

On whom will she place
Her blessing of grace?
Oh, Christ!

Her eyes dance a while
And finally smile
On him.

The lady’s heart’s choice
Robs me of my voice.
I grieve.

The knight turns to say
“This will be the day
We wed.”

“Will you, Minstrel sing,
And melody bring
For us?”

My heart, it is hard,
But I am a Bard.
“My harp!”

My verses deploy
My pain, mixed with joy.
My art.

Before all who hear
My duty is clear.
I sing!

On my last refrain,
Does she entertain

Silence fills the hall.
They weep, one and all

I take my reward.
Honor of a Bard
Is mine!

So now, that’s my tale.
Fair lass, bring me ale.
Dear heart.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Craft Of Poetry

The art of writing good poetry is
To write a lot of bad poetry first,
So that, through constant practice, one may learn
To craft words into lines both elegant
And poignant, so they reach the heart within
The reader, and thus move his soul to feel
The same emotions that moved you to write
Your verses in the first place. But this takes
The discipline of labor at your craft,
Experimenting to find out what works,
And what will not. The empty page awaits
Your effort, caring not whether it’s good
Or bad. It just wants to be filled.
In doing so, you cultivate the skill,
Born of mental muscles exercised
Until the writer’s way becomes in you
Like second nature, ready when you call.
When discipline is joined with the desire,
Then kindled in your heart’s the bardic fire.