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, March 29, 2007

The Heart Has To Be Tough

The heart has to be tough
To be tender enough to feel,
Without giving way to weakness;
Strong enough to deal
With the conflict of emotions
From the tumult of events,
The frustrations, joys, and sorrows
That each new day presents.

True courage comes of facing
A thousand little blows
Aimed at your self-confidence,
And no one ever knows
The battles that you fight within,
The foes you've overcome.
Past victories don't matter
if the next makes you succumb.

The face that you present the world
Masks what you want to hide,
Cause no one wants the world to know
What's roiling you inside.
The greatest act of courage
That anyone can do
Is reaching out to someone else
Who's hurting, just like you.

When two wounded souls are joined,
They're stronger as a whole
Than individuals alone,
Paying a lonely toll.
The sum of them together
Is greater than the parts.
They find the key to healing
Within each other's hearts.

Yet we wear a brave face,
Meeting each new day
With the limited resources
At hand, in our our own way.
We don't make the connection.
And the only reason why
we do not heal each other
Is because we will not try.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Lines You've Already Rejected

I wish I could write a poem
That was pure and true enough
To be a healing ointment
For the wounds within your soul.
For though I hear your cries I know
You don't want me to answer.
And any efforts that I make
Will be misunderstood
As clumsy, and self-serving,
When all my best intention
Is to ease your hurting spirit,
And to reassure your heart
That though the night is dark,
Though the path is steep and hidden,
Though storm clouds threaten overhead
Still you are not alone.
There's a hand, an arm, a shoulder
Standing ready, when you need them.
All you have to do is let me
Be there for you when you call.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

So You Want to Be An SCA Bard

So you want to be an SCA bard,
Then listen now, to what I say.
Get yourself an acoustic guitar,
Pretend it's a lute, and learn how to play.
And after long nights learning to
Master three chord harmony,
Then it'stime to go to an event,
Join a bardic circle,
And your verses vent.
Write a song in praise of the Crown
So the fighter jocks won't put you down.
Find your voice
In your verse and your song.
And don't forgt who you are,
You're an SCA bard.

Write and build up your repertoire,
And commit your songs to memory.
Go to events both near and far.
Build your reputation for barditry.
And when your name is known
And your songs are sung
Cross the Knowne Worlde wide,
You'll be a bard to be reckoned with.
Sing your songs with joy.
Speak your verses with pride.
Remember how you have come so far.
Don't forget who you are.
Just an SCA bard.
You know the dreaming's not too hard,
When you know that you
Are an SCA Bard.
When you know that you
Are an SCA Bard.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Conflict

Your head says to you one thing,
While your heart tells you another.
Thus, you suffer from the conflict
Of the one against the other.
Your head wants to be sensible.
Your heart wantsto be free
To chase after a dream's desire
That only seems to be.
You want to be protected,
Provided for, and safe
By one who's going to cherish you,
And guard you with his life.
And yet, you want to feel the thrill
Of danger's heady kiss.
So you follow down an unmarked path
Toward some forbidden bliss.
While your heart chases chimeras,
Your head knows there's a price,
With no certitude of payoff
For all your sacrifice.
You're determined to be practical,
But your heart can't help but cry,
Must the sensible be boring,
Predictable, and dry?
Your head and heart both war within
For mastery over you,
And only you can answer
Which is stronger of the two.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Honor Is What You Cling To

When all your brightest fantasies
Dry up before your eyes,
And all your promised hopes turn out
To be just pretty lies,
And when you make your best move,
And find you're just a pawn,
Then honor is what you cling to
When everything else is gone.

I've tales of shattered romance
That would make a gargoyle weep;
Pledges of undying love
That no one means to keep.
Sadder is easy to come by;
It's wiser I'm still working on.
And honor is what you cling to
When everything else is gone.

I could speak of friendships ruined
By what has gone between
Those who seemed more close
Than any brothers could have been.
For the heart will always have its way,
Though reason be undone.
While honor is what you cling to
When everything else is gone.

What should I say of stiff-necked pride
That will not compromise,
Fighting past all pointlessness
To gain some empty prize,
And mark a hollow victory
That vanishes with the dawn.
But honor is what you cling to
When everything else is gone.

So what, then of the future?
I expect no different;
To be just as empty-handed
When my last strengh is spent.
I march into uncertainty,
Yet still I soldier on.
For honor is what you cling to
When everything else is gone.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Meditation on War

When we play our games of swordsmanship,
Conscious of the rules to keep us safe,
Can we imagine the reality
Of actually fighting for our lives,
Striking blows in earnest, trying to kill,
To shove cold steel into another's chest,
Releasing thus the bitter flow of blood,
Letting life out of an enemy,
And knowing that his death is on your head?
We call ourselves, both warriors and knights
In imitation of our ancestors,
Who trained for war in deadly seriousness,
Knowing that to fail was to lose all
That they held dear, and ever hoped to gain
Mindful that a random arrow shot
Could cancel out their training and their skill,
Might leave them crippled, maimed, or helpless while
Their loved ones suffered ruin and rapine.
I find it difficult to write of war
For those who fight to die and rise again
For entertainment's sake, a comic sport
All done in fun, like any other game
That does not bear a price that's paid in blood.
I'll sing of love and matters of the heart,
Write comic verse about our knightly games,
Play melodies about our pageantry,
But never call it war that does not stink
Of death, destruction, corpses in the sun.
To do so honors not the memory
Of those who died to grant us this, our peace,
In which we play our games of Chivalry.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sirona Conducts Avoidance Drill

It's a simple avoidance agility drill
To improve your skills, she said.
You stand here and plant your feet.
Don't let it hit your head.
I'll stand here and swing the weight,
And you'll get out of its way.
'Twill serve to improve your fencing
As you duck, and bob, and sway.
So I took my stance upon the line
And waited for her attack.
A weight of polished stones
Tied up in a little sack,
Swinging on a cable
Which over a rafter hung,
Would theoretically fly at my head
When it with force was flung.
But in our haste to do the drill,
We took no time to see
An error in calculation
Of basic geometry.
So when she flung the sack of stones,
It flew not towards my head,
But impacted a tender place
Much further south instead.
Luckily, it was not too hard.
I was spared from undo pain.
Yet I was disinclined to try
And run the drill again.
What did you call this drill?, I asked.
"Twas then that she declaimed.
We call this the ball sack.
Well named, said I. Well named.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Kiss Me Once By Moonlight

Kiss me once by moonlight,
Gentle, smooth and slow.
There's no one here to see us,
And only we would know.
You can't know how I've wanted
To let slip my control,
And finally tell you how I long
To taste you on my soul.

Although our lips have brushed before,
In friendly concourse met,
No mutual desire
Has passed between us yet.
I'm but a brother to you.
You're amiable, but chaste.
Still, this moment will not come again.
Don't let it go to waste.

For too long I have settled
For safe relationships.
Though I value the meeting of minds,
I treasure the touch of lips.
I can't read your emotions,
My brain's too dense and slow.
Please kiss me like you mean it
If you don't want me to go.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Marching On South Downs

Because someone made a most 'unfortunate' reference to carpetbagging. (I won't mention any names)

Prosperity should be the norm
Throughout our wealthy land.
But some boroughs grow fat
While others may as well pound sand.
There is no justice found
In this inequality,
But our sword arms will provide
The needed remedy.

The haughty Lords of South Downs,
Grown complacent in their pride,
Assume their hungry cousins will
Always stand by their side.
Before they march to war,
And face a situation grim,
They’ll be surprised to find our swords
Are pointed right at them.

"To arms, to arms!
Let southern steel arise.
Bring down the proud
Meridian Skies.
Strike a blow to free our shire
From the shadow that there lies
When we go marching on South Downs."

South Downs, like a spider
Draws all into its web.
As the barony feasts well
All other fortunes round it ebb.
Many a lad and lass who’d be
A credit to their shires
Are drawn, instead to South Downs,
To stoke imperial fires.

To teach the proud humility
We’ll make our intent clear.
We’ve formed a grand alliance
Between Owl’s Nest and Talmere.
But we invite all warriors
To join us in the fun,
When we invade the barony
And make those proud lords run.

"To arms, to arms!
Let southern steel arise.
Bring down the proud
Beneath Meridian Skies.
Strike a blow to free our shire
From the shadow that there lies
When we go marching on South Downs."

The Baron issues proclamations
‘Gainst us, left and right.
Mighty brave for one who will not
Armor up and fight.
His edicts do not carry weight
Where honest steel holds sway.
They’ll make good kindling when we
Fight through to win the day.

The treasure rooms of South Downs,
Filled to burst with jewel and silk;
Finery considered way
Above those of our ilk
If we’re good enough to fight for you
We’re good enough to share.
We’ll prove our worth upon your shields
And strip your coffers bare.

"To arms, to arms!
Let southern steel arise.
Bring down the proud
Beneath Meridian Skies.
Strike a blow to free our shire
From the shadow that there lies
When we go marching on South Downs."

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Pastoral Fantasy

(Because I am, after all, a simple country bard.)

We sit before the evening fire,
My lady fair and I,
Resting from a day of work,
And letting the night pass by.
Any chores remaining
Will wait until the morn.
We've done all a body can,
Borne all that can be borne.
The wood is chopped, the plates are clean,
The washing is hung to dry.
Tomorrow's tools have been sharpened
And await use by and by.
Dogs, under the table, gnawing bones,
Children asleep in their beds.
Cat's on the prowl, hunting for mice
In the rafters over our heads.
We're common folk, not noble born.
We sweat for our daily bread.
Yet at night we rest much easier
Than many a noble head.
And if the work has made us bent
And gray before our time,
We remember those heady days
When we were in our prime.
Though wrinkles touch my lady's eyes,
She's still a beauty to me.
No paramours in golden bower
Love happily as we.
When my lady warms my bed and my heart
I'm still her tongue-tied beau.
Thus, I sit here and scratch these lines
That I might tell her so.