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, January 22, 2009


Grow old and cracked
Dry and dusty as they age
New wine must breathe
As it expands
Old wineskins burst
When new wine expands
New wine must have
New wineskins

The message is
Ever fresh ever new
Without changing
For Truth is eternal
The message is new wine
And must always have
New wineskins

The message is eternal
But the medium is the wineskin
The message stays True
Though the form may change
Must change lest it grow stale
Dry and cracked
Bursting and spilling the wine
The message refreshes
But spilt wine
Refreshes no one

Let the forms be changed
So new wine has new wineskins
Let the message that is True
Refresh and rejuvenate
May the Truth that never grows old
Be delivered so the hearer may hear
For the Truth is the Truth
Not the wineskin in which
It is delivered

Monday, January 12, 2009


Returning from an embassage gone wrong,
Receiving for our pains but haughty words,
Our pride insulted, we took recompense
To soothe the certain anger of our Laird;
No more than was our due: we are not thieves,
But warriors setting our accounts to right.
Thus had our fathers taught us from our youth,
And thus had all our ways been ever so.
A raid for raid, a balancing of strength;
Strong hands and arms to carry sword and targe;
Strong deeds to earn the music of a bard;
To ease the pangs of winter in our glens,
And teach our sons the way a man makes war.
Yet ere we reached the borders of our lands,
Disaster came upon us unawares.
Our enemies united, and in strength,
With naked swords to bar our passage home.
Too much for our small numbers, we were forced
To leave behind our rightful spoils of war
To flee in desperation for our lives.
Pursuit hot on our heels, we sought ahead
The saving sanctity of Holy Ground,
A hallowed kirk where we could shelter in
And wait the intercession of the priest,
Who would convey us to our homes again.
But we had not accounted for our foes,
Who would not be dissuaded from their prey.
As we took pause to rest within the kirk,
We heard the doors and windows hammered shut.
The orders given, brush piled up the sides,
Thatch and wooden eaves above our heads,
Wooden walls and paneling around,
And we were trapped inside to meet our fate.
We heard the licking of the fire without,
Smelled the smoke that promised us our doom.
We cried out to our God in our despair,
But God could spare no miracle for us.
The fire burned till naught was left but stone,
Burnt black and cracked with fire and with hate;
Holy ground unhallowed by our deaths,
And we remain encased within these rocks,
Waiting for a mercy that won't come.
You who pass this way may hear our cries.
We speak in voices carried on the wind.
Though centuries have passed since we were slain,
We still remember Strathmore, and we mourn.

Monday, January 05, 2009


North we rode,
Through foothills on good trails,
Chasing our prey, deep into the mists.
We see them, pursue them.
They fall back before us, and we--
We chase them onward,
Higher and deeper,
Through mists and heather.

Proud we were;
The finest of warriors,
Accoutred in steel;
Bright swords, maille shining,
Horses stong on the plain.
Not so footsure in the foothills.
And still the track goes higher,
'"neath arching trees, narrow passes,
Walls of stone, closing in around us,
And still we pursue.

And the hillsides move as men come alive
About us, clothed in the heather,
Rude tools in their hands
And no room to turn.
It is enough for us.
At our head, Aethelfrith falls,
And with him, our hopes.
Howling death surrounding us,
Spears and rocks defeating steel.
Horses scream as stone points strike home.
Dying men driven into the Nechtmansmere,
Never to be seen again.

The Pride of Northumbria,
Broken, driven back
Behind the Roman wall.
The Pursuers, pursued
By the devil Picts.
They lured us in
And cast us down.
How few we remain
to bear the tale.

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Claiming

It happened on a moonless night
So many years ago,
When seasons, hung in balance
Between the freeze and thaw,
Part to reveal passageways
That lead to eldritch ground,
When first the Dreamer dared to lay
Upon the stony mound.
His reasoning was sound enough
Though perhaps his purpose queer.
If there be gates to the Otherworld,
There'd surely be one here.
To seek the elder magics
One had to take the chance,
And risk the madness born of
Seeing the Spirits at their dance.
To hear their words and learn their songs
Seemed such a simple thing;
To lie among their spells and dream,
To dance within their ring;
To let his soul be touched by fire
From an elven brand;
To know their secrets and their art
Among their airy band.
He lay himself upon the ground,
Pillowed by cold stone,
Surrendering his reason
Among the trees alone.
Owls and bats and nameless things
Circled overhead.
Shadows lurking in the mists
Whispered words of dread.
He let his conscious mind give way
Into the realms of night,
Until his waking dreams revealed
What had been hid from sight.
Where once there had been silence
Now rode a stately court
Of Elven lords and ladies
Of every shape and sort,
Mounted on fantastic beasts
That mystified the eye.
The glamour of their faces
Lit up the midnight sky.
Dressed in ragged elegance,
They passed on either side.
The music of their voices
Like seabirds on the tide.
Then they circled round him
In laughing arrogance
At this foolish mortal who
Intruded on their dance.
With golden knives against his throat,
Hands bound with silver chain,
The Dreamer felt dispair
At ever coming home again.
But then a voice like winter ice
Mixed with summer rain,
A voice that murmured of the greatest
Pleasures mixed with pain;
A deep intoxicating voice
That turned his head like wine.
Ordered his release and with
A laugh, she said, "He's mine!"
What mysteries he then beheld
He still cannot recall,
For human minds aren't meant to see
Such sights and hold it all.
One overpowering memory
Remained of all he'd seen;
The terrifying beauty
That was the Fairie Queen.
Dark eyes, dark hair, a cruel smile,
She held him in her power;
Posessed his soul entirely
Forever from that hour.
"You have a poet's heart," she said,
"A poet you will be.
Whenever you inscribe your verse,
You first will think of me.
I'll be your inspiration,
And I will be your Muse,
And save you from the madness.
But now you have to choose.
For always with an Elven gift
There also comes a price.
And nothing's ever given free
Without a sacrifice.
If I give you a poet's voice,
I want back what is fair.
For I am a jealous lover,
And I refuse to share.
Once you have received my kiss,
Your words will be like wine,
With meaning and with eloquence,
But always, you'll be mine!"
He looked upon her beauty,
Her eyes like burning coal.
Those eyes reached to his deepest parts
And feasted on his soul.
She knew his deepest secrets,
already knew his choice.
She kissed him once in triumph
And gave to him his voice.
He woke early next morning
On a bed of cold grey stone,
With the memory of cold dark eyes
That claimed him for their own,
Knowing in his deepest heart
He never would be free
To live and love as normal men:
He'd been touched by the Sidh.
So in the morn he left that hill,
A fever in his brain.
He never spoke to anyone
About that night again.
And through the years his poetry
Was closest to his heart.
All other earthly pleasures paled
When matched against his art.
It was his greatest solace
Whene'er his heart was sore.
But always it was colored by
A darkness at its core.
Friends and loves would come and go
But never satisfy.
For another owned him,
And these pleasures would deny.
For never could he shake the hold
Of that which he had seen;
The cold and cruel beauty
That was the Fairie Queen.
A fairy tale, you say? Perhaps,
A fantasy in dreams,
Where every meaning wears a shroud,
And isn't what it seems
To mingle with the elder race
Holds risks beyond degree,
For mortals were not meant to mix
With immortality.
To commune with the Elvenkind
Leaves marks down deep inside;
An owner's mark burnt into flesh,
A brand that you can't hide.
The fate of one who has survived
Is not found in the stars,
But written on his heart in blood.
I'll show to you the scars.