Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Part 1: Recent Writings

Well, here it is, by popular demand, the poem I wasn't going to post. But you gotta give the public what they want, right? ;-) :-D

So anyway, read if you like, but don't say I didn't warn you.


And you sat there
holding my hand
you made my thoughts
travel distant lands

You sank to the ground
in a pool of red velvet
and the tears flowed all round us
but you smiled
that made it alright

the Lady said to me
come stay a while with me
the Lady stole a kiss from me
and sang soft so sweetly

she told me Know,
wherever you go
they'll be no one who knows
till your tears well and flow

And there will come a time
you see each other's eyes
you join hands together
your souls upward fly

And you sat there
holding my hand
and as you sat there
you had me at your command

those Times are over
our souls have split
i've gone all strange
you've gone with It

but late in the deep
dark of the night
i recall your face
it turns dark to light

And i look in your eyes
i see myself there
and i see also
what i don't dare

don't ever change
stay as you are
burning by night
the northern Star

we both drank from the Chalice
aye, faith, we can see
we held hands together
by the shore of the sea

And you sat
holding my hand
your hair tied like silk
in a black velvet band

there you sit
holding my hand
and worlds and worlds
are at your command

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Only Poem I Ever Wrote

seconds click in which I'm changed to dust
whithered roots of knots and hairy rust
no one sees you on a vampire planet
no one sees you like I do
--Sparklehorse, "Sick of Goodbyes"

So earlier this week I was feeling kind of melancholy/depressed. (It sucked. I mean, I got thru February and March and April without long periods of being depressed like in other years, but in late May with the sun shining and a blue sky, there it is. Welcome to Melancholy, population, You.) I think it was mainly post-prom let-down, the coming down off the mountaintop thing or whatever, but it was a little deeper too. So I'm sitting there about 12:30 at night, not really wanting to go to bed, so I just grab a notepad and start writing a poem. Even as I did it, I figured this would be my usual procedure for writing poems: come up with something I think is good at 1 am, wake up next morning and realize it's crap. But I wrote it and it felt good, and I left it. And the next morning I realized it was actually readable, something that had never happened to one of my poems.

So of course I had to think about this, and I realized what made this poem different is that I meant it. Always before I had tried to convey some image or idea that I thought was cool/beautiful/whatever; but it was never me talking, just me trying to re-tell something from somewhere else. And I think that's how truly great writing comes about: people talking about things, telling stories, that only they can talk about, stories only they can tell. And suddenly I remember that's what alot of people have praised in stories of mine: "This is something you would write" in the same breath as "I liked it alot."

No, I'm not going to post it. I'm sure that, viewed objectively, it's crap, and it seems sappy even to me. Anyway, just my thoughts. I remember a while ago someone over in the NaNo forums said: "Even for authors that are better than me on every aspect (Shakespeare and Dante, etc.) there is one thing I can do that they can't."

That's it for now, I must go to bed.

(Exit, pursued by a horde of angry undead authors)

Saturday, May 20, 2006


What good is melody, what good is music
If it ain't possessin' something sweet
It ain't the melody, it ain't the music
There's something else that makes the tune complete
It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing
It don't mean a thing, all you got to do is swing
It makes no diff'rence if it's sweet or hot
Just give that rhythm ev'rything you got
It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing
--"It Don't Mean A Thing", Ella Fitzgerald

So last night I went to the homeschool prom, organized by a homeschool group in our area, open to all homeschoolers. Got dressed up, suit, jacket, fedora (my personal touch)-- aye, the whole bit.

The music was pretty good, for a mainly Evangelical crowd--lots of swing, some Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Beatles, "Sweet Home Alabama", "Roll Over Beethoven" (my personal favorite); also some unfortunate rap and contemporary Christian music, but the latter had good dance beats, and the former at least was not Christian rap, so I guess thank goodness for small favors; and of course there was the Chicken Dance. I knew some swing moves, some cool spins and stuff, and picked up/was taught a waltz and some "contemporary" moves, so I didn't look like a complete idiot dancing to more modern songs.

I actually danced with like eight girls this year, up from four or five last year. :-D Pretty good for an introvert like me. And, as previously stated, dancing is quite fun. Near the beginning of the evening, when people weren't really "mixing", the DJ (a homeschooler dad with some experience DJ-ing) had everybody line up facing the wall, girls on one side, boys on the other. Each person was assigned a number, and the boy with, say, number eight had to dance with the number eight girl. I thought it was quite effective, and certain members of the party I came with probably wouldn't have danced with any save one or two people they knew otherwise.

All in all, pretty fun. And people were well-behaved (for teenagers :-D). So yeah, today I'm still recovering (please forgive any flying pink monkey incoherence. It's not entirely my hippo fault. Toothpicks.)

Sassafrass banana-bread,
(Exit, break-dancing)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Quick Update (and 2 Reviews)

Hello, ev'rybody!

I am still here, yes you thought you could get rid of me but it won't be that easy hehe! (Yes National Insanity Day was a few days back and I haven't quite gotten over it).

I've been quite busy of late. I will soon be moving up from shelver to clerk at the library, so I have to get trained in how to use the computer, check books in/out (I can no longer use the phrase "check people out" innocently because a certain friend ruined it forever), etc. Other than that.... Well, the homeschool prom is this Friday and yes, I'm going. I WASN'T going, but my mom organized these dance lessons--swing dance, jitterbug, that sort of thing--and of course I had to go to them. And everybody who was going to the prom wanted me to go. And furthemore I'd forgotten how much fun dancing is. Not just the whole "Girls like a man who can dance" thing, that's part of it, but dancing's just... fun. If you know what you're doing.

So last Friday I went to the Reduced Shakespeare Company's performance of All the Great Books. For those who know not, the RSC's original show was "The Complete Works of Shakespeare--Abridged", purporting to be the complete works in 90 minutes. Hilarious show. They did some other abridgements--the Bible, History of America, and now All the Great Books. I'm not very good at in-depth comedy reviews, so I'll just say this: afterwards I hurt from laughing so much. My favorite part was towards the end, when one of the actors was summarizing all the books in one sentence (not a verbatim repro.):

"One flew Over the Cuckoo's nest."
"Sanity is overrated."
"Don Quixote."
"Sanity is overrated."
"Harry Potter."
(tosses book aside) "Overrated!"


The other review:

Good Lutherans, rejoice! Our founder is back from the grave, and what is he doing? Ridding the Lutheran church of its liberal corruption? No. Fighting off the church's enemies? No. Combatting evil? No! He is watching movies. And he is blogging. And it's hilarious. I hardly ever laugh out loud while reading something anymore--only when reading Twain, Terry Pratchett, or this guy. Check him out at http://lutheratthemovies.blogspot.com.

That's all for now. I have plans for a longer post(s) soon.

(Exit, strangely absent of any bear)

Monday, May 01, 2006


But the bravest fell, and the requiem bell rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that Eastertide in the springing of the year
And the world did gaze, in deep amaze, at those fearless men, but few
Who bore the fight that freedom's light might shine through the foggy dew
--"Foggy Dew", Traditional

Yesterday marks the 90th anniversary of the end of the Easter Rising in Dublin.

Some background: In 1916, the British had been ruling Ireland for hundreds of years. By the early twentieth century the Irish had seen their language all but wiped out, most of their freedom taken away; they had sugffered through the potato famine, which killed a third of the population and drove another third away; by 1916 the spirit of the Irish people was all but broken.

But a group of young men, idealistic college students, poets, and revolutionaries, determined not to let this happen. They gathered in Dublin, and the movement for Irish freedom centered around a man named Padraig Pearse. He was a poet, and did not relish fighting save as a last resort. But when it became clear that their politically lodged protests were being ignored (as they had been for hundreds of years), the leaders of the resistance movement decided there was nothing left save to rebel.

An enterprise like this was difficult to arrange under freindly circumstances; the Irish are so naturally tribal that they are prone to split over minor issues, and there were several instances of political leaders forming breakaway groups that hindered planning. But the planning was completed (as well as possible at any rate, for an illegal group with low funds). The Rebellion was set for Easter, 1916.

On April 24, a few hundred Irishmen in and around Dublin took over the city and faced down the might of the British Empire. They held out, fighting tenaciously for one week, before thousands of British soldiers invaded the city and ended the rebellion. Most of its leaders, including Padraig Pearse, were shot.

It appeared the last real hope of Irish independance was snuffed out. But in executing the rebellion's leaders, the Briitish had created martyrs, heroes that no living man could match. Popular opinion began to swing to various nationalist movements. By 1922 there was another rebellion, and 26 of Ireland's 32 counties were independant.

The themes of this rebellion--desire for freedom, a nation for one's people, etc--run deep not only with the Irish but with all people. Padraig Pearse and his freedom fighters are some of my heroes.

The traditional song "Foggy Dew" commemorates the Easter Rising, and pays better tribute than I could.

As down the glen one Easter morn to a city fair rode I
There Armed lines of marching men in squadrons passed me by
No fife did hum nor battle drum did sound it's dread tatoo
But the Angelus bell o'er the Liffey swell rang out through the foggy dew

Right proudly high over Dublin Town they hung out the flag of war'
Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky than at Sulva or Sud El Bar
And from the plains of Royal Meath strong men came hurrying through
While Britannia's Huns, with their long range guns sailed in through the foggy dew

'Twas Britannia bade our Wild Geese go that small nations might be free
But their lonely graves are by Sulva's waves or the shore of the Great North Sea
Oh, had they died by Pearse's side or fought with Cathal Brugha
Their names we will keep where the fenians sleep 'neath the shroud of the foggy dew

But the bravest fell, and the requiem bell rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that Eastertide in the springing of the year
And the world did gaze, in deep amaze, at those fearless men, but few
Who bore the fight that freedom's light might shine through the foggy dew

Ah, back through the glen I rode again and my heart with grief was sore
For I parted then with valiant men whom I never shall see more
But to and fro in my dreams I go and I'd kneel and pray for you,
For slavery fled, O glorious dead, When you fell in the foggy dew.