aryllian: (Default)
Every ending
is the beginning
of silence.

There are no demands.
No one misunderstands.
Meaning does not overwhelm
in the spacious realm
of silence.
aryllian: (Default)
Inspiration here and here.

This just sort of happened. I mean, for values of "sort of happened" that include a couple of hours poking and arranging and rearranging, but still. The basic outline just happened. I really don't know.


One Question About Oracles

As the gaudy procession winds down the mountain road
Questions answered
Obscurely
And as the child, my apprentice, my daughter,
Puts away rich gifts
And banks the fire
Demurely
There comes a breeze caressing the curtains of my mind.

Not the ocean's weight of pressure that flowed
At questions asked
In daylight.
Not the curtain torn, falling like water
Time shifts
Moving like desire.
(Not that.)
A stray sight
This time it is kind.

Sometimes
(Not always, but sometimes,
For the gods are magnanimous
but not tame
and never biddable except by their own rules.)

Sometimes
(Ephemeral, like wind chimes
Bells ringing in a distant country
A hummingbird's wing beating
Faster than sight, colored like jewels.)

The gods' gift is knowledge
How it all turns out.
Where the prophecy will take those that come to the mountain to ask.
How their mistakes acknowledge their doubt.
How their choices unmask
The hidden potential.

The oracle's choice
The oracle's quintessential choice
Is knowledge.

To ask or not to ask
To mask or unmask--
This is the gods' generosity.
This is their recognition that their servant
is human
With a human curiosity.

And if I bar my mind
Like stone: blind
And if I bid the visions cease
Seeking only peace
Am I then a god
Unbound by human curiosity
Unbound except by human curiosity
That comes to the mountain to ask?

Or am I a tired old woman
Behind a crumbling facade
Waiting for the end
I foolishly asked about when I was young?

As my daughter brings me the soft bread and honey, bestowed
By those that question,
I wait.
And as the child, my apprentice, my daughter,
Sits at my feet
And looks into my eyes
I debate.

The weight of years bows my shoulders
But my daughter's back is straight.
She may yet ask
As I asked.

On that day
When visions pour like a rain of boulders
Will I be her god
Bound by the rules of my calling
The curtain falling
falling
A crumbling facade
Reshored?

Or will I be her mother
Refuse her supplication
Beat back the inspiration
Refuse the obligation
And face annihilation
For her innocence?
A mother may try
And face ruin.
A god may not try.

I think I will be her mother
And try.
But tonight, as the wind blows, I mask my human curiosity.
I do not ask the fate of these others.
Instead I eat my bread
(But humans also lie)
And talk quietly with my daughter.
(To ask invites reply.)
The gaudy procession winds down the mountain road
Into their future.

Golden

Feb. 24th, 2008 05:59 pm
aryllian: (Default)
On a joyful golden afternoon
With summer just begun
They walk through green, green meadows
Hand in hand
Beneath a golden sun

He wove for her a crown of flowers
Gold for her dark brown hair
She plucked the petals one by one
He loves me, he loves me not.

On a lazy joyful afternoon
Amidst the blooms of gold
They sit on a cushion of green, green grass
Side by side
And watch the day unfold

He wove for her a necklace of flowers
Glorious gold for her slender neck
She plucked the petals one by one
He loves me, he loves me not.

On a windy summer afternoon
Sweet whispers on the breeze
They lay on a bed of green, green grass
Heart to heart
And do just as they please.

He wove for her bracelets of gold
Around her hands like cuffs
She plucked the petals one by one
He loves me, he loves me not.


On a blustering summer afternoon
Gold beauty proves so frail
They race across green gray meadows
One by one
Dead leaves before the gale.

And on her brow an empty stalk
And round her neck a twist of grass
And at her wrists a thorny rope
No flowers left, alas.

And in her mind the words repeat
He loves me not.

We Shadows

Jan. 5th, 2008 02:47 pm
aryllian: (Default)
This one is associated with a current character (but not written by, though this character would be allowed to write poetry/songs if I could manage something that he might write). The title isn't mine; the title is the reason this exists. It fascinates me because I'm pretty sure it's meant to be from Puck's speech at the end of A Midsummer Night's Dream, but I've always interpreted that line as meaning if we have offended shadows. But it could go the other way, and actually mine is probably be the weird interpretation. Looking at it again, I'm not sure why I assumed the one with the weird word order when you can have an interpretation that makes sense without a weird word order.

This is meant to be a song, too, actually. I don't know how well either of these would actually become songs, but it's enough to make me wish I could write music, so I could find out.


We Shadows

[anything in parentheses is echo-like and fading]
[anything indented is sung overlapping the previous line, like a round]

And there you are (there you are there you are)
There you are chained to the floor of a cave
And you can't turn your head (turn your head turn your head)
And you can't see yourself (see yourself see yourself)
But you know who you are  (who you are who you are)
You know who you are from the inside

There you are (there you are there we are)
There we are up on the wall of a cave
For anyone to see

We are the shadows
The darkness unfurled
We are the fire, the shapes, and the movement
(we are the shadows the shadows the shadows)
 We         are         your        world

So there you are (there you are there you are)
There you are watching the wall of a cave
And the flicker of fire (fire burns like your pain)
And the shapes of desire (you desire in vain)
Are your world and your truth (and the weight of your chains)
And your truth is the only truth you know

And there you are (there you are)
There you are (there we are)
There we are (there we are there we are)

We are the shadows
The darkness unfurled
We are the fire, the shapes, and the movement
(we are the shadows the shadows the shadows)
 We         are         your        world

So here we are (here we are here we are)
Here we are chained to the floor of a cave
With the fire behind us (the light that defines us)
Before us a wall (the wall is our all)

And here we are (here you are here we are)
And here you are (here we are here you are)

If we shadows have offended
Think but this and all is mended

We are the shadows
We are the dream
We are the vision in firelight and darkness
We are the echo, a scared child's scream

We are the shadows
           You are the shadows
We are the dream
           You are the moment of losing a dream
We are the darkness
           You are the darkness
We are the scream
           You are the echo, a jubilant scream

Yes, 
You are the shadows
            We are the shadows that yearn and aspire
You are the dream
            We are the dream that will always inspire
You are the darkness
            We are an outline of darkness and fire
You are the scream
            We are an echo of love and desire

We cast shadows and
        You cast shadows and
We see shadows and
       You see shadows and
Our truth is the only truth we know.

(Them that asks no questions is never told a lie)

So watch the wall (the stony wall)
Yes watch the wall (the shadows call)
We watch the wall (our world, our all)
The wall is where the shadows lie.

Winter

Jan. 5th, 2008 02:42 pm
aryllian: (Default)
Greatestjournal, where I've been roleplaying on and off for a few years, seems to be on the way to disappearing. I'm moving a couple of things that I like over here, so I don't lose track of them. (Things? Specifically, poems -- anything else would be too long and not right for this journal, though I do like a bunch of it.)

This one was in the first entry of the journal of the only character I've ever tried to play more than once (I only tried it because the first game died prematurely). He quoted it as being the lyrics of a song that he liked; it was meant to set up a bit of what the character was like.


Winter

When winter comes
All motion stops.
The world becomes
Still.

Winter.

Frost and ice and silver air,
The white flakes of snow fall like diamonds, in drifts,
Cold that chills a heart of flesh
To frozen despair: winter's gifts.

Winter.
Today is the first day of winter.

And the ice glows in the sunlight like a gem of rarest worth
Light reflecting and refracting from the sky that gave it birth
And everywhere I look I see but snow upon the earth
In winter.

Winter.
Today is the first day of winter.
What can I do?

When the spring comes it will melt and form a river
A river that will bear my heart away
Away into a summer that could melt a thousand winters
A thousand winters of despair
A thousand
Winters.

Winter.
Today is the first day of winter.
What can I do?
I do what I can.
aryllian: (Default)
Some people get songs stuck in their head. Apparently, I get rhythms.

I was doing something, not really thinking of anything, and then I realize that while I was not thinking, my brain is still stuck in double dactyls and has come up with "Bippity hoppity, Hans Christian Andersen", which is a double dactyl name that doesn't need any fiddling at all to make it work. Nice. A bit later I have that he "wrote tales of peasants and nobles and kings" (which may or may not be true -- I know he wrote fairy tales, but I can't think of which ones off the top of my head). I'm ready to call it quits because the part that's left has the six syllable word in it. Then, off on a tangent, I get something about "inscrutability" and "the making of rings", which seems to belong to a different poem entirely. Perhaps one that also mentions J.R.R. Tolkien? Unfortunately, I don't think Tolkien is pronounced with three syllables, though I used to think it was. Also, inscrutability isn't really a double dactyl word, though apparently my internal rhythm generator doesn't care about the difference between six syllable words with the secondary stress on the first syllable and those with secondary stress on the second (because when I say it in my head I put the stress on the wrong syllable).

And anyway, enough is enough. I don't need any more double dactyls, thanks all the same.

Maybe if I listen to music?
aryllian: (Default)
It's a new form I just came across (though I've probably seen them before, just not with the form clearly defined), so of course I had to try it. Then I went a bit overboard with completing the set.

Yippie-i quippie-i
Buffy of Sunnydale
Kills evil creatures and
Fights with her friends.
Saving the world is her
Responsibility
She must end evil be-
Fore the world ends.

More... (a few spoilers for Buffy seasons 6 & 7, mostly) )
aryllian: (Default)
A clear star-filled night;
Above the sky glitters cool
And serene and cruel.

My wild thoughts seem trite
Against the drape of darkness
And the gleaming stars.

Hear the passing cars.
Listen to the sound, starkness
In the lonely world.

Alone I sit, and
Alone I hear the demand,
Silent, from heav'n hurled

Here is the question.
Are you alone in the midst
Of vastness? Alone?

The form is explained here on [livejournal.com profile] ozarque's journal. I couldn't resist trying it out, though I didn't quite manage--two cheats, by my count.
aryllian: (Default)
At VP someone suggested that I might write speculative poetry, and I wasn't too enthusiastic because...well, I like (some) poetry, but only some, and writing poetry is fun, but only every now and then. And quite frankly I'm not sure what speculative/science fiction/fantasy poetry is. It seems that genre limits, already a tricky subject, must be much more tricky when it comes to poetry. Also, it's probably a mistake to try to write something that I don't read.

But all the same, I was curious, and this is what resulted:


Sixteen, alone, and determined to show no weakness,
The space-born child saw her first planet today.
She gave no sign, no tribute to its uniqueness;
Not so much as a smile would she betray.
She has known the harshness of space, the unending vastness.
She has been alone four years since her parents died.
In this trading ship she has crafted a flawless fastness
Alone in her pride.
Tomorrow she'll shuttle down to a surface city.
She'll see more people than ever before she has seen.
Will she stare and grin, or wrap herself in pity,
World-weary at only sixteen?
Or will she do neither, but keep her thoughts within
And stay as she has been?


Which only serves to confirm that for me, a serious attempt to write poetry within the limits of a genre is probably misguided. It might make an interesting story, though, if I could figure out the worldbuilding that causes this situation. Fantasy is so much nicer than science fiction when it comes to worldbuilding--I might have to make everything up, but it's harder to get anything horribly wrong when I mostly just have to be consistent with things I made up myself, not the laws of physics (plus improbable FTL gizmo which I can define for myself).
aryllian: (Default)
Midnight. Memories
Ignite. Thaw and tease.
Delight. Memories.

Reading a record of what is now past
Words, actions. Brilliance. Mistakes.

Mistakes.

It was long ago.
It is long since through.
Why remember now?
What is there to do?

If you could change one thing
In all your life
they ask,
What would you change?

Remove one sting
From a time of strife,
they ask,
What would you change?

It was long ago.
It was far away.
Why remember now?
What is there to say?

Mistakes.

But mistakes teach us not to make mistakes.
Just one change--But what would that break?

Midnight. Memories
Ignite. Thaw and tease.
Excite. Refreeze.
aryllian: (Default)
Away, away, from me, myself, and I,
These three I can't deny.
Where e'er I go, I can't avoid them,
Especially if I've annoyed them.
I can only try distraction,
And so away, I must have action!

...of one form or another. My mood is actually precisely opposite of the mood I had when I wrote the above: not 'I must get out', but rather 'I must stay in and see no one'. The two feelings are remarkably similar, though, with the main difference being that my distraction shall be a book (I just picked up Road to Ruin from the library) and any action shall be vicarious.
aryllian: (Default)
The wind is whistling through the reeds;
She stands by the lake and looks at the water,
Thinking of dreams and all that she needs
And never will have, for she's nobody's daughter.

She dreams of action, of great deeds;
She longs for something new, for something wild.
But she always fears that, however she pleads,
Her dreams are but ashes; she's nobody's child.

But she watches and waits and never concedes.
She vows she'll learn more than what they have taught her.
She'll strive and she'll seek, however she bleeds.
In the end she'll succeed, though she nobody's daughter.

So she goes where she will, and no one impedes,
And they never know how she fears to be reviled,
For when they discourage, she never heeds.
Her dreams live within, though she's nobody's child.

One day she sees where she's gone, she exceeds
All that she dreamed of. They always fought her,
But now they all follow wherever she leads
It doesn't matter she's nobody's daughter.
aryllian: (Default)
Saw this on [livejournal.com profile] pegkerr's journal, and since she posts something quite substantial, I didn't notice that it's only supposed to be a quote 'til I'd decided that if I were doing it, I would post this. At which point it was too late.

"Post a quote from something you've written (whether or not you consider yourself an author). It can be published or not, from any sort of writing--a poem, a fiction, a letter, whatever."

I wrote this when I was playing a Rohirrim sperewigend (Rider of Rohan) on ElendorMUSH a year or two ago. Like most of my MUSHing ventures lately, it didn't last long. I think I spent more time reading the info files than playing, but one of the things I found in those info files was a set of guidelines on how to write Rohirrim poetry. I don't remember all of what they said, only that rhythm and alliteration were considered very important and rhyme unnecessary. I don't like to write poetry without rhyme, but it's hard to do everything and still make sense. I think this ended up awkward in places because I was trying to force too much structure into it, but...

The sun has set; silent sit I
Listening, listening: hear the high cry
Of the whistling wind, wandering wild
Blowing grass gently, as if the night smiled,
Silver the moon; I sit beguiled
Under the dome of an indigo sky.

The sun has set; silent sit I
The horses are restless; roaming nearby
Nickering, whickering: comfortable sounds.
The sentry steps softly, making his rounds
Silver the stars; silver the ground
Under the dome of an indigo sky.

The sun has set; silent sit I
Dark shadows shift, hear the wind sigh
Harmonize hauntingly, like lyric choir
Of that sweet sound, I never will tire
So I sit silent by flickering fire
Under the dome of an indigo sky.

The sun has set; silent sit I
Watching and waiting, with wind whirling by
The wide world surrounds me, infinite grace
Flowing and filling an infinite space
I sit in the center, a perfect, pure place
Surrounded, and feeling the world's warm embrace
Under the dome of an indigo sky.

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