Monday, October 22, 2007

Dribs, drabs and one bad poem

I've just begun a full week's vacation, and in the modern 5 days on 2 days off workweek that means 9 days. And with no travel plans or any kind of obligation, really, that seems like a lot of time on this side of the fence. Of course, on the other side, next weekend, say, it'll seem like it's coming to it's conclusion all too soon, and I'll be frantically trying to relax with superhuman zeal in order to stretch the time and feel ready for another couple of months before my next break.

No travel plans or obligations doesn't mean I don't hope to accomplish something. Many of you who read this know that I have been working on a novel for a couple of years, and that after a very productive first year and a completed first draft I have lost a lot of my forward momentum. Revising is a bear, and my full work schedule, distractable nature and writer's block has made what I hope is a temporary mockery of my writerly aspirations. However, I have been brainstorming and plotting a little more productively lately and have re-started my second draft in a more promising and exciting way. This week I hope to really get a large, significant chunk done on my second draft and leave the week with it progressing fluidly and a daily writing habit back in place.

I was thinking of trying to incorporate some of this ongoing project of mine into this blog, but I'm not really sure how I would do that in a meaningful way, and especially in a way that readers would enjoy. Everything would be in a constant state of flux anyway; it's not like I would even have it in some kind a state where it would be readable in a serialized format. I am hoping, however, as a way to mix things up a bit and keep myself from burning out and stalling, to work on some writing exercises and maybe some short fiction and even poetry along with my ongoing work on the book, and if any of these things bear fruit maybe I'll share them. Or even if they're no good, maybe I'll share them anyway just to give you an idea of what I'm doing. Or maybe I'll get sidetracked yet again by birdwatching or fiddling or cross-country skiing or rehabilitating 1950's muscle cars or whatever and forget all about this.

Other than that, I'm still working on my little course of study on farming and permaculture, and am almost through with the book on cheese.

As a goodwill gesture, I'll give you a poem I worked a year ago for inclusion in my book, ostensibly as the lyric to a song that a character was singing. It's pretty bad, I think. It was an attempt to write something in the style of Schubert's more fantastical songs, such as Der Erlkonig (whose lyrics were by Goethe), but has nothing of the tension, dread and imaginative voicing of that work. Anyway, here it is:

Who rises high o’er the barren fields?
To search the sky, heaven’s vast shield?
‘Tis the moon, Selene, her eyes alight
Night’s wave of stars within her sight

Searching, searching those deeps, so high
Through thousand eons in the sky
The darkened earth both cold and warm
Turns endlessly in her arms

Through thickest forest and shadow hills
His steed rides ‘cross the night’s bone chill
A hundred beasts fly in his wake
His face a blackened helm of demon’s make

Spied dreaming Selene, her wide white face
And spurred his horse to pace
Her steady flight o’er shriven ground
The hunt commenced without a sound

The starlit void misled her gaze
Her eyes lost, through infinite maze
Turns hallowed sight to fallow earth
And hollow hope for lover’s search

Beyond forest, ‘cross barrow downs
Within lost, rising, encircling mounds
A pool of silver, deepest glass
Spied dreaming face of love at last

She slowed her flight to match the turning
Face below, eyes yearning, burning
Eyes met, pale stone bridge of desire
Born of inner heart, red fire

Iron hunter leapt into the air
And climbed each incandescent stair
He drew his bow and arrow wide
As he drew close to end his ride

But lifting from the unguous murk
Of lake’s bottomless mud-black lurk
A shambles rose, with one great eye
Saw haloed goddess in the sky

Rose to break its highest ceiling
And shattered highest love’s reflection
She blinked, and cried a broken sound
Selene’s long bridge of love came down

Who rises high o’er the barren fields?
To search the sky, heaven’s vast shield?
‘Tis the moon, Selene, her eyes alight
Night’s wave of stars within her sight


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