Author Topic: Jubal's poems  (Read 44876 times)

Jubal

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Re: Jubal's poems
« Reply #225 on: November 15, 2018, 09:21:46 PM »
The Poetry of Mead

They said the mead of poetry
Gave man the gift of rhyme
The joy of verse
The ecstasy of rhythm
And on this point perhaps
They told true.

But neglectfully
They concealed the other truth
The truth so clear
In translucent gold
That it was unseeable.

This is that truth:
The mead of poetry
Is
Mead.

What is verse, when fought
with hazy restfulness?
What power of song calls better
Than a lolling, slurring tongue?

The mead of poetry is acclaimed
By the connoisseurs
By high society (none higher than the Gods)
But what is acclamation in
a heated, half blurred night?

So we mortals drink our mead
and curse the poetry
We were not born to live
blurred lives;
Those come from other cruelties
Ones we escape into the blur
The blur
Where the Gods
Put poetry
Knowing it, too, was irresistible

Still my pen scratches paper
And I call for another round of mead and poetry
And wish, to unhearing Gods, to be shot of them both.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Jubal

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Re: Jubal's poems
« Reply #226 on: December 09, 2018, 11:49:06 AM »
Passing Pale

I sped along the cloud roads
That were darkened by their whiteness
One from loneliness to loneliness
No milestone or light
Save glimpses of their wind-shaped lands
Cloud mountains and storm canyons
Flat hillocked sheets a rolling plain
With not a sea in sight

And then those lands in which I tread
(Intruding there, I onward sped)
Lose form and turn to wisps again,
Envelop me within the plain
Though, steel-bound, I'll not be part
Of it - as still I onward dart

I sped along the cloud roads
Where journey's ends a memory,
To be clung to in the lost blank world
The windowscape of white
And lost in journey's wisps and hills
I pass by loves and plans and pasts
That fade like words in cloudmist
As I poise my pen to
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Jubal

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Re: Jubal's poems
« Reply #227 on: December 23, 2018, 11:30:53 AM »
Yet another in the "poems on planes" niche, this one from a dragging and disrupted journey from Vienna back to Norfolk:

Peppermint Tea

I sip
Cramped, buckled,
Backached and homebound

I sip
Paper-cupped, water barely warm
But I sip
Half dreaming, a fifth awake,
Glow-trapped, outside dark-bound.

I sip
Here I sip, I can do no other
And a part of a part of my ache
Shifts under a once-fresh scent

So again

I sip
Cramped, buckled
It brings no revelation
Just a familiar taste
That settles into my half-dreams

I sip
So I can use
This glow-trap
For pen-scrawled letters
Until the memory fades
And what is left then?

Not even
Peppermint tea.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Jubal

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Re: Jubal's poems
« Reply #228 on: December 29, 2018, 11:08:19 AM »
A Fear of Falling

I awake
And the name twined around my lips and dreams
Is an unfamiliar one
Tangles hardly seen wrap and weave around my memory
And for all the comfort of being enclosed, I am afraid
Beyond all fear.

And I look down from the battlements
Up, too, at the tangles in a tangled sky
Around this fortress I built
On its cliff-edge
Me, imprisoned inside
And my fear of hopes without

I look down from the battlements
Where the cliffs plunge
Seas batter rocks in showers of foam
Comfortable foam that I could wrap myself in
If I just believed in this jump,
Just imagined gravity would abandon and free me.

But instead, I awake
And back away from the soft tangles and the ledge over emptiness
Relieved at fear's victory, I try and edge my toe back from the battlements
And it resists
Of course.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Jubal

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Re: Jubal's poems
« Reply #229 on: January 24, 2019, 07:56:20 PM »
Light Wolf

She glistens
As if bound and formed of gossamer
The quiet howl
That, pale, finds not the January moon

The light wolf
Her pack filtered through motes of dust
In winter sunbeams
Prowls
Bounds
Prowls again
Paws that leave no print
Jaws that leave no bite
Fur that has no warmth
Hunts that have no kill
Yet the light wolf's breath lies on my face
For it is I who am the hunted

It is dawn, and the light wolf comes
Howling quiet
And as if her fur were gossamer
She glistens
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Jubal

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Re: Jubal's poems
« Reply #230 on: January 28, 2019, 10:31:52 PM »
Comfort

Why have I not grown?
I was told I would grow
Be beaten, forged, strengthened
Be armoured by experience
Both bitter and sweet

I would learn to weather tides
I would learn to sail storms
Leather-skinned so words and hates would wash past,
Living in crisp reality not the malleable blur of fantastic things -
Why have I not grown?

My greatest delights are still unaged
And I do not yearn for them to wither
Simple kindness, like buds opening to sunlight,
Warm fur of old friends,
The rush of air over mountains in a landscape built all in my mind,
The touch of frost on the tip of my nose,
And,
Delighting in smallness and green-ness and fluff,
In beardlings and scale-beasts and hopefulness,
My eyes still shine when they are allowed to.

I have not grown numb like they promised,
Although I have been pierced with knowledge.
The child's need to be wanted and to please
Has only strengthened with the stabbing of stubble through my chin,
Every friendship still a fearfully held eggshell,
In hands that, if larger, are no more steady.

And still I love the magic of story-paths,
That lead from wilderness to wilderness,
From hope to hope to hope,
And I love that which is small and forgotten and useless,
Picking up sticks I can still forge in my mind
The swords of heroes
Their edge still sharp and keen toward the world,

For I have not grown numb like they promised,
Only able to see further and further and further,
And empathise with larger pains
Until I am overwhelmed on lakes of grief
That never have I learned to dam
Scythes of anguish
That never have I learned to blunt
So I do not see "clearly" as the adults do;
I am bound by my child's eyes to see what is true.

From my childishness, my pain
From my childishness, my hope
From my childishness, my problems
From my childishness, my answers
Why have I not grown?

Perhaps - just perhaps - the answer comes from fairytales after all:
"Because in the end
It is all for the best."
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Jubal

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Re: Jubal's poems
« Reply #231 on: March 25, 2019, 11:44:06 PM »
The Little Egret's Courtship

I met a little egret,
Heronling, there we met,
Down by the river-bank at dawning of the day,
I tipped my hat to she, yet
There beside the stream's wet
Full she was of upset
At dawning of the day

"Sweet and little egret,
Why do you thus so fret,
Down by the river-bank at dawning of the day?
You have a beauteous islet,
A feather crest, an aigrette,
Fish that swim for you to get
At dawning of the day.

"Kind sir, a heron I met,
By the water inlet,
Down by the river-bank at closing of the day,
Would that I could forget,
Grey and proud at sunset,
For him my heart yearns yet
Each closing of the day."

So bewailed the egret,
Caught in passion's cold net,
Down by the river-bank at dawning of the day,
By her sadness beset,
Paying yearning's harsh debt,
Wailed the feathered starlet
At dawning of the day.

But then there came an egret,
Another little egret,
Down by the river bank at closing of the day.
Beak sharp as a gimlet,
Coat a pure white pallette,
Shapely as a statuette
At closing of the day

There they still are found yet,
Dancing in a minuet,
Down by the river bank at closing of the day.
He-gret and a she-gret,
Never more to regret,
Singing now in duet
At every break of day.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Jubal

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Re: Jubal's poems
« Reply #232 on: April 26, 2019, 04:26:31 PM »
The Knight And The Scorpion

Let me tell you a tale
Of a warrior brave,
Who defeated a foe,
But could not fight the grave,
For in silk robes or leather, in cuirass or mail,
Victory comes with a sting in the tail!


His great foe was armed,
And was armoured as well,
With its venomous sting,
And its claw-snaps from hell,
For this was the beast he had sworn to assail;
Victory comes with a sting in the tail.


He leaped past its claws,
And he jumped on its back,
And he wielded his blade
As the monster attacked,
He muttered his oath then, to fight and prevail;
Though victory comes with a sting in the tail.


His shield held high,
And its sting lashing down,
Yet no swipe found its mark
On that man of renown,
So enraged, it fought on, but still to no avail,
Yet victory comes with a sting in the tail.


At last there he smote it,
Through fear and through pain,
Through its carapace armour
The great foe was slain,
His friends they all cheered as the beast it bled pale,
But his victory came with a sting in the tail...


For then off he leaped,
From the dead monster's back,
Where he fell on the ground,
Broke his head with a crack,
And so it's his death that this song must bewail,
For his victory came with a sting in the tail.


This was based on a twitter conversation here: https://twitter.com/bloominalle/status/1121792135013883906
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Jubal

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Re: Jubal's poems
« Reply #233 on: May 07, 2019, 06:02:53 PM »
ლექსი

ზამთარის თოვლი თეთრია,
და ღრუბელი ნაცრისფერია.
ზაფხულის ფოთოლები, და
ხეები მე მიყვარს ახლა.



Transliteration and translation in spoiler:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 08:31:44 PM by Jubal »
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Jubal

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Re: Jubal's poems
« Reply #234 on: June 04, 2019, 02:51:24 PM »
Even Doves Cast A Shadow

Even doves cast a shadow on the world beneath their wings,
Even trees see a winter that won't bring another spring.
Every bold knight knows weakness, every fool they have a skill,
Every winter has sunshine, every summer has its chill!
And so, so it shall be, just as the birds do fly,
And so it shall be, love, forever.


Even doves cast a shadow on the world beneath their wings,
Just as mighty as lions stands the peace of which they sing,
But in calm, like in battle, there are wrongs we cannot right,
And with words, like with arrows, there are battles yet to fight!
And so, so it shall be, just as the birds do fly,
And so it shall be, love, forever.


Even trees see a winter that won't bring another spring,
There's no lord lives forever, priest or bishop, duke or king,
Like each pauper and beggar with no penny to his name,
Be you master or servant, you'll be buried just the same!
And so, so it shall be, just as the birds do fly,
And so it shall be, love, forever.


Every bold knight knows weakness, every fool they have a skill,
There's no loom serves a miller, and no weaver wants a mill,
Once a wise woman spent her days to find how birds they flew,
But a wiser one asked the birds, for they already knew!
And so, so it shall be, just as the birds do fly,
And so it shall be, love, forever.


Every winter has sunshine, every summer has its chill,
There's no gift wholly perfect, no misfortune wholly ill,
There's no autumn so dark pine needles fall unto the soil,
And no spring brings a plenty that will save us all from toil!
And so, so it shall be, just as the birds do fly,
And so it shall be, love, forever.


Yes, even doves cast a shadow on the world beneath their wings,
Even trees see a winter that won't bring another spring.
Every bold knight knows weakness, every fool they have a skill,
Every winter has sunshine, every summer has its chill!
And so, so it shall be, just as the birds do fly,
And so it shall be, love, forever.



I have a simple tune to this one, but I can't record it until I get back to Vienna!
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Jubal

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Re: Jubal's poems
« Reply #235 on: June 27, 2019, 07:30:04 PM »
Cadence

It was when I heard the sound of violins
That I knew that tomorrow was a dawn of farewells.

No soft symphonies,
But the chirring strigillations
Of the unseen musicians
That hide behind tree-leaves
On grass-stems
And call the high summer
And bloated with vapours
Humid and sweating
She wraps up the sound
And the sound wraps up me
And tomorrow is a dawn of farewells.

The violins, bowed by cricket-legs, crescendo
For it is tomorrow, and I take ambling steps
As high summer swaddles me
Shirt sticking to my back
And I walk a farewell that I cannot speak
To an orchestra that will play on without me
Past wren's corner, titmouse-nest,
Pecker-hole and jay-branch,
Hawfinch-tree and mouse-log,
A crossroads and an orchard,
And in a dawn reversed to dusk
The legs bow and bow and bow their notes

But I walk once more, just once,
Escaping the fortissimo of my departure
Just to the middle where the woods stand guard
And there you are
My sharp-eyed, uncaring hope
Beneath whose wing I have sheltered
And you sit for a moment, and depart
And I sit for a moment, and depart
And you think nothing of it
Of carrying my hope cloudwards one last time
Of my tear-strewn eyes left joyous behind.

The road ahead feels straight and bare,
The way I chose that I should fare,
And the path behind it twists and forks,
In Ginnheim wood, where my shadow walks,
Where I knew summers grow from springs,
And freedom on a buzzard's wings.

The dawn of farewells, the dusk of cricket-song,
The haze
And I am bound for home
South, and bound for home

Most of me is bound
For home
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Jubal

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Re: Jubal's poems
« Reply #236 on: August 31, 2019, 05:11:06 PM »
So Tusky was owed a poem by me from a very, very long time ago which I have shamefully been failing to do for him. His chosen theme was sea travel/exploration on the sea, and I can finally present the results of my endeavours:




The Sailor and the Nightingale

A sailor, a sailor,
To ship went one day,
To see what he’d find there
In lands far away,
And on the shore his true love said,
Return to me and then we’ll wed -

“Don’t bring me back a purse of gold,
Don’t bring me back a ribbon blue,
But bring me the song of a nightingale,
For she’s the bird that sings most true.”

A sailor, a sailor,
The tropics he sailed,
Through lulls and through storm winds,
Through calms and through gales,
Where parrots crowed through every task,
But not the bird his love had asked,

“Don’t bring me back a silver chest,
Don’t bring me back a feather dress,
But bring me the song of a nightingale,
For she’s the bird who sings the best.”

A sailor, a sailor,
He sailed off to Spain,
Where fair Spanish ladies,
His fellows soon gained,
But still he searched the ports and trees,
For songs ne’er heard upon the breeze

“Don’t bring me back the golden sun,
Don’t bring me back the robes of kings,
But bring me the song of a nightingale,
Be sure you find her where she sings”

A sailor, a sailor,
At last he sailed home,
On cogs and on galleons,
The world he had roamed,
And on the shore his love stood there,
But he’d found naught, to his despair

“But dear, what I wanted all along,
Was nothing found across the sea;
For it’s here that you hear the nightingale,
So I knew you’d come back to me.”



Salt Horses

Wild manes fly from the breaking foam,
Salt mares carry us far from home.


Our captain was a squire’s boy,
With horse and hunt he idled,
Now aboard a ship he rides,
The horse that cannot be bridled;

Wild manes fly from the breaking foam,
Salt mares carry us far from home.


The first mate was a merchant,
His horse took wares to town,
But the horse whose way is the ocean bay,
Will throw you off to drown;

Wild manes fly from the breaking foam,
Salt mares carry us far from home.


The priest he rode a donkey,
As stubborn as could be,
But none’s so stubborn, strong and rash,
As riding waves at sea;

Wild manes fly from the breaking foam,
Salt mares carry us far from home.


The cook he was a blacksmith,
A thousand horses shod,
But none with kicks so loud as this,
The steed of an angry god;

Wild manes fly from the breaking foam,
Salt mares carry us far from home.


And all the rest we pull the ropes,
Unfurl the sails and heave,
For the stallion’s roar so far from shore,
Will cause our loves to grieve…

Wild manes fly from the breaking foam,
Salt mares carry us far from home.


Chords:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Tusky

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Re: Jubal's poems
« Reply #237 on: September 02, 2019, 03:22:45 AM »
Wow! Amazing poems :)

Just listened to the shanty. Really nice - quite a catchy chorus.
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Jubal

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Re: Jubal's poems
« Reply #238 on: September 02, 2019, 11:52:00 AM »
I'm very glad you like them. So sorry it took so long!
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Jubal

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Re: Jubal's poems
« Reply #239 on: November 08, 2019, 08:08:23 PM »
Sunken Thoughts

I am sunk in this maze of streets
So the sun cannot soothe my face
Cannot reach me
To crown my ill-kept field of hay
With light

This city does not soar up from the ground
The ground feels like ruts and cracks
Into which people have fallen
More helpless than ants
For they not only cannot climb out -
They would not choose to if they could.

Would I choose so? Could I?
I was grown with a fen-calling in my spirit
Not to live tossed into the cracks between buildings
I was grown with a reed-listening in my thoughts
Not to shudder in tune with engine whines
I was made with wet mud in the depths of my soul

Under sky

upon sky

upon sky

(upon sky)

Until the world ends with a far fringe of trees.

The sun cannot soothe my face,
And the reeds cannot speak to me here
For I am sunk
In this maze
Of streets.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...