Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Softer Side Of Me (featuring Pixies)

This was, quite simply, one really trying week. It featured a demonically-intense heatwave (we don't have even a hint of AC), both of our cars down and out for the count, and the beginning of the kids' summer vacation from school. Add in some pesky ongoing money problems and the usual assortment of more mundane expected hurdles, and you get an idea of what a week it was. I found myself in a mindset of not even caring if I wrote something throughout the week. Instead of obsessing over my blogger stats, I don't think I even logged in to the page for a couple of days running.

So here I sit of a Friday night, a bit cranky and out of sorts and determined to be creative. Devoted readers of my blog (allow me the delusion that I actually HAVE devoted readers) know that I have only within the last few months determined that I would like to return to writing and creating. I don't have the creative work ethic bit down very well and I am not certain I ever will. 

Circumstances in my life have often placed me into the less-than-enviable position of doing without things that were, at some point, important to me. It may be considered a triumph of my will that I persevered without those "important" things around me anymore. It may also be considered the ultimate expression of impotent acceptance that it didn't seem surprising to me that those "important" things were no longer accessible to me. The jury is still out on that one and I have promised to not tamper with its findings, so only time will tell if I, again, allow writing to fade from my world. I think it will not. 

Many of my recent blog posts have included some commentary or observations and culminated in you being offered one of my poetic endeavors to peruse. Today will not be different. The poem for today displays a softer, gentler, more whimsical side of me than my readers may have observed previously. It serves as solace to my soul to remind me that somewhere beneath the cynical, jaded exterior I adopt, there is STILL the heart, the wonder (and the mind) of a child. 

I'd like to provide you a bit of background for the poem before turning it loose to you. The date on the file shows that I wrote it in August of 2007, roughly a month after I met my wife Lisa.  The first time I saw her my thoughts scrambled, my tongue tied and I think it is what the sappier types deem "Love at first sight". She was wearing a tee shirt that advertised an amateur writing web site and was furiously scribbling something in a beat-up spiral notebook.
Having been off the market for awhile I saw writing as an "in" to get her interest.

Her genre of writing, at that time, was cutesy childrens' stories. While hardly my forte, I saw an opportunity and seized it. She had three daughters, one of whom has always fancied herself a "Princess Without Kingdom". And so an idea was born, a plot conceived and a poem written. I would "wow" this woman with a kids' poem, written in verse, and featuring her youngest daughter as the lead character. Ingenious!  It must have worked on some level, since Monday we will be celebrating our second wedding anniversary together. I will pause here for the "Awwws" and "How Sweeets" and such from the Lifetime/Hallmark-style readers.  It hasn't been two years without challenges, but it HAS been two years that I would never trade away and truly only the second of what should be many, many more happier years ahead.

I really intend to wind down the commentary here and get to the poetry portion so please bear with me a skosh longer. The Life of Riley is a long poem that tells a story. When I began it, I knew it would require several chapters to complete. To date, only two have been written since it met with lackluster approval on a writing site we belong to. While I know that the childrens' storybook market is considered glutted right now I would TRULY appreciate any feedback you may wish to provide me regarding whether this seems a project worth completing. With that being said and with my thanks for your attention...Enjoy!! 


The Life of Rylie



Attend the tale of Riley, Pixie Princess born and raised.
Her beauty, wit and shining eyes were often highly praised.
But Riley had a secret that she prayed that few would learn
That made her smile just vanish and her anger start to burn.

Now pixies make their magic with the music that they sing.
Through the wonder of their voices they can do most anything.
Call forth the rain or calm the wind or help a tree to grow.
Quite potent is the magic that the simple pixies know.

But each song is quite special, must be sung a certain way
Lest the unexpected happen and the magic go astray.
Young pixies they must practice and work very hard indeed
Before they try their first spell on a very tiny seed.

Each morning Riley climbed the stairs to get the special book
with all the secret pixie songs from out its sacred nook.
And then with the assistance of her sisters or her Mum
She'd pick a page to practice and begin to softly hum.

Young pixies only get to hum and dare not try much more
For the tiniest of errors could produce a dinosaur.
As good as Riley thought she did, she'd see her family slump
Poor Riley's horrid secret? She was tone deaf as a stump!

Her Mum tried to console her though her sisters were quite mean.
Princess Sara said, "We still need YOU...to sweep the castle clean."
Princes Bekka said, "Don't worry if you never get it right.
You can still brew up my cocoa just by hand for me at night."

As consoling as she was, her Mum warned Riley every day.
To not try to experiment when she went out to play.
For even if she couldn't get a single note on key
It didn't mean that what she sang could not quite dangerous be.

Now THAT made Riley really steam and use some naughty words
This "requirement" to be just right was really quite absurd!
Was it HER fault the first time that she tried a simple tune
The cat wound up on fire and the clouds snuffed out the moon?!?

And should she really bear the blame because her second song
Went just a bit astray and in the end went VERY wrong?
She KNEW she shouldn't try to give the tune a bit of tweak
It caused the dog to go quite bald and glow blue for a week.

Princess Riley came to see that much as she might wish
She'd never learn the song to make a bird into a fish.
Or make a daffodill into a tulip with her voice.
And so, one day, the princess made a very risky choice.

She'd journey to the Goblin Woods and through the Troll Divide
Across the Shimmer Desert to the plains where Elf Lords ride.
Then down and through the valley to the Sea of Endless Brine
And find within the woods near there the Hidden Pixie Shrine.

The legends said it was the source of all the Pixie lore.
The vault where all the oldest Pixie relics had been stored.
And that, in each generation, that of all the pixies born
That only one could ever wield the Ancient Pixie Horn.

The Pixie Horn, so she had read, was something quite unique
To even find a trace of it she'd searched for near a week.
But when she had and read the tales of what the Horn could do
Hope blossomed in her Pixie heart and in her eyes of blue.

Within the Horn was archived every single Pixie song
Ensuring none were lost as time and Pixies marched along.
Preserving every single tune known to the Pixie Queens
From very first...to very last...and all the in-betweens.

The Wielder of the Horn, was writ, could summon any one
Of all the songs the Pixies knew (that REALLY sounded fun)
And blowing breath in to the Horn produce quite well and good
A song so pure it far excelled what Pixie Masters could.

So Riley had decided that her one and only choice
Lay in the finding of the Horn that didn't need a voice.
But that, my friends, is where, for now, this epic takes a pause
And if you wonder why, I'll smile, and only say.."Because."




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