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Shackleton and the Endeavor
The Ballad of An Arctic Explorer
At a gathering in London,
Escaping the press of the mass,
I stepped out onto a balcony,
Where an old major downed his glass.
“Pardon me, but don’t I know you?
You were in the papers, I think.”
“Ernest Shackleton,” he answered,
And poured us both another drink.
Captain of the Endurance, yes.
Explorer of the arctic wilds,
Oft when I read of such exploits,
I felt the wonder of a child.
“Sir, if you don’t mind, please tell me,
How did you brave such ice and cold?”
Ernest and I, we talked for hours,
And this was the story he told.
The world was restless and troubled,
Girding itself for the great war,
When with twenty-eight men we set out,
From England to Antarctica’s shore.
The war lay heavy in our thoughts,
But our path of Science was set,
Between our crew and gear and dogs,
We had no room left for regret.
In Grytviken the whalers warned,
Of ice, crushing ships to splinters,
But we were seasoned Arctic men,
Who feared not the face of winter.
Southward, into the Weddell Sea,
Southward, alone, Endurance sailed,
Till glaciers glittered overhead,
And the radio signals failed.
Glacial illusions cast in the sky,
Upside down mountains, sun sets twice,
Then came the pack, grinding the hull,
The Endurance gripped in a vise.
Pack-ice, six meters thick or more,
Jigsaw pieces fused by pressure,
Treacherous, shifting, plains of white,
We feared eruptions and the fissures.
Nine months we drifted with the ice,
Carried along by ocean’s whim,
No meat but for penguin and seal,
Praying for the melt to begin.
Endurance! A name the ship proved.
Violence of ice so long withstood,
Till one night there came a cracking,
And Endurance was shattered for good.
But my twenty-eight yet remained,
Whole and hale of body and mind,
Saved what we could, camped on the ice,
Endurance, also, found in mankind.
Bleak, but embers of hope sustain:
Three boats remain, lifeboats enough
To carry us home. If only--
If only! The ice be rebuffed.
In what we christened Camp Patience,
To order and routine we clung,
Till northward drift answered our prayers,
And, “Rejoice, rejoice!” we sung.
Reluctant sea unclenched its jaw,
Black and white whales leapt in the lanes,
Rivulets of blue, Arctic blood,
Flowed through the broken crystal plains.
Camp breaking to pieces around us,
We set out and sailed for miles,
Exhausted men in open boats,
Rowed staunchly for Elephant Isle.
The isle was rocky, desolate,
And we were the first to make land.
But men with cracked lips, bleeding smiles,
Wept and held the earth in their hands.
Two years gone by since we touched dirt!
Yet I knew we could not remain.
Taking five men, I set out again,
Help for the others to gain.
Two weeks to reach South Georgia,
Half our group too weak to walk,
The inland jagged, unexplored,
Yet help so close; we could not balk.
Those who could, we shouldered our packs,
Had a close call, a time or three,
Then behold! An outpost of Heaven!
Civilization, our victory!
Tramping up the street in rags,
A funny sight indeed we made,
Whaler’s children fled before us,
Till we were bathed and given aid.
Rescued at once the three across isle,
For the rest, not a moment wasted,
The fanged ice fought off three attempts,
But we pressed on till victory tasted!
Finally, our trial was ended.
Safe at last, all twenty-eight men,
Regret, I led them into danger,
Relief, to bring all home again.
Tale thus ended, we bid goodnight,
Shackleton sailed in the morning,
To South Georgia and beyond he went,
His great heart, failed without warning.
I teared up when I read the news,
His widow had him buried there,
Resting place for a restless man,
Wild, wild ocean, and cold clean air.
Shackleton's grave in Grytviken, South Georgia
“In the darkening twilight
I saw a lone star hover
Gem-like above the bay.”
— Last words in his diary
Annnnd edit lock. Steve's churlish attempts to take away my posting spot and alexp making a bad, broken site were not enough to stop me.
My second entry will be up tomorrow.
A MOUNTAIN FOR MY ACUSHLA
For Han Yi Qi
It stood alone, stretching to the heavens,
Darkness against the shadows of the sky;
There was no moon to illuminate it,
No silver stars to cast their lights down,
Naught but the wind howling evermore,
Over the silent and lifeless rocks below.
How long had the mountain stood,
Looking down on the valley below?
How many storms had it endured,
Never yielding like so many more,
Broken down and scattered to the earth,
Their names lost beneath the sands of time?
Sometimes when the storm clouds swirled,
And the thunder rumbled at its fiercest,
Electric strikes seemed to light the heights,
With a crazy fire and a spark of bright light,
A crack, a shift, a sudden flare of joy,
Only to vanish and face once more into the night.
How long had that mountain stood?
None now living below seem to know,
They avoid those treacherous slopes,
With their sharp rocks and long falls.
Detached and solitary it remained alone,
Ever had it been and evermore it must surely be.
But there is always doubt in these matters,
No knowing what the future may bring.
Chances and hazards, all as yet unknown,
May strike and change what always was,
Happening without warning or sign,
And even the hardest rocks must one day move.
It came like a fire from deep inside,
A dawning sun from a source within,
Unstoppable and relentless like time itself.
The flames burned bright and blossomed,
Fed by powers that can never be fully known,
Until they broke the surface to the world above.
With a blast of flame that shook the land,
The fires lit all that had been dark before,
Flowing down the mountainside the rivers of fire,
Looked just like so many years of tears,
It takes just one breach in the wall to break the chain,
And let all that is good and beautiful enter once again.
When the great upheaval had come and gone,
When silence fell and the storm clouds returned,
The people below wondered what came next,
What change was yet in store for that altered rock;
The new and unrecognizable shape that now stood,
Ready for the fresh change of new experiences.
The rain fell like waterfalls of purity and cleanliness,
Washing away all that had been ugly and bleak before,
Flowing into rivers down the altered face,
Of that reborn mountain – flowing free,
Down into the valley below,
Until the sun returned and ignited them with colour.
It took much time and many changes of course,
As these things have and always will do,
But gradually the fires cooled and died,
And the dawning sun lit up the soft streams,
That flowed down until they reached trees,
Green and rich with birdsong and beauty.
Journeying on these streams joined rivers and lakes,
Around which flowed and moved the sea of humanity,
Joining the world once more with this picturesque peak,
Dark and foreboding no more: calm once again;
People came from miles around to admire its beauty,
Dip in its warm waters and watch its fires cool.
Now it is a visiting place for young couples and lovers,
To tread the well-worn paths and stand on the summit,
Gazing down peacefully at the world below,
Now it is a place for the lonely and the thoughtful,
To wander and ponder on the intricacies of change,
The unpredictable beauty of unknowable forces.
We may walk there some time my dear Acushla,
Or take that long hike together to the mountaintop,
To gaze and reflect that if a mountain can change so much,
Then from some hidden fires deep within so can we,
All it takes is a spark to ignite the brightest flames,
And make the world that little bit more brighter.
Replacing Will's edit lock after some sexy admin removed it. :)
Yeah, apologies about that, I thought it was just a double post.
Sexy? End...I'm pretty sure you edited that in xD
Holy shit Will, I almost shed tears reading this. Nice work!
Ha yeah, i'll post my poem. It might be a bit cheesy, but I based it on a late relative. My first poem in my whole life, not really my strong suit but, hope people like it.
Find Myself, by MinnieKing
Darkness holds my heart,
It's lost somewere in dark.
I'm searching for myself,
I'll get through this hell.
I am lost in darkness,
A maze of twisted hopes,
Searching for my heart.
Searching for myself.
I don't know were I am.
I don't know were i'm going.
But i'll continue wandering,
Until I know the wind is blowing.
'Twas forever ago,
I lost myself in here,
In this tunnel of broken dreams,
It isn't what it seems.
I lost my joy and heart,
To fear and dark,
I lost myself and my soul,
I lost it all, and now I just feel cold.
This tunnel of blackened memories,
I lost myself in,
This is what is left,
Of my mind, yet it is slim.
My sorrow grew too much,
The dark consumed me whole,
I became a shell.
A hollow shell of cold.
I'm searching for the light,
I'll see me on the other side,
When I have found what's right
When I get past my feelings,
I will not struggle still,
I'll be strong in another life,
I will, I'll find my soul.
I cannot hope to think,
Of going from the light,
I'll go towards it,
And I'll see I was right.
I'm living in such agony,
In a living hell,
But i'm dying joyful,
When I hear the bells.
I found myself in paradise,
I found myself in heaven,
I live in such a joyful place,
And I know i'm safe.
*insert applause here*
That's what everyones saying so what the heck.
The Ballad of the Traveler
On mountain top, in musty cave,
Lie bleached bones: a traveler worn,
This lonely place became a grave,
Where his heavy heart was torn.
He set out on his quest,
With so many companions at hand,
And he never could have guessed,
Where he'd make his final stand.
He did not fight for glory,
But for love and friendship dear,
Hearts around him told a story,
One he was honored to hear.
His dear friends all dwindled slowly,
His beloved kept by his side,
She, with voice of angels holy,
Dark and bloody secrets to hide.
His treasure was hers to own,
A cloak figure followed soon after,
Of her betrayal he'd never known,
Until he heard the couple's laughter.
Pierced through the heart, he wept,
His betrayers fled to the south.
The grim soul reaper closer crept,
He once more opened his mouth.
Chose not to curse, but bless,
He spoke of love once more,
His last words of his forgiveness,
To one he did most adore.
"My heart was yours to break,
Dear, I cannot wish you ill.
My worldly goods, yours to take,
And this body yours to kill.
I wish you both eternal joy,
One of us should know that,
Be still heart that she destroyed,
Let loving her be your epitaph."
With that, a fool passed away,
No ceremony to honor or mourn,
And he lays there yet today,
The traveler whose heart was torn.
I really enjoyed this one.
I'm going to start crying. ;-;
From my poem...?
Is it because of how bad it was? T_T
I'm coming to terms with my loss.
I'm going to lose to you ofc
*to Will/Romulus/WIBN you mean xD
*is including you and mizal and Orange*
Actually, tcount, I don't know...
The Ballad of the Orchard
After Journey's End.
I saw a wisened wanderer,
With neat and measured stride,
Put down his pack of ponderance
And stroll into the night.
His back was bent, his knees were spent,
He was a sight to see.
But in his eyes there gleamed a light
Of perfect clarity.
So when he went towards his end
He took one look at me,
And said with smarting, smiling eyes
"How strange it is to be."
"I walked the world and saw the sights,
I braved the stormy sea.
But even I can't win the fight
With mortal destiny."
"For any life has but one stop,
Despite its shine or sheen,
One final step to nothingness
When being turns to been."
"But there are folks who live their lives
As though they never were.
Whose sense of perfect paradise
Is trying not to err."
"While Fortune favours those fair folks
Who live their life like me.
Who up until the very end
Just never cease to be."
'Twas sunrise when he spoke his last.
By morning he was gone.
But though he'll never be again,
Fair wanderer lives on.
Aaaand, edit lock. I'm not sure if this qualified or not, as it doesn't have a large story component to it. I'm working a longer one, with a story, but as everyone's already posting stuff, I thought I'd give you an idea of the kind of ballads I'm working on. If it doesn't qualify, I'll submit another one.
A white blanket is all around
Behind black clouds the moon still hides
And the cold steals all the sound
Welcome white death's seasonally tides
Two are left here being lost, alone
While crimsons trails drip from the boy
He harshly shakes and gives a moan
While winter will kill, steal, destroy
The girl drops to the snow below
And gently sets the boy to lay
Her tears pour in a steady flow
Her mouth opens to gravely pray
"Let us live. At least let him, Lord."
She waits yet hears just winter's laugh
She stands and still wobbles forward
And drags the boy on his behalf
Winter engulfs the pair blissly
The wind reaches under their clothes
And the trees engulf them slowly
Causing them to see white shadows
The clouds above now snow below
As the wind decides to quicken
To become a cold inferno
Causing their warmth to be stricken
The girl collapses lifelessly
And the boy screams to all her name
Yet none hear his cries so sadly
For winter's wind makes all sound drain
They lay in a torrent of white
Island of life or raging sea
The boy knows they'll soon loose the fight
So there's no sense for them to flee
He shakes the girl to find her life
Her body is blue, deathly cold
He gives his coat, an act of strife
And covers her, the life he'll withhold
What will you do now: wind, cold, snow
When they did all to survive
Their fates, however, you do know
They will be found with one alive
They lean closer; the sun sets low
They sigh as all becomes tranquil
The golden fields are set aglow
By the red sun that’s beautiful
A soft breeze blows by the two youth
Bringing the simple smells of Spring
Telling the two a humble truth
That life still comes to everything
He stretches his arms nonchalantly
And they rest around her shoulder
She smiles at him happily
Causing him to be ever bolder
He prepares himself to declare
What he’s been planning all along
With utmost beauty everywhere
He won’t any longer prolong
But the breeze picks up to a wind
And thunderous booms clash above
And since the two do feel chagrined
They flee through the fields in youth’s love
They stop under a tree laughing
While she crashes on top of he
The clouds outside begin drizzling
As a haze covers all they see
“I want to declare this” says he
“I won’t lose what I love again”
“I will say this to you” says she
“I’ve lost too, but today I gain”
So he reaches in his pocket
As lighting illuminates the dark
And gives her a simple locket
Which gives utmost joy in her heart
And as water drips on her head
She takes the gift from her friend
Causing her cheeks to be the sun’s red
In their moment that won’t end
And when the water kisses earth
The fledgling life will still abound
It will fight for all that it’s worth
To keep the new fire that’s been found
It’s the hundredth amongst the days
Since the two have made their land’s claim
In the green they built their simpler ways
Before their years begin to wane
This is their slice of paradise
For it, they’re glad to sacrifice
The man swings his ax at the pine
Its mighty form denying to bend
The man stops to look for a sign
For his day’s toils to soon end
Yet within nature’s paradise
He’s thankful for its sacrifice
The woman draws from their new well
To bring water to their garden
But the fiery sun won’t compel
Her to cease fervent toils when
She’s in her lovely paradise
Where nothing is a sacrifice
She brings the water to the crops
As bird’s delight fills the heavens
Her work must be done when she stops
For with a passion she contends
That this is work for paradise
Can it still be a sacrifice
The man rides back with wooden gold
And sees her working with a glee
So he runs to her and takes hold
Of her who he’s happy to see
They share their humble paradise
Which calls for both their sacrifice
And as night rises to cool the breeze
They relax in this summer’s night
For though their bodies don’t feel at ease
Everything feels to them alright
So this be why it’s paradise
When love nulls any sacrifice
“Why are you crying on this day
I don’t know why you’re doing this
For my tears are fading away
Though you’ll be the sole one I’ll miss”
“I ran a good race, did I not
I didn’t loose, I think I won
Life is such a relative thought
But I still found it to be fun”
“I still recall that day of cold
Where howling death bit at my life
And my efforts weren’t successful
At keeping away this world’s strife”
“Do you remember those fields still
I told you about them before
It was quite an innocent thrill
I’ll treasure those days evermore”
“And do you really realize how much toil
There was put in this house and land
How we tilled and reaped from the soil
My love and I worked holding hands”
“But now everything seems to fade
To an odd haze before mine eyes
I feel as though I’m under shade
This is really a calm demise”
“Please take my hand and don’t let go
Your hand is so warm, so lively
You have my inner drive I know
So please live your life happily”
“Don’t cry. I see your tears for me
This is like the falls I adore
The trees look dead to all who see
But life remains forevermore”
“Death is not a grim finale
No, it is an affirmation
Of life that was oh so lovely
Which is cause for celebration”
“Now, life is fading into night
My vision can no longer see
But even night will turn to light
And even fall will turn to spri…”
Well, here's an edit lock. I wonder what y'all will say about my ballad. :)
The expanded fields are best described as very lush and so green.
This early morning, two young lads and his proud father can be seen.
As young as this early day, the children will go smile and play.
The red sun coloring the wide skies and all the clouds in between.
The two young brothers enjoy themselves and are tickled with such glee.
The early orange morning sky with shady clouds their company.
They run to the top of a hill, crisp air gives their soft skin a chill.
And at the summit, they toss a plane and watch as the craft flies free.
The small contraption, made of wood and paper, slices through the breeze.
With smart design and sharp wings, it flies right through with relative ease.
It lands on flowers, found in spades, amongst the meadow of green blades.
Viewing their creation's apparent success, they are quite so pleased.
With a light grin placed on his face, the dad seemed filled with joyous pride
In the grass, a father with his active sons standing by his side
In his uplifted sense of joy, he applauded both of the boys,
And he fetched the makeshift airplane so he could again see it glide.
When they retrieved the craft, the two young lads started to make a plan.
They saw a tall, sturdy, rugged oak decorated with leaves stand.
One suggested to the other, in regards to his dear brother,
"See that oak? I think it will fly from the altitude up there, man."
The kids approached the brown giant of bark and started to ascend.
As they climbed the stairs of thick branches, their grasps caused each twig to bend.
So they arose from the dense roots and up to the canopy's fruits
And to the tree's farthest reaching arm and up to a branch's end.
Taking aim, one of them tossed the plane, but compromised his balance.
He nearly took a fall to his demise due to his awkward stance.
But thanks to his brother's arm length and him exerting all his strength,
He survived and was pulled back up on the thick, grooved, brown oak branch.
All of this oh so sudden and quick, and he exclaimed "Goodness, me!"
He sees the distance which was quite far and climbed back up on the tree.
He just came to an abrupt stop when he thought of the dreaded drop.
Obviously, it was quite a fright for father and progeny.
Their father ready to rescue the children came to feel relief.
He pulled them down from that height and calmly brushed off a floating leaf
Said it was good to help each other. They should always work together
And gladly saw that his kids were fine, saving him from a great grief.
"Boys, you have seldom made a plane or craft that could manage to soar.
But unite your efforts together and you'd do more
When the two wings are at balance, you two have a much better chance
You can continue to live life and see your airplanes fly forward."
He picked up the discarded plane and gave it a flying release,
And sent it under the dark wisps. Then, it was caught by a quick breeze.
A leaf followed in the cool wind and caused the plane's free flight to end
It landed in a distant grove of bushy, jade, chartreuse, lush trees.
The man's children, then covered with leaves, scratches, and bruises agreed.
Cameron, the older sibling, swore never to let his brother bleed
The younger Axel shook his hand, standing 'neath that timber so grand
Beautifully displayed that good brotherly love that they did need.
On the way home, Cameron, of darker skin tone and a rougher build,
Teased Axel, who was the younger, but brighter as others would yield.
Cam said he should be more careful. It would have been an unfair fall.
Axel responded by saying, "What? You would rather I've been killed?'
At first, Cameron was light-hearted and he let out a playful laugh.
But it was clear, if that happened, he would quickly regret that path.
No physical pain could compare to the awful, horrid despair
Of losing his loved one to a tragic accident like that.
At home, their lawn was but a gathering of shredded blades and soil.
Paint peeled off walls, tainted windows, life in that house not royal.
Their spending was often frugal. At times, life was very brutal.
At times when funds and finances were tight, they were in quite a toil.
The boys would start working at young ages and steadily mature.
And make time for school to open doorways for their distant future.
Yet, those two, still they always dreamed, it wasn't as bad as it seemed.
They had each other for all of time. Of that, the boys always felt sure.
Amongst themselves, they took it easy and were at calm tranquil peace.
But the boys were not friends to all and they had their own enemies.
A fortitude of ashy bricks, most kids in there acted like dicks.
Essential as it was, they abhorred their schooling facility.
The hallways were filthy. Dust, grime, and stains on the floor and the walls.
Obnoxious students always exclaimed "PENIS!" and spoke of their balls.
The school was a disgusting shame. Alumni treated it as a game.
And not to mention the vulgar etchings made on the bathroom stalls.
The worst was a chubby git known best to be a filthy truant.
He was a short, greasy skinned, beady-eyed, purple-gummed miscreant
His folks did nothing but spoil and fed him snacks rich in oil.
Lucky for him, his parents were wealthy, rich, and quite affluent.
Along came the loud-mouthed bully intolerable to the rest,
Arrogant and narcissistic, convinced he was the very best.
Axel did not seem to approve, while Cam disliked this fellow's groove,
And so as one, they confronted the punk, putting him to the test.
In a school of rowdy males, violence was near always the answer.
In the schoolyard, people gathered and things sparked and started to stir.
Cameron did most fighting in truth, Axel merely punched out his tooth
From the bully's gums, scarlet drained. From his eyes oozed a single tear.
Soon after, puberty struck and Cameron had a helpful head-start
The two of them became rivals of sort and fought with lots of heart
But Father knew well to remind, that they should know when to act kind
Brothers before rivals. Yes, this was advice that sounded quite smart.
Cam was tougher, but Axel steadfastly tended to his studies
Smartest in the entire class, Ax surpassed all of his buddies
But Cam would not choose to secede. He thought and he knew that he'd need
To educate himself, but not in a school that was that cruddy.
Fortunately, a time came about to construct a brand new school.
Cameron and Axel and their father helped and each carried a tool.
The community would improve. Their ranking would certainly move.
Ax and Cameron rivaled each other and prompted a sort of duel.
The least productive would be considered weak and be labeled "lame."
Yes, in all truth, the stakes of this competition were very tame.
But dumb boys being silly boys, they eagerly grabbed their work toys
And immediately refused to be the loser of this game.
The two adolescents at work were honestly quite amateur.
Neither young man were an expert at the art of architecture.
A blank slate with layered gray paste. They would work fruitfully. No haste!
The large field held the phantom of a great school. One with a culture.
Axel was very excited and tried to be so proficient.
Gathering some chalky red bricks, he said "This should be sufficient."
He could envision the domain down to the very last rice grain.
The pasty gray mortar on the ground to start and be efficient.
The hardheaded Cam was only focused on the competition.
He started setting active goals and didn't waste time with wishing.
Sweatdrops flowed about on his brow. The sun's rays were getting hot now.
All this occurred when she distracted him from his dire mission.
Her hair was as pitch black as the dark, starry, mesmerizing night.
Yet like the dawn of the bright day, she seemed to shine like a light.
It sparked in Cam fascination, a subtle want for relation.
To this adored figurine that loving God had placed in his sight.
He saw that her face blushed as pink as the pigment of a cute swine.
Catching conscientiousness, he slipped on his shirt on the dime.
Then, he just continued to stare, he was hesitant around her.
Barely an introduction ensued, but they'd meet another time.
The girl and her nature preoccupied Cam's thoughts and made veins throb.
Axel, on the other hand, was simply focused on his one job.
The day went smooth and time went by; the sun sailed to the eastern sky.
The younger, more active, continued to labor amongst the mob.
The following day, Cameron's head was once again one-tracked and clear.
He woke up early and with stern eyes gave his brother a fierce stare.
Under the poor leaking wood roof, their intense encounter was proof
That their brotherly rivalry was never to just disappear.
Soon came a time where the boys grew up and then became mature men.
The two's physical differences had no significance then.
Both as powerful as an ox, and both as witty as a fox,
Just graduation awaited now with the school finally open.
The brothers continued to live lives that could be described as great.
They were living a life of love with only brief moments of hate.
The mother was simply so glad, and so was their loving old dad.
A solid family unit until the arrival of fate....
The bully whose loss to Cameron and Axel was some years ago
Had it rough since and humiliation became all he would know
Became a corrupt menace that preached revenge and was often mad
Except when he saw a woman. Then the fool would lust for her so.
Axel would be working and studying late for his hardest class.
He had an aerodynamics test he needed so bad to pass.
Just darkness and a weak flashlight, notes scribbled down on that calm night
Till a silhouette in the distance approached what seemed to be a lass.
Ax stared into the blackness and almost recognized the man's face.
He could've sworn that this man here was the exact same old disgrace.
That Cam and he fought in their youth. "What was him? Could it be the truth?"
Now giving a pestered young lady a much unwanted foot chase.
Axel approached the punk with the spirit of a mad protestor.
"Hey," he called, "Knock it off mister because you're being a pester!
Leave the girl be, you no-good jerk! You can be some bad piece of work.
And where you not really going to try and molest her?!"
At that moment, hearing that accusation, the hooligan hopped.
Ready to fight, one on one now, he got angered and his veins popped.
But despite being the weaker, and, by no means, violence-seeker,
Axel succeeded in having the old dreaded ruffian stopped.
The lady, in all of her gratefulness, came to greet her savior.
She felt like thanking the young man for his honor'ble labor.
Clouds in the sky swayed to the side. The moon shone with a glow so white
By the newly built school wall, she thanked Axel for his great favor.
Late that same night, in his own room, Cameron was still up wide awake
Making iterations to the plane, but knew not what to make.
Axel came in and met with Cam, deciding to lend a hand.
With his knowledge, he spouted some plane designs for his brother's sake.
Getting back to their old hobby, now they had even better skills.
Thrust, wind resistance, and drag resistance, and going through their drills.
They questioned just what mattered more? Speed, control, size of corridor?
Every part mattered. When they were done, they began to get the chills.
Flat wings that stretched out body's width. Make the nose broader or more thin?
A prototype plane here and there. Some metal, but most just wooden.
The room was crammed and full of jets, so the two guys just placed their bets
On the best plane models that they would believe could go far and win.
The tree on top of their favorite hill started to sprout soft flowers.
Under the tree, one would see fluffy petals and leaves in showers.
The boys, though, cared not for the fruit, they would accept no substitute
For their love of aircrafts and their gravity-defying powers.
However, as they tossed their flying bodies, there came a problem.
The new additions and the ornaments. All it did was rob them.
Falling straight towards the green ground. The wind blowing them all around.
Every last one had simply failed. But this drawback would not stop them.
To overcome the difficulties, they sat and they decided
For their plane to fly, they had to accept that they'd fail divided.
Only when the wings had balance, otherwise they would have no chance.
No competitions. Work as one or results would be one-sided.
Rivaling efforts became one. They tossed ideas and renovated.
Secrets, knowledge, tools, and tips. These were all things that those boys traded.
An aerodynamic design simply let the craft look divine.
The end result was satisfying. They'd not believe they'd made it.
So they constructed a device of a peculiar design
But they gave it a chance, and it honestly seemed to function fine.
This new prototype was unique, but they worried it was too meek
Imagine their surprise when it easily managed a beeline.
It seemed the control of the weight was crucial and so they took notes.
The material was important as well so they built new coats.
Zealously marked every detail. Improved it so it wouldn't fail.
Until they perfected their prize invention and won both their votes.
Even in their school, students were amazed by their new masterpiece.
They were enthusiastic to see it fly, observe every crease.
Fascination spread like fire. The entire school desired
To get a look. They were anxious to see it be tossed and released.
With awesome designing, it was superb and it was a marvel.
It could revolutionize modern planes because it was novel.
They sent it flying through the air. The travel distance was out there
It flew on the wind for half a mile. Kids bowed to grovel.
Also, amused was the school staff, already impressed by those two.
Their grades were stellar, but now, they've proven to be inventors too?
Colleges offered them scholarships and their parents just hollered!
In years to pass, they'd soon have their name in glory. This was quite true.
Teenage years ended and is replaced by the world of adulthood.
The two still brothers, in spirit, and still brothers by their own blood.
But adulthood has high demands. The brotherhood would soon disband.
Father Time would rob all that which was considered to be so good.
The companies became world-known and the owners were triumphant.
Protecting their inventions with business partners and their patents.
At a young age, they became rich and watched their businesses flourish.
They built great companies with the cornerstone: their airplane blueprints.
On the hill near where he raised his kids, the father received the news.
He was glad to hear this, and he quickly recovered from his blues.
Coping with the death of his spouse, he needed time out of the house.
But he now saw hope in his sons, but one that would be of no use.
Eventually, they became the head of their own franchises
They divided into two and grew companies of great sizes.
Less time for brotherly goodwill. Life was work. Only buy and sell.
Like back in the days where it was about their flying devices.
The competition the two bros fought was different this time though.
There wasn't any more goodwill. Business was all there was to know.
Demands of business were massive. Far more aggressive than passive.
Intense pressures developed but there was no room for love to grow.
Over time, their relationship fell and they become like strangers
To spend any expense on each other now would be a danger.
Family life had disappeared. The love was gone and no one cared.
All there was left to their lives were management and business wagers.
Working, paying, taxes, all that. It consumed the mass of their days
But Axel had time to find a girl who would set his heart ablaze
He met up with his past sweetheart, but doing so just tore apart
Her other lover, Cameron, who met her first in a younger phase.
That mistress that he loved was for him. He felt like he was betrayed.
His very brother stole the heart of his girl, and his life decayed.
The stress ruined his profession, and here is a true confession:
His colleagues and employees questioned his health as Cameron's hairs grayed.
Then came a time when a new plane was needed to be pushed forward
Both made sleek, new models and pushed to have it sent out of their doors.
The wingspan real long,nice, and thin. In it was exquisite seating.
Genius design for traveling through the sky. They couldn't ask for more.
So business on Axel's half boomed with his sleek and fancy new plane.
But they were smart and would wait until selling it. Not greedy for fame.
But Cam was in a stressed-out rush. He took up the chance and as such,
When an inferior prototype came out, they buyers were tame.
Then, one day, it was used, but, luck simply couldn't have been much worse.
Cameron swore it was an omen. Too small a chance. It was a curse.
A meteor from outer space. Of all the locations, why this place?
Smashing the wing of the plane and descending it, covered in flames.
The plane's wing was destroyed and the flying craft went and descended.
Past a hill, over a forest, it hit a tree; the roots bended.
The hill where the two boys would play destroyed by Cameron's plane that day.
It was all gone; the place where loving families once pretended.
It was a curse to him, but a blessing endowed upon his foes.
Greedy persons made no haste with taking advantage of his woes.
Cam's company took all the blame for the passengers burned in flames.
Before Cam could make a defense, his enemies were home and hosed.
The adult world was a challenge that proved to be much too corrupt.
His anger swelled to a point where he was just about to erupt.
But Cameron couldn't make a fix. He was dreadfully stuck like this.
Cameron and his company were ruined and had to go bankrupt.
Once the head of a very successful business conglomerate,
He was surrounded by strangers and all those people that he'd hate.
But he hated his own brother more than he hated another.
In his rancorous animosity, he would off his old mate.
Axel restraining all his hate and wanting to settle a score
Was honestly quite excited when Cameron came to his front door.
So raging arms flew through the air and brought havoc on furniture
A new red coat came to cover all of Axel's wife's new decor.
The wife came running from the kitchen when she heard something shatter.
She saw jade ceramic vase ships inserted nearby his bladder.
Beige carpet shaded bloody red. Two bodies entangled, one dead.
Tears by her wide open mouth after witnessing his last battle.
Cameron, taken away by the police, regretted his actions.
His blood-stained wrists tightly bounded by smooth silvery handcuff chains.
Leaving the wife to cope with grief in her state of great disbelief,
He entered the back of the car and got ready to see prison.
A month in incarceration, a visitor came to see him
He heard the voice of his father, "Can you hear me? It's me, Cameron."
Not mad, but just disappointed. He looked up and his eyes pointed
Straight into his soul and he could not resist the urge to give in.
They had a talk of their hardships and Cameron was made to explain.
He talked 'bout the fight and spoke of the fiery ball and the plane.
The relationship that he built was gone. He wallowed in his guilt.
Just a look from his old father and Cameron knew all of his shame.
The old man closed his eyes and shook his head and he spoke from the core.
"You know, ever since your youth, I've treated life as a metaphor.
When I spoke of wings flying through, I referred to the two of you
To overcome exterior challenges like that meteor.
But in reality you never did build a plane that could soar.
I guess you were just meant to fail. I shouldn't have expected more.
Sorry if I'm sounding too harsh. But when there's murder in your heart,
It's hard for even me to say you have goodness deep in your core."
Cameron accepted this truth. The two "wings" never had their balance.
Due to his stress, the right wing broke. He ditched him, so there was no chance.
So like the plane on that far hill, Where the passengers were all killed.
The tree of their family rotted and it could no longer stand.
Further changes will be blocked
For this post is now edit locked
Just as the Christmas lights go on,
I receive a call that breaks my heart.
At least he has the audacity for that, but
I guess the tension has made its mark.
“I’m sorry,” he said, without regret.
And there I cried, filled with lament.
The ornaments sparkle in the watery light.
My time with him was finally spent.
Just a day later, my heart resolutely shatters.
So what I get to open three meager gifts?
It’s not anything more than money.
Compared to trust, it’s meaningless.
To synchronize with my devastated mind,
My body forces me to go outside.
For some reason, I start running.
Across a plain of frozen, endless time.
My mother has no interest in following.
My father couldn’t care less of it.
My brother is jealous of my love.
While I, like ice, am breaking from it.
I close my eyes, run down the street.
Without my sight, I’m something weak.
Glistening snow batters at my cheek
As something silver falls to my feet.
I don’t see it, feel it I do.
Who bought me this crystal necklace?
Against this white, icy backdrop,
It’s like a gemstone for the blessed.
But when I read the note attached,
The note immediately crumples in my fist.
What more does he want from me?
True love is all that I had ever wished.
My anger fuels me like leaves to fire.
Even in the frosty world, I feel warm.
I dash across the ice blindly, uncaring,
Not realizing as I ran into the snowstorm.
I wake up, damp, dressed, stiff.
A woman looks down at me, sighing.
“My son found you in the storm.”
Her words almost sent me crying.
Her son, a gorgeous angel, speaks.
His voice is like a jagged metal part.
He sounds just like him, the other one.
The one who shattered my glass heart.
I got cleaned up, dried, and informed
Of my misadventure. How her son
Was related to the one I hate the most.
But apparently, they weren’t done.
They invited me to dinner
With the Christmas tree and all,
For the blizzard was still raging.
They insisted, so I joined them, shocked.
I don’t regret a single moment
Because that’s the best of life I’ve enjoyed.
A day where I could sing my heart out,
Where I don’t have to worry about boys.
And the son gives me hope
For the future I never planned.
Make amends with my sources of sorrow,
Perhaps I’ll fall in love again.
Everything is so perfect right now.
It seems as if a single breath
Will take everything down.
So I hold my breath in.
Only to explode in laughter.
So I put my head down
Only to look up in wonder.
The lights are so colorful in this house.
These people are almost strangers,
Yet they saved me and offered me
Something I could never get anywhere else.
The windows are so clear in this house.
I look at the crystal necklace,
And I feel grateful for the time he’s given me.
It reminds me that people are beside me.
The fire, no longer an anger, is cozy in this house.
And he never really left either,
For he is still my close friend,
Like the beams of the house that’s me.
I don’t ever want my friendship to end.
My sudden realization came
When we opened our presents.
My meager three were supplemented
By these strangers’ lovely mends.
I so grateful to have befriended them.
Now I understand the difference between them.
I have fallen in love with the gentle snow.
I have fallen in love with the brilliant lights.
But the difference. This difference.
Here, I have fallen in love with something
So much more than anything.
Because it’s a gift of true, pure love.
Now You Gotta Deal With This Shit
Wasn't going to enter this one since I wouldn't really count it as a ballad, but I'm being nagged and, what the hell, I like my points.
In the hospital, Anthony lied with an exhausted expression.
In a failing attempt to recover from his condition.
His wife, concerned right by his side, holding his hand tenderly.
Still, he remained stern for their sakes and maintained a stillness.
His near grown daughter and teenage son knew little about his illness.
But there was a mutual grief nonetheless when he said "Remember me."
So tears rolled off their faces, and salty droplets aggravated their red eyes
Annabelle, the wife, said a prayer towards with head towards the skies
The brown strains of her hair fell back as she coped with her fair
Above the sparkling white mattress that throughout the day was steadily growing,
Winter's powder fell from white angel feathers that were known in
her eyes as clouds, drifting gracefully, in a spiral up in the stratosphere.
As she went to reach, she touched the glass
Because of it, the snow-carrying breezes could not pass
The glass as clear as that lake that has yet to freeze
The doctor returned with a grave report
Twelve months left to live for her consort
Hearing this news, they were all displeased.
The children were informed late that night
They responded with hate, regret, and fright.
Their constitutions softened and became malleable.
But as their rooms were lightened with the next day's sun
The sun-colored sky gave them determination
And were dedicated on making his last months valuable.
Winter became warmer and left the winds cool
Snow on the ground replaced with black sludge and tainted pools
White slush covered barren trees lacking a single leaf
These were the sights Anthony awoken to.
Walking outside, the still air was cold, he could get the flu
But he knew it would be colder in sooner months and lamented with great grief.
He would see his death before he could see his kids grow.
And there's be times with his wife that he'd never know.
All of these losses were something to lament
Annabelle called him inside from the snow-covered meadow
And to the furnace fire, where kids lied mellow.
The glow of their orange fire colored their faces filled with sentiment.
But the shock of the news was still with him
Watching the coals and cinders fly made things no less grim.
The dancing fire of orange, yellow, gold
The kids laughed and tried to show their father care.
The wife joined and tried to keep him in a state of cheer.
It gave him no warmth, for fear made him cold
The embers burned the black coals as he sat
The family went to rooms after that
But he stood staring in the flames and smoke
"How will the last coals of my life fade?" he asked grimly.
Thick black smoke rose in the red chimney
Until he made his way to his bed with little hope.
With his wife in bed, he found her awake.
They spent the night with love to make.
Romance was powerful, but alas it was brief.
The night ended with not a word spoken.
His sorrow was great and he was simply broken.
Annabelle and his husband lay silent with grief.
Snowflakes made way for petals and pollen.
One could hear birds humming and bees calling.
Cold breezes warmed from the sun's shining rays
But as leaves grew in trees,
Despair grew on Anthony
He tried to live with denial of the fact of his final days.
Although the yellow spores that flew above grass and scattered on trees
Were a great upset to his sensitive allergies,
What bothered him most was his upcoming passing.
His family asked him to picnic but the request was futile
He denied his nearing fate and he continued on as usual.
And left to his business with no interaction.
He took a deep breath of spring air
And absolutely denied the sense of despair
With a stroll through the fields, head held high without fright.
When his wife grabbed his arm
And with an affection quite warm
Turned his head to introduce into his sight:
Violets, petunias, roses with a background of green
Flowers and springtime creatures rustling in between
The most precious sight would be that of his offspring
Eating and laughing with a picnic basket
It pleased him it did. He couldn't mask it
When she approached his ear with a secret telling
The lips approached his ear.
And gave a secret so tender.
"I'm pregnant, I know it's kicking."
It should've bought him joy, but it was a mistake.
Now, he had another child to worry of. For Pete's sake,
He was reminded of his time left and could hear a timer ticking.
He began to deny it, maybe she was wrong
Ignored all the green, moving nature and the delicate birdsong.
Mightily concerned about the turn of events
As the flowers came to bloom,
He was just left in gloom.
Left his family alone, against all his common sense.
Another three months, the kids became wiser and stronger in rising age.
But the father's denial warped into anger. Often was his bouts of rage.
Maybe it was the sweltering heat of the yellow summer sun
Tender moments with the family would often fail
His new aggressive attitude would prevail.
Maybe it was anger, confusion, his emotion?
During this season, the sun has the most powerful rays
It always made for more vibrant colors and brighter days
But a nearing deadline made the season dim
Vacations at the white sand beach and salty seas
Felt like drowning hours, in the dark indigo waters, these
Nothing of the season seemed to please him.
The sun's rays couldn't keep death at bay
The solstice passed. Time flew too fast.
Leaves fell from the trees to the soil in varying shades
Seemed like passing hues of a soul on its finally days
Anthony saw all things much too bleak.
He grew a bitter attitude, and responded with rancor
To his family's pleas, he had no care in store.
The family bond fell with the leaves and they both become weak.
The leaves fell of the trees
Stolen by the breeze.
One last chance for them to unite.
One last try. One last fight.
But his disposition was too bitter to evn try.
Beating on the son and making his daughter cry.
The last leaf on the tree fell
With a color as red and angered as hell
No longer with a bond to the branch
It no longer stood a chance.
On the ground, it stayed to die.
Winter came, but it has yet to snow.
Memories was all there was left to know.
Looking out into a blank sky, knowing the end was near.
But tears soon rolled out of his eyes,
As Anthony came to realize
In his fear, denial, anger, and frustration
He acted as if he didn't care
The fool was alone, and he came to know.
The forecast said it was soon to snow.
But he wouldn't be with his loved ones, for he had to go.
He had died a year ago.
Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock.
Jingle bell swing, and an edit lock.
You have all made me very self-conscious!
My ballad is best viewed here but the following is a transcript as well.
Two eyes, not unlike yours or mine
As I looked into this woman in those eyes
Not unlike yours or mine
I saw the sun and world, and myself
I told none other than myself,
(Given thoughts cannot be seen or heard
By any other than yourself)
That this woman certainly would be mine
Those eyes like yours or mine
Followed yours or mine,
(That were not unlike yours or mine)
To this woman with the baby blue eyes
“Take what you can get
Don’t forget yourself”
She would say to none other but me
And I forgot not myself
Because what I chose to take
Which was what I could get
Was what she told me to take
Was what I could get and I forgot not myself
Should I, which I did
She would laugh
I chose to take the woman with the baby blue eyes
And she did laugh
The woman told me,
You can take better than me”
To which I laughed
Those two eyes, not unlike yours or mine
Filled suddenly with compassion
Left me with passion
Her lips paled to this woman's baby blue eyes
For nothing stood against eyes of those oceans
And seas of those eyes
And I saw
For I, for days could stand before her, by myself
Before those eyes not unlike yours or mine
And standing alone, by myself
Before the woman with the baby blue eyes
Edit: This link should work instead.
The Bard's Tale:
The Tale of the Lightning and the Flames
Laid in wheaten fields turned to char,
Deep beneath the ashes and the sparks.
A molten man of might now sleeps while falling alas,
His light is one to never shine, as he reaches for way down.
His senseless conquest come to a halt.
How long had the peasantry feared him?
And how far was his might known?
A man who knew not of kings,
A black lion's mane of copious locks,
His body a bronze sculpture, his veins with fiery flow.
He reaped what empires sowed,
His howl a ball of fire and force,
Claiming land for his cause,
Which was to cause so feared anarchy,
Only entertainment for his dragon roar.
But his unnatural gift was found now by two,
And just a week later two were but one.
It all started with azure skies,
Through emerald fields, he did not reckon as his,
Eager to please himself with a fight he claimed them that night.
His celebration met his own laughing fire,
His plan to be as a tyrant and cause an uprising,
The townsfolk ran, wrapped in fear's veil,
The perfect cover for his selfish needs...
That is until a youngling stepped up to him.
Young one would not cower at fire
He did and so bravely walk through the flames,
For young one had finally found a gift akin to himself,
So with wicked cries he revealed his grace,
And thunder fled from him, impressing the firestarter.
With a shock and the abrasion it started,
Fury of Zeus against ire of the dragon,
Plasma as feelings of protection and satisfaction,
Clashing needs, the battle came down,
Then nature learned to not supernaturally bestow.
For the nearby river, once as an ocean turned a strip,
Dried with the heat of the ongoing battle,
And the forests, ever so dense and living,
Turned to embers, then burned down to ashes.
Meanwhile, the contenders stood unshaken and unbowed.
Tired of stillness and eager to move,
Dragon one unsheathed a saber, black as the night,
Thunderborn copied the act,
Revealing a falchion, silver like moonlight,
This marked the beginning of the third night.
Steel against steel, in midst of ruins now only,
Breaking slowly, and breaking through bodies,
By the time of the fifth moon coming,
No sword remained, only as metallic splinters,
Still not tired, fire and lightning wrestled unarmed.
Scorching the flesh, blackening bone,
The world stood still, as war went on.
Never had the Earth shaken by mortal might,
But how could it not, with blows of such power?
Finally, on the seventh day, a victor emerged.
With his vertebrae broken, and nerves burned black,
The dragon dropped with the night.
Yet he still wouldn't die, his consciousness remained alive.
Out the corner of his eye he saw young one leave,
He was not moving, but felt the thunder transcend to heavenly realms.
Yet dragon one felt an uncanny force
As lightning reached the sky, his soul reached down,
He felt the underworld calling, for his sins he'd atone,
While young one felt joy, he feared the worse,
And soon, at the center of the Earth he was, melting through the core.
And there he remains, forever in this earthly realm,
Fueling volcanoes with his bleeding magma,
Eons and eons are set to pass,
Only when the Earth is destroyed,
Will he be free at last.
He is the one force perpetually on Earth,
While the thunder and the lightning are on paradise lands,
Though thunder one does feel nostalgic from time to time,
Conjuring black clouds as his stairway he comes down,
He is free to come, yet very brief in arrival.
And that is why, fire runs through the Earth,
And why thunder only comes down once every while,
One perpetually bleeding, forever stuck down,
The victor was the one who can now through the atmosphere soar,
Freedom is a reward,
Imprisonment is for he who sought only violence as a spark for his flaming roar.
*cough* Edit lock.These replies are not just cosmetic.
The Ballad They Hoped We'd Forget
They say it began back in nineteen ten
(Not too many folks left from way back then).
But two ol’ codgers (who can barely stand)
Dredgin’ up the past, and ther feud agin.
Havin’ nothin’ at all to do with land,
but some silly thing that got out of hand.
And though all involved had since passed away,
Both claimed they’d been there and seen it firsthand.
“The horse and buggy have seen ther last day,
‘cause the horseless carriage is on the way,”
Attested the man in the drivin’ suit,
“It can go for weeks without needin’ hay.”
This was the crux of the very dispute,
That somethin’ so vile had now taken root.
Farmer Bob winced at the very thought, of
Givin’ all the swaybacks and nags the boot.
Katy, his ol’ mare, he truly did love,
With nary a thought attacked with a shove,
Sendin’ this towner flat of his backside,
He then stood fumin’ and foamin’ above.
Sprawled as he was he refused to abide
This here blow that’d been dealt to his pride.
Thinkin’ real fast he proposed a contest,
Feelin’ he could not allow this to slide.
If you’d be willin’ then might I suggest
A day-long race, puttin’ both to the test.
I’ll even let you choose the route we take,
Once and for all we can put this to rest.
This city dude had made his first mistake—
The loggin’ road and around Fisher’s Lake.
It’s muddy and steep, both rocky and rough,
His manmade contraption surely would break.
Convinced the other thought he was hot stuff,
And both trying hard to put up a bluff.
The glove had been thrown, and each did accept,
The victor would be known right soon enough.
To the town square, the rigs and drivers crept,
Houselights not on, and the roosters still slept.
Engine revved up, and horse ready to bust.
A pistol-shot rang out and off they lept!
Down the road they both flew, kickin’ up dust,
Horse and buggy ahead, but only just
Bats out of hell, holding on to their butts,
Not givin’ in to this bucket of rust.
No one would say they were lacking in guts,
Jerking and bouncing down a trail of ruts.
Mud flying one way, the other way, smoke.
Everyone watchin’ believed they were nuts.
Katy strainin’ an’ heavin’ at the yoke,
That poor ol’ buggy was ‘most bent and broke.
Horse, buggy and driver all three were spent.
Each wheel was a-missin’ near ev’ry spoke.
With it’s frame askew, and it’s wheels all bent,
Waggin’ both its tail and front as it went.
Drivin’ that car must’ve taken much skill.
It looked like it lost in an accident.
They were neck ‘n neck at the old sawmill,
Then they both screached to a sudden standstill.
Unwillin’ to quit, though at a snail’s pace,
For what lay ahead was Suicide Hill.
So now we’re right at the very place—
At the height and climax of the race.
And what could be worse than this limerick verse,
Popping up like a slap to the face.
The hill was too steep for each to traverse.
And the mare Farmer Bob couldn’t coerce,
Prodding her on with a crack of the whip.
The car just swung ‘round and climbed in reverse.
When they reached the tip-top, both lost their grip,
(It wasn’t ther nerve that made them jump ship)
Just holdin’ on was too much of a feat,
And each took off at a heck of a clip.
They finished the race in a stone-dead heat—
The horse just a pile of quivering meat.
With nary a driver still in their seat,
Each one chasin’ his rig right down Main Street!
A Day In the Life of a Black Swallowtail:
Flip flap, flip flap, the butterfly flies,
Up and up, into the skies.
Released from his organic prison,
He has arisen!
Flashes of bold black and bright yellow,
What a beautiful fellow.
Fragments line his wing span,
Polka dots of the lightest tan.
The specimen flew through the air,
And the wind brought its brawn to bear.
Despite this valiant force
The Swallowtail fought through and came upon a delectable source.
A single cluster of perfect penta,
Of the deepest magenta.
The flowers swayed harshly in the wind,
But they stood firmly with a bind.
The butterfly struggled to make it to the blossoming bud,
But finally landed on it with hardly a thud.
Laying down on a petal,
He waits for the wind to settle.
When the wind ceased its gusts and blows,
The Swallowtail arose,
And crawled towards the nearest flower,
And stuck his tongue in the stigma and began to devour.
When he had his full of sweet, sweet nectar,
And the sun receded and the moon became a projector,
He took off into flight,
To find a shelter to endure the night.
The cold night air nipped at his wings,
But he persevered, no matter how much it stings.
His efforts did not go unrewarded,
For he came upon a wooden shack that was quite sordid.
Cutting through the black murk,
He landed daintily near the shoddy woodwork.
The miserable structure sat near the edge of the plain,
A few rocks surround it, eroded from rain.
The butterfly fluttered over to a small cluster,
To find a resting place that was not lackluster.
Searching and scanning for a crevice or a crack,
He found the former that was pitch black.
Approaching the entrance of the narrow, damp slit,
He crawled through with grit.
Once safely secure inside the rock and rubble,
He became inactive to prepare for a new day and new trouble.
When the sun's nosy rays finally peeked into the Swallowtail's hole,
He shook his wings and wriggled out like a mole.
The wind was blowing hard outside, yet the butterfly stood stout.
And he took off in a new direction without a doubt.
The Ballad of the Yuletide Cook
'Twas darkened cold December day,
Awash with frost and snow,
When even in my roaring hearth
The embers lost their glow.
I sat at home when dreadful gales
Towards my doorstep thrust
A weather-beaten wanderer,
With cruel and rending gust.
He rapped my door with urgency,
Cursed fickle Winter's breath,
And as he rang my frozen bell
He looked quite near to death.
I rose up from my comfy chair
And shuffled to the door.
I waited there with hesitance,
And waited little more.
At last the door I opened up,
Though chain did hold it back,
When blizzard raging, violent,
Came rushing trough the crack.
"You poor and lonesome wanderer,
What brings you to my door?
How many miles have you traversed?
How many miles yet more?"
He slowly spoke through frozen lips,
His eyes were wide and wild.
His hands he lifted to his face,
But through his tears he smiled.
"Though I stand upon your doorstep,
I intended to move onwards
But was cruelly smitten."
"Many miles I had been driving
Besting hail and snowfall,
'Til my car was choking, dying
On a nearby landfall."
"Many miles are yet remaining
But this storm I can't abide.
Therefore, on my knees, I beg you:
May I please come inside?"
His face was like a cornered fox,
His clothes were foul and torn
But yet I spoke, with some disquiet,
Without so much as scorn:
"Come in, come in, you poor cold thing",
I bade him full of glee,
"And dry yourself beside my fire
'Tis nice and warm, you'll see."
He rushed past me with urgency
And dropped down with a crack.
He shivered on my bear-skin rug,
To flames he turned his back.
I gazed once more from out my door
To fallow fields in front.
But nothing there but barrenness
And nothingness beyond.
"Now while you rest", I asked my guest,
"When had you dinner last?
I could provide some hot delight,
Some food to break your fast?"
"Some Shepherd's Pie I have prepared,
I could give you a bowl.
Perhaps I could prepare for you
Some Postman's Casserole."
He nodded, and I went at once
Into my kitchen stead.
When I, from my old radio,
Heard newscaster this spread:
"You are listening to the late five o'clock news,
We are done with our musical filler,
So now we'll return to our story today
Of murderous serial kill-"
I peeked my head around the corner
And saw to my distress,
The gun-possessing wanderer
My radio suppress.
I wondered then what I should do
When fancy struck my mind.
Deciding to cut short my plan,
My tension did unwind.
I took a knife and, with a slice,
I cut a piece of pie.
And as I placed it next to him,
His bullets caught my eye.
"Oh my", said I, and with a swipe
I showed him my sharp knife.
"It seems I'm not the only one
Who likes to take a life."
He shot and missed, I stabbed and hit,
The details I'll keep light.
But let's just say, to his dismay,
He screamed throughout the night.
'Twas Christmas Eve when the Police
Towards my cottage came.
They asked about a wanderer
And gave the poor sod's name.
"No, Sir", said I, "I do not know,
I live here all alone.
The last time someone came to me
My crops were all still sown."
"But lest you came out here for nought,
Such long and dreadful way,
Let me at least prepare for you
Some Wanderer's Soufflé."
<Insert something witty>, edit-lock.
(Real Quick Warning -- just in case -- : This ballad is told through the perspective of a fictional rich, white, mill owner in the 1960's. The theme is about the Civil Rights Movements and as such involves and is centered around racism. It's by no means made to offend, but if it's something you feel will bother you, you may not want to read it. In addition, this isn't entirely historically accurate, but I did my best to portray at least a bit of the time of the age.)
Part 1 - A Clean White Morning
A comfy soft room with white pillows
Out the window, a garden of willows
You awakened to a sun so bright and cherished this pleasured sight
What a soft serene morning with a sky so mellow
You rested in bed and saw white clean clouds
And with a smile, you laughed aloud
How good it was in your mansion and the 15-acre lawn expansion
Of all your wealth, you were quite proud
The time came to be awake
You wondered what breakfast the maids would make.
You made your way to the bath, strolling down the carpet path
And enter a room big enough for a lake
In the mirror, what do you view?
A precious sight. Oh, my! It's you.
He so pure that knows no sin. Evidence your pale white skin
Along with that, blonde hair and eyes blue.
After refreshing, you asked for the date.
And along came your beloved mate.
Having her blonde strains of hair, she gave you a calendar
And you read aloud, April 4, 1968.
With a tender kiss to her cheek on her face,
You momentarily entered your happy place
But your cheer and glee dispersed immediately
When along came running this juvenile disgrace
The very moment he crossed your path
You couldn't help but let your love transform to wrath
Your wife walked away, while the boy tried to stay
Having the nerve to ask you for a snack.
You were appalled by the mere sight of this cretin
Before you could grab him and give him a beating.
One of your maids with a disposition quite grave
Apologized, grabbed him, and told him, "You're leaving."
"He's been hungry all night," she began to explain.
But for manners like those -- her excuses were lame.
You fetch for your whip. And tell her to zip't.
"Don't let this outrage ever happen again."
You took to the kitchen for your breakfast meal.
The food was enjoyable, flavor with appeal.
Enjoying meats, pancakes, toast, liking the buttered ones the most
Wondering if for supper, they could cook you some veal.
Your maids sweated indecently as they came from the oven
With more food to carry, they just kept on shoving.
A wonder how these serving women could carry so much yet remain deathly thin.
Well, why should you care? It's the food that you're loving.
Gave the red white blue banner a few kisses
Sent your best regards to your dear missus
The limo came in. The chauffeur started driving.
You left for work. You said, what a great day this is.
The ride to the mills would be long.
But you've got your promotion - what could go wrong?
A father gave you a legacy. A new business to oversee.
You felt as tall and strong as King Kong.
Part 2 - Limo Ride
A benevolent community
Here and there, a happy family
Oh what joy there was. You felt great because
Of the good 'ol fashion American unity.
The chauffeur, a white man, also quite friendly
Took note of the clear sky and the land's scenery
The ground you passed held well-trimmed grass
And hedges, fountains, and marks of beauty.
The soil was clean, the clouds were eggshell
Your living quarters so grand, it made others places Hell.
Just not your mansion, every block there was to mention
Oh what a glorious places that you'd never sell.
Driving by, pretty lawns wasn't all there was to see.
All the good people. Very happy.
Their blonde hair shined as their blue eyes looked divine
All of this from those who lived perfectly.
Children were fed if they happened to hunger
Parents helped their kids and forgave them for blunders
All of this politeness helped the day keep its brightness.
What led to such joy truly was a wonder
The long paved blacktop roads went quite a distance
You counted time. When did you leave? It's been an hour since.
Transgressing to the next district, you grew bitter just by instinct
Knowing you're a people for which you have no tolerance.
The clouds in the sky went from a precious white to a tainted gray
You soon knew that you would see a darker side of this day
The sky no longer remotely clear. You knew your location was near.
You start to adopt of an attitude of hate and misery.
The good people you loved were far back
Appealing scenery this community lacked
You resented this place. It was such a disgrace.
For here lived the degenerates -- Chinese, Jews, and Blacks.
Their lifestyles was a shame to view
Such practices were beneath you.
Why did they have to be here? From them, you had no care.
Only the white man could say he was a man who lived true.
The proof was in the pudding, the evidence was clear.
They were criminals. Why else would they react with fear
As a police officer walked about holding their guns out?
The cops had to uphold the law or what little remained here.
Kids asked for food, but parents too lazy.
To feed their own children? Are these disgraces all crazy?!
They lay there on the pavement with sloth. As if they were weaker than a moth.
Staring at their starving kids while they withered like daisies.
And up in the sky, a sky that looked black
Smog in their wretched community. Pollution and all that.
Children acted poorly and lacked discipline. Living amongst these people must be a sin.
A community tainted with crime, smog, and filthy rats.
Part 3 - Promotion
Entering the mills, the smokestacks were working well.
The products were coming out peachy, that much you could tell.
Only one thing here that bothered you. The work effort of this certain Jew.
You walked over to confront him and give him hell.
With pathetically limped arms - he should exercise.
With a stomach that seemed to be less than nothing in size
He saw you and then got to work. Too late for him. You gave him a jerk.
And demanded to know what's going on while staring into his eyes.
He said to you, "Sir, I'm famished. Food's been scarce.
As you may know, life's hard in these parts.
Hardly can feed my family. The fear and hunger must've gotten to me."
You dismissed these excuses and fired him with a demeanor quite coarse.
You decided you are through with all this.
Hated seeing these crude disgraces.
All your workers racial minorities. You'd yearn for employees with qualities.
In anger, you made your way to the office.
So inside you went away from that folly
And away from the environment of melancholy
Those filthy, dirty floors, with litter for decor
How poor sanitation. You'd ask for a trolley.
Just then, you heard voices and further distress
Smoke from the machine? Oh boy. What a mess.
And some elder who was black suffered from a heart attack
But aged as he was, it was probably for the best.
His dying words were that he felt weak
For days, he preserved, with any food to eat
Improving their conditions was not your mission
It was a shame, but the old will die once they've passed their peak.
Ignoring their selfish complaining and yelling,
You send out the doomed one and you start telling
Them to continue to work, and think best not to disturb
The celebration for your promotion lest they be seen as a felon.
The office you worked in was far more clean.
Nice coats of paints and no grime to be seen.
The trash kept neat. Working there was a treat.
The only blemish?: The sky outside was a dull hue of green.
But in preparations there was a feast.
Glittering silverware. There lied your polished fork
Next to a large ham, scrumptious lamb, and thin slices of fried pork
Creamy white potatoes next to juicy red tomatoes
There laid enough cuisine on that table to feed all New York.
And now came the man of the hour
The one soon to abdicate his power
A formal black suit he wore. At this business, he was the core.
But he was more often lighthearted than sour.
Other colleagues came to celebrate
He was a guy that no one could hate.
He had no flaw. Not one that you saw.
(But in honesty, you knew his work ethic wasn't that great.)
Father was older than others would know
But deserved commending as he was CEO
So he said a toast, but before he could boast,
He seemed to be shocked when he looked out the window
Ignoring the dingy gray clouds in the air,
One could see a sight that could produce fear
Men on the ground tossed fires around
A riot was starting. Yes, that much was clear.
And a fire was sent to gray-green skies.
Anger overcame them and could be seen in their eyes
Chaos and panic made everything manic.
You watched with concern as the crowd grew in size.
Part 4 - A Peaceful Protest
Flying through the air were objects on fire.
Cinders float from them and the smoke rises higher
The employees leave their shifts as their spirits lift
You listened as they all screamed their desires.
"Today, we starve because the white men feasts!
They force us to work and treat us as beasts!
They honor their old, but ours are left cold!
We fight now or see our food supply decrease!"
Then, the riot quickly got of hand.
With a vicious vigor, they started to band.
From ever cranny and nook, the people's anger shook
There were as many rioters as a beach had sand
They made a violent plan, and they were ready to try it.
But then arose a voice that called for quiet
A black man called for peace amongst Anglo-Saxon, Jews, blacks, and Chinese
Then, came the calm point of that riot.
As he stood tall up on the stage,
He demanded attention and looked as wise as a sage.
While moving his lip, and using his wit,
He began his speech and used good verbiage.
"Black men, Chinese men, those called Jew
I have a message I need to announce to you.
But I speak not with hate, nor do wish to discriminate.
But what I will say -- I swear it'll be true.
And white men, if you will put down your weapons.
I'd like to convey something. So please let me step in.
Into your minds, into your heart. So just let me start
On the injustice of brutality, violence, racism, and whippings.
We are a community that lives in pain
Many of us live and can only complain
It is the time to speak. Violence is for the weak.
To express our problems, I'll start from where it began
In the days were slavery was upheld by the law
There were a number of grievances our ancestors saw
Backs with deformed scars, with blood stains as red as Mars.
All I ask is for your hearts to thaw.
For what kind of liberty-loving nation
So often practices discrimination?
We should all show love. For it was Father up above
That made man equal in His Creation!
All this kidnapping, rape, murder of the past
Has produced a hatred that should not last
Derogatory terms and seeing us as worms
Are practices that we should surpass
Yet black and red bodies hang off of trees
Railroads exploded, killing the Irish and Chinese
And now the population famished and hope is near vanished.
How do you justify injustices like these?
Our children have no appreciation for their races
They simply view themselves as disgraces
And without their pride, they feel foolish because they tried
To improve themselves and bring themselves up a few places
Gentleman to a lady of fair pale skin
But when a black woman acts "savage," you move to turn her in?
The old Jewish lady asks for a meal, yet instead of giving, you choose to steal.
How could you call yourself a gentleman?
Finding jobs is hard, so the mills is where we set our sights.
In there, many are forced to be seen as less for not being white
Yet after opening that door, we find the conditions poor
How can you say this living is right?
Grime on the walls, trash lays about
Putrid odors that would drive others out
Combined with daily toil for pay less than soil.
Smokestacks cause smog-filled skies without a doubt.
And certainly, no one approves of the Nazis.
Murdering the Jewish to horrid degrees.
Usage of lethal gas to those they found of a lower class
So, I beseech, as a brother, listen to our pleas.
A good man fights when necessary.
But he strives for peace when there's some he can see.
I know you are all good. Saintliness is in our blood.
But the things you whites do at times often scare me.
And they'd scare any man looking out for his own.
But I'm looking towards all humanity. This is why I groan.
Brothers should never choose to fight. That simply is not right.
And I apologize if you don't appreciate my tone
Certainly you know how to live in unity.
So why withhold it from those like me?
The color of our skin surely can not be a sin
White population, show some humanity!
You see your poor and your eyes fill with tears.
But you disregard our troubles and dismiss our fears.
We fear not the law, it was the violence we saw
That caused us to run. Do my cries fall on deaf ears?
In this day and age, we only find work in the mills.
But the smog and sludge it emits is so toxic, it kills!
To keep these roads clean from the litter we've seen
I ask you to shut down this factory and keep us from our ills."
And on that word, a white man's fist raised.
But it wasn't the protestor that he aimed to praise.
Fingers curled into a fist. He smacked the face of some miss.
A riot ensued with the spirits ablaze.
"The factory will never close!" shouted a voice
Gunshots were fired and added to the noise
Bullets in the horde ruined the concord
Yet for a second, it seemed your co-workers made that choice
Immediately, a mass of bodies went in a fury
The battle was violent and the cops went in a hurry.
Bodies hit the ground and violent yells were the dominant sound.
After that, the insurrection's details were blurry.
You got the feeling it would be best to go.
Horrid things would happen. This you felt you know.
The chauffeur arrived in the nick of time.
Without haste, you got in your limo.
The chauffeur asked if a vacation was best
You were enveloped in a great deal of stress
You had new workers to hire. For the others would expire
Either arrested or killed by police in that mess.
Away from the scene and all of those cretins.
All of the rioters rightfully beaten
The white men were rescued from the worst of that feud
And the violence reigned until the cops had them weakened.
Part 5 - Home Sweet Home
Rather upset you were when you left.
You never got that feast. The food was the best.
To prevent one from feeing, just for one's personal needing.
To rob you of that was practically theft.
But you left the site of misery.
Back home, there was only bliss to see.
You forgot about the fights that occurred that night
Their pain was not your fault apparently.
That night, you wondered about all of that.
What could lead to a population so savage?
"It just goes to show, as we all know,
That other races only exist for ravage."
Thinking only of your troubles and your plights,
The struggles of the other races were not in your sights
You gave them all work, yet they still went berserk.
Just another problem for the race of the whites
But in all truth, you were actually quite curious.
What resulted from that riot most furious.
And what of that protestor? That man was some jester
He started the fighting and made things serious.
Watching the news, you saw that many were dead.
You saw the faces of the victims that bled.
"Inferior" races fighting for their sakes ended up spilling their blood into virtual red lakes
But one question still remained in your head.
What of the protestor who spoke up so loud?
What would become of that man who was so proud?
Why was he so revered and what led to his words being heard?
You thought for a while as you stepped out.
The next day, you got the paper quick.
And a sight came to your eyes and to your mind it did stick.
While other men were sent to jail, he was amongst those who were killed.
But when other people learned that, they acted as if they were sick.
Reading the headlines, his face looked the same
You peruse the article to learn his name
A curious character who earned the respect of all the men by the mills that day
You begin to read the eulogy of this "Marvin Lucas Cain"...
In short, he was a well-respected man
Always fighting for civil rights in his land.
But on yesterday date, April 4, 1968.
The man will fell dead due to a policeman's hand.
As you drove to work, there were facial expressions to see
Some in grief, others in fear, a few looked guilty.
You wondered if it had to do with the death of that man. But all you knew
That you had no part in the action. You just ran the factory.
So one last look at the clear clean skies.
Not caring for that poor fool's demise.
You knew for sure that your community was pure.
For you had blonde hair and blue eyes.
(Being sick sucks.)
Three down, one to go!
der we go
I became immortal yet Death sat atop his horse amused,
I bested the Dark Angel and told him it was my fate to choose,
He smiled at me as if I foolish child he schooled,
“Alone, you will be, alone forever more.” He said his next words shaking me with fear,
“You will suffer more for escaping me,
as I take all joy of life and everything you hold dear”
I cast him off and he left me with a silver knife,
I began to carry out my whims without Death in place,
I was beggar, a king, brigand, merchant, and thief,
Yet I found no joy in wealth or my daring schemes,
I flowed through the void of time with a being void of purpose and dreams,
That Dark Angel seemed to be c with me more than ever it seemed,
It was my fourth century walking the Earth,
I came to envy the mortals for they could return to the dirt,
Yet it was during this time I saw her and like a fool, I was captivated,
It was her beauty and wit that cracked my stone heart,
A band of gold tied us together as we promised ‘Till Death do we Part’
I heard Death’s laugh,
Something wicked comes this way,
His son the Lord of Plague does his father grizzly work,
His touch spreading from Anatolia to the place of my birth,
People prayer to God fall onto deaf ears,
The Almighty had given him sway to put the world into fear,
My lover has become slave to Fear,
Nightly she tells me she cannot stay,
She screams for me to stop the whispers I cannot hear,
I fear that I can’t keep the Lord of Plague at bay,
I knelt, begged and prayed only for them to land on deaf ears,
Yet on Death Ears did hear,
His, Lord of Plagues, macabre form did appear,
He breached my sanctum handing a note for from his father as grinned ear to ear,
He placed his palm upon my love and took his leave,
I watched her waste away,
I watched as the light left her blue eyes,
I no longer hear her heart beats,
That was when he arrives,
The one, I for four centuries cheats,
As a black rider, Death came forth,
He took my lover, who is my life,
With her wrapped in his cloak, they turned to crows and flew north,
Heartbroken I feel to my knees clutching my silver knife,
I kept my unlife,
I still reside on the ruins of our house,
Memories keep me here,
And now I dream dreams,
After convening with spirits,
That my lover is always with me it seems.
One day he visited my ruins holding the silver knife,
I drunken sorrow bowed my head,
I wished to join the dead,
I want to see my love again.
I could've done way better...I lost most of the excitement for this after a couple of lines.
Oooh. You have a differing number of lines per stanza. Interesting.
The Prince's Lament
One night, my father was taken by Death
Its bony fingers clasped around his throat
Choking out the old frail king's final breath
Dragging his soul onto its ancient boat
Despite his sudden death, I wasn't sad
I rarely saw him and much rarer spoke
So when old Sir Richard told me the news
My frozen heart stayed stone and never broke
A prince must mourn the death of his father
Thus heartbroken was the face I put on
Maybe I was alone with lack of grief
It seemed nobody recognized my con
Though not sad, I wasn't happy either
Because I'm not the prince I want to be
Despite being the son of the dead king
I'll never be the king as you will see
Unfortunately, I have a brother
Older by slightly under a small year
Next week, he'll have the power of the world
And I'll move to first in line, oh so near
They say make an heir and then make a spare
But what if the spare wishes he were king?
All I am is a spare to my brother
To the rest of the world I am nothing
My whole life revolved around my brother
His birthday is crawling with kings and queens
Sometimes on mine I get to see father
His clothes are purple, mine are a dull green
My birth was insignificant to all
Though the day is celebrated throughout
The kingdom doesn't observe the spare's birth
But rather the heir's first full word, "about"
Today I found myself with evil thoughts
Wishing for the death of the first in line
Wishing for the power he will obtain
If only that scarlet throne could be mine
I could never do anything to him
Steal his scarlet throne and rob him of life
So I smiled at his grand coronation
And I smiled at his wedding to his wife
I asked him if I could run the army
"Of course not," was his all too fast reply
"Their leader is very experienced
And for the army, you're just way too shy"
So I sat in the dark, dingy castle
Watching the days sluggishly drag by me
My brother had the world in his big hands
My only choice was to exist and be
I kept hoping for his early demise
But soon enough he had a healthy heir
I was second in line for king again
My hope nonexistent; my life was bare
I completely despised the new crown prince
My hatred grew once his brother was born
Another poor soul born slightly too late
Destined to be powerless and forlorn
Years have passed me by and I'm an old man
Third in line for a throne I'll never get
My brother is still alive and the king
But I fear soon I'll be caught in Death's net
Months pass and now I lay in my death bed
Surrounded by my nephews and brother
All men I hate, but they care about me
They love me far more than any other
What a fool I have been to be so cruel
It took me so many years to forgive
It's not my brother's fault that he is king
A better life, I wanted to relive
"You can't go back, it's all over" said Death
Its bony fingers clasped around my throat
Choking out this old frail man's final breath
Dragging my soul onto its ancient boat
I started tearing up near the end. Wow. This is so good. Wonderful. Beautiful. I love your ballads!
Really? Thank you so much!
I'm not really sure, but I think it's edit locked. I'm a total no0b, please don't throw tomatoes.
For posts, to prevent editing, you have to respond to the post.
So if you reply to this post, I can't make edits to this post anymore. There's an edit button next to the "Reply" button; if it's there, you can edit the post.
The Ballad of Green 'Ol Snagtoof: A Warhammer 40k Fanfiction
Good ‘ol Snagtoof big and angry and green,
ordained by the Ork gods, chosen by Gork;
(but maybe it was really Mork)
to fix the broken, Orky war machine.
When he was just a boy, lowly and small
Good ‘ol Snagtoof krumped him a fat old git.
Crept right up on him, and his head he split.
He knew he was to be the best of all.
Well he started krumpin’, never stopping
splitting heads and getting bigger and smart.
Soon, they started to fear this upstart.
Or they would earn themselves a quick whopping.
Soon it came time to get himself some Nobs;
some mean old gits to keep the boys in line.
One bad choice and they’d feed him to swine.
Or the boys might start to run their fat gobs.
As you can see, it’s a zoggin problem;
A real Ork challenge for his tiny Ork brain,
as even tiniest thought causes pain.
This dilemma fast becomes burdensome.
So he picks the biggest, greenest boys there;
the ones with the biggest teeth and muscles,
the ones who won enough lethal scuffles.
So he picked some green, throbbing Nobz for guerre.
With his Nobs, and boys, and dakka machines,
he set off to show those blue gitz what for.
Axe in his hand, shoota in the other,
he butchered the Tau, and ate their damn spleens.
Then his Mek-Boys, ever so cunningly,
waited for the Tau to be overran,
and stripped their vehicles, to make Killa Can.
Of ghetto make; manufactured quickly.
A blue git is just another blue git.
Snagtoof decided to get those winged humies.
“Unda doze blue shells, dey’z all so punies!”
“Den we’ll get those sistahs; shoot up they tits!”
With this flawless plan, he called up a Waaagh!
Boys from near and far came to give some dakka;
a horde rivalling that of old Thraka.
On a mining world, that’s mostly thick fog.
Flash-gits, shoot-boys, deff dreads, wagons and more
arrived to take the humies’ precious shit.
Snagtoof knocked down Emprah, then spat on it.
Then spilled some fresh Ecclesiarch blood-gore.
Then the blue-shell humies torched the grey sky.
“Oi boss! Do we have ‘nuff dakka for dem?”
“Zog off, ya git! It’s time for some may-hem!”
Indeed it was, not at all at lie.
“Blue Emprah Gits, they sure is tough!”
“Oi! I said zog off, you zogging grot-git!”
“But boss, they’ll do ya throat a big long slit!”
With that, Snagtoof gave the grot a cuff.
But the grot-git happened to be correct.
Sword in one hand, shield in the other hand,
came forth a champion of Macragge-land.
“Of your swift end, I am the architect!”
Snagtoof swung his big claw, but he was slow.
The Ultramarine dodged, effortlessly.
And then riposted quite viciously.
Into the eye of his beastly green foe.
Out his green head and into the grey air,
the blade did pierce Snagtoof’s giant, thick skull.
The great green beast the champion did cull.
He lifted Snagtoof’s head by its red hair.
And that was that, the beast was surely dead.
His ugly face, and his jaw hung.
And out rolled his long, coiled, moistened pink tongue.
Word of his loss quickly began to spread.
The beast is dead, the beast is dead!
Edit locked. Let us never speak of this again.
I just wanna say that Romulus' ballad "The Ballad of the Yuletide Cook" was effing fantastic.
"A Soldier's Reward"
Yon looming shrouded, smoky hills
Behind these downy pines
Bear echoes, vapors, whispers of
Neglected tales and lives.
Closed now, the haunted, sooty mines.
Steel tracks no longer run.
But rest a little, while I tell
One story that lives on.
It started when the Union won,
When Spring had ‘woke and bloom’d.
A native soldier had come home,
Though soon to be entombed.
Wherefore was this young soldier doomed—
Hero of the brigade?
He settled down and took as wife
A cruel and stormy maid.
Her glances had been soft and staid.
Her dreams had been benign.
Her mien showed naught but zealous love;
Forsooth, a rosy sign.
Though lips once velvet, red as wine.
Her eyes held pools of stars.
Her golden locks were satin like,
Her hands were alabaster.
But woe eclipsed our brave soldier:
His restless heart did pine
For open skies and battle roars,
Which hounded him nighttimes.
His longing made him saturnine—
His eyes still saw gunfire;
His ears still rang with beating drums;
His home life lay on the pyre.
His mate observed, and filled with ire,
Burned his wartime relics.
She bade him watch the dancing flames,
His vict’ry now turned pyrrhic.
And yet the soldier remain’d sick,
His yearning grew still more.
It did not take him to long eye
His distance from the door.
It was one night he crossed the floor
Without a rearward peek.
When suddenly he heard a noise:
It was a floorboard’s creak.
He saw his wife no more asleep,
His soldier’s gun she held.
She did not heed his suffering,
With one shot he fell.
She ran into the woods impelled
If not by guilt, then fear.
Though never to be seen again,
Her shot still echoes clear...
May have gotten sloppy at the end, but that's what happens when you procrastinate.
edit lock, eyy yoo
In a large, influential country in the Western Hemisphere,
There was a great deal of success, but not in this year
A broken economy that was the bane of many
Hard times they were those 1920’s
So, the great mass of citizens lived with despair
Acres of land with soil tilled for crops
A family of farmers would harvest and do so non-stop
But there was one peculiarity to see
That amongst the farming family
The land there was bare as they did their job
An entire garden of dry cracked soil
With only a few green strips for which workers would toil
Unfortunately, they would only yield a paltry amount
This poverty was difficult to surmount
Not enough to save them from their turmoil
In the American nation, it was a bleak year, 1928
Very few lives then could be labeled great
Jobs getting harder to find
Lack of money made economy unkind.
Homelessness and poverty were defining traits
In the cities, citizens were frugally dressed
Faces of the nomadic homeless revealed their distress
Scattered around soup kitchens with stomach so famished
People being fired would see their money vanish
People counted their coins and be dismayed to see they were penniless
Fortunately for the workers on the farm
They had the opportunity to save themselves from such harm
The economy was rough for them as well
But they had a chance to fight against the hell
For the extended family, those crops were lucky charms.
Cousins, brothers, grandfathers worked hard
To keep the farm running. They all did their part
Even the children knew that this was their only hope
So they all grabbed the bull by the horns and decided to cope
With their run-down lives. They’ve been dealt their card.
Yet, the farm was no mean a heavenly safehaven
It was a difficult path and that no one was paving.
Starving in dirty, poorly kept wood shacks
Infested with rodent vermin from the front to the back
All of this just barely helped their savings.
Never had time to sweep filth off the floor
Couldn’t afford tools to properly restore
They worked with what they had
And they chose just to be glad
That they still had an income. But in truth, they were still poor.
Always struggling with the harvest no matter what they would do
Ignoring their want for niceties was best. This they all knew.
But still they toiled for this last bit of hope.
They had one reason that motivated them to cope.
The farm was the last thing they could hold on to
There was one family member who got terribly sick
The vile disease killed the man and it killed him quick.
But he went with a fight.
Yes, sir, day and night,
He continued to plow, that stubborn old prick
And many more would die and die and die again
From the youngest of men to the oldest women
Work ethic was their pride
For this farm, many died.
Everyone there was a worthy farmhand.
Without that farm, they’d all submit and they’d fall
And decline to the bottom of it all
So a young William realized at an early age and was inspired to work true
Whether the climate was in favor or a burden
One could be sure that they’d always be working
So with hope in their eyes and a sense of pride
They saw the brown soil with crops that have dried
And produced the best they could no matter how bad they were hurting
Times to defend against riots that set their fields to fire
Times to work harder even when they would tire
Created an unsurmountable pride in Will
For a farm for which he would kill
To keep it running was his only desire
So when life seemed it got too rough
He kept his eyes on the prize and forgot about that stuff
Despair, pain, loss couldn’t stop him
He would continue to harvest the crops and
Doing so, eventually made a man who was quite tough
The filth on the face and the loss of his friends
Meant nothing as the means were justified by the end
There was only the farm, no matter how much decay
He’d tend to the fields each and every day
So he took to the dry brown fields with a will that wouldn’t bend.
He became increasingly stoical when he became mature
But throughout the years, he felt quite sure,
That no sacrifice, stronger or weaker,
Would be too small for the sake of these acres
To his family’s farm with devotion he swore
Twenty years later, depression was no more.
But the people of the country had to suffer through war.
Rations were shared and liberty bonds were bought
As the United States’ military fought
But the sake of the farm was still at Will’s core
Will still saw images of the acres of brown barren dirt
And remember the endless energy his loved ones would exert
Enthusiastically pulling every green crop
Starchy potatoes, vibrant tomatoes, they just wouldn’t stop
And he remembered the losses and the ones who’ve been hurt
There was his ruthless grandmother, who injured her spine.
And the death of his uncle had the lad crying.
His parents have passed when he was young.
But for all of them, these last words came from their tongue,
“The harvest must always be completed in time.”
The farm was secure but they still lived off rations
So they continued to toil like it was going out of fashion
Food short in supply could hardly support
The entire family that lived in that fort
So life was still hard. They could afford no distractions.
But things were improved for the family collection
Together, they were moving in a positive direction.
Of all their hard work, this was a reflection.
The soil once dry and covered with cracks
Seemed to have a bit of richness come back.
The soil became a rich healthy brown.
Larger and more abundant crops came from the ground.
Life was looking up and they were on the right track.
The majority of their food was still given to the army’s men.
But if they kept up the work, they’d have food on the farm for them.
So they kept up their work ethics
Using their old-fashioned methods
There would only be one remaining problem
It was a warm summer day after a rainy season.
The crops were flourishing and the numbers increasing
Mazes of corns germinated
A slew of other vegetables created
He worked diligently with a sense of reason
While working amongst on the field that day,
He saw that his wife had something to say
It was no light-hearted thing.
Taking the truth would prove to sting.
One of his beloved nephews has been drafted much to his dismay.
A year or so before he returned
When he came back, there were horrors of which he learned
All of the family
Were present to see
That he lost an eye and his left arm was burned
All Will’s nephew could think of was pain
All the turmoil and all of the strain
The constant demands of the battlefield
And the constant work to produce a crop yield
If he exerted himself any further, he’d go insane.
Done with the pressures of that brutal war,
He was done with the sense of duty and wanted no more
At first, he thought he’d run from the farm
To somewhere he could rest and repair his arm
But Will called him back and told him what for
Wil resented giving his kin up for the military.
“Why should I surrender my nephew to the powers that be?
Their work’s needed here!”
He found this unfair.
To him, it was a form of tyranny.
“Fighting for your country. What a load of malarkey!
Family was far more important to a man. Oh, God, mark me!
It’s an oppression of freedom!
They’re our kids and we need ‘em!”
I thought this was democracy, not an oligarchy!”
So his words spread a hatred amongst the next generation
Freedom became seen as the most essential gift of creation
And the farm continued to flourish
Their living no longer boorish.
And so time passed by and they continued to keep aging.
In a few years, came along a lad who many called Billy
Or rather William Jr. His father thought his nickname too silly
He lived while his cousin suffered through the war
Saw his injuries and his spirit tore.
And his relatives said compared to his dad, he was as dainty as a lily
Now, it wasn’t that Billy was a little rag doll.
He just didn’t see farm work as important was all.
He’d rather be free
Spend time to sight see.
The constant farm work ethic was oppressive and arduous haul
His passion lied in love for sports
He was interested in games of all sports
But most of all
With the soccer ball
He was a talent that put shame to experts
Nights in the cornfield after a long working day
He’d somehow summon up the energy
He’d practice his skills with precision
He took it up as his mission.
Then he’d go to his relatives and ask them to play
When it came to the games, he was unsurpassed
For the other kids there, he was simply too fast
Game after game, he would win
With glee, he would grin
Playing for him was a breeze and a blast
Even Billy’s uncles could not seem to rival
His skills were too developed; he made them seem tribal.
So he played and had fun.
But he knew it was all done
When he witnessed his father’s arrival
William refused to let this be tolerated.
He let games come before work. This much he hated.
But Billy refused to give up his dream.
So he met with his cousin and came up with a plan.
“He overworks you. He overworks me.
I believe we’re both sick of that old man.”
They decided to make livings of their own.
To move away from the hard work of the blasted place.
Billy would grow to practice his soccer.
Meanwhile his cousin would forget about all of his pains.
Part 4 Great Escape
(CONFLICT MOST IMAGERY)
Away from the soil, corn, and shoddy wooden buildings.
They rented a car and went on their way
To an old house that the cousin had owned
To get away from the hard life back in the day
Billy came to ask his cousin his reason for running away
He said, “The war put on to me way too much stress.
Returning from a brutal life to return to one just as bad?
Getting away from all that was simply the best.”
“In the army, they ask for a sense of duty.
To be able to overcome things that would bring to you pain.”
He went for a seat and looked at his cousins
He thought of his turmoil and began to explain
I thought I was ready, but I simply was not.
Steel birds flying through the sky dropping the bombs
Brothers you’ve bonded with into red flash of light
And simple as that. They’ve vanished. They’re gone.”
But then they shook it off and decide to relax
And got themselves drinks to forget about it all.
After a bottle or two, a sound began to ring.
Billy picked up the phone to receive the call.
The very instant he picked up the phone,
The cousin knew that it would be William.
But when Billy said to him, “Hey it’s my mom.”
He didn’t know what to tell him.
Tearful requests for her young ones to return
Prompted the boys to come back to their home.
At first, they refused, but then they soon softened
Couldn’t bear to think of poor lady alone.
So they made no delay to return to the farm
They got right in the car to make their way back
They grabbed their belongings and strapped in their stuff
And made sure to get back on track
Unfortunately, the boys drunk a bottle too much
A car crash occurred and a body went flying
The cousin was fine and so was the other driver
But it indeed was Billy. It was he who was dying.
Rows of black suits gray stones on a dim plain.
Family members everywhere with emotional pain.
And on that farm, the family gathered close
Spread a mood best described as morose
Mourning for yet another loss
They placed on his epitaph a cross
And thought found thoughts of who they missed the most
William at first gave the two boys the blame
But then all the responsibility he came to claim
So he regretted not letting his son followed his dreams.
And for a moment he didn’t care for the farm, or so it seemed.
But one way or another he still had regret
What good was the farm if family members would die?
This was a lesson he would not forget.
Contemplating all of this with a heavy sigh.
So many willing to give their lives to the farm.
But sacrifices were no longer required in this day and age
He should’ve let him be. It would do no one harm.
But instead he let his pride become a rage.
So he went to the coffin of his son, holding back tears
Wishing he could live on for many more years
He watched the dead body. In the coffin, it would stay
And in his deep grief he could only manage to say,
Billy liked to play ball
One day he heard mom call
Too bad he never saw the car
His body flew very far
See what I did there? Ho, ho, so clever.
You've successfully avoided SHAME!
And I've also successfully avoided a good night's rest.
That's what happens when you try to cram too much into a small window of time. You end up scrapping everything you planned and turning crap in in the last minute.
(Also, ignore that whole Part 4 thing. That didn't get done.)