Output list





elfstone's (elfstone on UKA) UKArchive
126 Archived submissions found.
Title
Sweet Choice (posted on: 13-06-16)    
We have only the choices Fate allows us ....

Sweet Choice This price that's paid by you who are bereaved - This aching of tear-laden, silent grief - Is price well paid for all that is received In gaining soul-deep love, however brief The sharing years may seem in count of days, Contrasting each long hour of Sorrow's deep; While loneliness of Death's diverging ways Consumes all but the memories you keep. Would you forsake companionship's delight For fear of all that losing it will bring, Or drain the glass of happiness despite Knowing a mourning bell may likely ring? All those who that sweet choice have never known Will tell how dull the empty years have flown. Elfstone 16/5/16
Archived comments for Sweet Choice
Mikeverdi on 13-06-2016
Sweet Choice
Better to ha e loved and lost, than never to have loved at all
I have always believed this. The feelings of grief can tear at your heart, memories will come in time to help. The pain however will never be far away.

It's the same with pets, although not everyone will agree with this.

Great writing on an emotive subject.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mike. This was another prompted by my pal's death at the beginning of May. "Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all"? yes, the older I get, the more I think that is very true.

You're right about pets — their loss can be devastating. Elfstone

sweetwater on 14-06-2016
Sweet Choice
I love the way you have captured so much emotion and heartbreak with such truly beautiful words. A stunning poem.
I know the devasting heartbreak of losing an animal, losing my beloved retriever Bracken eleven years ago runs a very close second to losing my mum whom I still haven't got over, twelve years previously, I still miss my whippet Tally, and that was even longer ago. Loving deeply whether human or animal, the pain of their loss knows no bounderies, and no end. Sue.

Author's Reply:
sweetwater - how on earth did I miss this comment? ! I'm so sorry! I'm becoming increasingly scatty these days 🙁

I'm very grateful for your kind words and you are right about pets. I still miss the dog I "grew up with", all these years later. Elf.

pdemitchell on 14-06-2016
Sweet Choice
Well thought and wrought tribute to a pal. Mitch

Author's Reply:
Many thanks Mitch - your good opinion is valued 🙂 Elf.

Ionicus on 15-06-2016
Sweet Choice
A skilfully crafted sonnet expressing grief and lost love.
Well done.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Ionicus. 🙂 I don't often write sonnets, but they seem to be "right" for some situations. Elf.

gwirionedd on 01-07-2016
Sweet Choice
An excellent and poignant sonnet, spoiled only by the archaic syntax of the penultimate line. I think you should rethink the ending. Otherwise, very nice indeed!




Author's Reply:
gwirionedd, many thanks for leaving such a positive comment. 🙂

"spoiled only by the archaic syntax of the penultimate line. - interesting; I think sonnets are a bit archaic anyway and lend themselves to a slightly old fashioned style of language? I will give the last couplet some thought. Elfstone.

gwirionedd on 01-07-2016
Sweet Choice
Well, sonnets are just lines of metric verse, usually iambic pentameter, which do not necessarily lend themselves to the use of archaic language. It is simply that one is forced to rhyme at the end of the line which tempts poets into using unnatural word order and forced rhymes. I believe that a poet should resist this temptation, because it is the 21st century, and it clangs on the ear somewhat to read something written in 16th century syntax.

Poetry should replicate real, natural speech as much as possible. I mean, obviously you need to be inventive and imaginative with language, and possibly use rhyme and meter if you want, but other than that, it should sound like genuine English speech. Archaisms are false and lazy. Any guide on how to write poetry will tell you this.

I used to make the archaic syntax mistake quite often when I was younger, but now I've learned to avoid this like the plague.



Author's Reply:
My apologies for the delay in replying gwirionedd - it's been a frantic week for several reasons.

I love it when comments to a poem lead into this sort of discussion and I'm grateful to you for coming back with an explanation of your first post. I don't agree with some of what you've said, this for instance "Poetry should replicate real, natural speech as much as possible". I'm pretty sure that none of my poems would be described in that way - not saying that's good or bad, just the way I see poetry. "Archaisms are false and lazy" - not always. I think there is a place for them sometimes, depending on the poem.

" Any guide on how to write poetry will tell you this. " I have to confess I have never in my life read a guide on how to write poetry! Maybe I should some day ...

My thanks again gwirionedd. Elfstone

gwirionedd on 11-07-2016
Sweet Choice
Yes, you do have a point regarding experimental poetry, for example. Experimental poetry doesn't necessarily replicate real speech, or need to.

But with the majority of poetry, sonnets for example, it is necessary to do so - grammatically, I mean. Poetry should adhere to the same grammatical rules that normal spoken language does. Otherwise, it sounds very odd. If we were having a conversation together in the pub, and I started putting words in the wrong order, or using the grammatical tenses wrongly, I would sound very odd to you, as though English was not my native language. Well, the same is true for poetry.

When we read Shakespeare, it doesn't strike us as odd when, for example, he places a verb at the end of a sentence. This is because we are aware that he was writing in the 16th century and this was how people actually spoke back then!

At some point in the 17th century, Early Modern English became Modern English, and people stopped putting their verbs at the ends of sentences. Modern English has a very different character to Early Modern English, largely because of grammar and word order.

16th century syntax is not appropriate for a 21st century poem. It's like a newly-built mock-Tudor house. It's not genuine, it's fake. And you run the risk of sounding like Yoda from Star Wars.

It's OK if you're writing a poem where the action is set in the 16th century. If there is some kind of artistic and historical justification for it. But otherwise, to be frank, it sounds awful. The moment I see an example of it on this website, I usually immediately stop reading, and go and read something else instead.

Just to give you a new perspective on things...

Archie




Author's Reply:
Again my apologies for the tardiness of my reply. I find myself spending more and more time on the new site now.

I accept all that you say about the historical changes in English; of course all languages evolve. I don't however agree that we must use nothing but modern usage in our poetry, nor do we have to accept the ugliness of some modern parlance. One of the reasons that the King James bible is still much used and loved is that people like the beauty of that language style; likewise with Shakespeare and his contemporaries. I believe there are occasions where use of more archaic language is appropriate and acceptable; I think that we will just have to agree to disagree on that point. 🙂

I am moving over to the new version of UKA (http://writeandbedamned.com/) and if you haven't already had a look, I recommend it to you. I have enjoyed our debate and I hope there will be more on the new site. Elfstone



The Cost (posted on: 10-06-16)
A very dear friend, of long standing, died at the beginning of May. Something in her husband's face at the funeral inspired this ...

The Cost To grieve, to mourn, to feel the grinding of The Inalterable ... to scream the soundless loss, the crashing weight of the aloneness of being One ... to register each dragging breath as yours alone, to bear the cutting knife that severs sharing, leaving an unbinding wound ... to mourn the one certainty, the irreversible nature of the loss of being, of termination, of Death ... is to face the cost of love. Elfstone 16/5/16
Archived comments for The Cost
Mikeverdi on 10-06-2016
The Cost
Life and death, seen through a window. The ability to capture the moment in words...well done.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for taking the tine to read an leave a comment. Pleased you approve. 🙂 Elf

sweetwater on 12-06-2016
The Cost
You have captured the blinding, torturous pain of loss superbly. Sue.

Author's Reply:
Thank you sweetwater. It's not a situation I have been in myself, but I sensed something that day and imagination did the rest. Many thanks for that "10". Elf.

pdemitchell on 12-06-2016
The Cost
Hi Elf - Not an easy subject to handle as well as this and a place I have experienced myself on too many occasions and written about too ie "The Vigil."
Mitch

Author's Reply:
You're right — it was not an easy place to be; a very sad funeral. What can we do? we just have to deal with these bricks when Life flings them at us. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment Mitch. Elf.


Damaged (posted on: 25-04-16)
brotherly love?

Damaged Given to patronising and Over-weaning arrogance, Lapping up the poisoned image, Denying the callous reality, Encouraging the false image, Needing your greed satisfied; Chosen to supply, to always Hold the cherished deceit; Ignoring painful truths which Leave you, behind that scorn, Damaged, just as much ... Elfstone 13/4/16
Archived comments for Damaged

No comments archives found!
All that is left (posted on: 25-04-16)
how things end ....

All that is left Cold white walls stark, ungiving, stripped of shielding paintings and photographs of pretence reflect the crumbling decline of that practised face. A lifetime of self-absorbed gathering reduced to a gradual emptying; boxes bound for charity shops and uncaring hands guddling through the remnants. Rooms empty now but echoing; this slow seeping away of things just things leaves only the bitter truth that discomfort refuses to see. The cruelty of your disregard all that is left, all that lasts. The black-bin-liners full of all the unhappy reminders dumped in the skip. Elfstone 13/4/16
Archived comments for All that is left
Mikeverdi on 25-04-2016
All that is left
My father died in a care home, this summed up all that was there at the end. I cleared the room with a friend, two bin liners. I loved my father, the shock of that day, a lifetime in two bin bags, has never left me. It hurt to read this, that's how good it is.
Mike

Author's Reply:
I suspect that a lot of us "of a certain age" will have been through the clearing out business. It's no fun. I wrote a poem, 13 years ago, about a lady ending her life in a care home (it's here if you're interested - http://www.ukauthors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=4924) and it also addresses this thing of life being reduced gradually until there is really nothing left. It's been a grim 6 months and I'm only now beginning to feel that I can reclaim my life.

I'm sorry that it hurt Mike, brought back painful memories for you, but I'm grateful for your opinion. Elf

pdemitchell on 25-04-2016
All that is left
I, too, have been through all this with relatives four times in eight years. My mother was a hoarder and it was five skips but still as painful... and a new word 'guddling' fishing for trout by hand. Well writ. Mitch

Author's Reply:
Golly - four times in eight years is tough! You have my sympathy Mitch.

'Guddling' was originally fishing, but its meaning now applies to dealing with or working in a mess. I think it describes well the poking through of items in charity shops.

My thanks for the comment. Elf.

Gothicman on 27-04-2016
All that is left
Wow, Elf, this is revengeful, though necessary, tactics to mark an indifferent end to what once was shared living memories, ones rather forgotten. Very sad though, irrespective of the earlier circumstances, a definitive end to any hope of reconciliation or just retribution, to answers and explanations. Yes, emptiness, both outwardly and inwardly describes the prevailing emotions best. A fine poem describing a real situation, simple, real, and raw. For me, the best sort, and into favourites. Yes, you at your literary best, old friend.
Trevor

Author's Reply:
Gothicman, you always could see straight through to the heart of my poems! It has been a painful and at times disturbing 6 months since my mother died and much has been channeled into poetry. There's and old Scottish saying: "God gives you friends and the devil gives you relatives" - it is so true!.

I have been very little in the site over these months; time to start catching up and being more involved in what's happening here! It's always good to hear your thoughts G, thanks for stopping by. Elf.

sweetwater on 28-04-2016
All that is left
My mum lived with me after my dad died, when she felt she wanted 'her own front door ' again she moved to a flat in our village. When she died we brought all her things back home and set her room as it always was, it helped me enormously to go in there among all her things. When we moved here I was able to let go of the majority as she had no history/ memories here. Although I do still have several bits I cannot let go. So I didn't really have to face the awful situation in your brilliant but terrible sad poem. Sue.

Author's Reply:
My thanks Sue - I appreciate you leaving such a heartfelt comment.

"she had no history/ memories here" I understand that completely and it works in reverse for me; I had no history or happy memories of the flat she lived in - very different from moving her out of the family home some 14 years ago. I had been brought up there and it did feel a real twinge leaving it. This has been a very draining time and I'm glad it is coming to an end. Elf.

amman on 30-04-2016
All that is left
The tone and message suggest a somewhat embittered relationship or perhaps the sadness of death/passing, together with the grim task of clearing out remnants/reminders of a life once lived. Cold, white walls; echoing empty rooms a chilling reminder of morality. 'Uncaring hands guddling through the remnants' - brilliant.

Great writing.

Cheers.

Tony.



Author's Reply:
It was certainly always a very difficult relationship and I suspect it is too soon to say how her death will affect what remains of my life. I have felt, and continue to feel, a huge sense of release.

Mortality has been a lot on my mind recently: it's a road we all walk down and, whatever the circumstances at the end, we all walk it alone.

I'm very chuffed that you approve of this - thanks for leaving a comment. Elf.


So now you're gone (posted on: 14-12-15)
A companion piece ...

So now you're gone So now you're gone there is no resolution No reckoning of all the hurt you gave. How does that square with Christian absolution? It seems your God will smile and blithely save All those who wave the bible, speak the phrases, Who sing the hymns and keep up church attendance With pious faces, prayerful airs and graces And never mind the lack of true repentance. In all these years you never once confessed Your narcissistic need for full attention, Nor was your cool hypocrisy redressed; Inspiring sympathy your sole intention - There's dark behind how your persona seemed; How can you claim that you have been redeemed? Elfstone 14/11/15 (this is a follow on from this poem : http://www.ukauthors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=35913)
Archived comments for So now you're gone
Gee on 14-12-2015
So now you’re gone
I think the most powerful sentence in this is the beginning "So now you’re gone there is no resolution" because it shows the frustration of that enforced full stop of communication. There are people who act in such a way that they seem oblivious to their own hypocrisy and that comes over in this too.
It's a powerful statement and I feel it should help to have it understood.

Author's Reply:
My thanks Gee! "people who act in such a way that they seem oblivious to their own hypocrisy" - yes they do and it seems there is nothing we can do about it. Coming to terms with that lack of resolution - not easy. Elfstone

Supratik on 14-12-2015
So now you’re gone
Very powerful indeed! Sharp!

Author's Reply:
Thank you Supratik for reading what is probably not an 'easy" poem - and for leaving a comment. It's much appreciated. Elfstone

e-griff on 14-12-2015
So now you’re gone
The truest Christians may not go to church.
I have found some self-declared Christians to be complete hypocrites in their behavior, but others entirely genuine, good people. I guess that's life.

Author's Reply:
"some self-declared Christians to be complete hypocrites" - yes that's exactly right e-griff and living with one of them is (has been) very difficult. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Elfstone

Supratik on 15-12-2015
So now you’re gone
Yes Elfstone... indeed it's not an easy poem, I'd prefer writing to you on this in PM. As of now the urge to judge seems predominant in our 'unnatural' society, and by so doing we miss the bus. Jesus fought against power throughout his life, but he became the symbol of power later.

Author's Reply:
Sorry Supratik - for some reason I cannot fathom, my rely to e-griff ended up in your box. Most odd!!

I have just said in a PM to someone that although I will probably write more poems on this situation I will not sub any more of them - too gloomy! Elf

jay12 on 21-12-2015
So now you’re gone
'It seems your God will smile and blithely save' I love this line.

I really enjoyed this. It spoke to me.

Author's Reply:
I thought, it having fallen off the front page, that this would now be ignored; lovely to find another comment. Jay, thank you so much for reading and I'm very chuffed that something in it connected with something in you - that's what every poet hopes for. Elfstone


Should I not grieve? (posted on: 04-12-15)
A little bit of my soul ...

Should I not grieve? Should I not grieve now that you're gone away, or weep a little showing how I mourn the death of one whose timely passing may in phony tears more showily be borne? Should I not feel a wrenching in my heart at losing she who bore me long ago? Is all that's left to play the daughter's part; a rigid duty to keep up the show? Should I not suffer loss with all the others who claim the pain of losing such a one; all those who say you were the best of mothers, ignoring all the hurt and harm you've done? You would not know what cannot now be said; And lingers with me, even though you're dead. Elfstone 8/11/15
Archived comments for Should I not grieve?
sweetwater on 04-12-2015
Should I not grieve?
If I have understood the meaning here correctly, I can fully relate to your words, they speak for me too, but not about my mother I still and always will grieve for her. A very strong and deeply moving poem. Sue.

Author's Reply:
sweetwater, thank you for reading this and taking the time to leave a comment. I realise that it is not a comfortable poem but, as I said about "And so...", subbing it here validates it in some way I can't really explain. I'm very grateful for your thoughts. Elfstone

Gee on 11-12-2015
Should I not grieve?
I know the feeling well and you express it perfectly here. What is seen by others isn't always the truth of the situation.
You were right to write it and to sub it. I hope it helps to know you're not alone in the way you feel.

Author's Reply:
Thank you so much Gee. "What is seen by others isn't always the truth of the situation. " - that nails it! My Granny used to say "There's none as blind as those that won't see," and she was right.
"I hope it helps to know you're not alone in the way you feel." - it does help and I'm very grateful 🙂
Elfstone


And so... (posted on: 09-11-15)    
This is still too raw.

And so ... And so it comes to this: a frail and failing body fading slowly. Tubes and cables wind round the unravelling of your life. Eyes closed, mouth open, a feeble, vein-traced hand not feeling the starched sheet covering your wasting away. And so it comes to this: no understanding, no words of comfort. no opening of your eyes to hint that, at the end, there may be just the possibility of contrition. Elfstone 26/10/15 I feel I have a bit of a cheek posting anything here, I have been away from the site for so long, but somehow making a poem public validates it in a way that I can't quite explain and at the moment that matters. I think there may be more to come from this situation.
Archived comments for And so...
Bozzz on 09-11-2015
And so...
There is a magnetic mix here - sorrow and the beauty of the awful truth - a brilliant piece, my friend...Yours, Bozzz

Author's Reply:
Gosh - that is a delightful surprise. I genuinely did not know how this would be received just as a piece of poetry; I'm much too close to it. My thanks Bozz.
Elfstone

Mikeverdi on 09-11-2015
And so...
Wonderful, it's all there on the screen. Thanks for posting.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Thanks Mike - that means a lot to me. (Feeling a bit fragile at the moment.)
Elfstone

Pronto on 09-11-2015
And so...
A fascinating piece that leaves me wanting more. A well deserved knib.

Author's Reply:
As I said above Pronto, there may be more; I have just written a sonnet about this and may publish it. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. 🙂
Elfstone

Andrea on 09-11-2015
And so...
Extremely moving, Elf. And it's not a cheek at all - you are always welcome here, you know that.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Andrea! I feel that as I haven't been critting others for some time now that it isn't fair to expect others to crit my work, but I wanted to 'put this out there'. I know I'm worn out at the moment and my judgement isn't good and as I said I'm too close to this to see it clearly.

I'm very chuffed that people have found something worthwhile in this and I'm amazed and delighted at the nomination.
Elfstone

gwirionedd on 09-11-2015
And so...
Excellent poem, very well-expressed. Unexpected ending.

I'm guessing it's about a parent, most likely a father, but I really don't know.



Author's Reply:
My thanks for your comment gwirionedd. It was my mother in fact (who died on 26th Oct. after 18 months with bone cancer).
Elfstone

stormwolf on 14-11-2015
And so...
Incredible Elf. Well worth the nomination. I can only imagine the pain and although I am facing losing my own mother before too long, reading between the lines it will be different.
Sincere condolences.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
My thanks for your kind comment Storm. It's been a tough time... and in recent years, putting it all into poetry has helped. I hope it will be different for you and if it is you are very lucky.
Elfstone


Deja Vu? (posted on: 22-09-14)
I have written nothing for quite some time, but recent events have had a profound effect ...

[IMG]http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c233/Rhovannion/Raasay%20Sept%2014/DSC00294_zps28978c05.jpg[/IMG] Deja Vu? 'Stands Scotland where she did?' Glamaig certainly still stands aloof, but now half-hidden in haze, as though regret shivers even the bones of the earth. How many years of misrule have trudged sullenly by while that mountain stood in shimmering indifference to our stupidity? The surrounding, defining sea is unnaturally calm - perhaps stunned by disbelief into silence, its swells and rollers gone in deference to our gullibility? The 'YES' sign sits forlorn on Eilean nan Ghobhar, stinging us with its rebuke. It will weather as quickly as the promises will be forgotten and soon look just as shabby. The soft, quiet air hangs down over an unhappy Sabbath like the quietude of resignation. Where are the storms of outrage? the lashing of angry breakers against insulted rock? Where is the howling wind of indignation at the bitter memory of a land that all too meekly grumbled at lies, Poll Tax and stolen resources and learnt nothing - nothing! - while MacRae's ghost haunts us yet, reeking of unanswered questions? 'Stands Scotland where she did?' who knows - who cares? After all the hopes and dreams, all the years of wishing and waiting come tears of futlilty and the anguish of deja vu. @ Elfstone 21/9/14
Archived comments for Deja Vu?
Bozzz on 23-09-2014
Where are the storms?
Sharp pointed passion whirls through your piece. All are
guilty on both sides - it is capitalism versus the care divide that is worsening by the year. Will God save mankind? Not on his showing to date. perhaps even he is leaving it too little and too late? This is a fine work. Bravo....David

Author's Reply:
Many thanks Bozzz - I've been absent from here for a while, so I am particularly grateful that someone has left a comment.
"Sharp pointed passion whirls through your piece" - what a lovely description! Glad you approve of this. Elfstone

Ionicus on 24-09-2014
Where are the storms?
Your poem is indeed full of passion, Elf. As a foreigner looking at your political scene I was quite sympathetic to the Scottish quest but whenever I tried to express an opinion on those lines I was shouted down by my unionists English friends. You have put your point of view very forcefully and it seems to me that the only consolation is that no bloody revolution took place. We'll have to wait and see if the status quo remains or if changes will happen.

Luigi x

P.S. I see that you managed to post the photo.

Author's Reply:
My thanks for your comment Luigi. "Passion"? - yes and anger; to have gone through this twice in my lifetime is sickening. "We'll have to wait and see if the status quo remains or if changes will happen. " - the status quo is untenable. Scotland will be independent one day, but I fear now that I will not live to see it.

My thanks also for advice on posting the picture. I took that on Sunday morning and, when I came back from my walk, sat down and wrote this poem. The stillness seemed so wrong in the light of what had happened. Elfstone

Mikeverdi on 25-09-2014
Where are the storms?
I only looked with a casual interest at the events, down here in the west country Scotland seems so far away. I do however try to understand, after all Scotland is only asking for what was taken from them by force; like half of the world at one time or another. I wonder now if the 'yes' vote will rest in peace or will we see the flags flying again in ten years? I will not be here to see it but I wish you well.
Mike
ps I thought you said it with great feeling, I loved it.

Author's Reply:
"I wonder now if the 'yes' vote will rest in peace or will we see the flags flying again in ten years? " - less than that I think (and hope). I suspect that the Europe referendum (such hypocrisy!) will bring the whole issue to the front again.

As always, I am grateful for your thoughts Mike and I'm pleased that you liked this. Elfstone

stormwolf on 26-09-2014
Where are the storms?
Beautifully and forcefully expressed as one who loves Scotland and feels things in the bones, as I do also.
There has been genuine grieving in many quarters, dignified and stoic....as the ancestors were.
The land itself speaks to us and gives comfort in a way that those who do not know this visceral connection can never understand.
Allow me to take into favs and nominate it an' a' 😉

Alison x


Author's Reply:
I wondered if you might catch on to this one 😉 I'm very pleased that you see something good in it and absolutely delighted that it has been nominated. By next year though the referendum will have been forgotten I fear,
"as the promises will be forgotten
and soon look just as shabby."

My grateful thanks. Elfstone

e-griff on 04-10-2014
Where are the storms?
I don't agree with your political views. But I fully recognise your passion and respect it - a natural reaction it is clear. To concentrate on writing: - what I would say about this poem (without passing judgement) is there is too much message and not enough art. In my opinion, you have the talent to write something far more powerful and convincing when you recover from what is obcviously a great disappointment for you. I look forward to that. 🙂 very best, JohnG

Author's Reply:
My thanks for reading and for your comment John. "too much message and not enough art" I think I don't understand what you are saying here; should poems not have a message? I would say two things with all my poems: firstly that it is impossible to be objective about them and secondly (and you may have read me saying this before) that I don't really write them I just scribe them. They come to me out of nowhere/everywhere. I went out for a walk that morning with no thought of poetry in my head (and took the photo above) and when I came back there it was, in my head, very suddenly. I honestly don't know how else I could express it.

You are right in that it is a bitter disappointment - we Scots were always our own worst enemies - and there may be more poetry to come on that theme. Meantime - I'm grateful for your thoughts. Elf.


gwirionedd on 21-11-2015
Deja Vu?
A beautifully-written poem full of wistfulness and disappointment. But don't get downhearted. Scotland's day will come. Pretty soon, I think.

Do you speak Gaelic? Or Scots?



Author's Reply:
How delightful to find a comment below this after over a year!

"Scotland's day will come." - yes I think it will - I am much more hopeful now than I was when I wrote that poem. 🙂

"Do you speak Gaelic? Or Scots? " neither really; my late father was a native Gaelic speaker and I have a few words, but that's about it.

Many thanks for leaving such a positive comment gwirionedd. Elfstone


Night-time Blue (posted on: 23-06-14)
This popped into my head during the UKAway to Punta Mujeres ...

Night-time Blue Hard words Out of the night-time blue, Searing the sub-tropical dusk and Thrumming through the evening quiet. I let the shock settle, Leave, trailing rat's tails of dignity. Even the cat is silent. Elfstone 15/6/14
Archived comments for Night-time Blue
Kat on 23-06-2014
Night-time Blue
Having heard you read this in your lovely, lilting Scottish voice on Lanzarote, you know already that I like it very much. It has your trademark style of poetic phrasings/beauty. The words resonate and can be interpreted in many ways.

Would be good to 'hear' you via audio as well, though I know you're still getting to grips with new camera etc. at the mo. lol

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Kat! I'm not sure about this 'Audio' thing - haven't dipped my toe in that particular pool yet and I'm not sure that I want to. I'll give it some thought. Back into the mundane things now and Punta Mujeres becoming ever more distant, 🙁 ah well. Elf.

Mikeverdi on 24-06-2014
Night-time Blue
Like this one, it has a personal note that clearly one cant get to grips with, but enough there to paint your own picture. great lines; maybe one typo...should cat be Kat 🙂
Mike X

Author's Reply:
Careful - she'll show her claws!! ;-p
Glad you liked this - one of my more enigmatic ones perhaps? Elf.

stormwolf on 24-06-2014
Night-time Blue
Short and hard-hitting. I really love to see a lot more suggested than spelled out. The last line sealed the deal.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks storm. Perhaps I *needed* to write this - 'spelling out' as you put it wouldn't be appropriate in this case and as I said to Mike - enigmatic? That's maybe not a bad thing. Elf.

Bozzz on 24-06-2014
Night-time Blue
A Cheshire cat, no doubt. Strange how discordant moments ring louder in the memory that than the enjoyment of the whole, but that is the way we are. What did I miss? ...Cheers... Bozzz.


Author's Reply:
Bozz - I'm sorry that it's taken me this long to reply - I've been south visiting my aged and ailing mother and there is no internet there.

It was a stray cat with more than a touch of Siamese I suspect! What did you miss? oh all sorts of interesting things! Maybe you just need to come on the next UKAway ...
Elf.

Ionicus on 26-06-2014
Night-time Blue
A nice descriptive poem,Elf. Why do I keep reading 'harsh' rather than 'hard'? Would that convey a stronger message than the one intended? I like the reference to the rat's tail followed by the one to the cat. If you were to make the initials of each line bolder it would make it obvious that it is an acrostic poem. Less attentive readers might miss it.

Author's Reply:
Ionicus - my apologies and please read my explanation to Bozz above.

Harsh/hard - hmmmm - not sure now which it should be. Emboldening the first letter might make it seem more .. oh I don't know - in your face, perhaps? Maybe if I took out the double spacing so that the word down the way was more easily readable?
I'm grateful for your thoughts as always. Elf.


Fair play (posted on: 02-06-14)
.. a Sonnet

Fair play We need to trust, we need to play it fair If honour is to last, to make a stand And decency be shown to strangers where True courtesy and kindness still command. So trust was given, fair and in good part, With faith in human nature's kindly ways, And only slowly, creeping doubt did start To waft around suspicion's greying haze Until that faith was broken bit by bit. Now anger drowns the erstwhile better thought, While distance banks the fire betrayal's lit - It burns - and yet the traitor knows it not. So now I rage - at someone who's not there, Who will not sense injustice foul the air! Elfstone 19/5/14
Archived comments for Fair play

No comments archives found!
Rage (posted on: 26-05-14)
Inspired by a comment on another site, my muse flared!

Rage Rage, rage - Against nothing so Banal as light! By winter's end my garden Irredeemably dying; dead. Too many of them Teeming, locust-like, Insidious, ravening. Before the onslaught Beauty born of time, labour, And aching back, but now - Rage, rage at rampant rabbits! Elfstone 28/3/14
Archived comments for Rage
JohnHolmes on 26-05-2014
Rage
Very clever, elfstone - I've just realised: double acrostic? If so, well done.

Author's Reply:
Thank you JohnHolmes and yes - a double acrostic. I love the challenge of writing them - like sonnets - and making the technical almost invisible. Elf.

Savvi on 27-05-2014
Rage
This is now twice you have done me with a subtle form that I have missed, I was about to bang on about capitals detracting from the poem bla bla bla, and then I saw two rabbits one running backwards, nice job, Keith

Author's Reply:
I love "subtle form"! 😉 Many thanks for leaving a comment Savvi - glad you approve. Elf.

sweetwater on 29-05-2014
Rage
This may seem a tad trivial, but I saw Peter rabbit in 'that' garden, being chased out, by Mr McGregor screaming at him, ( plus the 'rampant rabbit' gave a whole new meaning) I do apologise if I have belittled, or offended in any way, just wanted to share my very first impressions with you. I actually really loved this, and can feel your justifiable rage. Super write. 🙂 Sue.X

Author's Reply:
Of course I'm not offended 🙂 I'm very chuffed by your praise! Many thanks Sweetwater. Elf.


A dolorous chant (posted on: 23-05-14)
The questions linger ..

A dolorous chant How could you? What was your childhood that you know no better? What kind of family that did not install some sense of decency? What lack was there that you do not understand - or do not care to? What selfishness was taught in younger years that leaves you oblivious to integrity's demands? What shallowness prevailed back then that lets you now debase yourself in un-concern and callous disregard? The questions linger while the wrong remains. Elfstone 19/5/14
Archived comments for A dolorous chant
Mikeverdi on 23-05-2014
A dolorous chant
Wow! you are having a go this week, someone really upset you?
the tension in the words is quite clear; as was the hurt in the previous poem.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Yes I suppose I am, but that has been one of the really positive aspects to poetry writing over the years for me: the facility it offers for saying things which, generally speaking, people don't want to listen to.
"someone really upset you?" - certainly. Tension and hurt? - I'm afraid so. Thanks Mike - I'm grateful for your comment. Elf

sweetwater on 24-05-2014
A dolorous chant
I think the best poetry comes from the deepest feelings, and you have certainly conveyed that. This is such an unhappy poem
That it seems cruel to enjoy reading it. Hope things can settle. Sue XX.

Author's Reply:


Broken (posted on: 23-05-14)
Trust - such a precious thing, don't you think?

Broken Empty words echo, Nagging at my naivety. Faintly written platitudes, Apologies, count for nothing - Not for the breaking of Trust. Too easily it was given, Expecting your integrity to Reply in like kind, Repay what was given In good faith. But all your thoughts were Lies! all empty, Empty words! Elfstone 19/5/15
Archived comments for Broken
Mikeverdi on 23-05-2014
Broken
I have always believed that when your trust is abused by someone close, part of you dies; life is a little bit lonelier. The hurt in your words comes through in this Excellent poem.
Mike

Author's Reply:
That is such a perceptive comment Mike; a good part dies a little and cynicism grows in its place. I'm very chuffed that you think this excellent. 🙂 Elf.

Savvi on 23-05-2014
Broken
I agree with the sentiment broken trust has a very sharp blade, the second stanza says it all and hints at how the trust was broken but we don't really find out and that allows the reader some room which I like, the last two lines of S1 give me a problem and I have read it a few times now but keep bumping over them. I can tell you what it is but somehow they need smoothing. I enjoyed this a great deal so please don't take too much from the crit it could just be me. Best Keith

Author's Reply:
My thanks for this Savvi. I'm very grateful for your thoughts, but I'm not sure what you mean about the last two lines of the first stanza bumping? Certainly if I alter them much the chances are it would no longer be an acrostic. Elf.

Jabberwocky on 24-05-2014
Broken
An obviously emotional poem, conveys the confusion and hurt well. There are two sides to this though, one has to imagine what the other person feels, yes they betrayed your trust but not always just to spite you. Of course I'm not supporting 'betrayal' as it were, merely stating there is always more than one side to everything. Good poem, I liked it.
Yours
Jabber

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for taking the time to leave this welcome comment. 🙂
"yes they betrayed your trust but not always just to spite you" I'm not sure that I follow. I would argue that betrayal through indifference or callousness is just as hurtful as through spite, is it not?
Elf.

sweetwater on 24-05-2014
Broken
These are sentiments I can share with you, once trust is stolen away from you it can never be returned, but the knife edge of pain keeps cutting. I love the last two lines, the hurt absolutly shouts through. Sue x.

Author's Reply:
"once trust is stolen away from you it can never be returned" - exactly!
Many thanks for your comment sweetwater. Elf.

Ionicus on 24-05-2014
Broken
Sometimes, Elf, we overlook the obvious: until you pointed it out I didn't realise it was an acrostic poem. Although clever the link of 'Enfant terrible' with lack of trust is tenuous but the sentiments are well expressed in the body of the poem.

Author's Reply:
You are right of course; the link probably does seem tenuous, but he describes himself thus and my wayward muse took it and ran with it!
My thanks for your comment - I always value your opinion Ionicus.:-) Elf.


Frisson (posted on: 24-03-14)
Nearly ...

Frisson (Anticipation 2) Forever thoughts Reaching softly Into eye-deep contact. Skin touching tenderness, Sensual togetherness Opening doors of Nearly passion. Elfstone 19/03/14
Archived comments for Frisson
Mikeverdi on 24-03-2014
Frisson
Its good...but the other one is better in my opinion.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Mike thanks for stopping by. These two popped into my head so suddenly/quickly that I didn't know what to make of them. I'm always grateful for your opinion. Elf.


Anticipation (posted on: 24-03-14)
A souffl ...

Anticipation Whispers in the mind give a gentle shiver; sudden intakes of breath. The stretching of time - deliciously. A souffl of hope topped with expectation and sprinkled with skin tingles. Elfstone 19/03/14 "Anticipation" was the word for the Challenge last week and my wayward muse flung two short poems at me. There was no crit so opinions would be particularly welcome.
Archived comments for Anticipation
Mikeverdi on 24-03-2014
Anticipation
Would 'I love it' be enough, I would however lose the plural on intakes making it intake of breath...but that's just me 🙂
Mike

Author's Reply:
"Would 'I love it' be enough?" :)) it certainly would!!

Interesting comment on intake/intakes. I feel I would need 'a' if I was to use the singular, so -

'Whispers in the mind
give a gentle shiver;
a sudden intake of breath. '

Maybe that works - I'm not sure ... but I am grateful for your thoughts on this. Elf

sweetwater on 24-03-2014
Anticipation
Loved this, made me smile, also made me think of trifle's - think It was the sprinkling of tingles.

Author's Reply:
Thank you sweetwater. I'm delighted that you smiled 🙂 Elf.

pdemitchell on 25-03-2014
Anticipation
Short, distilled and well-polished - unlike me, alas.

Author's Reply:
" unlike me, alas". ... I'm sure that's not true! 😉

Grateful for your thoughts, as always. Elf.

chant_z on 25-03-2014
Anticipation
To say much with few words is pure brilliance. This poem really makes my head spin. Wonderful write.

Author's Reply:
Oh gosh! love the idea of making people's heads spin 🙂 Many thanks. Elf.

Ionicus on 26-03-2014
Anticipation
My personal opinion is very favourable. I like the description of anticipation as:
"A soufflé of hope
topped with expectation and
sprinkled with skin tingles."
I agree that "a sudden intake of breath." would be better.
Delicious instead of deliciously?
You did well to contain the poem within 8 lines, well below th 12 lines limit.
Best, Luigi

Author's Reply:
Pleased that you look "very favourably" on this. I'm beginning to come round to "a sudden intake of breath." - you and Mike are probably right. Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment 🙂 Elf.


An Honest Politician (posted on: 21-02-14)
A cynical view? ...

An Honest Politician Are there any? for certain Not at the top of the slimy pole. Hard truths and exposs Offer a jaded public No real hope of anything better. Every day we read Stories of sleaze and Tawdry tales of cronyism Presenting bleak pictures Of our would-be representatives Lolling in too great comfort, Indulging in self-aggrandisement, Taking back-handers, expenses, Indicating complete lack of compassion Conscience or understanding; Integrity? - a non-starter. They are A great clique of smug, complacent Nest-feathering numpties. Elfstone 12/02/14 written for the Challenge. 🙂
Archived comments for An Honest Politician
Nomenklatura on 21-02-2014
An Honest Politician
Nice Even-handed Voice. Excellent, Really


Author's Reply:
LOL! You've sussed out my predilection for Acrostic poetry? 🙂
Many thanks for your comment Nom. - Much appreciated. Elf.

stormwolf on 21-02-2014
An Honest Politician
ha-ha Excellent and well said. The only thing I would change is the last word 😉
(but it's a family site lol )

Alison x

Author's Reply:
well indeed! One could use gutsier language about these people, but I sometimes think poetry (and prose) is more powerful without sweary-words anyway. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment 🙂 Elf.

ValDohren on 21-02-2014
An Honest Politician
Very clever Elf. Guess you've summed them up pretty well.
Val xx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val! 🙂 Elf.

ruadh on 21-02-2014
An Honest Politician
Well said 🙂

Author's Reply:
Lovely to see you around here agin Ruadh! Thanks for reading and your comment. Elf.

Leila on 22-02-2014
An Honest Politician
Ha ha...indeed.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading Leila - this one seems to have struck a chord with people 🙂 Elf.

Nemo on 23-02-2014
An Honest Politician
Beware! BB is watching.

Gerald

Author's Reply:
Isn't it just!! Worries me sometimes.
Thanks for reading nemo 🙂 Elf.

Ionicus on 23-02-2014
An Honest Politician
Cynical view? Not at all, dear Elf, just the plain, simple truth.

Author's Reply:
My apologies for the slow reply (I've been back at the other house - no internet). I'm very pleased that you approve of this. 🙂 Elf.


Sliced words (posted on: 10-02-14)
Not listening ...

Sliced words A sentence cut, the words sliced through by a hard determination not to know. Not listening your speciality, you hear only your own need, words that claim the centre; attention your drug of choice. You talk over me, ignoring the answers to your half-hearted questions, denying my opinion, my life. What do you fear in hearing me - knowledge of your own addiction? Your quest for sympathy silences me. Elfstone 23/1/14 This is one of those 'popped-into-my-head' poems. I'm too close to it so would value your opinions.
Archived comments for Sliced words
Mikeverdi on 10-02-2014
Sliced words
I think it works well, my only thought (since you asked) is the first part could be altered. I would think on it as it's a strong piece, the word 'cut'... maybe find another. Only my opinion. I still think it worthy. Mike 🙂

Author's Reply:
It is a relief that others can see something of worth in this - it's far too personal for me to judge (de profundis clamavi te ... ). I will have a think about that word and what might replace it. Many thanks Mike for your valued opinion. Elf.

pdemitchell on 10-02-2014
Sliced words
Not bad for a short head pop - I slightly disagree with Mike as the first line creates a 'hang' for me especially as a sentence couod also mena a jail term of course. Not a lot to add to a statement about a bore talking over you and trampling your opnions...

Author's Reply:
"..a bore talking over you and trampling your opnions... " ah it's so much more than that, but hard to put into words (terrible admission for a would-be poet). My thanks pdem for your comments - much appreciated. Elf

e-griff on 11-02-2014
Sliced words
I differ from pde (seeing as he's differed from Mike 🙂 and also from mike.

I think the first verse is very effective, no need for changes - it's terse, but clear and unambiguous. The second verse explains the reason for the protest in the first (the last line) and in the third (talking over) the other effects of drug addiction on personality.

Technically, I think the last two lines of verse two could be recast to be more like the other verses and overall presentation.

and please, at the end, don't put 'me' on another line in some kind of cheap, overdramatic pause. Definitely beneath you:-) and maybe different final words (such as 'your quest for sympathy bringing words you do not want to hear') - shifting the true problem from you to him/her - see what I mean?

It's clear this was someone close. Not too close I hope. The hurt shows.

G


Author's Reply:
e-griff, I am very grateful for this comment and for the time and thought you obviously put into it. Originally I did have the last lines set differently and changed them while subbing. I think you're probably right; I'll re-edit them.
As to altering them completely - I am silenced by her attitude. I can't explain all of it here - nor would you want to hear, but that last line is more than significant, to me at least.

Interesting that you have interpreted this as about 'drug addiction' - it is in fact about attention seeking and specifically the addiction to sympathy. That in itself being much like any other addiction and so harmful. Close? - should be but isn't; hurt? bucketfuls.

Thanks again, Elf.

franciman on 11-02-2014
Sliced words
Elf this is class. You might be too close to this pop from the head verse, but I believe it is your muse who speaks. There is something particularly visceral about slice, cutting, etc. The occasional lapse into short staccato is also very telling. The last stanza has a physical structure that is particularly clever, even if unintentional, as it diminishes to the one single word line. I am assuming that drug addiction is simply an allusion to the force of this other person's 'personality'.
I have to disagree with John. There is nothing cheap or dramatic in the final 'me'. It is the final irony in the piece surely?
Anyhow, I want this in the anthology. It is raw and bristle's with emotional immediacy. You must trust your muse in these cases Elf!
cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
Goodness me! I'm very chuffed - and very grateful for such fulsome praise. You may notice that I was answering griff's comment while you were posting and I have put the last two lines back as I had them originally. Now I am not sure which is best. I did think while subbing that the poem needed to subside, to drift away into something small, as I feel I so often do with her. I will think about it and then I will probably 'put the poem away' and then come back to it afresh at some point in the near future before I decide how to leave it.

I'm thrilled that you have nominated this - many thanks. Elf

e-griff on 11-02-2014
Sliced words
Ah, perhaps slip in a 'self addiction' to clarify.

And the last line might read better as 'has silenced me'

Anyway, as always, up to you. 😉

Author's Reply:
Thanks again. Interesting how a change of tense changes perception of the poem. "Silences me" is now and continuing, whereas "has silenced me" is over and done with. I'm grateful for your attention to this. Elf.

stormwolf on 11-02-2014
Sliced words
Hi Elf

I totally resonated with this poem so much so, that I wish I had written it 😉



I have recently endured a situation that could have stimulated a poem such as this.

I think the first line of the second stanza deserves a full stop.

"Not listening your speciality, "

You are nailing the issue on the head and so this is a stand alone line.
In the third stanza should it not be half-hearted ?
The second line in final stanza (to me) should have a capital letter as the preceding line is so complete in itself.

I thought this was great and would have nominated it but will take it into favs instead.



Alison x





Author's Reply:
Storm - apologies for the delay in replying; I've been caught up in the joy of selling my house at last!
I'm delighted that you respond to this, although sorry that you too have experienced this situation. I'm afraid I disagree with the full stop suggestion. "Not listening your speciality, " is a clause not a complete sentence (no verb) so has to end with a comma. In the final stanza, I think I have too many question marks; I'll change that. You are spot on with the typo - how did I keep missing it? Many thanks - your comment is much appreciated. Elf.

jdm4454 on 12-02-2014
Sliced words
Didn't read it before now-don't much care about punctuation or spelling...but I think it is perfect. Speaks to very familiar subject...my wife. She told me once she married me, not because I listened to her, but because I heard her...that I listened to her like her ideas had worth....I miss her. thanks for the read -- it is indeed "a great read"........jim

Author's Reply:
I have to offer you the same apology as Stormwolf above - I have been much involved with the beginnings of the legal processes involved in transferring ownership of the house I used to live in. Many thanks for your kind comments Jim. I'm chuffed that you think well of this. Hoping the memories it has brought back to you are not too painful. Elf.

stormwolf on 13-02-2014
Sliced words
Hi again Elf
Great news on the house. Yes, in my exuberance and enthusiasm I did not notice the line had no verb! 😉

Author's Reply:

Kat on 03-03-2014
Sliced words
Love this - excellent writing. I think it 'suits you' to share more personal poems, meaning that I think you've written this in a more open and obvious way than some of your other work (which is also personal), meaning, your work is always tight and very good, meaning, I sense a realisation in your writing self/self, an insight, that has enabled you to write a personal poem with perhaps a bit more 'knowing' distance... ? lol No idea what I mean anymore, but it's going in my cocktail cabinet beside my fine malts...

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Kat - how good to see/hear you again! Many thanks for reading and leaving what is a very observant comment. You seem to have an insight into my writing. I like the idea of one of my poems going beside fine malts; I just hope some of them are Islay malts. 😉

PS there is a (very tentative) move to arrange another UKAway this year - I wonder if you might be interested? Link here: http://ukauthors.com/phorum5/read.php?94,225318


Paint (posted on: 07-02-14)
Tomorrow, perhaps ...

Paint Patterns creep slowly trailing random colours. Across the empty page shades suggest possibility. Intricate brushstrokes reflect tight, unspoken emotion. Nagging, unkind grey drags down inspiration. Tomorrow, perhaps, I will paint another ..? Elfstone 5/2/14 Another one for the weekly Challenge - http://ukauthors.com/phorum5/read.php?54,226536
Archived comments for Paint
Nomenklatura on 07-02-2014
Paint
I think, with your layout on the 'page' the bold initial letters might be un-necessary. This doesn't detract from a fine piece.
regards
EW

Author's Reply:
I agree EW, but when I previewed this in the subs page the indentations didn't appear so I emboldened the letters. Somehow or other the indentations have arrived - not sure how. I will try editing again. Many thanks for your valued comment. Elf.

Edit: that worked! 🙂

franciman on 07-02-2014
Paint
Hi Elf,

'Intricate brushstrokes reflect
tight, unspoken emotion'.

I love these lines. In fact I really enjoyed it all and thought it should have been the winner.
cheers,
Jim


Author's Reply:
Oh, thank you franciman. I love being back involved in the Challenge, if for nothing else just to see the way different people approach the same word. Elf.

Mikeverdi on 07-02-2014
Paint
'Nagging, unkind grey drags down inspiration' you must have been looking out of my window at the weather 🙂 Excellent writing and well worth the Nib. Mike

Author's Reply:
My thanks for such a gracious comment. The weather here (unusually this winter) is stunning today; bright, pale blue sky, no wind, that 'just-before-Spring' feeling in the air. I could write a sonnet about it, but instead I'm going to spend the time this afternoon walking with friends. 😉 Elf.

Ionicus on 07-02-2014
Paint
A good one Elf. Until I read Ewan's comment I hadn't realised that it was an acrostic

Luigi:-)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi. I like the discipline of 'technical' writing. This one seemed to work. 🙂 Elf.

Nemo on 08-02-2014
Paint
I love the skill with which you have created amazing lines from a mere five letters. Regards, Gerald.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for a lovely comment memo. Elf.


History (posted on: 03-02-14)
.. the long telling of the years ..

History Lest we forget, we speak powdered words in red-floored halls full of timeless pomposity; the cultured, practised pageant of togetherness - reassurance that history is ours. And in all the long telling of the years remembrance drifts into sculptured certainty that 'The Past' is to be recalled only as a selected comfort, without question. And the words of ancestors, the heritage of peoples, the struggle and the pain, forgotten. And while we shut our minds, turn away from bitter truth, raindrops of clear knowledge drip from a saddening sky into puddles of ignorance. Elfstone 22/1/14 Written for the Challenge.
Archived comments for History
Mikeverdi on 03-02-2014
History
I likes this, particularly the second stanza, more than a ring of truth too it. Mike

Author's Reply:
Many thanks Mike - glad you like it. Join us in the Challenge some day ...? Elf.

Bozzz on 03-02-2014
History
This is classic - 'powdered words' - great. History forgets our ill gotten gains, our bad behaviour in their so doing - it is the treacle on porridge - to be savoured, but never chewed on seriously. Seriously good piece, Elf......David

Author's Reply:
"History forgets our ill gotten gains ..." indeed it does. I must say I love having time to take part in the weekly Challenge again - it's a great source of inspiration. Thank you for reading and leaving such a positive comment - much appreciated. Elf.

jdm4454 on 03-02-2014
History
"And the words of ancestors,

the heritage of peoples,

the struggle and the pain,

forgotten."



you captured the precise point as to why we are doomed to repeat our failures--- It is like when I hear people talk about how they wish they could roll back time to the 1950's again--- too much "Happy Days" syndrome -- the true reality of that time was the only people really happy were middle class white men... the rich weren't happy, they paid 90% taxes, women and people of color couldn't have been very happy as they were ignored or belittled, or used as the butt of jokes, children were seen, not heard while the KING wandered thru his 3 bedroom, 1and 1/2 bath tract castle.

Author's Reply:

franciman on 03-02-2014
History
Great Poetry. I love verse that has the bite of realism.
cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
Thank you Jim. "Realism" or perhaps cynicism?
Glad you approve. Elf.

Savvi on 04-02-2014
History
Congrats on the nib Elf when I read this the first time I thought it was excellent and it just gets better each time I read it you have packed a great deal into your lines on bare witness to it all. Thanks Keith

Author's Reply:
I'm very grateful for such fulsome praise Savvi. 🙂 Elf.

barenib on 04-02-2014
History
I like this too, it has a very authentic ring to the way you've quietly and clearly couched the language - John.

Author's Reply:
I'm always very pleased when people respond to my poetry. 🙂 Many thanks for reading and leaving such a kind comment. Elf.

Nomenklatura on 09-02-2014
History
This is a quality poem.
Regards
Ewan

Author's Reply:
I always love it when someone leaves a comment when the poem is no longer in the 'new' subs! 🙂 I'm very grateful for your response. Elf


Silence (posted on: 31-01-14)
A wonderful place, a wonderful week; a door opened in my mind ...

Silence Shimmering mimosa fronds, Sun-dancing delicacy, Greet my early mornings. Tea in a coffee pot From the kettle-less kitchen. And always, always, The endless breeze Soft surf sounds soothe, Teasing out the tangle in my brain. The electric blue Atlantic Corruscates through my healing. And always, always, The endless breeze. Devil's mountain, Timanfaya Numbs my mind to humility. Tortured earth defeats me. Where language falls into insignificance, And words squirm, hiding inadequacy, 'Rex Tremendae Majestatis' thunders out And the soul of Man becomes A whisper. And still - always - The endless breeze. Caverns of wonder, Deep, liquid serenity. Volcanic bubbles holding still An ancient hush. Cool, sinking peace Becalms my spirit and The endless breeze is Silent.
Elfstone 2002 Remembered this as a result of a conversation with Mersault. I thought I had posted this years ago, but it turns out I didn't. The writing course I attended in Lanzarote is what started me writing poetry.
Archived comments for Silence
Mikeverdi on 31-01-2014
Silence
I think this is wonderful, so many excellent words and phrases...'And words squirm, hiding inadequacy' That's a feeling I know well. Top marks from me.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Oh wow - thanks Mikeverdi! I was uncertain about posting this - it's SO long since I wrote it (my second poem ever and inspired by that writing course). While in Lanzarote we took the bus journey around Timanfaya and I was struck dumb by what I saw; the magnitude of it left me genuinely speechless. Sometimes words are just that - inadequate.

Delighted that this gets such a positive response. Elf.

Nemo on 31-01-2014
Silence
A life-affirming poem. Whose 'Rex Tremendae Majestatis' are you listening to? Mozart's, I hope, and most appropriate for the setting you so vividly evoke. Here's personal note, be free to ignore it: except where a sentence starts it's preferable, (modern fashion) to start lines with lower case letters. I also think left-hand adjustment looks better. Hope you don't mind my pointing out sp. 'corruscate.'

Author's Reply:
Thanks nemo. The bus (see my answer to Mikeverdi above) had a recorded commentary which we listened to on headphones and at one particularly spectacular point the bus stopped and the commentary stopped and it was Mozart's Rex Tremendae which was played. I think whatever one's religious beliefs (or lack thereof) it was incredibly appropriate.

My thanks also for the crit. I would agree with your comment on lowercase letters where a poem is left justified, but somehow when it is centered uppercase looks better, to my mind (can't really explain that!). Most of my poems are left justified, but this one just seemed 'right' laid out like this. I think it probably does depend on the poem itself. Elf.

ValDohren on 31-01-2014
Silence
Beautifully descriptive, and Mozart's Requiem is one of my favs. Great poem Elfstone, many superb lines.
Val x


Author's Reply:
Many thanks ValDohren 🙂 The Mozart Requiem is the only piece of Classical music that I really like. At that point in the tour it was overwhelming. So pleased you like this. Elf.

amman on 01-02-2014
Silence
Oh my, this is very good. Beautifully, poetically descriptive and the alliteration in 3rd stanza and repetitiveness of 'the endless breeze/silence' particularly effective. Some fine phraseology going on here although not quite sure about 'corruscates through my healing'?
Regards.
Tony.

Author's Reply:
Amman, thank you for such a positive comment. 🙂

I'm not sure what you're not sure about with that phrase. I felt, that week, that I went through some sort of healing process after some difficulties (and I think looking back that poetry was a part of that ) and the sea (about 50 yards from the flat) sparkled throughout the week. Ofttimes I would just sit and look far out to sea - it was mesmerising. Elfstone.

Bozzz on 01-02-2014
Silence
Excellent descriptive piece. I wish I had felt like that about the island, poisoned for me by the myriad of speculative holiday bungalows - each with pool. Delighted you found a good spot.....David

Author's Reply:
Thanks Bozzz! We were in a lovely wee village; peaceful, lots of time to think, ideal for a week's writing. Elf.

Savvi on 02-02-2014
Silence
You do the place justice, and capture it whole in your descriptive lines, subtle alliteration always gets me and it runs like lava through the piece. Loved it and the thermal roasted chicken isn't too bad either. Best Keith

Author's Reply:
Many thanks Savvi. I remember that barbecue over the lava pit! - the heat coming from it was impressive. Delighted that you approve of this. Elf.

pdemitchell on 06-02-2014
Silence
Hi Elfstone - great alliteration and imagery and the breeze refrain following rule of three. Dee-light-full. Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
"Rule of three"? I don't know anything about a rule of three I'm afraid, but I'm pleased that you approve of this. Many thanks for reading and commenting. Elf.

sweetwater on 07-04-2014
Silence
I can't add anything more to what has already been said, so I will just say Thank you for giving me such a treat to read. Wonderful. Sue.

Author's Reply:
Goodness me what a lovely comment. It always delights me when one of my poems receives a comment some time after the posting day - thank you. Elf.


The Sun (posted on: 10-01-14)
Never mind those storm-clouds ...

The Sun Tangles of reds and tinted pinks Hold an instant of sunrise in Expectant glances of possiblity, Soothing shifting of colours, Unhurried merging of Night into dawning potential. Teasing light bounces from Hectic clouds shifting Everywhere and nowhere. Still at the start, there is hope in Unknown days to be discovered. Never mind those storm-clouds ... Elfstone 8/1/14 This won the Challenge on 8th Jan. so I thought I'd give it an airing here.
Archived comments for The Sun
ValDohren on 20-01-2014
The Sun
Can't believe no comments or ratings - this is lovely Elfstone, so descriptive and atmospheric.
Val 🙂

Author's Reply:
Oh, I thought this had slipped away into some black hole in the ether! 🙂 Thanks ValDohren for reading and leaving a comment - I'm very pleased that someone finds something worthwhile in it. Elfstone


Melancholia (posted on: 06-01-14)
This was written for last week's Challenge : Weekly Challenge.

Melancholia Memories weaving Endless nets of Longing for otherness. Aware, snidely, that Nothing makes up for Cruelty long past, Hope frustrates and teases. Only endurance pulls out Lingering strands of stoicism; I was - I am - Alone. Elfstone 31/12/2013 It is a long time since I had either the time or energy to take part, but it is lovely to be back. I recommend the Challenge to all of you as an excellent source of both inspiration and writing discipline.
Archived comments for Melancholia
Ionicus on 07-01-2014
Melancholia
A plaintive and expressive poem, Elf. The last stanza is particularly cogent.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading Luigi. It was so long since I had written anything (15 months!) that I was very uncertain of the two poems which suddenly popped out. As ever with the Challenge, I was unsure where my muse would take me - I'm pleased that this has found some favour. Elfstone

Andrea on 07-01-2014
Melancholia
And may I add that it's just lovely to have you back 🙂

Author's Reply:
Awwww thanks! :-))

stormwolf on 08-01-2014
Melancholia
Not a word wasted, concise and heart-wrenching, summed up very perfectly in the starkness of the last 2 lines.

Alison x

Author's Reply:
Many thanks Storm. It's good to know that I can still produce something worthwhile. Elfstone.


Bells! (posted on: 03-01-14)
This changing of the year ...

Bells! And all the monumental years line up in passive queues dripping disappointment, dowsing expectation in a cold slush of reality. This changing of the year, this bell-ringing of Time into another span of delusion, taunts our pretence. Bells! bells! beat your tolling fervour with clappers of cynicism; the years grind carelessly on and the spent fireworks of our dreams litter the pavements of our souls. Elfstone 31/12/13
Archived comments for Bells!
Nomenklatura on 03-01-2014
Bells!
Glum, but v e r y well done.
Regards
Ewan

Author's Reply:
Glum? yes perhaps; did you maybe detect a tinge of anger? I loathe Hogmanay and more so as the years progress. Anyway this is the first thing I've written in over a year(!) so it carries a sense of relief with it. I'm pleased that you approve. My thanks Nomenklatura. 🙂

Mikeverdi on 03-01-2014
Bells!
I am happy to return the compliment you paid me by reading this, the first in over a year? I like the note of cynicism. The first verse is brilliant in my opinion. Mike

sorry should have been a nine.... oppps

Author's Reply:
"Brilliant" is high praise. It's been so long since I did any writing that I'm uncertain whether I can still produce anything of worth. My thanks Mike; you helped my confidence. :-). Elfstone

ValDohren on 03-01-2014
Bells!
Being an all-time cynic, this one did it for me. I thought this was very well written and expresses what many of us really feel behind all the festivities.
Best wishes for the New Year nevertheless.
Regards.
Val

Author's Reply:
"Being an all-time cynic, ..." - I would not have guessed that from you poetry!

I'm pleased that this rings a bell with you. Thanks for stopping by to read and leave a comment - much appreciated. And a happy New Year to you too. 🙂 Elfstone


Crying air (posted on: 26-08-13)
Posted as per Andrea's request. Some of you may remember this from a couple of years back. I edited it slightly and presented it for the Spring Poetry Competition - this gained 3rd place. 🙂

Crying air It calls to me this West coast wind, its voice distinct, its accent born of mournful stone, soft water, rough places. Its dialect of loss, of passing lives and fading memories, contains the grief of ages. It wails across moors knee-deep in bleakness, through hollow glens full of emptiness, trailing grey light and storm and whipping anger into random squalls, seeking, yes seeking and losing. Finding nothing to hold to, it howls its way across un-answering seas. Its moaning tells of ancientness, endurance and un-sated yearning, a lonely sifting through all that has been and all that never will. This West coast wind, this crying air, whispers through all the holes in my soul.
Archived comments for Crying air
Mikeverdi on 26-08-2013
Crying air
I love this poem, I was hooked from the start. 'It wails across moors knee- deep in bleakness' so many beautiful lines. Thank you for posting it ( and Thanks for asking for it boss)

Author's Reply:
Gosh! I'm very chuffed by that. I thought that people would maybe pass this by given that it has been on the site before. Thanks mike - delighted that you approve. 🙂

Weefatfella on 23-11-2013
Crying air
 photo 9ad6ff1f-0d9b-467e-b5d6-2d3f72a688a0_zps705a5781.jpg

Absolutely beautiful.
The calling wind in itself is evocative.
The words rough and soft, bring the rolling sea to my mind at least.
The wind, passing not just through the country, but witnessing everything.

This stanza>>
It wails across moors
knee-deep in bleakness,
through hollow glens
full of emptiness,
trailing grey light and storm
and whipping anger
into random squalls,
seeking, yes seeking
and losing.

This reminds me of the Highland clearances. Finding nothing, angered the wind runs across the sea; Fantastic.
The last two stanzas tell me you are just as angry as the wind itself.
Absolutely beautiful and a delight to both read and experience.
Thank You very much for this Elfstone. I loved it. Well obviously.
Weefatfella.


Author's Reply:
How delightful to get a comment after all this time. I'm so pleased that this has struck a chord with you and yes, there is something of the Clearances - inevitably - in this and of course something of me too.

I believe you have made this a favourite and myself a hot author!! *curtsies deeply and blushes*

My grateful thanks to you 🙂

Nomenklatura on 31-12-2013
Crying air
Glad I looked in too! If it hadn't have been nominated, I would have done so.

Ewan

Author's Reply:
Oh! thank you! - very pleased that you approve and I hadn't noticed that it had been nominated, so thank you for drawing my attention to that. Elf.


Riddles (posted on: 12-10-12)
This is a wee thing I wrote for someone ... a piece of poetic fluff really, but I think maybe it's got something? Anyway it's the only thing my stress levels have allowed me to write for what seems like an age of the world, so I offer it for your comments.

Riddles Meditations on time passing remembering days, smiles, tears, in years now gone, to comfort our aging. Murmuring futures hint at eternities, while time distills into riddles of now.
Archived comments for Riddles
Nomenklatura on 12-10-2012
Riddles
Short, but perfectly formed. (I draw a veil over how that might apply to myself :-O )

Succinct. Welcome back.



Author's Reply:
Many thanks Nom. Glad you liked it and thanks for the welcome -it's been a busy, difficult summer. It's good just to have time for the site and thinking about getting back to writing again. Elf.

Mikeverdi on 12-10-2012
Riddles
Rather like the first comment, I feel related to this more than I would wish! Beautiful. Mike

Author's Reply:
I'm always very chuffed when people feel they can relate to what I've written. 🙂 Thanks Mike. Elf.

Bozzz on 12-10-2012
Riddles
Love your brief poem, though more ectoplasm than fluff I feel.
'Age turns anger into gentler thought
As ‘yesterdays’ become our last resort.'
David



Author's Reply:
Goodness me! Ectoplasm eh? Well that's a first in terms of comments :-D.
What is your quote from? Elf.

BATEMAN on 12-10-2012
Riddles
A brief but beautiful poem, it's true people do mellow the older they get, they've learnt to enjoy the life they've been given xxxx

Author's Reply:
Delighted that you found something good in this.
"They've learnt to enjoy the life they've been given" golly! I could write a book I that - substitute "tolerate" for "enjoy" and I might move closer to agreement. Elf.

ValDohren on 12-10-2012
Riddles
Short and sweet, but not all memories bring comfort I fear.

Val

Author's Reply:
Oh you are so right! Too many unhappy memories, but that is where poetry helps I find. Writing is therapeutic to some extent. Elf.

Andrea on 13-10-2012
Riddles
Well, it's a very nice piece of fluff indeed!

Author's Reply:
MAny thanks Andrea. 🙂

Weefatfella on 13-10-2012
Riddles
Photobucket
It's not always good to reflect, but if you tune into the proper station, it can be a comfort.
If we learn from experience and accept ourselves, we can win. made me think.
I don't have much but I utilise space well.
Thanks for sharing.
Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
"It's not always good to reflect," - you're right, but sometimes it is unavoidable.
Many thanks for your comment. Elf.

Bozzz on 13-10-2012
Riddles
Hi Elf,
At least ectoplasm is supposed to contain a face or message.from the past, but fluff is just what comes off clothes. It was a compliment to you.

The couplet is from a poem I wrote when my brother died recently. he was what I call a 'Trousers down philanthropist' (poetspeak for randy bugger), but sadly died of dementia.
I loved him dearly. In friendship, David



Author's Reply:
My thanks for the clarity Buzz - and the compliment 🙂
I'm sorry about the loss of your brother; poetry is a good way of shaping our grief. It is a very striking couplet. Perhaps you would consider posting the whole poem? Elf.

sullivan on 13-10-2012
Riddles
Its strength is most assuredly in its brevity... Enjoyed it immensely.

Author's Reply:
That leaves me very chuffed. Thanks sullivan. Elf


Tigh mo Shenair (posted on: 12-03-12)
As per Andrea's request to the winners of the Poetry Comp to post on the main site (this gained second place).

Tigh mo Shenair The westering sun sinking to hide behind Luskentyre lets slip a spill of light. It shines unkindly on the house on the hill, its warmth no longer reflected. It seems to mock the empty cold, the shabby whitewash , the broken windows, the rotting frames. If silence could weep . . . Sheep wander past uncaringly; the wind nibbles at bits of ragged curtain. Seagulls stand disdainfully on the fragile roof. The little garden, so hard won from the acid moor, is a home to weeds, its walls slowly crumbling. If silence could weep . . . The decay pulls a wrap of mournfulness about itself, as if in guilty shame, to hide the fading past. The emptiness gathering there draws the heart out of me. I laughed there, in that house, ate oatcakes in the morning, and heard psalms said at night. I slept there the blessed sleep of all that is good and peaceful, breathing the deep content and soft air of the beloved West. If silence could only weep . . . Elfstone 17/1/06 (Tigh mo Shenair = My Gradnfather's House)
Archived comments for Tigh mo Shenair
Bradene on 12-03-2012
Tigh mo Shenair
Beautiful poetry Well done Elf. Valx

Author's Reply:
Many thanks Val, glad you like it. 🙂
Elf.

Andrea on 12-03-2012
Tigh mo Shenair
Wonderful stuff, Elf. I think poor John had a lot of trouble judging the comp 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andrea - it is maybe not bad thing to give an 'oldie' a fresh airing. I was immensely pleased to be placed in the Comp. Elf.

Ionicus on 12-03-2012
Tigh mo Shenair
I enjoyed this fine poem before but it is a real pleasure to re-read it, Elf.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks for that Luigi; as I said above to Andrea, it is possibly a good idea to get some of these old poems out and dust them down. I am *very* chuffed that someone has nominated this. Elf

stormwolf on 12-03-2012
Tigh mo Shenair
Brilliant!
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison! Delighted that this has struck a chord. Elf.

sunken on 14-03-2012
Tigh mo Shenair
Smashing poem, Ms. Elf. Well done on your success in the competition. Very well deserved judging by this and no mistake.

s
u
n
k
e
n

fish cake supplier to the stars

Author's Reply:
Sorry - I've only just caught up with your comments - haven't had time to look at my emails. Many thanks Uncle Sunky; I'm delighted you approve of this! MsElf

ChairmanWow on 14-03-2012
Tigh mo Shenair
Elfstone,
Gorgeous imagery here in this wistful nostalgia. Poetry in the place names. We all long to go home to a place that doesn't exist anymore. Congrats from the third place guy.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
"We all long to go home to a place that doesn't exist anymore" - oh I think there's a poem in there waiting to be let out!
Many thanks for reading and for that valued comment. Congrats to yourself too - it was fun - I hope Andrea will do another poetry comp in the future. Elfstone


Write (posted on: 23-01-12)
I haven't written anything for a while - and then the Challenge prompted this:

Write Write, she said. . . .and if I write the drooping phrases, settling the sad story in piangevole sentences of sorrowed prose . . . . .and if I write the jagged sentences, stabbing the bitter meanings, with the broken blades of violent tellings . . . . .and if I write the anguished words, the burning clauses, the aching paragraphs of pained narration . . . . .and if I write these hurting truths (and write them well), if I pour down the ink of living through the pen of my seeing, covering the heartless page in hopeless honesty - will you read? or will you turn away? Elfstone 16/1/12 the weekly Challenge is a rich source of inspiration for those of us who take part - come join us 🙂
Archived comments for Write
franciman on 23-01-2012
Write
Hi there,

A really worthy winner. The repeat of "and if I write" gives it pace and structure and a pleading quality which is at the same time child-like and very grown-up. I really enjoyed this.

cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
Many thanks franciman; "at the same time child-like and very grown-up" - I like that! maybe that's me?! Many thanks for reading this again and for such a good rating. Elf.

Andrea on 23-01-2012
Write
I think this is absolutely outstanding, Elf - rousing, stirring stuff, a worthy winner and completely deserving of the nib and nom.

Me, I might be tempted to ditch the last line ('or will you turn away?') as I think it's stronger without it, but that's just me, and I ain't no poet, believe me 🙂

Author's Reply:
Golly . . I'm humbled and delighted by such praise and I am more than chuffed by the nomination.
Interesting that comment you made about the last line and I will give your suggestion thought of course, but the moment I'm not sure; last lines are so important I think. It's the turning away (which happens so often) that matters and maybe it's that which prompts the question?
Thanks Andrea. Elf.

Ionicus on 23-01-2012
Write
A great effort, Elf, and how clever of you to use the word 'piangevole' in the right context. Don't tell me that you have Italian blood in your veins.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
I don't have Italian blood (mi dispiace) - some Irish I believe along with the Celtic/Pictish/Viking mix! Piangevole is a word used in music, which is how I know it - glad you approve 🙂 Thanks for reading again. Elf

ChairmanWow on 23-01-2012
Write
Fine work. Really like the "heartless page" even though I haven't taken a real pen to real paper in a while.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks Chairmanwow, for leaving such an encouraging comment. Pages can be "heartless" on a screen as much as paper don't you think? Elf

barenib on 24-01-2012
Write
Superb stuff and I would have nominated it had it not been already - it deserves to appear in a writers' collection as a comment on writing and the feelings we all sometimes have. John.

Author's Reply:
*Blushes deeply* I'm delighted this one has struck a chord with people. Many thanks for reading and leaving that lovely comment. Elf.

Kat on 24-01-2012
Write
A hottie for me and I agree with barenib.

I still remember you as the lovely Scottish compatriate I met on the writing holiday in Lanzarote in 2004 with Duncan and crew. Do you remember how you tried to get me to play the accordion in one of the local restaurants we went to? :^)

Best wishes

Kat/Kim x

Author's Reply:
I've just had an email telling me that you've made this a Hot Story - I'm very chuffed!! Thank you!

Gosh! have you brought back memories 🙂 I believe it was 2002; (ten years - where does the time go?!!) I wanted to go back to Writesun (because I enjoyed it so much) but we had a big holiday in Canada in 2003 and by 2004 Duncan had died. I wonder if it is still possible to rent those flats - they would be ideal for a UKAway, don't you think?
Elf.

sunken on 25-01-2012
Write
I think you have he answer to your question, Elf. We will read. Well done on the nib and nom. Commiserations on the Bernard. You can't have everything it seems. Top stuff and no mistake.

s
u
n
k
e
n



Author's Reply:
Wow - a Bernard too! You know I love getting Bernards; give him a scratch behind the ears from me - and a beagle biscuit while your at it. Elf.

Kat on 26-01-2012
Write
Wow you're right re 2002. 10 years ago. Amazing. I have never forgotten how beautiful it was there with all its authenticity and beauty. I agree that Arrieta would be perfect for a UKAway, and when I'm based in Scotland again (should be by the summer), I'd be up for it.

Well done again on this super poem.

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Arrieta - that was it! Do you remember those caves? magical - and the sangria for elevenses!! ;-)) Might do some investigating - it would be lovely to meet up again.
Thanks, Elf.

stormwolf on 26-01-2012
Write
So nice to see you posting again Elf. 🙂
This was worth waiting for. A poem full of questions and deep feeling. Well done on the nominations and the nib too. I can relate to the subject.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
I'm amazed ( and delighted of course) at the response to this one - it was written in a bit of a rush. Mind you, a lot of my poems are. Many thanks for stopping by to leave a comment Storm. Elf.


Sinking sun (posted on: 19-09-11)
Just spent a wonderful weekend in Raasay, with glorious sunshine, brilliant blue skies and this . . .

Sinking sun Swallows surfing the clean air, chatter-dancing on wild sun-sparkling spaces. Drinking the last of the summer sun - a poor vintage - they will go soon, squabbling their way to faraway places. Summersaulting air pockets and trampolining thermals, they bicker - bragging rights for acrobatics up for grabs. Ah, but the wind whispers of coolness on mountains and chill on the moors; there's winter to come with a sinking sun, snow on the way and Africa calls on quiet breezes. Elfstone 18/9/2011
Archived comments for Sinking sun
e-griff on 19-09-2011
Sinking sun
Nice wee pome, Lil! 🙂 happy place ...

Author's Reply:
Very happy (or would be if I wasn't having problems with the Aga engineer). Glad you liked my pome.

Andrea on 19-09-2011
Sinking sun
Beautiful, Elf!

Author's Reply:
Thanks boss :-)) much appreciated.

Ionicus on 19-09-2011
Sinking sun
A good one, Elf.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for popping in to read Luigi. Pleased you liked it.

stormwolf on 19-09-2011
Sinking sun
This left me with such lovely images. It is a snapshot in time and speaks of changing seasons and inevitability. I liked the way you described the birds surfing the clean air...the air there must be amonst the cleanest you can get. A lovely poem much enjoyed.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
My thanks, storm.
"the air there must be amonst the cleanest you can get."
isn't it just! and the water tastes gorgeous too. Elf.

Corin on 19-09-2011
Sinking sun
Have you still got sswallows all the way up there? I haven't seen any for days. I think it is just the younng swallows that do not migrate until September or October.

I did think it might be reordered a little - What do you think?


Sinking sun

Swallows surfing
the clean air,
chatter-dancing on
wild sun-sparkling spaces,
Drinking the last of
the summer sun
- a poor vintage.
Summersaulting air pockets
and trampolining thermals,
they bicker - bragging rights
for acrobatics up for grabs.

Ah, but the wind whispers of
coolness on mountains
and chill on the moors;
There's winter to come
with a sinking sun,
snow on the way
and Africa calls
on quiet breezes.
They will go soon,
squabbling their way to
faraway places.


David

Author's Reply:
Yes we do - or did at the weekend; who knows, they may have all flown away today 😉

Your re-ordering of my poem was interesting, but I don't think it works as well that way:
"Drinking the last of
the summer sun
- a poor vintage. "

on it's own like that doesn't "sit right" and I do like the idea of ending quietly with Africa calling, rather than with squabbling.

Many thanks for time and thought you obviously put into this. 🙂 Elf

franciman on 20-09-2011
Sinking sun
Hi Elf,

I am very happy living in South Central France. However, this called me home like nothing I've read for a while. Really excellent.

Author's Reply:
Thank you franciman 🙂 I'm sure south central France must have its attractions - warmth for one! Pleased that this 'spoke' to you. Elf.

teifii on 21-09-2011
Sinking sun
Beautiful, Elf. I prefer your order. I like the way you have incorporated the birds, the place and the seasons so skilfully.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks teiffi - I'm delighted that this has hit a chord with people.


Crying air (posted on: 22-08-11)
This was prompted by last week's Challenge, but it was too late, so I'm putting it here instead. (What I forgot to say is that it was written in Raasay - yesterday - the first thing I've written there since buying the cottage.:-D )

Crying air It calls to me this West coast wind, its voice distinct, its accent born of mournful stone, soft water, rough places. Its dialect of loss, of passing lives and fading memories, contains the grief of ages. It wails across moors knee-deep in bleakness, through hollow glens full of emptiness, trailing grey and storm and whipping anger into random squalls, seeking, yes, and losing. Finding nothing to hold to, it moans its way across unanswering seas. Its whisper tells of ancientness, kindness and unsated yearning; a quiet sifting through all that has been and all that never will. This West coast wind, this crying air drifts through all the holes in my soul. Elfstone 21/8/11
Archived comments for Crying air
niece on 23-08-2011
Crying air
This is beautiful, Elfstone...I find the mourning of a strong wind very eerie and beautiful at one and the same time...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
"eerie and beautiful" - yes it is, but over there in the West it is more than that and I haven't yet found a way to express it. Maybe this poem gives a flavour of it? Many thanks for leaving a comment 🙂 Elfstone

RachelLW on 24-08-2011
Crying air
Some excellent lines. Liked it very much. Nicely conjured sense of wind. Rachel 🙂

Author's Reply:
Many thanks Rachel - delighted that you liked it. With regard to the conjuring up of wind - see my reply to niece. Thanks again for leaving a comment. Elfstone.

Corin on 24-08-2011
Crying air
A great description of wildness and loneliness here Elf. It sounds like a great place to live. I think Sheley would approve 🙂

"O WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being—
Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes!"

David

Author's Reply:
"A great description of wildness and loneliness here" - thank you. I hope I have captured something of the very special quality of the wind in the Islands. And yes it is a lovely place to live! Thanks for leaving a comment. Elf.


Deception (posted on: 08-04-11)
Well, do you know what cinnabar is?

Deception Cinnabar, cinnabar, like fragrant spice you wind around my tongue, teasing out delicious prospects of sensuous petals trailing over perfumed skin, of teasing glances from widening eyes and sweet wine kisses inviting explorations through passionate gardens laden with nectar-ripe flowers; white alabaster pillars - cloisters of possibility, tesserae and palm fronds - sipping cooling breezes into the tempting shade; silken pillows whispering of sinking pleasures in subtle places, incognito. All from a word - such a flavoured word but such a deception, twisting disappointment - this rock, this ore, this cinnabar. Elfstone. 5/4/11 Another one for the weekly challenge; you're all welcome to join in.
Archived comments for Deception
royrodel on 10-04-2011
Deception
made my mouth water

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 11-04-2011
Deception
Thanks royrodel for taking the time to read an comment. Glad you liked it. Elfstone

Author's Reply:


Age (posted on: 04-04-11)
The Challenge word was "recognition".

Age How shall it be when I drift in old age; How shall I find a thought to comfort me? Where shall I find a route from that dark cage When all that's left is all the mind can see? If grief at all that wasn't clouds the heart And each cold thought reveals an empty past, Where should the search for soothing solace start Where does the ravaged soul find quiet at last? If cruel recognition twists the knife, Showing crushing years for what they are: Reflections of a blasted, wasted life Warped into a never healing scar, How shall it be, shall I be burned by rage Or weeping slow, when I drift in old age. Elfstone 29/3/11
Archived comments for Age
Nomenklatura on 04-04-2011
Age
A very fine sonnet, reflective and sad.

As I said in the forum, this would have been my choice.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks Nomenklatura. I find writing sonnets both challenging and rewarding. If I have succeeded with this one I am very chuffed. Elf.

stormwolf on 04-04-2011
Age
Excellent Elf! bravo!
Full of feeling and very well written
If grief at all that wasn't clouds the heart
And each cold thought reveals an empty past,
I have chosen thse lines but I could actually have chosen any. You captured the torment of someone who feels their life was wasted.


Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Storm - torment is a good word. Very pleased that you approve of this. Elf.

e-griff on 04-04-2011
Age
this was my fave last week. If I'd have been the judge .... well

Author's Reply:
For some reason that reminds me of "if I ruled the world". Sorry - gone off at a tangent.
Many thanks for reading it again - glad it was your favourite. Elf.

e-griff on 04-04-2011
Age
ICAN do this, though...
Photobucket

blimey, that's TWO today. Phew - won't see any more now for a while.

Damn nibbers!!!!

Author's Reply:
Wow!! My very own Griff-pick. I don't think I've ever had one of those. *preens!*

Ionicus on 05-04-2011
Age
Excellent Elf. Up to your usual standard.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Ionicus; very much appreciated. Elf.

royrodel on 05-04-2011
Age
do you drift into old age?
guess we drift into every age
it reads like a last stand
defeatist even

Author's Reply:
"do you drift into old age? " No; the first line reads:

"How shall it be when I drift *in* old age"

- the word "into" gives it a different meaning I think. "Defeatist"? Perhaps, but I think there are situations where unfortunately defeat is inevitable. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Elf


Tumble down (posted on: 01-04-11)
. . . they sink into neglect . .

Tumble down The words drift; wait, wait, watch them - they float into darkness out of silent regret. The words fall; see them, see there - they sink into neglect out of sighing heartbreak. The words cascade; listen now, hear them - they tumble down into whispered loneliness out of weeping rejection. Elfstone 15/3/11 This one was written for a recent Challenge in Forums.
Archived comments for Tumble down
stormwolf on 01-04-2011
Tumble down
Hi Elf
I really tuned into these sense of baranness and despair here. It was emphasised by the brevity of the lines. A good example of how the meaning and feeling of a poem can be highlighted just as much by the layout as by the content.
If this poem had a colour it would be dark grey. I also get the sense of the hesitancy of giving voice at first "wait, wait, they drift"
to the flow once the gates open "the words cascade" "they tumble down"
such weightlessness is suggested. Lovely work
Alison x

Author's Reply:
If I may say, you always read my poems well Storm. "If this poem had a colour it would be *very* dark grey. " - I think this one goes in my 'black' file 😉 BTW a typo in your comment - did you mean 'bareness' or 'barrenness'? maybe there isn't much difference in this context?
Many thanks for such an perceptive comment. Elf.

stormwolf on 01-04-2011
Tumble down
ooops weightlessness wrong word..I meant delicacy.
If they were weightless they would not tumble down 😉

Author's Reply:
indeed! 😉

stormwolf on 02-04-2011
Tumble down
Hi Elf
I meant 'barrenness' and saw my typo right away but wish we had the facility to change or edit our comments.
'Sink' equates with leaden thoughts and no resistance. I am so familiar with this state I recognised it straight away. well done on the well deserved nib BTW.
🙂

Author's Reply:
"wish we had the facility to change or edit our comments." - yes I've often thought that, but I have no idea how easy or otherwise it would be to implement it (knowing nothing about the innards of computers).
Elf.


Dying Words (posted on: 21-02-11)
This little poem won last week's Challenge . .

Dying words Bleeding words staining pristine pages, leaking a useless ooze empty of meaning. Dying words dribbling into silence, mealy-mouthed mumblings emptying life. Elfstone 15/2/11 This is a slightly edited version of the poem written for last week's Challenge. The original (along with the next Challenge) can be found here: http://ukauthors.com/phorum5/read.php?54,169322
Archived comments for Dying Words
geordietaf on 21-02-2011
Dying Words
No 'mealy mouthed mumbling' this. This piece punches well above its weight.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading this geordietaf. I appreciate the comment too 🙂 Elfstone.

stormwolf on 21-02-2011
Dying Words
depressing but great imagery and full of a sort of angst. Well done! Alison x

Author's Reply:
"depressing"? yes probably, but so many of my (good?) poems are. May be something to do with this time of the year - full of stress! Thanks for stopping by. Elfstone

chrissy on 21-02-2011
Dying Words
So much said and well said in so few words. I found this poem very poignant and very powerful.
No wonder to me that it won.
chrissy

Author's Reply:
Very kind of you Chrissie. Poignant and powerful - great combination I think? My thanks. Elfstone

Bradene on 21-02-2011
Dying Words
I knew this would win the moment I read it. All the rest of us got stuck on other peoples dying words. This was so refreshingly different. Well done Valx

Author's Reply:
"Refreshingly different" sounds good. Many thanks for reading again and leaving such a lovely comment. Elfstone

Ionicus on 21-02-2011
Dying Words
Don't rub it in, Elf. Not only were my puny efforts ignored, I had to admit to myself that your entry was superior. It deserved the 'Golden Egg'.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
"Not only were my puny efforts ignored," oh no they weren't; I read - and admired as I always do! Glad you enjoyed this one. Elfstone


Too late (posted on: 04-02-11)
This was for the Challenge, but it is another of my "out of nowhere" poems. Not sure what to make of it myself ...

Too late Where, where was it the split in the road? How was it missed? was it there at all? All paths tangle to the one end and we do not choose the knot. Cruelty, you are a barren place with nothing to point, no signpost, nor any track and too late the knowing; we are crippled by understanding. The road behind stretches the memories too thin, too thin; and all the savage days come teeming round clawing at resentment ''Why did you use me so?'' Brutallity, you are the wash of empty years grasping, clinging at futile dreams; sucking drips of pretence from withered stalks of once maybes. Where was it the split in the road? too late to search, too late; all too late. Elfstone 1/2/11
Archived comments for Too late
geordietaf on 04-02-2011
Too late
Shades of Robert Frost here, with the calm resignation of 'The Road not Taken' hosed away. Very well done

Author's Reply:
I don't think I do "calm resignation" to be honest, more a "rage, rage" type!
Many thanks for you comment - your approval is much appreciated 🙂 Elfstone

Zoya on 05-02-2011
Too late
Elf, this is a lyrical expression of one's slow realisation of that what was and is lost now, leaving one at a loss as to what really went wrong, where it went wrong, how it all happened etc.
Very well done!
Love,
Zoya

Author's Reply:
That's a very perceptive comment Zoya. I'm glad you approve. Thank you for stopping by and reading. Elfstone

Ionicus on 06-02-2011
Too late
A good take on the prompt word, Elf. A deep poem.
If I may be allowed to point out a small typo: it should be 'brutality' (one l).

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Sorry for taking so long to acknowledge this Ionicus - had a particularly busy week. You're right about the typo of course - I'll go fix it now.
"A deep poem. " - yes, as many of them are; sometimes I feel I go so deep I will drown in it. Thanks for reading and commenting. Elf.

pdemitchell on 12-02-2011
Too late
Yo Sir elf! Deep stuff - but is fork better than split? I think the final all too late was an over-reach but all else is fine. Cheers, mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
"fork / "split" ? I think fork is too 'gentle'; there is something deliberate, slow, 'thinking' about a fork. A split is sudden, ragged, possibly even violent, yes? I think split has the right meaning here. I always find your comments on my work thought provoking, mitch, and I am grateful for that.

"Deep stuff" - yes and see my reply to Ionicus.
Elf.


Uninvited (posted on: 24-01-11)
~

Uninvited I have stood at the fringes, drifted around the edges. I have listened to the buzzing conversation, but could never find the (pass)words. I have watched and, occasionally, I spoke; there was sometimes, an interest, it seemed; maybe a genuine smile - but not often. I was always the outsider; ''You have to put yourself forward'', she said. I tried. I failed. Elfstone 19/1/11 (for last week's Challenge here http://ukauthors.com/phorum5/read.php?54,167874)
Archived comments for Uninvited
ruadh on 24-01-2011
Uninvited
I can relate to this well. My mother used to say I was backward at coming forwards lol. Nicely done.

Author's Reply:
Thanks ruadh and it is good to see you around again! Elfstone

Ionicus on 24-01-2011
Uninvited
Good one, Elf.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
My thanks Luigi - glad you approve 🙂 Elfstone.

franciman on 26-01-2011
Uninvited
This is great, as it makes me, the reader, feel like I am on the outside. The verse seems personal, and is an effect which is extremely difficult to achieve.

Cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
Many thanks franciman - I'm always delighted if one of my poems wins a response from readers. Elfstone

sybarite on 28-01-2011
Uninvited
Oh, I relate! I have spent a lifetime feeling like I'm on the outside looking in. Most people simply baffle me. Well rendered, personal without being exclusive.

If I may make a suggestion, I think you could lose "the" out of both of the first two lines and they would read more poetically.

Author's Reply:
"I have spent a lifetime feeling like I'm on the outside looking in. " - a fellow sufferer then 😉

"If I may make a suggestion, I think you could lose "the" out of both of the first two lines and they would read more poetically. " - now that's interesting. I remember having a comment/reply conversation about definite and indefinite articles with someone here about one of my other poems. I can't for the life of me remember off the top of my head which poem it was, but it turned out to be one of those little things to which people can feel very different responses. In this instance I'll go away and have another think about those first two lines.
Many thanks sybarite.

stormwolf on 30-01-2011
Uninvited
A very nice example of a self reflective assesment.
Well done on the nib
Alison x

Author's Reply:
My thanks for reading and leaving a comment Storm - somehow it is always even more gratifying when the comment comes some time after publishing day. 🙂 Elf.


What then? (posted on: 21-01-11)
No idea what to say about this one - just popped into my head.

What then? When all the words are written, drawn out of long thought into black and white . . When all the thoughts are worked, threshed out of long pain into what's sensible . . When I have said all of me, spoken out of long being into rhyme and reason . . When I have given all of me, offered out of cold experience into uncomfortable denial . . what then? . . what will be left? Elfstone 19/1/11
Archived comments for What then?
orangedream on 21-01-2011
What then?
I'm glad this one just 'popped into your head', Elfstone, I enjoyed it...especially this stanza:-

"When I have given all of me,
offered out of cold experience
into uncomfortable denial . . ."

Good question. 'What then?'

Tina






Author's Reply:
Many thanks for that encouraging comment orangedream. I really wasn't sure what to make of this one and your approval helps.
Elf.

Hulda on 22-01-2011
What then?
well, don't give all of you each time, try to keep some of you left to have energy for everything else you have to deal with in Life. You can drye up easily,take care of you. hulda

Author's Reply:
"well, don't give all of you each time," - well, I try not to, but it is so diffcult. Many thanks for reading this and leaving a comment. 🙂 Elfstone.

hUUjUU on 23-01-2011
What then?
It sounded to be begging an answer, like someone had expressed everything they could and still not received a final outcome.

I felt a little sad at the end, as if the subject were sat (imagines a darkened room with a shaft of moonlight pinning them to their table) surrounded by papers full of thoughts, not realising that it was the thoughts themselves that were the answer....rather than the written expression of them.

Conjured up some great imagery in my head and raises lots of questions about experience vs expression.

Author's Reply:
That is a very perceptive comment hUUjUU. I'm very pleased that it conjured up imagery for you - if a poem can do that then I think it has succeded in some important way - yes? Elfstone


Remembrance (posted on: 14-01-11)
My entry to this week's Challenge. I have edited the formatting and it now looks as it should - many thanks to sirat!

Remembrance The words that might have been said, that might have been written, Holding, maybe, gentle promise, hinting at possibilities - Each tender phrase, perhaps, telling sweetly of me. Longing trickles down leaving rivulets of regret, Eroding what's left of confidence into empty gestures. The ones that didn't come left so many blank pages. Teasing, tormenting, all hope does is drain the struggling spirit, Endlessly twisting wished-for memories into ribbons of unfulfillment. Remembrance of what wasn't shreds the soul. Elfstone 11/1/11
Archived comments for Remembrance
Jolen on 18-01-2011
Remembrance
HI Elfstone,
I could so relate to this poem. I enjoyed it, but gods does it sting (I mean that in a good way) well done, my dear, very well done.

blessings,
jolen

Author's Reply:
damm! put the reply in the worng place - sorry (in too much of a rush) please read below Jolen - thanks. Elf.

Elfstone on 19-01-2011
Remembrance
Many thanks for reading and leaving a comment Jolen - I though this one was going to slip away unnoticed. It's great when someone says they can relate to what I've written. I suppose most of what I write (including Challenge poems) is out of my troubles and is a kind of working through of difficulties, but it is so gratifying if someonelse gets something out of them - even a sting! Elf.

Author's Reply:


Snowfall (posted on: 03-12-10)
This won the weekly Challenge on Wednesday (I was very chuffed!) so I thought it might be worth giving it an airing here.

Snowfall The old woman trudges slowly across a seeming field of untouched snow, the soundless evening creeping on to icy dusk. Crunch - crunch; the breaking crystals drill through frozen silence. Her breath steams, her wheezing numbed by the weight of frigid air. A muffling layer of white leeches out the warmth of her. Crunch - crunch, by familiar landmarks, eery, distorted lumps, thickened beyond knowing. The old woman struggles on, dragging her bags wearily through a soft floating of pretty flakes. Unforgiving, insidious, these tiny bits of death suggest perhaps that Hell is not so fiery after all. Elfstone 30/11/10
Archived comments for Snowfall
Bradene on 03-12-2010
Snowfall
A popular win and well deserved. Very nibworthy too. Well done Love Valx

Author's Reply:
Many thanks Val - I have to say I was a bit surprised. It had come to me at the last minute, but I'm all the more pleased to have won. Elf.

Ionicus on 03-12-2010
Snowfall
First quality, Elf, duly rewarded.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi - much appreciated. 🙂 Elf.

Leila on 04-12-2010
Snowfall
Really good Elf you captured the cold harshness of it...pretty as a picture but lethal in many ways...Leila

Author's Reply:
"pretty as a picture but lethal" - that's exactly what I was hoping to get across, along with the stillness, the way that deep snow smothers the towns and countryside. Many thanks for commenting Leila. Elf.

pdemitchell on 05-12-2010
Snowfall
hi Sir Elf of Stone - an icy tale indeed which I enjoyed and well worth a nibblet but I have a few minor suggestions which I hope you won't mind considering: "across a seeming field" was odd grammar - how about seamless instead that reflects the white smothering blanket.

Sorry but, "crunch crunch" was a little like an onomatopaiec breakfast cereal advert - it's too obvious and you're missing a great chance for a double-alliterative reinforcement which removes the weird 'drill' verb and adds tempo: i.e.

the crunch of brittle crystals
breaking cleaves the frozen silence. (for example)

Her breath steams,
wheezing lungs numbed
by the touch of frigid air
as the muffle-white parasite
leeches the heat from her bones. (is a suggestion where the biting chill is reinforced as a living enemy and composite adjectives add interest)

Crunch -
crunch,
by familiar landmarks,
eery, distorted lumps,
thickened beyond knowing. (is there any chance of removing that 'crunch crunch' Frosties and developing this stanza? ie when you pass familiar landmarks they are shrouded, disorienting, ghost-like - more than merely eerie for example.

The old woman struggles on,
dragging her bags wearily through
a soft floating of pretty flakes. (by this time 'a soft floating of pretty flakes' won't register with an exhausted elderly woman - cloying or some darker adjective is needed. Two elderly people have just frozen to death in their gardens - pretty flakes doesn't cut it.)

Unforgiving, insidious,
these tiny bits of death
suggest perhaps that
Hell is not so fiery after all. (A fine closer but perhaps the perhaps is not needed - cold cuts like a knife so maybe 'scythes' will do i.e. ).
those tiny crystal scythes
suggests that Hell cuts flesh
through fire and ice... (ie try something composite rather than the obvious last line.)

HOPE THIS HELPS! Cheers. mitch 🙂

Hope you don't mind this detailed crit!


Author's Reply:
Goodness me, you've given my ditty some thought! Far from minding I'm delighted at such a thorough crit and I have found going through your suggestions a very interesting exercise. I think I can answer some of the points you've made:

I used "seeming" because I wanted to show that where she is walking *appears* like a field (she isn't actually walking through a field).

"a double-alliterative reinforcement which removes the weird 'drill' verb and adds tempo" - I would argue that it already has a tempo; if you mean by 'adds tempo' that it goes faster/ gives the impression of greater speed - I'm not sure that I want that - she's trudging slowly afterall. Sound "drilling" through silence ? perhaps that is weird . .

"crunch crunch" - walking in deep snow which has frozen over does crunch; I had hoped by splitting the words over two lines to give the impression of slow footsteps - the difficulty of walking through deep, frozen snow.

"the touch of frigid air " - is somehow too gentle to my mind; really cold air seems to weigh one down.

" 'a soft floating of pretty flakes' won't register with an exhausted elderly woman ... " no but it will register with the observer. Big, soft sowflakes floating silently down are mesmerically beautiful and what I was hoping to get across here, amongst other things, was the contrast between our view of snow as enchanting, fairytale stuff, transforming the landscape into Chirstmas card scenes and the deadly dangers it brings.

"Two elderly people have just frozen to death in their gardens - pretty flakes doesn't cut it." Yes, I'm aware of that but see my explanation above.

"those tiny crystal scythes
suggests that Hell cuts flesh
through fire and ice... (ie try something composite rather than the obvious last line.) " In our culture we see Hell as hot - that is the tradition; Hell-fires are what sinners are to expect to suffer. I wanted to get across the idea that hell maybe isn't always hot. I know we have this idea that cold cut like a kniife, but I think it is more a draining thing. I've been out recently in some very cold temperatures, struggling to keep my (long) driveway clear, and the cold did drain the warmth out of me. Snow is very beautiful, but it can also be death.

I copied and pasted your suggestions and the resulting poem would be this:

The old woman trudges slowly
across a seamless field
of untouched snow,
the soundless evening
creeping on to icy dusk.

The crunch of brittle crystals
breaking cleaves the frozen silence.

Her breath steams,
wheezing lungs numbed
by the touch of frigid air
as the muffle-white parasite
leeches the heat from her bones.

Familiar landmarks are
eery, distorted lumps,
thickened beyond knowing
shrouded, disorienting, ghost-like.

The old woman struggles on,
dragging her bags wearily through
a soft floating of cloying flakes.

Unforgiving, insidious,
those tiny crystal scythes
suggest that Hell cuts flesh
through fire and ice...

Interesting isn't it? It becomes, I think, quite a different poem.
I am very grateful to you for taking the time to give such a detailed crit and I have very much enjoyed being made to really think through the various points in the poem that you picked up on, a very useful process. Elf.


pdemitchell on 05-12-2010
Snowfall
Heh! You're not kidding - it really morphs the poem and makes for an intersting new slant. Thanks for the detailed defence of your original which made for a decent debate on poetical form - and a big thanks for for not taking offence too. Greatly appreciated! I recently tried out www.poetrycritical.net but it is a total bear-pit - worth a visit but you have to wade through reams of abuse and drivel toget some decent crit!

PS Would you return the favour and do a ruthless crit on Towers in the Mist for me? I need a fresh perspective on it as it stutters badly. Thanks!

Author's Reply:
I will certainly have a look at it. (It may be a day or so before I post anything.) I haven't heard of poetrycritical, but I will also have a look at that. Elf.

e-griff on 05-12-2010
Snowfall
lovely nice pome, Elf, as I thought when I first read it - you wee bastard! 🙂

Author's Reply:
"wee b@~|@^* "?!! go and wash your mouth out laddie!! I'll put my stern face on and glare at you!

(but glad that you liked my Challenge effort) Elf.

sunken on 12-12-2010
Snowfall
Are you really a sir, Elf? I see Mitch keeps referring to you as such. I dunno why, I always assumed you were a Ms. I must stop assuming. It can only cause me hardship. I currently have a garage full of Rubik's Pyramids because I assumed they were gonna be the next big thing. Doh! Nice work, very nice.

s
u
n
k
e
n



Author's Reply:
So sorry to take such ages to reply to this - Christmas/New Year got in the way and I'm only now getting back into a routine. I'm delighted at your approval and especially pleased with the 'top bark'. (Actually I hadn't realised until today that this had been nibbed!)
Am I a Sir, am I a Ms? - does it matter? . . . 😉

Hulda on 22-01-2011
Snowfall
For me, i had the feeling you were writing about a homeless person, trying to cope by herself, struggling through Life, even Death could not be so scary, just welcomed. I never read others comments, i just say what i get out of the poem. Your words you used in the poem is really elf magic, i felt, oh i felt, it was so sad but than again not,hard to describe, it came from your heart and it moved me to tears, thank you Sir Elf, with love, hulda

Author's Reply:
"it came from your heart and it moved me to tears," - wow! that is some accolade. I'm delighted that you found something good in this. Elfstone


House; moving (posted on: 22-11-10)
My entry for last week's Challenge. The prompt phrase was 'moving house'. As often happens, my muse wandered off in her own direction.

House; Moving My house? if only! only if wishing would work, only if hoping would help, only if diligence would deliver. Not mine and yet mine now always as a marker, a mirror of my life - always. Work for it! work for it! you'll get it yet. No you won't! (and could I slap that smug, patronising smile off the face of Fate!). Taunting, teasing and snatching away, offering - withdrawing; twisting longing in to skeins of regret; moving possibilities in to broken down ''if-only''s. Elfstone 16/11/10
Archived comments for House; moving
pdemitchell on 22-11-2010
House; moving
Hi sir Elf - slap the face of Fate indeedy. Worked well if a little wandering with the tragic 'if-only' at the end. My friend used to say 'if ifs and ands were pots and pans - we'd never want for tinkers' - this piece reminds me of that archaic saying. Cheerz Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for stopping by to read this - maybe someday you'll stray in the direction of the Challenge? Not quite sure what you mean by "a little wandering with the tragic 'if-only' at the end" but pleased if you think it worked well. 🙂 Elf

Bradene on 22-11-2010
House; moving
I thought this was an excellent poem and would have been my winner. It had a sad and tortured feel to it that I found resonated with the way I have felt oft times during my life. very cleverly written. I hope you are feeling better now. Valx

Author's Reply:
My grateful thanks Val. "It had a sad and tortured feel to it" - yup, that's pretty much it at times.
"I hope you are feeling better now" - thanks; physically I am much improved, but this week I am feeling harassed (you'll see why if you read my post in the Challenge thread). Elf

Ionicus on 22-11-2010
House; moving
A very good and original poem, Elf, which goes to show that we should always give the muse a free rein.

Luigi x

PS "Hi sir Elf"? It looks as if Mitch is not aware of your gender.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Ionicus - giving my muse free rein is the only way I can get the old besom to do any work!

PS (Shhh, I won't tell him if you don't!)

stormwolf on 22-11-2010
House; moving
Love the anger! Love the passion! Love the honesty of exclosure...
can totally relate in every way!
Alison x
ps slap that bastard 'fate' for me will you? 😉

Author's Reply:
Thanks Alison - our poetic muses seem to go in similar directions at times. I would love to be able to slap fate. Interesting that you see him as a bastard and I see her as a first-class, prize bitch!! I was a bit flummoxed by your use of "exclosure" in that context . . .?

Kazzmoss on 23-11-2010
House; moving
Glad to see you posted this on the main site. It deserved and proper airing. Reminds me so much of me and what ifs.

Kazz

Author's Reply:
I'm please that you like this Kazz; I dare say more than a few people might have experienced the feelings within.

Hulda on 22-01-2011
House; moving
What if, what if. that is a question we all have to deal with, i hope everything turned good for you. You are good with titles and you write with your heart, you are honest and real, i just love your direct way of writing, take good care. hulda

Author's Reply:
What if - indeed. I keep hoping that things will work out - one day perhaps?
"you write with your heart, you are honest and real, i just love your direct way of writing," - thank you - that's a lovely comment. Elfstone.


Days (posted on: 19-11-10)
This was written for a recent Challenge in the Forums. The prompt word was "yellow".

Days The days begin to dream in autumn tints nostalgic for the summer's drowsy heat. The evenings shiver, hearing winter's hints and daylight, fading, fights a cool retreat. Across the fields the leaves are turning yellow and clouds drape low around the dripping hill. Gone the warmth, the long days balmy, mellow and in their place a warning, creeping chill. Wind wrecked branches, leaves all scoured and piled reminding us November's face is dour. These graying weeks, all rainstorms raw and wild with ragged gales and sleet, provide a lure to coorie doon, to hide, to hibernate and we start burning cones upon the grate. Elfstone 10/10/10
Archived comments for Days
sunken on 19-11-2010
Days
Hello Elfstone. I guess without the grey we wouldn't appreciate the blue. Quite like a rainy day myself. I also like the following: Picnics in car-parks, Badgers in sportswear & thermo nuclear physics. I trust this has helped? Did you know that we wouldn't have the drinking flask if it weren't for thermo nuclear physics? It's worth remembering in case it comes up in any festive edition of Trivial Pursuit. Nice poem by the way. Thank you.

s
u
n
k
e
n

is it a dream? no it's pauline quirk from off of birds of a feather

Author's Reply:
"I guess without the grey we wouldn't appreciate the blue. Quite like a rainy day myself. " Yes and Yes, but we've had an awful lot of gray rainy days this year! Glad you liked this. Thanks, Elf

Bradene on 19-11-2010
Days
Lovely wintry Shakespearean sonnet, really beautifully executed. Valx

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val - your approval matters. 🙂 I must say I am now finding the Challenge a rich source of inspiration. Elf

Gee on 19-11-2010
Days
Beautifully done. I loved the descriptions of autumn and how you led into winter. I think hibernation would be a very good idea indeed.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for your kind comment. I always want to hibernate at this time of the year! Elf.

Ionicus on 20-11-2010
Days
A lovely poem, Elf. You are obviously getting a lot of inspiration from the weekly challenge. Just one plea from a foreigner: can you please put a note as to the meaning of Scottish words?
I had to Google 'coorie doon' and I'm still none the wiser. I could not find a definition and I assume it to mean 'lie down' or something similar. No doubt you will enlighten me.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Hi Ionicus - we missed you this past week - good to see you back!
"Coorie" means snuggle or crouch and "doon" is simply down, so "Coorie doon" is snuggle down. One would use it of bairns (children) in a cot at night or of animals when they curl up in their dens in bad weather.
Very pleased that you liked this. Elf.

stormwolf on 20-11-2010
Days
Loved it!!! A class act.
Alison x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 21-11-2010
Days
Many thanks, storm, for such a kind comment; the Challenges are very stimulating, although my muse, being a wayward soul, often goes off in her own direction! - come join us? Elf.

Author's Reply:

Hulda on 22-01-2011
Days
You make me feel like i am in a middle of a rainstorm, i feel the rain pouring down on me and the rain cleanses me and i feel reborned again, special. i liked it, hulda

Author's Reply:
I have been in the middle of rainstorms many a time up here in the North. I'm not sure that I felt cleansed - just cold and wet! Thanks for reading this 🙂 Elfstone.


Shower (posted on: 08-11-10)
Not sure about this one . .

Shower Distinctive sound on the glass roof, the rattle of raindrops. Disordered clouds drape wetly, ragged across a saturated sky. Disgruntled leaves squelch muddily around a drookit, dismal garden. Dismayed clouds, louring over cold lands soaked raw and comfortless. Disinterested darkling skies sinking above bleak days and bleaker years Elfstone 2/11/10 This was for last week's Challenge
Archived comments for Shower
Beth on 08-11-2010
Shower
Hi elfstone, there is nothing wrong with this. I liked the alliteration of d and the way you set up each stanza. The imagery is fresh and engages the reader. I liked "darkling skies"- I love that word and thought you used it in a creative way - regards Beth

Author's Reply:
Many thanks Beth - that's a reassuring comment!

sunken on 13-11-2010
Shower
Well you might not be sure about this one, Ms. Elf of Stony Ridge dot com (what the fcuk am I on about?) but the nibbers were. And so am I. Beth has already summed up everything that is positive about said piece. To be frank, it leaves me with little else to do. I could sing a song?

Ahem...

'Stars in your eyes little one
Where do you go to dream?
In a place we all know
The land of make believe
Shadows
Tapping at your window
Ghostly
Voices whisper
'Will you come and play?'
Not for all the tea in China
Or the corn in Carolina
Never, never ever
CHORUS:
They're running after you babe
Run for the sun little one
You're an outlaw once again
Time to change
Superman will be with us
While he can
In the land of make believe....

s
u
n
k
e
n

There's nothing wrong with liking Bucks Fizz! Nothing wrong!

Author's Reply:
Your comment, as always, made me smile 🙂 I don't recognise the song you quoted - who sang it ( apart from your good self of course)? Very pleased that you thought good things about my poem. Thanks! Elf.


Family (posted on: 01-11-10)
My contribution to last week's weekly Challenge (prompt word "humour"). As ever my muse went off in her own peculiar direction.

Family You don't listen; a sop, a token question, the answer interrupted for fear of hearing; my experience negated, ignored. You won't listen. All you would not hear callously closed out; your pretended interest your attempt to humour my difference. You've never listened and the years slither away holding onto nothing. The emptiness of unheard days weaves rejection around the withered silence of a life denied. Elfstone I would thoroughly recommend the Challenge to all writers. It is a good source of inspiration. If you haven't yet tried it, go to the forums and you will find the thread for this coming Wednesday's Challenge - joins us! 🙂
Archived comments for Family
pdemitchell on 02-11-2010
Family
Hi Elf - a tidy piece. Maybe the 'of' at the end of the penultimate line needs to start the last line. It seemed to read better that way. I don't do threads and challenges sadly as I don't seem to work that way. I accumulate fragments that come in bursts... I have forty on the go but none worth posting as I finish the latest book (as you can see from my rush of chapters lately.) A fine read. Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks mitch - your thoughts are much appreciated. I have edited as a consequence of your good suggestion and resulting from that, I have moved another word. Not sure what I think now . . .

barenib on 04-11-2010
Family
A good take on the challenge and I particularly like the last four lines, which seem to sum up the essence of a sad situation. John.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading and leaving a comment; glad you enjoyed it.

Hulda on 22-01-2011
Family
It feels exactly like a long and tiresome marriage, two opposite gender, we take time to listen carefully, we only scream through the silence, i like your style and i can relate so far what i have read to all of it. I think you are becoming my favorite author here and i have no clue how to write you as an favorite author on my profile. Can you explain to me how it works? I know it is a silly question but humor me anyway. Me and computers are having a bad relationship, hulda

Author's Reply:
Hulda I am touched by your genrous praise! Thank you.
To make someone a favourite author you click on the button which is below the piece; just below the "Nominate this piece" button there are two others - to make the piece a favourite, one to make the author a favourite.
Elfstone.


Unforeseen (posted on: 18-10-10)
for last week's Challenge (slightly edited as per advice given)

Unforeseen If I knew then that the song would go so badly off key, Would I have stopped singing? If I knew then that the walls would get higher the more I climbed, Would I have stopped climbing? If I knew then that the path would get darker the further I walked, Would I have stopped walking? If I knew then that the doors were locked and barred, Would I have stopped trying to open them? If I knew then that reflections reflect the distorted mirror, Would I have stopped looking? If I knew then that the clock will never be turned back, Could I have stopped the clock? If I knew then where the lonely road would lead, Would I have stopped following it? If I knew then what life has flung at me since, Would I have stopped being me?
Archived comments for Unforeseen
Ionicus on 18-10-2010
Unforeseen
A good one, Elf, and better for the edits.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
My thanks for reading it again - and for leaving a comment 🙂

Nomenklatura on 18-10-2010
Unforeseen
If I knew then...

if only I could have told me,
sent a letter to my past....

I liked this one a lot.

Author's Reply:
"if only I could have told me,
sent a letter to my past.... "

- indeed - says it all really. Glad you liked it. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Beth on 19-10-2010
Unforeseen
The repetition is quite powerful in this. Made me stop and reflect on a ew things going on in my life at the moment. Congratulations on the nib

Author's Reply:
Many thanks Beth. If poems can make us reflect on our own lives then they have achieved something good, yes? Delighted this made you think - a great compliment.

sunken on 20-10-2010
Unforeseen
Hello Elf of Stone fame. A thought provoking piece and no mistake. You live and learn, or so they say. Personally I'm of a mind that learning before you live might be favourable. I hope to go to my first rock concert, get laid, take drugs and generally mess-up in my late eighties. Hello? Well done on the nib. It suits ya.

s
u
n
k
e
n



Author's Reply:
Very pleased that your thoughts were provoked 😉 . "I hope to go to . . . in my late eighties." That sounds good - maybe I'll join you. Please give Bernard a scratch behind the ears for me and tell him I'm very chuffed at his approval.

pdemitchell on 20-10-2010
Unforeseen
Hi Elf! Fine reflective ponder-piece once I got past the 'then thats' and worthy of the nibbeagling. Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
Very grateful for your thoughts Mitch. Interesting that the 'then thats' tripped you up. Looking at the poem in the light of that I can't think how I would change them. Food for thought maybe? Thanks again.

Andrea on 20-10-2010
Unforeseen
Loved this Elf. Made me think of Jim Morrison (Doors) who said 'I've seen the future and I won't go' Sadly, he didn't.

Wonderful stuff, full of hope, I thought.

Author's Reply:
Delighted by your approval Andrea. It's interesting the different perceptions people can have of a single poem. I had classed this as fairly gloomy - to be catalogued with my (ever growing) 'Black' collection. I never for a moment thought of it as hopeful. If you do though, I am very pleased. Thanks again.

pdemitchell on 21-10-2010
Unforeseen
hI Elf - no, I meant in read aloud not in poem form. In fact, I was messing about on guitar and it could be something that Phil collins would sing. cheers. mitch

Author's Reply:
well - that would be something to hear!
Thanks again mitch.

stormwolf on 21-10-2010
Unforeseen
Hi Elf
I think these are questions that most of us who have been put through the mill ask ourselves on occaision.
Very introspective and enjoyable to read. Congrats on the nib too
Alison x

Author's Reply:
hmmm - "put through the mill" puts it very well. Very pleased that you enjoyed this. Thanks for reading and especially for leaving a comment - much appreciated.


Time to linger (posted on: 12-07-10)
This was my second entry in to the 'Jealousy' Challenge. Quite a different poem from 'Tell me'.

Time to linger Lottery winners? - no thank you nor banker's bonuses; 'wag's' lives - please; celebrity status - spare me; ''15 minutes'' - you can keep it: there's no time in 15 minutes. Cottage gardens, full, tidy, lush with summer scents, bee-singing and colourful with time to linger. Eating weightlessly, high metabolism, fit and healthy; calories - what calories? food is to be eaten, with time to linger. Travelling free of nausea, pills and wristbands, special gel-baggies and undignified puking; enjoying travel, with time to linger. Big, old, stone-built houses with bay windows, high ceilings, perhaps unexpected passages, forgotten back stairs and maybe - just maybe - mysterious wardrobes, with time to linger. A hand to hold, a smile to treasure; knowing me and still caring; a warm heart, a listening ear and time to linger. Elfstone 28/6/10 My apologies for the bad timing - I have to go off south this morning and won't be back until Thursday afternoon. I would have been better to have held this one back to Friday. Oh well, too late now. Can I thank in advance any of you who want to leave a comment and I will catch up on Thursday evening.
Archived comments for Time to linger
pombal on 12-07-2010
Time to linger
Hi elf - I really like the contrast between the two poems - its important to step back sometimes and linger a while ...

Author's Reply:
Yes, I ended up with two very different takes on the same word! I'm pleased that you enjoyed that and my thanks for your thoughts. Elf.

pdemitchell on 12-07-2010
Time to linger
Hi Elf - Aha! My kind of dark 'n' acerbic with a slice of angst about transient reality TV fame. It's how the cunning lingers; do you let your fell way show? Is enema inuendo? Do Dill deer love their Dill does? A pithy piece Sir Elf and I can think of little to improve it. Mitch 😛

Author's Reply:
Apologies again for the delay in replying and my thanks for a . . . stimulating . . comment. 😉

stormwolf on 13-07-2010
Time to linger
Unusual arrangement but the sentiments are clear.
We all need to live in the moment more I reckon
Alison x

Author's Reply:
"Unusual arrangement" - is it? that's interesting. I wonder why you feel that? My thanks for stopping by to read and leave your thoughts. Elf.

cat on 14-07-2010
Time to linger
What in this life...

Would it be greedy to still want an 'old stone built house' ? 😀 I liked this very much.
Hope south was kind to you.

Author's Reply:
"Would it be greedy to still want an 'old stone built house' ?" - oh I do hope not . . otherwise I am very greedy!!
The south was indeed kind to me - visiting a much loved aunt - great fun! Thanks for leaving a comment cat - it's appreciated.

sunken on 16-07-2010
Time to linger
Hello Elf of Stone fame. I proper likes this. Especially like the closing stanza. It reminds me a little of a song by popular indie music combo 'Elbow'. This is a compliment as they are lyrically superior to most of the pap out there. A top write that should have been nibbed, in my sunky opinion.

s
u
n
k
e
n



Author's Reply:

Andrea on 16-07-2010
Time to linger
Absolutely marvellous Elf - my sentiments exactly!

Author's Reply:


Tell me (posted on: 09-07-10)
This one was written for a recent weekly Challenge in Forums. Not one of my more comfortable poems I'm afraid.

Tell me It's the contrast; you won't see it but how can I not see it? the difference - their lives, my existence. Tell me there are others worse off than me; tell me I should be grateful; oh patronise me, please - tell me I have so much to be thankful for. Then swap with me . . . go on, I dare you! Tell me it is a cancer, an acid that corrodes my soul. Tell me it hurts no-one but myself, that I should be content. Right then, just swap with me - bluff called! do it! - then you can tell me I should not be jealous. Elfstone 28/6/10
Archived comments for Tell me
stormwolf on 09-07-2010
Tell me
Hi Elf
A strong poem and no mistake as Sunks would say. I totally agree with the sentiments too. It is so easy for others to judge but they should not be so hasty until someone has walked in that person's shoes.
their lives,
my existence.
exactly...those two lines are telling. At times we feel that is all we have..an existence not a life. Well done for coming out of your comfort zone where to me at least, most of the best poems are written.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for such a supportive comment. I would not want people to think I struggle with jealousy all the time (I think envy is a better word anyway), but the Challenge did tap into a reaction to my life from others that I've had to deal with for a long time now.

I think you're also right about much good poetry coming from some kind of distress or difficulty and in terms of my own work, the poems I feel least comfortable with but at the same time most proud of are my 'black' poems; bit of a paradox there. Oddly, people here on the site seem to find the really dark ones 'worthy' in some way.

I'm wandering . . . thanks again for the comment - it means a lot. Elf.

Ionicus on 11-07-2010
Tell me
I can't say that my inspiration comes from angst or anguish, quite the contrary. Peculiar and funny situations are enough to trigger my motivation to pen a poem. I can nevertheless appreciate verses which stem from an emotional experience and this poem of yours definitely hits the mark. Nicely done.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Yes, we write very different types of poetry don't we? and I very much admire your style, while accepting that I will probably never be able to emulate it. Many thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Elf.

sunken on 11-07-2010
Tell me
A strong poem and no mistake. Blimey, Ms. Storm of Wolf fame was right (see her comment above). I once asked an homeless fella if he would like to swap places with me. He said he wouldn't because he couldn't imagine having enough money to buy clothes and then opting to buy the ones I was standing in. Ahem. How rude! I still say my brown cords are highly fashionable! Ahem. Yeah, like Ms. Wolf said, a strong poem and no mistake.

s
u
n
k
e
n

i before e except after a road traffic accident

Author's Reply:
Brown cords? - sounds good to me! and I'm sure you look very fine in them. 😉
My thanks as ever for your thoughts sunk. Elf.

pombal on 11-07-2010
Tell me
Elf - an uncomfortable poem for me to comment on - very well written which is demonstrated by how it makes me feel - chris

Author's Reply:
I'm sorry - I realise this is one of my blacker poems and black is a colour that leaves people uncomfortable. I'm all the more grateful that you took the trouble to leave a comment - it's appreciated. Elf.

pdemitchell on 12-07-2010
Tell me
Hi Elf - very sharp and emotional and reinforces the old adage that uncomfortable sometimes means innovative. Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
"very sharp and emotional" - yes sometimes I feel the need to bite back! Poetry, I've discovered, is a good way of working out my problems. Very pleased that you thought this '"innovative". Elf.

Hulda on 22-01-2011
Tell me
yes, be mad at her, i am sure she deserves it, i feel you are vulnerable and very emotional with so many different feelings, a good combination, hulda

Author's Reply:
"i feel you are vulnerable and very emotional with so many different feelings" - you are very astute! i'm not sure that it is a good combination though. Still it's the way I am and poetry helps. Elfstone.


Restless (posted on: 02-07-10)
Really not sure where this one came from. I was writing for the weekly Challenge when this popped out.

Restless Breezy day; wind in the hay field, a subtlety of changing colours. Restless air chasing itself over a seed head and an hundred acres, losing itself in the enormity. Restless spirit wants to run with the breeze over a moment of me or an eternity of not being, to lose itself in nothing and everything. Is this deity? Elfstone 28/6/10
Archived comments for Restless
pdemitchell on 02-07-2010
Restless
Hi Elf - definitely a hint of stormwolf in this one. Great little spiritual ode but connectors like 'and' and conditionals like 'if' tagged like that can spoil the ode-flow for me though I know some 'established' poets do it all the time! Cheers mitch

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading and for that useful comment. I don't see an "if" anywhere so I'm puzzled . . .? As to the two "ands" - well, I've edited the version in my computer to remove them and (pardon the connector :-p ) I'm not sure if I like it or not. I will give it more thought, but I'm grateful mitch. Elf.

stormwolf on 04-07-2010
Restless
Hi Elf
You captured the moment well. There is a feeling of vastness in the poem and a sense of being here and everywhere...so I would say to the last line, yes.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Stormwolf. I love fields of barley and hay at this time of the year, when they are full and beginning to ripen; the slightest breeze and they ripple beautifully.
You'll have seen that mitch thinks the poem has something of your style about it. I took that as a great compliment. Elf.

pdemitchell on 04-07-2010
Restless
Hi Elf - don't
mind me! Format is all a
matter of
taste after all. I realise I'm

being a bit anal about line
endings and wrap-
around lines and the
way certain known poets (not your
good elf of course) util-
ise formats and arty.............. lay
outs to hide a void. What I do is

copy the poem in
question. Then I remove all
wrapping and lay the words
out straight and search for
meaning but - all - too
often, I find they were as
inspirationally as

naked as emporers.

Soooo leave it as it stands coz I enjoyed it muchly! Mitch :-)PS above form was from a poem an anthology I couldn't resist spoofing affectionately.



Author's Reply:
I smiled at the above, but if it was serious it would have rattled every bar in my poetry cage! ;-)) I feel layout is very important - as many here will tell you I get a bit obsessive about it sometimes. Glad you enjoyed it anyway. Thanks, Elf.

Romany on 04-07-2010
Restless
I enjoyed it too, but shouldn't it be 'a hundred' not 'an hundred?'

Author's Reply:
Oh, you've got me there - I thought "an" was correct - I certainly prefer it.
Pleased you enjoyed the poem. Elf.

e-griff on 04-07-2010
Restless
I agree with Romany about the a/an -- an is used for words where the h was not sounded (from the french) like hospital, hotel, but not anglo saxon words like horse, hundred, heart etc...

anyway, I didn't come here to bandy words about that, I noticed the comment on 'and's - I don't mind the 'and' s myself in principle, but I did feel that two in the same position in each verse was a bit repetitive. Maybe replace the second one by 'in' ?

I don't mind the (then) second 'in' myself, but if you did, an alternative would be 'as' (nothing and everything)

also, I think you should match 'chasing' with 'wanting'

sorry if a bit terse, you know I like it anyway! (and I have beef to barbecue)

JohnG

Author's Reply:
Thanks griff for your detailed comment. Re a/an - see my comment to Romany above ( I will do some research).
The "ands" seem to be catching people so I have edited - not sure if I like it or not - would be interested in opinions.
Re chasing/wanting - I feel "wants to run" is neater than "wanting to run"; I also feel that somehow it is subtly different in meaning, but you know, I can't for the life of me explain that difference.
Thanks, Elf.

royrodel on 04-07-2010
Restless
Restless spirit ?
Does this mean no direction.
I feel this is a searching, even howling
or maybe not.

RODEL

Author's Reply:
"Does this mean no direction. " - probably!
"I feel this is a searching," - all of my Life! (to no avail).
Many thanks for your perceptive comment Rodel.
Elf.

Hulda on 22-01-2011
Restless
I hope you are not restless and lost inside of yourself, you give me a lot to think about, thank you, hulda

Author's Reply:
Oh, I think I am resstless sometimes and maybe lost too . .
I love it when people comment on poems that have been here for a while - thank you 🙂 Elfstone


Patterns (posted on: 28-05-10)
Sign of the times I'm afraid.

Patterns And there it is again, that pattern; that cursd pattern, an endless repetition gnawing, grinding on. I did not choose the perpetual reprise, the revolving encores of the unwanted. Lady Macbeth had it right - the damned spot won't go; no mere snivelling drip but a swamping blot mocking and sneering. The done won't undo; the done will never undo and I have no choice. How to change the unchanging? how to escape the Norns cords - to cut the damn things? how to be someone else? how to not be me? How? - tell me! I did not choose - I did not choose this cursd pattern. Elfstone 25/5/10
Archived comments for Patterns
pdemitchell on 28-05-2010
Patterns
Hi Elf - I enjoyed it muchly. It brought to mind Paisley shirts, celtic knot-art and the Mandelbrot sets of existence - damn those Norns! Cheers - Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
Apologies for the delay in replying to your very welcome comment (I'm still struggling with the effects of the op a week ago). I had to go do a search for "the Mandelbrot sets of existence" - never heard of them; within a sentence on Wikipedia the maths was way over my head! Very pretty pictures though.

And "damn those Norns" is exactly right!
Thanks mitch. Elf.

sunken on 29-05-2010
Patterns
Well done on the nib Elfy one. Much deserved.

s
u
n
k
e
n

tagless due to cutbacks

Author's Reply:
My thanks Uncle Sunk. I was very surprised, but truly delighted, to get a nib for this one - thought it might be a bit too bleak for most peoples' taste.
Elfy one.

stormwolf on 29-05-2010
Patterns
sentiments that echo with me too many times. Well done on the nib Alison x

Author's Reply:
"sentiments that echo with me too many times." - and may resonate with a few people to whom life has been a bit cruel. I'm trying to 'be positive' but it's tough at the moment.

Thanks for leaving a comment - you know it means a lot. Elf

Ionicus on 29-05-2010
Patterns
Excellent, Elf. I enjoyed it very much, this stanza especially:
"Lady Macbeth had it right -
the damned spot won’t go;
no mere snivelling drip
but a swamping blot
mocking and sneering.
The done won’t undo;
the done will never undo
and I have no choice."

Luigi x


Author's Reply:
Very glad you enjoyed Luigi. It still bemuses me a bit that people respond so positively to my black poems, but I am very gratified. My thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Elf.

Corin on 29-05-2010
Patterns
There is no fate mapped out for us - except I suppose that in our ow n genes. The Norns and Moirae are a good metaphor for the twists and turns of life.

Being a humanist I have excised God from this, but as it was human that thought it up and expressed it that seems right to me:-

From the Serenity Prayer - a good thought for Christians and humanists alike:-


May I find the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

THis is a good spell to aroint The Fates and Norns

David



Author's Reply:
"There is no fate mapped out for us" - hmm, I disagree quite strongly with that I think.
"except I suppose that in our own genes." - well that's it of course; we don't any of us choose to whom we will be born. And my thoughts on that are expressed in this poem -
http://www.ukauthors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=5936
if you are interested to take a look.

"May I find the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change; " - that's the really hard bit. 🙁

"aroint" - good word - I'd never seen or heard it before.

My thanks for such an interesting comment Corin.
Elf.

Corin on 30-05-2010
Patterns
Hi Elf - this reads to me like a beautifully understated exposition of the mood changes caused by Bi-Polar disorder.

These lines:-

"I did not choose
the perpetual reprise,
the revolving encores
of the unwanted. "

Express it brilliantly.

Old Bill does it too:-

Sonnet 29

XXIX.

When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

I like your modern version of this idea very much.

Warm Wishes

David




Author's Reply:
"this reads to me like a beautifully understated exposition of the mood changes caused by Bi-Polar disorder" - golly! do I have bi-polar disorder?!

I don't know that Shakespeare sonnet (I should read more "proper" stuff, not just Sci-Fi) it's lovely - but he has a "thee" to "think on" and I'm sure that's significant.

Thanks again corin for your kind attention to my poem. Elf.

teifii on 05-06-2010
Patterns
I suppose, Elf, that what people respond to in really effective black poems, and this certainly is one, is the turning out something good from the bad. That's real creativity, isn't it?
Daff

Author's Reply:
Oh i thought this one had slipped into obscurity! - it's lovely when someone comes along a while after publishing day and leaves a comment. Thanks Daff. I'm chuffed that you saw something good in this. Elf.


Unwanted (posted on: 14-05-10)
What can I say? - it was all such a very long time ago.

Unwanted ''No-one wants to know you when you're unhappy.'' and still they echo on through all the long years of half forgotten memories and hazy remembrances. So much gone now, not worth holding on to; some, perhaps, that should be remembered, but wandered away into the fog of the forgotten. And yet, on a still moment, sudden, unasked, they reverberate over the seeping stain of the numbness of aging; the bite, the sting as sharp, as unwanted as then - words that still cut. ''No-one wants to know you when you're unhappy''. Elfstone 12/5/10
Archived comments for Unwanted
pdemitchell on 14-05-2010
Unwanted
hi Elf - it was very poignant and did reflect the gradual emptying of ageing apart from the sharp blades of regret. Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
"the sharp blades of regret" - what a good phrase! I might pinch that for a future poem if I may. It's odd: I hadn't thought of that moment for a very long time, then all of a sudden it's just there. Thanks for stopping by and reading. Elf

sunken on 14-05-2010
Unwanted
Hello Elf of Stone fame. Your poem reminds me of the phrase 'laugh and the world laughs with you - Cry and no one gives a shit.' Ok, I appended that last bit myself. A neat little write with a message to boot. Nice one.

And now for your personalised reading...

Fri May 14th: An administrative error at tesco dot com will leave you buried beneath a mountain of cut-priced fish fingers. A tall man with shifty eyes will call upon you in the hope of securing a deal. He will claim to be related to Captain Birds Eye. You will later send him packing with a fish finger in his ear. Next door's dog craps on your lawn again.

Please Note: The precision of my readings cannot be guaranteed. I am merely a channel through which my spirit guide (Elvis) speaks. Thank you. Hello?

s
u
n
k
e
n

his left nipple acts as a dimmer switch

Author's Reply:
" 'laugh and the world laughs with you - Cry and no one gives a shit.' Ok, I appended that last bit myself. " ah but it is so true my friend, that's exactly what happens - very perceptive of you. Thanks Sunk - I'm glad this wins your approval. Elf

stormwolf on 14-05-2010
Unwanted
True friends should be there for you whatever you feel. People are strange creatures...I have found some like when you are down for it makes them feel as though they are 'sorted'.
I detest shallowness in all forms.
Sad and thought provoking. I could really resonate with these lines
So much gone now,
not worth holding on to;
some, perhaps, that
should be remembered,
but wandered away
into the fog of the forgotten.

I sit typing on my one remaining dining room chair..once the pride and joy of a grand dining room in other days...
I understand about loss but find that humour helps us through.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
"True friends should be there for you whatever you feel." - well I would agree that is the ideal, but when is life ever ideal?! It was my then boyfriend who said those immortal ( it seems) words. They cut me deeply then; I haven't thought of them in a long, long time and then all suddenly the other day they were just there in my head - very odd.
Thanks for you kind comments storm - they're much appreciated.

Ionicus on 15-05-2010
Unwanted
So true Elf. Your sentiments of regret and bitter memories are best dealt with as you have summarised here:
"So much gone now,
not worth holding on to;
some, perhaps, that
should be remembered,
but wandered away
into the fog of the forgotten."
In the words of that old cliché, 'It's no use crying over spilt milk.'

Author's Reply:
"In the words of that old cliché, 'It's no use crying over spilt milk.'" yes, but we all do at the time, don't we? What's odd is that this came back to me unexpectedly all these years later. I suppose in the end all we are is the sum total of our life's experiences. My thanks ionicus - you know I welcome your comments. Elf.

Hulda on 22-01-2011
Unwanted
Oh, i hope you feel better now, you wrote it long time ago. I really hope persons are there for us even we are not so happy at times, take care Sir. hulda

Author's Reply:
I wrote it last May - that's not so long ago; some of my poems on here go back to 2002/3. "I really hope persons are there for us even we are not so happy at times," - I hope that too. Elfstone.


Screapadal (posted on: 19-04-10)
I wanted to attach a small pic with this but can't figure out how to. This, again, was written in Raasay a couple of weeks back. Screapadal is another of the deserted villages there.

Screapadal Space itself has no more space than this forlorn place. Not even in the Eden of your faith did they breathe a cleaner air. No cathedral roof is more reaching than the soaring loft above you. If angels brought their lanterns down the light would be no clearer than the lucent wrap of vividness around you. There, in the corner of a ruin, a tree grows out of the wall. There is defiance still; there is resilience - a stubborn refusal to fade, to give in to forgetfulness; a tribute to the spirit of those gone creeps through those branches. There were lives here once; here in this place were laughter and weeping and dying and loving and remembering and all around you a humbling enormity. The beauty here is silent, each blinking gaze leaves a quiet scar on the soul. The beauty here is pain, a mirror to the cruelty that took the life of this place and left wild, wind-riven ruins in the shimmering vastness to haunt our awe. Memory, memory, breathe in this luminous air; will you forget? Elfstone 2/4/10
Archived comments for Screapadal
pdemitchell on 19-04-2010
Screapadal
Fabulous Elf and brought the forlornness of the place to life. A few tiny tweakettes for your consideration. The first line works well but the repeated space jarred a little for me - the universe has no more space maybe? The 'that' in stanza three seemed to 'hang' out of place at the line as an emphasis falls on it when read aloud. Absolutely gorgeous though - I'm all for a good lucent wrap of vividness, me! Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
Goodness, I'm blushing! but also very grateful for your fulsome praise. I'm also grateful for the "tweakettes" (wonderful word!!). You will see that I acted on the "that" suggestion, which involved another tweak to 'settle' the stanza. I'm less certain about the removal of "Space"; I rather like the play on words. May I reserve judgement on that? My thanks again. Elf.

e-griff on 20-04-2010
Screapadal
This one does not grab me in the same way the last one did. I guess it's down to personal taste, but there seemed less meaning/images/impact for me.

best JOhnG

Author's Reply:
"I guess it's down to personal taste" - yes of course it is, but my thanks anyway for taking the time to read and comment. Elf.

stormwolf on 20-04-2010
Screapadal
This is an example of what to me is free writing. You did it in your last poem and you do it again here. You are not scared to use repetition for your 'voice' through the poem is strong. It is like some sort of echo that haunts.
Loved this
There, in the corner of a ruin,
a tree grows out of the wall.
There is defiance still;
there is resilience -
a stubborn refusal to fade,
to give in to forgetfulness;
a tribute to the spirit of those gone
creeps through those branches.
I have seen those branches and felt that refusal to give in..it's as though the very land is talking and of course it is...for those with ears to hear.
The choice of spacing in the last few lines is just right. I feel (and I know you do) that the line presentation is very crucial to how the poem is read. Congrats on the nib again 😉
All that fresh air and thinking is reaping rewards
Alison x

Author's Reply:
"your 'voice' through the poem is strong. It is like some sort of echo that haunts. " That is a humbling comment.
My thanks again for your insight and kind comments. Elf.

sunken on 21-04-2010
Screapadal
Hello Elf of the Stone persuasion. I'd have commented on this earlier had I not been busy designing foot pumps in outer Mongolia. The thing that really bugs me, Elf, is that the foot pump has 'apparently' already been invented! Could someone not have told me this before I set out on my foot pumping mission? Apparently there's even an Argos Superstore in Outer Mongolia where said pumps of the foot persuasion are on special offer. I blame Icelandic volcanoes for this oversight. I hope to get back home soon. Meanwhile my stay here has been facilitated financially by a local big wig who likes to have his daily news read to him by English men with Acid House Tourette Syndrome. 'Acciieeedd' - I guess he stuck lucky with me then? I hope that pesky Volcano stops spewing ash soon. Ahem. I really like the poem by the way. Did I say that yet? Probably not. Well done on the nib. Muchly deserved. The Beagle named Bernard, he say 'Woof'. And to be quite frank, I don't blame the hairy little fella. Well done. Thank you. 'Acciiiedddd' - Bollocks! Ahem. Sorry.

s
u
n
k
e
n



Author's Reply:
"the foot pump has 'apparently' already been invented!" that must really have left you feeling bad, feeling as though you'd put your foot in it. So glad you found another outlet for your talent and energies.

Please tell Beagle Bernard that I am absolutely delighted with my 'top bark' woof! woof! :-)) (also very pleased that you like my poem). Elfstone

royrodel on 21-04-2010
Screapadal
shhhhhhhhhhh don't tell everybody.

RODEL

Author's Reply:
"don't tell everybody" - hmmm, why not?

Many thanks for that generous ten RODEL, I'm very chuffed. Elf.


Feannagan (posted on: 12-04-10)
I was in Raasay again last week and this is one of the poems I wrote over there.

Feannagan 'Lazy-beds'. That's their English name. Who in the name of the jealous God of your worshipping thought that a good naming? Look there. The long rows of filled in ditches still marking the French seams of thrawn, hard won growing, dragged from a spiteful soil. In the harshness of hail and gale you dug here; in the bitterness of rain and sleet you sowed for a necessary feeding of hungry mouths, your only audience black backs, herring gulls and the opportunist crows (who need no naming). Listen now. The vibrant silence holds the memory of your toiling. The aching of your back and the blisters on your hands caoin down the winds of forgotten years. Let those who call them 'Lazy-beds' dig; let them dig; let them dig through the hungry years and learn. And let them learn the callousness of naming. 31/3/10 My thanks to those of you who have read this - I feel I've a bit of a cheek posting anything as I've been out of here for quite a while, just coping with "life" - it's been tough recently. The above was inspired by one of many deserted crofts in Raasay. If you're not sure what a feannag is/looks like, google 'Lazy bed' - there are a few good photos. Elf.
Archived comments for Feannagan
pdemitchell on 12-04-2010
Feannagan
Cracking windblown imagery and stark. I love the naming refrain especially. I was thrown a little by the 'of' at the end of line 3 - mayber it could start line 4 and 'thrawn' and 'caoin' mystified me as possible typos? Glad to see you're back with a strong piece of work. Mitch

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading and leaving such a kind comment. I'm delighted that you see something good in this.

I've had a think about shifting the "of", but that would leave two adjacent lines starting with of ? not sure about that. I will give it some more thought - there may be another way out of it.



As far as thrawn and caoin are concerned, neither of them are typos. 'Thrawn" is a good old Scots word which, like many Scots words, has more than one meaning, but is most commonly used as obstinate and/or sullen; it seems an apt description.

"Caoin" is a Gaelic word which, if you look in a dictionary, translates literally as weeping, but as ever with translations there's more to it than that (and isn't that the thing with language the subtlety of understanding matters too). It may be just an island thing, but to caoin is to make a kind of quiet wailing sound born of sore grief; it's the sound that comes after the uncontrollable sobbing passes and it's a sound, having heard it, one never forgets. Again it seemed to be exactly the right word, but I accept that for those who have no knowledge of Gaelic it maybe poses a problem - more food for thought!

Thanks again mitch - you've got me thinking.


e-griff on 12-04-2010
Feannagan
A wild insistent tone to this, like the scene it is describing - bare and organised in an alien way ... very effective. I also liked the progression of the poem: the intro, so we know what we are talking about, the two solid middle verses the dig, dig, dig, and the small, effective coda with a piquant point. All admirable, je crois.

I agree though that 'thrawn' and 'caoin' are out of place here (sorry!) - although I know what thrawn means, and caoin was reminiscent of 'echoing', but that's an uninformed guess. I guess if you are determined, you could add footnotes, as I did with 'Greyland' (hof, engrailed, invected)

Author's Reply:
"A wild insistent tone to this" - I like that! many thanks e-griff for an admirable comment. I've addressed "thrawn" and "caoin" in my reply to mitch so perhaps you could have a look? Footnotes? hmm - not a bad idea.

My thanks again.

stormwolf on 12-04-2010
Feannagan
OMG!!! I am reading some really fine poetry these days. This is exquisite...You can feel the anger from line one (and I became enthralled) and it runs ahead and cries out in fury by the last stanza!

Let those who call them
‘Lazy-beds’ dig;
let them dig;
let them dig through
the hungry years and learn.
line of And let them learn
the callousness of naming.

By this time I want to shout out.!!! Just exceptional tuning into a time and the people who worked their fingers to the bone. You stood up and stood out and just wrote a poem that has moved me greatly.
There is power, rage and IMHO it is everything that poetry can aspire to.
Alison Rated 10 of course

Author's Reply:
stormwolf, I believe that probably the best thing that any poet can aspire to is to move people by the shaping of words. If I have done that for you then I am both humbled and delighted.


Yes there is some rage in this, but the damage is so long done and so far beyond ever being repaired that I suppose the anger is changed by the years too. It is also mingled with a profound respect for my ancestors and a strong (but useless) sense of injustice and more than a hint of sadness. Deserted crofts are astonishingly melancholy places; they have an atmosphere quite unique in my experience.


Enough! - I'm very grateful for your comments. 🙂

PS - I had an e-mail telling me that you've put this into you favourites; I'm *very* chuffed!

pdemitchell on 13-04-2010
Feannagan
Thanks for the response on thrawn and caoin. Leave the words as they are but I agree that a footnote would help us learn the Gaelic. Well worth the nib. Mitch

Author's Reply:
Thanks again mitch!

stormwolf on 14-04-2010
Feannagan
es there is some rage in this, but the damage is so long done and so far beyond ever being repaired that I suppose the anger is changed by the years too. It is also mingled with a profound respect for my ancestors and a strong (but useless) sense of injustice and more than a hint of sadness. Deserted crofts are astonishingly melancholy places; they have an atmosphere quite unique in my experience.


Yes I could not agree more. As one born withing miles of Culloden I adore the Highlands but there is a sadness that permeates some of the places which I feel very keenly. The little ruins all over standing solitary with their Rowan Tree still flourishing long after the people it was protecting have gone...Alison x

Author's Reply:
"there is a sadness that permeates some of the places " - spot on. Thanks stormwolf.

Ionicus on 14-04-2010
Feannagan
A powerful poem, Elf, full of passion and very descriptive.
I agree with Mitch that footnotes to explain Gaelic words would be useful to foreigners like me.
Congratulations on the nib and nomination. Well done.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
My grateful thanks for such a warm comment. You're probably right about the footnotes. In this day of internet research and googling everything it never occurred to me that they would be needed - mea culpa!

Elf.

royrodel on 14-04-2010
Feannagan
are you a MacSween or Soreley's bairn.

RODEL

Author's Reply:
Neither actually, although my late father was second cousin to Norman McCaig another very respected English/Gaelic poet of roughly the same generation as Sorley McLean.

Leila on 17-04-2010
Feannagan
Hi Elf love this poem it's superb- the depth of it, like a layering of years, of great understanding of the land and its people, feels like a lament. Congratulations I wouldn't change a thing...Leila

Author's Reply:
Leila, I'm very grateful for such a vote of confidence! "Lament" is the just right word.
Can I ask if you have read 'Hallaig', another Raasay-born poem of mine? More lamenting, in a way.
Thanks again for your kind comment. Elf.


Hallaig (posted on: 19-10-09)
I walked to this place last week; it's on the east coast of Raasay. I don't want to say any more about it now as I'd rather you came to the poem with fresh eyes, so to speak.

Hallaig Block upon block, stone upon stone, you built in this place and all around your toiling the vastness of light and space, the wildness of your being and cool, distant mountains; a brutal beauty clinging to the steepest edges, Hallaig of ancient dreams. Here in this remoteness was the strength of your living; here in this harshness was the power of your believing, a conviction that wealth was food on your plates and laughter in your hearts, Hallaig of quiet remembrance. Now the emptiness seeps through the stone bones of your dwellings; mosses lie creeping witness to the cruelty of Clearance; the browning bracken festers in the beds of your labour and the eternal mountains gaze on the fleeting paths of your lives, Hallaig of slow fading. Elfstone 12/10/09
Archived comments for Hallaig
Bradene on 19-10-2009
Hallaig
Now the emptiness seeps through
the stone bones of your dwellings;
mosses lie creeping witness
to the cruelty of Clearance;
the browning bracken festers in
the beds of your labour and
the eternal mountains gaze on
the fleeting paths of your lives,
Hallaig of slow fading.


this last stanza encapsulates the feeling of desolation and abandonment of the place perfectly. The whole poem though gives the sense of raw and wild beauty too. A wonderful piece of writing. Val

Author's Reply:
Many thanks Val! Hallaig was another of those places (like the ruin I wrote about in 'Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill ) which "spoke" to me. It was a very small crofting hamlet which was effectively finished by the Clearances. Incidentally the great Gaelic/English poet Sorley MacLean was born and brought up there.

stormwolf on 19-10-2009
Hallaig
wow you really captured the wild beauty of a place and tuned into the feeling of it too. I have never been there but have been to similar places in Scotland that have that same effect....
it is hard to capture the haunting magesty of it....... but you did it.
Alison

Author's Reply:
I'm very grateful for your kind comment Alison. I'm always very pleased when people seem to capture something of the place I'm describing. 'Haunting' is the right word - it had a very special atmosphere.

sunken on 20-10-2009
Hallaig
Hello Elf of Stone fame. I felt I was there whilst reading this. I'll be frank, I've a good mind to put me coat on. Especially liked -

mosses lie creeping witness
to the cruelty of Clearance;

Top stuff and no mistake.

s
u
n
k
e
n

half man, half daydream

Author's Reply:
"I felt I was there whilst reading this." What a wonderful compliment. Very glad you liked this. Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment Sunk. Elf.

Ionicus on 20-10-2009
Hallaig
Dear Elf, you have described the emptiness and isolation of this place very skilfully as this passage amply shows:

"the vastness of light and space,
the wildness of your being
and cool, distant mountains;
a brutal beauty clinging to
the steepest edges,
Hallaig of ancient dreams."

Also the feeling of being at one with nature comes across strongly. Well done.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
'Emptiness and isolation' were very much in evidence there. It was a special, if very melancholy, place. I'm delighted by your approval. Elf

macaby on 22-10-2009
Hallaig
A wonderfull poem , well observed and captured in strong images. Your words take the reader on a historical and sad journey. Well done.
mac

Author's Reply:
Just caught up with this - delighted that you approve. Many thanks for leaving such a nice comment Mac.


Stitches (posted on: 05-06-09)
A Challenge entry from a couple of weeks back. The prompt was "A stitch in time saves nine."

Stitches We are only that which is stitched into Time and all those stitches bind up our lives. Neat, clumsy, tight, loose, the stitcher saves the best for some an intricate, fine embroidery born of love and patience and crafstmanship. The rest are roughly tacked with little thought, less skill, and all uncaring. And does that sewing take us back to Norns again? Those three cast no stitches; nine lives or none they are indifferent; they weave, they splice the thread of Time and Fate, un-needled, and all unknowing. We are only that which is stitched into Time and those stitches are warped and all unravelling. Elfstone 17/05/09
Archived comments for Stitches
Sunken on 05-06-2009
Stitches
Hello Elf of Stone fame. Particularly liked the final stanza -

'We are only that which is
stitched into Time and
those stitches are warped
and all unravelling.'

That's a ickul poem all in its own right. Smashing stuff.

s
u
n
k
e
n

where there is jam, let there be donuts


Author's Reply:
Hi Sunk, sorry to take so long to reply - I've had a busy weekend and haven't been able to get in here until now. Many thanks for your comments - valued as always. I'm pleased that you like this. I wasn't sure about it, but I think it is 'growing on me'!! Elf.

pdemitchell on 13-04-2010
Stitches
hi! may I echo sir sunken - normally I skip of 'is's and 'and's at end of lines but occasionally they hang together as here. A cracking piece inspired by a single temporal saw. P.S. Are the Norns of which you speak the nornir, the fate maidens of Norse mythology? Cheers Mitch

Author's Reply:
Good heavens! mitch - I'd forgotten all about this one :-)) many thanks for reading my 'old piece' and taking the time to comment. I'm delighted that you like it and yes they are the Norns of Norse mythology - I know of them through Wagner's Ring. I've referred to them in another poem, but I can't for the life of me remember which one off the top of my head - one of the perils of being an aging Elf! 😉


Teddy: bare (posted on: 18-05-09)
My entry for last week's Challenge.

Teddy: bare The warmth, the cuteness of a happy childhood made wool (and stuffing), promoting pseudo-memories, working on our vision of 'how-it-ought-to-be'; fairy tale wholesomeness snuggling up beside the sugar-coated choice to believe in toffee-apple happiness. What tales could teddies tell of lonely nights and lonelier days, of cold, middle-class disapproval, of bitter layers of strictures piled on rigid discipline? What fading, crumpled voice might teddies have to relieve us of our caustic delusions? What honesty in those glassy eyes haunts our secret misery. Elfstone 12/5/09 (edited to change one word)
Archived comments for Teddy: bare
Mezzanotte on 18-05-2009
Teddy: bare
And this didn't win? Why not, it's fab. Such an original slant on Teddy Bears...didn't like the 'demonic' eyes though...doesn't seem to be the right word IMO. I loved 'toffee-apple happiness'.

Great poem.
Best wishes
Jackie

Author's Reply:
Many thanks Mezznotte. "Demonic" eyes? I thought they looked a bit like that in the photo prompt. Maybe demonic isn't quite right, but they're certainly not comfortable eyes. I'll have another think. Elf.

Ionicus on 18-05-2009
Teddy: bare
Lovely poem, dear Elf. Was among the favourites if memory serves me right. I am in agreement with Mrs. Midnight, though, about the use of 'demonic'. Would 'mesmeric' be a more suitable alternative?
Just a suggestion.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
My grateful thanks Ionicus. Maybe demonic isn't the word (see my reply to Ms Mittenacht above), "Mesmeric is too . . oh I don't know . . "involving", I think. I will give this some thought though. Thanks again for your input. Elf

Jolen on 19-05-2009
Teddy: bare
Oh my this is good! What a smashing little poem! Very striking and something that I think a great many of us can relate to.
The ending is especially powerful.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jolen. I'm always delighted when people relate to my work - I suppose that's what trying to be a poet is all about. Elf.

Sunken on 19-05-2009
Teddy: bare
Hello Elf of Stone fame. I agree with Ms. Jackie. The toffee apple line is scrummy. Did ya see what I did there? Ahem. Sorry. Enjoyed the poem.

s
u
n
k
e
n

keeper of the batteries

Author's Reply:
Hello Uncle Sunky and thank you for your thoughts on my latest offering - very glad you enjoyed it. Elf.

macaby on 19-05-2009
Teddy: bare
I like the play on the word bear/ bare , great idea. I loved the poem also.
mac

Author's Reply:
Thanks mac for a lovely comment; chuffed! Elf.


Avakas (posted on: 08-05-09)
Another one form Paphos.

Avakas A sweetness of lemon trees oranges, grapefruits, draping around us, soft, warm, heady - aromatherapy to go at no extra charge. Heat baked rocks echoing goat bells down the centuries; nameless wild flowers' breeze bobbing petals defy us to droop. Dust and grit, back-sweating walking and each bend in the track another view from long ago seen for the first time again. Deepening valley walking me into opening ways; narrowing gorge widening my mind. Elfstone 8/4/09
Archived comments for Avakas
Mezzanotte on 08-05-2009
Avakas
Wow,

what a beautiful poem, I loved particularly, the first and final stanza. What a lovely place to be.

Best Wishes
Jackie



Author's Reply:
Many thanks Jackie. I hoped to capture something of the place - it was lovely. Elf.

Jolen on 08-05-2009
Avakas
I wish I'd been there, this sounds lovely, and any place that 'widens' the mind it wonderful.


blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
It was! and of course you might want to consider coming to the next UKAway - they can be very productive (and mind-widening!). Thanks for reading and commenting. Elf.

Bradene on 08-05-2009
Avakas
I Missed this last week, it's really beautiful, I'm heartsick that I missed the trip this year. Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val - and for the '10'. I was sorry not to have your company in Cyprus, but we have the next UKAway in India to look forward to . . .
Elf.

reckless on 09-05-2009
Avakas
Lovely images, conjuring up a sense of serenity. I remember the feeling I got when I was 13 and read 'My family and other animals', and it was similar to the feeling when reading this. Thanks for that, I enjoyed it very much.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for your comment and for that lovely comparison - much appreciated. Elf.

e-griff on 09-05-2009
Avakas
excellent poem, fine ending.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks e-griff - your comments are always valued. Elf.

RachelLW on 09-05-2009
Avakas
It is an excellent poem indeed. Loved the citrus lines. Really could picture it. Rachel 🙂

Author's Reply:
I really wish I could have boxed up that aroma and brought it home. It was a wonderful, sweet, heady perfume. Thanks for your kind comment Rachel. Elf

Sunken on 09-05-2009
Avakas
Hello Elf of Stone fame. Ahem. Perhaps it's just me, but that last stanza seems very... raunchy and no mistake. I refer you to the following -

'Deepening valley
walking me into
opening ways;
narrowing gorge
widening my mind.'

Is it my pervy mind again? I'll be frank, it's given me a twitch. It's me, by the way, sunks. I hope this has helped. Bernard, the beagle of communist persuasions, he say woof. I suspect, like myself, he's liking it for all the wrong reasons. Ahem. Well done on the nib. Thank you. Hello?

s
u
n
k
e
n



Author's Reply:
Dear Sunk, your comments never fail to make me smile and another 'top bark' from Bernard? - I am *very* chuffed.
"Is it my pervy mind again?" - perhaps, but that can just be our little secret, yes? 😉

Doughnut on 10-05-2009
Avakas
It captures the very essence of Paphos. Lovely poem for one of my favourite places!

Author's Reply:
What a lovely comment Doughnut. If I have captured the essence of the place then I am delighted. Thanks for stopping by and reading. Elf.

Leila on 10-05-2009
Avakas
A sweetness of lemon trees
what a beautiful opening line taking the reader right into the poem
and as an aromatherapist I loved the lines
aromatherapy to go
at no extra charge
a real feel good and expertly crafted poem...Leila

Author's Reply:
I'm very grateful for your kind comments Leila. I think any aromatherapist would have loved the perfume in the groves - it was special. Thanks again. Elf.


Waves/Words (posted on: 20-04-09)
The sea has figured a lot in my life, in various ways. Another poem written in Cyprus, but looking back to previous UKAways and elsewhere.

Waves/Words Arietta - 02 distant whispers of electric Atlantic rollers opening unknown doors, flooding the unexpected. Limnisa - 07 calm Aegean seduction, Saronic sultriness lulls shimmering thoughts, sparkling the mundane. Paphos - 09 cool blue Akamas clarity - deceptive, unpredictable - tempts, grinding sediment of knowledge into silt of possibility. Harris- always salt stinging spume, wind flung sea-spray chasing breakers of meaning through tides of my life. Elfstone 8/4/09
Archived comments for Waves/Words
RachelLW on 20-04-2009
Waves
Some beautiful lines.

'grinding sediment of knowledge
into silt of possibility.' - Brilliant.

'salt stinging spume,
wind flung sea-spray' - Lovely.

I wonder about the connection between them - there isn't unless you point it out and it's not a connection that's relevant to a reader in a meaningful way. As separate stanzas I think they're lovely and probably stand alone.

Rachel





Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading and leaving a comment Rachel. I take your point that, although I hint at it in the introduction, the connection between the stanzas is perhaps not as obvious as it needs to be. In fact thinking off the top of my head a poem shouldn't really need an introduction so I need to do a bit of thinking.

The four places listed are all places where I have written poetry: my first ever writing holiday in Lanzarote (which started the poetry thing off); the two UKAways I've been on and of course Harris which I have strong connections with and visit often. In each of these places the sea was/is also very prominent. I need to find a way of incorporating that info in the poem without messing it up.

Thanks again Rachel - you've made me think.

Mezzanotte on 21-04-2009
Waves
Dear Elfstone,

Yes, I agree with Rachel, i'm not too sure what you are doing with this poem, what you want the reader to understand, but there are some beautiful lines.

I guess if this were a painting it would be abstract...beautiful but confusing.

I hope you don't mind my honesty

Best Wishes
Jackie

Author's Reply:
Mezzanotte, my thanks for your comments and of course I don't mind your honesty 🙂 The whole point of posting things here is to get honest opinions and if you read my response to Rachel, you'll see that you have both given me food for thought - very useful!

orangedream on 21-04-2009
Waves
This is quite beautiful, Elfstone. Each stanza is a gem in its own right.

There is one tiny typo in the second line of the Paphos stanza, by the way. Should read 'deceptive' I think:-)

These my favourite lines:-

"Saronic sultriness lulls
shimmering thoughts,
sparkling the mundane. "

Much enjoyed.

Tina





Author's Reply:
Many thanks orangedream, I'm very chuffed that you like it. You're right about the typo - I'll go change it. I can't proofread my own work and invariably something slips through. Thanks again, Elf.

Sunken on 23-04-2009
Waves/Words
Hello Ms. Elf (you are a Ms. aren't ya?)
I found your bite-sized poems to be full of meaty goodness. They are substantial, but not overpowering. I shall now wash them down with a little luzozade. I hope this helps. Thank you.

s
u
n
k
e
n

kippers 3 - salmon 5

Author's Reply:
Sorry not to reply sooner Sunk (having some health problems at the moment). I very much appreciate your kind comments as always. Like the idea of my poems being "washed down with a little lucozade"! Elf.


Cupola (posted on: 13-04-09)
This is one of the poems I wrote on the recent UKAway to Cyprus.

Cupola The fluttering startles cool gloom awake; this aged serenity distilled of obsequies infusing sacred walls. The flickering black-white white-feather-black, against glassy blue, agitates life in a sanctuary of stasis. The cupola blinks; a bright sunlight seemingly unsure of straying too far earthwards, reaches tentatively down to the working levels - worship is a glass-darkly business after all. The jackdaws - soaring closer to the possibilty of angels, relishing light, unconcerned by religion's uncertainty, flashing back and forth - need no such reservation. Elfstone 8/4/09
Archived comments for Cupola
Sunken on 14-04-2009
Cupola
Hello Elf of Stone fame. Well done on the nib n nom, muchly deserved. I'm having trouble sleeping tonight and your tranquil pome is just what the doctor ordered. I shall now ruin your day by shoving a smelly Bernard on ya. It's all about balance (-; Well done and no mistake.

s
u
n
k
e
n



Author's Reply:
and hello to you Mr Sunken. My thanks for leaving a comment - and such a positive one at that. (I must say I am very chuffed at both the nib and the nomination.) My day is by no means ruined by the Bernard, in fact please tell Bernard that I am delighted by his top bark - woof woof!

cat on 15-04-2009
Cupola
Oh my this UKAway holiday business is certainaly appealing when such good work as this is produced.
Very nice Sir thank you for sharing.

My bestest to you c x

Author's Reply:
and my thanks to you. I'm pleased that you like this.
UKAways are very appealing - maybe you'd like to try one? 🙂

Dazza on 12-11-2009
Cupola
...worship is a glass-darkly
business after all... Beautiful word play, this poem seems to have been quietly ignored which strangely seems appropriate; gentle, pretty things often are...Dazza.

Author's Reply:

Supratik on 05-02-2016
Cupola
How did I miss this one! Reading the last stanza is an experience for me. Thank you!

Author's Reply:
Goodness me!!! Nearly 7 years later! I'm amazed and delighted to find a comment for this one. And my apologies for taking so long to reply Supratik; I have been away for 3 weeks and had no access to the internet.

I'm very chuffed that you enjoyed this and enough to make it a favourite. I very much appreciate you leaving a comment too - thanks! Elf.


Limnisa (posted on: 20-03-09)
A very short comment on the first UKAway (I missed the second through illness).

Limnisa A place or warmth; A place of kindness and helpful smiles; A place of good eating and good talking and more; A place of sea song and sun shimmer; A place of soothing peace and, behind the sounds surrounding our thinking, The sighing of silence and the Greek Gods smiling on this place. This chosen place: this Limnisa. Elfstone 13/7/07 If you are interested the other 2 poems I wrote there that week are here: http://www.ukauthors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=19917 and here: http://www.ukauthors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=19825 The UKAway week is a wonderful chance to be immersed in writing in a quiet holiday location, with supportive writers around you to give advice when needed. If you are tempted to join us this year have a look here: http://ukauthors.com/phorum5/read.php?1,142975
Archived comments for Limnisa
macaby on 20-03-2009
Limnisa
You know, when most of us go on holiday we send postcards. weather great, food great and wish you where here and the usual stuff. I'd like to pick up a postcard while on holiday and write something "inspiring" like your poem on it and send it to someone like myself who would appreciate it.I really liked this one.mac

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for that helpful comment macaby! I suppose it is a kind of poetic postcard. It was actually written for the guest book at that end of the week, but it does seem to sum up the holiday very well. I would recommend the UKAway week to any writer who feels that a change of scene might help their writing. I found it quite inspirational and I'm going again this year.

Sunken on 22-03-2009
Limnisa
It all sounds bloomin loverly and no mistake, Elf of Stone fame. Oh, apart from the Greek gods that is, I wouldn't be interested in them. Ahem. I'd probably just get jealous and it would ruin the atmosphere. I mean, who do they think they are, all Greek and God-like? No, it's best I stay in rainy Britain and look after things here. Enjoyed the poem. You certainly do the place justice. Good to see you back. I hope the illness wasn't anything too serious. Take care and sunblock.

s
u
n
k
e
n

he gets jealous quite easily

Author's Reply:
Awww uncle sunky - you would have nothing to be jealous about I'm sure. Greece was "bloomin loverly and no mistake" and I'm sure Cyprus will be too; I am looking forward to it very much.

Elf.
PS - nice to be back! :-))

teifii on 22-03-2009
Limnisa
Reminded me how I wish I could go.
Daff

Author's Reply:
. . and can't you? It's not too late and it would be lovely to have you join us and meet you in person. 🙂


Hope (posted on: 28-04-08)
A sonnet.

Hope Of all the blights, of all the bains that mar, the wretchedness, the callous blows that grate, the stinging left by Fortune's bleeding scar, the endless fight with unforgiving Fate; Of all the bitter things that scrape and rasp, the acid drip of days that bite, that grab, the fumes of rotting years that, choking, gasp and leave behind a raw unhealing scab; Of all the bricks, the sideswipes Life can dole, the disappointments piled in putrid layers, that seep through crevices of the weary soul, catching hard-earned numbness unawares; Of all Life's fogs, through which I grind and grope, God spare me from the worst: the stench of Hope. Elfstone 19/4/08
Archived comments for Hope
Macjoyce on 28-04-2008
Hope
Mmm. A lovely cheery poem to read first thing in the morning.

I think the cynicism and anti-hopefulness of this is a great idea, but the language lets you down in places. I normally criticise poems for being too adjectivey, but I think the problem with this is that it's too verby:

"that mar", "that grate", "that scrape and rasp", "that bite", "that nag", "that gasp", "that seep". It does get rather repetitive.

Also, not sure about rhyming 'nag' with 'scab'.

Would you prefer me to say there is hope for this poem or not? Or wouldn't you care?

Macca


Author's Reply:
Majoyce, apologies for not responding sooner - work has been very hectic this week. I'm very grateful for your thoughtful - and though provoking - comments. I'll have another look at those verbs.

PS: I would - do - care.

artisus on 01-05-2008
Hope
i liked it, if there is no hope for a cynical, anti-hopeful poem then we are indeed very doomed.

Author's Reply:
Thankyou artisus and thanks also for making this a Hot Story (I've just had an email telling me). This is one of my bleaker poems, but like you I feel there is a place for the darker ones.

Sunken on 04-05-2008
Hope
Ahhh, to be a cynic with the one you loath on a rainy day... This means I liked it. Wouldn't the world be shit if we were all constantly happy? I knew a lad once who was permanently happy. He did my fuckin' head in. It was like he knew somethin' I didn't. Nice pome.

s
u
n
k
e
n

it's not you, it's the cold sore

Author's Reply:
"Wouldn't the world be shit if we were all constantly happy?" I don't know - would it? It might be nice to be able to put that to the test. Better constantly happy than constantly sad . . .?

Thanks for leaving a comment Uncle Munkle, I'm pleased that you like it. 🙂
Elf.

Romany on 07-05-2008
Hope
This is bloody excellent! One of the best I've read in ages. I love the pace, the bitter tone, the healthy cynicism, the words you've used. Excellent piece in my humble opinion.

One tiny, tiny thing that I am almost loathe to point out now: this line could do without the comma between 'that' and 'choking' I think.

Other than that, great!

Romany.

years that, choking,

Author's Reply:
Goodness me! am I chuffed! Thanks Romany, your approval means a lot.

I think you might be right about the commas - I'll go and have another look at it.

Romany on 07-05-2008
Hope
Went to nominate it and saw someone's beaten me to it - I should think so too!

Romany.

Author's Reply:
I'm blushing now.
🙂

Bradene on 07-05-2008
Hope
A great sonnet Elf, a bitter piece that one doesn't usually associate with you and your smiling face. It certainly is a very well thought out and written piece and the nomination well deserved. Hope you are over all your tribulations. We missed you in Cyprus. Val x

Author's Reply:
Hi Val, many thanks for leaving a heartening comment. I haven't had anything nominated in quite a long time so I am very chuffed.

I was very sorry not to be with you ion Cyprus, but I wouldn't have coped with the journey. I think 3 ops in two months really knocked the stuffing out of me, but I'm on the mend. I hope you are too!
Elf.


Living (posted on: 21-04-08)
Not much I can say about this really, it's just another poem.

Living There are cracks in the silence where the sound of wishing slips through the smother of the wall of un-hearing. There are gaps in the darkness where the images of possibility glimmer through the gloom of the pall of resignation. There are words on the blank pages where the pain of meaning twitches through the choking of the haar of misunderstanding. There are holes in the emptiness where the memory of hope teases through the dense weave of the damning of fate. Elfstone 24/3/08
Archived comments for Living
artisus on 21-04-2008
Living
EXCELLENT!

Author's Reply:
Well! goodness me!!
Thank you artisus I'm very chuffed by the comment and the rating. I haven't written much for quite a while due to ill health and it is humbling and pleasing that my first poem for ages can evoke such a response. Thanks again, Elf.

Sunken on 22-04-2008
Living
Hello Elf of Stone fame. A very atmospheric piece, in my munky opinion. You even taught me a new word 'Haar'. Well done and no mistake.

s
u
n
k
e
n

play misty for me

Author's Reply:
Hello Suny-munky and thankyou for reading this. I'm always pleased when you approve my work and I'm happy to teach you new words too.

PS - I'd love to play misty for you! ;-))

Sunken on 24-04-2008
Living
Ahem. Really? Shall I bring a change of underwear?

s
u
n
k
e
n

they call me stacey

Author's Reply:

orangedream on 24-04-2008
Living
Much is written here, elf - a poem to read and re-read. Stanza two for me has the most significance. An excellent piece of writing.

Incidentally, I first came across the word 'haar' about twenty years ago now when I used to spend a lot of time in the Inverness area (hubby was working on the Heather oil platform at Ardesier (don't think I've spelt that correctly, sorry). Anyway, it's a lovely word which for me aptly describes that beautiful kind of 'Scotch mist' of should the be Scottish?;-)

Tina

Author's Reply:
Many thanks o-d! I'm very chuffed that you like this. Haar is such an evocative word and the thing itself is different from just a mist - drenching, salty, raw and with a right snell edge to it. Oh, and it's Ardersier.:-)

orangedream on 24-04-2008
Living
Sorry, Elf - last bit should read, ... 'or should that be Scottish?'
Really should take more water with it - especially at this hour in the morning!!!

Tina;-)


Author's Reply:
LOL!

Ionicus on 24-04-2008
Living
Very good composition Elf. Enjoyed it.
I can't plead ignorance about the word 'haar' as I encountered it previously in one of Dylan's (your fellow countryman) poem.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Luigi. I am more than pleased at the response to this one.

I believe they occasionally get a haar in Glasgow (Dylan's area I think). but it is mostly an East coast thing.

Elf.

teifii on 26-04-2008
Living
Welcome back Elfie and what a lovely poem. Haar was a new word for me too. I like the carefully chosen verbs in each verse.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thank you for the welcome teifii; it's nice to be well enough to write and to be back in here. I'm glad you like this. You can read my thoughts on haar in my answer to orangedream.
Elf.

Romany on 27-04-2008
Living
Very well written though quite bleak, or have I misunderstood?

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Romany! - and yes it is bleak, but then Life is, sometimes, and writing it out helps - I think.
Thanks again. Elf

Mikeverdi on 25-01-2014
Living
I see where you're coming from, a good and well recieved poem. The similarities are evident in both. Sometimes you have to let it out. Mike

Author's Reply:
You do indeed. Thanks for taking the time to read this and leave a comment. Elf.


Bad Carols (for Bradene's Challenge) (posted on: 04-01-08)
These were written for Bradene's poetry Challenge (to write cynical versions of well known Carols), but unfortunately good Christmas things got in the way and I didn't sub them in time. So with apologies for my tardiness, here are 4 alternative versions of Christmas Carols. I know the rhyming doesn't work in places, but they can all be sung to the original tunes!

O come all ye wealthy, rich and over-financed come ye, oh come ye to our shopping mall. You don't need credit, just spend all your money. O come let us adore them O come let us adore them O come let us adore them for all their wealth. Poorest of poor struggling with no money come ye, oh come ye to the shopping mall. We'll give you credit and milk you with the interest. O come let us despise them O come let us despise them O come let us despise them 'cause they are poor. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Hark! the ring of retail tills; Glory to our need to spend. Trees and tinsel, food and wine, commercial, sacred, reconciled Joyful all ye shoppers rise great sale bargains are the prize with your credit unsecured interest rise must be endured. Hark! the ring of retail tills Spending money cures all ills! ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* God rest ye, merry revellers, let nothing you dismay, for alcohol is cheaper now than any previous day. So drink and shout and curse and fight and vomit on our streets; O, ASBOs are nothing you should fear, you should fear, O, ASBOs are nothing you should fear. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* In the bleak midwinter an orgy of excess, acquisition, grabbing more and the need to 'have', gluttony and wastefulness and bulging landfill sites give a telling testament to all our greed.
Archived comments for Bad Carols (for Bradene's Challenge)
e-griff on 04-01-2008
Bad Carols (for Bradenes Challenge)
well done! (I never did mine)

good (although you might have tickled up the rhyme in the last one 🙂 )

Author's Reply:


The Weaver's Work (for the Challenge) (posted on: 03-12-07)
The Poetry Challenge was to write a poem on the theme 'pattern(s)' containing that word somewhere in the text. With apologies to the other Challengees, I'm afraid this was a real rush job (for a while I thought I wasn't going to manage anything), but I felt I had to put something in.

The Weaver's Work and did I choose the threads weaving through the cloth of this living fabric? this coarse cord, knotted, uneven, thrawn to work with? The Norns are silent. and did I choose the colours threading through the stuff of this lifelong fabric? this flurry of falling thoughts spraying dark memories across the dull surface like unhappy spangles? The Norns are silent. and did I choose the pattern dyeing the surface of this unending weave? this chanting of the shuttle - a droning dirge - grating to and fro over an endless loom? The Norns are silent. and can I unravel this fabric unwind, untangle, undo the doing? take back the colours, choose a different pattern and weave a better cloth? The Norns sit silent, intent on their spinning. Elfstone 2/12/07
Archived comments for The Weaver's Work (for the Challenge)
e-griff on 03-12-2007
The Weaver’s Work (for the Challenge)
Those bloody Norns again - I'd tip em down the well!

Well you taught me another word: thrawn. Blimey!

My only picky technical nit pick is 'tainting the surface' - surely the pattern is within the weave, not superimposed on it? unless it is the 'unhappy sequins'.

Am I wuzzled?

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for your thoughts griff. On re-reading I think you're right about "tainting". I'll have another look at that. "Thrawn" is a good word - like so many Scots words; it's almost onomatopoeic! Elf

Ionicus on 03-12-2007
The Weaver’s Work (for the Challenge)
Excellent, Elfstone. If this was done in a rush what other masterpiece would you have produced given more time?

Author's Reply:
Goodness, I'm blushing! (flutters eyelashes delicately) I'm pretty certain I'm not up to producing masterpieces, but I am chuffed that you approve of this piece. Thanks also for that generous rating. Elf.

Bradene on 03-12-2007
The Weaver’s Work (for the Challenge)
Wonderfully intriguing with the strange words it has an archaic fantasy feel to it. Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val - I'm glad you liked it. Archaic - that's me 😉 Elf.

delph_ambi on 03-12-2007
The Weaver’s Work (for the Challenge)
Very Norse. Enjoyed it a lot. The only criticism I have is the use of the word 'sequins' which is far too modern for how I want to read the poem.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks delph. As I said in the intro - I rushed this one out at the last minute, so it possibly needs a bit of thought. Sequins? - I'll have a think and maybe replace that. Elf.

teifii on 03-12-2007
The Weaver’s Work (for the Challenge)
You certainly lived up to your own challenge. I like the mythological feel.
Daff

Author's Reply:
- yes but only just! I scraped into this one by the skin of my teeth 😀 I'm finding writing is difficult at the moment and I'm hoping that if I can just keep producing something, whatever, then the flow might come back. Pleased that you like this. Elf.

Romany on 03-12-2007
The Weaver’s Work (for the Challenge)
I like the slightly surreal edge to this too.

Romany


Author's Reply:
Thanks Romany. Funny, I hadn't seen this as surreal, but that's one of the great virtues of beloning to a site like this; it allows me to see my work through other people's eyes and that is almost always revealing and humbling and inspiring and . . . I could go on but I'll just say thanks again. Elf.


Sulking Season (posted on: 16-11-07)
I haven't had a poetry "moment" for a while - you know, when all of a sudden a poem is just *there*, without any planning or forethought.

Sulking Season A wild, snow-swirling day squally sleet and blinding sun spitting at each other. Snarling their incompatability in comfortless tantrums. Wind wheeling seagulls whooping, squealing squabbling with each other on a natural roller-coaster of storm-borne turbulence. Resigned sheep shaking their hand-wash-only fleeces free of drenching, horizontal rain; they carry on eating regardless. What's a little ice in a grass cocktail? Streamers of sullenness, the too-stretched clouds teasing the horizon, hiding and showing and hiding again. ''This could have been summer.'' they whine; ''Look! no! you're too late!'' These the angry rantings, the dour girnings, of a petulant Autumn wandering uncertainly between indifferent summer and unknowing winter; another messed-up Season. Elfstone 7/11/07 I'm pretty sure this is not amognst my best, but I will be interested in your opinions. (My excuse is that I was in a lot of pain when I wrote it - had just had my tonsils removed!)
Archived comments for Sulking Season
Sunken on 16-11-2007
Sulking Season


Hello Mr. Stone of Elf fame. Too many good bits in this if you ask me. From 'resigned sheep shaking their hand-wash-only fleeces' to 'Wind wheeling seagulls whooping, squealing squabbling with each other on a natural roller-coaster of storm-borne turbulence.' Very impressive stuff in my mucky book. You will quite obviously have to endure pain more often if this is the result (-; What will you have removed next?

s
u
n
k
e
n




Author's Reply:
Thankyou sunk for such a lovely comment! . . . but "You will quite obviously have to endure pain more often if this is the result (-; What will you have removed next? " oh no! oh NO! I've had quit enough pain thankyou. (Maybe I should write a poem about surgery?)
Thank Bernard for me - give him a gentle scratch behind the ear. Elf.

Gerry on 16-11-2007
Sulking Season
Nice one Elf, a superb descriptive poem...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading this Gerry - I'm glad you like it. Elf.

Jen_Christabel on 16-11-2007
Sulking Season
I liked this! I suffer with S.A.D., so I bloody hate the winter!
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
Jen my thanks - and my commiserations. I also dislike this time when I go to work in the dark and come home in the dark and if the weather is rough at the weekend, then it seems I go for weeks without seeing the sun! Elf

SugarMama34 on 16-11-2007
Sulking Season
Hi elf,

I liked the phrases you chose for this and your descriptiveness of the piece. This had very good imagery IMHO. I think you have penned this well, regardless of just having your tonsils out - I hope you are feeling better.
You have done this poem justice. I hate winter as well, it's depressing, probably why I think I'm suffereing with depression again. I bloody hate this time of year.
Sugar. xx

Author's Reply:
Many thanks Sugar, I'm pleased that you got something out of this. I can symapthise on the whole winter-depression thing! Elf

Jolen on 18-11-2007
Sulking Season
Hello Elfstone: I still love that moniker! Anyhoooooo. I don't know about this not being one of your best, but I think it's damn good. I love the alliteration, it adds to the over all 'feel' of the subject matter, imo. Also, your lines are crisp, just like they should be in this sort of description. Much enjoyed this!

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen - thankyou for such a delightful comment. Elfstone (it is good isn't it; see Tolkien? brilliant!)

e-griff on 18-11-2007
Sulking Season
some nice bits in this - 'ice in a grass cocktail' is my favourite. Don't run yourself down 🙂 Never say your work is not good (allow us to do that 🙂 )

And you taught me a new word 'girning' - I know the word 'gurn' (pulling faces) but the scottish girn (complain in a whining voice) was new to me. However my wife knew it - her family originally came from Northern Ireland, so I guess that's why.

Damn! missed a word! *sobs* best, JohnG

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for such a supportive comment egriff. It's much appreciated and I'm glad to have passed on "girning" - it's such a good word! Elf.

JeffDray on 02-12-2007
Sulking Season
Splendid pome, Elfy. the weather is just as bad doon sooth, as they say.

Author's Reply:


Limericks (for the Challenge) (posted on: 15-10-07)
A bit daft really, but it was fun writing them. Thank Ionicus!

I live in the far North, in Highland let me sing you the praises of my land: with it's towering bens and its dark brooding glens, this beautiful place is my heart land. The hills and the fields and the sea are as lovely as lovely can be. There's the vast deep blue sky where the wild buzzards fly. This is home, sweetest home to me. I sit here and look at the view, each time I am seeing it anew. It's wonderf'ly calm and I'm lost in a dwam; I wish I could share it with you. Elfstone 13/10/07
Archived comments for Limericks (for the Challenge)
e-griff on 15-10-2007
Limericks (for the Challenge)
How true! I like Birmingham too! Especially the old buzzards who congregate round the tip.

Author's Reply:
Brimingham . . ? (confused) The buzzards up here don't congregate around a tip; they soar magnificently above the barley fields and the sheep fields and drift on the air currents, seemingly effortlessly. When there are 6 - 8 of them slowly wheeling around it can be quite mesmerising!

Thanks for reading and commenting e-griff - much appreciated. Elf

Romany on 15-10-2007
Limericks (for the Challenge)
Beautiful limericks, but what is a 'dwalm?'

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Romany! A "dwalm" is actually a "dwam" (- sorry about that and I've edited above; calm/dwalm - it was a senior moment!!) If you're still none the wiser, it is a good Scottish word for a swoon/faint/day-dream/reverie sort of a thing. Elf.

Hazy on 15-10-2007
Limericks (for the Challenge)
Nice rhythm, Elf 🙂

Enjoyed reading!

Hazy x

Author's Reply:
"Nice rhythm, Elf"
oooooooh, the things I could say to that! (but won't!!)
... on a serious note, the rhythm of a Limerick is so important. In fact rhythm is often at the heart of a poem, even when it doesn't seem to be overtly tum-te-tum, if you know what I mean. Thanks for reading and commenting H. Elf.

Bradene on 15-10-2007
Limericks (for the Challenge)
I really enjoyed reading these three, Definitely not silly. Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val! A hint of a "Scottish" poem in them? I haven't done one of those in ages - maybe it's time. Actually after replying to e-griff above I thought there might be one about buzzrds floating about somewhere (if you'll forgive a truly awful pun!) Elf.

Perrorist on 15-10-2007
Limericks (for the Challenge)
Like the first one best but they all got rhythm.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Perrorist. Rhythm's my thing!! 🙂

Ionicus on 16-10-2007
Limericks (for the Challenge)
I have to hand it to you, you can certainly write limericks and the example that you gave in the Forum about Bishop Aucklands reinforces my belief.
Although I am not familiar with the Scottish idiom I guessed that dwam meant dream. Very well done.

Luigi x

Author's Reply:
My thanks for that kind comment Luigi.
This has been a really good Challenge. Well done to you!

teifii on 16-10-2007
Limericks (for the Challenge)
I like all three. Actually they seem to make a poem if you put them all together rather than separate limericks. Lovely picture of Scotland very reminiscent of my Wales.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks Daff. I did eventually think of these three as, if not one poem exactly, then at least a coherent trilogy. I imagine Wales is much like Scotland in places; must visit it some day!

delph_ambi on 18-10-2007
Limericks (for the Challenge)
The three work together beautifully to build a picture of a much-loved place. Just goes to show that if you take the form seriously, you can create something rather special.

Author's Reply:
Delp - I'm sorry it's taken me till now to reply - my ISP is acting up again and I didn't get notification of another comment having been added. Many thanks for leaving such a positive comment - made me smile!!
Elf.

Griffonner on 21-10-2007
Limericks (for the Challenge)
I'm with Teifii on this: they do go together exceedingly well. I'll have to take a raincheck on the dwam, though. 🙂

Author's Reply:
Ah - 'dwam' is a good word, like so many Scots words and unfortunately they are being used less and less these days. Thanks for taking the time to read these ditties Griff. Elf.


Eight (posted on: 24-09-07)
A poem submitted for the current poetry workshop challenge, which was to write a poem of no more than eight lines and using no abstract nouns. [I think I've failed :-(( ]

Eight - a mere eight lines, to give a feeling form? But I have such feelings, enough for eighty lines - more - of simmering black sentences, squiriming, wriggling, spewing out of the greasy gloom. Ah, but there are darkening places in the mind which will bear no shape of vapid words; where struggling self expression chokes on the poisoned, slimy paste of introspection. Elfstone.13/9/07
Archived comments for Eight
e-griff on 24-09-2007
Eight
yes, I think you failed the challenge 🙂

still, a nice wee poem nonetheless ...

ps there's a typo: squiriming

and maybe a different word to 'paste' ? - mud? morass? (in that case - chokes in)

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 24-09-2007
Eight
I liked your wee poem and think its never a failure when clever, as this is.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

delph_ambi on 24-09-2007
Eight
This succeeds as a poem ABOUT the challenge, but not as a response TO the challenge.

I enjoyed it, regardless.

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 24-09-2007
Eight
A nice wee poem, Lillian, but, as you realised, failing on the 'no abstract nouns' stipulation.
Some good lines like the following:

Ah, but there are darkening places in the mind
which will bear no shape of vapid words;

All considered, very enjoyable.

Author's Reply:

Yutka on 24-09-2007
Eight
Hi, Elfstone: Sweet poem but if those are not abstracts:

feeling, gloom, mind, introspection, selfexpression...

my name is Jane....
Love from Yutka:)

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 26-09-2007
Eight
Lots of lovely words and images here, whether abstract or concrete nouns, as a poem its really good. (-; Val x

Author's Reply:

Romany on 26-09-2007
Eight
I'm not in a position to say whether or not you failed, I just wanted to say I like this, especially your opening lines.

Romany.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 26-09-2007
Eight
Can I pu in a very quick reply to all of you thaninking you very much for your kind and hlepful comments. I realised that, as delph said, this is really a poem about the challenge rather than for it. It was just the way my muse responded.

I hope to get back in to reply to each of you individually, but I am up to the eyes preparing to leave early on Sat. for a week in Paris - work not holiday unfortunately. It will be a week on Monday before I'm back into the site.

Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

JeffDray on 26-09-2007
Eight
Of course 'squiriming' is the Scottish pronunciation, although it might be spelt with a double R which should be rolled.

Author's Reply:

teifii on 06-10-2007
Eight
Almost as if your muse reacted by thinking -- 'Concrete only! Damned if I will!'. But I love the result especially
'Ah, but there are darkening places in the mind
which will bear no shape of vapid words;'
I do rather agree with Griff on 'paste' as it reminds me of salmon and shrimp which rather spoils the poetic effect 🙂
Daff


Author's Reply:


Resolution (posted on: 17-09-07)
A poem from last year, which I had forgotten about. It's a bit black, but I think it might be worth an airing.

Resolution Peeling back the scabbed layers; scraping off the present pretence; there uncovered, exposed - the black blood of loneliness, seeps through unhealing scars; the endless shaping of an ache. All that I was and All that I could have been; All that I will never know . . And the words have no shape And the rhymes have no meaning And the emptiness gathers looping the howl of my pain around the spindle of time, while the tears of my weeping go slowly down and then comes the passing of days and the ending of things. All unresolved. Elfstone 4/3/06
Archived comments for Resolution
Jolen on 17-09-2007
Resolution
Hi Elfstone: I really enjoyed this poem. You have some lovely wording here that sort of echo, which makes a big impact on the reader for such short lines. I think this one might have worked better put in two sections, with your last line standing alone, but that, is just my personal 'perception'. I really liked this.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading and leaving such a positive comment Jolen 🙂 I really wasn't sure whether to pos this or not - it is a bit gloomy, but then Life was when I wrote it. I was thinking about your suggestion to put it into 2 sections and, looking at it again in the light of that, I wonder if it might be better in 3 sections of 6 lines each ? hmm, I'll ponder that. Elf.

Macjoyce on 18-09-2007
Resolution

I really empathised with this one. Friendships and human beings generally often feel like scabs to me. But if you pick at them they get worse. And there is usually a shed-load that remains unresolved, normally because people are just downright bloody-minded and unreasonable. I may be self-assured but I'm certainly not unreasonable.

Me like "the black blood of loneliness" a lot, and "looping the howl of my pain around the spindle of time".

Structurally, it has a nice and even pattern all the way through, with a good instance of repetition in the middle. Hard to pick out anything to change really, except to say maybe you should have commas instead of an 'and' and a semicolon in stanza three...?

Mac the Pedant


Author's Reply:
Mac many thanks for leaving a comment - and such a positive one for a pretty bleak poem. Ah but then Life can be very bleak sometimes, can't it?
"And there is usually a shed-load that remains unresolved" - you never spoke a truer word; it seems to sum up my life.
Regards, Elfstone.

Bradene on 19-09-2007
Resolution
This poem conveys splendidly the aching heart. I actually felt the hurt myself. Wonderful writing. Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val - and you always manage to leave wonderful comments. My thanks also for that 10 - much appreciated. Elf.

Sunken on 20-09-2007
Resolution
Blimey, you can't go forgetting poems like this Mr. Stone. Having said that, I once forgot about feeding my neighbours goldfish. It caused a right stink, literally. You wouldn't think something so small could wreak so bad. Terrible do and no mistake. Nice poem Mr. Elf.

Rate: Cod liver oil.

s
u
n
k
e
n

we are really so shy

Author's Reply:
"Rate: Cod liver oil." = rich and full of good things? my poem? wow! (preens!)
"we are really so shy" - aren't we just! and of course that's one of the good things about a site such as this: it's easier to not be shy.



(sorry about the goldfish)


Sonnet 24 (posted on: 24-08-07)
This is my reworking of last week's collaborative Challenge/Workshop poem. I loved Romany's opening line and felt that it was crying out for 'sonnet treatment'. I'm aware that I have wandered away from the original a bit but, hey ho! my muse has always been a bit wayward. As always your opinions will be most welcome.

Sonnet 24 The clock keeps more than time, counts more than hours; Routine is glumly stressed with each dull note. Each tick precedes the tock that it empowers To hasten on our lives' soon-ended rote. Uncertainty and fate click in alliance To tangle us within the Norns' coarse rope. The pendulum allows us no defiance; No halting of the swing, to give us hope Of slowing down Eternity. To cower hoping pointless hope in choiceless places our lot. Our best, a realisation sour, The paradox of movement breeding stasis. Perceiving in that moment (a glimpse divine?): Between the tick and tock, there's all of Time. Elfstone 19/8/07
Archived comments for Sonnet 24
e-griff on 24-08-2007
Sonnet 24
I liked this more traditional treatment, although i had to google 'norn' ! Exceptionally though, I found the pointless/choiceless line a wee bit difficult.

Nice one. JOhnG

Author's Reply:
Many thanks e-griff - I'm glad that you approve. I'm a Wagner fan, which partly explains the knowledge of Norse mythology. I'll have another think about the 'pointless/choiceless' line and see if there is any other way of expressing what I want there. Elf.

delph_ambi on 24-08-2007
Sonnet 24
Yes, I thought of giving it the 'sonnet treatment' too, but changed my mind. Couldn't decide about the rhythm. I think it's given you problems here. First quattrain works beautifully, but then it starts to falter, and a few lines are too far from iambic pentameter for the flow to work, in my view.

Some nice corners though. I like 'the Norn's coarse rope' and repetitions like 'hoping pointless hope'


Author's Reply:
My thanks for a thoughtful comment delph-ambi. It is fascintating seeing the different approaches to this challenge. I've had a quick skim through all of them and will now start taking time over them and leave some comments.

I'm curious to know to which you are referring when you say, "a few lines are too far from iambic pentameter for the flow to work"? I'm fussy about rhythm, so if there's something not right here I'd appreciate you telling me. Thanks, Elf.

artisus on 24-08-2007
Sonnet 24
this is an extremely interesting line

The paradox of movement breeding stasis.

and the ending is also very good.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for your praise artisus - I'm grateful for you reading and taking time to comment. Elfstone.

Kat on 24-08-2007
Sonnet 24
Another great effort for the challenge, Elf. I think you've done very well with the sonnet form, though this line, 'hoping pointless hope in choiceless places' trips up a little, I felt, though I love the rhyme, 'places' with 'stasis.' Your last couplet is particularly strong.

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Kat , many thanks for your valued opinions. Interesting - you've tripped over the same line as e-griff and yet delph likes it . . .?! I'll have another look as I said to griff above. Elf.

Ionicus on 24-08-2007
Sonnet 24
Excellent Elf. You certainly know your mythology unlike some of us who had to rush to the dictionary to look up Norn.
'The paradox of movement breeding stasis' is a brilliant line.
A very good effort.

Author's Reply:
I'm blushing! - but delighted! I always though the image of the Three Norns sitting endlessly, spinning a rope around the World Ash Tree was remarkable. My thanks to you Ionicus. Elf

Macjoyce on 24-08-2007
Sonnet 24
A top sonnet. Particularly like the enjambement that makes 'our lot' begin a line. That's very clever, and emphasises the bleakness very well.

The only line I don't like is 13. Not only is it metrically clumsy (is there not a monosyllabic equivalent of 'moment'...?) it also has inverted Shakespeareanesque syntax: 'a glimpse divine'... Ooohhhhhh.

All life is movement breeding stasis, isn't it? Alas, alas...

Mac



Author's Reply:

Perrorist on 25-08-2007
Sonnet 24
I wouldn't know a sonnet if I caught one in the lake but this seems very well done. Not sure about the line ending 'our lot' - seems to be missing something - but enjoyed 'paradox of movement breeding stasis'.

Author's Reply:

delph_ambi on 25-08-2007
Sonnet 24
Hi Elf,

To elaborate on my comment about meter (as requested): line five has too many syllables (presumably you want 'alliance' to have just two, but I can only read it as three).
Same problem with 'defiance' in line seven.
Line nine, similar problem; I can't read 'cower' as one syllable, or it comes out as 'car'.
Line ten has the correct syllable count, but most of the stresses are in the wrong place. You don't have one iamb in that line, as far as I can see, which would be fine if you'd mixed up a few of the other lines, but you haven't, so it jarred for me.
Line eleven has twelve syllables the way I read it. (our, lot, Our, best, a, re, a, li, sa, tion, so, ur,) Okay, you can merge some of them, but it requires careful study to work out how to do it effectively, and I don't want to have to sit for ages over one line working out how to read it to make it fit the expected rhythm.
Line twelve definitely has an extra syllable, as does line thirteen.

Trouble is, if you fix all those problems you'll have a sonnet that is rhythmically boring. It's very hard to get the balance between boringly correct and inspirationally offbeat just right. I write hundreds of these things, and I haven't cracked it yet.

Cheers,

Delph

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 25-08-2007
Sonnet 24
Just to confuse you (maybe), but in some ways to support your original approach:

I don't agree with delph on defiance and alliance or cower - Read them aloud - they work fine. In theory she is correct, but often metre is about compressing or expanding into an established rythm - you do that here (establish it at the start) - Also syllables are of different lengths in English (which accounts for the complexity of 'rules' ). The odd unstressed syllable at the end of a line is eminently absorbable. Use your ear (which you have - which is why 'cower' rhymes with 'sour' - fine by me).

However, I absolutely agree with delph on line 10 (as I indicated above) it's just lost the plot, and it's hard for me to hear what you heard when you wrote it (which can often be done) - and 'our lot'? the whole construction of that sentence is also grammatically quite wierd. (and the line (10) not iambic in any way as delph says)

The rhythm is established strongly for me from the start, so 'reel I sa shon' is no stretch in 11, neither are the extra unstressed syllables in lines 12 and 14 - (and if you do one, they have to rhyme , so places/ stasis is fine - they do)

Line 13 is incorrect, I agree. But simply removing 'a' fixes it, IMO .

If poets read their work aloud, many anomalies that would result from the written work are avoided - the author dictates the way it is heard. However, I've noted that the 'greats' don't have such anomalies in their work (at least I haven't found them). But what they do do (as I've indicated here) is to set up rhythm, not have any inexplicable surprises (only planned ones) so they steer their reader smoothly through the printed page by predisposing them using accepted forms.

Greek and Latin (and modern Spanish) have equal length syllables, so it's easy - just count them and you're away. English is a problem. Google Wiki for 'accentual verse' and 'accentual-syllabic' verse and you will discover a lot about how modern english verse has developed and why if you don't know it already.

But always remember - this theory is analysis. If you have an 'ear' it will tell you how to write. Here, your ear did well, IMO. It's for you to explain to yourself what happened with line 10 and 13 (at least in my opinion) . 🙂

very best, JohnG (and hope I haven't really confused the issue).

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 26-08-2007
Sonnet 24
I'm going to put this as a separate comment as I am addressing both delp and griff. The first thing I want to say is a huge thankyou to both of you for the time and consideration you have obviously given this poem. I found both of your detailed responses fascinating and informative.
In all honesty I hadn't given the syllable count a second thought, in fact I hadn't given it a first thought either! That's just not the way I 'do' rhythm; the count doesn't matter if the rhythm of the words works. That the rhythm works (in a 6/4 time signature) I am certain of. I take the point that delph seems to be making though about the number of syllables being significant. If there is a set number of syllables required in each line (this: http://writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/sonnet.html doesn't mention that) then I can see there is a problem.The way round that of course is not to call this a Sonnet.

What I will do is record myself saying this and post it - not something I've ever done here, but it might be interesting. Perhaps that will also answer your concerns griff. I will have to wait until at least tomorrow so that my voice has recovered from being at Murrayfield yesterday! 😉 (we lost! :-((( )

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 27-08-2007
Sonnet 24
You are right, it's not just about counting syllables. If it sounds right, it IS right. But note what I said about others reading it off the page, rather than hearing an audio where you undoubtedly 'nudge' it your way of 'hearing'. Not everybody read/'hears' the same way. (that's the 'anomaly' bit) That's what you have to consider, just as a prose author has to think how others might read a sentence - that's the value of critique and editing. 🙂

Author's Reply:

len on 28-08-2007
Sonnet 24
Between the tick and tock there's all of time is a GREAT line. The passage of time is an illusion which suits out perceptions. It has always been and shall always be now...I really liked this write..

PS..I tried to use that link you gave me and got,"This module is not active", whatever THAT means. If you would kindly give me the name of your write, I'd appreciate it...len

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for your kind comments len. I'm glad this one has gained some approval - it did feel a bit 'contrived'.

I'm sorry the link didn't work - the poem in question is called "Requiem for a Wounded World" and it is on the second page of my 'personal page' here.

Corin on 18-11-2007
Sonnet 24
A wonderful sonnet - quite Shakesperian in outlook but with several original touches as people have said. Some very interesting comments and responses too. It is a pity sometimes that the format of this site does not encourage a multi-person thread to develop (except on the forums) and allow interesting discussions to bloom like the one here about sonnet format. It is very pleasant to see someone posting a so-called sonnet and upon reading it to find that it actually is a sonnet!

Would you allow me to post your piece with my technical comments on a forum and start a discussion - I would also pm the other contributors to he discussion and ask them to add their original comments and join in.

One nit-pick really - but should not " Norn's " really be " Norns' "?

I will join in the discussion latter anyway if you you would rather I just commented.

Warm Wishes

David

Author's Reply:
My dear Corin - I thought this one had fallen off the edge of oblivion! How nice to have another comment and such an interesting one. You're right of course about the typo - I will ammend it.

As to starting a discussion on this - I'm not sure that anyone will be interested so long after this was posted, but you are welcome to try. Elfstone.

PS - this is my second attempt at the Sonnet form; my first is here if you want to take a look.


Barcelona (posted on: 20-08-07)
An angry poem, born of an recent unpleasant experience.

Barcelona You look beyond me, talking all the while; your language as foreign as your uniform, but I can read your meaning: yes! your unconcern needs no translation! How can you slight my distress? . . . do you not see me? You look behind me at the place, as though in looking there you would see their faces, but that your mind's already set; you have your scapegoat ready. How can you slight the truth? . . . do you not see me? You look away from me, talk to strangers, but there's no interest in your face. You do not even ask for information. I shiver, nameless, in the callous heat; my bruising arm hangs useless, and you - you are uncaring still. How can you slight my pain? . . . do you not see me? You look around me, point where I must go and when I ask, you tell me I must walk! A map, a page, your finger's careless pointing; this city new, and stranger now, swamps me. My eyes, so flustered, cannot take it in. How can you slight my need? . . . do you not see me? You look right through me and boredom in your eyes is salt and iodine combined to all my hurts. Is my pain so unimportant; is the misery of others so insignificant; is a drop of kindness so very hard to find? How can you slight the humanity in yourself? . . . and tell me, do you not see me yet? Elfstone 19/8/07
Archived comments for Barcelona
e-griff on 20-08-2007
Barcelona
God, that David's a hard bugger, ain't he? I've just read Shywolf's account of your Greek trip, which I didn't believe at first - but now you've confirmed it with this harrowing description of your treatement. Shame on you, David!

Author's Reply:
(smile!) I hope for both our sakes that David also smiles if he reads this! It was a miserable experience - and painful, but I suppose it could have been worse. Thanks for reading e-griff, and for leaving a comment.

Rupe on 20-08-2007
Barcelona
I've lived abroad for the past seven years & I can see where you're coming from with this. I found it an accurate description of a familiar kind of alienation - being in a foreign country where you don't know the language, aren't orientated, don't know the customs etc can leave the emotions raw in a way that's rarely possible at home.

I'd imagine Barcelona - big, bustling, hot, confusing - could in certain circumstances be an unforgiving and intimidating place.

Don't let one bad experience put you off travelling though.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading and leaving a comment Rupe. I don't think it *has* put me off travelling, but I will never go back to Barcelona; "big, bustling, hot, confusing" - yes and just plain dangerous. Our injuries could have been much more serious. What really shocked us though, was the reaction of the police who eventually arrived - and which is addressed in the poem.

e-griff on 20-08-2007
Barcelona
I was flippant this morning 🙂 i had no intention to ignore your pain. it was a very effective expression of the situation.

Author's Reply:
Oh no I didn't think you were flippant, in fact I smiled! I hope David did too. Actually I don't think he reads any poetry here?

royrodel on 23-08-2007
Barcelona
Been to Barcelona many times and I can't relate to this from a Spanish point of view, but alas it reminds me of many an airport.
You do raise the question though are there any Spanish police, never seen one.

RODEL

Author's Reply:
Ah, actually royrodel , the poem addresses the Spanish policmen who came to the scene of the attack, 45 minutes after they had been phoned, and were apalling in their treatment of us. And Barcelona has *three* police forces, who squabble over which of them deals with any crime, which is part of the problem of course.

Jolen on 29-08-2007
Barcelona
You bring across a common problem in your fine poem. I think that often people who are in 'service industry' jobs forget that they are there to help, not hinder. So often they become depersonalized which strikes me as the ultimate irony. Wonderful piece and it puts across this problem quite powerfully. I'm sorry for your bad experience, and can only hope that it isn't repeated.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Sadly, I think it is common there, although of course holiday brochures and magazines don't tell you that. As for the police, they were disinterested to the point of callousness - didn't even ask our names (!) and didn't want to know about witnesses (there were 5). We survived though, and relatively unscathed - the marks are fading and I will only have one small scar.

My thanks to you for reading this and for leaving such a kind comment jolen - it's appreciated.

Macjoyce on 30-08-2007
Barcelona
Hmmmm.

On the one hand, this sounds like a very heartfelt poem full of hurt and bitterness, and yet at the same time, it seems to be about walking up to a Catalonian policeman and asking him for directions.

Why is your arm bruised and useless? Did the bastard wallop you with his truncheon?



Author's Reply:
"Why is your arm bruised and useless?" - because my pal and I were mugged - attacked by 3 young men and injured in the process. That was bad enough but the reaction of the police was disgraceful.

Thanks for reading and leaving a comment on this rant Macjoyce - not one of my better ones but I needed to get it out of my system!

Macjoyce on 03-09-2007
Barcelona

Oh, I see. I'm sorry to hear that. I didn't realise, because there was no other information about the mugging, other than the arm. Perhaps you should put some more in? I just thought you were asking him for directions or something.

Mac



Author's Reply:


Sound (posted on: 06-08-07)
My second 'Greek' offering.

Sound Listen to this sound; listen with opening ears to the ancient seduction. Listen as this wave-less sea, discovering an unexpected shore, remembers at the last how to behave. Startled by stone's solidity, it offers a condescension, an offhand acknowledgement that land exists; a lethargic lapping, a lulling laziness that falls onto rocks in endless disinterest. This sea sighing, soft sloshing, slap-slopping, sounds out the depth of me, drawing me in, drowsing my mind, dreaming me into a distant place. Elfstone 9/7/07
Archived comments for Sound
Bradene on 06-08-2007
Sound
The alliteration here is wonderful. The whole poem captures for me the memory of that part of Aegean perfectly, it was more like a lake, so tranquil and peaceful. Times since I have closed my eyes and wished myself back! How was Barcelona? Val xx

Author's Reply:
Many thanks Val. I know that the alliteration didn't go down well with everyone there, but it seemed to me to get somewhere near to that sound we both loved on the shore there.

Barcelona was big, noisy, busy, very smelly and dangerous! My pal and I were mugged on our second morning there - horrible experience!!

e-griff on 06-08-2007
Sound
I thought this started well, I liked the description, very measured and profound, calm ... but when it came to the lulling lapping and slish slosh slooshong, the mood was broken for me. I feel there's a mismatch in style, and for me, it ended up slightly light and almost comical, which is a shame. Maybe I'm just in a serious mood today?. JOhnG 🙂

Author's Reply:
e-griff, many thanks for reading and commenting:-)
I've had another look at the third stanza in the light of your comments about the ending, but I honestly can't see "comic" in it. It certainly didn't feel comic at the time - it was a wonderfully mesmerising sound and I just sat and drifted away in it. I'll have another look later and perhaps edit it.

delph_ambi on 06-08-2007
Sound
I know what griff means, but I disagree. Read out aloud, that section works brilliantly.

You took me there 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks delph - I appreciate you reading and commenting. I've read the poem again after reading griff's thoughts, but I can't yet see how to change the end.

e-griff on 06-08-2007
Sound
How dare you, delph! disgree with moi? you, you ..... Hamilton, you! 😉

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 06-08-2007
Sound
Elf, Fully understand how you were inspired to write this. The Greek islands are beautiful and hypnotic...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Gerry. "Greek islands are beautiful and hypnotic..." they are! - but of course, so are Scottish ones, just in a different way. There's something about islands that gets into my soul so to speak! Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

e-griff on 07-08-2007
Sound
sorry, 'comic' may not have been a very good word to express what I meant 🙂

Author's Reply:
oh no - no apology needed, your comments are always helpful 🙂

Jolen on 07-08-2007
Sound
Oh, I really enjoyed this. Great usage of alliteration! Really fine descriptions.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thank you Jolen - your approval is much appreciated.

Gerry on 07-08-2007
Sound
Elf, too true--I have just returned from Arran, My daughter lives there...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Lucky you! - I haven't been over to the West in ages and I miss it! Was the weather good while you were there?

artisus on 07-08-2007
Sound
This is great.

Author's Reply:
My thanks artisus, for reading and for the comment (and that 10!).

Gerry on 08-08-2007
Sound
Elf, the weather was superb--warm and sunny...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 08-08-2007
Sound
Elfstone: You have achieved an overall mellow effect, one with water sounds and a sense of the movement of consciousness. Perhaps cut the first line for a more immediate opening, perhaps

Listen, with ears opening
to the ancient seduction.

In the second stanza, perhaps

Startled by stone's solidity,
this condescension,
this offhand acknowledgement
that land exists;
.....

Perhaps at the close,

drawing me in,
drowsing me,
dreaming me into
a distant place.

Your sounds to start the third stanza are effective, musically, and mood setting, and lead right into where you were going all along, 'a distant place'. Beyond that, a nice piece, though to retrace, I stumbled at the last line of the first stanza, 'how to behave.' Swep



Author's Reply:
Slovitt , very many thanks for reading and obviously taking time over my poem and apologies for seeming to ignore your comments - I've been away.
Your crit is very interesting and made me go back and re-read with your suggestions in mind. I have as a result edited the opening, because it dawned on me that I had missed the using of the Title pun in the first line.

Your version of the second stanza seems to alter the grammtic sense? It reads as though "stone's solidity" was the "condescension" etc, rather than the behaviour of the water, which was my meaning.

At the end - three "me's"? hmmmm, I'm not sure about that.

I am very grateful for your thoughts on this - they have been very useful.

Elf.

discopants on 08-08-2007
Sound
A wonderfully descriptive poem, I particularly liked the sea remembering how to behave. I do find myself agreeing with Griffy about the start of the 3rd stanza: I wouldn't call it comic but I think the alliteration is overkill- I know there's alliteration elsewhere and it works very well but a slight toning down of the start of that 3rd stanza would work better for me; perhaps replacing 'soft' with 'gentle' would be enough to do the trick.

dp

Author's Reply:
dp, apologies for not replying sooner - I've been away. I'm grateful for you taking time to read and leave such an helpful comment. Perhaps you're right about the alliteration, I'll have another look at that and maybe chop one of the phrases. Many thanks. Elf


Crossing (posted on: 20-07-07)
I was on the recent UKAway week in Greece. This is one of the poems it inspired.

Crossing Standing on a ferry watching the land slipping away into the distance, surfing the blue-white wake behind us. Leaning on the rail with the air-dancing seagulls bobbing and drifting a generous crust-throw away. Seeing the islands silently shifting perspective; stark silhouettes cutting an edge into the sky. Breathing the sea-air, drawing the luminous breezes into my tired lungs; inhaling the enormous space. Squinting at sun-shimmer; diamonds wallowing in waves, with their dazzling bemusing my weary eyes. Swimming in memories swirling me back to another sea, colder, sterner, on the north west edge of my heart. Elfstone 9/7/07
Archived comments for Crossing
Bradene on 20-07-2007
Crossing
Lovely poetry Elf brings back some great memories. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val - I'm happy that you still think well of it. Actually it is growing on me! I really did think the writing I did there wasn't near my best, but having not written anything for such a long time, I was happy just to be writing again. Time to start planning next year's UKAway? :-))

e-griff on 20-07-2007
Crossing
Phew!!! I've talked about having a 'picky poetry ear' today elsewhere, but your poem flowed through it with ease!

and I very much admired 'north-west edge' 🙂

thankyou.

Author's Reply:
I love the image of my poem 'flowing through your ear with ease'!! Thank you for your kind comments e-griff.

Sunken on 20-07-2007
Crossing
Really like this Mr. Elf. Looks like your trip to Greece was more than inspiring. Nice one.

s
u
n
k
e
n

Rated - 10

(Not rating in the old way as some anon saddo always lowers my rates within minutes of me giving them).

Author's Reply:
Thankyou Mr Sunk. The trip to Greece was wonderful - I recommend these UKAway trips - we're doing another next year - why don't you join us?

Not sure that I understand your comment about the rating - what's been going on here while I was absent?
( . . .but thanks for the 10 !)

Romany on 20-07-2007
Crossing
I was there, leaning against the rail with you for a minute! Evocative writing and I especially like the cooler feel of the last verse,

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and leaving such a lovely comment! You could of course be 'there' on next year's UKAway - not sure where it will be, but I *am* sure it will be good!

reckless on 21-07-2007
Crossing
Lovely images conjured up and expressed. I like the slow lilting feeling of this you have conveyed though your choice of words and the tempo.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks reckless - I'm very pleased that you saw something good in this.

shackleton on 29-07-2007
Crossing
Smashing poetry, Elfstone... I felt the warm breeze in my face. Glad you had a good time.

ps. A touch of, 'Speed bonny boat,' here?

Author's Reply:
Thanks Schacks! It was a *very* good week in terms of Writing and conviviality. It has re-strated me writing and that's a good thing!

'Speed Bonnie Boat' eh? - well, for a little while I felt very strange standing on that ferry; the boats they use in Greece look very much like the boats which cross The Minch. So much so similar; so much so different.

Elf.


Poetry Box (posted on: 22-05-06)
Really don't know what to say about this. It's better anyway that you read with an open mind and tell me what you think of it.

Poetry Box The box - my box - is open. There was no great flinging wide, no dramatic, unexpected exposure, no sudden cataclysm of revelation, no eureka moment. Rather, there was a creeping, seeping sliver of awareness that glimmered and grew with a feeling of hopeful boldness. The gradual widening of that opening of understanding was deceptively pleasing; a sense of the delicious wickedness of seeing the unseen, of exploring, daring to free, of brightening, dawning light cleansing, healing, dazzling the eye - but hiding the black slime of clarity, as self knowledge oozed stickily over the edges of the box and dripped down the sides in tormented gobbits. . . . trying to close that awful opening to unsee what has been seen, to unknow what is now known; . . . trying to scoop up the globules of pain and squeeze their cloying shapelessness back in to the too-full box; . . . trying to wipe away the oily stains of self knowledge. Pandora would have understood. Elfstone. 19/5/06
Archived comments for Poetry Box
Elfine on 22-05-2006
Poetry Box
I love this! I think it gets better and better as it goes on, and I like the way you get a sense that things are going to go wrong before it becomes explicit - the last stanza which inverts previous ideas is great! I can really empathise with the speaker of the poem too.
Elfine x

Author's Reply:
Elfine, I don't think we have "met" as you joined us recently and I have been out of the site through ill health for a while. Many thanks for reading and leaving such a positive comment. Elfstone.

Claire on 23-05-2006
Poetry Box
Hey there hun, love that last stanza, actually, that works well on its own. I can't see anything wrong with this, I like the steps you take the reader on, from curiosity to dread.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Claire - I'm grateful for you reading and taking the time to leave a comment; pleased that you like it. Elf.

chrissy on 25-05-2006
Poetry Box
This is excellent. It takes the reader into the blackness of the box and the words it uses to take us on that journey, the images created are wonderful.
Very well written.
chrissy

Author's Reply:
Chrissy, that is great praise and I am very chuffed. Thanks for stopping by to read this. Elfstone.

Corin on 18-11-2007
Poetry Box
No need to feel so guilty Elf - Self abuse is the worst of all forms of abuse.

This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

David

Author's Reply:
Thanks Corin - I've moved on a bit since I wrote this, although oddly I think some of my best poetry has come from my blacker times! Elf.


Coda (posted on: 10-02-06)
Epitaph

Coda Do not mourn my death; mourn only the life I lived. Do not cry for the manner of my passing; cry only for the manner of my living. Do not regret that I died alone; regret that I lived in loneliness. Do not weep for all that might yet have been; weep for all that never was. Do not be concerned that I will be missed; be concerned that no one will ever miss me. Do not pray for some heaven for my soul; pray only that there be no more of this hell. Do not try to understand me in death; you did not understand me alive. Do not say my life mattered now that I'm gone; it did not matter when I was there. Do not pretend grief at my dying; you had no joy in my living. Do not speak hypocrisies over my remains; let me go in honest silence. Do not claim my death as your great sorrow; alllow me this at least: allow that it is my only release from sorrow. Elfstone 4/2/06
Archived comments for Coda
Apolloneia on 10-02-2006
Coda
Well written poem Elfstone, and quite gloomy. Take care!
Nic.

Author's Reply:
Thank you for taking the time to read and comment Nic. Elfstone

Romany on 10-02-2006
Coda
Sad and bitter piece.

Do not pray for some heaven for my soul;
pray only that there be no more of this hell.

Love the above!

Author's Reply:
Romany I realise that this is not a comfortable poem, so I am very grateful that you have responded to it. Elfstone.

eddiesolo on 25-02-2006
Coda
A great piece filled with a sad truth.

I liked this Elf, well done.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Thanks eddie. Yes it is true, but friends are helping me to see things in another light. Hoping that the blackness of this poem will pass. Thank you for reading and particularly for leaving a comment on what I can now see is a difficult poem. Elf.

Gerry on 18-11-2007
Coda
Elf. Here I am again 😉 Funny goings on---

I thought this was excellent, A bit stronger than mine. I had the feeling this was maybe pointed at someone, where mine was a more general observation. Funerals are indeed strange gatherings. I would prefer not to have another for a long time...

Gerry

PS hope this hangs around for you to read this time LoL.


Author's Reply:
Aha - yes I caught this one! Very strange indeed.
My thanks for reading this Gerry and for you kind comment.

"I would prefer not to have another for a long time... " - I'm sure we would all agree heartily with that!

Elf.


Closing (posted on: 06-02-06)
I would prefer you to read this without any pre-conceived ideas, so the 'description' is at the bottom. Your opinions, as always, will be valued.

Closing The movement was so slow, so quiet, so unassuming, we hardly noticed. Wrapped up in the resonant song, a song of your choosing, it took a moment to see . . . The incense and candles, the bells, tears and dignity which had preceded this moment, were all you might have wished for; a weaving together of memory and grief in a fitting good-bye. Then, at the end of this slow farewell, we saw at last that the gold curtains were moving, closing quietly on the life of a gentle lady. We finally heard the silence behind the singing. Elfstone 3/2/06 Poems in response to bereavement seem to be something of a pattern developing in my writing. This is very new and raw but I have posted it (not in a search for sympathy) just to find out if it works at all as a piece of poetry.
Archived comments for Closing
Romany on 06-02-2006
Closing
I think it works very well. Sometimes raw is all it can be, and I know that there is a healing property, to an extent, in writing of this nature. I think the feeling behind the loss of this 'gentle lady' is palpable, and that this is a very dignified epitaph, full of respect and admiration. I hope there was some comfort for you in writing this.

The silence behind the singing - profound and heartfelt.

Author's Reply:
Romany thank you so much. I was far too close to this to see it, if you know what I mean. I am very pleased that you found some good in it and yes, writing it did give me some comfort.
Elfstone.

littleditty on 06-02-2006
Closing
Beautiful -last stanza, gentle for a 'gentle lady'. Beautiful poem. xxxlittleditty x

Author's Reply:
What a lovely comment littleditty. I'm pleased, relieved actually, that this works in other people's eyes.
Elfstone.

redlobster on 06-02-2006
Closing
I loved the last verse as well - especially the last 4 lines. I wasn't sure about the lines Wrapped up in the resonant song, and which had preceded this moment, only for the reason that the rest of the poem sounds like you're talking to the her

It is a beautiful poem

Author's Reply:
redlobster, many thanks for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment. As I said above I'm really chuffed that this works for others. Elfstone.

Gerry on 06-02-2006
Closing
Written with style Elf-- very moving...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for that Gerry. I felt I really couldn't judge this one. Good to know you approve.
Elfstone.

Bradene on 07-02-2006
Closing
I felt very moved by this piece elf and I think it worked well at least for me anyway. It had a familiar feel to it, having lost several people very close to me. I could identify with this poem easily as I am sure many others will do also. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Val thankyou for your kind response. Sometimes I'm too close to the 'feeling' of a poem to tell whether or not it works, so I'm pleased that you felt it worked well. Grateful thanks for rating it '10' too. Elf.

Dargo77 on 08-02-2006
Closing
Elfstone, I also identified with your very gentle poem. Well written.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thanks Dargo; you know I appreciate your comments. Glad this gets your approval. Elfstone.

Griffonner on 08-02-2006
Closing
I wrote prose last year, a mirror, if you will, of this moment that you describe. Look at the skillful way you have shown me the waste of the hundreds of my superfluous words! How few of them it took you to cunjure all the smells, the imagery and the spectacle (used in the nicest way) of this event, truly it is a tremendously clever poem you have penned here, Elfstone. I take my hat off to you. *Admiringly* Griffonner

Author's Reply:
"the waste of the hundreds of my superfluous words! " - nonsense! I haven't read the piece you're speakng of ( I don't read very much prose here because it takes me all my available time to get through and do justice to the poetry) but I find it very hard to believe that you have superflous words anywhere!
I am very grateful for your praise, (although I'm not sure that this piece deserves it) and for the rating you have given it. Actually, as I think I said above somewhere, I'm simply feeling relieved that this is being seen as a reasonably worthwhile piece. Elfstone.

Leila on 08-02-2006
Closing
Elf you kept control of the poem and with that it became more powerful and moving, well done...L

Author's Reply:
Leila I'm very grateful for you reading this and leaving a heartening comment. If you found it "powerful and moving", I'm delighted. Elf.

narcissa on 08-02-2006
Closing
This is such a gentle poem itself, the mood and tone are perfect for the subject, making it very moving. And those last lines, wow, just wow.
As Leila said, you keep control of the piece- which makes it all the more powerful.
Thank you

Laura x

Author's Reply:
Laura I am touched by your comment. Thank you for reading this and responding. Elfstone.

chrissy on 08-02-2006
Closing
A very moving piece which, for me, worked well all through. I thought the last verse was particularly moving. A well written, moving and very dignified poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:
I'm very grateful for that chrissy. I simply couldn't see this piece - I was too close to it, so opinions here are very much appreciated. Elfstone.

teifii on 11-02-2006
Closing
You needn't worry. It works really well. The gentleness of the writing a fitting tribute to the loss of a gentle person.
We finally heard the silence
behind the singing.
is a perfect ending; it says it all.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for that kind comment Daff. I'm pleased that you approve. Elfstone.

eddiesolo on 25-02-2006
Closing
A very moving piece Elf. Beautifully written with a gentle style.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
I thought this one had sunk into obscurity, so I am especially pleased to have your comment. Glad you like it and thanks for that 10. Elfstone.

scotch on 04-05-2006
Closing
dear Elfstone, lovely work you captured the mood and slow beat... from Scotch

Author's Reply:
Scotch - my apologies for taking so long to reply to you. Many thanks for reading my poem and leaving a lovely comment.

I have been unwell and out of this site for what seems like an age - 3 months I think - and your comment on this piece has tempted me back in; I'm grateful for that. Elfstone.


Return to Sender (posted on: 23-01-06)
Not sure what to say about this one, except that it is short.

Return to Sender Bundles of brittle thoughts tied with hard edged ribbon, carried on a veiled tray; a tray of desperation. Parcels of prickly memories bound up with twisted string, carried in bulging bags; bags of regret. Sackfuls of sad experiences wrapped in non-descript paper, vainly marked ''unwanted, return to sender''. Elfstone 17/1/06
Archived comments for Return to Sender
red-dragon on 23-01-2006
Return to Sender
Well done on the nib, Elf. I love every line. Ann

Author's Reply:
Thanks red, I am grateful for you reading and commenting. I'm more chuffed than usual with the nib, because this is the third in a row :-))) I won't let it go to my head, but I'm beginning to think I must be capable of doing something right! Thanks again. Elfstone.

Gerry on 23-01-2006
Return to Sender
Elf--good one this, I like it...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:
- and I like your comments 🙂
Thanks for taking the time to read; I'm pleased that you like it.
Elfstone.

Dargo77 on 24-01-2006
Return to Sender
Elfstone, nothing wrong with it being short. I think you message came over well.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much for that dargo; glad you approve.
Elfstone.

teifii on 27-01-2006
Return to Sender
Just right in my opinion. Short can be good. I like the alliteration.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Sorry to be so long in getting round to replying Daff - my ISP was down for 4 days (!) and then I got caught up in a sudden death in my family. I'm very pleased that you like this and I am grateful for you taking the time to comment.
Elfstone.


Tigh mo Shenair (posted on: 20-01-06)
A new poem; another one influenced by my connections with the Outer Hebrides.

Tigh mo Shenair The westering sun sinking to hide behind Luskentyre lets slip a spill of light. It shines unkindly on the house on the hill, its warmth no longer reflected. It seems to mock the empty cold, the shabby whitewash , the broken windows, the rotting frames. If silence could weep . . . Sheep wander past uncaringly; the wind nibbles at bits of ragged curtain. Seagulls stand disdainfully on the fragile roof. The little garden, so hard won from the acid moor, is a home to weeds, its walls slowly crumbling. If silence could weep . . . The decay pulls a wrap of mournfulness about itself, as if in guilty shame, to hide the fading past. The emptiness gathering there draws the heart out of me. I laughed there, in that house, ate oatcakes in the morning, and heard psalms said at night. I slept there the blessed sleep of all that is good and peaceful, breathing the deep content and soft air of the beloved west. If silence could only weep . . . Elfstone 17/1/06
Archived comments for Tigh mo Shenair
Bradene on 20-01-2006
Tigh mo Shenair
I love this Elf, I love the repeated "if silence could weep" it enforces the feeling of of regret and sorrow, of yearning for what has been and never will be again. Magic piece. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
"yearning for what has been and never will be again" - yes that's it in a nutshell. It hurts to go back and look at it now and yet I can't stay away. Memories, memories . . .

Many thanks again Val for you support. Elfstone.

red-dragon on 20-01-2006
Tigh mo Shenair
A very evocative piece of writing, Elf. You paint an incredible picture, the past in parallel with the present. I, too, rate it a ten for its stunning images and heart-tugging memories. Ann

Author's Reply:
I'm blushing, but I'm also very grateful. Thanks for reading, commenting and rating Ann. Elfstone

Gerry on 20-01-2006
Tigh mo Shenair
Elf, super poetry here. well written.

Gerry

Author's Reply:
Gerry I'm very pleased that this meets with approval. Sometimes, when a piece is very personal it is impossible to judge it objectively. It's then that the honest opinions of friends here really help. My thanks. Elfstone.

Griffonner on 20-01-2006
Tigh mo Shenair
Genius! Where is the nib for this?

Author's Reply:
Goodness me Griffoner, I'm sure I'm not deserving of such an accolade! I am very grateful though.
I had a nib on Monday and my first nomination, which was a great delight, and one can't expect that to happen every week!

Thanks again. Elf.

Dargo77 on 21-01-2006
Tigh mo Shenair
Elf, loved the atmosphere in this piece. The lines:
'The little garden, so hard won
from the acid moor' makes the feeling of decay and waste so much more devastating. A Fav. for me.
Best regards,
Dargo



Author's Reply:
Dargo thanks for taking the time to comment. The decay - which seems to be accelerating recently - is devastating. That house had so much warmth and life and goodness in it and to see it as it is now is heartbreaking.
Thanks for making this a favourite - I'm chuffed.

Elf.

teifii on 21-01-2006
Tigh mo Shenair
Beautiful, Elf, especially --
'The decay pulls a wrap of
mournfulness about itself,
as if in guilty shame, '
and also 'the acid moor'. Moorland has such an inner life and intent of its own I think. Very evocative.
Daff
ps - I'd change 'wander past uncaringly' to ' - - - uncaring'. Just a feeling.


Author's Reply:
Many thanks for your praise teifii. This was difficult to write, in an emotional sense, so I'm very pleased that people have responded so positively. Elfstone.

Poet on 21-01-2006
Tigh mo Shenair
This is a truly gorgeous poem Elf. It really resonates within me and speaks in a way you may not imagine. I have been struggling with a piece of fiction which attempt in vain to set a very similar tone (see Eventide recently posted). Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful piece of work. I am a fan...

Author's Reply:
I'm touched by your comment Poet. It is good to know that this piece speaks to people.
Also honoured to have you as a fan 🙂
Elfstone.

littleditty on 22-01-2006
Tigh mo Shenair
As everyone has already said. And I particularly liked the last stanza and 'the acid moor' - emotive poem full of feeling, enjoyed xxxlittleditty x

Author's Reply:
I'm very pleased that you enjoyed this. As I've said above, I was too close to this one to see it clearly. Thanks for your comment. Elfstone.

MLAllen on 27-01-2006
Tigh mo Shenair
Elfstone, you captured my full attention with your first line and pulled me right into your spell. My heart is heavy. I remember these feelings from a visit to the old abandoned house my family had called home for over a hundred years. Wonderful phrasing. Well done. Indeed, if silence could weep. ML

Author's Reply:
First my apologies for the delay in replying - I have been embroiled in a sudden bereavement. I'm very grateful to you for reading and commenting on this piece and I'm delighted that it struck a chord, allbeit a bitter-sweet one.
Elfstone.

Corin on 18-11-2007
Tigh mo Shenair
A wonderful piece Elf - brilliant the way you paint the pictures but keep the really big hit for the last few lines. I was especially moved by:-

I laughed there, in that house,
ate oatcakes in the morning,
and heard psalms said at night.

The refrain is brilliant too, especially with the variation of the last one.

One tip I have only learned fairly recently - Macjoyce reminded me of it the other day - Definite articles can be a bit of a rock in the path the poem is flowing down. It is good to consciiously try and eliminate if you can (not always possible of course - sometimes corrext syntax demands it. Indefinite articles are better or you can avoid using 'the' by changing nouns to plurals.

So :-

A westering sun sinking
to hide behind Luskentyre
lets slip a spill of light.

Sheep wander past uncaringly; (N.B. has to be uncaringly - Wind nibbles at its an adverb!!)
bits of ragged curtain.

Decay pulls a wrap of
mournfulness about itself,

Emptiness gathering there
draws the heart out of me.

AS you can se 3 of those definite articles are simply redundant.

Warm Wishes

David











Author's Reply:
Corin, many thanks for leaving a comment - I love it when people comment a while after a piece has been submitted! So often people who read after the first 2 or 3 days are silent and I think that's a shame.

I'm chuffed by your praise of this poem - it was in some respects a difficult poem to voice because the pain of watching that house crumbling is so fresh - and continuing.

Your comments on the use of the definite article are interesting and I will give them thought. My immediate feeling is that indefinite articles (or none at all) are removed, distant, displaced, if I can put it that way, whereas the definite article is very specific and close. For this poem things are *very* specific, very particular. Food for thought yes?

Elf.


Memories (posted on: 16-01-06)
I think my muse is a right besom! I haven't written a poem for ages and then in the space of an afternoon three pop out of nowhere. Thought I'd submit this one for your opinions.

Memories Memory drips slowly onto the page; slowly, slowly, a dissolving of being, a solution of life in tears. Memory jumps quickly onto the page; quickly, quickly, anxious to be away, to be rid of the confining mind. Memory trudges dourly onto the page, sullen, resentful, unable to find the right path; unable to complete the journey. Memory droops sadly onto the page, lost, alone, shivering in an empty place. The page, of course, is indifferent. Elfstone 15/1/06
Archived comments for Memories
Warhorse on 16-01-2006
Memories
Hi there
Your skills as a poet have been hidden this is very good and expresses what we all feel in the writers block syndrome
well done Mike

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting Mike. My skills hidden? . . . you're free to take a wander through my home page 🙂 I'm very pleased that you approve of this one. Elfstone

Dargo77 on 16-01-2006
Memories
Elfstone, especially loved the ending of this poem
'The page, of course,
is indifferent.'

Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Your comments are much appreciated Dargo. Thanks for stopping by to read. Elfstone.

eddiesolo on 16-01-2006
Memories
I say Elfstone a cracking poem you have here.

Just one thing, should disolving be dissolving?

Again great read.

Si::-)





Author's Reply:
Many thanks for that eddie and of course you're right about the typo. This poem was flung together, along with another two, in a 'purple' half hour yesterday afternoon, and I didn't take enough care with my proof reading. I have amended it and taken the chance to tidy up the punctuation. Thanks again for your valued support. Elfstone.

Kat on 16-01-2006
Memories
Hi Elf

A very fine poem, methinks - love the personification of 'memory' and all the images you evoke for it here. Great stuff!

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for your generous praise, it's appreciated. Elfstone.

Hazy on 16-01-2006
Memories
Like this one. The last two lines were great 🙂 I've got a thing about 'last two lines' in poems.

I know how you feel about writing. I've not written for ages and then two fell out of my head at once this week lol.

Anyway, just wanted to say I was here, I enjoyed and that I thought the last two lines were fab against the rest of the poem 🙂

Hazy x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Hazy. "I've got a thing about 'last two lines' in poems" - you too?!? (The ending of a poem can be so significant.) And maybe your muse is also a right besom? 😉 Glad you enjoyed, thanks for reading. Elfstone.

Sunken on 16-01-2006
Memories
Hello Mr. Stone of Elf fame. Isn't it warm for January? Today I am taking a walk on the mild side. I have already helped an old lady cross the road, fed a stray dog and given a generous monetary donation to my favourite charity (save the hamster). I feel drained and simply must do something very bad, very soon. With this in mind I was looking for a poem to slag off. But I can't find one. Life is truly a bitch at times and you have not helped by posting such a great piece. I hope you're pleased with yourself? Think on.

s
u
n
k
e
n

Tamworth 3 - Weetabix 2

Author's Reply:
Yes it is.
Are you?
Did you?
Must you?
Were you?
Yes it is!! (Oops, sorry!)
Not really, but very,*very* pleased with a nib and a nomination in one poem!!!!!! :-)))))

My grateful thanks as ever sunk. Elfstone

Ginger on 16-01-2006
Memories
Elfstone,
This is a beautifully written poem, every word counts. I especially loved *a solution of life in tears*
Lisa

Author's Reply:
Ginger my thanks for reading and for leaving such a lovely comment. Elfstone.

Lare on 16-01-2006
Memories
Hi Elfstone...Very nicely composed...folding in nicely all of the variables...with the one, solid ingredient that is the ultimate neutralizer...the page...very well done...

Lare

Author's Reply:
Very good of you to leave such a nice comment Lare. I'm glad you approve. Many thanks. Elfstone.

Bradene on 17-01-2006
Memories
Elf this is one of your best as far as I am concerned it strikes just the right chords and is so atmospheric especially the last two stanzas. Great write. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Wow! That's praise indeed coming from you. I'm chuffed and humbled Val.

Going though a bit of a purple patch at the moment it seems. All of a sudden I'm writing again, and enjoying it very much. I have a brand spanking new 'Scottish place' poem which may appeal to you and I think I will post it for Friday.

Many thanks again. Elfstone.

tai on 19-01-2006
Memories
Memories, hopes for the future and dreams too, I hope drop onto the page Elfstone. So glad your muse has returned. Excellent come back, I must say. 10 from Tai, and congrats for the nomination. A poem of inspiring heights for every poet that is lucky enough to read it.

Author's Reply:
Tai thanks for reading and leaving such a nice comment. "hopes for the future and dreams too" - nah, stopped doing that a while back - none of them ever happened; dreams don't come true.
Your last sentence brought a lump to my throat. Elfstone.

HelenRussell on 19-01-2006
Memories
Oh I know exactly where you are coming from. I haven't written anything new for months and then suddenly this weekend it all came together.
You've expressed it very eloquently, setting a lovely tone to the mood.
Loved the ending.
Sarah

Author's Reply:
Very many thanks Helen (Sarah?) I wonder if there was something in the air last weekend then? 🙂 Glad you enjoyed this. Elfstone.

red-dragon on 19-01-2006
Memories
Yes, I echo the above - that's the trouble with being late to comment. However, your repetition works a treat, bringing with it the different moods. The last two lines made it for me! Well done. Ann

Author's Reply:
I love late comments (especially like this one) - when I think that interest in a sub has disipated and then up pops another comment, it is a real treat. Many thanks red. Elfstone.

uppercase on 19-01-2006
Memories
I think this poem is wonderful it deserves to be nominated and a nib...erma

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading uppercase and I'm grateful for the lovely comment. Elfstone.

Yutka on 22-01-2006
Memories
Hi Elfstone!
It's great how you defend your poem and I think, as it is, it is powerful and brilliant. I like the repetition of "slowly" and
"quickly". I find, it gives it more impact. I find your poem more original as the second (well meant) version by shywolf.I give you a ten. Best wishes and write more poetry!
Yutka:)

Author's Reply:
Yutka, many thanks for reading and leaving a comment. I'm always happy to read and give thought to suggestions from fellow members, many of which are very useful. Shywolf obviously spent some time thinking about my poem and I am grateful for that, but on this occasion I felt his suggestions moved the poem away from what I intended it to express. I'm delighted that you liked this and grateful for the '10'. Thanks again, Elfstone


The Hollow Dance (posted on: 02-01-06)
An alternative view?

The Hollow Dance So here it is, Merry Christmas, everybody's having fun. Really? Is this fun, this compulsory, pagan derived, superficially Christianised and commercially sugared mid-winter bash; this annual orgy of self deception with its relentless miasma of media driven jollity, its enforced ''togetherness''? We stage this unavoidable event : the same conversations, (about the same relatives), the same check-out queues (with the same obscene mountains of trolleyed food), the same hysteria of overeating, the same rituals which hold the whole, overblown, pseudo-religious fest together in a plum pudding of half-truths, sentimentality and tinsel sound bites. With long years of practice we perform again our pretence. We tiptoe around painful truths; we pirouette stoically past unacceptable honesty and glide effortlessly past the sting of awareness. We side step elegantly into the well-worn self deception of our perfectly choreographed routine - the hollow dance of Christmas. Elfstone 15/9/05
Archived comments for The Hollow Dance
Gerry on 02-01-2006
The Hollow Dance
Bloody hell Elf--I am glad my Christmas wasn't like that. LOL.
Any I will risk wishing you a great 2006.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 02-01-2006
The Hollow Dance
Many thanks Gerry, both for reading/commenting and also for you good wishes. Christmas is always a bit difficult, but I'm used to it now and just smile through my gritted teeth :-))

I am sincerely hoping that 2006 will turn out better than 2005, which was a grim year all in all. All the best to you and yours - lang mae yer lum reek.

Elf.

Author's Reply:

redlobster on 02-01-2006
The Hollow Dance
I know what you mean. Peace and goodwill?

Last 2 lines were excellent

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for your supportive comments redlobster. Happy New Year!

Elfstone

teifii on 02-01-2006
The Hollow Dance
Oh yes I remember when mine was a lot like this. Thank Heavens it now isn't. Not too muck insinserity intrudes these days. This year I had a raging cold that kept me quite insulated from most of it anyway. I didn't enjoy it but at least I didn't have to pretend.
Daff

Author's Reply:
I'm grateful for you reading and leaving a comment teifii. There is some comfort in knowing that I am not alone in experiencing this.

I hope you're feeling better - happy New Year.

Elfstone.

pencilcase on 04-01-2006
The Hollow Dance
I enjoyed reading your 'plum pudding of half-truths' poem and found much of the descriptive language very effective as you punch your way through 'mountains of trolleyed food' only to 'tiptoe around painful truths.'

A heartfelt offering and one which I'm sure will resonate with many!

Steve

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading and for your kind comments Steve. I'm pleased that you enjoyed this and yes it is heartfelt but, hey ho, that's it over for another year!

Elfstone.


Leave me (posted on: 21-10-05)
I just need to know if this stands as a poem in its own right.

Leave me The heavy boot of contempt grinds, the discordant note of failure rings, a blaze of self-awareness sears and I Iose the lease my empty soul had on some semblance of composure. Confidence splinters as shards of glass; reason recedes into repeated recrimination. Let me fall into the dark sound of that reality; leave me to that silent pain; turn, walk away, close the door quietly. Elfstone 1/10/05 (This was written, under two fairly tough constraints, for the recent challenge in the Poetry Workshop Forum.)
Archived comments for Leave me
tai on 21-10-2005
Leave me
Elfstone this is excellent.

Smiling at you

10 from me

Tai

Author's Reply:
Many thanks Tai, for both the generous praise and the rating; much appreciated. Elf.

shackleton on 21-10-2005
Leave me
It's definitely an 'Elfstone' poem, Elfstone.

Certainly close that door quietly - then open the next one and say loudly, 'Hi folks! I'm Elfstone and I've got something to say...'

Take care, young lady.

Author's Reply:
Goodness me - is there such a thing as "an Elfstone poem"? :-))

One of these days Shacks I will find a door and open it !!

Thanks for reading and, as always, for your interesting comments. Elf.

Elfstone on 22-10-2005
Leave me
- - I'm speechless!!! :-))))

Not an accrostic this time; if you are curious, have a look in the 'Word Up' thread in the Poetry Workshop Forum. I really just wanted to know if people reading this, without knowing what the two instructions were, would think it a good poem. (- you haven't said ? ?) Elf.

Author's Reply:

Griffonner on 23-10-2005
Leave me
A clever treatment of such an event, Elfstone. I'd stay it stands very well, and I've read it several times, each time unpeeling a new angle. Nice.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Griffoner. Praise from you is praise indeed. Elf.

Sunken on 23-10-2005
Leave me
Yes Mr. Stone of Elf fame, it certainly does stand as a poem in it's own right. Are Elf's generally this clever?
Oh balls, one second - I keep getting these Nirvana moments lately, '...we could plant a house - we could build a tree - I don't even care - we could have all three...' Sorry about that. My doctor says it will clear up in a couple of days. Contemplate life without tin-foil. Personally, I can't. Thanks.
don't worry to reply to this comment, I can't work it out either.

s
u
n
k
e
n

he's not gonna crack

Author's Reply:
"don't worry to reply to this comment, I can't work it out either. " - my dear sunk as if I could ignore you, or even leave you thinking that I might possibly be considering ignoring you!! :-()

I'm very glad that this meets with your approval, with or without tinfoil.
Elf.

teifii on 25-10-2005
Leave me
Definitely does stand alone. I'll have to go and have a look at those restraints -- and I was just telling myself to get off line and do some work.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Many thanks teiffi. I'm always especially pleased when someone reads one of my poems a while after its sub date and still thinks to leave a comment. I'm also very pleased that it works for you, but do have a look in at the Poetry Workshop Forum and perhaps you'll join us in the next workshop? Elf.

teifii on 26-10-2005
Leave me
Am thinking of doing so Elf now that I have a little more time.
Daff

Author's Reply:


Words (posted on: 10-10-05)
This was born out of my inability to say anything sensible in the 'Childhood' thread in Forums (fora?); so maybe some good came of it anyway?

Words

A word is such a small thing,
a commonplace thing,
such an insignificance.
A word can slip, unheard,
through a sliver of silence.

A word can be a key,
hardly noticed in the hand,
which can open an old door
maybe better left closed.

A word can be a lever,
a multiplier of strength,
which can prise open a barrier
maybe better left in place.

A word can be a battering ram,
a brutal, crushing thing,
which can shatter a wall
maybe better left intact.

If I use a word
will the wall crumble,
will the barrier collapse?

Do I really want to
see behind that door?

Elfstone 5/10/05
Archived comments for Words
Bradene on 10-10-2005
Words
What a great idea for a poem, and how well you have done it. Every word used you have made count, none are superfluous in my opinion. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Val my grateful thanks for this. You know I value your honest opinion. I still haven't been able to contribute to the Childhood thread (which was so interesting ), but getting a poem out of it is useful. Thanks also for that 10. (Incidentally, I've been away this past weekend, but I thought, from what I have read quickly in forums about all these changes, that ratings were still supposed to be anonymous?) Elfstone.

Claire on 10-10-2005
Words
Oh hun, you have a corka here. I can see good has deffo came from that thread. Excellent poem.

Author's Reply:
Thank you Claire - it was a very good thread! Elf.

Gerry on 10-10-2005
Words
Elf, It really doesn't matter what the word does, as long as it is used in the right place and understood correctly.
I like this poem...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:
Thanks Gerry. I just sometimes feel that if I start writing about my childhood the floodgates will open and I'm not sure that I want/need that! Elf.

chrissy on 11-10-2005
Words
Elf, this is a very powerful and well written poem. It has an immediate effect on the reader and sustains the feeling of being afraid of the consequences of your words right to the end.
A very good read.
chrissy

Author's Reply:
Many thanks chrissy, I value your opinion.

"the feeling of being afraid of the consequences of your words" - is exactly right.

I'm very glad that you liked this. Elfstone.

Apolloneia on 12-10-2005
Words
A well-written poem, Elfstone. My favourite stanzas are the 2nd, 3rd and 4th. I have some ideas and if you are interested I will pm. Cheers. Nic.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for leaving that comment Nic, and by all means PM me any suggestions. Elf.

Sunken on 12-10-2005
Words
Hello Mr. Elf. I just wanted to highlight my fav line -

A word can slip, unheard,
through a sliver of silence.

Oh yeah, that's sweeter than licking sugar off Kylie's bum.
I missed the thread in question, but it looks like you got a very decent poem out of it. Well done Mr. Stone.

s
u
n
k
e
n

he makes a good draft excluder

Author's Reply:
dear sunk, thankyou for your comment. "that's sweeter than licking sugar off Kylie's bum" - wow that's some accolade from you! :-)) Glad you approve and thanks for that rating. Elf.

Apolloneia on 13-10-2005
Words
I re-read it Elfstone, to make sure of something and I think that it's very fine as it is. My ideas would probably change the meaning. And I don't want to pm such ideas. 🙂 Cheers!

Author's Reply:
- "it's very fine as it is." - chuffed! :-)) Thanks. Elf.

Warhorse on 17-10-2005
Words
Hi elf
this is great and i particularly like

a word can be a battering ram a crushing thing but the most stupid word sequence used too glibly in my view are the words i love you

well done
mike


Author's Reply:
Sorry for the delay in replying warhorse. Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment; I'm glad you liked this (and you're right about that glib phrase - maybe there's another poem in there somewhere!). Elfstone.

tai on 17-10-2005
Words
Hi Elfstone, I really enjoyed your 'Word' poem. Yes I agree words are real power, as to the question! Well, that is down to the individual to either go there or not imo. I believe better out than in and it kind of has a closure affect, when I exhume shit that buries me. Clears the air, so to speak! But again I must say that words are really important and need to be handled very carefully, if what you say, has affect on others.

10 from me

Smiling

Tai

Author's Reply:
Tai, sorry for the delay in replying. I'm pleased that you like this one and you are probably right about "clearing the air". It takes a lot of courage though; maybe I'm just not very brave. Thanks for that rating too. Elfstone.

eddiesolo on 19-10-2005
Words
WOW...what a write.

Loved this.

Maybe we need to just to use the right words?

WOW again!

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Si, many thanks - two "WOWs" eh? I'm very chuffed that you approve of this. Thanks also for that rating - much appreciated. Elf.


Wishful thinking (posted on: 19-09-05)
A tribute of sorts.

Wishful thinking

Just opening the first book
Releases me from this tainted world.
Reading every familiar word again
Touches me in special ways.
Over and over I have read;
Lingering, always, at the end,
Knowing that the last pages leave me
Empty, drained, yet fulfilled,
Inspired by Valinor's
Never fading golden light.
I wish that I could live there!
Endlessly seeking
Knowledge and understanding;
Learning the ways
Of Mystery, Men and Eldar;
Telling the tales,
Relishing the myths,
Realising the dreams,
Jubilant!

Elfstone


Archived comments for Wishful thinking
Griffonner on 2005-09-19 21:33:32
Re: Wishful thinking
And is this such an unholy desire? I think not.
Almost a daydream, this. But delivered with great style and flair. I think we all have books like that, in fact, come to think of it, life itself is pretty much as your book.
Thanks for sharing, Elfstone. I enjoyed this very much.
Griffonner


Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-19 23:22:27
Re: Wishful thinking
Griffoner, many thanks for reading and leaving such a great comment. "delivered with great style and flair." thank you :-)) I'm hoping someone will tell me if there is a technical name for this kind of pallindromic, acrostic whatever. Anyway I'm glad you liked it. Elf.

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2005-09-20 10:52:30
Re: Wishful thinking
You've been reading about that place just beyond the misty mountains again (west of the Shiant Isles?), Elfstone. Good poem! I hope you're well. Bye now.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-20 18:50:48
Re: Wishful thinking
Shacks, it's good to hear from you again. Sadly I haven't been to the far West for nearly a year now and it doesn't look like I will be back until the Spring of next year. (Having withdrawal symptoms!) Glad you enjoyed the poem. Thanks for stopping by. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-20 20:39:10
Re: Wishful thinking
I had to read this a couple of times--I think I know what you mean. I liked it anyway...

Gerry

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-20 21:07:15
Re: Wishful thinking
Gerry many thanks for reading and leaving a comment. I'm glad you liked it. Elf.


Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-09-22 07:59:27
Re: Wishful thinking
Hello young Mr. Stone. I myself, and I include my hamster in this equation, am not a great reader of books. I lose plots and forget whose who at the turn of a page. I also have this strange habit of not reading the last chapter. I have no explanation for this at all. My shrink says I'm just a nutter. Nice piece Mr. Elf, jubilant in fact. Thanks.

s
u
n
k
e
n

he opens doors by thinking

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-22 23:45:26
Re: Wishful thinking
My dear Wolfie, what a delightful comment! (I have to say I'm very glad you don't ever feel cheated - I wouldn't want any one reading my poetry to feel that. ) Acrostics are fun - hard work but most enjoyable. Glad you enjoyed this. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-22 23:48:24
Re: Wishful thinking
Well young Mr Sunk, you always make me smile. This world needs people like you. I love your syncopated comments :-))

Elfstone.

P.S. you're shrink is wrong!!

Author's Reply:


A Brief Encounter? (posted on: 16-09-05)
This was written for a Challenge - to describe a film without naming it.

Perhaps you will recognise it?

A Brief Encounter? A domineering culture Laced and boned Into over-confidence; Strict, prim, exacting. A god-like status with Unbending protocol and Entrenched tradition Seeking enlightenment? An abandonment of delicate silk Set amidst opulent splendour; A voluptuousness of imagery Sets a lush background. A melting resolve Disguised by pristine etiqette; Intellect and sensuality Sparring uncertainly. A clash of cultures, A meeting of minds. Deep warm brown twinkling Into superior icy blue. A sense of duty; Politics and passion - (suppressed of course) - an uneasy mix. A bittersweet resolution - A recognition of fate An acceptance of inevitability; One final, poignant dance. Elfstone 18/1/04
Archived comments for A Brief Encounter?
Griffonner on 2005-09-16 11:59:31
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Afraid not, Elfstone. Not, that is, because of any lack of skillful loquacity on your part, but because I am a person who has watched very few films. But your words have unleashed a desire to know more.
*Inquisitively*
Griffonner

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-09-16 13:07:05
Re: A Brief Encounter?
It has to be, the King and I ?? another good one Elf. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-16 18:11:25
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Not quite right Val, but very close!! :-))

Thanks as always for reading and commenting.

Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-16 18:18:27
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Griffoner, many thanks for taking time to read this bit of nonsense and for leaving a comment.

I would recommend the film, but I'm aware that people's tastes, in terms of the styles of films varies a lot. I will say that it is wonderfully well made and quite sumptious and acted with real subtlety. (If nobody gets a bull's-eye on this I'll put up the title later.)

Elf.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-16 20:23:24
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Well Elf, I don't suppose I am anywhere near but 'Gone with the wind' fits a few parameters.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-16 22:46:25
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Nope! but many thanks for stopping by to read and leave a comment - it's appreciated. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-16 22:50:13
Re: A Brief Encounter?
ooops! sumptuous even. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Gee on 2005-09-17 12:22:44
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Beautifully written and I love the idea behind this.
The way you descibe it, I feel sure I know this film, but I can't put a name to it. I'm very intrigued.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-17 12:40:10
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Thanks Gee! I will put up the title of the film in a day or so. Pleased that you liked it. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-09-17 20:10:27
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Enjoyed reading , will pop back for the answer later...L

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-09-18 09:34:03
Re: A Brief Encounter?
I don't think it matters what film it is young Elf, a beautiful flow of words in their own right. While I'm here tho, I may as well take a guess, is it Star Wars? 😉 Top stuff.

s
u
n
k
e
n

also available on sundays

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-18 12:02:26
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Lelila thanks for that 🙂 I'll post the title later on today. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-18 12:12:02
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Sunk, you are a delight!!

"a beautiful flow of words in their own right." - what a lovely comment - I'm chuffed.

"also available on sundays" ? - oh be still! my beating heart.

Elf.

Author's Reply:

blackdove on 2005-09-18 13:47:27
Re: A Brief Encounter?
I don't know if you've posted the answer somewhere yet, but I think it's Pride and Prejudice.
I do enjoy these kind of poems, I think you should write another one Elf.
Liked it lots.
Jem

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-09-18 13:56:01
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Jem that was my first thoughts on reading down but the last line made me change my mind...wonder if it is...L

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-18 15:09:18
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Not yet Jem, but I will do later tonight 😉

Oh and it's not P&P - in fact I haven't seen the new film (did it not come out just on Friday?) - but I was very impressed by the BBC version.

Glad you enjoyed this - maybe I will do another one. Thanks for leaving a comment. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Flash on 2005-09-18 15:16:31
Re: A Brief Encounter?
JEEZ!!!!!! I though it was Planet of the apes for a while!!!!

The puzzle intrigued me to read the poem, a very good one as well...but i read it as a puzzle not as a poem?

Kinda spoiled it a wee bit.

xxx
Flash

Author's Reply:

allieuk on 2005-09-18 15:25:25
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Ohhhhhh I love that film. So very British. I seem to have something in my eye....lol

Wonderful use of language. I really enjoyed reading that.

Allieuk

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-18 15:32:15
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Planet of the Apes!!!???? ROFL

I'm sorry the puzzle element spoiled it for you Flash. Maybe when you learn which film it is, you will be able to read it again just as poetry. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Elf.

Author's Reply:

blackdove on 2005-09-18 15:32:18
Re: A Brief Encounter?
A Passage to India?

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-18 15:34:38
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Allieuk many thanks for that. Glad you enjoyed my bit of nonsense. I'll post the title later tonight if no one has guessed. Elf.

Author's Reply:

blackdove on 2005-09-18 15:35:09
Re: A Brief Encounter?
No, I meant A Jewel in the Crown.
Jem

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-18 15:36:03
Re: A Brief Encounter?
No not that either - sorry, but by all means keep guessing. 😉 Elf (teasing)stone.

Author's Reply:

allieuk on 2005-09-18 15:40:44
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Is it Dangerous Liaisons?

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-09-18 16:43:23
Re: A Brief Encounter?
War and Peace? Doctor Zhivago? I still think it's Anna and the King.. ((-; I'm grabbing at straws here Btw! Val x

Author's Reply:

allieuk on 2005-09-18 23:05:49
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Sound of Music? lol

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-18 23:29:36
Re: A Brief Encounter?
I'm very surprised, but completely delighted that this bit of fluff has sparked so much interest. :-)) The film it attempts to describe is "Anna and the King" from 1999. If you haven't seen it I would recommend it. I saw half of it on TV a couple of Christmases ago and was so impressed I bought the video - a rare occurence - to see the whole thing. It is beautifully done.

Anyway my thanks to all of you for making this fun!!

Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-18 23:32:31
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Well done Bradene!! (Although based on the same story, it is a very different film from your first guess - The King and I.)

Have a coconut!! :-))

Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-20 19:00:27
Re: A Brief Encounter?
There, there, dear; you can have first go at the next puzzle (said in a soothing tone of voice).

Many thanks for both of your comments and for pointing out the typo which is duly amended. I'm glad you enjoyed this and, as so many people seem to agree with you, I might try my hand at another sometime soon.

Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-09-20 19:50:21
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Elstone! It sounds like my King and I! Wow! Bloody brilliant, I especially loved the lines,

'Deep warm brown twinkling
Into superior icy blue'! Wow again. I love it.

Just a thought, should there be a comma between the brown and the twinkling?lol

10 from me

Smiling deeply

Tai


Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-20 21:03:32
Re: A Brief Encounter?
My thanks, Tai, as always for your support. I'm glad you liked this. Two "wows" ?? WOW! ;-)) I've also had an e-mail telling me that you've made this a favourite - makes me feel very chuffed and that I might be able to write again as I used to, before life went pear-shaped earlier this year; apropos your thread on 'inspiration' - confidence has something to do with it and mine was badly knocked.

You're right that, strictly speaking, there should be a comma between deep and warm and warm and brown (and possibly brown and twinkling, depending on whether you read twinkling as a noun or an adjective to the missing, implied noun 'eyes'). Normally I'm a stickler for punctuation and layout, as you know, but visually it just looked too broken up so I left them all out :-)) .

(I thought the guy who acted King Mongkut was rather charismatic - very twinkly!)

Big thanks again, Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-09-21 15:56:24
Re: A Brief Encounter?

Well I didn't guess the movie, but I love the poem on it's own the images are delightful and each word is well placed and it's very well constructed. It gives the reader much to 'see'

thank you..

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-21 21:21:05
Re: A Brief Encounter?
Jolen, I am very grateful to you for taking the time to read and leave such a lovely comment. I'm pleased that you saw something good in this. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Lu on 2005-09-22 19:58:04
Re: A Brief Encounter?
A great piece full of absolutely marvelous and voluptuous words 😉

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-22 23:40:14
Re: A Brief Encounter?
I am honoured by your praise, Lu. Many thanks for stopping by to read this. Elfstone.


Author's Reply:


Ross Creek Cedars (posted on: 09-09-05)
Looking through some older work I came across this one.
It attempts to describe an absolutely magical place I visited a couple of years ago.

Ross Creek Cedars

Come with me, walk with me
into this hushed place.
A cooling air greets us,
a dimming light softening through
silent shades of ancient green.

Unending columns of grey trunks
form a complex, living nave
beyond the best of man's devising.
The air is redolent with smells
richer than any incense.
Sanctified by quiet growth
of ferns and mosses,
this time warped stillness
shelters memories of passing years
as blinking moments.

This green cathedral fills our spirits.
This undisturbed, serene twilight,
shows our wondering eyes
a gentler vision.
A slowing pace compels reflection.
A grandeur unexcelled demands a quiet awe.
We stop and breathe a different air;
we speak in whispered tones;
we tread softly on the living earth;
we worship by our understanding;
we feel the very Presence:
here, Nature is not an abstract.

Stand still ! Hush!
You will hear that quiet thrumming
which is the heart of Earth,
tapping deeply into some richer well
of the soul's eternal seeking.
Hold on to that peace;
it calls to you from a deeper place.
Drink in the stillness of
this hallowed grove,
and be content.

Elfstone 31/8/03
Archived comments for Ross Creek Cedars
Gerry on 2005-09-10 11:31:29
Re: Ross Creek Cedars
Elf, a lovely descriptive poem--I enjoyed it...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-10 13:59:42
Re: Ross Creek Cedars
Thanks for leaving a comment Gerry 🙂 I'm pleased that you liked it. It was a wonderful place with a unique atmosphere! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-09-16 13:00:40
Re: Ross Creek Cedars
an honest opinion Elf.. This is beautiful and I cannot for the life of me understand why it has not had more attention. I have just come back from a few days in Norfolk, so haven't managed to do any reading at all since Monday night. this reminds me of a place in North Leicestershire in the Autumn, the woods there are really wonderful and remind me of a cathedral, the way you have described the peace and hush, the grandeur of your place is just how my woods are though with reds, bronzes, golds of Autumn. I think you have captured beautifully a sense od awe at natures wonderful gifts a fav for me. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-16 18:29:02
Re: Ross Creek Cedars
Val, many many thanks for that. I'm sure people have been busy and I have no right to expect that members here will always want to read my work, but I'd much rather people told me that I'd written a second or third rate poem than stayed silent. If I don't know what's wrong then I can't fix it.

This wonderful place was in Montana and was unlike any other wood/forest I've ever been in - really atmospheric; very special!

Thanks again, Elf.

Author's Reply:

allieuk on 2005-09-18 15:29:49
Re: Ross Creek Cedars
Wow, that was beautiful. You have captured such a depth of serenity and peace with the words and gentle rhythm of this piece. I love the idea of nature as holy and the communion of the spirit with nature. It's a wonderful pastoral image. Bravo! I wish I'd written it.

Allieuk

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-18 15:47:33
Re: Ross Creek Cedars
alliuk, thank you for reading and for leaving such a lovely comment. I confess I was a bit puzzled about the deafening silence that greeted this one when I posted it, which is why I asked bradene for her opinion on what was wrong with it. (Her answer's above.)

Ross Creek Cedars was a very special place - it had a real atmosphere, as though it had something of Lothlorien about it.

Thanks agian, Elf.

Author's Reply:


The Song of Life (posted on: 02-09-05)
This is an old one. Rhythm and Rhyme seem to be in vogue at the moment 🙂 (see the new Poetry Workshop).

Couldn't quite get the layout right.

The Song of Life Sing me the Song of Alone; Filling your leisure With hobbies for pleasure Will never atone For the Song of Alone. Sing me the Song of Regret; Mournful and wistful These wrenching 'what-ifs' fill Cold harmonies set For the Song of Regret. Sing me the Song of A Waste; Tunes never played Leave the player dismayed. Bitter's the taste Of the Song of A Waste. Sing me the Song of Defeated; Pumelled and worn By a life that's just borne. So much not completed, Mocks the Song of Defeated. Sing me the Song of Failure; When you think what's not done And the time that has gone, That anguish will nail you To the Song of Failure. Sing me the Song of Pain; When you're never exempt From rejection's contempt, That cruel disdain Howls the Song of Pain. Sing me the Song of Enduring; As you cling to vain hope With the optimist's rope, The rights you're procuring To the Song of Enduring. Sing me these Songs, With their melodies breaking, And I will sing with you To ease my heart's aching. 6/2/03
Archived comments for The Song of Life
Bradene on 2005-09-02 14:47:09
Re: The Song of Life
This is my favourite stanza, in a really well thought out poem. Smashing Elf. Love Val x

Sing me the Song of Enduring;
As you cling to vain hope
With the optimist’s rope,
The rights you’re procuring
To the Song of Enduring.



Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-09-02 16:02:12
Re: The Song of Life
You could make a mint with this beautiful song of life Elfstone. The Failure verse seems to me the only one slightly out of tune...I think you could tinker with that one and it would be perfect...missed and kissed sprang to mind, if that helps.

Wonderful work

9 from me.

Smiling

Tai

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-02 18:06:35
Re: The Song of Life
Glad you liked it Val. I don't often do Rhythm and Rhyme poems; they're a bit more of a challenge. Thanks for stopping by. Elf

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-02 18:08:37
Re: The Song of Life
Many thanks for reading and commenting Tai - you know I value your opinion. I will have another look at that verse. As I said to Val this kind of poem is more of a challenge. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 2005-09-02 21:48:32
Re: The Song of Life
Very good composition, Elf. I particularly like the final stanza:
Sing me these Songs,
With their melodies breaking,
And I will sing with you
To ease my heart’s aching.


All the best, Luigi.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-02 22:12:34
Re: The Song of Life
Many thanks Luigi. I'm chuffed that you liked this. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-09-04 13:28:29
Re: The Song of Life
I agree with that young Ionicus bloke, the last stanza does kinda nail it. It is good to see the use of nails in poetry. Long may you bang. Thanks.

s
u
n
k
e
n

retrieving data via pigeons

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-04 20:16:47
Re: The Song of Life
banging away sunk!:-)))

Glad you liked this. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Elf.

Author's Reply:

Poet on 21-01-2006
The Song of Life
Hello Elfstone. I was drawn immediately to the title and I am very glad I was. Beautiful and poignant and yet I feel there is much more to be mined from this poem. To me it has the real potential to be an epic poem of great breadth. Also I feel these are valuable potential song lyrics.
Anyway I loved it and felt in tune with the spirit of the message. I do believe however you may have a misspelling in stanza # 2 line # 4 (harnomies instead of harmonies?)
Great work Elf and I'll be looking at more!

Author's Reply:
I'm delighted that this is still attracting attention and more so that you've left a comment. Normally after the first 2 or 3 days no one says anything. You are quiet right about the typo - thanks for pointing it out - I will edit.

Thanks again for your kind words. Elfstone.


Mon-o-tone Black (posted on: 29-08-05)
This wee one was written for the recent 'monosyllable' Workshop.

Mon-o-tone Black

What salve for those who weep?
What words to soothe such pain?
How deep the cuts and deep
the heart in hurt has lain.

How fraught the soul with fear;
the mind too drained to think.
How cold, how dark, how drear
this cup of life we drink.

Elfstone 16/8/05
Archived comments for Mon-o-tone Black
Lu on 2005-08-29 22:20:52
Re: Mon-o-tone Black
Sharp but tender and oh so true. A 9 from me!

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-29 22:35:13
Re: Mon-o-tone Black
". . . oh so true" - isn't it just!? Many thanks for reading this and commenting Lu, and for the rating. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

littleditty on 2005-08-30 13:41:48
Re: Mon-o-tone Black
hello workshop compatriot! This is the best there was -it is a poem despite and because of that tricky monosyllable thing - not noticed but perfect for the pain in this poem. (did that make sense??!)When in such pain - i become monosyllabic and it all goes monotone -i really like this poem Elfstone xxxlittleditty x

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-08-30 15:37:14
Re: Mon-o-tone Black
I loved this tender little piece from the workshop Elf. Great write Love Valx

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-30 18:27:18
Re: Mon-o-tone Black
littleditty, thank you for reading again and leaving such a lovely comment. Yes, you do make sense, although I have realised looking back, that in extremis (which happens too damned often!! :-{ ) I become silent. I think that is why writing poetry has been such a liberating experience. Glad you liked this. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-30 18:28:31
Re: Mon-o-tone Black
Thanks val. You know I always value your opinion :-} Elf.

Author's Reply:

niece on 2005-08-31 13:15:03
Re: Mon-o-tone Black
Liked the tone and rhythm in this one, Elfstone. The feelings are very very real.
Regds,niece


Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-31 20:47:21
Re: Mon-o-tone Black
Thanks niece; I'm glad that you liked it and yes the feelings are (too often) very real. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-08-31 23:08:15
Re: Mon-o-tone Black
black indeed. the surprising thing for me is that it doesn't feel monosyllabic at all, it feels richly embroidered and classic. best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-01 18:38:30
Re: Mon-o-tone Black
Many thanks for reading and commenting Anthony.

"richly embroidered and classic" - what a lovely thing to have said about one of my poems. Chuffed! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Ethnotheology? (posted on: 26-08-05)
My last two subs have been a bit grim so I thought I would offer something less 'black'. This one is unusual in that I set out deliberately to write it and it was a bit of a brain-teaser!

Ethnotheology?

Ancient deities rule the
beliefs of vanished peoples,
cultures which leave traces in the
dust of history, provide
enigmatic glimpses of
far-off times.

Glimmerings of awareness show their
heavens, as rich as ours;
intuitive understanding provides
joy, peace
knowledge of self and
love everlasting?

Mesmerised by ritual they stand,
night adding it's darkening mystery.
Overwhelmed with wonder,
primitive faces half hide
quizzical eyes.

Revolving slowly,
stars reflect fearful
tension in
upturned faces;
votive candles burn.

When the elders pray, the
xoanon falls,
young and ancient in its
zenith.

Elfstone 22/5/04
Archived comments for Ethnotheology?
chrissy on 2005-08-28 11:52:49
Re: Ethnotheology?
Why did you put this as plain daft? I think it's good, got some nice images.
What's xoanon? Couldn't find it in my old dictionary but then that does have aeroplane in the 'new words' section and I'm too brain dead to work it out.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-28 11:59:59
Re: Ethnotheology?
Chrissy - bless you ; I want to give you a cyber hug!!

Which category should I put it in then? I'm not sure. I put it there because it started as an exercise and although it worked, it is a bit daft isn't it?

Xoanon - primitive (wooden) statue, said to have fallen from heaven.

Thanks again. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-08-28 12:43:00
Re: Ethnotheology?
I'm asking the same questions as chrissy!! I think this is great and probably i didn't read it sooner because you had posted it under plain daft.. it's great elf. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-08-28 12:44:55
Re: Ethnotheology?
Oh I've just read the answer you gave Chrissy .. but I'm not sure I understand that either *blush, blush* Val x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-28 13:17:24
Re: Ethnotheology?
Many thanks for stopping by to read and leave a comment val. Pleased that you think this is great - it was just an exercise, but I love challenges and puzzles and such technical things and I thought this worked out well enough to sub it. Must think about changing the category, but not sure what to. Elf.

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-08-28 13:25:32
Re: Ethnotheology?
Hi Elfstone. A very interesting perspective on the social Ethos of our societies of times gone by...I had to look the title up and couldn't find it! But I went for the nearest closest things and bingo!! I looked up another couple of words, 'xoanon' doesn't exist etha! Joke!lol but again I went for the next nearest and think I scored a goal. And Zenith, well I peaked on that one.

For me, it doesn't matter how we get there, just as long as we do.

8 from me

Smiling

Tai

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-08-28 13:27:24
Re: Ethnotheology?
Elfstone, if you are still looking for that category...philosophy would seem appropriate.

Smiling

Tai

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-28 13:44:23
Re: Ethnotheology?
My grateful thanks, Tai, for reading and commenting. Xoanon does exist in my dictionary (Chambers, 9th edition; see definition to Chrissy above) and infact was the starting point for this little exercise. The title I made up, hence the question mark, but I'm surprised it hadn't been coined already; "ethnomusicology" has been a recognised word since before I was at Uni. (that'll be around 90 years ago ((((-: ) Thanks again. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 2005-08-28 13:45:33
Re: Ethnotheology?
This is a very thought-provoking poem, I must say that the last stanza is excellent and could stand alone!


Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-28 18:47:21
Re: Ethnotheology?
Apolloneia, many thanks for reading and leaving a comment. I'm very chuffed at your praise for this little exercise. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-29 21:58:02
Re: Ethnotheology?
Shywolf, I am very grateful as always for you reading and leaving a comment. I have to say I'm impressed by your interpretation; actually I feel that this wee exercise doesn't deserve it. If I had been cynical I could have called this 'Pseudotheology?' just as fittingly. I'm afraid I did not intend anything as deep as your take on this. In fact it was a word exercise; should I tell you what? Look at the first word of each line :-))) Thanks again, Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-30 18:32:17
Re: Ethnotheology?
You know I would do nothing willingly to cause you any distress wolfy. :-)) BTW, apparently poems like this have a posh name - 'Arabic acrostics'. (!!!) Elf.

Author's Reply:


Excoriation (posted on: 19-08-05)
This came to me on Tuesday night - my first new one (and that in itself is a relief) for a long time.

I'm aware that this will probably not be comfortable reading, and apologise for that, but as I'm too close to see the wood for the trees with this one, I would value opinions.

Excoriation Let me take you to the edge, to where desperation corrodes the cusp of reason and dissolves hope. Let me show you the farthest reaches where the knife blade of contempt, cuts through harrowed sentience to expose the excruciated heart. Let me give you ears to hear the stridency of failure beating its grinding clangour with bells of defeat. Let me walk you to the cold, hollow place, where the winds of desolation scour the withering mind. Let me plunge you deep into relentless black pools of the darkening soul, peeled, scraped and grated into unending rawness. Let my pen be your guide to the place of aloneness, the place of endurance, where the searing ink bleeds pain onto the margin of a crumpled, unread sheet. Let me share my true self with you. Elfstone 16/8/05
Archived comments for Excoriation
Kazzmoss on 2005-08-19 09:07:33
Re: Excoriation
My goodness, all I do on a Tuesday night is watch Holby City! I'm not a poet so I don't feel like I can give a proper opinion. What I can say is although I didn't understand what it was saying, it was intriguing and haunting, bitter and desolate even. Can you like something without fully understanding it? If so, I do like it and know it is a great feeling when you write something when haven't for a while - Kaz

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-08-19 11:38:17
Re: Excoriation
You are right Elf, it dose indeed make uncomforable reading, a gut wrenching and soul tearing read; yet brilliant in its construction and execution. You must be feeling this, in order to have written it so convincingly. I hope you find peace soon Elf, Thanks for sharing this with us. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 2005-08-19 16:18:40
Re: Excoriation
Beautifully done, Elf. Full of anguish and torment.
I personally prefer 'loneliness' to 'aloneness' but it is a question of preference.
Regards, Luigi.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-19 17:25:55
Re: Excoriation
Thankyou for reading and leaving a comment Ionicus, and for your praise which is much valued.
There is a subtle difference between the meanings of 'aloneness' and 'loneliness' I think, although I will go away and check the dictionary, and if I'm right I think I mean 'aloneness'. (Hoping that makes sense!). Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-19 17:27:42
Re: Excoriation
What a wonderful comment. I have a lump in my throat. Thankyou Tai-Li. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-19 17:32:48
Re: Excoriation
Val, you know I value your opinion of my work and never more than now when I am "feeling this". So it is good to know that you find something worthwhile in this as a piece of poetry, that stands on its own apart from me. Thankyou for your kindness. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-19 17:39:03
Re: Excoriation
I am so glad that you did leave your opinion and there is nothing that is not proper about it. I don't think one has to be a poet to assess/respond to poetry.
"Can you like something without fully understanding it?" yes I belive you can; lots of people love music without being able to point out the 'Interrupted Cadences' or the 'recapitulation of the second subject in the tonic', in other words without understanding it and I'm sure the same applies to the written word.

I am very grateful to you for taking the time to leave a helpful comment. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

littleditty on 2005-08-19 18:24:26
Re: Excoriation
hello elfstone, i popped in this morning - very early - and was so impressed by your poem that i popped it straight into my favourites. It is a remarkable piece of writing - a mirror for "that feeling" indeed - i am full of admiration - excellent xxxlittleditty x

Author's Reply:

bektron on 2005-08-19 18:45:53
Re: Excoriation
Lovely Elf, and deserving of the nib 🙂 my only suggestion...
*slap me because you know I can't help fiddling!*
perhaps the addition of the word 'this' in the last line would increase the emphasis on just exactly what it is you're sharing?
good stuff.
beks:)

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-19 19:21:45
Re: Excoriation
I am humbled by your accolade littleditty. This one was so new and so close to me that I wasn't sure if it was worth anything. I'm very grateful for your kind comments. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-19 19:27:03
Re: Excoriation
Many thanks beks. I was astonished to open the latest 100 and find this at the top and with a nib!! I was too close to it to see it properly if you know what I mean.

*slap me because you know I can't help fiddling!* - how could I?!? You know I'm a compulsive fiddler myself [ :-)) ] and anyway one of the strengths of this site is the willingness of the many excellent writers around to give considered and friendly advice. I will look again at that last line. Meantime thanks as ever for your support. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Griffonner on 2005-08-19 19:54:29
Re: Excoriation
I have been in this place, and I understand both your feelings and your warning. But you said this with such feeling and clarity that it cannot offend, only impress.
*Impressed*
Griffonner

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-19 20:08:07
Re: Excoriation
Griffoner, my thanks both for reading and for taking the time to leave a much valued comment. I am chuffed that this one seems to strike a chord with people. Elfstone

Author's Reply:

alcarty on 2005-08-20 04:16:47
Re: Excoriation
Do you write much prose, Elf? I don't read a lot of poetry because the form, most of the time, distracts my mind from what my eye is looking at. The poet uses words that jerks my mind away from what my eye is seeing. I tried to see what you were saying but I'm used to reading the facts, as Sergeant Friday would say. Underneath all this verbal pile of bricks I mean to say, just write in prose what you mean. Ah, well. I thought you had something to say but I thought it could be better expressed it had you expanded the thought into a story. Maybe a long story. Keep it up.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-08-20 08:20:43
Re: Excoriation
Well done Mr. Elf! I always prefer my steak well done by the way. I do hope this information helps. I never understood those who have it rare. Bloody awful and a complete waste of good steak if you ask me. It's as if the things still alive. Oh no, it's well done for me every time. Anyway, none of this important right now. Congrats on your nib, may I suggest you wear it on your left lapel and buff it occasionally with Brasso. Eat pears.

s
u
n
k
e
n

persuading caterpillars to fly

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-20 13:17:42
Re: Excoriation
Thankyou for taking the time to read and leave a comment alcarty.

"Do you write much prose, Elf?" - no but I do try from time to time. In fact I have posted 2 prose pieces here - 'Replays!' and 'The Night the Music Died', but they were not much commented on , if at all, so I can only assume that people didn't enjoy them and think better of my poetry. It certainly comes very much easier to me to write in poetic form.

'Underneath all this verbal pile of bricks I mean to say, just write in prose what you mean.' - I'm sorry that you see this as a "verbal pile of bricks", but we all have different views on art forms and "one man's meet is another man's poison" as they say and I respect your opinion. I honestly don't think I could write this in prose. You see, as I've said before here, I don't plan to write a poem, it just happens. I have no real control over the event. This poem does express, in terms which are brutally clear to me, something of what I have been going through over recent months, but, as I said in my intro., I recognise that I am still too close to things to see clearly, which is why I value other opinions on how this reads to people outside of the experiences.

Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-20 13:21:28
Re: Excoriation
Thank you Mr Sunk! I'm delighted - if more than a little surprised - by the nib.

Funnily enough I also enjoy my steaks very well done, preferably with a glass of strong red wine. :-))

Elf.

Author's Reply:

alcarty on 2005-08-20 16:27:37
Re: Excoriation
Oops! '...verbal pile of bricks'. I was referring to my comments, not your work. Sorry if you read it that way.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-20 17:00:24
Re: Excoriation
aaahhhhhh! I misunderstood! Thankyou for clearing that up 🙂 Elf.

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-08-20 22:25:29
Re: Excoriation
dear elfstone,

i like this piece. it's very clear. i liked very much 'the peeled, scraped and grated into unending rawness' but my fav stanza is probably:

Let me walk you to
the cold, hollow place,
where the winds of desolation
scour the withering mind.

that really gives a strong picture of the mind being beaten to a pulp!

i agree with becks that you need something more in that last line, maybe 'this' is right or maybe 'it' would be a touch harsher and thus appropriate for this harsh piece?

best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-20 22:57:12
Re: Excoriation
Anthony, many thanks for leaving such a kind and helpful comment. I think you and beks are right; the last line does need tweaking. Whether it should be "this" or "it" - both good suggestions - I'm not now sure. I will give it serious thought. Thanks again. Elf.

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 2005-08-21 10:30:46
Re: Excoriation
Top...brilliant...wow.

Found this a well constructed piece. A very haunting read.

Just amazing Elf!

Si:-)

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-21 15:18:25
Re: Excoriation
Goodness I'm humbled. Many thanks for reading and for leaving a comment with such praise Simon. Elf.

Author's Reply:

niece on 2005-08-21 15:42:17
Re: Excoriation
Dear Elfstone,
The pain in the words can be felt so much. Very touching!
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-21 15:47:26
Re: Excoriation
Mmmmm, yes things have been a bit painful recently. Many thanks for reading and leaving a comment neice. It's appreciated. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

BaBy_PoeT on 2005-08-21 23:17:00
Re: Excoriation
hey Elfstone, i thought this was a really interesting piece to read. you can almost feel it.
a great read I'd say, don't know what else to say that others ain't mentioned before me.
take care
xXx...:::...BaBy PoeT...:::...xXx

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-22 00:23:14
Re: Excoriation
Thanks babypoet. I'm pleased that you think this is a great read and grateful for you taking the time to comment. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-08-24 17:30:27
Re: Excoriation
Another excellent poem. I especially like
where the searing ink
bleeds pain onto the margin
of a crumpled, unread sheet.

It's a wonderful sustained image.
There is one useful thing about being a poet; you can make something from troubled times.
Daff

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-24 21:18:06
Re: Excoriation
It is lovely to get another comment for this poem - I thought it would be sinking into obscurity by now! 🙂 I am honoured by your praise and very pleased that you like this.

"There is one useful thing about being a poet; you can make something from troubled times." - you are spot on there and of course writing poetry can be cathartic sometimes.

Thanks again. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Lu on 2005-08-29 22:23:50
Re: Excoriation
You share very well, and I admire this.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-29 23:06:01
Re: Excoriation
Lu I thought this poem had dropped off into obscurity so it is pleasing to find that people are still reading it. I was also very chuffed to get an e-mail form uka telling me that you have made this a "hot story". I'm honoured; very many thanks. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Rosco on 2005-09-19 03:50:13
Re: Excoriation
I'm begining to hear your voice. It's good; it's very good. Celtic genius twined. I'll read more; I'll read more. It's like a wave that you don't need to talk about too much just go in deeper. Sound and sense battling eloquently in the heart is much to my liking.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-19 21:36:09
Re: Excoriation
Goodness me, Rosco I hardly know what to say. Firtsly I thought this poem had sunk into obscurity. Secondly I am moved by your comment; more than chuffed - humbled.

I hope you won't mind, but I am going to copy it to Appleworks and print it out. In the last 6 months or so I've been through another bad patch and as a consequence had lost any confidence in my ability to write. The response of my fellow writers in this site is such a comfort.

I would be delighted if you'd read more and I will be happy to learn your opinions of my other work.

My grateful thanks, Elfstone

Author's Reply:


Kyrie (posted on: 15-08-05)
I wrote this a while ago, but it seems to reflect the difficulties I have been through of late. Your comments as always very welcome.

Kyrie

And tomorrow the sun will shine again;
And on the road which I must travel
No light of it will dawn;
Darkness shades me.

I see, as at a distance,
Golden sunrises shimmering
Into dazzling hope but
Darkness wraps me.

Sunsets mellow into peaceful contentment;
The earth breathes a deep tranquility.
Now all longing wants to dream, yet
Darkness holds me.

All my fate,
All my destiny is
Darkness:
Kyrie Eleison.

Elfstone
Archived comments for Kyrie
Sunken on 2005-08-15 08:11:53
Re: Kyrie
I have to admit, I accidentally clicked on this because I originally misread the title. You know I have a thing for Kylie. Still, I wasn't disappointed. A top little read young Elf.

s
u
n
k
e
n

navigating via the gift of winks

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-15 20:06:40
Re: Kyrie
Glad you weren't disappointed - I would hate to do that!
Many thanks for reading and especially for leaving a comment. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-08-15 21:23:47
Re: Kyrie
A very weighty piece...hope there is light...L

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-15 21:41:44
Re: Kyrie
Thanks Leila - I hope so too!! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 2005-08-15 22:11:23
Re: Kyrie
Good piece, nice write indeed.

Enjoyed.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-15 23:05:46
Re: Kyrie
Thanks for reading Si. Glad you liked it. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-08-16 00:49:50
Re: Kyrie
Great little poem but the narrator needs a good slap!lol

Dear elfstone, sorry about that!!

Smiling

Tai x, I'm in a good mood today!lol

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-16 18:27:15
Re: Kyrie
Glad you think it is a 'great little poem', but

the narrator needs a good slap!lol

- - - why? I'm mystified! What have I done/did I do to deserve a slap?

[ps: I am also cock-a-hoop, so if you are going to slap this may be the best time to do it; on the other hand I would quite like to stay up here on cloud nine for a wee while longer and wouldn't mind a gentle descent if possible :-)) ] Elf.


Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-16 18:32:46
Re: Kyrie
Hello Tai-Li ; good to make your acquaintance! Many thanks for your comments here and in the PMs. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I keep hoping there will be light, in fact I've been hoping for a very, very long time; I suppose I'm an optimist at heart! Writing the darkness out in poetry is one of the ways I've discovered of dealing with it - a kind of catharsis perhaps. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 2005-08-17 01:59:42
Re: Kyrie
Elfstone, Kyrie Eleison is what I used to say many times each day in the past. I must start saying it again more often. This is exactly the kind of destiny that awaits all those who don't feel the need to exclaim "Kyrie Eleison" every now and then. Darkness. All destinies and fates are Darkness, but who will escape if not those who believe in a God of Love and Sacrifice? Kyrie Eleison for those that may not know is Greek, it means "Lord have mercy" and it's the shortest psalm of the Orthodox Church but it is used by the Catholics too.

This is what I saw and felt when I read your poem.
Much Respect,
Nicoletta x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-17 18:35:43
Re: Kyrie
Many thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment Apolloneia. I'm pleased this struck a chord with you and honoured by the 'Hot Story' you gave it. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-08-17 18:57:01
Re: Kyrie
The Kyrie Eleison is always beautifully sung in our Anglican church. It is an unusual subject for a poem. But I fully understand you writing it.
I hope all your problems in future are small ones.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-17 19:10:13
Re: Kyrie
Gerry, many thanks for your kind comments. I also know the Kyrie from music, but in my case, from concerts of Masses by Mozart and the like. Thanks again. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-08-18 11:36:48
Re: Kyrie
A beautiful and touching poem Elf one I can empathize with totally at the moment I too hope there is light soon for both of us. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-18 18:16:59
Re: Kyrie
Nice to be 'talking' to you here again Val. Many thanks for leaving a comment. I'm pleased that you found something to like in this rather bleak poem (actually tomorrow's sub is even bleaker!).

You are implying that Life is kicking you in the teeth too at the moment and if that is so I am sorry. Let's hope the gods/stars/whatever smile on us both for a while? Elf.

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-08-22 11:46:48
Re: Kyrie
This is lovely. It reminds me of my dark times when I too wondered if they'd ever pass. But they do so hang in there.
Kyrie Eleison. reminds me much of someone in my past - church of E priest but a proper reprobate. He used to sing it and has left me an affection for the words.
Back to your poem; I love the repeat variations and the final switch.
By the way when the darkness lifts don't stop writing. I did for years until uka jolted me into realising that one did not need to be in the depths to write.
Daff


Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-22 21:16:20
Re: Kyrie
Daff my grateful thanks for such a lovely, positive comment. I thought this one had slipped away form sight so it is especially nice to find that poeople are still reading and prepared to write a response. Elfstone.



Author's Reply:


Seven Deadly Sins (posted on: 30-05-05)
Thoughts on vices.

Have I sinned, seven times and deadly? Pride? Methinks I once was proud , But only of my doings, not of my being; My doings won me approval; My being was a thing of no import. How could I have pride in it? - Not guilty! Covetousness? When I was young did I covet love? Perhaps, but learned that fruitless folly Twisted upon its own emptiness. So I made do with approval, - Not guilty! Lust? I remember that, (but oh the thread of memory stretches thin!) But was it lust or love by any other name And smelling far more sweet? - Not guilty! Envy? Let's leave envy till the end! Gluttony? Never! in all honesty. Epicurean desires could never be dressed In such a sordid rag. - Not guilty! Anger? Never was this bitter sin allowed its freedom Anger, hidden, eats upon itself Until it chokes and dies. I have no anger left. - Not guilty! Sloth? - Was strongly disapproved of 'in absentia'; ''The devil finds work for idle hands'', I was far too busy 'doing' (for approval, of course), - Not guilty! Back then to Envy - now there's a thing! Do I envy? Do I sin thus? Oh, with all my soul! I am consumed with Envy For all that life that is not mine. I envy those who Sin - A guiltless life is deadly, Empty. Elfstone
Archived comments for Seven Deadly Sins
AnthonyEvans on 2005-05-31 09:17:58
Re: Seven Deadly Sins
entertaining and neat, elfstone. nice build-up in the way you throw envy to the end so we expect some confession/gossip only to be met by that good twist. best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-05-31 21:12:49
Re: Seven Deadly Sins
Many thanks for stopping by to read Anthony and for that kind comment. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

LenchenElf on 2005-06-01 10:55:54
Re: Seven Deadly Sins
Interesting & thought provoking, a really good read, thanks for this Elfstone.
all the best
LE

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-06-01 18:12:34
Re: Seven Deadly Sins
And thankyou to you for reading and leaving that kind comment. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-06-02 11:36:02
Re: Seven Deadly Sins
Elfstone, a clever and entertaining piece of work.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-06-02 21:39:57
Re: Seven Deadly Sins
Clever and very well thought out Elf. Love this one. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-06-03 20:44:51
Re: Seven Deadly Sins
Shywolf, I am very grateful for your thoughts on my poem; you are very kind. Perhaps I should reclassify - I thought it was a fairly philosophical piece, but maybe that puts people off reading it. Anyway my thanks to your for reading and leaving such a lovely comment. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-06-03 20:57:20
Re: Seven Deadly Sins
Many thanks Dargo. Your comments are much appreciated. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-06-03 21:03:14
Re: Seven Deadly Sins
G. did we know each other in a former life?!?! 🙂

mind you - "this the fruit of years of dedicated study," - no, I've only been writing poetry since the summer of 2002, and I wouldn't call myself dedicated. Actually I'm not sure that I study either; poetry just happens and hasn't happened much recently but then I'm going through a difficult patch at the moment.

As ever your comments are thought provoking and very welcome - thankyou. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-06-03 21:05:13
Re: Seven Deadly Sins
Val I'm so pleased when you take the time to read my poems. Many thanks for your kind comments. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-08-17 00:01:24
Re: Seven Deadly Sins
Great writing and the ending twist was marvelous.... Powerfully done, with a few short lines for each 'sin' that conveyed a great deal.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-08-17 19:21:05
Re: Seven Deadly Sins
Goodness me Jolen - I nearly missed your comment (thank goodness for the automated e-mails informing us of a comment). I assumed this poem had faded into the further reaches of obscurity (smile) and didn't notice that you'd been in here. I am very grateful for you reading it and I am very chuffed by your approval. Thanks! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

karenuk on 23-10-2005
Seven Deadly Sins
A lovely poem and the ending is brilliant, it really makes you think 🙂
Karen x

Author's Reply:


Threnody (posted on: 06-05-05)
I haven't been able to write anything for 5 months - a depressing time. Then this popped into my head on Tuesday - huge relief. Not my best, but I'm back to writing again and that is so important.

Thanks Sunk, for somehow nudging the door open.

Sing me a sad song
and I will echo through
all the lyrics of rejection;
the plangent melody of loneliness
will lament in response.

Sing me a song of heartbreak and
and I will counter your melody with
threnodies of my own;
harmonies of endless longing
will call a chorus to your tune.

Sing me a sorrowing song and
I will chant in darkening tones
of the world's indifference;
I will raise my voice at
the far boundaries of desolation
and my song will be drowned by
silence.

Sing, just sing me a sad song
and I will sing you my life.

Elfstone 3/5/05
Archived comments for Threnody
tai on 2005-05-06 10:29:06
Re: Threnody
10 from me Elfstone. Well worth waiting for, and I learned a new word too! hmmmm threnody is such a strange word, but sorrowful poetry is a cry out loud, and therefore suites very well. It also always helps imo.

A poem full of feeling. Look forward to reading more.

Smiling

Tai

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2005-05-06 14:29:37
Re: Threnody
You have a little corka here hun.

You should consider writing more sad songs.

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2005-05-06 16:53:59
Re: Threnody
Very nice poem. Your back better than ever....Erma

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-05-06 19:28:38
Re: Threnody
I only nudged you young Elf, you blew the bloody doors off (to quote a certain Mr. Caine) Anyway, that's besides the point. I continue to struggle with comment so I usually talk drivel and then add my fav bit. I have driveled so here's the fav bit -

Sing me a sorrowing song and
I will chant in darkening tones
of the world’s indifference;

Also loved the ending. Really chuffed for you Elf. I am thinking of branding myself as a laxative (tho some say I already am)-:

Ten from me, cause I say so.

s
u
n
k

Take paper, I predict words.

PS. I didn't expect a mention in your intro. I is honored.


Author's Reply:

bektron on 2005-05-06 23:26:29
Re: Threnody
'Sing me a sorrowing song' - what a beautiful line!
read this earlier and that line lodged in my head,
welcome back Elf, it was worth the wait :O)
keep up the good work.
beks:)


Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-05-07 00:00:23
Re: Threnody
Very nice work Elfy. You do this type of poem so well.

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 2005-05-07 04:15:24
Re: Threnody
Hi Elfstone, I especially liked the first two stanzas. I'm very glad for your being able to write again after 5 months. Cheers!

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-05-07 08:57:48
Re: Threnody
You're very kind Tai. I'm pleased that you enjoyed this. I wasn't really aware that I knew 'threnody' until I used it here - my head is full of box-rooms and they are full of useless bits of information that I don't know are there!! - but it does seem to be the right word here. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Geometrix on 2005-05-07 08:59:07
Re: Threnody
A very touching and sentimental poem, Elf!

D

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-05-07 09:05:44
Re: Threnody
Many thanks for reading and leaving a comment Claire - glad you approve of this one. Actually I think I write too many sad poems, as you'll see on my page; Gothicman once referred to me as the "Ingmar Bergman of austere poetry" . I often wish I could write happy, bright, comic even, but I can't - that's life! 🙂 Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-05-07 09:06:50
Re: Threnody
Thanks very much Erma - I just hope I can keep writing now! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-05-07 09:10:26
Re: Threnody
Sunk, dear Sunk - that nudge was all important! I am very pleased that you like the end product. You comment beautifully - cause I say so! ;-)) Elf.


Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-05-07 09:12:19
Re: Threnody
That's real praise beks; if you remember a poem later that has to be good - yes? Thanks for reading and coming back in to comment. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-05-07 09:15:57
Re: Threnody
Thanks Kat - I'm please that you liked this. I have come to understand that I do do 'black' poems well - I often wish it was otherwise, but there we are. Thanks for reading and commenting. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-05-07 09:18:29
Re: Threnody
Many thanks for your comment Apolloneia and for your good wishes. I just hope that I can keep wrting now that I have started! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Geometrix on 2005-05-07 09:20:42
Re: Threnody
Sentimental is a wrong word, I meant "achingly beautiful"..

D

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-05-07 09:21:36
Re: Threnody
And what a lovely response Shywolf. I'm grateful for your praise.

"Sometimes writer's block is just a gestation period" - I certainly hope so!! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-05-07 09:25:24
Re: Threnody
Thankyou Geometrix for both comments! "Achingly beautiful" is a wonderful phrase to have applied to one of my poems. I'm very chuffed. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-05-07 10:37:50
Re: Threnody
I have such admiration for the wonderful depth of feeling in your work. Your poetry gets into my bones and I really feel I'm sharing the pain and the knowing that is personal yet goes back lifetimes.. Great work Elf...L

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-05-07 10:45:00
Re: Threnody
Be downhearted no more little elf, you are back with a beauty if this sample of your talent is anything to go by, more power to your wayward muse.. glad she came back to where she so obviously belongs 😀 love Val x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-05-07 13:29:18
Re: Threnody
What a wonderful comment - thank you Leila. "Your poetry gets into my bones" I feel very humbled by such praise. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-05-07 13:32:09
Re: Threnody
:-)) my muse certainly is wayward!! I hope she will hang around for a while, the minx! many thanks for reading and leaving a comment Val. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-05-08 03:03:54
Re: Threnody
What a wonderful way to come back, imo.... I felt the sense of accepted desolation here.. I am pleased that smunky's maze inspired you and that you were 'lost' in it for a brief time..

I enjoyed this.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-05-08 12:56:10
Re: Threnody
Thank you very much for your comment Jolen. I'm very pleased that you liked this in spite of that sense of desolation. Elfstone

Author's Reply:

margot on 2005-05-08 23:57:12
Re: Threnody
excellent

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-05-09 18:41:50
Re: Threnody
I always smile when I read your comments Trevor! Many thanks for taking the time to read and leave this response - it's appreciated.

"the challenge to compare whose (who's?)suffered the most could only be offered by a woman though!!! !!!!!!!!!!!! really??! ;~)

Elf(thinking-about-that)stone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-05-09 18:43:40
Re: Threnody
Thankyou for that lovely, succinct comment Margot; I'm grateful to you for reading my poem and pleased that you are impressed. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

LenchenElf on 2005-05-12 01:25:40
Re: Threnody
There is a haunting timeless feel to this, almost as if carried by the wind across sea.Lovely, thank you so much for sharing it.
all the best
L

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-05-12 21:30:34
Re: Threnody
- and what a lovely comment! Many thanks for reading and taking the time to respond. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-05-13 03:11:05
Re: Threnody
Lovely poem,Elfstone.
It passed my "feeling the words test" with flying what's its. You shouldn't worry about time off writing, ya know. There's no rule that says you have to write so much a week or month or even year. Like a lot of other people I've gone ages without writing a thing. I think it's like riding a bike, you never forget how to do it.
This was well worth waiting for.
luv chrissy

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-05-13 22:10:16
Re: Threnody
Many thanks for that Chrissy.

"There's no rule that says you have to write so much a week or month or even year." I realise that and part of me says not to worry, I've had shortish spells of not writing in the past, but this time it went on and on and I really began to wonder if I might have lost it altogether.

Many thanks again for your encouragement.
Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Acrostics 2 (posted on: 18-04-05)
More nonsense for those of you who like puzzles.

I think these are also sort-of acrostics, but I think they are also closer to being genuine poetry.

1.
Here are sea-wracked islands,
Peat covered rock and windlashed moor,
Battered by time and neglect they
Protect my heritage; here and there
Inidividual memories, move to and fro
Identify my shaping, my 'other' childhood
Exciting in me my life's regrets and
A silent longing.

~ ~ ~ ~

2.
Here within these
Sea driven islands
Bare rocks and peat
Cry out the years' neglect,
Inured to grief,
Adapted to culture's fading.
Echoes of time rock back and forth;
A silent mystery.

~ ~ ~ ~

3.
Defined by all its joys and sorrows
Distilled into the specific;
My heritage needs no
Vacuous hype, no hint
Of casual, trivial
Obsequious apologia.
It is my core, my beacon,
My heartland.
Archived comments for Acrostics 2
Claire on 2005-04-21 20:41:03
Re: Acrostics 2
Well I've finally got round to reading these ones. Now these are more clear than the others.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-21 22:29:18
Re: Acrostics 2
Claire, many thanks for reading and leaving a comment - these were beginning to feel just a touch neglected! 🙂 Not entirely sure what you mean by "more clear' - as poetry or as acrostics? Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2005-04-22 01:12:23
Re: Acrostics 2
As poetry hun! Acrostics confuse me!!!

Author's Reply:


Acrostics 1 (posted on: 18-04-05)
Something lighter, just for fun!

I think the first two qualify as acrostics, although they are not conventional.
Answers on the back of a postcard please. (Should I give out cyber-coconuts?)

1.
End
All puzzles
By finding
Tips.
First pick one,
Then, so, adding
One by one:
Complete!

~ ~ ~ ~
2.
Enigmatic
Fleeting glimpses of a
Diffident journeyman;
Unassuming, shy of people.
A poet, perhaps,
With words so clumsy,
Shifting, needing
Practice.

~ ~ ~ ~
and this is comlete nonsense (of course if you thought the first two were nonsense you may want to stop reading now!)

3.
. . . . . .Opera
. . . truly is a false
fantastic ber-staging
. . in an odd un-nerving
. . . . . .arena.




Archived comments for Acrostics 1
Claire on 2005-04-18 16:31:21
Re: Acrostics 1
Okay, this has done my head in. I can't stop reading it... Oh dear!

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-18 19:02:07
Re: Acrostics 1
I'm grinning from ear to ear!! :-)))

Have you figured out Acrostics 2 (further down the Latest 100) - I think they are better. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-18 19:05:08
Re: Acrostics 1
I really didn't mean to cause distress ;-0 !! Acrostics are real brain twisters, but they are fun. The second set Acrostics 2 can be read simply as short poems, so might be kinder on the grey matter. Thanks for leaving a comment Claire. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-18 20:42:42
Re: Acrostics 1
Elf--two and three for me, you captured them quite cleverly...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-18 23:10:21
Re: Acrostics 1
Many thanks for having a read of this nonsense Gerry! - just for fun. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Unbidden Words (posted on: 15-04-05)
Not sure what to say about this one; a poem about poetry?

Unbidden Words

Do I remember?
Do I hold in words
My own thoughts?
Do I hold in thought
My own words?

I am the pen which bleeds
the ink of empty dreams
onto life's aching parchment.
I only scribe. The words,
They come un-asked for
And they go their way.
They call to me from nowhere
- De profundis clamavi te.

Unleashed, restless, uncontrolled
Wild as the wind on moorland,
Bitter as the sea-born spume,
They whip through me and
They are gone.

This sluicing of unbidden words,
This wrenching of mind fragments,
This scouring, this cleansing
Leaves me empty.

Do I remember?
The memory is in
The pain;
The pain is in
The poem.

Elfstone
Archived comments for Unbidden Words
Emerald on 2005-04-15 09:25:12
Re: Unbidden Words
I really liked the thoughtful way you expressed the feelings that (at least for me) I have about writing. The last stanza in particularly jumped out at me.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-04-15 09:55:50
Re: Unbidden Words
Hi Elfstone, an excellent reflective poem on poem. 10 from me.

I love it

Tai

Author's Reply:

LenchenElf on 2005-04-15 10:53:23
Re: Unbidden Words
The final stanza was very perceptive, Thank you

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-04-15 11:35:18
Re: Unbidden Words
A strong write Elf! You express so well the 'process'.

Cheers

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

margot on 2005-04-15 14:24:21
Re: Unbidden Words
like it - good analogies and the changes in pace work very well.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-15 22:26:01
Re: Unbidden Words
Thanks for that Emma; it is good to find a kindred spirit in verse! Elfstone

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-15 22:27:14
Re: Unbidden Words
Tai, many thanks for your valued comments - and for that generous 10 🙂 Elfstone

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-15 22:28:39
Re: Unbidden Words
Thanks for reading and for leaving a comment LenchenElf, it's appreciated. Elfstone

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-15 22:31:51
Re: Unbidden Words
Thanks Kat! It is a strange process this poetry thing. I never can explain precisely what goes on in my head when I'm writing. [Mind you that's maybe a good thing ;~) ] Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-15 22:33:02
Re: Unbidden Words
Many thanks for your kind comments Margot - I'm grateful. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2005-04-15 23:18:04
Re: Unbidden Words
Love this line - I am the pen which bleeds

Got no idea what this means - De profundis clamavi te.

Enjoyed this piece a lot. ;^)

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-15 23:57:57
Re: Unbidden Words
Claire, my thanks for reading this and leaving such a nice comment.

De profundis clamavi te is "out of the depths I cried unto thee" (and is from one of the Seven Penitential Psalms) - I am full of useless bits of obscure info.!!

Thanks again. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

shangri-la on 2005-04-16 13:24:53
Re: Unbidden Words
You describe poetry writing so well, so much in this I can really relate to, I love the lines

'I am the pen which bleeds
the ink of empty dreams
onto life’s aching parchment.

This says it all for me though -

'This sluicing of unbidden words,
This wrenching of mind fragments,
This scouring, this cleansing
Leaves me empty.

Do I remember?
The memory is in
The pain;
The pain is in
The poem.'

Excellent work.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-16 14:17:31
Re: Unbidden Words
Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment shangri-la. I'm pleased you can relate to what I was trying to convey. I dare say we all have different approaches to writing but perhaps there are some common themes? Thanks again. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-04-16 20:54:05
Re: Unbidden Words
I like the slow build up...fast pace...then slowing back down of this. Sluicing, wrenching, scouring...great stuff...L

Author's Reply:

funky on 2005-04-16 23:52:29
Re: Unbidden Words
I liked this, it had something, but I feel it is not quite finished. There are some lovely lines in this, which I enjoyed; and it has a lot of potential.

However (and I hope you won't mind me giving you some honest feedback) I think it needs a bit more work on it, is still a bit rough around the edges.

for example:

Do I remember?
Do I hold in words
My own thoughts?
Do I hold in thought
My own words?

these lines they use the word 'do' and 'own' too much and the rhythm isn't quite there. There is something missing... perhaps the same thing needs to be said, but in fewer words.

I'm not an expert on this, just trying to help, hope you don't take this the wrong way. I'm a newbie here and don't want to upset anyone, just want to help if I can.

take care

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-17 15:36:58
Re: Unbidden Words
Many thanks for that Leila - your comments are appreciated. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-17 15:43:58
Re: Unbidden Words
Many thanks funky for taking time to give such an interesting response. I always value "honest feedback" and take note of other writers' opinions. I will look again at the poem, but I "feel" that it is finished for the moment anyway, if that makes sense. The first stanza, I think, says what I need it to say (and actually wasn't meant to have rhythm - I rarely write poems with rhythm), but I will think about it.

Thanks again for your thoughts. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-17 16:40:49
Re: Unbidden Words
:-)) thank you Shywolf. You are stretching my limited Latin! I'm not sure that I agree with "Dolor est nostra magister. Dolor est nostra amicus." , but I certainly do believe that "Dolor est nostra inflatus."
too often! Thanks again. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-04-17 17:47:51
Re: Unbidden Words
This is a comment about a comment, but its not nearly as good as your poem anout poetry. I'm sure that made sense when I said it my head. Anyway, clever and highly original little gem young Elfstone.

s
u
n
k
e
n

Take gnomes, I predict gardens.

Author's Reply:

m on 2005-04-17 19:31:55
Re: Unbidden Words
well done Elfstone

poetry is the only language that speaks to my 'self'

you describe the language well - thank you for sharing this work

m

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-17 19:44:50
Re: Unbidden Words
I like your 'comment about a comment' Sunky - thankyou, and thanks for taking the time to stop by and read. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-17 19:48:44
Re: Unbidden Words
You're right m, poetry speaks to me, and about me, in ways that nothing else does. I still find myself, from time to time, amazed that I write poetry, but it seems I have no choice in the matter. Thank you for reading and leaving a response. Elstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-18 18:59:00
Re: Unbidden Words
"so I fear I can never be a poet as you, writing like this;" - you have nothing to fear Trevor; you are an excellent poet in you own right (or write?!) and one whose work I admire and value on whatever web site I find it.

I also value greatly your comments on my work for their objectivity, eloquence and genuine insight. I am, as ever, grateful. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 2005-04-19 05:03:27
Re: Unbidden Words
"This scouring, this cleansing leaves me empty" a poem dealing with Katharsis and existential questions such as "Do I hold in words my own thoughts". Loved it! The phrase in Latin, the most appropriate phrase for Unbidden Words.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-19 21:14:35
Re: Unbidden Words
I didn't expect any more comments on this poem so I was very pleased to discover your reply. Many thanks Apolloneia for reading and for your kind words. I believe you have also made this a Hot Story - I'm very chuffed! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-04-21 01:05:00
Re: Unbidden Words
I think you gave it a great voice here. I have felt this so often... Wonderfully descriptive writing.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-21 22:34:22
Re: Unbidden Words
Jolen, it is lovely to find that this poem is still attracting readers and seems to have struck a chord with people. Thanks for reading and for your kind words. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Future Perfect? (posted on: 11-04-05)
I wrote this a while ago and rediscovered it this week in the process of trying to find my way back into writing.
Comments welcome.

Future Perfect? The door opens to Another door;
Shut.
The grey shades into Another grey;
Dull.
The emptiness pours into Another emptiness;
Hollow.
The silence screams at Another silence;
Deafening.
The stillness moves to Another stillness;
Relentless.
The loneliness shivers into Another loneliness;
Searing.
The past hurt merges into Future pain;
Numbness - fails me.
Elfstone
Archived comments for Future Perfect?
teifii on 2005-04-11 12:56:44
Re: Future Perfect?
Well you clearly can write if this is an example. More strength to your pe. Love the title.
Daff

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-11 22:37:35
Re: Future Perfect?
Many thanks Daff/teifii for reading and leaving a comment. I used to be able to write (if you dip into my page you see what I mean) but my muse has deserted me in recent months. Hoping to find a way back to her!! Thanks again. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

shangri-la on 2005-04-11 22:53:50
Re: Future Perfect?
I like this, the structure is very effective. Welcome back Elfstone, I hope you find your muse soon, I'm sure you will, she'll probably emerge now it's springtime.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-11 23:13:53
Re: Future Perfect?
Many thanks for the comment on the poem and for the welcome; both much appreciated. (-: It is nice to be back! Elfstone

Author's Reply:

LenchenElf on 2005-04-12 13:22:17
Re: Future Perfect?
Very effective, thanks

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-12 21:47:11
Re: Future Perfect?
- and thank you for taking the time to read and leave a comment. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-12 21:56:57
Re: Future Perfect?
I think I've said this before Trevor, but you have remarkable insight. You seem to be able to see things in my poetry which I don't realise are there until you point them out, and then I think, "yes, ok, that's right".
This poem is over a year old, but I have just been through another very difficult spell, so there may well be more poems on the "greyer side of life" to come yet (jet black actually, but, hey-ho, we just have to keep smiling don't we).

Always good to read your point of view. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-04-14 19:14:56
Re: Future Perfect?
I liked this, the austere feel, yet deep searing emotion in this.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-14 20:59:19
Re: Future Perfect?
Many thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment. I'm very glad that you like something about what is a fairly bleak poem. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-04-16 20:43:35
Re: Future Perfect?
Elfstone it's good to have you back and what a strong return. Good use of structure to to re-enforce the absolute depth of pain here...fine work...L

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-04-17 15:30:49
Re: Future Perfect?
Leila, what a lovely welcome! It is good to be back - I have missed this kind of interaction. My thanks for reading and leaving a comment; glad you liked this. Elfstone

Author's Reply:


Neighbours (posted on: 06-12-04)
How things change
(and not always for the better).

Neighbours

An ageing widow, she was the
Pull-the-curtain-to-watch type;
A nosey neighbour?
Oh yes, but
Better security can't be bought
And kindness came on
An old-fashioned plate.
Her age drove her away.

Her successors, well,
They were not quite from hell,
But only one or two streets above it;
Drunken, noisy and a barking dog
Abandoned on the doorstep.
Peeling varnish and a shabby garden
Their legacy.
Their divorce drove them away.

Younger, pleasanter, the next pair
Battled the large garden
Into some kind of submission;
Repaired the varnish
And chatted over the wall.
Quiet living, good people,
I hoped they'd stay.
The garden drove them away.

Now blank light-less windows
Greet my homeward journey;
An empty stillness,
The wrong sort of peace
And a paid gardener
Keeping things tidy.
Months deserted
Un-lived in (unloved?)
The curse of holiday home has struck.
Elfstone 5/4/04
Archived comments for Neighbours
Zydha on 2004-12-06 06:43:07
Re: Neighbours
Oh dear, Elfstone, as you may remember, we have a place in Sth. of France, and, it is in a residential spot. We refuse to rent it to the public for fear of carelessness, but have overlooked how our neighbours may be affected.

A super piece, making a well presented case against 'a month a year' habitation. 'Ouch' Zydha

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-12-06 14:26:08
Re: Neighbours
Elf, a nice little poetic story here. I suppose we would all like that holiday home if we could afford it. Hope it works out okay.
Are you on the coast?

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 2004-12-06 14:30:35
Re: Neighbours
Nice one, Elf. Well crafted nostalgic recollections.
I particularly like the first stanza.
Regards.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-06 14:31:11
Re: Neighbours
Oh Zydha I'm sorry - this was quite definitely not a "get at you" job! I knew you jetted off to France in the summer but I hadn't twigged that it was a holiday home. Where I live there are only the two houses. Now the other one is a holiday home and empty much of the time and all I can say is that it is marginally better than the "verse 2 lot" !! I'd much rather have good neighbours.

It is very kind of you to give this a 10 in spite of it's content - my thanks. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-06 14:34:38
Re: Neighbours
Many thanks Ionicus, I'm glad you liked it. Some of it isn't nostalgic recollections of course; some of it I am still living with! (see my reply to Zydha). Thanks also for that 10. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-06 14:40:03
Re: Neighbours
Many thanks Gerry and also thanks for the 10. No I don't live on the coast but I can see the firth away in the distance.
I'm sure people who have holiday homes love them - especially if they live in one of the big cities. Coming from London or Manchester or such places to a relatively isolated cottage in the Highlands must be very nice - a complete contrast, but there is another side to it. I'm going to be tactful and say no more in case Zydha pops back in here!!:-))

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2004-12-06 16:21:45
Re: Neighbours
Elfstone,

A brilliant read. IMO one of your best. Loved this: fantastic description:

'An aging widow, she was the
Pull-the-curtain-to-watch type;
A nosy neighbour?
Oh yes, but
Better security can’t be bought
And kindness came on
An old-fashioned plate.'

A fav read and a nomination, indeed!

Regards,
Adele 😉


Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-06 18:13:11
Re: Neighbours
Adele, what can I say? Thank you x 1,000!!! I'm just chuffed if the read count goes up; - to get this kind of accolade is very humbling. I am very grateful. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-12-06 21:08:29
Re: Neighbours
A lovely poem, deserves the great read nib.

I wish I had a holiday home. I'd go there and just write.

Jay.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-12-07 06:03:56
Re: Neighbours
Elf. Is that the Firth of Clyde? We look out over that from Arran.

Gerry.


Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-12-07 08:37:19
Re: Neighbours
Hi Elfstone, an enjoyable meander through the life of a home. And what a shame for you having to be faced with the Curse of a holiday home now. Here in Cornwall this is breaking the heart of the village life. But what can people do? As others have said, they fear for their peice of heavens safety, if they let them out.

Here in Cornwall, rentals are very expensive because of that fear. Agents take a huge chunk too. A vicious circle but breaking circles is my ambition so another challenge feels close. We had a campagne here not so long ago. Black bin bags where hoisted like flags whereever a holiday home was suspected. I doubt it very successful if no has heard of it. But at least it got the tv news at the time. There is a solultion, it is just hard to find.

Tai ranting


Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2004-12-07 12:57:48
Re: Neighbours
Great poem Elfstone, I could relate to this, as I have some very noisy neighbours at the moment! Although I to return home, especially at this time of year and see no other lights on - could be a very lonely feeling.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-12-07 15:31:34
Re: Neighbours
That's what it would take to get us in the holiday mood. A holiday home where we could be happy and carefree for at least a little while...great write..yes it is..Erma

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-07 17:25:34
Re: Neighbours
Erma many thanks for taking the time to read this. Your comment and the rating are much appreciated. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-07 17:27:28
Re: Neighbours
Thanks very much for leaving your comment Jay and for that 10 - I'm very grateful. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-07 17:31:32
Re: Neighbours
Thanks for your comments Emma. Noisy neighbours are dreadful! You're right though, coming home in the dark with the house next door empty (it's the only other house here) is not pleasant either. Thanks for that rating! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-07 17:35:56
Re: Neighbours
"this is breaking the heart of the village life" you are so astute in that comment; holiday homes can (and do) rip the heart out of a community. I know that a lot of people see them as idyllic, but there is a very different perspective if you live in a community that is gradually becoming a ghost town for much of the year. There are only two houses here and the other one being empty is not good. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment Tai - I'm always very grateful for the effort that others make - and thanks also for the 10. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Omma_Velada on 2004-12-08 11:52:20
Re: Neighbours
a very poignant piece, I like the way you've seperated out the reasons for each departure, and the way you've used word order for emphasis. also the un-lived in/unloved ending is strong.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-08 16:05:35
Re: Neighbours
No, I'm a good bit north of there. Nice part of the world though. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-08 16:08:04
Re: Neighbours
Omma many thanks for reading this and leaving such a kind comment - much appreciated. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-09 12:29:47
Re: Neighbours
That's an interesting observation shywolf, but I can only think of one other poem of mine that mentions a building of sorts and that is Rubha Robhanais. I have never thought of my poetry as using metaphors, so you have made me think - which is good of course :-)). "They engage me emotionally" is wonderfull thing to have said about my poems - chuffed!!!

This may seem like a shameless plug, but isn't - I would be genuinely interested in you opinions of any others that you have time to read. My thanks to you, Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-09 18:10:15
Re: Neighbours
Thanks shywolf! "abandonment/change"/(decay?) - Rubha Robhanais has that I think, as perhaps, does Croik (which now that I think of it, also has a kirk in it). Please dip into my personal page if you have time. 🙂 Elf.

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-12-10 20:14:34
Re: Neighbours
Hahaha, don't worry, Elfstone, ours isn't 'just' a holiday, it is more of a retirement home, and, having experienced letting out property in the UK and all the inherant problems, we just choose to keep it empty. Yes, we summer for one month there and pop down for a winter break, but I honestly didn't think of the effect on our residential neighbours.

Anyway, no problems, I didn't take this personally, lol, it just woke up the realization of what developes for others. Hey, Elfstone, your poem is worth a ten!!! Byeee, Zy

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-11 12:36:24
Re: Neighbours
Thanks Zy!!!!! I'm glad your still smiling at me! Elf.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-12-29 15:50:05
Re: Neighbours
catching up a bit Elf and just to let you know how much I liked this one, well crafted and I especially liked the last verse...you pulled it all together well..L

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2004-12-29 16:03:59
Re: Neighbours
Clever stuff young Elfstone. I like this more than certain parts of Britney. Ok, thats going way over the top. It is very good though, and repeated reads won't make me blind.

s
u
n
k
e
n

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-30 16:44:11
Re: Neighbours
Leila I'm so pleased that you are catching up and that you liked this! I've hardly been in here over the last couple of weeks - too tired/busy - and I haven't posted anything for ages, so I was delighted to get an e-mail telling me that this poem had provoked more comment.
It's funny - I have never seen this as one of my better poems, but there you go, people all have different opinions and isn't that one of the things which make this site interesting? Many thanks for leaving a comment. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-30 16:48:55
Re: Neighbours
I laughed out loud when I read this!!

"I like this more than certain parts of Britney." - WOW!!!!!!

Seriously, I'm very chuffed that people are still reading this and I'm very grateful that you took the time to leave a comment. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Words that freeze (posted on: 03-12-04)
My first attempt at a sonnet; inspired by Workshop 5.

Words that Freeze If I could only say what I should say To those who have the ears which ought to hear; If life's restrictions did not hold such sway Or childhood's legacy (a poisoned spear); If thoughts, in thoughtful speech, could find a way Of sounding out the inside, quiet but clear; If mouth and sentences could utter stark Reflections of each grinding empty year, Of feelings long held hidden, deep and dark, Of yearning, aching, loneliness, of fear, Defeat and loss, that leave their cruel mark, Let loose in words that freeze, that burn, that sear; Is there contentment left for me to gain If I could only voice that howl of pain? Elfstone 30/11/04
Archived comments for Words that freeze
Gerry on 2004-12-03 09:54:36
Re: Voice
Elf--nice sonnet. Are you going through a dark period.? lol.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-03 13:07:15
Re: Voice
Gerry, many thanks for leaving a comment and for the rating. It sometimes seems that my whole life had been a dark period. This was the result of Workshop 5's stimulus. I really have no idea where it came from!! Elf.

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-12-05 17:35:47
Re: Voice
A super sonnet, Elfstone, and I am pleased to read it is ficticional! lol

Inspired fictional despair, Zydha

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-05 18:19:21
Re: Voice
Many thanks for reading, leaving a comment and the rating Zydha. This one has bombed a bit but there we are. I'm pleased to have mastered this particular form to some extent. Was it Val who wrote wonderful sonnets? I need some practice!! Thanks again. Elf.

Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-12-05 19:40:10
Re: Words that freeze
A fine sonnet indeep. Fabulous work, must be a great workshop. Smiling. The answer imo, is A big Yes, there is contentment, subtle, slowly dawning, releasing the tortured soul. Bit deep, but sometimes you have to dive in head first. Even if you can't swim well, like me.lol

all the best

Tai

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2004-12-05 20:17:31
Re: Words that freeze
Elf, you should be well proud of this sonnet - lovely rhythm with words that give great impact. Really like this title too - sums up 'that' state as described in the poem PERFECTLY!

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-06 14:20:40
Re: Words that freeze
Many thanks Kat for reading again and commenting and giving this such a good rating. I thought this had sunk into obscurity :-)) I had to chew over the title for quite a while - which is unusual, they normally just come to me - but I think its ok. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-06 14:24:01
Re: Words that freeze
Tai, my grateful thanks to you for reading through this again and for the rating - it was a good workshop - infact I've become quite hooked on them!

"there is contentment, subtle, slowly dawning, releasing the tortured soul." - oh I do hope so I really do ! Thanks Tai. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-06 14:48:25
Re: Words that freeze
Tai I've just had a couple of e-mails telling me that you have named this piece as a Favourite and me as a "Hot Author"!!! I am mightily chuffed - going about with a silly grin on my face :-))) Thanks my friend. Elf.

Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-12-07 17:15:38
Re: Words that freeze
Elfstone, Your work, is my pleasure.

Thank you again.

smiling

Tai

Author's Reply:

Corin on 18-11-2007
Words that freeze
Hi Elf - Well this is another very Shakespearian piece, though it is true that if you have the skill and understanding to write a Shakespearian sonnet almost any drivel will sound good. Not that this is drivel - far from it.

Two technical critiques again :-

If life’s restrictions did not hold such sway
Or childhood’s legacy (a poisoned spear);

The second of these two lines seems to me to hang in the air - the second conjunctive clause has no verb.

I suspect you are trying to to say:-


Or childhood’s legacy were not a poisoned spear;

But it breaks the metre.

You could say:-

Like childhood’s legacy (a poisoned spear);

The whole sonnet is a single sentence - a list of conditional clauses beginning with 'if'
- but these clauses really need an accompanying clause with a conditional present verb with 'would', e.g.

If life’s restrictions did not hold such sway
Would childhood’s legacy be here to stay?

It seemed to me that you should reverse the final couplet to make something like:-

If I could only voice that howl of pain
Would contentment then be my great gain?

Of course, as you said, its your poem so you must decide.

You could have a look at an old sonnet I just posted for you called "Sonets Explained" 🙂

Warm Wishes

David




Author's Reply:
corin - again my thanks for the time and expertise you are giving to my work. Your comments are very thought provoking and I am grateful for the insight they give.

As to the line you don't like - the sense of what I'm saying there is
~~If life’s restrictions, or childhood’s legacy (which is a poisoned spear), did not influence us so much ~~

Perhaps on looking at it again after all this time it might be better written like this

If life’s restrictions did not hold such sway
(Or childhood’s legacy -that poisoned spear);

I'm afraid I'm going to stick with the last couplet as it is - the last line *has* to be the "howl of pain" one!
Elf


Reflection in Blood (posted on: 22-11-04)
Not as gory as the title suggests; in fact not gory at all.



Reflection in Blood

Woman of Hiort,
your gaze an enigma,
that seeming scowl above a half smile,
you look at me from another time,
another world.
The sun warms your bench,
a Soay fleece your cushion,
but this is no leisure:
the work is in your grasp.

How many seasons haunt your face?
What tasks have aged those hands?
How timeworn is that expression?
What strength behind those steady eyes
saw you through this harshest life,
when the northerlies scoured Village Bay
and the grating haar fell low
over Conachair and Oiseval
and food was scarce.

You could be my great Grandmother -
''flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone''.
If I sat down beside you
would we see kinship in each other,
a reflection in blood?

Your knitting is at rest
as you consider the camera;
Do you despise us,
resent our intrusion,
or is that pious acceptance:
''God's will be done, on Earth as it is
on this brittle edge between Heaven and Hell''
- that bitter faith which ruled your life
shares with us the guilt.

Does that gaze hold the future?
Did you see from that bench seat
the coming of the end?
Did you sense, with the wisdom of your years,
the dying of your community?
Did those searching eyes understand
the camera's sentence?

Elfstone 19/11/04
Archived comments for Reflection in Blood
Bradene on 2004-11-22 06:29:18
Re: Reflection in Blood
You know I love this and how I saw it all through your very eloquent words. I would be interested to know though where you saw the picture? Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-22 14:39:28
Re: Reflection in Blood
Many thanks for your kind comments, and for the rating. The photograph is from a book by Tom Steel, "The Life and Death of St. Kilda".

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-11-22 15:08:08
Re: Reflection in Blood
I would love to see you write a poem about the book cover. The grandfather, father and son, with their haunted eyes. I am sure it would be another superb poem.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-22 17:15:55
Re: Reflection in Blood
I may well do that Gerry! 🙂 It's a haunting book isn't it? Many thanks for reading and commenting and for that 10 - much appreciated. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2004-11-22 17:31:38
Re: Reflection in Blood
Well done Elfy! A poem worth writing and reading...

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-22 17:39:29
Re: Reflection in Blood
Kat you're very kind and praise from you is praise indeed. Thanks also for the 10! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-11-23 03:40:12
Re: Reflection in Blood
A wonderful, evocative poem that uses haunting images that stay in the mind after reading, Very well done.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-23 11:31:03
Re: Reflection in Blood
Chrissy many thanks for that very generous comment and for rating this piece. I'm glad you find the images haunting because the photo is a bit haunting. Much appreciated, Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-24 14:37:09
Re: Reflection in Blood
My grateful thanks Trevor, for both the comment and the rating. I think this one worked quite well. It was my Workshop 4 poem.

I'm sorry to hear you are in the throes. I am recovering from the worst cold I've had in quite a long time; still feeling a bit washed out as no doubt your family are. I wish you and them well. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-11-30 13:07:32
Re: Reflection in Blood
Moving, questioning, graphic and so much more, Elfstone, this piece is so original, but I have a feeling there is much more to it than I read on the surface.

As always, a wonderfully inspired read, Zydha

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-12-01 15:54:06
Re: Reflection in Blood
Zydha - it is lovely to hear from you again. Many thanks for leaving a comment and for the 10 rating. I didn't expect any more responses to this one so it is a really lovely surprise. I'm chuffed at your praise. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Why? (posted on: 08-11-04)
Last week's Workshop poem (because not all of you read in the Forums).

Why?

''She needs to see you''
my aunt said.
(Why? -
she won't come to see me.)
I didn't ask in the end,
I will find out soon enough,
- que sera, sera.

The phone call wandered
round my aunt's garden
and mine,
our shared passion,
her shared knowledge.
Then there was that
intrusion,
that barb in the
gentle flow of words,
''She needs to see you''.

Always she intrudes,
always that discomfort,
always that bitter reminder,
always the thread pulled.
I am haunted by her;

Why?

Elfstone 31/10/04
Archived comments for Why?
Emerald on 2004-11-08 11:41:55
Re: Why?
Hi Elfstone, I liked this poem, and how you conveyed to the reader, the two-edged guilt, that often accompanies family relationships. Just one point - in the first stanza I found the que sera sera bit slightly obscured the poem. Just my opinion, because I did actually find this poem enjoyable and interesting to read.

Emma:)

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-11-08 11:49:21
Re: Why?
Fantastic poem Elf.. I think many will identify with this feeling too. We all have someone in our lives who seem to have this effect on us. Someone who intrudes whether it be physically or emotionally at the most inopportune moments.. I think you captured this beautifully. Love val x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-08 14:44:49
Re: Why?
Thanks Val! You know there is a good old Scottish saying - "God gives us friends and the Devil gives us relatives" and I often think that is true 🙂 Many thanks for that 10 too. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-08 14:53:56
Re: Why?
Emerald many thanks for reading this and leving a comment- I'm glad you enjoyed it. I take your point about "que sera,sera" but this was a workshop poem - and we were given a very challenging set of instructions: the poem had to contain:
1) A news item.
2) Something that happened to you this week.
3 Something you were told in conversation.
4) A line from a song.
- and also have in it: A question; A quote; Something (in brackets).
So 'que sera, sera' was the song line I chose - I thought it fitted in fairly well with that sense of inevitability in the poem. (I didn't manage to incorporate a news item - one thing too many!!) Thanks again for your interest. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-14 15:42:25
Re: Why?
Dargo many thanks for that rating. Because you hadn't left a comment there was no e-mail notification, and I've been too busy to be in here much recently, so apologies if you thought I was ignoring you. It is much appreciated. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Requiem for a Wounded World (posted on: 01-11-04)
I have thought long and hard about whether or not to submit this. I just hope it isn't seen as contentious.

Requiem for a Wounded World Lacrymosa dies illa Carries the grief of the world - A bitter grief that lingers And learns nothing. Dies irae, dies illa Visited upon the helpless: Greed driven, self-righteous, Smugly wrapped in Blinding over confidence. While widows weep And mothers mourn, Blinkered self-interest Swaggers its power-walk Through a wounded world. Solvet saeclum in favilla With every car bomb and Suicide mission, Every missile and gun fight, And dignity and decency shrivel, Scorched in the ashes; Integrity lies in shards in the Wrecks of bombed homes; Principals die with the Corpses at a wedding party. Ingemisco tanquam reus - Say these words America: Confront your hypocrisy. That over-weaning arrogance, That unthinking presumption Imposes one choice In the name of choice. In the name of Democracy You Dictate; This world your plaything, Your ego trip, your power game, While the dead and dying cry out - De profundis clamavi te - The price of cheap petrol is Measured in our spilled blood. Requiem aeternam dona eis. Elfstone 23/6/04
Archived comments for Requiem for a Wounded World
Bradene on 2004-11-01 17:47:46
Re: Requiem for a Wounded World
Every word is well thought out and anyone with a care for the world cannot really see this as contentious. A great and honest piece elf. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-01 18:06:45
Re: Requiem for a Wounded World
Many thanks for your kind words Val. This was written not long after the bombing of the wedding party in Iraq. It has taken me 4 months to decide to post it - I'm not a very political creature and was afraid that this might be too politically out-spoken. I'm very pleased that you saw good in it. The rating is also much appreciated. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Safron on 2004-11-02 01:22:46
Re: Requiem for a Wounded World
Elfstone,
Do any of ever know how we will be taken when we post this is a very honest piece.
Safron

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-02 12:57:59
Re: Requiem for a Wounded World
- and honesty is a good thing, I hope. Many thanks for reading and leaving a comment Safron. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-11-03 20:00:16
Re: Requiem for a Wounded World
Elfstone, I think this is a beautiful poem, excellently crafted. I have nominated it, if that is ok. One spelling error in the intro. Smile....like to return the favour.

All the best.

Tai.

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-11-04 12:52:19
Re: Requiem for a Wounded World
This is a powerful and timely reminder...a CAVEAT to be heeded...

D

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-04 14:40:33
Re: Requiem for a Wounded World
Tai I am so grateful. Thankyou very much for the comment, the 10 and the nomination. And thanks for pointing out the error - I'm blind as an old bat sometimes :-))
Elfstone

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-04 14:43:30
Re: Requiem for a Wounded World
Trevor, I'm blushing! I'm sure I don't deserve such an accolade. I have said before that your insight into my poetry is second to none and I am forever grateful for your support. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-04 14:47:01
Re: Requiem for a Wounded World
Many thanks for taking the time to read this penprince. I appreciate your comment. Thanks. Elfstone

Author's Reply:

MrBlueFace on 2004-11-05 09:18:46
Re: Requiem for a Wounded World
Hi Elfstone, My Latin (don't tell me it's not Latin!) is non-existent so I missed some important parts of this. I wonder, would you be willing to offer translations, please? As regards contentious - I take a different tack from your other critics. I think your poem is contentious and I also think it ought to be contentious. I try to write about political issues (including one close to this) in various ways and why should I - or you - not be contentious? Is it not part of a writer's brief to challenge various opinions? To test values? To expose dark areas? To confront hypocrisy and flummery? Surely we're not here just to provide more verses for Christmas cards? Your poem is excellent, relevant and actually says something. My only regret is that you felt it necessary to wait four months (mind you, as I’ve only just joined UKA, selfishly I’m actually glad you did wait - I might have missed this). As a matter of fact, I’m one of the people who supported the War in Iraq. (Though I do feel duped by the politicians). Therefore, our perspectives ought to be opposite - and are in some ways. Nevertheless, one can recognise the plea for humanity emerging from your poem and no sane and decent person could sensibly argue with that. Don’t be concerned about being contentious. Be concerned about using the best writing you can to present your case. This is very good writing and your case is advanced by your contribution. Others have discussed various technical aspects so I thought I’d take a different tack. All the best, James.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-07 09:37:38
Re: Requiem for a Wounded World
Many thanks for taking the time to post a comment James. I'm very glad that you approve of the poem.

Yes, it is Latin - all taken from what's known as the Dies Irae section of the Requiem (The Mass for the dead)

Lachrymosa dies illa = that day of weeping

Dies ira, dies illa = the day of wrath, that day

Solvet saeclum in favilla = The earth is dissolved in (reduced to) ashes

Ingemisco tanquam reus = I groan like a guilty person

Requiem aeternam dona eis = grant them eternal peace

Its not just the translated words that matter of course, its the associations and emotional baggage of the Requiem which I hope I've tapped into.

I hope this is helpful. Elfstone.


Author's Reply:

royrodel on 2004-11-18 21:37:03
Re: Requiem for a Wounded World
Now this is poetry, I applaud you, it is in my opinion probably one of the best pieces of work I have read on this web site.

I take my hat off to you.

RODEL

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-21 15:46:27
Re: Requiem for a Wounded World
Roy, apologies for not responding sooner - I've been unwell this past week and have only just caught up with the fact that you had left a comment. Many thanks for your generous praise - I feel very humbled by such an accolade. Thanks also for the rating - it is much appreciated. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

len on 29-08-2007
Requiem for a Wounded World
This is a brilliant and compassionate write, buddy..America, like the old British Empire, has a nasty habit of believing that might makes right. This image has been blown into a world perception under the Bush administration. I hope that someday, we can see ourselves as one race of beings, sharing a small speck in space, instead of seperate nations. That day is a long way off, but if we don't go in that direction, the abuse at the hands of the most powerful dog in the pack will continue..Great job, here...len

Author's Reply:
len, I'm very glad that you liked this - I was afraid that you might see it as simply anti-American. There are of course many very nice Americans (I have 2 sets of friends over there) but American foreign policy is another matter altogether!

My thanks for taking the time to read this and leave such a positive comment. Elf.


3rd Movement (posted on: 29-10-04)
I wrote this for the first Workshop in Forums; I've ended up quite liking it -its not nearly as dark as some (most?) of my work. Thought I'd give it an airing here.

3rd Movement

Falling arpeggios of colour
sprinkle the season's vibrant notes.
A golden lento spreads
sotto voce across the land.
Complex blends of sonorous shades
change, resonate, shimmer
in the cooling air.

The piping folk songs of
a sprightly Spring (long gone)
grew into mellow madrigals of Summer.
Now comes Autumn's fickle recital :
days of glorious fanfares -
sun and brilliance,
coloratura colours dazzle and delight.
Contrast the gloomy brooding:
shrouded greys with muted tones,
plainsongs of resentment
at the loss of warmth;
chilling rains like
lachrymosa requiems;
wind-whipped arias of anguish
at the slow dying of life.

This rich and darkening tone of
the long year's song
proceeds in tempo majestato
towards Winter's sombre chant
and silence.


Elfstone 22/10/04
Archived comments for 3rd Movement
Emerald on 2004-10-30 06:50:26
Re: 3rd Movement
Hi Elfstone, I really enjoyed this musical and descriptive journey into winter.

Emma:)

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-30 09:53:08
Re: 3rd Movement
Emma thank you so much for leaving a comment and also for the rating. I realise this is not one of my better poems, but I had hoped it would get some response! 🙂 I'm glad you saw something good in it. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-30 12:24:42
Re: 3rd Movement
Trevor - thankyou! - this is exactly what I need - informed criticism. You are right of course that it is heavy with technical terms (- I love this comment: There's too much percussion and brass and not enough mood-inducing woodwind and strings!) and I may, given time, look at it again and see if I can take up your excellent suggetsion of a series of poems on the seasons. Thanks again my friend. Elf.

Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-10-30 12:31:08
Re: 3rd Movement
Elfstone, I agree with Griffonner....a wonderful piece of writing but too technical, making the impact overpowering...I love the first verse...very uplifting and a picture of Autumn wonder. I am learning all the time.

All the best

Tai

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-30 12:37:51
Re: 3rd Movement
Tai - many thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I value all such advice 🙂 Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2004-11-03 06:57:04
Re: 3rd Movement
Hi Elf

Love the title you've chosen for your fine workshop poem. Can I also say that I go along with Trevor's wonderful way with words and comments...You have such obvious talent as a poet, but perhaps cutting back on the 'brassiness' just a tad? And I mean that in the nicest possible way...

Kat x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-03 14:47:45
Re: 3rd Movement
Kat - nice to hear from you again and good of you to give this another read. Many thanks for your kind appraisal. As I said to Trevor I realise this is maybe a bit OTT and I will come back to it at some point, in the light of peoples' comments. Thanks again. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-11-07 09:24:42
Re: 3rd Movement
I love the way you have combined the richness of autumn colours with music and the journey into winter. Really well done Elf, but then everything you do is well done. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-11-07 09:46:21
Re: 3rd Movement
Val, it is always good to get your approval! Many thanks for another very kind comment. I haven't had time to get back to this poem (we are into the rugby Autumn Internationals season), but eventually I hope to have another look at in in the light of peoples' opinions. I recommend the Workshop by the way 🙂 Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


The Visit (posted on: 25-10-04)
This is not an Article, but I couldn't fit it comfortably in to any of the other genres! It is my second attempt at writing a short story, in which I am much less confident than in my poetry. Your constructive criticisms will be welcome.

The Visit

Marianne had been here many times, in all weathers. It was her wont to walk to the lighthouse and back sometime during every visit. It was a habit that had somehow crept up on her with out her really noticing and she loved it , partly for the walk itself and partly for the sense of ritual it had acquired. Walking out here had a sense of renewing a connection, of re-establishing an acquaintance with the rocks and the peat hags and the wee lochs scattered over the moor. It had taken on the feeling almost of pilgrimage.
She enjoyed walking anyway and on this island the tramp to the lighthouse was almost end to end; as far as she could go without taking to a boat. It was a small island; only 2 and a half miles long and around half of that wide; quite insignificant really, one might think, but Marianne knew it was that very insignificance in the eyes of the rest of the world, coupled with the difficulty of access, that had contributed largely to the island retaining its very distinctive character.
Over the years of her life Marianne knew there had been changes and if one went back to her father's childhood the differences were enormous, electricity and running water to name but two. There was though a timeless quality to the place and out here on the moor it really seemed that time stood still. There was a sense of permanence here on this island built of the oldest rock visible on the face of the planet . When she stood on top of the Ben she could see very few houses and those only in one direction. For most of the 360 degrees she was looking over land that was very little changed since the last Ice Age. The Ben was only 356 feet above sea level but commanded a fine view over to the mountains across the Sound and to the south west and, on clear days, she could see the Cuillin on Skye sparkling in the distance 40 miles or so away.
Today there were no such stunning views and the cold north east wind did not encourage her to linger on the top. There was not very much shelter anywhere out on the wild end of the island, but on its highest point, there was nothing to hinder the wind (from any direction) chewing on her extremities. She was dressed for the weather and something in her revelled in defying the elements, but there was no point in letting herself get chilled.
To Marianne there always seemed to be a rather mournful feel to the little lump of land at the far end of the island. It was almost a little island itself with only a tiny neck of land keeping it connected to the main island. On it had been built the lighthouse pillar, looking for all the world like an outsized, sober barber's pole, and there also were the empty Keepers' cottages. Once three families had lived and worked here and she remembered, as a young child,she had been taken inside the stack by one of the Keepers and up to the top to see the lenses and prisms and machinery that powered the light miles out over the sea, in its individual, repetitive pattern. The whole thing had been designed and built by Stevenson, of Rocket fame, and looked as though it would last forever. Now the keepers were gone and indeed the lenses she had seen had gone too. They were important enough to be taken to the museum in Chambers Street when the light became automatic. Now people in Edinburgh were the ''keepers'' with modern technology allowing them to tell the status of the light from far away. Standing gazing across at the light house Marianne realised that the cost-effective march of progress would have left lots of deserted Keepers cottages and light houses, like these, dotted around the coast of the country and probably many of them would have that same forlorn atmosphere.
The afternoon was passing and the distances closing in as she stood there on the old path which led down to the shingle beach and on up to the cottages. Beyond, way out to sea, the Shiant Isles were brush strokes of grey upon grey, merging and shifting in the fading light. She chose not to go any further; the dishevelled look of the cottages which were once so pristine was an uncomfortable site. The so called lazy beds around her on the last bit of land - the remains of the Keepers' croft - were only barely visible in the close cropped grass, the ditches having long since filled up. It took a lot of hard work to cultivate and maintain this kind of land and the passing years had all but obliterated the work of generations of lighthouse Keepers. Sheep now grazed the land where once tatties and oats had grown.
The way back to the village took her across undulating moorland and turned her right shoulder to the biting North East wind - the kind of wind that always found a way through any jacket. The saying about ''mad dogs and Englishmen in the midday sun'' came to mind and she thought ruefully that it applied just as well to mad dogs and Scotsmen in this weather. Sensible people were all tucked up indoors snugly away from the callous wind. Such was her sense of complete isolation that she was very startled when she crested a small hillock and found two men a little ahead of her, just to the side of the track. They were digging, but not peat; indeed this was not the right part of the moor for peat cutting nor was it the right time of the year. The gravestone also startled her momentarily. People were not normally buried on the Island, but taken on a last, long, and in olden days difficult, journey to the traditional grave yard on the West Side. The two men stopped their work briefly as she approached and looked at her. They nodded an acknowledgement but then went back to their task. Her path took her a little to the side of the grave and as she passed by she noticed two things: they were filling in the grave and there was a name already on the stone. She noted these things quickly, almost furtively, but kept on walking; aside from the temperature of the wind, there was a silence around the two men which spoke volumes about grief and loss and heartache. She did not wish to intrude and wished heartily that she had taken a different route home. Increasing her pace she left the miserable scene and was soon back to the tarred road and, as the cold afternoon turned towards the colder grey of evening, she headed for her grandfather's house.
The evening passed gently as evenings in warmth and good company do. She had a deep hot bath when she got back to the house to drive out the chill of the walk from her bones. Her grandmother's cooking provided a dinner that was plentiful and tasty. The dining room cleared and the dishes washed and away, her grandfather proffered a dram as they sat down in front of the fire - a peat fire. They don't crackle and spark the way that coal fires do, but there is a very particular glow and heat from a peat fire and a distinctive, rich, tangy smell that for Marianne was forever connected with this place. She was in that mellow half-drowsy place that follows exercise in cold air and good food and warmth. She was comfortable and sinking into that ''at peace with the world'' feeling. Conversation moved lazily here and there, dipping into the past, moving to the present, floating quietly around her grandparents' childhood experiences - always a subject of great interest to Marianne; she was forever fascinated by the otherworldliness of that way of life. Somewhere in the middle of reminiscences she remembered the grave. Sitting in the comfort of a much loved house with the dark cold shut firmly outside and the biting gale kept at a safe distance by three and a half feet thick stone walls, her sudden discovery of the gravediggers seemed less shocking, less disturbing. She asked her grandfather why the islanders had started to bury their dead on the island, out there on the moor. The response was not what she expected and her grandfather's incredulity perplexed her. He was an elder of the Kirk and should know of any death and burial. She described the place, she described the two men, she gave the name on the stone,although the rest of the Gaelic inscription was lost to her. She was gazing in to the little flames eating round the largest bit of peat on the fire and so did not immediately see the expressions on her grandparents' faces. The silence made her turn to them. There was a grimness on her grandfather's face that she still did not understand and she mistook it for the shock of new knowledge. Flummoxed by their reaction, she asked ''Did you know her? Did you not know she had died?'' Again that silence that was more than the absence of speech. Her grandfather got up and walked to the cupboard and as he opened it he said, ''We both knew her, and we knew she had died - forty years ago.'' He took the big Gaelic bible from the cupboard, sat down, opened it and began to read aloud.

Elfstone.5/5/04 Some of you may recognise this as an extension/development of my poem An Uaigh. I would be interested to hear your comparisons, if you have time. Thanks.
Archived comments for The Visit

No comments archives found!
Chapel at Rubh' an Teampuill (posted on: 22-10-04)
I was over in the West again and visited this remarkable wee ruin.

Chapel at Rubh' an Teampuill You stand there alone on the furthest edge of nowhere, battered by every passing wind, the epitome of neglect and defiance. Whose choosing was it then that made you here; that grasped this sundering edge of the western reaches for you; that set you clinging on to a land which itself only manages a tenuous hold at best? How many years have passed since hands laboured to place stone up on stone in the piety of your walls? How many years have passed since praying souls stood in your doorway, looked from your windows at this same relentless sea? How many years have passed since your sheltering roof gave way and wild rains of indifference drowned your hearth? The hard passion of your making is mirrored by the apathy of your falling, lost in the emptiness of a slow decline. Yet grim determination, or quiet resignation, holds you to that little knoll in the face of all the storms of weather and abandonment. And the people who built you, where are they - an echo of yourself? The singing of psalms once rang here and the land remembers while we forget. Elfstone 16/10/04
Archived comments for Chapel at Rubh' an Teampuill
bektron on 2004-10-22 06:40:29
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Elfstone this is beautiful, I can feel your respect for this place in every line, I think that this is the strongest stanza:

The hard passion of your making
is mirrored by the apathy of your falling,
lost in the emptiness of a slow decline.
Yet grim determination,
or quiet resignation,
holds you to that little knoll
in the face of all the storms of
weather and abandonment.

fantastic stuff.
beks 🙂

Author's Reply:

ritawrites on 2004-10-22 08:16:32
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
so beautiful --

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-10-22 10:23:23
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Just back from the west myself ---
You nailed this one...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-10-22 11:35:12
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Beautiful Poem. I like it's sadness...Erma

Author's Reply:

blackdove on 2004-10-22 13:38:22
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Hello Elfsone,
I have just come back from a break in Wester Ross, through Glencoe today.
Those folks were made of sterner stuff than us, no doubt. You capture that tenaciousness, they had so little but in many ways so much more than we, with our easy modern, empty lives.
I loved the feel of your poem, and yes I think the land might well remember with something; a feeling, the atmosphere - I don't know what - but your peom has it for me.
Cheers,
Jemima

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-22 13:45:12
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Many thanks beks for reading and leaving such a lovely comment. I have great respect for people who could build such places and in such places, with out any of the modern tools we take for granted and this one had 'atmosphere', if you know what I mean. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-22 13:46:39
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
rita thank you for reading and leaving a comment. It was beautiful, in a bleak, dramatic way! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-22 13:48:03
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Gerry thank you for reading and commenting and also for that 10!! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-22 13:51:48
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Thank you erma - and for the 10. It is interesting that you pick up on the sadness; it did have a very particular atmosphere all of its own and I'm sure part of that was a terrible sadness. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-10-22 13:52:36
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Oh this is wonderful Elf I could see it and even hear the wind howling through your words. I love these atmospheric poems you write. love Val x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-22 13:58:03
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
What a lovely comment - thank you, and for the 10. Glencoe - now there's a cracker of a place, talk about atmosphere. I climbed Sgorr na Ciche in August and it was a stonker of a day - almost too hot - and the glen looked marvellous, as did the many, many mountains we could see, but in gloomy weather Glencoe is magnificent! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-22 13:59:17
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
What a lovely comment - thank you, and for the 10. Glencoe - now there's a cracker of a place, talk about atmosphere. I climbed Sgorr na Ciche in August and it was a stonker of a day - almost too hot - and the glen looked marvellous, as did the many, many mountains we could see, but in gloomy weather Glencoe is magnificent! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-22 14:01:12
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
- and it was a cold wind!! Many thanks again for your kind words Val and for that 10. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-23 13:26:07
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
- and I always know, when I see your name on a post, that I am in for a treat of a crit!! I sometimes think you understand my poetry better than I do myself. Your analysis of this is both thought provoking and helpful.

Do you know that bektron has just started up what is being called a Workshop, but is essentially a Challenge as we know it from elsewhere, in the 'Poetry Discussion' Forum? (The first one was for Friday past.) It would be very good to have you join us. Elfstone.

PS Many thanks for that 10.

Author's Reply:

Wrybod on 2004-10-23 14:10:44
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Elfstone

I have often stood in such places and thought the same thoughts.

This is so well written that I could feel the wind on my cheek, the rough stone beneath my fingers and the sadness of the souls long gone.

well done

bob

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-23 16:44:33
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Many thanks Bob. There are times over there when the wind on you cheeks would peel the skin off! It was cold that day and, perhaps for that reason deserted, and the sense of desolation was unmistakable. Thanks for that 10! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2004-10-24 04:11:21
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Hi Elfstone, there are some places that just scream of atmosphere - and leave you wondering about past lives, and all that they have seen. Great poem

Emma:)

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-24 05:35:53
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Emerald, many thanks for taking the time to read and leave such a nice comment, and thanks for that 10!! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-10-24 06:05:13
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Elf, I like the way you used imagery in this poem...I could feel a seething rage, deep inside and that pain which probably made you a most endowed poet...I am particularly impressed by>>How many years have passed since
hands laboured to place
stone up on stone
in the piety of your walls?

<<

Poem of the day...

PP


Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-24 06:10:53
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Hi Penprince - good of you to take the time to read and my thanks for leaving such a lovely comment. Thanks also for that great rating! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-10-24 07:49:40
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
I think this effort deserves a great read...

PP

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-10-24 18:52:59
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Yes!! Great poem...love the sense of atmosphere, remoteness, survival, past and present...many great lines in here, first class poem...L

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-25 15:03:09
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
You are very kind Leila; many thanks for leaving such a lovely comment and for the rating. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-27 14:41:44
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Shywolf, many thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment.
I am always happy to consider other writers' suggestions for my work - it is one of the strengths of this site (and one of the reasons I'm so fond of it) that we have so many fine writers here who are so generous with time and advice. I have spent some time re-reading the poem with your advice in mind. "What" would work, but "while" has that sense of time about it and the whole poem has time, the passing of time, the effects of time running, through it. Hmmmmm, not sure now, but thanks again. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-10-27 16:26:49
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Hi Elfstone, great poem, wonderful imagery and to me a wonderful metaphor On standing alone again the elemental forces of many things....stoic in it's steadfastness.

Love

tai

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-27 17:45:18
Re: Chapel at Rubh’ an Teampuill
Tai, my thanks for reading and leaving such a nice comment - 'stoic' is actually a very good word for that wee ruin! Many thanks as well for the rating. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Replays!! (posted on: 01-10-04)
This may interest the sports fans among you. It was written as an Assignment for my writing course and therefore had to be in quite a calm style, but honestly there are times when I could fling bricks at the TV!!

Endless Replays! . . Replays! . . . Replays! . . . . . . . Replays!

Replays ad nauseam! Watching 'live' rugby games on television these days has become something of an endurance test and for once this is not just because of the poor quality of Scottish back play. It seems to me that, over recent years, the increasing tendency for outside broadcast editors to 'play with the buttons' during the game has reached the point where it is interfering seriously with the viewer's enjoyment .

Five years ago I became sufficiently disgruntled with this state of affairs to write a letter to the BBC, explaining in reasonable terms just how annoying these interruptions were becoming. I received a very polite, but totally noncommittal, reply thanking me for my letter and assuring me that my comments would be passed on to the appropriate people. Now five years down the line, I find myself shouting at the television in utter frustration at so often not knowing what is happening on the pitch!

Convinced that these interruptions were becoming more frequent, and longer, I decided to do a bit of research. My findings are based on reviewing some recent Autumn's games and comparing those results with older games. They do indeed confirm my suspicion that replays are taking over!

In recent games around 12% of the live game time has been taken up with replays; viewers 'lose' that time. Imagine going to Murrayfield and having your eyes forcibly closed for 12% of the time, at arbitrary moments decided on by someone else; would anyone find that acceptable? What is worse is that many of the items replayed were not in themselves particularly outstanding in terms of the result of the game or the quality of the rugby .

A detailed breakdown of the November 2001 game between Scotland and New Zealand makes this abundantly clear. There were only 3 tries in that game and yet no fewer than 36 replays! Viewers missed 10 min. 50 sec. of 'live' action! These statistics are borne out by a very similar situation in the delayed 6 Nations game between Ireland and England played in September 2001. I won't quote the complete statistics; suffice it to say that there were 35 replays in the 80 or so minutes and that they totalled a whopping 11 min. 13 sec. of 'lost' time for the viewer, in what was a crucial game (England going for a Grand Slam). During that the viewer missed, amongst other things, 4 lineouts, the start of 2 scrums and no fewer than 7 penalty kicks, or parts thereof.

For comparison I went back some years to the oldest of my home-made videos: the Scotland/ France game in the 5 Nations in 92. The difference is striking; half the number of replays at 17, and only 3 min. 27 sec. of 'lost' time, almost a quarter of the replay time in current broadcasts.

Even more remarkable are the statistics from my 'oldest' video, the commercial recording of 'that' game between the Barbarians and the All Blacks at Cardiff Arms Park in 1973. There were six wonderful tries scored, in a game which is often described as the finest ever televised. Those six included the early try, finished by Gareth Edwards, which is regarded by many as one of the finest tries ever scored. Were we bombarded by replays? Look at the statistics: six tries, seven replays and only 2 min. 38 sec. 'lost' time! Each try, bar one, was replayed once, while the kicker set up the goal kick, so there was no interference at all with watching play. (It was the Gareth Edwards try which was given a second replay, but that, it seems, only because of an extended injury treatment break.) Watching this game, did I feel deprived in some way by the lack of replays? Did I feel that I was missing out on vital information or a better understanding of the game? Indeed not! It was a joy to watch an uninterrupted game!

Speaking personally, I enjoy watching set piece play; powerful play between well matched forwards is very exciting to watch. I do not want to miss a line out or scrum by being forced to watch a replay of a poor pass or turnover ball. I would not suggest for one moment that cameras should linger ghoulishly on the agonies of a badly injured player, but I would prefer to know who is injured and, if possible, to what extent, especially if it happens to be a crucial player for either us or the opposition. A middle distance shot with the right commentary would keep the viewers informed.

For most of the time during modern replays there is no way of knowing what is going on because, (and this compounds greatly the problems caused by those replays), commentators are now commentating on what is happening on the monitor rather than telling us what is happening on the pitch. Commentaries in a live game should keep the viewer informed at all times with regard to what is actually happening in the game at any given moment and that is no longer the case.

Looking back at that 1973 video made it very clear that a good, informed and informative commentary, coupled with good camera work, is all that is needed for the viewer to fully enjoy a televised game. There are occasions when a replay is justified, for instance a try can be shown again while the kicker sets up the goal attempt. Indeed in the case of doubtful tries a second showing from a different angle can be very worthwhile. However, for the majority of the replays we now have foisted upon us, the correct place is a review programme or the half time /full time slots.

Another source of irritation which became clear while doing my analysis for this article, (and perhaps an issue for separate research), was the amount of time wasted on lengthy shots of players' faces, the faces of members of the management/coaching teams in the stand and faces of people in the crowd. None of these are important enough to be put in place of the action on the pitch. Add all of those in and viewers are losing a lot more than 12% of live game time.

Wholesale use of replays has become a source of huge frustration in recent years. It seems that O.B. editors are using the replay facility just because they have it, rather than because events in the game warrant it. For those of us who cannot, for whatever reason, travel to be at a game in person, 'live' television needs to be exactly that - 'live'; in other words we should see what is happening on the pitch, at the time, all the time; if not, what we see is being dictated simply by the whim of the editor, or by the need to be seen to use the technology - very much a case of the tail wagging the dog . . the tail wagging the dog . . . the tail wagging the dog . . . .

Elfstone 2002


Archived comments for Replays!!
ritawrites on 2004-10-02 04:02:33
Re: Replays!!
oh yeah, you telling me! sometimes I want to go and strangle the TV -- great stuff! 🙂

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-02 16:35:46
Re: Replays!!
rita, thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment. It is actually a subject which gets me very hot under the collar and it seems to get worse each season.
I thought this one wouldn't attract much interest, but I just wanted to test the water with it so to speak. I'm pleased that you found it worth reading. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Wrybod on 2004-10-23 14:33:14
Re: Replays!!
Elf'
'ooray, 'ooray, 'oo,bloody ray (I gave it 10) because it sums up my attitude completely

THEY ARE MORE CONCERNED WITH THE PRESENTATION THAN WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO PRESENT.

My worst hate is so called "tension music" behind newsreaders. The man is saying...
"Seven marines were killed today when.......
and at the same time in the background.....
De dumm dumm dumm De dum dum dum De.....

I tend to stay with BBC to avoid advertisements but they are now just as bad with Trailers trailers trailers trailers trailers, the same ones over and over again

Thank manufacturers of sets for the mute button.

I could go on but feel that perhaps I'm hogging the reply space...........

Something for the forum perhaps?

bob


Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-23 16:55:33
Re: Replays!!
Goodness Bob I thought this submission had disappeared off the edge!! It was so different from my usual thing that I didn't expect much interest and I was right. :-)) It is good to know that someone shares my views. We are just about into the Autumn Internationals (first one two weeks today against Australia) and I just know it will be as bad or worse. Many thanks for the 10 rating and taking time to read all of this. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Fate (posted on: 27-09-04)
Not sure what to say about this one . . . .

Fate

Fate, you say, should be my guide;
Give Chance its head
And follow where it leads.
I will not!

Just let the book fall open;
Allow a blinkered finger to
Blindly lead the way.
I will not ! I will no longer follow!

Take what is given
Construct with that ;
Trust to destiny is the cry.
I will not! I will not knowingly trust the faithless!

Throw caution to the wind and
Permit Lady Luck to strut her stuff -
Humour her whimsy, pander to her fey spirit.
I will not! That strumpet needs no permit!

I have seen her flounce her painted way through others' lives;
I have observed her duplicitous dealings, her obsessive flirtings;
I have watched her coquettish gaze fall on her favourites;

I have blanched at her indiscriminate choices;
I have cringed at her jealous rages;
I have shrunk from her mindless tantrums;

I have suffered the contemptuous toss
Of her tawdry tresses
As she turns from those she despises;
I have felt the icy disdain
Of her cruel eyes
Staring me into emptiness.

You ask me
To hold that most sought after of ephemera,
To prize that most valued of cheap baubles,
To flatter that most courted whore
And call her mine?

I will not! Never again!

Elfstone 3/10/03
Archived comments for Fate
ritawrites on 2004-09-27 04:24:08
Re: Fate
you may not, but maybe she will – can you escape her beguiling eyes? – very few do – she knows the powers she has – though sometimes she may fall silent, she’s just biding her time, for in the end she knows she will always prevail – that’s man’s fate -- A fun read –

Author's Reply:

niki on 2004-09-27 04:42:04
Re: Fate
theres an arabic saying this reminds me of - "inshallah", which literally tranlates to "godwilling". i often think absolute faith in fate precludes an ability to influence the direction of ones life. great read, well articulated 🙂

niki x

Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-09-27 05:03:59
Re: Fate
A passionate piece, but who said Fate works alone!

Tai

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2004-09-27 07:18:09
Re: Fate
Loving these lines in particular -

I have suffered the contemptuous toss
Of her tawdry tresses
As she turns from those she despises;
I have felt the icy disdain
Of her cruel eyes
Staring me into emptiness.

That's just phhooarrrrrr in text form. Sorry, my commenting gets no better. I'll vote instead. Nice work.

s
u
n
k
e
n

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-09-27 12:30:03
Re: Fate
What a different style for you, Elfstone, and how well you carried your increasing indignation though these lines, I really enjoyed reading this, Zy

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-09-27 12:40:05
Re: Fate
This is so expressive and emotive...EXCELLENT work, Elf!

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-27 14:15:59
Re: Fate
"can you escape her beguiling eyes?" - I certainly hope so!! 🙂

Many thanks for reading and commenting rita. Elfstone

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-27 14:18:50
Re: Fate
Many thanks for your comments niki and for that rating! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-27 14:22:09
Re: Fate
I think Fate would probably demand that, being a bit of a prima donna (in other words, a right thrawn besom!!) My grateful thanks Tai for your comment and rating. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-27 14:24:24
Re: Fate
Your commenting is great sunk and I'm grateful for it. Thanks also for that 10 - much appreciated. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-27 14:27:28
Re: Fate
Yes I suppose this is unusual within my work. Am I becoming known as a "doom an gloom" poet? Hmmmm.
Anyway thanks for reading Z and as always I value your opinion. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-27 14:29:53
Re: Fate
Shame on me Z - I forgot to say thanks for the 10 (slinking, embarrassed into a corner)

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-27 14:31:52
Re: Fate
My thanks, penprince, for reading and leaving such a lovely comment. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 2004-09-27 14:47:03
Re: Fate
"Not sure what to say about this one."

You don't need an introduction, Elf.
Your excellent poem says it all.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-27 15:08:53
Re: Fate
Those are very kind words Ionicus. Thanks also for the rating - I'm chuffed. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2004-09-28 04:04:15
Re: Fate
Hi Elfstone, I liked this railing at fate poem - some excellent lines in this poem.

Emma

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-28 12:23:58
Re: Fate
Emma many thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment. I'm very grateful for the rating too. 🙂 Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2004-09-28 17:00:11
Re: Fate
Very enjoyable read.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-28 17:23:32
Re: Fate
Dargo my grateful thanks for taking an interest in this and for the rating; much appreciated. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2004-09-28 17:44:44
Re: Fate
Elfstone,

Are you a thespian? This has such a Shakespearian quality, to it! Liked this:

'I have suffered the contemptuous toss
Of her tawdry tresses
As she turns from those she despises;
I have felt the icy disdain
Of her cruel eyes
Staring me into emptiness.'

Nicely done!

Cheers,
Adele 🙂


Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-09-28 20:15:41
Re: Fate
Great poem, Elfstone.

"I have blanched at her indiscriminate choices;
I have cringed at her jealous rages;
I have shrunk from her mindless tantrums;"

- sounds familiar. Hmmm.. I wonder what??

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-29 15:02:12
Re: Fate
What a lovely comment Adele! No, I am not a thespian - I would be terrified on stage - but I do like the language of Shakespeare. Many thanks for reading and for the rating.
Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-29 15:05:09
Re: Fate
Many thanks for reading and for commenting Jay12. The "10" is also much appreciated.

I don't know where you could have heard it before; in all honesty I don't think any of my poems are plagiaristic, but if you discover anything similar please do let me know.

Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-09-29 15:11:25
Re: Fate
This is what my grandmother would have called a passionate outburst. I love it Elf it sounds so spontaneous as though it were all there waiting to come out, as though you didn't once have to think about each word. I thought this was flawless. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-29 16:15:51
Re: Fate
Thank you Val. I am humbled by such praise and very grateful for the "10". Actually quite a lot of my poems do just "come out" in one burst. After 2 years of writing poetry off and on, I still don't really understand the process. I am very touched at the response to this one. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Cycles (posted on: 24-09-04)
It was about this time last year when I wrote these four Haikus. We are well into the third of them now. We did have the first, the second one didn't really happen and I dare say it won't be long until the fourth!

Cycles



Pale sunlight dawning,
Cool air, ploughed fields, snowdrops gleam,
Crocuses dancing.

~~

Heat shimmer, sun cream,
Chilled fruit juice and barbeques,
Golden evenings drift.

~~

Crisp nights, curling leaves,
Purple hills and ripe brambles,
Barley harvested.

~~

Short days, cold dark nights,
Frost sparkles and breathing steams,
Mulled wine by the fire.


Elfstone 20/8/03
Archived comments for Cycles
Bradene on 2004-09-24 15:13:25
Re: Cycles
I love reading haiku Elf and I think these seasonal ones are in the true spirit of the haiku. excellent. Love Valx

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-24 15:16:46
Re: Cycles
Val many thanks for reading and commenting. Being on the second page is such a pain! I was sure nobody would find these let alone read and comment. I'm very chuffed at your praise :-))
Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-09-25 13:05:01
Re: Cycles
Hello Elf,

These are so well written! I can breath some fresh air on this page...

Debashish



Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-25 14:23:10
Re: Cycles
Many thanks for reading these and leaving such a lovely comment Debashish and special thanks for that 10!!

The air up here certainly is fresh; the barley round about has been harvested in the last week or so and the hills are gradually taking on that purple sheen; the brambles aren't ripe yet, and anyway they are better after a sharp frost, but that will come soon enough. Nice time of the year. :-)) Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

ritawrites on 2004-09-26 15:04:29
Re: Cycles
Mmm... very sensuous... tingles like the rainy air outside 🙂

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-26 15:38:54
Re: Cycles
Thank you so much rita. As I said to Val I'm just grateful that some readers have ventured this far and found these. I'm pleased that you liked these "shorties". Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2004-09-26 18:03:32
Re: Cycles
Elfstone,

Truly exquisite traditional Haiku...and a form I have wanted to get into for some time. Beautifully done. I especially enjoyed:

' Short days, cold dark nights,
Frost sparkles and breathing steams,
Mulled wine by the fire.'

Mulled wine is a winter tradition in my house! A gem of a read.

Cheers,
Adele 🙂

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-26 18:36:38
Re: Cycles
- and in mine too! The mulled wine I mean, sipped by a blazing open fire - marvellous!

Many thanks for reading these and for rating and leaving such a nice comment. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Just a moment (posted on: 17-09-04)
Its a while since I last wrote anything, my muse is a fickle creature, but this just came into my head in the way that my poems do - unlooked for and unbidden - after reading the tribute on the front page . Some of you will know that I have had 3 sudden deaths in my family in the last 18 months (one of them a suicide) and inevitably the poem draws on those experiences, but this came to me immediately after reading about Neil Marr's brother.

Just a Moment

Life is sweetened by these moments:
A handshake, a hug,
A warming smile that
Shines into the beating of our hearts.

Friendship resonates to these moments:
The bell of understanding rings
A deeper tone than words can sing
And the echoes chant our lives.

Time is manifest at these moments:
Everything before collides
With everything after
And the clarity numbs us.

Death is incised by these moments:
The knife edge that slices our continuance,
That separates our being
From the remembering of it.

Grief shivers with these moments:
Reeling back to avoid
Something already passed;
Grasping at what was, but is not.

Love transcends in these moments:
Enduring the pain,
Holding remembrance,
A testament to loss.

A breath let go,
a quiet breath of acceptance
and in this moment of darkest night
the stars shimmer.



Elfstone 13/9/04
Archived comments for Just a moment
Penprince on 2004-09-17 03:31:51
Re: Just a moment
POWERFUL insights on life's full circle...

Debashish

Author's Reply:

thehaven on 2004-09-17 10:40:49
Re: Just a moment
this is a strong powerful piece ...not sure about"continuance" though .


Great read.

Mike

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-17 14:10:13
Re: Just a moment
Thanks for reading this and especially for leaving a comment penprince.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-17 14:12:40
Re: Just a moment
I'm grateful for youreading and leaving a comment. What's wrong with "continuance"? What are you reading in it that I am not seeing? Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-17 14:12:52
Re: Just a moment
I'm grateful for you reading and leaving a comment. What's wrong with "continuance"? What are you reading in it that I am not seeing? Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-09-17 16:35:30
Re: Just a moment
A powerful and insightful piece Elf, the older one gets the more bereavements one experiences, your words hit the spot for me. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-09-17 16:36:53
Re: Just a moment
You captured this well Elf. So sorry to hear about your loss.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-17 16:44:55
Re: Just a moment
Many thanks Val, for both the praise and the rating. You are right about the connection between age and bereavement. Almost all family gatherings in recent years have revolved around funerals rather than weddings or special birthdays. Still, that perhaps makes the occasional happy gatherings all the more special. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-17 16:46:27
Re: Just a moment
Gerry many thanks for taking the time to read and comment and special thanks for the rating. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-09-17 17:55:22
Re: Just a moment
Very well done by someone who has suffered loss after loss. The same thing happened to me last year I was afraid to get up in the morning afraid of another loss happening in the night...I love the way you've written about it....Erma

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-09-18 02:40:33
Re: Just a moment
I have not read other comments because what I want to say about this poem needs to come from just me.
I think it is beautiful, authentic, true. The use of the repetition is not device but a means to draw the reader into the poem.
I am personally sorry for your losses and I think this poem is a wonderful tribute.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2004-09-18 05:24:20
Re: Just a moment
Hi Elfstone, a powerful poem - sorry to hear of your losses.

Emma

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 2004-09-18 06:19:37
Re: Just a moment
Life is shaped by these moments, good and bad. A powerful piece Elfstone.

love ailsa

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-18 10:27:11
Re: Just a moment
Very many thanks Erma - for the comment and the "10".
I know the feeling you describe. Poetry is one way I have found of working through those feelings. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-18 10:32:13
Re: Just a moment
Chrissy thank you so much for those comments and for the rating. I'm always so chuffed when people "connect" to something in one of my poems. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-18 10:34:47
Re: Just a moment
Many thanks, Emerald, for reading and commenting and of course for that "10"!

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-18 10:36:03
Re: Just a moment
It's kind of you to comment ailsa - many thanks. Elfstone

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-09-18 13:22:12
Re: Just a moment
Hy Elfstone, nice to get a chance to read your work again and it is as always, an excellent read.

I have lost many of my family, so your words read deeply to me, beautiful words, I particularly like the last Stanza...a lovely ending, Zydha

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-18 15:18:35
Re: Just a moment
Zydha - long time no see!! My fault of course: I have been in poetry sites very little over the summer, until this week. It is nice to be back to this sort of thing and to writing again. As I said in the intro., my muse had gone awol until I read of Alec Marr's death.

Thank you for your comments and praise. Sadly I think we all eventually reach an age where family deaths - of the older generation - become all too common. Maybe poetry can help us to deal with our feelings.

It's good to 'talk' to you again. 🙂 Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-09-19 17:32:24
Re: Just a moment
You have captured the essence of bereavement and the moment, in the most beautifully extraordinary way. I am humbled by your words.

Excellent work born out of such tragic emotional inspiration. I too am sorry for your loss.

Tai



Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-19 17:46:18
Re: Just a moment
- and I am humbled by such a wonderful comment! My grateful thanks Tai, and for the rating too - much appreciated. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Griffonner on 2004-09-24 16:25:48
Re: Just a moment
The words and thoughts are incisive. I liked it for many reasons, including the format which I admire greatly.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-24 16:41:23
Re: Just a moment
I was very pleased to read your comment griffoner - particularly as I thought this one would have slipped quietly into obscurity by now. Many thanks for reading and commenting. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


The Beach at Ardtoe (posted on: 06-08-04)
Last weekend I visited a place that I have not been to since childhood. I was curious to see if my memories of it were accurate all these years later (they were as it turns out). What I didn't expect was the emotional reaction I felt there and since. This poem is part of that I think. This is another of those poems where I'm too close to it to judge it, so your honest opinions will be welcome.

The Beach at Ardtoe I stood on a beach and time flowed by So slowly, so slowly - Like the turning of the tide; A gentle creeping over the sands of my life Seeping onwards, only to ebb again. I stood on a beach and time flew by Like the crashing of a wave - It's there and it's gone. The power and the strength and The fury are nothing - the rocks still stand. I stood on a beach and saw children play, As I did then, carefree and absorbed; Dreaming their dreams, planning their plans, Distilling the sparkling gold of the future As I did then, on these same pristine sands. A dog, like my dog, playing in that same water, A tail-wagging abandonment of brine-soaked joy, Wrenching the pain of loss from my cynical heart. I stood on a beach in the westering sun Of a balmy summer's day Drifting through time and The welling of memory And I looked at my childhood. I thought on a lost summer Forty years gone and my life gone with it. There was hope then, more - There was expectation. All my tomorrows have fallen away Into all my empty yesterdays; All that I might have been, All that I could have been, Blazed before me in the sea shimmer As dazzling and as illusive. I stood on a beach and The passing of time was painful. The tide crawls on an inch at a time And the days go by and the years are sudden. Where is the hope and the expectation, And the longing ? - . . . . .dissolved in regret. Elfstone 4/8/04
Archived comments for The Beach at Ardtoe
blackdove on 2004-08-06 13:24:27
Re: The Beach at Ardtoe
Elfstone,
I enjoyed this poem. It made me think of some big hurt beast, an animal or like Caliban or Frankenstein's creation, part animal part man,I don't know why. Perhaps because you couldn't understand where the years had gone, or how to recapture then. Its like an animal incomprehension, like them you as the poet are lost and don't have the answers.
The regret and loss are almost tangible and somehow that makes me think of those creatures too. As if they were demented with grief but didn't have the capacity to resolve or reconcile these feelings.
It is very powerful for this.
If I were to change anything I would take out the last line 'dissolved into regret'.
The poem I think has told us this already. And the line I liked most was 'the years
are sudden' - for they are. But only when we are looking back. The poem is very strong - like the tides you describe.
Jemx


Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-08-06 16:42:04
Re: The Beach at Ardtoe
Many thanks for such a helpful comment black-dove. I'm glad you found something good in this.

I will have another look at the last line of this as you suggest - the poem was written in a rush and posted in a hurry so it could maybe do with some editing. Thanks again. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-08-10 14:55:53
Re: The Beach at Ardtoe
Apologies for not replying sooner Trevor; the last fortnight has been very busy, with me first doing the visiting (including Ardtoe) then being visited - fun but hectic and I have missed my quiet time in here!

You are as always very perceptive in your reading of my work, but I'm not always gloomy you know! Life does have its lighter moments and happier times 😉 You might like to take a look at my first ever journal entry - "Meadowsweet and Brambles", which I think proves the point?

Anyway you know that I value your comments and I am as ever very grateful to you for reading this poem and taking the time to reply to it. Elfstone.



Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-08-10 15:26:42
Re: The Beach at Ardtoe
Trevor said it all so much better than I could elf. I just wanted you to know that I read it, and felt all the feeling all the emotion of looking back and wondering where the hell it all went. an excellent write. love Val x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-08-10 16:11:00
Re: The Beach at Ardtoe
Very many thanks Val. As I said to Trevor, I've been up to the eyes this past fortnight and have hardly had time to get in here at all. This poem just came to me when I came back from the west and I flung it in here without having the time to re-read and tweak. I'm delighted that people have got something out of it. Thanks again. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-08-16 12:39:07
Re: The Beach at Ardtoe
I can almost so easily relate to this...though I am about 27 and do not have your experience, but yes the missed chances, memories of past, the voidness of past often engulfs me...I was a research scholar once at TIFR, and now nothing...
Thanks for sharing this poem...

Debashish


Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-08-16 18:41:32
Re: The Beach at Ardtoe
Very many thanks for your kind comments Penprince. Forgive me but I don't know what 'TIFR' is, so I don't understand the reference. I'm glad you saw something good in this. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-10-02 17:04:00
Re: The Beach at Ardtoe
A strong poem...like you I am drawn to the beach/water and could empathize with this piece...L

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-02 17:43:36
Re: The Beach at Ardtoe
Hi, Leila. I hadn't expected anymore comments on this piece, so yours is a delight to read. I'm glad you found something good in this poem. Thanks for taking the time to read. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Isobel (posted on: 26-07-04)
I'm posting this partly because of reading ruadh's piece "Saving Mary". We had the misfortune to have a suicide in the family back in February and this poem came of that.

Isobel

Nowhere to go and no sense of hope
Feelings of worthlessness, struggling to cope

Disillusionment grows, the world closes in
Abject loneliness adds a cold spin.

Carrying burdens of sorrow alone.
(So you must reap as, for you, they've sown.)

Blinded by pain and the harshness of life,
Hampered by indifference that cuts like a knife.

Bearing the scars of an endless grind
In a bruised and battered and bleeding mind.

Trapped in a relentless spiral of gloom,
Condemned to a life that's shrinking too soon.

Outwardly functioning seeming so calm;
Inwardly roiling behind a weak dam.

Shrivelling self-esteem adds to confusion;
No help, no comfort, no easy solution.

No way to change things, nowhere to go;
No hope of improvement, sinking so low.

Leaving it all with a sad little sigh -
A bottle of pills is a quiet way to die.

Elfstone 15/2/04




Archived comments for Isobel
uppercase on 2004-07-26 13:56:20
Re: Isobel
Wow this poem is deep. I like the poem and I'm sorry about your loss...Erma

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-26 16:17:46
Re: Isobel
Many thanks for reading uppercase and for your sympathetic comments - its appreciated. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-07-26 16:28:03
Re: Isobel
Hi Elf Great poem that tell it exactly like it is. I was feeling like this in the late seventies and almost reached the point of no return, it was just the thought of leaving my children to cope with the consequences that prevented me going that extra yard. I'm so glad now that I didn't. but I can easily understand the feelings that precipitate the final act. I hope Isobel found her peace at last. Love Val xx

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-26 16:59:45
Re: Isobel
Thanks again Val for reading and the rating. I suppose many of us at different times and for different reasons have felt deep despair and stood at that abyss, wondering if we should take the final step. Fortunately most of us pull back for one reason or another. She had children and who can say what long-term effect it will have had on them. Certainly she had an unhappy life and reading ruadh's short piece about a person who had had a very difficult life brought all of this to mind. Yes we can only hope that she is at peace now wherever she is. Thanks for your comments. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

spacegirl on 2004-07-26 17:12:18
Re: Isobel
That was lovely,

Bearing the scars of an endless grind
In a bruised and battered and bleeding mind

A great insight into how and why some people get to that point.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-27 12:56:22
Re: Isobel
Many thanks spacegirl. It does leave us wondering what - if anything - we could have done, which is why ruadh's piece was so poignant. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2004-07-27 15:41:39
Re: Isobel
Very moving Elfstone. Well written. You hold on tight now. Catch you later.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-27 18:06:57
Re: Isobel
Thanks for that Shacks. I'm always grateful for your kind comments. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-07-29 14:06:18
Re: Isobel
I have never been in this position, and I thank the Lord for that.
You wrote this so well.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-29 19:01:23
Re: Isobel
Gerry I'm very grateful for you taking time to read and comment. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Avowal (posted on: 16-07-04)
A love letter in poetic form. Not at all my usual style.

The hand that holds the pen trembles
Writing your name as if in whispered tones;
Chanting in letters a hushed avowal
Of all my heart's adoring.
Our parting draws us nearer still;
This separation binds us;
The distance holds us
Closer than a heart beat.

I look from the window.
Autumn holds its breath
Waiting for the frozen bite.
The colours exult,
( vivid as our passion)
As if the dying Summer
In one, last, defiant gesture
Breathed over all the trees
Inspiring them to sing Hosannas
In the face of the coming Winter.

Only love me, love only me,
Companion of my deepest dreams
And I will exult
And I will sing with you
Hosannas in the face of Death.

Elfstone. 11/7/04
Archived comments for Avowal
Bradene on 2004-07-16 07:22:36
Re: Avowal
Aww Elf this is so beautiful, I was spell bound from start to finish. love Val xx

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-16 10:11:40
Re: Avowal
Many thanks Val. It was a late entry to the Challenge for the bards club. I've been accused (nicely) of being a gloom-monger recently, so maybe its time to do other things! Thanks again for your comment and rating. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-18 14:55:20
Re: Avowal
Yes I do (have a Romantic side) - perhaps that is a little hard to believe?

Trevor my friend you are so perceptive it is almost disquieting 🙂 (I have always lacked confidence). I respect your opinion on the inclusion of the loved one's name, but I feel it would have made the poem a bit trite or cloying. Leaving out a name makes it more universal - yes? In any case this was a Challenge to write a poem to an imaginary lover- not difficult in my case.

I am as always grateful for your comments (even if they do leave me feeling sometimes that you are peering over my shoulder when I write these poems - how can you read so accurately?) - and for the rating. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Fifteen Minutes (posted on: 09-07-04)
This is another of these "popped into my head unbidden poems". Beyond that I have no idea how to describe it.

Fifteen Minutes

''I've been sitting here on my own
For fifteen minutes!''
Not - ''Hello''
Not - ''How are you?''
Not any of the standard greetings
for renewing acquaintance.

Fifteen minutes of yourself,
of your own company,
of having no reflection from others,
of not being the centre.

As if you could cram fifteen years
or fifteen lifetimes of loneliness
into that short time.

As if you knew -
you who bequeath it in abundance
- as if you knew the nature of
Loneliness.

As if you understood -
you who demand attention
- as if you understood what it is to be
Shunned.

Repeated like a mantra
to every arrival
with the handshake/hug;
The demand for sympathy
(that insidious addiction)
swamping the moment.

Me on my own
your only thought;
your perception -
(five minutes or fifteen,
makes no difference) -
I need the world to know
I've been sitting on my own here
for fifteen minutes.
Poor little you!


Elfstone 27/6/04
Archived comments for Fifteen Minutes
Gerry on 2004-07-09 13:49:50
Re: Fifteen Minutes
Elf--I like this. The magic of those bits of solitude for we always in contact.
And the torment of solitude for others---

Well expressed

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-09 14:20:58
Re: Fifteen Minutes
Gerry many thanks for your response. The person about whom this poem was written can't stand any solitude at all, needs to be the centre of attention, which can be a bit wearing. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-07-09 15:04:48
Re: Fifteen Minutes
Love this Elf had impact when I read it earlier still has it now.Although I still prefer the ones where you take us on a magical tour of the isles. love Val x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-09 15:35:26
Re: Fifteen Minutes
Thanks Val. I edited it a little in the light of comments elsewhere and I think it is improved.
Now be honest, constant poetical journeys through the Hebrides would become monotonous wouldn't they? Variety is the spice of life (and poetry) isn't it? :-)) Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Redrose1 on 2004-07-09 16:11:02
Re: Fifteen Minutes
Very strong poem and well written. I really enjoyed reading.

Redrose

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-09 16:36:44
Re: Fifteen Minutes
Thanks Redrose1 for reading and leaving a comment. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2004-07-10 04:59:15
Re: Fifteen Minutes
Its strange how some people can't stand spending anytime on their own, you captured well the feelings well in this, the last line was extremely effective in getting the point across.

Emma 🙂

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-10 08:36:05
Re: Fifteen Minutes
You are right Emerald it is very odd. The tendency to crave company all the time can lead to all sorts of problems; I'm sure it isn't any more healthy than the tendency to total solitude. Many thanks for reading and commenting and for the rating. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-07-10 17:30:14
Re: Fifteen Minutes
I think this poem is strong...you have chosen an interesting way to write it...I know people like that and I find them such hard work...L

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-07-11 01:30:19
Re: Fifteen Minutes
A great read for me, a poem I want to read again and again.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-11 04:52:50
Re: Fifteen Minutes
You are so right - hard work is exactly the right description! Thank you for commenting Leila. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-11 04:54:06
Re: Fifteen Minutes
Very many thanks Silent, for the comment and the rating. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Scotland (posted on: 05-07-04)
An attempt at something different. Opinions welcome!

1. Scots come join our rousing song:
Raise your voice in celebration;
Sing the praises loud and long
Of our beloved nation.

Refrain:
Scotland! Scotland! Loud the cries,
Ringing round this ancient land
Heart and soul our loyalty lies
With our beloved Scotland


2. Long the road our history's taken
By many sorrows we've been shaken
But pride of kinship, strength of blood
Bind us to this land we love.

3. Land of mountain, loch and glen,
Bright your rivers running swift,
Woods and meadows, sea and ben
Great your beauties, nature's gift.

4. Borders, highlands, lowlands, islands
Stand together in your name;
Crying out, ''This is our Heartland
Scotland! we will bring you fame''.

5. Power of limbs and minds together
Heart and passion here we offer,
Proud! defiant! here we stand
To give our all for Scotland.

6. Scotland, our beloved nation,
Small in size but great in worth.
Here we join in celebration,
Praise the land which gave us birth.

Archived comments for Scotland
Kat on 2004-07-05 14:04:24
Re: Scotland
Hi Elfstone

I've given full marks to this 'anthem'...

Kat

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-05 14:15:06
Re: Scotland
Kat you are very kind. As this is on the "second" page I thought it would go un-noticed and un-commented on, so I'm very grateful - thank you! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

richardwatt on 2004-07-05 14:55:01
Re: Scotland
It's not often that I see something which far from castigating me for being from Scotland, is unashamedly patriotic. I tend to shy away from this because I fear jingoism really, but I think perhaps there is a little pride to be had from understanding where you come from. Touching, Elfstone!

rick x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-05 15:03:48
Re: Scotland
Many thanks for that richardwatt. I would hope never to be castigated for being Scottish (the closest I came was razorcuts' response to my poem "Croick"). I think there is a world of a difference between jingoism, in which love of one's own country becomes so obssessive as to develop into contempt, or worse, for other countries, and a genuine pleasure in one's sense of national identity. It is the latter which I hope this song promotes and celebrates. I only wish I could let you hear the music! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-07-06 03:51:29
Re: Scotland
It made me think of "Land of the mountain and the flood" by Hamish McCunn.
My daughter lives on Arran.
A nice country (oberve my name) lol.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-07-06 09:45:47
Re: Scotland
(Observe)--sorry.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-06 12:42:46
Re: Scotland
Land of the Mountain and The Flood - nice piece of music. Arran is lovely. I've only been there once and a long time ago but I was impressed

Many thanks for reading and commenting Gerry. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

riggy on 2004-07-08 18:05:33
Re: Scotland
Brilliant! Rousing, stirring and anthemic. Loved it! thank you. 🙂
P.S You may or may not have guessed...I'm Scottish too. 🙂



Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-09 11:48:18
Re: Scotland
Many thanks Riggy! I had an inkling you might be a fellow Scot and the "runrigforever" was a nudge in that direction too. Glad you liked this; I only wish I could post the tune I have written too. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Wrybod on 2004-10-23 15:00:55
Re: Scotland
Elf'

I write not as Wrybod but as Robert Gordon Mackay

One of the many removed by more than one generation from Scotland
I'm able to trace back to "the clearances" but not beyond. I actually went up to The Mackay country to find the grave of my great great great grandfather in a tiny church yard overlooking the Kyle of Tongue. Of some 50-60 graves only two (a Gunn and another) were not Mackays. On so many tombstones the wives names were taken from male stems...Andrewsina, Thomasina. Josephina...
it was impossible to be certain which one I was looking for........
But my heart was stirred.It was only the onset of evening (23:00 hrs it was June) that took me back to the car
Since then I've been reading up a lot of Scottish history (I suppose this is typical of exiled Scots the world over and rather sentimental) but I'd rather have it than be otherwise.

I'm coming to like you work and will be reading a lot more so I just wanted you to know. Hope you don't mind.

bob

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-10-23 17:14:09
Re: Scotland
Glory be! this is even more of a surprise - its three and a half months since this one was posted - but a delightful one. It is one of the strengths of this site that people can 'prowl about' as it were looking for things they have missed.

I spent a couple of nights in the Youth Hostel in Tongue about 10 years ago and I've done a couple of day trips around the area since, showing it off to visitors. It is a lovely part of the world.
Tracing family pre-Clearances can be difficult, I suppose because there was such a huge movement of the population then and record keeping may well have broken down in many rural areas. As you say it isn't helped by the clan name being the same for many/most of the graves in a cemetary. I can very well understand you having unaccustomed, and possibly strong, feelings standing there - perhaps a long way from your present home (?) and yet maybe with that feeling of having come home, in some important but hard to define sense.

I'm glad you enjoyed my song - I just wish I could let people in the site hear it!!

Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


I am; am I? (posted on: 05-07-04)
Written in one of my more introspective moments, I am aware that this is not a "comfortable" poem. I hope some of you may find something worthy in it.

I am; am I? I have no reflection; I am the image Life's mirrors spurn. I am the isolated existence; I have no anchors, No binding force. I am the empty life; A husk of searching Inside a shell of loss. I am in stillness; I live the silence that is The absence of life. I have no warmth; I am that chill which is The absence of feeling. I am survival to no end, That which continues Aimless, unrelenting. I am life without a point; I have no direction; I have no dimension. I am un-noticed. I am blighted. I am desolate. I am; am I? Elfstone 28/4/04
Archived comments for I am; am I?
Jasper on 2004-07-05 06:04:44
Re: I am; am I?
Mutual regards from myself to an ally, with a shared passion of what can never be proffered inside a Cartesian vacuum suggested as matrix. Now I might also suggest Bishop Berkley, but I suspect exposure been already!
When done philosopher!
Respect Jasper

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-07-05 09:16:50
Re: I am; am I?
You have described to me the actual way I feel a lot lately. It is uncomfortable It's also me......Erma

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-07-05 10:06:37
Re: I am; am I?
I think we all experience this kind of surreal feeling at times throughout our lives Elf, I like this, but I prefer your more atmospherical poetry, I enjoy the journeys of the Isles you often take us on.Love Val xx

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-05 13:12:07
Re: I am; am I?
Jasper many thanks for reading and commenting. Your phrase "inside a Cartesian vacuum suggested as matrix" has lost me I'm afraid (I'm not the brightest button in the box!) and I've never heard of Bishop Berkley. Nevertheless - I appreciate you taking the time to respond. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-05 13:16:20
Re: I am; am I?
Erma thank you for commenting. I was aware that this poem was not 'easy reading'. I extend my sympathy if this does reflect your feelings. I can only hope that being aware that others feel very similar things at times will be of some comfort. I wish I could offer you more in terms of "there is a happy ending", but sadly that's beyond me. I sincerely hope that your situation improves soon. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-05 13:20:38
Re: I am; am I?
Val, as ever my sincere thanks for reading and commenting. I realise that my "Scotland is beautiful" poetry (is that too trite?!?) is easier on the ear/eye/mind, but as I've said before I don't decide on a subject for a poem; it is just there in my mind all of a sudden. Writing this type can be therapeutic too which has to be a good thing I think.

(PS have you read my other submission today - 'Scotland' - it might be more to your liking.) Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-05 13:24:42
Re: I am; am I?
Trevor you have such insight. I'm sure that is why your own poetry is always of such a high standard and thought provoking in the best way.

"Even depression is better than meaninglessness feelings, being at least a relationship."

hmmm, I'm going to go away and chew that one over!! 🙂 My grateful thanks for your thoughts - as always very useful. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-07-05 13:31:50
Re: I am; am I?
This is so honest it hurts...many people go there and come back...L x

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-05 13:49:40
Re: I am; am I?
Leila your comments have struck a chord with me: poetry is a way of saying things that I have never been able to say in conversation. Poetry is at times soul-searingly honest and I think that is probably why it can be so rewarding, draining, painful and exhilerating to write. Thanks for reading this and leaving a comment. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

mysticdawn on 2004-07-05 19:35:48
Re: I am; am I?
Hi Elfstone,
This is a truly honest write, brilliantly expressing that empty place that many, including myself, sometimes find ourselves,

regards

Mystic


Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-06 12:46:19
Re: I am; am I?
Honest - yes I hope so and painful too - see my reply to Leila above.

Many thanks for commenting Mystic - your praise is touching. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-06 12:48:07
Re: I am; am I?
Jasper I've just had an email from UKA telling me that you have made this a 'Hot Story'. Very many thanks - I am most chuffed! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-07-06 14:01:06
Re: I am; am I?
I think it has all been said--many will relate to this sadly.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-07-06 14:04:32
Re: I am; am I?
Hi elf. Yes, this is certainly introspective, but what the hell. Poetry is itself introspective, and writing is an act of introspection, and also an act of catharsis. Better out than in, as they say. here is a buddhist meditation which encourages people to reflect on all the connections that there are in one's life, how so many people are connected to each of us in so many ways, that we often don't appreciate. Then I do wonder about your choice of words 'no end' 'aimless' etc.I think, wquite hoinestly, so what? so what if life is, if everyone;s life is, to some extent, aimless? Why shouldn't it be? who says meaning is any great shakes? why are we conditoined to think it is? Woops, sorry, rambling. Meaning, I think, is what you create for yourself, simply by living your life. Anyway, you expressed in so few words the angst that is so often felt, thise introspective moments when we wonder why we're here, what it all means, etc etc. Perosnallly I just don't think those are questiions worth asking, worth spending time over; because it just makes for unhappiness, because there are no answers. I liked it, it was brutal in its honesty, full of feeling, and left an open ended question at the end. The answer to which is, I would think, no, you're not.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-06 14:34:50
Re: I am; am I?
Thanks Gerry - I'm grateful to you for taking the time to comment. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Sabrina on 2004-07-06 14:51:31
Re: I am; am I?
I actually enjoy feeling this way on melancholic occasions, when life is shades of lavenders and greys and I need to slit open the phoney outer layer that I proffer to people all week long. Emptiness can be a good feeling, drifting aimlessly, heavy sigh, no end (except if it's laundry) can sometimes feel bigger and more wide open in my head than "deadlines" "goals" "projected aims". But more than this, I love the way you have shaped all these feelings into a poem that acts like a universal cry for the downtrodden and tired at heart. I got on your little rocket ship of woe and had an enjoyable flight, thank you!

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-06 14:57:10
Re: I am; am I?
Many thanks for this very interesting response skeeter. I had no idea that this was Buddhist in any way, but then I rarely have any idea what my poems are about while I'm writing them and even less idea how others will read them. It constantly astonishes me the way people here respond to what I have written.

As to your comment "Meaning, I think, is what you create for yourself, simply by living your life." I'm no good at discussing/arguing philosophy or metaphysics, but I think I disagree with that. Much of what we are, what we become, is dictated by other people who give is our life experiences, good or bad. So if you like, meaning is largely influenced by external factors over which we have no real control. Up-bringing plays an enormous part in that and we none of us have any choice in our up-bringing.

I'm not at all sure what your 'answer' to my 'question' means. Another way of putting the last line would be "I exist; do I exist?" Is your answer saying that I don't? Hmmmmmmm.

Anyway I am very grateful for you taking the time to post this. Elfstone

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-06 15:00:46
Re: I am; am I?
PS Skeeter. You might like to read my poem "In the Beginning" if you haven't already done. It is another view of lack of control, helplessness, malign external influences and the power of up-bringing. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-06 15:11:34
Re: I am; am I?
Sabrina thanks very much for your response. I'm pleased that you enjoyed this poem and your interpretation of it is interesting. I understand completely what you say about the need for, and pleasure in, what I would call 'slack time', away from the rigours of work; having time to do whatever takes your fancy with out having to answer to bosses, colleagues and so on. Having just been through a fairly dreadful two months at work I'm doing eactly that right now and it is very refreshing. This poem was not about that. It is about something deeper and more lasting underpinning everything else. I didn't see this as shades of lavenders and greys [I think I could cope with lavenders and greys 🙂 ] this was, for me, deepest black. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Sabrina on 2004-07-06 15:45:23
Re: I am; am I?
"do whatever takes your fancy without having to answer to bossess..." Actually, I meant more "I am nothing, I am worth nothing, therefore I can just "be", after trying to pretend in front of concerned citizens" I left the blackness behind, but it still swirls around my ankles every now and again. It consumed my Aunt and last week she stood with her head held high in front of a train. Finally at peace. No condolences necessary, we bury our dead in secret, nobody cries. You are correct when you say that we are the sum of our experiences and what people do to us. I cannot summon the energy to be angry anymore so I surrender. I am nothing, so everything can pass through me and I can even squeeze something enjoyable out of it, even if it is macabre. You do not realize how victorious and triumphant the words to this poem are to me. My cousin, my Aunt's son, would enjoy them immensely but he is now a nonhuman (he would like that appellation)but he is still capable of blinding anger. You would never recognize the bubbly innocent energetic little boy in the hollow eyes and vacant mask of his now self. He lives in the deepest black. I have only visited there. I regret the flippant tone of my first comment as the boldness of your poem deserved honesty. The place it calls from has an address that is difficult to locate but once found can attach to and suck dry a human soul.

Author's Reply:

shangri-la on 2004-07-07 06:25:34
Re: I am; am I?
It may not be a 'comfortable' subject but I think pieces like this offer comfort to those who feel like this in the knowledge that they are not alone.You have written the honest truth, baring your soul - I congratulate you on managing to do this so eloquently, I find it very difficult to write when I'm in this mind set. An excellent, well thought out piece and very thought provoking.

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-07-07 08:29:37
Re: I am; am I?
Hi elfstone: I think I probably misunderstood the last line. I took it to be a rhetorical reply to the previous three lines, so i thought you were saying: 'I am pointless, without meaning....am I not?' So my reply meant to say, no I don't believe you or your life is pointless, without meaning, etc. Hope that clears it up. And I WILL look at 'In the Beginning'.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-07 11:22:09
Re: I am; am I?
Thank you for your kind comments Shangri-la. If people have taken comfort from this then I am well satisfied. I find writing in this mind-set can be relatively easy and therapeutic; it is writing 'happy' poems that I find hard, but we're all different, [thank goodness!! 🙂 ] Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-07 17:09:12
Re: I am; am I?
Goodness me, I certainly didn't think you were being flippant - just interpreting my poem in a different and interesting way. It seems you have not had your sorrows to seek recently, but as you prefer no condolences I will respect your wishes and offer none. I hope you can accept my honest sympathy though.

"You do not realize how victorious and triumphant the words to this poem are to me." I can only say that I felt no triumph, no victory writing this, but I am happy to accept that that is your interpretation, and I am delighed that you (and several others it seems) have seen something of value in this poem.

Sabrina I also have to thank you very much for making this a Hot Story - I've just had an email from UKA telling me. I am honoured! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-07-11 01:14:20
Re: I am; am I?
I liked this poem very much, especially this stanza:

I am the empty life;
A husk of searching
Inside a shell of loss.



Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-11 04:49:55
Re: I am; am I?
Silent, I always value your comments - thank you for this. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-09-20 18:32:09
Re: I am; am I?
How can you say so much with so few words, Elfstone, such deeply identifiable meaning here, which goes far beying the surface read. I like the short lined layout...more atmospheric about the wondering in this fabulous piece, Zydha

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-09-21 14:18:47
Re: I am; am I?
Hi,Zy! I had not expected any more comments on this one although the read count does keep creeping up. I have to confess I was very surprised at the response to this - one of my bleakest poems and yet it has had more reads, comments and ratings than any of the others. I'm chuffed of course, but a bit mystified. Many thanks for stopping by here and for such a lovely comment - you know I value your opinion. 🙂 Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


The Night the Music Died (posted on: 28-06-04)
My first attempt at a short story (I have been a poetry person so far).

She cried herself to sleep that night, not that anyone knew. One of the disadvantages of living alone - there was never anyone there to see or care about her distress. She had gone through the motions of a normal Friday evening - there was no swimming club because of the problems with the hot water system at the pool, but she had gone to the gym and trudged through her usual workout, even though her heart wasn't in it. Physical exercise usually worked as a good anti-stress treatment, very important in her job. Striding out on the treadmill her body would go into autopilot mode and her mind simply emptied. Something about the repetitive rhythmic movement prevented thinking and it was usually a cleansing, relaxing experience. This time the twisting, churning thoughts wouldn't go away.

She had often thought - and it came back to her now - that a private sorrow in a public place is a strange thing: there was such a dichotomy between the inner turmoil and the outward calm. All these others were going about their workouts oblivious to the misery she hid inside and boy! was she good at hiding misery! She had been brought up to hide and not just misery. She had been well and truly taught that feelings were not for public display. So she sat on the exercise bike pedalling away mechanically and suffered silently.

Her mind was lost in memories of rehearsals and concerts. Twelve years the Orchestra had been in her life. It was her baby; she had set it up, nurtured it, run it, conducted it, composed and arranged music for it. It was open to any pupil who was prepared to travel to the rehearsals on Tuesday nights and for most of its life all the Secondary schools in the county were represented along with several of the Primaries. In the beginning it was a small group, about thirty or so players, but it had grown and at its biggest, 75 players had performed at the annual concert. Over the years many of the kids had moved on to the Senior Orchestra and although she always felt a bit peeved at the loss of her best players, it was good to think that the training they had gained in her Orchestra had played its part in preparing them for that step up. Anyway there were always new young players ready to join and start the cycle all over again.

As she moved from the bike to the treadmill and started striding out, images of individual players came to her . There had been too many to remember them all, too many to count in fact. She really had no idea how many kids had been part of the orchestra over the years, but some individuals stood out. What was it about french horn players? They were always characters and the memory almost raised a smile. Her own finest pupil had been one such. Unusually he had stayed with the orchestra when he passed the audition for the Senior one and his presence in the back row allowed a kind of banter at rehearsals that taught the younger players much. Nothing to do with music of course, but then, orchestras - especially children's ones - are not just about music.

Power walking at 4.5 miles per hour did nothing to wipe away the hurt. The sense of loss simply would not abate. The Orchestra had gone through a bad patch in the past year or so. Difficulties in a couple of the schools meant that the supply of string players from those schools had almost dried up. It was one of those situations over which she had no control or even influence, but which affected the orchestra badly. It had caused her much heart ache to see her Orchestra so impoverished, but a small group had kept going and she had always believed that the Orchestra would rebuild itself when the string situation was sorted out. That now seemed to be happening. Not that it would be a quick process; the damage done would, she knew, take anything up to 5 years to repair. Learning to play an instrument was not a quick process, a fact which caused problems from time to time in this world where everything is expected to be instant. However she knew that the Orchestra would recover, or thought she did, until this afternoon.

She had only started using the elliptical trainer two or three weeks ago and it was very hard work. Sweat poured down her face as it always did when she was exercising hard. Briefly she wondered if the sweat would disguise tears but dismissed the idea. In any case tears wouldn't make a blind bit of difference. She could cry but then when she stopped crying things would be exactly the same; nothing would have changed; she would still be facing the end of her Orchestra. The blow had come out of the blue. The season had started well with good numbers of woodwind and especially brass and, inevitably, a very small number of strings. So long as she kept them interested and enjoying rehearsals the group was viable and it was the kernel from which the orchestra would grow back to what it had once been. The string situation in the schools affected had been resolved and, although it would be a slow process, numbers would now increase. The group as it stood, full of young and inexperienced players, was making a surprisingly good sound. So things were looking up. When the brass instructor came into her classroom that afternoon she had no inkling of what was about to hit her. The instructor's decision to withdraw all the brass players from the orchestra, to set up a brass band on Monday nights, with an instructor from a neighbouring school, was completely unexpected. The implications were however immediately obvious to her, and truly drastic. Pupils could not be expected to come out to rehearse on two nights each week; that just wouldn't happen and with none of the brass players there on Tuesdays, what was left was not a viable group; too few in number and too odd a combination of instruments. The Orchestra was finished.

The water in the shower was never as hot as she liked and anyway she would have given anything for a deep hot bath. Showers were just for getting clean. There was something comforting about baths and she desperately needed comforting. The instructor knew that the move to a Monday night brass band would signal the end of the Orchestra, was very apologetic, but quite determined. The decision had been made and she could see that the instructor was clearly not going to go back on it. She was completely stunned as she grappled with that dreadful wash of unavoidability, that compulsion to deny what had happened, that feeling of wanting to go back 5 minutes just so that it wouldn't have happened, that sickening certainty that it had happened and could not be undone. She had actually said very little as the news sank in, her standard response to anything very painful: say nothing, curl up inside, go away and hide, shut the door, weep in private. ''Go to your room and don't come out until you've mended your face'', she could hear either - both - of her parents saying to any hint of tears in her much younger self. ''No one wants to know you when you're unhappy,'' she remembered an ex-boyfriend saying once. So she just sat there almost completely mute as the instructor ''left her to think about it''. What she wanted to do was shout at the departing figure, ''Think about it? What is there to think about? You're killing my orchestra!! It hurts!! Pain doesn't need thought!'', but she had long since learned that no one gave a damn about her hurting. If the truth be told, no one else would care a twopenny toss about the Orchestra being disbanded either. She doubted if anyone would even notice, aside from the kids themselves for a short while. People nowadays availed themselves of what was on offer and when it was no longer there, simply forgot about it and moved on to something else. Maybe it had always been so, but it seemed to her that, more and more, our throwaway society affected not just polythene bags and tin cans.

Trudging round Tesco she found herself buying foods she wouldn't normally touch, without really thinking about it - and all of them bad for her weight problem. Just then a healthy diet wasn't in her thoughts. What was going through her mind was what on earth she would say to the kids the next time she saw them; how best to deal with the painful business of explaining to them what was happening. The instructor wanted ''no resentment'', to maintain their ''good professional relationship'' and she knew inspite of her pain that she would do exactly that - be professional. She would smile through her gritted teeth; she would be polite and calm and reasonable. That was what people had come to expect of her. She was a passed master at the swan syndrome - not in the sense of being beautiful, she was never that, but in the sense of seeming serene, unruffled on the surface, coping with anything that was flung at her. Underneath, out of sight, the webbed feet of her emotions were paddling frantically . She knew she would stand in front of her players and make some nonsense speech about it being for the best; some waffle about possibly restarting the Orchestra at some unspecified point in the future. She knew full well that that would never happen, especially if the brass band was successful, but couldn't be that open, that blunt with the kids; professionalism would win, as it always did, at the expense of honesty.

As she paid for her shopping it occurred to her that there was also the whole business of winding up the accounts to sort out . The orchestra had its own bank account. The Friends of the Orchestra - parents of the players - had been very supportive over the years taking care of the 'Kit Kat' break in each rehearsal and much of the administration surrounding the annual concert. They had managed to accrue a few hundred pounds over the years and now there was the very difficult question of what to do with that money. Putting it into her 'retirement fund' was not an option! Then again there were the many sets of music and several boxes full of the special music stands and Concert folders with the Orchestra's logo on the front which, for all but one night of the year, gathered dust on the shelves in her department. What was she to do with them?

She drove home with the dull, heaviness of inevitability hammering at her. It had happened; it wouldn't, couldn't un-happen. Eating all the comfort foods she had bought brought her no comfort at all - her Orchestra was folding and food didn't take the edge off the hurt. Self recrimination cut in, as ever, and she began to try to find something she should have done differently, a way she could have avoided this. Eventually the pointlessness of the exercise did manage to get through her confusion and she made an effort to drag her thoughts on to a happier plane. Could she phone someone? What for? - to talk about trivialities? - she knew she just couldn't indulge in small talk tonight; or to tell what had happened and then be told she would get over it? She had been told that more often than most people had hot dinners. It was something that people said - said ostensibly to provide comfort, she knew, but it seemed to her that it was said more for the comfort of the people saying it than the listeners. What people don't understand of others' feelings they find embarrassing and, being embarrassed, they want a way out. ''You'll get over it'', was almost always said as the precurser to a change of subject. In a way it was true of course, life goes on, but she had come to believe that we never 'get over' anything - we just learn to ignore the bad things that happen to us. Time may well be a great healer, al la the clich, but it doesn't remove the scars. Nothing does.

Unusually, she switched on the TV without knowing what was on - she was normally very choosy about what she watched. In fact she wasn't really watching it. Her eyes were vaguely focused on the screen but nothing much was registering on her. One glass of red wine on a Friday night was normal, sometimes she had two. The third glass from which she was now sipping was fairly exceptional and part of her knew it wasn't really helping. Her intellect told her that alcohol is a depressant but the rest of her didn't care. Is this how people become alcoholics - they hurt too much and stop caring? She also knew that it was a muscle relaxant and hoped it might unwind her enough to let her sleep. Sleep wouldn't change anything either, but it would be an escape, for a while, from the relentless grinding of her mind.

Somewhere in the middle of a programme about Hitler, - or was it garden makeovers? - tears started to flow without any warning. She sat there, alone, in her sitting room weeping. The tears flowed and flowed and went on flowing. Her weeping was almost silent, just hot bitter tears flooding down her face. All the failures of her life - and there had been many - seemed to parade themselves before her, chewing on her vulnerability; a brutal reproach for lack of achievement; a cruel litany of wasted time and effort; a mocking, heartless pageant of all the might-have-beens that normally lay hidden, cluttered behind the closed doors of her life.

She wept, knowing that it would change nothing. She wept in grief and a mourning that no one would understand. She wept for the certainty that no one knew she wept. She wept, knowing that anyone who did know would only be surprised or puzzled or embarrassed, or all three. She wept, knowing that things would be as just sore when she eventually stopped weeping. She wept in helplessness and hopelessness. She wept for the death of her Orchestra.

She cried herself to sleep that night.

Elfstone 27/6/04
Archived comments for The Night the Music Died
Elfstone on 2004-06-30 13:19:41
Re: The Night the Music Died
Dear me! the silence is deafening; a vote of no confidence I think. Oh well, I'd better stick to poetry. :-(( Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-06-30 14:43:12
Re: The Night the Music Died
Hi Elfstone this is the kind of story that I can get lost in, getting caught up in the emotions of the character. She obviously leads a very structured life and the Orchestra has become so hugely important as you say her 'baby', a telling line. I think the story unfolds well as she moves around the gym and the last paragraph is excellent. I think i would cut out the first line and start with...one of the disadvantages .... reason being you end with the weeping. Also don't know if we need a sentence with a reason why a brass orchestra is being established ?? as there are funds built up for the current orchestra. You get across very well of how alone she feels. Sorry this is probably not the type of comments you were hoping for but being a poet it's the best I can do...L x

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2004-06-30 14:57:15
Re: The Night the Music Died
Hi Elfstone. Just to say I enjoyed your story very much. I felt the depair and desolation at the end. I think we've all reached that point that she reached at the end of the story - for all sorts of different reasons for us getting to that point. I think that poetry will always get more comments and hits than short stories simply because of the amount of time people have to read 'x' number of words. I often struggle for time to stay seated long enough to read and comment on a piece of 2.5k+ words, whereas I can probably read and comment on 2/3 poems in the same timescale. Don't despair and keep writing short stories - this is one of the best I've read on this site - you moved me greatly with it.

Now then, bonnie weeee lassie. How are your Scottish anthology poems going? Wait 'till you see my one called 'The Highlander' - it's an old one of mine which (I think) I've been able to improve a lot. I reckon that only an Anglo/Irishman with a Scottish soul could have written a poem like it. Take care now Elfstone. Catch you later.

Roamin' in the gloamin' wi' a lassie by my side...

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-06-30 16:19:32
Re: The Night the Music Died
Ahhhh Leila this is exactly what I was hoping for - and had given up hope of getting - someone telling me what is right or wrong about the story. I have a little confidence with regard to my poetry, but none about story telling. I'll go back and look at the thing with your comments in mind and perhaps rewrite. I am so grateful to you for taking the time to read and especially for commenting. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-06-30 16:31:28
Re: The Night the Music Died
Shacks I am so grateful for you comments and of course you are right to chide me gently about the time factor! I myself was out of this site for nearly a month due to pressure of work and have only started reading again in the last week. I realise that it is a big commitment reading this number of words and I am very grateful to those who do.
I suppose I was just feeling very vulnerable about this, as it is my first attempt at anything other than poetry and as all my poems (so far!) have received comments - and mostly favourable - I thought the silence here over the last 3 days meant the story was no good. You and Leila have cheered me up no end!! :-)) I am delighted that you saw something good in the tale.

I have e-mailed 5 poems to Ruadh and await further instructions!! When do I get to read 'The Highlander'?

Lang mae yer lum reek, Shacks and thank you. Elfstone.


Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2004-06-30 16:56:49
Re: The Night the Music Died
Hi Elfstone. I really meant it when I said that it was one of the best stories I'd read on UKAuthors.

Great that you've already sent your poems to Ailsa. I'm on the verge of sending mine - I just can't stop twiddling with them at the moment because I'm desperate to get them as good as I can get them. I'm submitting 5 poems and 4 have a definite Scottish theme.

My old mum is looking forward to hopefully seeing my 'Scottish' poems in print because she has a strong memory of her grandad, the wild Scotsman who came on a mission south of the border all those years ago.

Fingers crossed that we are both able to get our poems published in this anthology. I look forward to seeing yours.

If you don't mind, I'd love to email you my poem 'The Highlander' before I submit it to Ailsa. I'd be greatful for your considered opinion. I rate you highly as an honest, knowledgeable critic of poetry and I'd value your comments. This poem is perhaps one of my most meaningful poems from the point of view of the race-memory of my soul, that I have ever written.

Take care now Elfstone.
Catch you later.


Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-06-30 17:18:50
Re: The Night the Music Died
I'd be honoured to receive it! I'm at my leisure tomorrow evening, if you can get it to me by then. Elf.

Author's Reply:


An Uaigh (posted on: 28-05-04)
This was inspired by a memory from late childhood; strange things happen in this world and over there life was more subtle and other-wordly anyway.

An Uaigh


She turned from the lighthouse,
Leaving the Shiant Isles fading
Into the raw, grey, sea-shrouded distance.
Sloshing through the peat bog,
Thoughts of a hot bath and a warm fire
Fighting the biting cold of the dying autumn.


The two men startled her,
Behind the rise on the empty moor
With only the keening wind for company.
They saw her walking,
Nodded, and kept on digging,
Silence ebbing into bitter silence.
The stone looked new;
She glanced at the name but,
Hearing the awkwardness of grief,
She kept on walking.


The bath and the fire and the dram in her hand,
The food and the kinship and the glowing peats.
Why is the grave there?
She asked, remembering.
A description, the name on the stone,
Her words made light
By warmth and comfort.


Her grandfather's face
A bleakness, turned to the fire.
A long, shivering silence,
Remembering
A grave being dug
For a woman
Forty years dead.


Elfstone 4/5/03

Archived comments for An Uaigh
Gerry on 2004-05-28 13:56:15
Re: An Uaigh
Liked, and understood.
Nicely done.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-05-28 15:55:32
Re: An Uaigh
Otherworldly indeed, you have a gift for creating that kind of atmoshere Elf I found this a very haunting poem. Love Val xx

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-28 17:19:43
Re: An Uaigh
Thanks for reading and for leaving a comment Gerry! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-28 17:21:41
Re: An Uaigh
As always, my grateful thanks Val. That place has such a special atmosphere and if I've managed to convey some of it, I'm very pleased. Elf.

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-05-29 09:47:52
Re: An Uaigh
This sounds like a plot to an old movie kinda erie and scary. I like it it's very descriptive makes me want to see this place.....Erma

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-29 10:24:19
Re: An Uaigh
There were things experienced over there which were I suppose eerie, certainly inexplicable by our current understanding of science. The moor in certain lights and weather conditions can be very atmospheric. Perhaps you will see it some day - - -? Thanks for commenting Erma. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-05-29 13:08:38
Re: An Uaigh
I love this kind of poem and you do it so well. Wonderfully atmospheric...L

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-29 13:59:12
Re: An Uaigh
Many thanks for taking the time to comment G. Your thoughts on my work are always illuminating. I can give no hard and fast explanation to this. I am the "she" who walked out to the lighthouse and back on a cold Autumn day - I have done that many a time - and the rest is drawn from things I was told in childhood of actual events. I can give you no explanation for the event, nor could the relatives who related it.
In another instance my father as a young lad experienced a different inexplicable happening,(which might become another poem) and he was a quiet, modest man, not given to flights of fancy or sensationalism. I also had a great Aunt, until recently, who had the Second Sight. Some things just cannot be explained. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-29 14:00:22
Re: An Uaigh
Leila your priase is very touching. Thankyou for reading and for your kind comments. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

chrissie on 2004-05-29 15:34:13
Re: An Uaigh
this is very deftly written. sent a shiver down my spine at the end. you paint a very vivid and intense picture, particularly of the nodding grave-diggers. would make a superb short tv drama - very edgar allan poe. thanks for - brrrrrr!! - sharing.

chrissieX

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-29 17:09:07
Re: An Uaigh
Many thanks Chrissie. Maybe some day I'll turn it into a script! Hope you've stopped shivering 🙂 Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

gouri on 2004-05-30 12:56:26
Re: An Uaigh
There is the eerie atmosphere and you have done justice to your creation.

Nice one.

Gouri.

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2004-05-30 13:11:05
Re: An Uaigh
I wish I'd read this at night rather than on a Sunny Sunday afternoon. I agree with everyone here, 'Atmospheric' is the word. I've read it a few times now and drawn different conclusions for each reading. I guess that's no bad thing.

s
u
n
k

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-31 16:38:46
Re: An Uaigh
Thank you Gouri. It is good of you to comment. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-31 16:40:22
Re: An Uaigh
Sunk, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. You're right, different conclusions are fine! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

riggy on 2004-07-08 18:09:46
Re: An Uaigh
I have just found this, Elfstone, it is wonderful. I was totally captured from the first words. I've been away from this site for a wee while so I have a bit of catching up to do, you make it worthwhile. Thank you so much.


Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-09 11:45:10
Re: An Uaigh
I was surprised to get that e-mail telling me that this poem had been "visited" once more as it's a while since it was posted. I'm delighted that you enjoyed reading it. Thank you for commenting. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Losgaintir (posted on: 10-05-04)
The graveyard in Losgaintir (Luskentyre) is where my family are buried.
I wrote this the day after my dearly loved uncle's funeral there.

Losgaintir

How can it be that this is
A day of such sorrow?
The sky is an endless blue;
The sea like emeralds melting into saphires;
The air so fresh, so clean
The land seems to breathe it.
The day should laugh with the beauty of it.


Sun upon sun upon sun mocks the winter cold.
The machair tingles with the taste of spring.
Where the mountains dream into the sea
The far distance shimmers with blinding clarity.


How can it be that this is
A day of such loveliness?
The mind is an endless grey;
The misery like dullness melting into numbness;
The grief so fresh, so clean
The heart seems to breathe it.
The day should weep with the anguish of it.


Here at the end of the land is the end of life,
And the weeping of tears.
Here at the end of the road is a loss and a desolation,
And the weeping of tears.
Here at the end of the journey is a grave and a stone,
And the weeping of tears.


How can it be that this is
A day of such parting?
The heritage is an endless remembering;
The ties like kinship melting into friendship;
The bond so fresh, so clean
The soul seems to breathe it.
The day should hold to the yearning of it.


And I will return,
And I will return again,
And I will stand at the end of the land
On the edge of forever.



Elfstone (25/02/03)
Archived comments for Losgaintir
davver on 2004-05-10 14:21:03
Re: Losgaintir
It's the irony that graveyards are so often in such beautiful places. And then you have the indifference of the weather to your inner grief. I enjoyed reading this.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-10 15:18:23
Re: Losgaintir
Many thanks for your comments Davver. This particular graveyard has to have one of the most beautiful settings of any graveyard anywhere in the world. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2004-05-10 15:46:46
Re: Losgaintir
Good poem Elfstone. I can sense your anguish. It seems unthinkable that sad and awful things can happen on beautiful days and in beautiful settings - but sorrow is no respecter of beauty. I liked the format and structure of this one. Hold on tight Elfstone. Take care.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-10 16:18:06
Re: Losgaintir
Many thanks Shcaks. It was the most beautiful of days in a part of the world where stunning beauty is almost commonplace, and yet, and yet . . . .

This is perhaps one for the Scottish anthology?
Thanks for commenting. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-05-10 16:29:57
Re: Losgaintir
I enjoyed this, it has some good lines and sentiments. Personally, I think it would be better without the last stanza. More implied than stated, sort of thing.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-10 16:56:23
Re: Losgaintir
Many thanks for reading and commenting Skeeter.

I can't possibly begin to explain this properly - you'd have to understand me, my life, my family, my heritage - but the last stanza is in some important way the crux of the poem, or what the poem is about anyway, if that makes any sense!?! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-05-10 17:07:38
Re: Losgaintir
A moving and powerful poem and I enjoyed the repetition of certain lines that added to the power in my opinion. You might like to look at the spelling of sapphires. Cheers now...L

Author's Reply:

Kazzmoss on 2004-05-11 06:59:37
Re: Losgaintir
I really loved this and can imagine the way it felt through your words. There are some lovely lines in it, for instance, I really like: The ties like kinship melting into friendship - something about it has a keen ring of truth. I liked the last stanza, it said a lot about the edge of the future always starting here.


Author's Reply:

shangri-la on 2004-05-11 11:37:55
Re: Losgaintir
I think you captured beauty, sorrow and a sense of history very eloquently in this piece - there's also a sense of freshness and deep calmness about it - a reflective quality. There are many beautiful lines in this...

The machair tingles with the taste of spring.
Where the mountains dream into the sea
The far distance shimmers with blinding clarity.

The heritage is an endless remembering;
The ties like kinship melting into friendship;
The bond so fresh, so clean
The soul seems to breathe it.

Beautiful...

The repetitve lines in this worked very well and the ending sent shivers up my spine, I loved every bit of this poem.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-05-11 13:00:47
Re: Losgaintir
Elf. this is so beautiful, it took my breath away. I could sense your grief and I grieved with you, I could see the beauty of the day as it mocked you,I could feel your love for your uncle and for the land and the sea, you have such a beautiful way with words. Love Val xx

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-11 16:05:24
Re: Losgaintir
Very many thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Leila. I'm glad you liked this. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-11 16:07:13
Re: Losgaintir
Thankyou Kazzmoss. This poem is special for me and it has taken me this long to get round to posting it on any site. I'm touched by your response. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-11 16:13:46
Re: Losgaintir
Bradeen thanks for such a lovely comment. I did grieve terribly that day (and after) - he was the last of my father's generation on the island, which made losing him suddenly all the worse. I was very uncertain about posting this - felt I was too 'close' to it to decide if it was a good poem. I'm very pleased that others seem to see something worthwhile in it.

I had an e-mail tonight saying that you have made it a Hot Story and me a Hot Author (!!!!!!!!!!) - I'm both chuffed and humbled by the accolade. Thank you very much. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-11 16:16:30
Re: Losgaintir
shangri-la, I am moved by your comments. Thankyou so much for writing about my poem so eloquently. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-05-11 16:29:26
Re: Losgaintir
This is a beautiful poem. You have found a way to use words and phrases that is both very descriptive and moving. Your grief at the loss of the much loved person is evident and yet you can still praise the beauty of the place.
Very moving, very well written.
Sorry for your loss.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Omma_Velada on 2004-05-12 08:48:57
Re: Losgaintir
This powerful poem perfectly evokes the depth of grief. I found the final stanza, with its italicised emphasis especially potent. So sorry for your loss.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-12 12:31:40
Re: Losgaintir
Very many thanks for your kind comments Chrissy. As I said above to Bradene it is some time since I wrote this (my uncle died over a year ago), but because it is so potent for me I was still uncertain about posting it. Its is good to have it so well received. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-12 12:33:36
Re: Losgaintir
Omma your comments are very much appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read and post. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

richa on 2004-05-13 04:28:20
Re: Losgaintir
I really enjoyed reading this. It captured so many emotions. Your writing is visual, and I felt I was there, watching. Loved the use of repitions and rhymes.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-13 15:14:15
Re: Losgaintir
Thank you very much richa. I'm very pleased that you enjoyed it. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2004-05-13 21:43:24
Re: Losgaintir
Elfstone,

A most enjoyable work, this. I especially liked this line:

The grief so fresh, so clean
The heart seems to breathe it.
The day should weep with the anguish of it.'

Stunning! The clarity is dynamic! This one has my vote!

Cheers,
Adele....:-)

'

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-14 11:37:24
Re: Losgaintir
Very many thanks deepoceanfish! I'm very grateful for your comments. I also got a couple of e-mails from UKA saying that you had made this a favourite and me a hot author - I am truly honoured! Thankyou very much. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Croick (posted on: 30-04-04)
In some ways this is still relevant - unfortunately this sort of thing is stilll happening all over the world.

Croick

It was the worst time of the year too;
In the summer we might have borne it better,
But they chose to wait till
Winter had a good grip
And the Factor and his men a better one.

The burning it was that finished us
With the bairns screaming and
The cailleachs wailing like banshees.
The thatch went up like a torch and nothing to stop it.
The memory scorches me:
Standing in the snow clutching the youngest
While our glen went up in smoke
And the anger burned in us.

The factor and his cronies
- heartless to the last man of them -
Showed no mercy.
If there's Justice beyond,
They'll roast in a fire of their own making.

We took what we could from
The ruins of our lives
- precious little we'd had and
Even less left in the ashes.
In our sore need we turned to the kirk.
Sad and weary was the walk to Croick
And what welcome did we find there?
- a locked door and a stern face,
And the anger burned in us.

We huddled against a snell wind
In the lee of the kirk.
The men put up a shelter of sorts
And we made do
As people must who have nothing.
The dying was of grief as much as cold
And every day a grinding struggle.
And the anger burned in us.

Of the journey here I will say nothing;
Necessity drives a long, hard road.
We made a life of sorts in this strange land,
But still my thoughts turn east
To an empty glen and
An English Duke who sits in splendour
With the stink of burning thatch on his silk clothes.

And the anger burns in me yet.


Elfstone 16/4/04
Archived comments for Croick
ruadh on 2004-04-30 14:15:32
Re: Croick
Liked this Elfstone....some things never change unfortunately

ailsa

Author's Reply:

razorcuts on 2004-04-30 14:26:25
Re: Croick
sorry elf but this anglo hatred went out with nelson's eye and to hear it still being regurgatated makes me recoil. it happened, let it drop. it's this sort of voice that incites old hatred's. what is this meant to achieve. it's been done......to death. if the English do something that affects you and yours today, then get back to me but until then, it's history for godsake.

as for the poetry, it's quite good, if you can ignore the anti englishness which is the obvious essence.

well done

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-01 05:39:54
Re: Croick
Good heavens razorcuts, my poem has obviously touched a nerve!! Let me try to work my way through your points.

The easiest to reply to is “What is it meant to achieve” - well on another site we were ‘Challenged” to write a poem about a historical event from the perspective of someone actually there at the time. This was the result. Why did I choose this particular event ? - because it happened just up the road from here in the area around the Kirk at Croick; because it was a series of events which made a very profound impression on this part of the country; because the effects of the Clearances are still with us in subtle ways (the Highlands have never recovered - and probably will never recover - from the depopulation); because it is “in the family” ( my great-grand parents were part of a whole island community which was “cleared”). All of these factors informed the poem in some way.


Yes it is history, of course - that was the Challenge. Are you suggesting that poems should not be written about history or historical events? - surely not. We should not dwell on history in a mawkish way - I loathe the kailyard sentimentalism which sometimes colours Scotland’s view of itself - but I will defend a country’s right to discuss and analyse its own past. Indeed in Scotland’s case I will defend its right just to know its own history and for the most part we don’t. I studied History in Secondary school up to Higher level and I was taught not one page, nor date, nor event of Scottish history. We studied the Unification of Italy and the Industrial Revolution in the Midlands and the Franco-Prussion war, and heaven knows what else, but not once was my own country’s history mentioned. (Why that was the case is another discussion. ) What I know now I learned from family - particularly my father who was an History graduate and my own reading or watching of documentaries. If you deny a country knowledge of its past you deny it a real sense of its identity. Just as each of us is in a sense the sum of our life experiences, so a country is in some sense the sum of its collective experiences.

There is no anti-Englishness in this poem. As I hinted in the introduction this is a poem about man’s inhumanity to man. Substitute Rwandan, or Bosnian or Serbian or Israeli or Sunni or Shia, or any number of other nationalities/religions; substitute the word “foreign” for the word English and the poem would be as relevant. The woman I ‘became’ in this poem could just as well be standing in a shattered town in Croatia or in the West Bank. The poem was never intended to incite hatred, but to inspire pity for the oppressed, who ever they may be and where ever they are. The 'essence' of this poem, as you put it, is pity.

Clearly my poem has touched a (political?) raw nerve in you and I accept that you are entitled to interpret it as you wish, even if your view is radically different from my own in writing it. You say little about it as a piece of poetry other than that it is “quite good” and I honestly don’t know what to make of the “well done” at the end. Given the rest of what you have written I’m not sure if you are being sarcastic - one of the disadvantages of not having body language and tone of voice to guide us here.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-01 05:41:08
Re: Croick
Many thanks for reading this and for your comments Ailsa. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-05-01 10:12:04
Re: Croick
I have read this before, Elfstone, and the power of your words in this poetic documentation, has left me in awe once again.

That was quite a challenge we had, and we all interpreted a time or event which meant something to ourselves. If you remenber...I went on to write of Dr Martin Luther King, But, this shows your passionate feelings for the history of your surroundings so well, another excellent piece of work, Zydha x

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-05-01 13:01:46
Re: Croick
Hi Elf I will say again what I said before after reading this piece. I am ashamed that I had never heard of the event and I am greatful to you for writing this so that I can find out more about it. It was I who set the challenge, strangely I who am English wrote very sympathetically about Mary Queen of Scotland, one of my favourite characters in history. I thought your answer to razorcuts was a very fair and balanced one and you are right in implying that history still has relevence today, I agree whole heartedly. As to your poem, as usual it is flawless. love Val xx

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-05-01 16:39:02
Re: Croick
Elfstone, I like this because reminders of the past help us to control the future. There can be no doubt that the Scottish nation suffered greatly at the hands of invaders. I enjoyed your account of this period of history. Well written and informative.
A Hot Story for me.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

razorcuts on 2004-05-01 17:01:01
Re: Croick
well elf, i didnt know that what you had written was set as a challenge. mind you it still does'nt hide the theme from me. just as you're proud to be a scots-person, i'm proud to be an englishman and i defend my right to argue against this hollywood style anti english. it grates, i'm sorry but thats what it does to me. my hackles raise. it seems that everyone else can stand up for themselves except us english, its frowned upon and unless you were english in this day and age you would'nt understand. you may point a racist finger at me and i would vehemently point one straight back at you.

as for populace decimation, have you not read of the wars this little country has been involved in. its surprising we have forefathers to descend from! i live now in an area where the civil war tore the english people apart, should i side with a section that fought against brother and father? no, it happened and as i stated we have to stop apologising and get on with it. sadly, scots, irish and the like despise the english for crushing them when, if they could have, they would have done exactly the same, have you not been told of the atrocities that the english inflicted? they were savage times, savagery that we would not recognise today.

i'm sorry but i've re-read your poem and it just does'nt indicate any other race except the english, maybe if you could find a line or two to differentiate or expand, go for it. i know your introduction hinted at a panoramic scenario but it then went along the old footpath.

it is not a political pov i have, i'm an english person who is willing to voice the words we are ashamed to voice, tho its nothing that we should be ashamed of.

i'm not being sarcastic, it was well written, i think.

its just the content i disagree with.

Author's Reply:

razorcuts on 2004-05-01 17:08:54
Re: Croick
' to which the engish were inflicted' apol for typo.

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2004-05-02 01:46:20
Re: Croick
I didn't read this as Scottish, English at all. What it was about was one person's seeking power over others and inflicting cruelty upon them - and how racial, national hatreds are built. As elfstone says (I think) this is happening the world over - from Afghan warlords to South American plantation owners, to the ten-year old bully in the back streets of Bolton to the gangster with his 'territory' and the boss who bullies their staff..... The priest who 'will be obeyed' The teacher's subtle mental cruelty, the social security clarks small ways of demeaning their 'clients', the nurses treating old people...... humanity...

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-02 04:52:31
Re: Croick
Zyha thank you for this. I remember your work on MLK and thinking both 'brave' and 'appropriate'! I always value your critique of my work and I'm grateful for this. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-02 04:57:31
Re: Croick
Val there is absolutely no need to be ashamed - it was a long time ago and nothing to do with anyone now living. Indeed it was just one small event in a huge number of small events which made up the Clearances, probably only known to locals and students of Scottish History. And yes I do believe it has relevance, sadly, in many parts of the world today. Many thanks for reading again and for your comments. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-02 05:14:02
Re: Croick
Dargo very many thanks - a hot story?!!!?!!! I'm most honoured (and very chuffed).

As I said in my reply to razorcuts viewing history in a sentimental - or indeed in a bitter - way is unhealthy, but ignoring it is just as bad and suppressing it, as has happened in various countries over the years, is downright sinister. We need to remind ourselves of the human capacity for doing awful things, in the hope that we can prevent them being done in future. Mind you given all that is going on in the world at the moment that seems to be a vain hope. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-02 05:18:31
Re: Croick
You are right of course e-griff. This incident is a microcosm for the brutallity that is visited upon poor and dispossessed peoples all over the world. I wish there was an easy answer to the problem; I wish that people could treat others with kindness and respect, but I have no idea how we are ever going to bring that about.

Many thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-05-04 05:00:46
Re: Croick
of course the clearances shaped the social landscape of the highlands..they devastated population levels to the extent that it was impossible to recover from.....this poem [though what its doing in the prose most read is a mystery] to me depicts a realistic setting for what it must have been like for these people...one point on all the scottish/ english furore there were many scottish lairds who were even more ruthless in the clearing of the lands to make room for the cheviot black faced sheep.....the greed for money knows no national boundary!

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-05-04 05:12:32
Re: Croick
Very evocative, IMO. Flows beautifully.

All round the world, relevant. Agree with
the point about *not* studying history or
seeing it from a nationalistic perspective.
Not faulting pre-sets of people; faulting those
who oppress anywhere.



Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-04 15:17:28
Re: Croick
Thanks Michel - very grateful for your comments. Glad you approve! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-04 15:20:41
Re: Croick
Many thanks for taking the time to comment Zen. You are right about greed being a huge motivating factor in abuse and suppression of Peoples all over the world.

I didn't realise this was in the Prose section until you mentioned it - very strange!!! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Gee on 2004-05-04 15:55:16
Re: Croick
A very powerful piece of writing. I liked the repetition of this phrase - And the anger burned in us. I felt the slight change at the end made it more personal.
I feel that anyone reading this would want to know more about the event that led to this poem. I know I do.
Isn't it a shame that people don't seem to learn from the mistakes of the past though?
Brilliantly written.


Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-05-05 13:16:43
Re: Croick
Gee, I am very grateful for you comments and you're right, we don't seem to be very good at learning from past mistakes.
Many thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

riggy on 2004-07-11 15:02:26
Re: Croick
Oh Elfstone, this had me in tears, you took me back there so easily. That doesn't happen often. Thank you so much.
meg


Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-07-11 16:58:33
Re: Croick
Riggy, many thanks for your comment. It's a while since this one was posted, so it was a pleasant surprise to see a fresh comment. Strangely enough I cycled up to Croick with a pal on Wednesday. I hadn't been there in a long while. It is beautiful but sad too. I know that my poem indulges in poetic licence, amalgamating bits of family history and imagination with the actual facts of Glencalvie, but still these people must have suffered terribly. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 20-09-2006
Croick
Shywolf, you are very kind in your comments and many thanks for that generous rating!

I thought you might get something out of reading this and the comments that were made about it when I first posted it. Oppression has been with us in many forms for a long time, but sadly it seems we are no more enlightened now than they were then.

Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

weefatbob on 31-05-2011
Croick
A wonderful poem which I have just used with several school groups during an outdoor education programme. They walked over the hills to Strathcarron and camped out near the manse. Each group was then taken to the church at Croick and the story of the Clearances related to them. I finished by reading this poem. Rarely nowadays as a teacher do I get a silent audience but this had them totally transfixed. A very moving experience for them and me. Thank you.

Author's Reply:
Goodness me - I'm amazed to see this back up on the 'recent comments' box! I'm delighted that your pupils got something out of this. If you have read the pervious comments you'll know that this provoked a strong reaction when it was first published here. Interesting that teenagers also responded to it.

On the very few times that it has happened that someone read a poem long after I subbed it, *and* left a comment, I have been thrilled. Many thanks for leaving a comment for this one.
Elfstone

e-griff on 03-06-2011
Croick
the thing is, the clearances were part of a general agricultural revolution which had swept europe and england before it reached scotland. It was based on economic necessity, not ANY anti-scottish or dominant behaviour, which is why Scottish Lairds joined in. It modernised agriculture at the time, and so had beneficial effects for everyone, as well as unfortunate ones for those directly affected. (just as the coalminers in our century).

Presented as it has been here, it is clearly fuel for those scots who love to feel oppressed and hard done by which probably accounts for some of the original reactions. I can see why an english person might feel slightly upset by it.

Most history is shaped by ecomnomic necessity, not human emotions. 🙂 Good pome, though. G

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 03-06-2011
Croick
it's suddenly occurred to me to ask what exactly a teacher is teaching chiildren about this, and what effect it has on their opinions. Perpetuating long-gone resentments? Of course, I dunno, but interesting to know.

Author's Reply:


Inanimate? (posted on: 19-04-04)
seeing things from a different point of view?

Inanimate?

It's the way you bend over me
Exuding that sultry concentration;

It's the feel of your skin -
Its warmth against my coolness;

It's the precise way you touch -
That subtle change in pressure
From gentle skimming of the fingers
To the sensual weight of your demanding hands;

It's the way your head goes back,
Eyes closed in transcendence;
The little silent moan of pleasure
From your partly opened mouth;

It is the impassioned way that
Resonances shimmer
Through my whole body,
As our union soars from
The physical to the spiritual,
An all consuming involvement
As vibrations sing out our conjoining -

My lover,
My pianist.


Elfstone 16/4/04

Archived comments for Inanimate?
Faerie on 2004-04-19 02:42:31
Re: Inanimate?
great way of switching things around... and i love how you keep us guessing till the very end..

you really do capture the magic of watching someone play the piano.. it has a very unique quality to it.. and there are people (like Tori Amos) who have just taken it to a whole different level.
very interesting poem.

nancy

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-04-19 11:37:30
Re: Inanimate?
Mmnnn....I thought. Is this Elfstone?

What a new approach from you, Elfstone, I really enjoyed this. I couldn't wait to read the end and I had gone the wrong route entirely, lol. Very well worded. An original piece, Zydha

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-19 15:07:16
Re: Inanimate?
Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment Nancy. I'm pleased that you approve of this. There can be something quite sensual about playing music, but this is the first time I have written from the point of view of the instrument! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-19 15:11:00
Re: Inanimate?
Hi Zydha, Yes this is quite different from anything else I've written! I remember we were Challenged elsewhere to write an erotic poem and in the end I gave up because it kept turning out tacky and almost pornographic I think in this one the balance is right and it just comes out as a bit sensual.

I wonder if I could develop this vein !?!? lol. Elfstone

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-04-19 15:11:23
Re: Inanimate?
Burt of course--all instruments talk, but perhaps none sweeter than the piano!

nice one.

Gerry,

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-19 15:29:58
Re: Inanimate?
Thanks Gerry - your comments are appreciated. I'm a cello fan myself, but given the way that cellos are held - - - ! 🙂 Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-04-19 16:37:04
Re: Inanimate?
This is a very clever poem and a joy to read.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-19 17:07:37
Re: Inanimate?
Thankyou very much for commenting Dargo. Your praise is also a joy to read! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

shangri-la on 2004-04-20 06:15:45
Re: Inanimate?
I like this..very cleverly done. I was intrigued from the outset, the title caught my attention and kept me guessing right to the end..brilliant!

Author's Reply:

razorcuts on 2004-04-20 10:06:06
Re: Inanimate?
ditto all superlatives and observations of above viewers. well done.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-20 11:21:28
Re: Inanimate?
Many thanks Shangri-la. Your kind comments are much appreciated. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-20 11:22:37
Re: Inanimate?
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment razorcuts. I'm glad you like it. Elfstone.


Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-20 12:43:55
Re: Inanimate?
OK, ya got me. A great poem. Very clever and a very enjoyable read.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-20 15:44:18
Re: Inanimate?
Many thanks for the compliments! I'm pleased that you enjoyed this. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-04-21 08:22:16
Re: Inanimate?
Loved this when I read it last Friday at the beeb Elf
still read good to me. Love Val xx

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-04-21 12:02:29
Re: Inanimate?
whew it's hot in here are you sure that's a piano speaking. they could be playing another instrument..Erma

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-21 15:33:40
Re: Inanimate?
Thanks Val - this one seems to have struck a chord!!!!! Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-21 15:35:31
Re: Inanimate?
lol!!!! I suppose it is a bit sensual 🙂 Thank you for commenting Erma. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Closing the Door (posted on: 16-04-04)
Life is an open doorway?

Closing the door
Should be so easy
And might bring peace.


Looking at the door
And the little opening;
Fearing the other side.


Standing at the door
Aware of its teasing;
Wishing it wasn't there.


Despising the door
For denying entrance
And craving that entrance.


Knowing the door
Was held against me
And carrying that pain.


Touching the door
And peering through the chink;
Desolate and resigned.


Seeing through the door
All the might have beens,
Choked with neglect.


Hating the door
And loathing the keepers;
Endlessly seeking the key.


Trapped by the door
In a limbo of waiting
A mesh of silent wasting.


Aware that the door
Can now only open fully
To a well of bitterness.


Closing the door;
Why is it so hard
To finally close the door?


Elfstone 2/8/03

I simply could not get the layout of this poem to work here - this is as close as I could manage.
Archived comments for Closing the Door
Gerry on 2004-04-16 07:11:59
Re: Closing the Door
I liked and understood this. I don't know why you had to adopt this format. This poem would have stood okay in normal format--
Just my opinion.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Frenchy on 2004-04-16 10:08:46
Re: Closing the Door
Whatever you do don't close the door on your writing 🙂

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-04-16 13:35:00
Re: Closing the Door
This is different and I like what you have done here.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-16 14:51:05
Re: Closing the Door
Gerry, many thanks for your comments. I was uncertain about the format as it looks here, but I didn't want it all left-justified. In Appleworks I have the statement about the door on the left and the 2-line response tabbed out neatly and it looks much better; in fact it looks *right* like that. I know I find the visual aspect of a poem's layout more important than some fellow writers do. Thanks again. Elfstone

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-16 14:52:20
Re: Closing the Door
Many thanks for that encouragement Frenchy, it's appreciated! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-16 14:53:26
Re: Closing the Door
Thanks Dargo, it is always good to get positive comments like this. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-17 02:31:21
Re: Closing the Door
If the format matters to you, OK but the content and the writing of this poem was, for me, excellent. You speak with genuine emotion about things that affect you but to which any one can relate. An excellent piece of work.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-17 04:03:08
Re: Closing the Door
Chrissy that is so kind. Thanks for these lovely comments. Maybe I shouldn't get so tied in knots over layout and grammar and punctuation and so on, but that's just the way poetry is for me.

I'm very pleased that you felt a connection to this. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-04-17 05:53:57
Re: Closing the Door
I may be being presumptious Elf, but I think I know the inspiration for this piece and your emotions come through crystal clear and read as smoothly as glass. I enjoyed your words very much.

The format separation lends to almost an answer followed by the question, sort of originality, but as Gerry says, it would have read equally as well in conventional format, but this 'is' effective, Zydha

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-17 07:12:56
Re: Closing the Door
Thanks Zydha. I seem to have an on-going battle with formatting on every site I use!! At least it is better here on UKA, but if you saw this on the printed page I hope you would see what I mean about the format adding to the poem.

This was written at a dark moment (are you thinking they are all dark? - I do have my lighter moments - see my response to Ck's Challenge on the Beeb!!!) and I'm never very sure whether or not to post my black poems. So I'm very grateful for your positive response. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-04-17 12:55:54
Re: Closing the Door
Layout aside Elf I loved the concept of this piece and how you came to that seemingly unanswerable final question. Love Valxx

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-04-17 15:35:44
Re: Closing the Door
excellent poem well done.....ERma

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-17 17:03:49
Re: Closing the Door
Many thanks Val. As I said above and elsewhere, I'm never sure how these darker poems will be received, so it is good to have positive responses. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-17 17:05:11
Re: Closing the Door
Thankyou for reading, and for posting such a lovely comment! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


In the Beginning (posted on: 12-04-04)
A meditation, if that is the right word, on the fickleness of fate?

In the Beginning


Birth:
That most choice-less of states
From which all other pseudo choices
Follow, disenfranchised,
Lemming-like, inexorable.

We are born into our failures.



Birth:
The old lie of 'new life - new hope''
Only half fulfilled at best.
A moment, a gasp of screaming air
And a lifetime of escaping that moment starts.

We are born into our struggles.



Birth:
The most absolute obedience;
The most undeniable truth in all of us;
The most unmoving bedrock of our lives;
The most unavoidable constant of our being.

We are born into our griefs.



Birth:
That damming, eternal trap,
That monster of arbitrary callousness,
That mocking manipulator of freakish circumstance,
That sneering provider of agonising self knowledge,
That endless, anguished paradox -

We are born into death.

Elfstone 28/8/03
Archived comments for In the Beginning
Zydha on 2004-04-12 07:53:24
Re: In the Beginning
Hy Elf, I really like this but...somehow if the stanzas were progressively titled, from Birth to Death, then the content of each stanza would relate better to the word preceding each stage of aging.

But I like the way you have worded the links, albethey somewhat sombre. Zydha

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-12 10:53:39
Re: In the Beginning
Many thanks for your comments Zydha. Goodness you were up and about early! This is the last day of my holiday, so I treated myself to a lie-in!

It is interesting how people interpret poems so differently; this is not a poem about ageing, I didn't intend any progression from birth to death. It is hard to try to explain what I felt when I wrote it - a sense of being trapped from the moment of birth, and no escaping that one, overwhelming factor from which everthing else proceeds? Yes it is sombre, this is one of my blacker poems, but then sometimes life is black. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-04-12 16:34:00
Re: In the Beginning
A most unusual poem Elf but I really liked it, it pulled me along and I thought there were some very profound truths in there, cleverly composed. Love Val xx

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-13 15:46:53
Re: In the Beginning
Many thanks Val. I had a feeling that this poem might not be well received - it is, I suspect, a 'difficult' poem for others to read - but I think it is important to post the darker ones as well as the "Scotland is beautiful " ones, so I am grateful to you and Z. for making such nice comments. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-06-26 09:34:12
Re: In the Beginning
"From what darkness did this spring forth?" - goodness Shywolf it would take an age and a lifetime to explain that!! I have had a lot of dark times, one way or another.

This was/is a very personal poem and it took a lot of thought before posting it; I felt I was exposing a very hidden part of myself and that wasn't easy. I was pretty sure, as I said to bradene above, that it would prove unpopular, but in the end wanted to give it an airing anyway.

Many thanks for taking the time to read and I'm grateful for your understanding and kind comments. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Rubha Robhanais (posted on: 05-04-04)
Just returned from a holiday in the Hebrides; visited this place - magnificent!!

Rubha Robhanais

This folded stone,
These twisting layers of rock
Seem tortured by Time itself
Spitting tantrums of destruction against
Those with the audacity endure.
Ravaged, they struggle to resist,
Heaving their warping seams
Out of a seething sea;
A breaking end to a broken land.

The light stack vainly boasts
A permanence it will not command.
A latter day standing stone,
It sends out its smug personal flashing;
That proud, individual, here-I-am pattern,
Flickering petty seconds of feeble light
In the face of immutable night.

This is the fiefdom of birds;
Those masters of merging elements
Adopt the place where
Land and sea and air grapple;
Fighting the endless squabble of
Frustrated domination, they are
Oblivious to the real winner.

Stand here on this oldest rock
its slight covering of wind-raped grass
stretched like weary skin
too thin to hide the aching of ageing.

Stand here and feel the rasping, salt-stung wind.
divorced from the indifferent sea
fling itself with bitter passion at the land
and moan its relentless loneliness.

Stand here at the fickle edge of the sea
as it molests cliff after cliff,
promiscuous in its brutal embraces,
subjugation its only desire.

Stand here by the end of the land
- the breaking end -
And learn that Time wins all battles.

Elfstone 1/4/04
Archived comments for Rubha Robhanais
Elfstone on 2004-04-05 11:51:05
Re: Rubha Robhanais
Many thanks Trevor. It's in Lewis - sometimes known as the Butt of Lewis, where the lighthouse stands. A wilder place is hard to imagine and yet it has a beauty and a powerful ambience(?- if that's the right word).

My uncle's cottage was originally a blackhouse and yes it has 3ft thick stone walls with peat between the 2 layers, but the thatched roof is long gone - it has been upgraded several times in its history, most recently a couple of years ago, so it is very comfortable. It has no land phone line though, so there is a real sense of being away from it all! Thanks again for your kind comments. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-04-06 07:24:51
Re: Rubha Robhanais
Enjoyed this, you certainly captured the isolation, the history, the power...loved the last line...L

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-06 07:57:16
Re: Rubha Robhanais
Many thanks for taking the time to comment Leila. I'm glad you liked this one. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-04-06 16:55:30
Re: Rubha Robhanais
Hi Elf I can only gawp with awe and admiration and yes I admit to envy too, at your powers of imagery.
You describe the sea in the most powerful way and all one can see when reading a piece by you is what you wish them to see, I lick my lips and swear I can taste the salt. i see great jagged rocks and it's like I can see worlds end. It's magic. Love Val xx

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-06 17:06:01
Re: Rubha Robhanais
Val, your praise is humbling, but I thank you very much. It is a delight to read such a response.

You could of course go and see the sight for yourself and then compare, but then you might find my poem lacking! 🙂

Many thanks. Elf.

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2004-04-06 17:09:18
Re: Rubha Robhanais
Elfstone....Magnificent rendering; forceful and profound. The imagery evokes the timelessness of this most hallowed place! A favourite read. I am also including a URL which you may be interested. Lovely piece....Adele...:-)

http://pages.ivillage.com/deepoceanfish2/

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-07 10:30:32
Re: Rubha Robhanais
Very many thanks for your kind comments. I'm pleased that you like this poem.

I hope to check up the URL later this evening (when I've finished tearing wall paper off my bathroom walls - having a much needed coffee break!) Thanks again. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-04-08 11:53:36
Re: Rubha Robhanais
It's all been said already Elf, but I repeat, you bring those rugged lands to right in front of my eyes, I can see there and hear and smell it all.

You have such a feel for this style of writing and obviously such a love of the Hebrides. Zydha

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-08 16:15:52
Re: Rubha Robhanais
Thanks Zydha and you're right of course - I do love that part of Scotland especially. It always draws me back and I am tied to it in ways that I don't understand. To some extent poetry is a way of coming to terms with that I think. Thanks for your comments; you know I always value them. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-04-10 05:07:04
Re: Rubha Robhanais
Just returned from Scotland myself--
Could almost hear Mendelssohn in the background whilst reading this...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-10 08:21:31
Re: Rubha Robhanais
Many thanks for commenting Gerry. I live in Scotland and love it, but there are some bits of it that are extra special. You're right of course, the Mendelssohn overture would suit this place!

Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Sligachan (posted on: 26-03-04)
One of the most impressive and atmospheric places in Scotland - I'm not sure that this poem really does it justice.

Sligachan

Marsco broods over the glen
Like a hunchback cursing
Every remembered slight.
The Sgurr to the right.
Uses the sky as a pin cushion,
Its piercing pinnacles
Screeding the blue fabric.

Glamaig stands like some megalithic camel
Unapproachable, severe, stern as
An old maid of formidable discipline,
Shivering her scree cloak in indignation
Down to the sea.

Little wraiths of cloud weave in an out of the peaks,
A frivolous dance to a wind-blown beat,
With the sun skipping on the off beats.
The teasing falls on
The deaf ears of ancient rigidity.

The long spit of land stretching into the loch
Pretends a careless green.
Amidst so much relentless geology,
It is a failed attempt at gentleness.

The endless burn scampers under the old bridge,
With a watery blethering.
A wee bairn's chatter amidst
Silent discourse of infinite wisdom,
It is ignored.

These mountains, born in tectonic agonies,
Project disdain through seismic aeons.
Their towering monolithic pride
Disregards Eternity;
Ignores Time's attempts to
Grind them down to the dust of memory.

Little humans scramble and scrabble
But these monuments to man's insignificance
Will brook no smallness, permit no inconsequence.
They will allow no belittling of their grandeur or
Their power of endurance.

Their's is the dignity of ages
Cast in rock and stone.

Elfstone 25/5/03
Archived comments for Sligachan
Zydha on 2004-03-26 08:29:05
Re: Sligachan
Oh Elfstone, the granduer has to be seen to be believed...beautifully transposed into words with feeling, I so enjoyed this poem, Zydha

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-03-26 13:45:46
Re: Sligachan
Many thanks Zydha; your comments are always welcome. 🙂 I will be passing this way next week and the views always inspire me!!! - a real tonic for the soul! Elfstone

Author's Reply:


Loss (posted on: 15-03-04)
A poem written in the throes of bereavement.

Loss

An island wrapped up in the grey of sorrow
A mist of aching draped over a bleak land;
The peat bogs drip slowly into the sea -
A silent weeping.
The wind groans out the grief of generations,
Like the cutting edge of loss
Howling around the house.

I heard a quiet calling through all the years
And all the distance and all the tears.
I heard the voice of lineage
Crooning soft songs of yearning.
Tempting me with belonging;
Keening my heart's divide,
And haunting my schism;
Its relentless murmurings
Imbedded in me;
A soft weaving, threading through
All the colours of my life.

It draws me back, it holds me,
And I leave and I grieve and I leave again
And always, there is a returning,
Always there, a Homecoming
To a place never my home.

This changeless, ever changing island,
Remembers no yesterday
Yet it holds the memories,
The echoes.

Hold to it! Hold it fast!
Cling to the line of the long years!
Cherish the ancient memory,
Through the distance and the tears.
Heed the call of the murmuring voice,
Sighing sad songs of losing.

Memory is all that we are.

Elfstone March 03

Archived comments for Loss
Bradene on 2004-03-15 08:46:37
Re: Loss
That is beautiful Elf, you have such a great gift for making your words visible. Love Val xx

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-03-15 13:52:05
Re: Loss
Beautiful poem so sad and heart felt....Erma

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-03-15 13:58:20
Re: Loss
Powerful poetry --well done.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-03-15 14:18:16
Re: Loss
Thank you so much Val, that is such a lovely comment. Glad you liked it. Elf

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-03-15 14:19:24
Re: Loss
i always enjoy reading your work. Good read.
dargo

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-03-15 14:20:04
Re: Loss
Thank you very much Erma. It was a sad time and this was written just a week after the funeral; very much heart felt as you say. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-03-15 14:21:34
Re: Loss
Thanks for your comment and praise Gerry. I'm pleased that you liked it. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-03-15 14:22:36
Re: Loss
That leaves me feeling very chuffed! Thanks Dargo. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Gee on 2004-03-16 17:54:29
Re: Loss
So sad and with such longing. Beautiful and haunting work.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-03-17 16:13:03
Re: Loss
Thank you very much Gee. I'm delighted by your comments. Glad that you liked it. Elfstone

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-03-18 04:29:34
Re: Loss
This is a beautiful poem, very well written and with a lot that, as some one not living in my "homeland" that I can identify with. You have a remarkable way with words and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-03-18 10:54:36
Re: Loss
What lovely comments! I'm pleased that you like this Chrissy and glad that it promoted thoughts of Scotland, and perhaps specifically of the Hebrides?

Thank you also for nominating it as a Hot Story. It was great to come home after a day at the "coalface" and discover that. Cheered me up no end! 🙂
Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Tollam on 2004-04-04 11:01:40
Re: Loss
Fantastic poem. Very evocative and haunting. I love the elemental touches, the landscape reflecting the emotions. Great stuff!

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-04-04 12:13:57
Re: Loss
Many thanks Tollam. I did not expect any more comments on this one so your kind words are a bonus. I'm very pleased that you liked it. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Journey (posted on: 08-03-04)
Twice a year I travel to the Outer Hebrides; these are my thoughts on that journey.

The taste of this journey lingers in

The mouth of my mind.

Heaving round the slashed-rock headland,

The gannet-white spume is

Careless lace draped around the prow.

I shiver in the selfish wind,

Cursing the sea for its wilful waviness;

Cursing my inner ear for its unforgiving unbalance.

The smoke-gray, rain-gray, sea-gray distances

Blur around the edges of my nausea,

Moving this scattering of islands

To and fro in a time-honoured, timeless dance.


I had a theory once:

Once this was the garden of Eden;

This oldest rock,

These riven-by-the-wrath-of-God islands.

In the sunshiney days of childhood

We sailed through

Peat-smoke-smelling sunset

Into the edge of the world.

Now I cling to that edge

With doubtful fingertips.


It marks me, this heart-land

This pilgrimage;

It marks me, this bloodline,

This journey.


Elfstone (16/7/02)
Archived comments for Journey
barenib on 2004-03-08 10:00:26
Re: Journey
Beautiful account of your journey. I love the opening two lines and also the 'peat-smoke-smelling sunset'. Your connections with the islands are nicely woven in with the description. John.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-03-08 16:16:29
Re: Journey
Many thanks for those kind comments John. These islands have a special place in my psyche and this poem was a way of trying to come to terms with that. The fact that other people can see something of worth in the poem is a great bonus. Elf.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-03-10 15:06:54
Re: Journey
Wow! Elf that is superb! I love the imagary and it even made me feel a little sea sick! I love the phrase "Mouth of my mind" I was there all the way
Great journey! great stuff Love Val xx

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-03-10 15:56:13
Re: Journey
Val thankyou so much. I'm really glad you liked it. I'll be going over there again in a couple of weeks and I am looking forward to it very much.

Your comments have really cheered me up; I've just spent a difficult 20 minutes on another (American I think) site where someone had torn my poem "Iseult" to pieces. I couldn't understand some of his(?) comments so it was difficult to word a reply. Oh I'm so glad I looked in here! Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Gee on 2004-03-10 16:10:46
Re: Journey
This is so beautifully descriptive. I loved the imagery in it.
My favourite phrase has to be
"The gannet-white spume is
Careless lace draped around the prow."
A lovely piece of work.

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-03-10 16:51:18
Re: Journey
Enjoyed this and I suspect some influence from Dylan Thomas in "the smoke-gray, sea-gray" and
"time-honoured, timeless dance".
Well writen.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-03-10 16:57:13
Re: Journey
Dargo, many thanks for your comments - I haven't read any Dylan Thomas since I was at school (that'd be about 136 years ago!!) but have heard some of his writings on Radio. Glad you enjoyed it. Elsfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-03-10 17:00:38
Re: Journey
Thankyou very much Gee. This journey I have been doing twice a year for the past 30-odd years and before that every summer since I was 4 months old. It is somehow very significant in ways that I can't explain. I'm pleased that you like the poem. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Evening (posted on: 01-03-04)
Longing for those lazy, hazy summer evenings when the sun doesn't set until 11pm and the light fades slowly, slowly . . . . .

Evening is the time of fading,
The time of wistfulness;
Eternal and transient.

It is the quiet sound of
The sighing daylight relaxing
Into comfortable darkness.

It is the wind-dropping stillness of
Breezes easing down
Into sleeping silence.

It is the gaudy sun
Relinquishing its riot of colours
With the last breath of the day;
Singing out shimmering shades,
And softening into
A gentle grey gloaming.

The north-westerly horizon
Spreads a translucent light,
Paints a Pre-Raphaelite sky,
Glowing from deepest Prussian Blue
Into all the golds of creation.

Sea shimmer and moon rise
Merge in a mesmeric union;
An elvish time of dimming day
And soaring starlight.

Timeless and fleeting.


Elfstone 14/8/03

Archived comments for Evening
Bradene on 2004-03-01 15:36:23
Re: Evening
A girl after my own heart, I too belong to the summer. I can't wait and I couldn't have expressed it better myself, lovely poem with lovely images Elf.
Love Val xx

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-03-01 15:57:50
Re: Evening
Very many thanks Val! After all the snow, not to mention the cold temperatures, of late it would be nice to see a touch of Spring and warmer weather. By this time in the winter the novelty of digging myself out (again!) has well an truly worn off and I find myself longing for balmy summer evenings. Glad you liked the poem. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-03-14 10:43:42
Re: Evening
So many beautiful images came to mind as I red this, it captures all I love about my favourite time of day and year. Thanks for your welcome, Elfstone, it eased that stranger feeling. Zy

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-03-14 16:52:53
Re: Evening
Thanks for your kind comments Z. You may have seen this one on the beeb site a while back

Glad you're feeling more at home - I like this site, but pressure of work at the moment means that I am not getting into poetry sites as often as I want. 🙁 Elf.

Author's Reply:


Waiting (posted on: 16-02-04)
Click to see more top choices

Reflections on life and old age - - - - -

Waiting

You sit in a small room.
A single bed, a chair,
A chest of drawers, a wardrobe
Hold the few pieces of your life
You are allowed to cling to.

On the little table a deck of cards;
The endless games of patience
Replace the discarded hobbies.
You were clever, talented
You had so much to offer - - -

The television, for so long
A mindless companion,
Now redundant in the corner;
Its blankness reflecting
The blankness of your days.

What do you hear in the echoing silence?
Where does that stoic dignity take you?
How do you hide from the nurses' inane chatter,
Their well meaning cheeriness?
They call you aloof;
Do they ignore or
Do they not know,
Years battling couple-driven conformity,
Years of grinding respectability,
Years striving for acceptance
Years of hiding the pain
Take their toll?

So now there is this :
No family, few friends,
And a small room,
After ninety three years.

Ninety three years of - what?
First maybe hope,
Next probably denial,
Then perhaps recognition,
And finally -
In a small room with only a deck of cards
To drive away the awful truth of your life,
- the waiting.

Elfstone 13/12/03

Archived comments for Waiting


ruadh on 2004-02-16 05:27:34
Re: Waiting
A sad portrayal of someone's life. I know many old people are put into homes then forgotten about and it is sad because they do still have much to offer, too much to be 'written off'.

One small thing, the repeated 'blankness' in verse three jarred for me, perhaps replace the second one with emptiness or something similar..?

ailsa

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-02-16 07:42:49
Re: Waiting
Hi Elf you have captured the awfulness that old age has become in these recent years, When I was a little girl my Grandmother lived with us and as far as our family was concerned she was the centre of our lives. She helped my mother run the house, my mum was hopeless at it and gran while she was able cooked for us all.Her life was happy and useful almost to the end of her life, until she had a fall and became bed ridden, but we didn't shove her away in a home, she was 96 when she died. The little ones including me used to love the stories she told of when she was young and she made our lives the richer, youngsters today miss so much because of their unwillingness to listen and to know old people. I thought your poem was really well written. Thank you for highlighting the problem of the elderly. Love Val xx

Author's Reply:

barenib on 2004-02-16 08:10:16
Re: Waiting
A nicely worked version of the 'what's it all about' theme. The cult of youth does indeed make life all the more grim for the old these days. Agree with Ailsa about the repeat of 'blankness'. John.

Author's Reply:

ShadowChaser on 2004-02-16 13:56:40
Re: Waiting
Wow, both depressing and thought-provoking... playing the waiting game is always a sad thought and one that I hope I never find myself a part of. A very moving piece :o)

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2004-02-17 13:18:42
Re: Waiting
Good poetry Elfstone. Very thought provoking. Not just old people - I can see many disabled and others who live a life of despair here in your poem - just hanging around, waiting - waiting for what? Perhaps just waiting to die. Very sad. Good poem!

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-02-17 13:32:17
Re: Waiting
Many thanks, Ailsa, for commenting. I have very mixed feelings about homes for old people. Jean - the lady in the poem - was in a good one, but even so . . . . .

I'll have another look at "blankness" in a week or so. (I find I need to put a poem aside for a while to 'hear' it clearly again.)

Regards, Elfstone

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-02-17 13:35:48
Re: Waiting
Thanks Val! Funny that - my Gran also lived with us and also did a lot of the cooking/ baking/ housework while my mum was out at work. I'm sure having an elderly relative in the house gives a different perspective. Thanks again, Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-02-17 13:39:59
Re: Waiting
Thanks John. As I've said above, I will have another look at "blankness" - advice like that is always good to hear. And you're right - part of the problem is the current cult of youth. There is so much wisdom gained in a long life and we are very foolish not to tap into that. Regards, Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-02-17 13:43:41
Re: Waiting
Many thanks for your kind comments. The end of her life was thought provoking; I sometimes wonder if I might end up like that!! We just don't know what's ahead. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-02-17 13:47:14
Re: Waiting
Thanks Shacks. I had a very strong feeling in the last couple of years or so of her life that she was just waiting for death. She seemed burnt out by the effort of living. Very, very sad.
(I think I must try to write something happy next !!!) Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

shadow on 2004-02-19 09:54:36
Re: Waiting
A disturbing and unsettling read - the pathos comes out well. (Incidentally, I didn't have any problems with 'blankness').

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-02-19 13:53:23
Re: Waiting
Many thanks for your comments Shadow. I'm not sure what to do about 'blankness' now, which means I will probably do nothing for a while and let the poem 'rest' a bit before deciding. Regards, Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Mikeverdi on 26-04-2016
Waiting
This was my mother-in-laws fate. I would come every day to visit, take her shopping with me while able. We would go to see the bluebells, the primroses and daffodils. In the end she lost the plot and it became pointless. I was her career for five years before the home. I have a few on here about that time. Thanks for recommending this one, we who have been through this understand.
Mike

Author's Reply:
"we who have been through this understand" - indeed we do!

Thanks for leaving a comment Mike - it's much appreciated. Elf


Iseult (posted on: 09-02-04)
A poem about a well known myth and a comment on the nature of love? Appropriate, perhaps, for Valentine's Day week.

Iseult The heartless waves move too fast, Carrying her on. Behind her, Ireland slips into the mist of another life, Ahead, Cornwall, arranged marriage and Unending, grey, loveless duty. Beside her, a man she ought to hate: - who killed her lover; - whose life she saved; - who wins her for the King, Beside her, that man she dare not love. Inviting Death they drink the potion ( - better Death than life apart?). Sipping poison's substitute All unknowing, - The Death they seek will take a longer road. A torch extinguished signals another fire: A passion consuming, confessed. Betrayal, that boorish, unwanted guest Curses them to the King. Seeking love in Death They are parted. In Brittany he lies, Wounded, Waiting, Yearning. The heartless waves move too slow, Carrying her on. She comes too late. Her lover in her arms, She waits. (The invited guest completes the long road, Knowing how to time his entrance.) A love beyond joy and sorrow, A love beyond youth and old age A love beyond life and death, A love beyond time and weariness, A love beyond the world's ending, A love beyond all mysticism Transcends, transfigures: She is verklrt. Elfstone 14/11/03
Archived comments for Iseult
Elfstone on 2004-02-10 17:14:28
Re: Isuelt
Many thanks or your comments penprince - much appreciated!

Author's Reply:


Island Song (posted on: 02-02-04)
This poem evokes a place which I love, but can only visit twice per year.

Island Song

The sea was grandioso grey
A dreaming lentamente of swelling rhythm;
An unrelenting, misty pedal-note
In the harmony of the world.

The rain kept beat
As I walked hotel-wards;
Wet semiquavers
Pattering allegretto on my face.
(Drookit visitors are commonplace
In this land of martellato water.)

The welcome here is not composed of
Sycophantic 5-star jingles,
But infinitely richer -
A melody of age-old kindness.

My room, my second home,
My Twenty-one;
Outside the burn runs agitato down the hill,
Accompanying my island dreams with
The sound of appassionato water.

Sunday adagio tranquillo
Washes through me,
Dowsing me with peace;
Gently eroding the jagged edges
Carved by mainland living.
A community's stillness
- De Profundis -
Weaves a calm magic.

The rain stops.
The suspension of clouds resolves.
The sun shines a perfect cadence
On the trilling waves
And my heart sings
An island song.


Elfstone 13/10/02
Archived comments for Island Song
Jack_Cade on 2004-02-02 06:55:12
Re: Island Song
This one I read with 'Private Universe' playing. I think there's some great stuff in this, but I'd rather you cut down on the musical terms, because they quickly become commonplace where they should be special - my favourites are where the word evokes a meaning outside of the musical ("the trilling waves", "tranquillo", "misty pedal-note", "wet semiquavers", "grandioso grey".)

Others, like 'allegretto' and 'lentemente' didn't mean too much, because I don't know exactly what sounds they represent. I think it's good to have one or two terms like that in the poem, because it gives it the air of exoticism and mystery you want, and inspires me to go and find out what the words mean, but at the moment these come too thick and fast, obscuring the images and immediate effect.

You know what you're doing though!

Author's Reply:

bektron on 2004-02-02 13:45:53
Re: Island Song
really enjoyed this, beautiful! and I know the feeling exactly!, makes me long for our wee holiday in a draughty cottage by the sea in Kintyre later in the year.
bek

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-02-02 16:03:03
Re: Island Song
Thankyou Jack_Cade for taking the time to comment. I'm glad it has your overall approval.

I would prefer not to remove any of the Musical terms though, as they are the heart of the poem. I could have written a purely descriptive poem, indeed I have written such poems of that part of the world, but I wanted to use the terms as a feature of this one.

I take the point that there are words here which are not in commom parlance, but then, the same could be said of some English words with regard to the general vocabulary of many people. I still have to use a dictionary when reading other people's poetry - my own vocab. is not by any means complete. All the musical words in this can be found in a music dictionary or on line.

Thanks again for your comments.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-02-02 16:05:29
Re: Island Song
Many thanks again Bektron for your comments. The West coast of Scotland is special at any time of the year. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:


Once seen - - - (posted on: 26-01-04)
A poem inspired by a famous painting.

Once seen - - -

Its the Blue that does it.
Every time
That Blue grabs me;
That deep and deepening
Cobalt Blue,
Merging into black.
It has such gentleness and peace in it.
I want to sink into that Blue,
I want my soul to swim through that Blue;
I could lose myself in that Blue.

Then again, there is the
Sunset above water
( - the sea, always the sea -)
And the sense of distance,
Of space opening beyond infinity.
I always had a soft spot for
Sunsets over seascapes.

And of course there is that
Sense of weightlessness:
He just floats there.
Must be nice that
To be weightless and drifting free;
To detach oneself;
To soar above the world;
To float away from the humdrum,
Effortless and serene.
A very pleasant way of
Escaping troubles.


Of course,
The nails through
The hands and feet
Wouldn't be much fun.

Elfstone 20/9/03
Archived comments for Once seen - - -


bektron on 2004-01-26 13:29:22
Re: Once seen - - -
liked this a lot! is this a Dali painting? as that is the image it conjures up for me.-bek

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-01-26 13:52:20
Re: Once seen - - -
Yes - "Christ of St John on the Cross". I saw it once (hence the title) as a child - around 150 years ago(!!) and it made quite an impression. Thank you for taking time to comment.

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2004-01-26 14:29:13
Re: Once seen - - -
I'm no expert Elfstone, but in my humble opinion and in my outlook on life, the universe and all that - poetry doesn't come much better than this. Nice one kiddo.

Author's Reply:

RoseRed on 2004-01-28 15:34:12
Re: Once seen - - -
This is as beautiful as the painting itself. I agree, it is like floating into and feeling the painting. The colors pull you into the past and the feelings. I know not everyone believes the Christ theory but I do and I felt this piece of work. RoseRed

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-01-29 16:30:37
Re: Once seen - - -
Very many thanks for your comments. As this is my first post on this site it is good to have such positive comments! Elfstone

Author's Reply:

islathorne on 2004-02-08 15:24:45
Re: Once seen - - -
Hi Elfstone, I really like this a lot, it is very vivid, I am not familiar with the painting that it is about, but I will look it up and see if it is how I imagine it to be, it is an enjoyable read. :0) isla.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2004-02-08 16:29:29
Re: Once seen - - -
Many thanks Isla, for your kind comments. After all the unpleasantness on the other site it is good to be back to discussing poetry in a civilised manner. I remember this painting from seeing it once in childhood. I have also checked it on the web and it is as I remember it - a very striking painting. Elfstone.

Author's Reply: