Tuesday, May 20, 2008

An Aphorism

and doing
buy peace
for the troubled
who fear
Age breeds
and memory--
lost and found.
and order
youth imagined,
in chaos's
thinks not,
nor dreams.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Harald Hardradi

In conducting some research for my next book, I spent some time reading about the Norse King Harald Sigurdsson or Harald Hardradi. Three things about him impressed me. One, he was a poet, writing both poetry and sagas; two, he was a traveler and a mercenary, who served in the Varangian Guard in Byzantium and with the Normans in the war against the Arabs in Sicily in 1038; and, three, he possessed an indomitable spirit.

At the age of fifteen, Harald fought with his half-brother, King Olaf the Saint at the battle of Stiklestad. Olaf died in battle and Harald was severely wounded. During his convalescence, he wrote the following poem:

From copse to copse
I crawl and creep
now, worthless.
Who knows
how highly
I'll be prized
some day.

Even in the face of defeat, wounded and hounded, Harald intuits he will be a great man. I find this psychologically and historically interesting primarily because some men blind to their fate and future, facing overwhelming odds and convincing evidence that they are at an end, defeated and despoiled, still have not only hope but the temerity to foresee their future greatness.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Two Short Poems about Circles


With her back
against mine
the word

The Compass

The steel
a center
and spreads
its legs
until the hollowness
the nothingness
of something
within the circumference
of the compass'
fleshy reach.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Circle Man

He runs in circles,
while circles turn within me:
wheel upon wheel,
gear meshed into gear,
speared spokes
in whiteness;
my shadow
the center
and feeds
off the mechanized
that times
like a German

Monday, May 12, 2008

To Do Not

It has been a long time since I posted here. There is no real reason why; however, I do have some excuses. First, I wrote a story for the Warhammer short story contest, liked it, and then wrote thirty-five thousand words of a Warhammer novel on spec, which I have been serializing to my friends. Second, I wrote a story for the Robert A. Heinlein Centennial contest. In order to do that story justice, I had to re-read a couple of Heinlein novels. Third, I am writing a historical novel about a disaffected Norman Knight that accompanies William the Bastard on his invasion of England in 1066. Fourth, Murder of Crows is putting out a second edition of The White Bull and I have been working with their editors. Fifth, I have become addicted to writing reviews on Amazon. Finally, my poetic muse went underground; however, something floated up from the unconscious this morning. So here it is--"To do not."

The doing
that does
not release
the anxiety
of the not-doing
does not
the experience
of the doing
that does.
To do
that which is done
is the Shaman's
of the sleep
that awakes
the bright cusp
of the world
of done, do
and doing.