Join the Neopoet online poetry workshop and community to improve as a writer, meet fellow poets, and showcase your work. Sign up, submit your poetry, and get started.

Çaço, Man of the Morning Star, protasis, part 1 Harsh, book 1, canto 3

Canto Three ~ Torgándon, The White Salt Cliffs, tower in the present day to heights beyond the clouds.
In peaks of more than 45,000 feet, they have dwindled considerably since men first came upon them. The truth behind the myths of the River Sea’s release from captivity is not known by men. The Years of Waste, the great wall of granite salt, the origins of those folk who first broke the wall are stories central to our journey thru the lands of Lurien and the river many of its people call Life. For now, its depths are as great as the deepest seas and hold mysteries hidden and wondrous that will be revealed in due course.

Canto Three

When first men came to live in huts,
the White Salt Cliffs, scored dark with ruts
that climb from wide and deep wrought caves
to thin, sharp, coarse and slender waves
of shale like layers peeling soft, 5
rained powdered brine to valley’s trough.

When swarthy peoples first gazed high
on blanching cliffs that hid the sky,
the life that slowly drifted down
on those who in the desert drown 10
was tasted as the God’s own wine.
Unlooked for blessing was this brine.

Whatever darkened past there was
in memories lost with just cause
when stood in wonder ‘neath the mist 15
of life extending salt that kissed
the old of them and on the young
was left behind. From this they wrung
anew small hope that there was chance
to thrive at last. They here would dance 20
‘neath white cascade of pure, clean salt.
The leeching from their flesh would halt~
an ever present rushing flow
of moisture that in fear did sow
the drifting deep in agony 25
they named of old, The Drying Sea.

Therefore, though from the south they came
so ever north they chose their name.

Their naming words, now lost to time,
spoke not to their archaic crime. 30

They named a hope past unknown sin
and called this land, “Life’s Lurien”.

From foothills of the cliffs they saw
the blistered waste to south as raw
as callous stones upon their palms. 35
Of hunger, thirsts were sung their psalms.

With greying eyes seared dull by light
thru generations of their flight,
the peoples of the Changing Lands,
in small and ever changing bands, 40
lived short and always brutal lives~
to children clinging, husbands, wives
in stories where God’s mercy frail
had never come into a tale
told of their crossing o’er the sand. 45

Though water here was scarce to hand,
still to these people’s common heart
this realm of plenty offered start
of Time’s Beginning. First they sought
the toxic seas below that not 50
the driest surface traps away.
Beneath the light of burning day,
in manner done that long survived,
they lay it forth in shades contrived.

The precious drink would fade from sight. 55
When clean, returned in drops at night.
Collected so in sacred jars
a taste of potent drink from stars
would blessings bring of health and life.
Though hoarding of this wine brought strife, 60
the sweet ambrosial would support
close families small thru lives grown short.

But in their homes of ages past
was precious little that could last.

Thus, which of them could know when first 65
they turned their hammers, strong with thirst,
against the cliffs that o’er them loom
in search of water from Earth’s womb
what eons black had lain alone
behind those salt made walls of stone. 70

Nowhere in tomes rewritten times
uncounted o’er the years in rhymes,
or scripture that by men were writ
as if by God or Devil’s spit,
in Songs of Lore and Legends proud, 75
Cathedrals ringing Bells aloud,
the claim of King, the prayer of Queen,
each glory that was ever seen
by hearts and minds of later men
was sound of nature’s fury when 80
from out the cleft there did explode
the might of that salt water ode.

Not one of them or captive beasts
will hear again in roaring feasts
upon the edge of river’s might 85
or deafened so within the sight
of crashing fall as sheen of star
that music rushing from afar.

The urns lain down in reverent place
were thrown to skies that drenched the face. 90
What they heard then while praying nigh
no priest of men, though hard he pry
from Ancient Song or Mystic Rock
carved long ago that cannot talk,
will ever hear. That music’s lost. 95
The echo also that is tossed
in tumbling creek and still, deep lake
will fade anon. Men cannot make
this music that from them still drifts,
though yet its fading power lifts 100
their spirits to diminished bliss.
Still given them of God that kiss.

Thus, once again they named the land.
At first they named the salt in hand.
“Life’s Lurien” they called the rock. 105
Beneath its sheen Angels would walk.

But ever after songs were sung
of how the Heaven’s Waters clung
to hands and face, the clothes they wore.
They tried at first to hold in store 110
the water swift, torrential, lush,
but could not make to bear the crush
a jar of stone or house of rock
as temple for creation’s flock.

In sorrow and confused they let, 115
but soon in growing wonder met
the omnipresent sea like tides
that in their common heart abides.

~ ~ ~

And now, beneath its crushing deeps
lies wreckage piled in aging heaps. 120
The ships of Kingdom by the score
were launched and sailed along the shore
of deep sea flow that they of old
renamed for songs and stories bold.
The waterway where life began 125
they name in praise~ “Life’s Lurien”.

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Last few words: 
Recently updated version. The copywrite people are going give me grief for changing it all the time. For Rula, William and I hope my new reader... dum, dum, DA- Eightmenout.
Editing stage: 

Comments

One of my friends was thoughtful enough to ask me before she went out and bought it if I would like a Kindle or Nook for my birthday. I told her gratefully...no. I love my books and nothing will replace them in my "old", conventional way of reading. The screen is an uncomfortable place to read "anything" much less a work of size, whether an article in the Geographic or a Big Ass Poem. However, if I desire discussions concerning the poem, I have no other choice but the online forum (short of publication, which is highly unlikely). Thank you for looking in on them anyway. This is one of the reasons why I will always post on a very slow schedule. To give plenty of time. The poem takes a commitment from the reader and there are other very good poets here to read. I also can't keep up, what with work and wanting to write. Did it help to move the numbers to the right? I tried to post with the numbers all by themselves to the right, but the software wouldn't allow it and dragged them back over next to the text. If you know how to move the numbers back over to the right, please tell me.
Respectfully, one "old" guy to another,
wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Oh go on go on go on sing this song like a drone of melody from echoed past you catch my breath and take my mind in Englishness, the bard himself woud find himself caught up in this metre. I didn't want it to ever stop. You have taken a long time to state the point, but we forgive you because your enjoyment of language spills over like fountains of silver from the throats of swans, its the music of poetry and like you I love it.

Just some little bits...
"the old of them and on the young"...did you mean ON or ONE?

"so ever north they chose their name." ...don't quite understand the so ever?

"Collected so in sacred jars

a taste of potent drink from stars" OO I want some too.

Love to you Wesley from Ann of the north, in Norway where such atmospheres exist still.

"The image of yourself which you see in a mirror Is dead,
but the reflection of the moon on water, lives." Kenzan.

I would have spent the six years to write my romantic, fantasy adventure in verse just to be the target of your enthusiasm. You're like a shot of adrenaline. I don't know that the Bard would be as enthused as you, but the sentiment is lovely. You seem to have latched onto something I endlessly tell those who read my poem- to read it quickly, not carefully as you would poetry (the poetry takes care of itself), but letting the rhythm, punctuation and content guide you.
Your comments (and please don't be afraid to bless me with more)- "ON the young" was what I wrote. I have edited this poor thing for six years, so though I still find them, I don't find many places where something written is not precisely what I intended.
The use of "ever" in this context is an archaic usage for "very". "So very north they chose they chose their name." The full meaning of why their name is so "very north" will become clearer as the story progresses.
Please continue to enjoy my story if you will and if a "potent drink from the stars" takes hold of you moving you to comment, please do. At the very least let me know you were here. I learn even from silence.
Now, the important stuff...You're really in Norway? That's totally boss!
wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Canto Three
When first men came to live in huts,

the White Salt Cliffs, scored dark with ruts

that climb from wide and deep wrought caves

to thin, sharp, coarse and slender waves

of shale like layers peeling soft, 5

rained powdered brine to valley’s trough. (Terrific)

When swarthy peoples first gazed high

on blanching cliffs that hid the sky,

the life that slowly drifted down

on those who in the desert drown 10

was tasted as the God’s own wine...............do you need G when it is god?

Unlooked for blessing was this brine.

Whatever darkened past there was
i
n memories lost with just cause.................not with it here

when stood in wonder ‘neath the mist 15

of life extending salt that kissed

the old of them and on the young.......................as far as"at last- I find this passage almost unnecessary!

was left behind. From this they wrung

anew small hope that there was chance

to thrive at last. They here would dance 20

‘neath white cascade of pure, clean salt.

The leeching from their flesh would halt...............please explain this?

An ever present rushing flow

of moisture that in fear did sow

the drifting deep in agony 25

they named of old, The Drying Sea......................I don't understand this bit?

Therefore, though from the south they came

so ever north they chose their name.

The words spoke harsh, now lost to time,

spoke not to their archaic crime. 30..................spoke TO a crime, and what did it have to say?

They named a hope past unknown sin

and called this land, “Life’s Lurien”.

From foothills of the cliffs they saw

the blistered waste to south
as raw
as callous stones upon their palms. 35

Of hunger, thirsts were sung their psalms.

With greying eyes seared dull by light

thru generations of their flight,

the peoples of the Changing Lands,

in small and ever changing bands, 40

lived short and always brutal lives.

To children clinging, husbands, wives

in stories where God’s mercy frail.................now they have our God-G

had never come into a tale

told of their crossing o’er the sand. 45

Though water here was scarce to hand,

still to these people’s common heart

this realm of plenty offered start

of Time’s Beginning. First they sought

the toxic seas below that not 50

the driest surface traps away.

Beneath the light of burning day,

in manner done that long survived,

they lay it forth in shades contrived.

The precious drink would fade from sight. 55

When clean, returned in drops at night.

Collected so in sacred jars

a taste of potent drink from stars............................love this bit

would blessings bring of health and life.

Though hoarding of this wine brought strife, 60

the sweet ambrosial would support

close families small thru lives grown short....odd way of putting it?

But in their homes of ages past

was precious little that could last.

Thus, which of them could know when first 65

they turned their hammers, strong with thirst,

against the cliffs that o’er them loom

in search of water from Earth’s womb

what eons black had lain alone

behind those salt made walls of stone. 70

Nowhere in tomes rewritten times

uncounted o’er the years in rhymes,

or scripture that by men were writ

as if by God or Devil’s spit,
in Songs of Lore and Legends proud, 75

Cathedrals ringing Bells aloud,

the claim of King, the prayer of Queen,
each glory that was ever seen

by hearts and minds of later men

was sound of nature’s fury when 80

from cleft in salt rock wall explode

the might of that salt water ode.

Not one of them or captive beasts

will hear again in roaring feasts

upon the edge of river’s might 85

or deafened so within the sight

of crashing fall as sheen of star

that music rushing from afar.

The urns lain down in reverent place

were thrown to skies that drenched the face. 90

What they heard then while praying nigh,

no priest of men though hard he pry

from Ancient Song or Mystic Rock

carved long ago that cannot talk

will ever hear. That music’s lost. 95

The echo also that is tossed

in tumbling creek and still, deep lake

will fade anon. Men cannot make

this music that from them still drifts,

though yet its fading power lifts 100

their spirits to diminished bliss.

Still given them of God that kiss.....gods that kiss?

Thus, once again they named the land.

At first they named the salt in hand.

“Life’s Lurien” they called the rock. 105

Beneath its sheen Angels would walk.

But ever after songs were sung

of how the Heaven’s Waters clung

to hands and face, the clothes they wore.

They tried at first to hold in store 110

the water swift, torrential, lush,

but could not make to bear the crush

a jar of stone or house of rock

as temple for creation’s flock.

In sorrow and confused they let, 115
but soon in growing wonder met

the omnipresent sea like tides

that in their common heart abides.
~ ~ ~
And now, beneath its crushing deeps
l
ies wreckage piled in aging heaps. 120

The ships of Kingdom by the score

were launched and sailed along the shore

of deep sea flow that they of old

renamed for songs and stories bold.

The waterway where life began 125

and ne’er shall end~ “Life’s Lurien”.

__________________________

Ann's NEW COMMENT- where above I say unnecessary the content seems to disappear in enjoyment of words for words sake-I don't know!
I think you need to 'stram' in Norwegian, it up, or tighten it and thereby perhaps make it shorter but more intensely expressed, which would help your readers to understand it intricacies better.
You have such a ric vocabulary of word and image that you should be able to astound us with your poetry, at the moment you turn some away because of the things mentioned. Either that or abandon the theme and within some kind of new absurd poetry make some truly exciting innovations with your mind in text. There you can in an abstract manner juxtapose odd incongruous words next to next and make a spark.
gods that kiss-this bit where you say "Still given them of God that kiss" I suppose you mean this with a comma after god-again the small g? Do angels need capitals? What heaven did they have then?
Yes you have a freestyle feeling strongly within the strict rhyming pattern, as if the free verse is battling to take over with its own words.

And I HAD TO PUT ALL INTO VERSES AGAIN IN THIS PLACE IT WROTE THE POEM OUT AS PROSE FROM MY MAC!!!! Damn the differences that give us so much extra work, this is not being cross with you Wesley but with the systems. I copy something from one prog and in here it turns out totally different, bother it!

Now I shall post it, have a good day here it is pouring buckets and there are landslides galore in Norway. Love from Ann keep at it you will make something out of this I know it..

"The image of yourself which you see in a mirror Is dead,
but the reflection of the moon on water, lives." Kenzan.

Wow, it does my heart good to see someone write a comment as long as mine. I hate skipping over good stuff in a comment and I'm rushed right now (I have to tractor the riding ring), so I will return to party with your reply. Just one thing because I caught it- "The Drying Sea" is their name for the curse that we would call salt deprivation. For reasons that can't be fairly explained at this point in the story, the larger part of all the water and salt has been stripped from the world and locked behind Torgandon, the White Salt Cliffs the canto speaks of. For more generations than they can record they have been dying from this curse (among a myriad of other deaths that plague them). The water and salt sloughing down from the cliffs and through the crack they "think" they caused has brought an end to this curse.
I will be back to gleefully address every one of your comments. More and more, I live for this.
wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Sorry it takes me so long to get back. It is a gracious thing you give to me- your time. I must strive to be better about appreciating it.
Your first detailed comment I did not fully understand. Did you mean the capitalization? As God is an actual character in the larger scope of the work (a speaking character at times with somewhat human foibles) I capitalize Him the same as I do the two chief villains, Samweil (Lucifer) and The Man (Samweil's creation). If not that, please tell me what you meant.
The collective memories of the Clovis were lost for what to them was a very good reason. The Age of Waste was a time of punishment (by the Angels that made men) and thereby times of horror and tragedy. Remembering them was as difficult as it was not desirable. That is what I meant by that line.
If I eliminated the line between- "was left behind." and "to thrive at last." Is it still clear that the salt raining down on them was a critically good thing? I'll look at it differently.
I explained "The Drying Sea" above and haven't heard back from you. Is it that unclear what the lack of salt meant to their lives?
The words spoke harsh that did NOT speak about their ancient crime, instead condemned the south and named their new home in the north "Life's Lurien". What connection the word "Lurien" has to the north other than them choosing it for their new land's name is not known to the people of Lurien and for the moment me also. Do I NEED it?

Okay, I left the above to show you my confusion, but now I understand. You're absolutely right. In the first instance of mentioning deity they had "Gods". In the second they had a monotheistic "God". This canto is one of the first I have written (six years ago) and at the time the relationship between the land and God was unclear. I now know there are numerous beliefs throughout the lands and the truth is that God, Samweil and The Angels are recurring characters pivotal to the plot development. Speaking from the perspective of the Clovis (in hunter/gatherer days before becoming an Empire) they would speak (when they did) of "the Gods" in less than respectful ways. That second God reference must be reworked. Thank you. I don't know how I (AND others at poetry forums) can re-read this for six years and still miss something as critical as that.
"Odd way of putting it?" Does that mean you think it quirky and good or quirky and bad? I rather like it.
I suppose I would call this next a metaphor. The blessing that is the sound of running water, at sea, in river, hell, out of a faucet is looked on (certainly by me) as the kiss of God.
Okay, a little loose here- I'm just now reading your newer comments. Yes, you're absolutely right. I eliminated the comma after God because I always leave the comment out if the last bit of the sentence is very small, but in this case it would clarify everything.
So now, little things. I could never consider changing the format and not because it is the method that I'm "supposed to use" for an epic poem. I simply and dearly love the form. It is in my eyes, just the best damn way to tell a story EVER. My first, last and foremost driving factor is to write a large, hip and exciting romantic, fantasy, adventure told in verse with rhyme. I don't want to be anywhere else. I write other poetry because I fear if I don't I will become stale and the canto, instead of improving as I feel they do, will become increasingly worse. The sixty four canto I have now could be considered a polished draft. Much will be eliminated if I come to that point.
Angels have always been capitalized in every "western" book I have read, but they are more important as thinking, feeling characters in my tale (see Canto Twenty Five).
If my free verse seems to be battling with my rhyming it's because I talk too much and the structure keeps me under a semblance of control.
Well I sure hope to heck you come back and read all this, cause I want more from you. This is what I do the voodoo spells for. That some Angel will come and help my poem to grow in size and quality.
And one last. BOY DO I EVER UNDERSTAND ABOUT COMPUTER'S PISSING ME OFF!
wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

First one I think I have read and this as a book would have kept me interested all the way through, it's so detailed and perhaps more poetic prose but so very well done, the Canto style of storytelling here is just wonderful, dare I say it's been a while since I read Pound so this is quite the treat.

Chez
"The perfect woman perpetrates literature as she does a small sin: as an experiment, in passing, to see if anybody notices it - and to makes sure that somebody does." - Nietzsche

This is high praise from someone I just met in the infamous, globally feared "Shark's Pool". You even scolded Jess with grace and elegance.
I'm only just now being acquainted with "poetic prose", so I couldn't tell you if I agree or not. I have loved this very simple form of poetry (iambic tetrameter with heroic couplets...and unmercifully long) all my life and producing this poem has been a dream of mine since my twenties. I had so many false starts that I didn't start to produce anything worth keeping until about six years ago. The online forum format is the first place I have been able to get any response to it. No one in my life reads anything more complicated than horse magazines, so I write in a vacuum.
Your very kind comments tell me that at the least, it was not a chore for you to read. It is my intention to (very) slowly post the finished draft I have at the time (we're talking 64 canto and counting). Even if you can't afford the time to offer detailed suggestions, it would help and thrill me if you could join me in my fantasy soap opera. Please, look into the first two canto already posted and just let me know if you have read me. ANY comments are welcome and beneficial to me.
Thank you very much.
wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Wesley you are too kind but Jess does need some pacifying occasionally. I would love to see the others and will go in search of them and look forward to more :)

Chez
"The perfect woman perpetrates literature as she does a small sin: as an experiment, in passing, to see if anybody notices it - and to makes sure that somebody does." - Nietzsche

If you have not found this out yet, the first canto is in blog. This is where Jess suggested I post it for its size. I have since, as you see, to The Stream. Can't say thanks enough. wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Only around 2500 years ago. There is a LOT more history than that which is told in Part Two (not Book Two). These stories begin in The Ana. They will be told concurrently with Gundhag's Quest and incidentally influence our understanding of where she is and what she does in the present concerning the child and its mother.
Periodically throughout Book One of Part One we break away to the past to shed small lights on the present (see Canto Twenty Five).
By the way, the lullaby Gundhag sings in Canto Six to mollify the Demon (a magical construct from a mother she does not remember) actually has a melody. I think it one of the prettier little things I've written and if I can get a real computer figured out maybe I'll sing it for you.
wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Would love to hear you sing! Or better, upload the score.

No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job. - TS Eliot

http://www.wsgeorge.com/

If you tell me how I will, but I warn you I am an OLD trained vocalist who learned the same amount of music theory all singers do... just enough to get by. So although I rather like the melodies of the songs, the sheet music manifestation is crude at best.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Not here, I think,

You can export it to an image file using some scoring software (there's the free Musescore). I doubt Neopoet allows picture uploads. Probably on some other site/blog so you could send a link through the comments here.

No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job. - TS Eliot

http://www.wsgeorge.com/

With ass grown sore from pulled hamstring
still I sit to hear you sing
of imagined land of old
unrecalled like a gray mold
...............Well.......I sit tilted on a single chhek to give these ideas lol
l-2 change dark to deep
l-4 change coarse to steep
l-11 change the to if
l-14 in memories of lost just cause
l-24change moisture to salt mist
l-30 change to to of
l-34 as to was
l-37 try seared by harsh light
l-44 could find no place within their tale
l-45 try.....crossing shifting sand
l-58 potent to quenching
l-60 wine to draught
l-64 could to would
l-70 salt walls hard as stone
l-72 uncounted to recounted
l-89 swap places with in and reverent
l-90 drenched to washed
l-118 that to which
l-120 aging to rotting
hope a few of these will be of use.............stan

I haven't had homework like this in a while.
Thanks editor. I'm on it.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Wowww!! This is really amazing  

My favorite lines though it has been very difficult to choose:
Nowhere in tomes rewritten times
 uncounted o’er the years in rhymes,
 or scripture that by men were writ
 as if by God or Devil’s spit,
 in Songs of Lore and Legends proud, 75
 Cathedrals ringing Bells aloud,
 the claim of King, the prayer of Queen,
 each glory that was ever seen
 by hearts and minds of later men
 was sound of nature’s fury when 80
 from out the cleft there did explode
 the might of that salt water ode. 

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

(c) Neopoet.com. No copyright is claimed by Neopoet to original member content.