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

Webster's new Twentieth Century Dictionary describes a geste as a long tale of romance and adventure told chiefly in verse. This is the first canto in what for me has been eight years of composition and edit. The version here presented incorporates all of the suggestions offered me by my peers at Algonquin’s Table, The Poet’s Refuge and NeoPoet. A summary (in epic poetry tradition) precedes each canto. In them not only is the canto summarized, but new story is introduced. They serve together in the task of telling my tale. I hope many of you will find the time to join me on my adventure through the fantastic and offer any and all critical commentary you can propose.
The tale beginning here is the first book of “Harsh” which is the first of four parts.
One piece of advice. When reading the poem, do not try to read as poetry. Do not savor. Read quickly allowing the punctuation and content to guide you. The poetry takes care of itself. It is romantic, fantasy adventure, so it is not meant to be taken too seriously.
W. H. Snow

Canto One ~ A portentous moment draws nigh that last occurred 1260 years ago.
We join the story shortly before midnight of Harsh morning by the Old Calendre. It is a midnight witches term Midnight’s Bite. Battle was joined minutes ago in a torrential rainstorm of North Country.
In rags, a teenage girl with long black hair is hiding in the partially covered cookman’s cart. She is pregnant. Despairing of any hope for the child in what has been for her a brutal and unforgiving existence, she ponders taking the child’s life, as well as perhaps her own.
From the combat surrounding her, a swordsman is hounded by a bestial, armored warrior on like armored war mount. The horse is extremely large and powerful. Its color is obscured. Though dark, the war horse is so covered by scars, blood and steel it is quite impossible to determine the animal’s true nature. It is most certainly insane.
Swift, agile and unafraid, the swordsman leaps over the wagon’s horse cutting it free of harness. Startled, it rears pulling the cart over onto its side. The decrepit wood bursts, slowing the inhuman knight and throwing the girl thru its wreckage. Instantly, the swordsman casts his weapon aside and races to her aid. He is halted by the knight when the war horse jumps over the cart.
Trapped in the flotsam, an impossible sound is heard by her only. The child in the womb has cried.
Managing to crawl free, she kneels and prays as labor begins. She cries aloud imploring her unborn to not come forth. Whatever has caused her to hear the babe does not change the injustice in life as she knows it. Then seemingly from everywhere at once, the child answers her. Its words are wrathful against God, Devil and Man.
Her response is fearful rage.
Spent, the youngster collapses to die when she seems beset from without. In a flash of lightning, a great Demon is revealed above her. In the next instant it is gone.
As the swordsman crawls to her, the Demon returns. Unseen by the man, it violates the girl to join with the spirit in her womb.
Fearing injury to the young lass, the swordsman braces himself above as protector. An eternity is shared in their sudden gaze. The ancient bond of their souls is revealed to them, though neither comprehends. The man is struck from above and thrown to the ground. The knight and armored horse race off into the night.
Her injuries mortal, she is unable to reach her soul mate in the tempest as once more the unborn spirit within her raves and commands his birth commence. No aid is offered and when the infant crawls forth into the mud it is all she may do to question the Fates that have forced this upon her. She cannot know how she knows, only that she is to be forever refused by the Powers of the Worlds.
At the moment of her death, though but a petty witch in life, she marks the newborn with her tears. Whether her intent was blessing or curse is veiled for now.

Canto One

The geste begins a stormy day.
Nigh war i’tis when start our lay.

His birth is sanctified by Death
and Death remains once taken breath.

The first to die by hand of his 5
and only to forgive him is
the dam who spills her mother’s blood
to bring him forth in battle’s mud.

She's carried there by legions harsh
to fetch and carry over marsh, 10
hills, fields and roads in reckless haste.
Thus, not a moment did they waste
in reaching first new conflicts’ place.
To grimace at foes face to face.
To die and then to kill anew 15
and darken so the coloured dew.

She of the army’s chattel was
with many others, aye, because
strong, violent men need many things
beyond the joy that combat brings. 20

In violence is the boy conceived.
A soldier’s toy, her life's reprieved.
A rape to pass a bastard’s morn
and thence in battle is he born.

The armies joined long fore the dawn. 25
To wagon close to hide upon
she runs away to crawl within.
To piously confess her sin,
so many nights and chilly morn
she huddled midst the husks of corn 30
and rotting wheat and stenches foul,
in tatters wrapped within a towel.

Her theurgy was never strong,
she knew she could not live for long.
She prayed to lose her life of fear 35
before the bastard child could hear
its first sound in this world so black~
her world of vice scarce held aback.

To take her own she knew as sin,
but risk it would she dare and then 40
beholden to the Devil’s Crown
to Hell would she go bolting down.

Upon her heart commitment neared.
Yet, fearful for the babe she feared
she’d not commit a single tear 45
for Beelzebub to pet and leer
on child that hate and wrath had caused.
Therefore, on murder’s edge she paused.

The blades of men once red with rust,
now dark with red bled of their lust, 50
swung nearer, surging close to her.
At last the fear of death did stir
as dread of life trepanned on earth
brought hope for end ere come its birth.

When suddenly, the horse so dull, 55
that put to cart stood deep in lull
while those around it fought and screamed,
at last did rear amidst the steamed
and roiling waters hot with rage.
A soldier’s sword tears thru its cage 60
and frees the beast save one strong thread
of leather harness at its head
which pulls the wagon from a wheel.
Then squealing loud, it wrenches steel
and bursts the cart asunder so 65
that all within fly to and fro.

A horrid sound thru thunders lash
of copper, iron, flesh and trash
slams to the earth in mud filled wave
of water, blood and naught to save. 70

When breaks that string of bridle work
the beast of burden, with a jerk,
leaps out away in mud to drown
and start its dying thru crushed crown.

The swordsman springs back to his feet 75
concerned with only foe to meet.
The Armored Beast upon The Horse
bears down on him with crushing force.
Above The Helm swings Flying Mace.

Berserk in war they close the space 80
which crash and tumult of the cart
had opened up before the heart
of enemy to mould they’ll pound
in moment next when Mace come round.

Within the wreck an angry child, 85
still trapped in womb, grows hot and wild.
Thru store of stock to feed their war
flies stock of woman: cook and whore.

Between desire yet to live
and hope of death her child to give 90
its mother falls thru blackened gore,
when loud above the wrath and roar
of conflict, thunder, screaming horse,
hears bone snap brisk as branch of gorse.

Shot sharply thru her mind the pain 95
brings swift her thoughts to child again.
If she might spare the girl or boy
the agony of death, the joy
at end of life, release from care,
she’d gather from her unborn heir 100
what pain to come she could accept.
Held close and fast would she have kept
each moment of this time away
and grant the child God’s Grace~ Last Day.

But this is not her right to give. 105
The child within her yet did live.

So long as blood of hers did course
thru vein from monomanic source,
blind sight, mute sound, submerse in tears,
wrap tight his soul with God’s own fears, 110
he yet will not release The Flame.
And God in dread descending came
to draw aback what He bestow~
His foolish gift on Dire Foe~
to fail and not deprive The Beast. 115

Thus, God’s own might to him was least
of all he’ll stand against to keep
what now was his with blood to reap.

Now, penned she was by wreck of wheel,
held fast and trapped within its steel. 120

Her consciousness stands at the edge
and bound but loosely on a ledge
of ancient, breathless pit that draws
all those relieved of reasons cause,
when heard she what could not be heard. 125
Her sacred soul to core is stirred.
What courage left to her it pries,
her spirit quails~ the baby cries.

Within the womb it lay she knew
and took no breath, the cry's not true. 130
Yet, broken though her flesh may lie,
she knows she heard her baby cry.

In turmoil vast and driving rain
she drags herself back out again.
She dreams, she prays, but then at last 135
a wrenching cramp~ her water's passed.

A bleeding thick and fast she feels.
Uprising on her hands she kneels
and prays to God to claim her wraith,
destroy her flesh and thence thru faith 140
from sickness in her mind be freed~
may God bless souls of her, her seed.

She knows her child will soon be free.
She cries aloud, “You cannot see,
as I have seen, this world of woe. 145
Come not here child. Come not here. Go.”

But as she kneels and begs release,
for her and child life’s pain to cease,
The Thing grows loathsomely awake
and from allwhere to her it spake 150
commencing its catastrophe
at Midnight’s Bite~ “I yet will be.”

“I hear you not,” her rage denies.
“If this be true my God reaps lies.”

Delirium she knows and fears 155
that feed upon her blood red tears,
they swiftly flow into the dark.
No more her reason may she mark.

O, now at last her strength has fled.
She falls to earth once more as dead. 160

Again his voice~cum~splintered ice,
from unborn Thing within her twice,
cries panegyric, “Man is dead!”
A wrath of blood it voices dread,

“On day far hence thus die I will, 165
but not this day. I yet live still.
Upon my spirit lies a hate
no devil gave. It will not wait.

Black Dirge I sing from moment first.
I serve no God. For Death I thirst 170
for me alone. When I am born
raise not the call of Satan’s Horn.

Let Angel Fall again to Earth,
for I will fill the need and dearth
of that Dark God’s most vengeful deeds. 175
No claim I share of my own seeds.
He holds me not though joy he feels
that I am come and at my heels
will scamper ‘bout collecting bold
the souls I free from bodies cold. 180
With pride in me he’ll preen and strut,
but soon he’ll grow to feel my cut
and fear me as I don’t fear him.”

Then laughter harsh, cold, cruel and grim
so taunts her that it brakes her heart. 185
Though mother’s spirit, on her part,
can feel no less than love inside,
love fears its curse. She cannot not hide
from terrifying truth that sweeps
away the faith she pious keeps 190
of all her short and brutal life,
to brim so filled with pain and strife.

This curse has come as razor’s edge
that cuts away protective hedge
of God and grace, the little hope 195
left sparingly beyond her grope.

Her life pours out into the mud
to wash from her the toxic blood.

Then as she lay and slowly dies
she knows a presence blind to eyes. 200
It covets her spite labor wracked.
Muliebrity and self ransacked
by something wicked come above.
A ravishment of rapine glove
thrusts deep to mud. She’s held by hand 205
of fiendish Devil that does stand
above her form to mock her pain.
She sees no monster thru the rain,
yet bears its plunder, wreck and maim.
The winds increase the lightning’s flame 210
to clear reveal great, wide and fell~
Abomination forth from Hell.

With leathern wings it lay upon
her broken body then is gone.
Together both her hands in prayer 215
beg God that what she weens is there
be naught but madness filled dark lies.
The swordsman near her groans and tries
to right himself before his foe
lands killing stroke. Alas, too slow. 220

Still faster come the drowning rains
as fiend again mounts cloaked in pains.

Its horns and leering face now close
with choking stench of burning rose.
It fills her lungs with acrid smoke. 225
She wants to scream, but all is broke.

Within her womb two weirds arise.
Two spirits join that each despise.
Each check the other though they’re one
since long ago beneath black sun. 230

Then melting o’er her battered form
the Demon melts into a norm
that seems but war and fallen foe.
Betwixt the swift death and the slow
the swordsman shields her from above. 235
Perhaps his sacrifice is love.

One moment face to face alone
have they as time stands still as stone.
Within her eyes he finds his soul.
She’s kin to him and makes him whole. 240

But terrors deep within her teem
and overthrow his waking dream.
A weapon’s final blow is struck.
He arcs his back and counts his luck
to fall from her and lie as dead. 245
The Mace and Horse race off with dread
of Death and War the more to wreak
and horrors fresh and new to seek.

In vain she reaches out to him
and while the distance nigh is slim 250
that keeps her would be savior past
her needful touch, she sees at last,
her Doom is come. Its hurtling lance,
as butterflies in storm, steals chance
that worlds of God and Man might stave, 255
for short time after all, what grave
and dire burns so safe in her.

“Alas, what thou hast saved good sir
is that which best thou had let die.
My life as well, yet here I lie.” 260

Then from such place its hate before
had spoke to her it speaks once more.

“Aye, mater slut., salvation’s nigh.
He's destined not to know the why.
Death, God and Devil fear my sin! 265
Hate’s come, pain’s nigh and Harsh! Begin.”

Her labor’s wounds in earnest wax
while naught she feels of body’s wracks.
The cruel collapse within her womb
that draws life closer to the tomb 270
she lends now not a moment’s thought.
Too late it is, his evil’s wrought.

No aid she gives as child is born.
There are no bells, no brazen horn.
No terror will begin his tome. 275
From warm within its dark first home
the Thing It Is, with liber’s claw,
writes tragedy at Midnight’s Maw.

“What have I done?” She thinks. “He’s gone.
O’ why fate’s muse make me the one 280
to bring forth on your world this doom?
I ne’er did choose to work thy loom.

What purgatory deep in Hell
will ‘low me serve? In what deep well,
by God forsaken, must I drown 285
‘til free of sceptre, wreath and gown?

Unwanted coronation’s ton!
I would be saved of this I’ve done!
Now, neither Hell nor Heaven bound,
but yet imprisoned by the sound 290
of all the Angels foul and clean
contemning me for this they’ve seen.”

And so her fate, bequeathed at last,
hurls to oblivion o’ercast
forsaken soul bereft of peace. 295
Her genic guilt shall never cease.

Yet ere the end demands she now~
“You’ll wear my tears upon thy brow.
An emblem of this mother’s love
that Hell or Paradise above 300
takes not from you whate’er you are.
From Hades dark or crystal star
this then you own if nothing more.
Naught else you’ll have of bastard whore.

Forget me not.” And so, she dies. 305
Thru din of war her baby cries.

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
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: 
This is an edited version replacing my first posting to the site for those who have the fortitude to follow it.
Editing stage: 

Comments

I know you're looking for a feedback.Just don't expect it so soon. I have just started :)

❤❤❤❤❤❤

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

Follow me
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You needn't comment. This is old stuff I was cleaning up on the site. I have found the emotional fortitude to begin what I jokingly refer to as "The Big Edit" and all of Caco's cantos here at NeoPoet are kind of a mess. William and I have been trading overly large criticism's of late and that's what this is for.
If you wanted to start over reading the work, now would be a good time for it. I'm actually going to eliminate whole cantos that don't work in the story line correctly and the first ten canto (previously fourteen) are now what I call the "protasis" which is a fancy Greek word for introduction.
If you want to help let me know and I will tell you what I want you to read for.

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
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author comment

I think that your work with this epic is really great..
I do apologise for not being able to keep my concentration long enough to do this justice.
Of late I am unable to concentrate on reading very long pieces, though I look at different parts of the whole and cannot fault the natural flow that is there.
This should also be written as a story it would make a good script. for a film..
Yours Ian.T

.
There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

I'm posting the edited canto right now for William and Rula who have specific assignments in helping me, so I don't anticipate anyone else taking a look. Thanks for giving it a go.

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

I'm really happy you've added the summary in prose. That helps a lot.
I don't know what is coming but one can't help but to sympathize with the girl and her child.

❤❤❤❤❤❤

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

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

No! Do not "sympathize" with the child. He is our chief protaganist and utterly evil. Those angry, hate filled words in canto 1 were his.

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
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author comment

You can't help but sympathizing untill you know who he's becoming..happy you told me.

❤❤❤❤❤❤

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

Follow me
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is. He spoke to her from the womb and said some really ugly things. Wait until you read canto six. He bites Gundhag to the very bone (of course she thought it was pretty cool, but that's Gundhag... she may be one of my heroes, but she's admittedly a little twisted... that's probably why I love her so).
Did you notice in my previous comment I could not write a "title" to stand by itself? I was operating from my phone. It was a very curious experience. I am not accustomed to modern technology as my peers seem to be. Kicking and screaming will I be dragged into the 21st century.

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

You've clarified this .I went back to re-read and absorb the baby's words in it's mother's womb.
Belive me ,I thought that's brilliant!!

❤❤❤❤❤❤

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

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

I just finished reading this. Am I interpreting this right when I say the child's fate/evilness is sealed because of the way he was conceived? Since he was conceived as a result rape, he harbors evil thoughts and intentions. No matter how much goodness his mother would try to instill, he couldn't change what he is. This is absolutely amazing. Moving on to the next part.....

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

Now you begin the dubious distinction of those who have me explain.
You will learn these things as you read, but I will share them because I want to.
The Man of The Morning Star, the baby, has been born six times before. Several times he has been preempted and several times he has preempted himself.
This is the time.
He is created by Samwiel (Lucifer) in the deeps of time to gain control of the Clovis who guard the one thing that should he gain access to again (he is denied by The Essence) he may supplant God.
The Man will have his own plans.
He is utterly evil and chaotic.
Rape is inconsequential.
He is not a sick baby, he is evil incarnate and the most dangerous thing Creation has seen save The Essence's own apathy.
You are not ready, but on this website is The Ana, a Creation story.
Until then...

Canto Two
http://www.neopoet.com/node/4395

Canto Three
http://www.neopoet.com/node/4498

Read.

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

Will continue reading as I am now intrigued. I am finding a dictionary most helpful as you said I would...

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

the nit picker has arrived lol.
line 6 the sole one to forgive him is
line 10 transport instead of carry to avoid close repetition
line 13 battle's instead of conflict's
line 16 and despoil the morning's untrod dew
line 18 with many other ones because
line 25 the armies joined in the predawn
line 29 another night and chilly morn.(keeps from using morn to describe many nights
line 38 her world of vice scarcely held back
line 39 to suicide she knew was sin
line 40 swap dare and she
line 43 change neared to reared
line 44 yet mindful of the babe she feared
line 50 now dark with blood from battle's lust
line i'll be back........stan

AND HILLS AND FIELDS IN RECKLESS HASTE (do you mean the missing period? aarrgh.

SLAMS (to) THE EARTH IN MUD FILLED WAVE (or SLAMS TO EARTH..

(and start its dying thru crushed crown) AND DIE BENEATH THE FETID BROWN? (I chose lines that for one purpose. I wanted to impress upon the reader immediately that this is a graphic work. I'm limited by personality to go too far, but much of the later canto features a bit of gore and horror... as well as nobility, forthrightness, witches, battles at sea, sword fights up the... mad kings, beautiful princesses, a rogue thief who steals our princesses heart. I think you get the point. At this point we're 24,000 lines with some sixty principal characters.

YET trapped in womb is parenthetical. You may not see the commas. I have imagined I left them out. Typos, typos, tiny little insidious creatures perplex me no end. Eight years of looking through all seventy canto (yes, seventy... I thought said to sit down... ah, well) and still missing them.

Her heart does not stop. There's another one. It "broke" her heart as a lover might. One of the basic tenets of the entire piece is motherhood. The little whore loves the child with ruthe unmatched which is why she is our hero. In epopee, the tradition is to start the piece in Mediasres (in the middle of things at our hero's lowest ebb.

I always figured death was pretty low. Yet, she is our heroine. The man with the sword he "wields as though it were his arm" (or something like that) is the oldest living creature in all of Land's Lurien, land of the River's Sea. The ugly beast on the crazed horse is the long dead ex king of Lurien under the command of a priest who serves The Man.
The horse is even the ill gotten horse that once belonged to Claire, the mother of our whore and a Queen when alive.
And the baby... well... the baby is The Man of the Morning Star.
Now I've either wet your appetite or wet your brow thinking about how to get out from underneath this guy.
Don't worry. I'm harmless. I only shove it down... invite people to read it whom I think will get a kick out it and I'm always looking for suggestions.
Raw truth please.
Shark Pool.
Thanks for even looking. You get experience points for that.

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

I can find no meter flaw.
and it was meant to be ugly and awkward. The beast is dying a horrible unnecessary death and I hoped to convey that, but it's true that after all the lines that sort of attempt appears only in the early canto. After a time story takes over as that's what I am more than a poet.
Also, in its mild defense and ignoring the dozens of edits to the canto, this was written eight years ago before I knew what iambic tetrameter was. As most large works the thing improves with each new canto because the poet has improved.
Let me know if you've had enough. I no longer aggressively encourage going on, but that is what would tickle me. I'm pleased with the work though it is so ambitious I don't see living long enough to finish it, so I copywrite as I go for the fun of it and keep writing for me.

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
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