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CHOOSING SIDES (a tentative title)

Late at night with burning eyes
trying to write some poetry
which I can read and not despise.
Nothing good will come to me.
Imagery swirls in my tired mind.

In my recliner, pad in lap,
pen is poised for words to come.
Moths attack the window tap, tap, tap.
I yawn as head and arms turn numb.
The waking world is left behind.

The segue into dream is smooth,
It seems my walk has tired me out.
So since I have nothing to prove
pace slows to match the woods about.
To its quiet beauty I'd been blind.

The oaks are wide, the pines are tall
within this remote sylvan keep.
In my dream I see it all
as time slows to a mere creep.
I find my knees no longer grind.

A shallow stream comes into view
whose riffles glisten in the sun
which shines with light both pure and new
on wooded creek banks steep and dun.
It twists and turns like wild wood bine.

There's no bridge to the other side.
I find a ford and splash across.
My wanderlust won't be denied.
The wind picks up, the high limbs toss.
The crossing doesn't treat me kind.

For now my knees assert their pain
as I approach a far side bluff.
Anybody who was sane
would turn and say this is enough.
That's not the way I am designed.

Because there's something on the hill
which dense woods make indistinct.
I climb upward by force of will;
this trek and I are somehow linked.
Like a contract no one signed.

Decreased distance now reveals a wall
tall and plumb and made of stone.
Beyond it I can't see at all.
It looks as old as fossil bone.
Nowhere is it undermined.

My hand traces the joints and mossy face.
No way to scale such edifice
which bars my way with silent grace.
I've never seen a thing like this,
it has no end that I can find.

By mere hunch I proceed right.
A staff somehow now is in my hand.
The wall's horizon's beyond sight
as it curves its way through this rough land.
To follow it I'm now resigned.

Now and then from the other side
I think I hear a muffled voice.
On the breeze it seems to ride.
Does it mourn or laugh, maybe rejoice?
It doesn't seem to be unkind.

I trudge on and I trudge on
compelled to see the other side.
Onward, onward I am drawn.
What secret does this rampart hide?
From what quarry had it been mined?

Until at last I see a change
as the land becomes more flat,
and somehow the daylight becomes strange.
In the distance...what is that?
Is it a trick on weary mind?

My limping legs carry me near.
At last I see that it's a gate.
Just then I jump an antlered deer
which bounds, then stops and seems to wait,
his regal head heavily tined.

Finally before the gate I stop.
It's stout cedar and rusted steel.
(still cannot see over the top)
It has an ethereal type feel
like a forgotten relic left behind.

Murmur of voices constant now,
still too low to understand.
They're not familiar, yet somehow
their sound enchants this remote land
eclosing it within an aural rind.

As sun sets toward the pallisade
I spy a huge knocker on the gate,
a lion's head of iron made.
I reach toward it, i hesitate.
Questing hand tingles me, I find.

The voices grow into a chant
a hymn to greet the end of day?
I feel like a mendicant
imploring that he wants to stay
regardless what I leave behind.

I steel myself and swing the iron.
Instead of dull the sound near rings
which echos upon its return.
The hymn cuts off, nobody sings.
Now toward flight I am inclined.

The rasp of a heavy locking bar
now comes from the other side.
I hear a crow call from afar,
it comes my way with silent glide.
Upon my shoulder it's consigned.

Age old rusted hinges scream.
The crow taps my shoulder with her beak.
Gate opens, by itself it seems.
Crow taps again, begins to speak.
The gate opens, what is behind?

The crow's taps and calls vanquish the dream.
I come awake to spouse's voice.
She taps my shoulder and it seems
I hear a fading choir rejoice
as dreamland slowly leaves my mind.

I rub my eyes and smile at wife,
arise and, with her, go to bed
still thinking of the dreamer's life
but I prefer this one instead.
I find myself in bed reclined
...and images swirl in tired mind.
--------end part one---------

*In two directions we are pulled.
One our mundane working life
when waking senses all are dulled.
The other filled with beauty , often strife.
This begins one person's choice:
to which world will he give voice?

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?
Last few words: 
Welcome to the beginning of this adventure we are on. this didn't start as an epic but I can see it might well become one as there's still a lot of this tale left to be written. I hope you enjoy this quest as it flows from my pen. As you can probably tell this will be a tale of two worlds. The first is our mundane waking world. The second, the world of dreams. I am thinking about using rhyming poetry for the dream parts and frre verse for the waking parts(kinda like the Wizard Of Oz used color and black and white. Let me know what you think of this idea...........stan
Editing stage: 


Seems like you have a good start to an epic poem. I think the title is very apt and the I find the use of the rhyming of the last line from each of the verses is very intriguing. I found myself cheering each of them as they came into play and wondering how you would make the next one work. Well done, bravo! ~ Gee

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Even if you just say: I liked this story or your spelling
of a word is wrong, take the time to write a line or two
and comment. Your fellow poets will thank you!

First, thanks for taking time to wade through this thing lol. And after a while trying to find unforced rhymes for last lines Was a pain . I will gradually expand on the story and post (hopefully about one segment per week) until the tale is told,,,,,,,,,,,,stan

author comment

and nice with a lovely theme. Enjoyable and smooth.
I thought it's clever to use the same line
" and images swirl in tired mind" in the opening and the closing and find it still well fits in both. I'd only suggest that you do some punctuation here and there to easily gear your reader. Some would find this an option but I think it is necessary especially as this's growing to a lengthy piece.
Waiting for the next episod.
Thanks for sharing.


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

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Thank you. I hope to have the next installment ready this weekend. As to punctuation i think you are probably right and I'll try to get this edited in next few days. i Really appreciate the time it took you to read this and I hope the remainder of this tale will make it worth while...........stan....PS just completed punctuating the entire thing

author comment

Yes i'm hooked keep it coming, it's good. Regards Roscoe..

Roscoe Llane,

Religion will rip your faith off, and return
for the mask of disbelief that's left.

I'm going to try to get ya'll another "fix" out this weekend lol. Thanks for taking time to wade through this first segment................stan

author comment

Forgive my gentle scoff.
"eclosing" fix the typo... only one I found.

I like it. Isn't it amazing how if you allow yourself the leeway, the language can just continue absolutely unabated?
Unless I am writing in a very specific form, it has become difficult for me to write in anything less than hundreds of lines. Delightfully (and I hope this is what you were waiting to hear) it does not ramble. It is gently focused and moving forward throughout. Never was there a moment that I felt "get on with it" even though little occurred.
Since your poetry tends to be a subtle mix of verso libre and structured, I think you might have to be a bit stricter with your meter if you want to create that "Wizard of Oz" like difference.
See you in Part Two.

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

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ONE typo? Unbelievable with my tendency for typos. Perhaps I should leave it just to show I can post with just One typo lol. Good to hear it doesn't rambkle as i thought that might happen. Part 2 Does ramble a bit but intentionally so. I just hope it doesn't ramble Too much. And part 2 is already posted so you can review it at your leisure.
Now as to being stricter with the meter. The few epics I've read were All strict with their meter. This works for them as the subjects are all of the distant past. So for at least this first version I'm going to write with a looser more "modern" form and see if it works. Can always go back and change it if I need to. Thanks for taking time to read this long write and I hope you enjoy part2 when you get around to it. I am presently working on part 3. I expect there will be a minimum of 5 parts and maybe more in order to let the protagonist complete complete his journey.............stan

author comment

I do so enjoy a poem of size. Much more than a smaller work no matter how special.

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

You have an amazing imagination - What an adventure in dream land - I think you make the contrast well.

I look forward to part three

Love Mand xxxxxxx

I'm glad you enjoy this so far...............stan

author comment

I will have to read this at the weekend, sorry for the delay, I have put the two pieces together as one poem Pt 1 and 2 so will get back to you on it , Yours Ian.T

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

Sometime either late this weekend or early next week I hope to have part 3 written and posted. It appears that there will be a min. of 6 parts in order to tell the tail but it may go beyond that. Hope i can hold readers' interest over such a long span..............stan

author comment

There is an open workshop with epics in there.
Mine Cata is around 129 stanzas so don't you worry
And there is no hurry to test our patience true.
? is the Tail the end of the story from
EG:- of 6 parts in order to tell the (tail)
ROTF---- Etc:
Look forward to your write,
Yours Ian.T

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

your editing eye doesn't miss anything lol.........stan

author comment
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