Scott Langston

Authoring Adventures

Trees and trains

Trees are flying, blurring into the past

Metaphorically, literally

The train tracks its clanking route too fast

Trees are flying,  blurring into the past

But the fuel it’s using cannot last

Are we seeing reason, finally?

Trees are flying, blurring into the past

Metaphorically, literally

 

Folkestone, England.  June 2017

Black coffee

Black liquid flows, dark and revitalising,

Jump-starting and igniting me

Hard disks and systems reinitialising

Black liquid flows, dark and revitalising,

Myself, my present moment recognising

Invigorating and re-booting me

Black liquid flows, dark and revitalising,

Jump-starting and inviting me.

The vineyards roll…

The vineyards roll down these luscious slopes

Row upon manicured row of false hopes

Hail this domain, my life to sustain

Whilst sunset falls and off the dreamer lopes

 

‘Lost in thought’ seems such a common refrain

As farmers plough their routes up the lane

It hangs on the vine, this nectar devine

Usurping nature across this plain

 

And what does it bring me , this thirst of mine?

What does it bring you this thirst of thine?

Illusion of relief, cruel and brief

Release of Dionysian design

 

Dijon, May 2017

 

Gwawdodyn

Back to poetry, the gwawdodyn is a Welsh poetic form with a couple of variations. Both versions are comprised of quatrains (4-line stanzas) that have a 9/9/10/9 syllable pattern and matching end rhymes on lines 1, 2, and 4. The variations are made in that third line. One version has an internal rhyme within the third line. So there’s a rhyme somewhere within the third line with the end rhyme on the third line. Here’s my first attempt:

Bloom

Get up on your bike, beseeches the song

Accoustic motorbikes can’t be wrong

Foot on the pedal, who needs a medal?

Wind in your face, primevally strong

 

OK, I might have made up the adjective ‘primevally’, and I inverted the syllable pattern to 10/9 9/9… (The notion of the accoustic motorbike, and the line ‘get up on your bike’ is from a song of that name by Luka Bloom, hence the poem’s title

Top ten reads?

I was challenged to produce a list of ten ‘must-reads’. With the proviso that I have issues with the concept, here it is. Of course, this would be a different list were I to write it again tomorrow, and this list is restricted to fiction. I may produce a non-fiction version if I’m pressured enough…

Theses are not in order; that would be too challenging.

 

David Mitchell – The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

Nikos Kazantakis – The Last Temptation

Richard Bach – Illusions

Donna Tartt – The Secret History

Salman Rushdie – Midnight’s Children

Hermann Hesse – The Glass Bead Game

Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Terry Pratchett – Small Gods

Oriana Fallaci – A Man

Milan Kundera – The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

 

Of course, now I’m frustrated with what I had to leave out, and I’m sure I’ll wake up at two in the morning with an absolute inclusion which I forgot to include. Such is life.

What would your list look like? Feel free to add it in the comments…

Blitz

Gathering to bright

 

Clouds are gathering

Clouds full grey

Gathering up hopes

Gathering it all

All in chaos

All will fall

Fall bleaching colour

Fall sweeping clean

Clean away summer

Clean away dreams

Dreams turn inward

Dreams of hibernation

Hibernation of spirit

Hibernation of life

Life draws breath

Life will survive

Survive the cold

Survive the barren

Barren the frost

Barren the field

Field of brown

Field of angst

Angst for the future

Angst of regret

Regret for inaction

Regret opportunity lost

Lost in thought

Lost to hope

Hope renews itself

Hope springs anew

Anew the warmth

Anew the spark

Spark of life

Spark of growth

Growth will endure

Growth eternal

Eternal cycle reborn

Eternal hops springs

Spring’s colour revived

Spring’s new promise

Promise me hope

Promise me life

Life asserts

Life awakes

Awakes the colour

Awakes again bright

Bright skies blue

Bright new dreams

Dreams

Blue

 

 

 

 

 

Rondeau

Following the format of the Rondeau – 15 lines, three stanzas, 2 rhymes and 10 syllables per line. Here goes nothing…

 

Cornwall

For the first time it felt like coming home

After so many years on the roam

A seemingly simple trip to Cornwall

A family reunion for us all

It remains the county I’ve always known

 

I’m returning, in some sense fully grown

A sense of oneness I at last condone

Memories plunge in like a waterfall

For the first time

 

Childhood beaches washed with sea-spray cologne

Reminiscences yielding up the throne

Demons fading now once and for all

Acceptance and peace hold me in their thrall

For the first time

 

Saulzais, 17 May, 2017

 

Poetry

Six Poets: Hardy to Larkin: An Anthology  Alan Bennett

I was moved and intrigued, both by the poems themselves and by Bennett’s commentary. I find myself genuinely interested in poetry for the first time in my life and it’s as though a whole new world has opened up. I’ve tried with poetry before, so maybe I’m just a late developer and this arrived at the right time.

On a disappointing AirB&B in Canada

So it’s a beautiful sunny day and we’re seeing this place at it’s best.

Sunlight is trying to stream through the bay windows, impeded by months of neglected housekeeping, dappled dust all but obscuring the view of the maple trees slowly turning to red and gold in the late September coolness.  It’s not exactly a ‘spacious’ one bedroom apartment, as advertised. Comparing the photos on the website to the reality, it’s possible to see where the camera was held up to the corner of each room. The actual 3m square kitchen does appear to be large enough to cook in; the actual 3 by 4 metre lounge big enough to lounge in. There is single glazing in all the windows and none of them locks. The fact that the apartment is on the third floor does not instill much confidence – there are custom-cut lengths of bamboo slotted into the inner rail of the lounge and the bedroom windows. It’s only for two nights, he’s thinking. The hallway cupboard reveals discarded trainers and a shoebox full of cigarette lighters, playing cards, disembodied electrical cables and a forlorn-looking remote control, minus batteries. This place has been deserted in a hurry, he’s thinking. Trying out the Lazy-boy armchair, he notices the recent ceiling paint-job, the edges having been amateurishly rushed before the roller applied, giving an unintended border to every wall. He sighs and gets to his feet, wanting to leave but knowing he’s too tired to do so. The bathroom seems clean, at first sight. But opening drawers and cupboards, he finds razors, cotton buds and toothbrushes, not all of them clean. For fuck’s sake. The bed looks comfortable, at least, and an experimental bounce confirms it. Okay, so we’ll stay and leave a shitty review, he’s thinking. Is that honest? Is that decent? Better to leave now, or better to suck it up, stay and leave quietly? He checks the cancellation policy and sees that they can’t leave early. At least not without losing what they’ve paid. It could be worse. it could be way worse, he knows, A little psychological effort and he’s got a calming mantra going in his head, Windows are open, and some organic music is filtering through the fug of abandonment which seems to pervade the apartment. Salt in the corners of the rooms, he’d once read, would absorb bad vibes. Tomorrow would be another day. There was a Canadian Shiraz in the fridge; how bad could that be? Resignedly, he washed the glass he’d found in the cupboard above the sink. Was it really that dirty, or was it the general ambiance which cast it’s gloom on everything he saw? The first glass emptied almost before he’d tasted it and, to be fair, he’d had worse. Well, much worse. This was okay. No, really, this wasn’t too bad at all. He sat back in the fake leather mammoth armchair, depressed the ‘recline’ switch and inhaled the aroma of what was, in fact, pretty good wine. This was okay, he repeated to himself. This was okay. Right here, right now, this breath. The perfection of the moment. There was always a new day, another opportunity to make new choices.

On The Year of the Monkey

This year, The Year of the Monkey, will be the year that my next novel, The Year of the Monkey, gets revived. Not finished, you’ll note, I’m not that confident, but revived. For sure. It’s playing out in my head and it’s growing of its own accord. It’s changing direction. It’s taking on new life. It’s ditched a character, and opened the door for another. It’s entering the realm of magical realism. It’s alive!

An here’s an extract:

It was dark when she awoke. She was cold. The air-conditioning remote control showed her both that it was eleven pm and that the room was at 20 degrees centigrade. Neither of these particulars was a comfort to her. Channel surfing twenty minutes later, Tien berated herself for not being sufficiently courageous to step out into the night to explore. There was no rush though, this was an investment in her future – she didn’t need to follow the back-packer route around the country in less than three weeks. There was no desperate need to ‘do’ Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as it remained in her stolen memories. She had enough money to stay comfortably ensconced in middle-of-the-range hotels for the next month or so before resorting to looking for work. She found that in fact she was happy, sitting cross-legged on this strange bed, having settled on a soundless MTV as background to her thoughts, mentally ticking off everything that she had going for her. An unanticipated confidence sprang from unfamiliar depths. She was charged, with jetlag, or caffeine, or plain excitement. She sat in a trance-like state, breathing in the optimism she now felt about her life. Suddenly the lingering doubts had vanished, and she knew she had made the right decision.

Ngoc smiled knowingly. She didn’t interfere, but instead revelled in the strength of her granddaughter. All was coming together. Her smile broadened.

In the morning, when Tien awoke to the clatter of metal shutters opening, motorbikes starting and street hawkers announcing their wares, she would vaguely remember dreaming of her grandmother, of a parting wink and a pat on her shoulder. The aroma of garlic and chilli would linger in her room, but she would assume it came from the street.

« Older posts

© 2017 Scott Langston

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑