Scott Langston

Authoring Adventures

Christmas

We’re back in Saulzais for the holidays

As another year draws to an end

Shedding my workaday malaise

We’re back in Saulzais for the holidays

Forward looking or reflecting on yesterdays

Darkness to forfend

We’re back in Saulzais for the holidays

And another year draws to an end

 

A poem for a goddaughter

This, your first communion,
Gives no assurance of celestial reunion
It’s a yoke you choose to wear
The empty promise of unheard prayer
Its tenants and rituals offer only confusion

I’m feeling tarnished and somewhat complicit
In this indoctrination, this illicit
Eight year old’s promise of servitude
An abuse of childhood, crass and rude
This institution is humanity’s deficit

This s no tool of education
This is simple subjugation
This supplication to the divine
Subjecting the child, a crime
Colluding in foolish fabrication

Perverse, this virgin creed
A cloak for mankind’s greed
Grown of nomadic superstition
Deaf to rational petition
Not a solution, not the one we need

A god who needs your pledge of devotion
And delights in such frivolous commotion
Lifted not a finger nor cried
For all the babies which today have died
He feels not, cares not, lacks emotion

This ritual, this cultural veneer
Superstitious nonsense to mask the fear
Of no purpose beyond that which YOU create
You have no need of divinity to make you great
You life, you can learn to better steer

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.

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