Words of Fate: Of Quills and Swords. (Issue 1)

City walls of pale stone stood proudly on the horizon ahead. Around it rougher stone structures clung together in a hodge-podge of designs and materials like a cancer. Farmland covered the ground between the settlement and a lone hilltop many miles from it where a young man stood taking in the sight of the legendary city. Dense forests made a ring around it all.

It was early in the morning and the young man hoped to be within those walls come nightfall. He wiped an arm across his face to remove a trickle of sweat and grimaced at the smell that rose from his sleeve. He had been travelling by foot for over two weeks now without a single change of clothes. Washes had been few and far between and the summer’s heat had been like the innards of an oven for the entire time.

“If I intend to rejoin society today then I’d best make myself presentable. I smell worse than the old man’s attempt at cooking,” he said to himself.

Humming lightly, he made his way down the hill and veered toward a small stream that he had spotted from his vantage point. He found an area that was out of the way of the working men that dotted the surroundings and stripped off. The water was refreshingly cool but the man wasted no time with relaxing. He scrubbed himself clean then applied a flowery scented lotion from a bottle to himself until his entire body smelt faintly of roses.

He left the water then waited until the heat had dried him. The filthy clothes that he had worn were shoved into his pack and a fresh outfit of clean, well made wool was carefully donned. The clothes marked him above a peasant but they were still cheap and basic by any nobleman’s standard. He needed a shave but the slight beard and slightly too long brown hair did not detract from his handsomeness, simply adding a charming ruggedness to his already pleasant appearance. He would not be thrown out of any respectable establishment and that was all that the man needed.
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City Gods.

margaret-bourke-white-05

Steely eyes gaze over clustered concrete flowers

A god of man-made nature looking down upon creation

Always alone except for now

As he stands humbled beneath the female form.

Hello

Sat high, higher than beast, God or man

Fearless and majestic, an eagle in her own right

The phallic power beneath her

And the eternal memories of humanity held loosely in her hands.

    Can anyone hear me?

Primal winds whip past as though in flight

But neither woman nor eagle stirs

Both ignore the signs of life

And focus only on the unreal.

     Love you all 

Oh but to fly through the smog-cloaked sky

Dodging mountains and buildings with equal contempt

To soar up to Heaven on winds of change

But man has chained them down, always as forever.


This was a poem I wrote in my poetry lecture back at uni. It was nothing but a warm up task where we were each given a random picture as a prompt to write about. I was given this captivating photograph of the photographer Margaret Bourke-White.

The language might be a bit pompous. Any English based subject feels like you need to mention Freud and phallic themes at least once every day. As such I started to use those sorts of language and themes more to meet my tutor’s standards. I found it all a bit bullshit really. I write fantasy and my poetry was simple. It was either dark expressions of dark emotions or happy musings on my lovely dog. This was an attempt to be more academic. I actually quite like it.

Tell me what you think.

Pinnoca

The death happened on a sunny day down by the peaceful brook where families often picnicked in the warm days of summer. Who among the villagers would have guessed that a venomous snake lurked among the dark bushes that lined the silver stream? The girl Pinnoca, who was entering into the cusp between child and woman, certainly didn’t. As she picked the sweet smelling flowers of dazzling colours that grew beside the water, the snake had struck out and plunged its fangs into her rosy flesh. In her shock she had staggered back, lost her footing and plunged into the chill waters. The bite was not deep but the venom spread through her veins and froze her limbs. She drowned, her lips inches from the air that they so desperately sought.

The villagers grieved for a time, then moved onwards. The girl’s father, a widowed carpenter, was driven mad by the loss of his only child, his dead wife’s only legacy. He locked himself away in his workshop, living on the stale bread, potatoes and small wedges of cheese that an elderly women left on his doorstep each week. Friends and neighbours feared for his health, but no amount of knocking or calling out his name summoned him forth from the decaying house.

Night and day the steady sound of hammer and chisel reverberated through the house. The carpenter worked to ease his pain, his tools the vassals of all the emotion that could no longer flow from his body. Numb was his mind but skilled were his fingers. A single image was burned into his mind, all the more vivid in the troubled dreams that filled the scant scraps of sleep that he could not fight. Continue reading