Where The Angels Sing

The rain is falling down

The sky is grey and bleak

Everywhere is silent

A cheerless, lonely town

.

Like ghosts along the pier

Like phantoms in the night

We can only cry and wait

For our ending to come near

.

No place for us to run

No place for us to hide

We can only hold each other

As history is spun

.

As we see our town in ashes

The baker’s store, the willow

The cobbled streets, a better time

That comes to me in flashes

.

And it includes a young man, grinning

A man that I have loved

With sparkling eyes and barking laugh

A way that made him winning

.

And when days were good we’d meet

In a summer valley

With dewy tress and singing creek

The only place I was complete

.

It was there that he first kissed me

It was there that he proposed

It was there that our hearts came together

And helped us both to see

.

It was out there in that glen

When war’s whispers finally came

We’d hear about it; its bloody trail

Every now and then

.

And he and I, we waited

For what we knew would come

The draft, the uniform, the soldier’s gear

The fight that we both hated

.

And when we said goodbye

In a lingering kiss

He whispered a sweet promise

And I could only cry

.

And so I watched him go

In a uniform we both loathed

But we knew, our time would come

My lover, my beau

.

But not long after he had left

New lines of war were drawn

And our lovely, carefree town

Suddenly, was bereft

.

For the enemy soldiers came

Took over our poor town

Used it as a battleground

And used us in their game

.

And like pawns, we were used

To help them win their war

A disposable town, pathetic people

A resource to be abused

.

So with optimism we responded

Hoping it would help

Hoping that our boys and men

Would receive what we corresponded

.

But nobody came to help

The battle lines drawn clear

The soldiers were here, here to stay

And they treated us like whelps

.

They used us as their servants

They abused us their leisure

Made us treat their wounds

Let nothing but observance

.

And anyone who disobeyed

Suddenly disappeared

As we became their slaves, their whores

Every whim to be obeyed

.

So when the gunshots rang

And the front lines started closer

We wondered if our men could return

As the bullets and shout all sang

.

And these soldiers were suddenly smart

When they looked at our old town

As they realized just what they could do

Se we could become a part

.

And now we play a part, in this wicked war

We became hostages of these men

Suddenly fine pieces

Better than before

.

We were given a warning

‘Be good to us’, they said

And now that we’ve been good

We’ve see the dawn of morning

.

And with the dawn came fire

As they burned down our poor town

They let the rain sting our faces

While they built our unmarked pyre

.

So now there’s little left

Of this place that we called home

Where children played, where people laughed

Our hearts torn with the theft

.

And now, while we wait

All sentenced to our death

I can only think of him

And what happened to our fate

.

Where a white dress waited

And a violin would play

Where a kiss would seal our hearts

A hope now desecrated

.

The barn where we once danced

Will now become our tomb

As these monsters light the fire

I think of his romance

.

And thus, I whisper my goodbye

I whisper ‘I love you’

And as I find my happy place

I let out a sweet sigh

.

And focus on the better times

Focus on the love

Focus on that valley

Where pain was once a crime

.

And as I twist the diamond ring

And think of his sweet promise

I can only hope that one day we’ll meet again

Up where the angels sing

 

 

Okay, so I know this isn’t my usual type of poem. Very dramatic, very dreary, very drastic. In truth, though, I wrote this months ago, and it sat on my computer because I was worried about putting such a touchy poem up.

Then I watched The Boy In The Striped Pajamas. Suddenly, that very dramatic, dreary, drastic movie helped give me confidence in this poem, and it’s story.

I will be the first to admit that the atrocities of World War Two are very, very interesting to me. Not in a morbid way, but in the mere astonishment of what people will do to others. From the Nanking Massacre in 1937-1938, the Oradour-sur-Glane Massacre in 1944, and, of course, the murder of six million Jewish people, along with the masses of the mentally disabled, Romanian, gypsy, homosexual and other cultures killed in work camps throughout Europe. This also includes the horrors of what the Nazi party did under the orders of Hitler, including the twisted Josef Mengele who preformed brutal experiments on children.

However, there was also some light in that dark time. Viktor Frankl is one of my favorite psychologists; I find him to be an uplifting and highly intelligent man; a psychologist that was more human than say, some of the psychologists such as Freud andSkinner.

The horrors of war are awful, and many of them leave scars on many of us. However, there have been many, many other awful wars and massacres even recently. The Rwandan Genocide in 1994, The Srebrenica Massacre in 1995, and some massacres and genocides as recent as 2001. Hate still is in our world, and apparently, we don’t learn from our mistakes.

I guess what I’m trying to say here, is although I wrote this poem with one of the World Wars in mind, it honestly, could be any country at war, any place that has brutality. World War Two was hardly the end of such atrocities such as the concentration camps. All we can truly do is learn from our history, and not doom ourselves to repeat it.

Believe me when I say that I am not usually so ardent in my ideas of peace. But by doing two projects (Nanking and a all-too-short bit on the holocaust, here and here) and yet still reading about some of the awful things that go on in our world can make me a little upset.

So, there’s your summer history lesson for the day. I’ll be more light hearted later, but perhaps, sometimes, its good to introduce something for people to think about. Don’t think poorly of me for it.

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The Song I Couldn’t Sing

So I fell for you

Because I thought I knew you

And yet it wasn’t true

I wanted to love you, wanted to hope

And instead found that you couldn’t cope

Though I wanted to suffer, in order to hope

And instead found you stepping on my throat

After you had whispered sweet lies

The ones to disguise

The words you whispered, twisted and tore

A battle of two hearts locked in war

I wanted to only win your heart

But you wanted to tear mine apart

And when the battle began

I realised and ran

Trying to let go of you

Before you destroyed me, through and through

But your lips and your heart called my name

If only to bathe me back in flame

And soon you trapped me, help me caged

While the battle around us raged

And you wrote words upon my heart

One I hadn’t heart since the start

And you whispered the words as you tightened the chains

The words echoing through my veins

Until you were sated

And my love abated

Until I no longer wanted you

Until I knew that we were through

Then you left me, then you were gone

With the light, and with the dawn

To pick up the broken shards

Left of a house of cards

Of my broken heart, the weeping tale

The battle that had swept through my heart like a gale

And with the pieces I tried to reclaim

But I only could find parts with your name

Even the rag and bone shop couldn’t collect

A heart and love so wrecked

And with words that were etched upon my bones

A heart that had been in places unknowns

My heart, battle torn

Now so battered and worn

The words echoing on my heart, my soul

Words that couldn’t keep me whole

And you left me with a troubled song

All in all that felt so wrong

The words I could mumble, the words I could sigh

I could do so until I would cry

But you were gone, that I knew

And my love for you was through

Because it was you who stole my heart

Enjoyed it when you ripped it apart

But still you left me with a broken wing

Left me with a song I couldn’t sing.

So, here’s something different. Instead of my usual happy-go-lucky love poems about dirt roads and sunsets, I have something about heartbreak, sadness, and general discontent. A war waged between two hearts; one wants the other, and the other will have none of it, but battles anyways. And he breaks her.

It’s kind of a Les Miserables, Eponinne ‘On My Own’ style. But rather than have images that shes stuck with, she has these lyrics etched in her head that she can’t come to terms with. She can’t sing them. Her heart is broken, and she’s been so broken that she can’t come to terms with what happened.

While I have never had my heart broken in this fashion, I know people whose relationships have failed so badly that they sink into a dark spot for days. Or those who want another to fall in love with them, but they never do. And they fight fate.

I know, that for me, I liked this guy for a year or more. I never did anything, but I wanted to be with him, and I wanted something to happen. But I was too afraid of ruining our friendship. So I waited, and waited. And then, he got a girlfriend. Talk about ‘I’m Not That Girl’ from Wicked.

I don’t like him as much anymore, though my heart still sometimes jumps when I see him. But the sadness and jealously that was there was, too me, ridiculous. It shouldn’t matter, I thought. But in a way, it also taught me that sometimes, we have to take the jump, and maybe risk a little.

So, here we are. Hope that you enjoyed it!

The War, The Elf, The Great Ash Tree

Far, far away

A long time ago

When trees used to whisper

When trees used to sing

And when more than just deer

Once settled here

 .

For before humans came

Across the shining sea

Other folk once lived here

Gentle as a sparrow, clever as a cat

It’s where our children played

In this gentle glade

 .

Where the trees became our homes

And the leaves became our dwelling

Where peace and birdsong

The stars and sunlight

Twined ‘round us, a sacred cape

A sanctuary, a great escape

.

Until the day that they came

Across the shifting sea

Humans in their monstrous boats

With hunger in their eyes

Greed within their hearts

Something new within these parts

 .

Where greed and lust did not exist

With its fiery kiss

Instead tranquility and temperance true

Brushed us with its wings

But with these humans, something changed

The moment words between us were exchanged

.

For we were different, easily seen

Our pointed ears, our flowing tongue

Their rounded ears, their harsh, harsh tongue

We had our beliefs in different things

Held our honor different ways

And we lived far longer days

 .

So our cultures crashed

When they came upon our shores

And yet they had the daring nerve

To claim the land, to kill its creatures

Even when our ancestors

Had lived much longer than theirs

 .

And so one day, our differences

Collided in a single meeting

A human man, an eleven male

Achan the Young and Raeus the Light-foot

Both unsheathed their fiery tongue

And dark daring words they flung

 .

Which turned into a bloody night

For both humans and the elven

As Achan and Raeus turned to brutal duel

And late in the night, with Achan’s slaying

For no man could beat an elf

Our fragile peace so revered, it tumbled off the shelf

 .

And a full out war was pledged

Between our folk and theirs

With their battle drums and gnashing gums

And our silvery stunning swords

Our war began, our war was launched

That once began, no blood was stanched

 .

The elven folk fought for our former life

The whispering tress, the gentle life

And man fought for their pride and glory

With bloody words and hungry vows

To take what they thought was theirs

As we fought them for our cares

.

And through each battle

And through the blood

Our gentle life was shattered

Our gentle life was splintered

As war became our way of life

As our days were filled with strife

.

And we carried on for days and months

With neither side a winner

Until a woman, soft as dew-light

Marched to our brave leader

“Sigurad, this war must end

Why yet do we pretend?

 .

“Why yet do we pretend

To fight for our land, our home

When it is shattered, and rendered bare?

Our trees are dying, the sky is crying

The rivers run with blood

And blood has mixed in mud?”

 .

Siguard, the leader replied, much wearied

“Cienwen, fair one, do not mock me with your eyes

For within them you render much despise

I cannot end this war, though it’s wrecked our home

We fight for honor, we fight for family

We fight for all this agony”

 .

Cienwen left then, disagreeing

The fight is prideful,

And pride is fleeting

Like a summer bird in autumn

It soon will go away

And if it does, what left is there to say?

.

‘Our homes destroyed

The braches broken

The numbers of dead are yet unspoken

Our way of life, our way of thinking

Destroyed now by this bitter war

All as a way to settle the score’

 .

She stared out at the burning land

The battlefield, men’s fatal cries

The way the world looked through a bloody haze

Their world fueled by a revolted daze

And how men of both their races

Died on each other’s swords’ embraces

.

She watched as Siguard lead his troops

Out onto the battlefield

Where trumpets blared and soldiers roared

A torch to heat up their discord

Where people maimed and people died

All for this war based on pride

 .

Back to her temporary home she walked

The shouts of children around her mocked

The tragedy of this part of our history

And when her uncle found her there

In his voice there was despair

“Come now, quickly, your brother, Faihr

 .

He calls to you now, his wound is deep

There’s little time, Cienwen, before he’ll pass”

She stared at Uncle, uncomprehending

Her brother, wounded, about to die?

Her brother, twin, and young elf of Saeding

Fate was cruel, and she felt it’s sting

 .

She hurried to his bedside there

Where roses bloomed upon his sheets

Bloomed of blood, and want, and war

Where young elves died, the price of pride

As together, they said their final goodbyes

As his heart made its final cries

 .

And when he passed, a sorrowful wail

From those who mourned the loss of him

A bright young warrior, a handsome sight

A peaceful elf, a luminous light

And now I’ve lost him, now he’s gone

And yet the war around us, presses on

 .

A war on pride, a war on greed

A war sown by a bitter seed

That our fair people had to fight

That turned our light forest, into night

And now Cienwen lost what she held dear

And everything became suddenly achingly clear

 .

Well, she was prideful! Let them see!

Let them meet her at the great ash tree!

At its great branches, at its slender truck

There she would stop this fight, this blanket night

And she would make sure no more war

Ever came to their fair shore

 .

And in her fury, Cienwen went

And there she sang in grief and mourning

To the greatest old grey ash tree

She sang of despair, she sang of love

She sang of the future, of the stars above

She sang about the mourning dove

 .

She sang until she was nothing but the song

Until the world had done her no wrong

Until the elves began to come

To listen to her woeful hum

To listen to her sing her grief

To listen as she turned to leaf

 .

And as she sang, and as she hummed

The air around her thrummed

As she grew into the great ash tree

Tangled with the leaves and bark

Becoming one with the tree itself

Turning to tree from gentle elf

 .

And Cienwen sang until she was no more

Until she was tree, and nothing else

For she knew how to settle the score

And the elf’s fair beauty, the elf’s fair light

Came from within the tree, within the bark

Her limbs and branches in gentle arc

 .

And we wondered why, we wondered how

As we keened our grief, for her and her brother

Why would she do what she had done just now?

Was it out of grief, or out of madness?

To follow her brother? To escape this life?

To take leave of all this strife?

.

But yet we honored her, with her choice

 Giving her transfiguration a voice

We told the others, we told Siguard

Told her uncle, told her aunt

And we mourned the loss of not one but both

Of Tyfwr Eiddew’s gentle growth

 .

We mourned their beauty, their fierceness, their gifts

Fahir’s bravery, Cienwen’s peace

Both of their fervour for life and passion

And we laid Fahir near the great ash tree

Near where his sister had made her plea

And had turned herself within the solemn tree

 .

And the war went on, the war continued

With more dying, more crying

More mourning our losses

Until the day the winds had shifted

Until the day the leaves grew still

And suddenly, the forest contained a thrill

 .

A gentle singing, a gentle hum

Twirling leaves, and yet no breeze

A gentle foreboding, a saddened presence

Creaking trunks and no singing birds

Rippling roots, and shuddering trees

As the war began to freeze

.

For the elves and men alike

Grew frightened at the forest

Where the trees grew into traps

Branches held hostages

And the grass tangled limbs

And the men sung their hymns

 .

The battle that raged, the flames that ravaged

All quickly were extinguished

For fear of the forest’s retaliation

For though none had died,

 Both humans and elves

Were afraid for kin and themselves

.

For neither race had seen such a disturbance

In such a calm, old forest

But Siguard knew

And with the idea flew

To go to speak and see

Cienwen in the great ash tree

.

And once there, he knelt in the grass

On bended knee before the tree

‘Cienwen, tell me, are you there?

Cienwen, beauty,

Do you live within this tree?

Cienwen, will you answer me?’

 .

And he waited there, for a long while

Waiting for a sign, a voice, a whisper

And when there was none, he rose

Only to hear Cienwen’s gentle tones

Rise above the tumbling breeze

Sending him back to his knees

.

‘Siguard, I greet you

Yes, indeed I live

And the power I have within these limbs

Ought to frighten thee

Speak now to the great ash tree

For I am it, and it is me’

 .

The elven leader trembled, the elven leader shivered

For the power Cienwen wielded,

Was far beyond what was known

A great and terrible beauty

And yet she still resided within the tree

How it could be, Siguard could not see

 .

‘Siguard you have come to me,

If you wish now, speak to me

Let down your burdens, lighten the load

Tell me know what leaves your shoulders bowed

And if you so wish, if you desire

I’ll tell you what is truly dire’

 .

Our leader hesitated, stunned by Cienwen’s power

Stunned by her pure intuition

Stunned by this great ash tree

That Cienwen wielded, as part of her

So with fear and awe in part

His side of the tale he began to start

 .

‘Three days ago, and again, three nights

The Gwyrdd forest began to thrum

The birds didn’t’ sing, the wolves didn’t howl

And yet the forest breathed

Stirring the breeze and whispering threats

Giving all of us the sweats

 .

“And yet we continued battle,

Each trying to win with blood

Each trying to ignore the strangeness,

The shifting in the Gwyrdd

Where plants crawled, their creepers gently streaming,

The plant life green and teeming”

 .

He told of a forest writhing and alive

Who took both races into its depths

But yet kept both elf and man alive

Even when they could not be found

A warning, a signal, something more?

What did this forest abhor?

.

Cienwen and the tree sighed

When Siguard finished his tale

And with a whisper on the breeze

“Siguard, did I not tell you?

Did I not say?

This war on pride, this war on greed

This war sown by a bitter seed,

 .

“It must end, it must stop

Or the Gwyrdd will start to kill

And you may hack down every tree there forth –

But you will never succeed –

You must end this war, you must end this fight

Or you will feel the forest’s bite”

.

“Cienwen, why? Cienwen, when?

Why does the forest seek to kill?

For the need, or for the thrill?

Let me say, it is no thrill to kill?

Why make men suffer? Why make men die?

Why make poor people cry?”

 .

The whisper was sharp

The sting like a whip

“Siguard, what must I say to make you see?
You couldn’t see it before, but see it now!

This war must stop!

The cost must drop!

 .

“Your homes are destroyed

The braches broken

The numbers of dead are yet unspoken

Your way of life, your way of thinking

Destroyed now by this bitter war

All as a way to settle the score

 .

“None are winning, all have lost!

All at too high of cost

I lost my brother, you’ve lost your sons

And now I have power, now I have skill

And when I say, the trees will kill

Not for the power, not for the thrill

 .

“But to make you see, but to help you find

Look at the ground, saturated with blood

Places teeming with life, deserted

The burying ground full

And everybody grieving,

Wanting to be disbelieving”

 .

Siguard started, feeling frightened

Of what Cienwen had implied

A forest that could attack?
A forest that could maim?
What would cause this madness?
What would cause this sadness?
.
This war they fought, for pride, for glory,

Was to keep their way of life, their home, their children

And make sure that no man would overstep their borders

So why would Gwyrdd fight against them?

Why would it threaten, why would it warn?

Why would it be so set to mourn?

 .

Then it came to him, then he saw

What Cienwen had been saying all along

In mind’s eye, his youngest son

Embracing a sword’s cutting kiss

His eyes wide as he pulled it out in wonder

The embrace tearing him asunder

 .

How Siguard had roared, and quickly slain

The man who had killed young Ieuen.

How he had kissed his son goodbye

And had heard his mother’s cry

The pain he had felt, the sting of sorrow

Had made him fight harder, on the morrow

 .

And yet, and yet!

Multiplied by a hundred, a thousand

He began to feel the pain of what this war had caused

And with that, he let out a cry

“Cienwen, fair one, now I see

What you were trying to say to me

 .

“We’ve lost many elves

We’ve lost many people

With our homes destroyed

Blood spilled

 And lives in tatters

It’s not truly this war that matters

 .

“No, we must rebuild, make a truce,

Find our peace again

And remember this day

For this war shall end

This war shall finish

Before we diminish

 .

“It will be long, it will be hard

But we will save lives instead

Of cutting each other down

No more murder, no more death

We shall believe in peace and no more war

And we all shall restore”

 .

A contented sigh flew through the breeze

And Siguard finally took his leave

Finally understanding, finally aware

What he had brought his people through

And Cienwen, in the great ash tree

Knew Siguard could finally see

 .

So, in the days and weeks to come

The elves and the men had their talks

And it was decided, to end the war

As none had won, and all had lost

Together they would rebuild

Both races finally fulfilled

 .

And none forgot the great ash tree

None forgot fair Cienwen

And every year, when the trees blossom

And the jewelled birds sing their song

We honor her with our verses

And each of us converses

 .

For she is old, and she is wise

With her weeping branches,

She has seen as much as any elf

And anytime you need an answer

Cienwen can calm, Cienwen can help

Without scorn, and without a yelp

 .

For her beauty remains within her limbs

And all who see her do remember

What she did for elves and man

And how she controls the forest

A tree that was once an elf

An elf that fought herself

.

A young maiden who wanted to change

Who wanted peace, who wanted love

Who took the chance, who took the sacrifice

To fix what she believed broken

To who stopped a war

To who we adore

.

Okay. This one is long. And when I say long, it’s 2 566 words. This is the longest poem I have ever written, and I’m not even sure why it is so long. But, it’s a new experience. So, congrats if you got to the bottom of it, because it’s not my usual material.

So I’ll keep it short and sweet on this one. 

–          I’m not sure why this particular topic popped into my head, nor why I felt inclined to write a story about it. Though I have my suspicions on a week of having the flu and watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

I also admit to really enjoying a good fantasy novel ever once in a while, so who knows where I picked this up.

Other than that, I’m heading out to Toronto tonight to play in my last Nationals ever before I am done my club volleyball career. It will be really hard, both emotionally and physically. After all, we’ll have to fight for every point, every set, every game. And then…it’ll be done. And my days as a volleyball player will be over. 😦

And then, two days later, it’s grad. It’s moving really, really fast, and I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by.

But enough on that. Have  a good long weekend (if you live in Canada), and if not, then enjoy, and thanks for reading all of this! 😀

I Still Remember

When we were young

And the summer had begun

I still remember

I still remember

The way the breeze

Flew through the trees

As we ran wild through the long grass

Under a blue sky

Where we would never die

 

Where the sun shone

And we were in the unknown

I still remember

I still remember

The place where we

Carved names on a tree

And lay beneath it’s whispering leaves

Sitting together

Your touch like a feather

 

When we were living on dreams

And planting bold schemes

I still remember

I still remember

The lightning in your eyes

As you took my heart as a prize

With your kisses like a whispers

Planning forever

The future endeavour

 

When the sun started to set

And our eyes had met

I still remember

I still remember

The fire cast by the dying sun

The night yet to begun

And we watched the flames cast a spell on us

Your hand twined in mine

As one on cloud nine

 

When the stars were like fireflies

Reflected in your eyes

I still remember

I still remember

The taste of blush wine

As you told me ‘be mine’

And we saw our forevers

A white dress and piano song

Right where we would belong

 

And at the end of the night

Everything was right

I still remember

I still remember

The taste of pure bliss

That came with every kiss

And we slept under the stars, under that tree

My head on your chest

Where I knew I was blessed

 

And when we woke in the morning

The sun without warning

I still remember

I still remember

Blinking in the golden light

Where everything felt right

And going back home together

You were mine, no need to disguise

The light in your eyes

 

And we were together

Until that letter

I still remember

I still remember

Sitting by the kitchen table

Where I was unable

To cry, to beg, to move an inch

And you held me tight

All through the night

 

And you had to go

To fight a foe

I still remember

I still remember

The uniform, the boots, the gear

Where I cried tear after tear

When I let you get on that train

And watched my husband go

To fight that foe

 

And I tried to keep strong

Though nothing felt so wrong

I still remember

I still remember

Trying to go through the motions

Fighting the tide of emotions

Knowing what you were doing was right

But wanting you home

Away from the unknown

 

But I know why you’re gone

And I know that you’re strong

I still remember

I still remember

You said you fight for your brothers

And what you want to do for others

Knowing you’re right

And knowing someday, you’ll come home

 

So I pray and hope

As the world is crumbling down

That we’ll be together

That we’ll be together

Because it’s the hope in my soul

That you’ll achieve your goal

And get on the train home,We

To the summer sun, and me.

I had a few poems to choose from this week, and I had trouble deciding what one I wanted to share. They all ran along a similar thread: “The world may be broken, but hope is not crazy” , a quote by John Green. So I had three totally different poems written and waiting to go up. One was this one, one was an awfully sad, slightly macabre (think a Oradour-Sur-Glane tragedy), and one was very birds and bees and flowers and ‘don’t ever give up!’. How I decided on this one, I’m not sure, but here we are.

Interestingly enough, both this one and the other, sadder, poem, had a similar idea in that a soldier leaves his girlfriend/wife/fiancee, and they wait for them to return. The difference is the ending. This one has a happier, more optimistic ending, while the other one is a very dark, very distressing ending. Perhaps I’ll put it up next week…We’ll see. It might be a wee bit too dark for the internet realm, though heaven knows what we find on the internet is not always glitter and kittens and love stories.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy this one. It’s a mix of my usual and a bit of something different. And, if you couldn’t tell by the content of the lastI want summer to come, even though it brings the unknown; summer jobs and university acceptance letters, moving and all that. But I kind of look forward to that adventure…