Another Crow Poem

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It was the Day After Christmas,
In Malaysia.

Blast the monsoons, I said.

And I looked out the window, a little bored, the surprise and business of
slipping off.

It was dark, as the gray clouds gathered, and I still looked up,
Bored-eyed and emptylike.

The conductor was still there,
It's flimsy metal shaking in the wind,
(Which was blowing badly then).

And there was a crow on it.

Not that I should think so much of it,
Not that I should have bothered,
But I did.

All alone, standing there,
Its black body
Like a silhouette up there
Knowing that the gray clouds were gathering to strike,
Knowing that the lightning could strike right there first,
Knowing that the bitter wind was howling,
Knowing that the rain would fly down in torrents like arrows.
Knowing so much,

But laughing at risk,
Daredevil crow,
Laughing at time,
Laughing at luck,
Laughing at life,
Laughing at death.

I blinked,
And it was gone,
as a wraith.


Friday, December 25, 2009

So today is the day. All the world rushes forward on Christmas. Christians trying to remember it for what it is; the busy masses taking full advantage of the long weekend... the little kids gathering around Mid Valley's very own, home-bred Santa Claus. And the glad/not-so-glad tidings of last minute gift-shopping.

And yet, I'm stuck, plagued with the blogging bug, servilly (did I spell that right?) trying to type out endless thoughts about Tyatora...sigh!

Of the Prince

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The three men stood abreast on the tall precipice, looking down to see the city so far away. Their horses rested behind them. And behind them, was an empty dirt road scratched into the ground by years of creaking wagons and years of walking peasants.

The darkness uttered nothing on that night. There had been no bird, no beast, not even the sound of running water, to interrupt the long, complete silence. The foreboding fell heavy upon all who traveled that road, for the blackness covered all like a swath, except for the little lantern the three men had kept alive in the night.

“So,” said the man on the left side, “here we are.” Then he was silent and none of them said more.

It is hard to say how much time passed, but none of the three spoke for a time.

At last, the young man in the middle threw back his hood, revealing a circlet with a single jewel of brilliant white inlaid. His sepia eyes gleamed as amber against the light swaying lantern. He turned to the city.

A thousand lights twinkled from a thousand different temple-flames there, some had said. From a distance, it was almost believable, for indeed there were so many flickering lights that twinkled there, like as many far away suns.

The City, the City of the Flame, the Place of the Sword, the City of Towers, the City of the Higher, the City of the Greater. It was the greatest of all that was known to mortal men, the pride of all the world. Such was her magnitude, such was her pride.

And, like a crown over crowns, stood a great tower, gleaming white as the stars, taller than all the others, rising up in a great pillar towards the sky. Yet unlike the others, this one had no flame. But it remained there, tall and old and regal, without fire.

Then the prince, who had looked upon the great tower, turned to his companion on the right.

“Doralnon, what is that great tower there?” he asked.

Doralnon paused for a moment, then spoke, “My Prince, verily do you ask of me to speak of great things that I perceive not fully! For it is the Temple of the Bridge. It is old, and has stood there since the world’s foundations had been laid. No man is let to neither abide nor stand within its walls, and that is why no flame is lit at the peak of the tower.”

“And what does the temple stand for?”

“It has become the temple of desires, where all look upon its walls and call for the nameless desires of their hearts. They stand there, waiting, some cutting themselves with sacrificial knives, some by the slaying of doves, and yet others by unceasing weeping and wailing. Ever they stand before the entrance, and they wait for when the Lord of the Temple returns to fulfill all dreams and all desires and raise up the bridge into the skies.”

“You speak truly,” said the man on the prince’s left, and he was named Myakalos, “Ai, the sorrows of the Great City are great!”

The Prince turned his eyes down onto the ground beneath them, and said nothing, but closed his eyes, and stood attentive as if listening. He stood like this for a time, and the night endured the silence.

At last, Myakalos looked at the Prince and saw, as he had not seen before, tears upon his majesty’s face, and a hard crease of sorrow on his brow. His jaw tightened hard, and he almost seemed to tremble. Myakalos laid his arm on the prince’s robe.

“My Prince, what ails you? Your guardsmen plead you to speak with them of these sorrows, if only to ease the pain on your countenance.”

The Prince reached out for Myakalos’s arm, and said to him, “I hear many voices, and see many things, and my heart is heavy.’

“I see a widow, with a veil wrapped round her eyes so that she sees the world only through the black veil. She cries out for her husband, but he is gone, as is her son and daughters. She goes to places of the Great City where there might be men with gold and pity enough to drop a coin in her thin, tear-streaked palms.’

“I see a man, a priest, who dwells in the Temple of Gain, and ever offers slain goats and appeasements of gold to find peace and power, and invulnerability. But he finds none, though he chants for the dawn and prays over the twilight; though he does every good thing and deed he can do, he fails to win it. And though he does so much he gains nothing, for his road is not the way.’

“I see a young man, who rests upon his wooden bench in a dungeon darker than this night. He eats, but tastes nothing, and breathes, but feels nothing, for he is to die by the axe at first light for robbing a man of his gold ring. Much sin has he done, and he knows not how to purify himself, yet he awaits a death to end his two dozen years of this life. This is what I see.”

And on and on he went, telling stories of a thousand men and women ad children, of the hurt and dying and wanting and wounded. He cried and wept as if he had felt as they had. Hours passed, but neither Myakalos nor Doralnon spoke. At last, the Prince stopped speaking, and dropped to the ground prostrate.

The guards bent over to pick him up. He reached for their arms, but did not lift himself up. Instead he started speaking, in the tongues of the Great ones, calling out with a great voice like a dirge.

He spoke but a little, but it seemed like an eternity. Then he raised himself up, and said out in one last outburst, “May it be done!”

Doralnon nodded. “My Prince, then it is time.”

The Prince said nothing.

He raised his head, up to the stars, as if to glimpse the starlight one last time. The crown slipped down his head, the silvery wire vibrating from the fall at their feet. The prince seemed to take no notice, but even Myakalos knew how it must have been to wear a circlet of royal silver around one’s head all his life, and then to suddenly forsake it for a greater Call.

The prince threw back his cloak over his shoulders, and removed the sandals off his feet. Off went the golden arm-collars, and off went the tassel of purity worn by the High Princes.

At last, the Prince stopped, and then looked down to see all these symbols of his glory and power, lying dejected at his feet. He was ready…

“My Lord–,“Myakalos interrupted, “Your Father’s Ring.”

The Prince turned his eyes down upon the ring, inlaid with a single emerald, inlaid with a thousand minute flowing designs along the plated surface. The light was glinting off its flawless sides as a ray of stars upon it. His hand wavered, as men sometimes do when they shudder, but the deed was done. His trembling left hand had slipped the ring of the Emerald of the Emperor off of his right.

“Are you ready, my Lord?”


“Are you sure you will do this, to abandon all, even if only for a time, to die and live again at the hands of rabble and beasts?”

“Yes, if only for all the voices of the lost that fall upon my ears as tears.”

“And you vow to complete your mission here, and not forget your purpose?”

“Yes, my friends. It is so.”

“Then go. But what shall I tell your Father?”

“Tell the King, that his son is here, in the Lost City, and will return, greater than when he left. And many will be redeemed!”

“It will be done, my Lord.”

The prince held their hands again, rose up, and turned down the road to the City, barefoot, exhausted, sad. But hopeful, for the dawn had come.

Myakalos and Doralnon saddled up their horses, along with the Prince’s rider-less steed, and galloped back up the road to the High Realms.

More philology. . .

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I've resumed my efforts to build the Tyatoran language again. Oh help me. Why on earth (or why out of this earth) must I be so hypnotically drawn to Tyatora? Grrr...I can feel it beckoning me.

This language is different from Firk-Nott. That is the tongue of a specific race in Tyatora. The new language I'm trying to develop is the national language of the country.

The language is probably gonna consist of a lot of A's, O's, and E's, but very few I's. The idea is to restrict its variety to improve the character of the language.

I have no idea of the consonants yet.

Nothing but a foggy idea of grammar so far, so please don't ask much aobut it. I'm planning to make it a bit more straightforward than English. No past tenses, just run, run, or run.

No lie, lay, lain. Just "lay, lay, and lay."

But I could try making a bunch of gibberish now and see if my concepts work out:

Huonankalh! Lue-faloyn nol dansaruun en landelyn Narhu. Liem, landelyn diechlor vra, wue talmer mey'seren. Aun Huakh Beleyk-nan, bosrein! Oiy'e, sea matolh bosrein harek nakh huil. Desnan key mer' o waldvarey nuonan, kethan donorh landeleyn varthi'e!


Look! Fallen are the leaves of the Narhu tree. Yes, the tree is dying indeed, and the fruit is not big. But remember my contempt, Enemy! Oh, sharp axe of my foes hack to no avail. This bark of mine is strong, while the will of this tree endures as life.

What do you think? Did my paragraph sound like any other language you'veh heard? Still trying to pinpoint some aspects of it. . . :)

Christmas Tree

Thursday, December 3, 2009

WE set up the tree,
Last night,
Untangling the Christmas lights,
Twirling gold-and-purple beads round and round.
Joy to the World on the CD player.

And then the ornaments.
All the little twisty bits, and old homely decos, and mini-stars and pretty ribbons,
All merry,
And all the balls, gleaming red and yellow
In the orange glow of the lights.

And yet, one little b ll.
Translucent white,
Without any glaze,
Without any glow,
No colors,
No sprinkle of shiny dust fresh from the factory.

But I like it.
Even if it was so lonely.
And I liked it.

Because it was so plain.

And for its white, opaque-plastic innocence
Looking so pure (I lack a better word).

Like a Virgin moved by a God beyond Comprehension,
Like a Dove,
Like a Baby, wrapped in dirty linens and worn second-hand cloths.

Then the vision faded.

And we stood back to smile at the
We had set up.