Sunday 6 March 2011

Lost Words - Parts 1 & 2

When I was 17 years old, I became quite ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Frustrated by my inability to function, I found I didn't even know how to write about what I was experiencing. We were studying Sir Gawain and the Green Knight at the time, and somehow the idea of composing an epic poem in alliterative verse popped into my head. Who was my hero? It could only be a poet who had lost his talents. Thus was born Lost Words. Parts 1 and 2 can be found below, continued after the jump:

Lost Words

In the age of Arthur, the most honourable king,
In the years of Sir Gawain, the gallant and good,
In the days of Sir Bedivere, so brave and so bold,
At the height of the righteous round table,
When Camelot was gold;

And in the age of Achilles, the Achaean warrior,
In the time of Theseus, who mastered the maze,
In the hour of Hercules, the most heroic of all,
At the time of Mount Olympus,
Where gods gambled with lives;

And in the age of Sigurd, the slayer of Fafnir,
In the years of Beowulf, who battled with beasts,
In the days of Thor, the thunderer,
Before the rise of Ragnarok,
Before the death of the gods;

And in the age of the archer, Clym of the Clough,
In the time of William Tell, the wondrous warrior,
In the hour of the rebel, Robin of the Hood,
In the time before the death of heroes;

But moreover,
In the age of Orpheus, son of dreams,
And the years of Merlin the mage,
In the days of Ulysses the cunning
And the time of Wayland Smith,
In the age of heroes
And the time of magic,
The tale begins.

Picture the scene

A beautiful banquet bathed in light,
Where the hungry hordes
Consume delicious delights
And wash down their woes with fast-flowing wine;
The room resonates to the raucous sounds,
Fabulous fragrances fill the air.
The feast is phenomenal,
All fears are forgotten,
Save one.

The master of the meal
Had once been master of more besides.
He had once been the weaver of words,
The poet of poets.
He had been Varan of the Verse,
But no longer.
His mind had once wandered
The wilds of the words
But now it was lost in a wilderness -
A barren, broken world.
He sat silently, sullen,
For this was his suicide celebration,
A party to mark his passing.
Alone he lingered, lost in his thoughts,
While all around the air was alive.

A thud at the door
Shook the room.
The people fell to the floor.

Another thud thundered
And through the throng
Seethed a frantic fear.

Then a third rang out -
Splintered and smashed
The door crashed to the ground.

Silhouetted against the starlit sky,
Cowled and cloaked in the coarsest of cloths,
Stood a stranger
- Motionless in the murky moonlight -
A huge hood hid his head in shadow.
His voice thundered out from its depths -
It was fearsome, filled with fire and fury
But his glittering eyes were cold as crystal:

“I would speak to the sorcerer,
To the wordsmith, the weaver of words,
To Varan of the Verse.”

“I am Varan of the Verse,” said the Master,
“Or so I used to be.”
“And could be again
If you will but come with me.”

“Who are you?” asked Varan
“What is your name?”
“I am what I am,
I am always the same”

“But where will you lead me?”
Asked the world weary master,
“We shall ride through the night
First fast, and then faster,

“Through darkness so thick,
That no end is in sight,
We’ll ride ever faster
All through the long night.

“Till the sun reaches its highest,
And the burning white light
Burns through your heart
And ignites in your sight.”

“You give me no answers
But questions instead!”
“Then ask yourself this question,
Do you wish to lie dead?

“To be cold and lifeless
Ere the day is done,
To never see another dawn,
Nor bask in the light of the sun?”

Tears grew in his grey eyes -
His heart was so hollow,
How could he resist?

“I must go with you,
I have no other choice.”
And the stranger replied
In his faraway voice,
“I know.”