D: A . . . A, I don’t quite know what to say.
A: Oh boy, here we go –
D: It’s just that you complained so bitterly. And really you just don’t have a poetic soul. How I ever landed in your mind is a mystery. I mean, sure you’re Irish, but you’re not even maudlin about it. Must be these warm Midwestern summers.
A: Is this you not knowing what to say? Really?
D: The words I’m looking for don’t come easy, A. I’m talking about the poem you wrote for the Community Storyboard, the one for this week’s prompt on angst and longing. I . . . I knew you could do it.
A: You did? Um . . . . Well – thank you, D. Of course, I think you had something to do with it. Angst and longing are rather your department.
D: And here I was trying to be complimentary.
A: And I’m not being disparaging – you have to admit that an epic life comes with some angst. Longing. Pain.
D: All right, you can stop now. I get it.
A: So you really liked it?
D: Don’t fish, woman.
A: Well, it was worth a try. Thanks, D. Stay tuned for Mairead’s version.
D: Mairead?! Wait, A – I don’t think this is such a good idea! I’m not ready!
A: I’m sorry D, I think you’re cutting out. I must be entering a canyon or something – see ya, D!
D: A! We are not on cell phones. I’m right here! A? A? Where’d you go?!
(Originally posted on The Community Storyboard)
Mists of time creep by
Filling my senses
And dulling my pain.
Once you did love me
A promise you gave
For your kiss, I longed.
The burden of honor
The call of my clan
Did tear us apart.
Brothers surround me
But always alone
Mired in treachery.
Though victory was ours
Too few did return
I was lost to you then.
I left to wander
To court jealous gods
History, myth and legend.
One day I’ll return
Old hurts forgotten
I will hold you and whisper,
A Explains the Tale
In writing the draft of Book 1, I “discovered” that there was a very old ballad (or rather, a lyrical oral story) that told the story of a warrior prince and his lost-love. It’s referenced throughout the last half and parts of it are even recited (although, at the moment it looks more like “put pretty words here”). Essentially, “The Ballad of Dubhshíth and Mairead” is a hand-me-down historical clue to D’s life.
Since I have no idea how to write a ballad, let alone compose lyrically-pleasing prose in Irish/Pict/Scot oral storytelling form, I was concerned. Concerned, but really determined to twist my brain around something resembling poetry. I did a small amount of research – more of which is needed – but really, the “Angst and Longing” prompt at the CSB came at the perfect moment.
My brain, and maybe a bit of D’s heart, tossed enough words on the page to make four poems that will make up a compendium of sources for the ballad.The ballad itself will tell the tale of D’s first life – his very own historical record. Realistically, I only need a few lines lifted from the ballad itself and the tone of “Mairead’s Song” (debuting later this week . . . maybe) to make Book 1 work, but I want it all. I want it to function almost as though it were one of the many research books I keep on my desk. I like to think of it as another way to gain insight into a temperament and personality that, 9 times out of 10, remains a mystery to me.
D: So you admit that you don’t give me my due.
A: I didn’t say—
D: Admit it.
A: Fine. I’ll admit it, if you admit that my head isn’t an empty wasteland compared to what Your Magnificence has come to expect.
D: So we’re agreeing to disagree then, hm? All right. I can work with that.
A: (Sigh). Cheers, D.