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Dark Poems
Posted by: MesMorial (IP Logged)
Date: 13 March, 2012 05:40AM
Hello everybody;

I am new here, although I am a browser of Clark Ashton Smith's poetry. My poetry is generally too warm/humane to be in the "eldritch" genre, but here is a small selection which (maybe) could.


***


1. THE LAST DEMON

A land of foes! a desert of shadows
Drawn across the violet dunes and dotted
By the dismal tombs of demon-lords; spott’d
By the silent lakes, their haunted meadows
Confound the weary eyes of Time; this land
Is where the hero his final stand!

But fainter than the furthest grave, something
Stirs in hungry sands: the huge black titan
A ghost to the pallid moons that whiten:
Its savage face staring towards Nothing
As shooting stars ignite the scowl of Seth;
Behold! - The sky is weeping for His death!


EXPLANATION

A take on Egyptian myth, this piece describes the aftermath of a war. Over the desert sand of Time, the Underworld God Seth attempted to seize or attain “Heaven”. Ironically, His intention was to be purified or at least to transcend the short term universe. Thus He was a matyr, though He ended where He belonged.



2. WITCHES

I’ve known the feeling every night
Still stirring me in subtle ways,
At every whole or crescent phase
A wild witch enrobed in white:

Her dress is like the vivid dream
That wraps around my moral mind
And laps from it all will to bind
The rainbow red, or pale cream.

Her laughter lights a loving ease
Which wavers only when the wind
Invites the eye of he who sinned
To stare from low, in fouler tease...

And then, my senses seem to blaze
Ere watching as the candle licks
This crystal-laden crucifix,
I sweep aside Temptation’s trays

To dream of Autumn’s holy rays.


EXPLANATION

Self-explanatorily erotic.



3. LE SERPENT

The sands of Time will always sink;
The serpent turns its back on Truth;
Fear not for honour, love, or pain.

Bright memories begin to blink,
Since not AGAIN will ye have youth:
The sands of Time will always sink;

Let lessons, longings, wane or wink;
Regret them not, remain aloof;
Fear not for honour, love, or pain.

The purpose of your pain’s to think;
To seek Salvation’s scant behoof;
The sands of Time will always sink;

Let landscapes in the silence slink:
You bask below this shadeless roof;
Fear not for honour, love, or pain.

Thus solitude must be your drink,
And sorrow’s shadow, your shaduf;
The sands of Time will always sink;
Fear not for honour, love, or pain.


EXPLANATION

Half-villanelle. Experience of a serpent (metaphor for Satan or Luciferian). Everything becomes the sand of Time, so nothing matters. Someone who is bored of life will expect more of the same (sand), so existence is a dry desert. Moreover, desire for things we cannot have (e.g. love) creates "heat" from which we must shelter. Line 10 suggests that emotional pain is the impetus for intellectual/left-handed spiritual endeavour. Solitude is a drink in that it cools and refreshes after experience (it also allows one to sleep). "Shaduf" is an irrigation device; "sorrow's shadow" captures solitude (since a person who "sheds sorrow/darkness" (consider shedding light (or snake-skin!) will scare people away). All in all, the poem speaks of the rejection of human endeavour.

Re: Dark Poems
Posted by: MesMorial (IP Logged)
Date: 13 March, 2012 04:22PM
I decided to write a dedicatory sonnet (hope you enjoy):


***


Dear Clark Ashton Smith! My last name is “Smith”,
But were it not, there would still be calling
(Across Time) that sense of recurring Myth
As though a shared Destiny I’ve been hauling…

Lovecraft cornered it, to the “Evening Star”,
Yet, it lies still hidden ‘hind higher Hills
Where Fulfilment (it seems) is always far
Beyond the fair fields where contentment wills.

We strive for perfection, and fall far short,
For the Horizon seems this rainbow rogue
That divides the realms “What Is”, and “What Ought”,

And causes strange feelings to walk in vogue.
They are the ghosts of those who walked this wood:
Who went forth, and lifted the cloudy Hood.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 13 Mar 12 | 04:23PM by MesMorial.

Re: Dark Poems
Posted by: Gill Avila (IP Logged)
Date: 13 March, 2012 11:40PM
I didn't need a dictionary. And poems that don't make me feel like killing myself. Tres rad!
(Don't explain poems--it's like explaining a joke. You can't be stapled into every publication you're in to "explain" stuff.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 13 Mar 12 | 11:48PM by Gill Avila.

Re: Dark Poems
Posted by: MesMorial (IP Logged)
Date: 14 March, 2012 01:48AM
Thankyou; I don't seem to publish.

Re: Dark Poems
Posted by: metsat00 (IP Logged)
Date: 15 March, 2012 01:33AM
Aloha and welcome MesMorial,
Thanks for sharing your dark poetry, and I hope to read more of your works here. Usually I agree with Gill Avila about not offering an explanation of the poem, but make an exception in the case of Le Serpent ... I appreciated the extra texture. Have you created original dark works in short story form? Mahalo,

Sandor Szabo

Re: Dark Poems
Posted by: MesMorial (IP Logged)
Date: 15 March, 2012 04:49AM
Thankyou metsat00;

The explanations are really only my suggestions, and if I cannot provide a suggestion then no-one would ever be able to speculate. The term "explanation" is presumptuous of me, so I will call them "comments".

I generally edit my poems significantly, which is why I do not like to publish. For instance, in "The Last Demon" I would change "silent lakes" to "silver lakes", as this provides a mix of light and dark. "Silent" is not a useful adjective.

Moreover, in "Witches" (which I would call "Witch"), I would change line 4 to "a wild witch embodied white" (to contribute to the allusions). I would change lines 11-12 to "Invites the voice of he who sinned/To sound below in fouler tease" (or maybe "sound from low"). A wind is not generally associated with inviting eyes, unless it be the blowing of a curtain (that's vague). The consciousness of Satan is (in my opinion) being referred to.

The last line of the sonnet could equally have "His Hood", if one wanted to add a more spiritual edge. There may also be a comma after "but" in the second line.

To your question, I have written little prose although I have been intending to start. I have written one very short story which would fit the genre of this forum, and I will post (is this forum an appropriate place?).

I am editing (and providing "comments") on my poems, but it has always been my intention to write prose. The genre I deal with is one below "eldritch dark", more akin to autumn, love, longing and melancholy. I enjoy Lovecraft's and Ashton Smith's prose, as well as George Sterling's poems. I also like R.W. Chambers, particularly "The Demoiselle d'Ys" (since it has the melancholy, mystical edge).

CAS's prose is among the most beautiful I have read. Characters' hopes, fears and longing are made poignant against the vast backdrop, and I especially like "The White Sibyl".

I look forward to reading some of your work too.

MM



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 15 Mar 12 | 04:57AM by MesMorial.

Re: Dark Poems
Posted by: MesMorial (IP Logged)
Date: 15 March, 2012 06:02AM
Here is another dark poem:


"Reflections"

The lake was a languishing mirror of stars
In ebony shrouded by bottomless depth
Where slumbers a Watcher (behind His bars):
The crawler from Chaos, Nyarlathotep
Who drinks from an ocean of order and faith
Awaiting an era when cravings are courts:
When Azathoth’s legend is more than a wraith,
Yet formless as any that feed on our thoughts.

Through this shadowed vista by seraphs unsown,
We adhered to Eternity’s empty pools
Reflecting ‘pon longings, or images shown,
Talking with shadows of physical fools
Who saunter their wisdom on sanity’s edge,
When laughing too loudly, they fall off the ledge.

Re: Dark Poems
Posted by: asmithson (IP Logged)
Date: 23 April, 2012 10:41AM
With the recent emergence of the topic of Vampire, it has been a common topic to see touched would be the concept of darkness. There are a lot of new forms of literature that tackle just that.

And while there is quite a big buzz with it now, I am guessing that we would not be seeing much of it in the more coming times considering how there is a steady decline of how they are used and made true for.

Re: Dark Poems
Posted by: cguitar (IP Logged)
Date: 29 April, 2012 09:59PM
I have to agree, though really bringing a huge and forcible impact, I don't think it is quite fair to claim of such a word like impact as it would rather be on a lighter note that would make it unavailable for explaining, rather than being open to what the readers would have to say.

Would likely agree with the point made in how they should be read and understood personally without any big bias on what they have to explain.



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