Friday, March 21, 2008

Under the Willows, Part 1 (narrative poetry)

(A young man yearns to have the power to reach beyond mortal ends. A sensual vampire tale in the tradition of THE HIGHWAYMAN by Alfred Noyes.)

He walked with withering twilight colors
Walled in the halls of a quiet sky
And trilled the lullaby birds to silence
Alone as the daylight died

The curving road in the evening whispered
Collin, his name, on a restless wind
Under the willows the shadows deepened
And hid every trace of him

Beyond the marsh and its blackened ripples
Fenced from the forest, a lonely home
With windows flickering through the darkness
Inspiring the lost to roam

The night's first feathery rays of moonlight
Fell on the gates and the mildewed stone
He spied the graves in the nearby distance
Beside the less traveled roads

**To be continued**

On to Part 2.

(Jaye Wells has been hosting a vampire fest in honor of her upcoming debut novel, Red-Headed Stepchild. It got me thinking about the carnal themes of desire and seduction in the old vampire stories. I've been feeling like trying my hand at narrative poetry, and now I can thank Jaye for a theme.)


SzélsőFa said...

This cried for reading out loud and so I did: and it felt like wading through a thick, muddy water. I think it adds a useful touch to the atmosphere of the poem. I don't really care for vampire stories, but the rhythm and selection of words got me in. This is starting great here.

Anonymous said...

I love love love LOVE love love love the Highwayman, and the start to your own narrative poem does not put the tradition to shame. Can't wait to read the rest!

Anonymous said...

It did beg to be read aloud ... which I did ... and I love the flow. Funny that I'm working on a piece right now about the moon and twilight. Hmmmm?

paisley said...

i too chose to read it aloud,, and felt the deep murky sway of the rhyme... oh i am excited to read further installments...

and at the risk of being too obvious,, i wish to share with you a short vampire narrative i did a while back if you don't mind.....


Miladysa said...


I am looking forward to reading more :-D

I do LOVE a vampire theme although the vampires appearing in my Refuge of Delayed Souls [RoYds]blog at the moment are rather nasty examples of their species!

Anonymous said...

To all regarding reading aloud: I agree. In fact, I think I'm going to do a multi-media reading when it's complete.

Szelsofa, this will be a Gothic tale, mainly. If you like ghost stories, it might work for you.

Aerin, thanks. :) I'm really partial to Loreena Mckennitt's musical interpretation of The Highwayman.

Paisley, murky sway...I liked that description. :) I read your vampire piece. I really enjoyed the intensity of it.

Miladysa, much appreciated. Yes, vampires seem to have gone through a transformation. The tortured, compassonate types against the fierce animal types.

Linda said...

I liked the line-Inspiring the lost to roam.

Have a great weekend!

Ello - Ellen Oh said...

This was awesome! I love long narrative epic poems! I got excited seing the to be continued and I am a sucker for any story that takes the less traveled roads!

I await your next installment with bated breath.

OH and Happy Easter!

Anonymous said...

this is a simply lovely poignant evocative...

I am a bit too busy with my work now, which will continue, so couldn't visit your blog for sometime...anyway, I will check your other posts later whenever I will get the break.

Anonymous said...

BeadingGal, thanks! I hope you had a good weekend too.

Ello, even though writing structured poetry is all sorts of painful, I'm having a weird amount of fun doing it. Maybe I've been itching to do something paranormal.

Flyingstars, thank you for taking the time to stop by while you're busy! It's great to see you back.

Unknown said...

I agree with Szélsőfa's likening it to wading through mud. My favourite line was the 'inspiring he lost to roam' bit, of course. Coincidentally, my latest post kind of ties in with the whole sexy vampire vibe here in the literature section of the blogosphere...

Vesper said...

Beautiful, Jason, images, words, and rhythm. It lulls you, it hypnotizes you... Just beautiful!

JaneyV said...

Love It! Wonderful imagery of darkness and death descending with each footprint. Can't wait for Part 2.

Anonymous said...

EOH, I'll have to divert some spring water into that muddy swamp. I don't want y'all to get tired. ;)

Vesper, thanks! Very happy to have you back. I'm excited about the next part. The photo too.

JaneyV, I'm glad that atmosphere is coming across. :)

Sarah Hina said...

Beside the less traveled roads...recalls Frost, if Frost had marinated in Poe for awhile. ;)

There's something very tortured about structured poetry to me now, but this felt effortless. Nicely done, Jason.