My intention was to post on here once a week. Apparently I am addicted to writing / editing? This is one I was working on this winter, and the winter before that… and the winter before that. I’m reasonably satisfied though, so that’s better than usual. After three years of work off and on, you’d think so, eh?
Go the Distance
There is much snow-covered road betwixt us;
Undiscovered paths winding through mountains.
The eyes are black and boundless
Delicate only in seeming, he darts,
A flash of hooves and broad antlers;
The white hart an omen for good or ill-
I balance on the cliff’s edge.
This quest of mine, to meet with fair Dulcinea-
I am undoubtedly the mad knight of old
Who fights the windmills, believing that you
Must be the fairest and purest of maidens-
Such a quest will likely end in my ruin
And yet I cannot choose to stay or leap.
The sea stretches ominously before me
And the way will be long and dark.
Dare I brave Scylla?
Shall I tempt Charybdis?
I will do this, and more,
To see you for but a moment.
A daring leap might carry me far into that sea
Where I might fight the storm-tossed waves,
Reach those forbidden shores, and climb
Such dizzying heights over peaks and into valleys-
But shall I dare to do more than dream?
Can I confront that which holds me fast?
The world changes all around me
And I am static, unmoving-
Firmly rooted in this arid soil,
Old vines twined around my feet.
This is where storms unleash their fury,
Where eagles soar and fires blaze.
But what does it matter to me if you are, in reality,
A swineherd, a harlot, or a scullery maid?
The vines can be cut, the sea can be crossed,
And I, your foolish knight, can become more as well;
I will defeat any monster to prove my worth,
And brave any hazard to find you again.
© Bridget Noonan, 2011
If you saw any of the previous hundred drafts, this will be unrecognizable. In fact, I’m pretty sure over the years I cannibalized at least three other poems I’d half-written: tack a limb on here, nice phrase over there, borrow some liver from that one, ooh that image is nice *yoink!*, etc. Reduce, reuse, recycle was drummed into my brain as a kid in school- I apparently am living it in my poetry.
I’m beginning to hate punctuation though. I obsess about how much or little I should put in, and if it makes sense grammatically, and if I really care if it follows some arbitrary rule someone else says language has to follow, and whether I should use a semicolon, a comma, a period, nothing…
If only I spent less time worrying about that technical crap and more time hammering out more actual verses, or bits of my novel.