Opportunity

I came across this poem today in a book of poetry my grandfather gave me. It’s worth sharing.

“Opportunity” by Edward Rowland Sill (1841-1887)

This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:–
There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince’s banner
Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
A craven hung along the battle’s edge,
And thought, “Had I a sword of keener steel–
That blue blade that the king’s son bears, — but this
Blunt thing–!” he snapped and flung it from his hand,
And lowering crept away and left the field.
Then came the king’s son, wounded, sore bestead,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and with battle shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.

When Leaders Fail

Let’s look behind the door when leaders fail.
What will we find once we have pierced the veil,
And we’ve divined their sins behind their tale?
That they have whined with privileges male,
They kept us blind and hollered “Her email!”
The tyrants grind and hope our hope grows stale.
They act unkind, expecting us to pale.

I have a mind that will not quickly quail
When fetters bind or freedoms fly and fail.
When they were fined and banned and put in jail,
My fathers signed and fought by pen and nail
Till freedom shined where once injustice hailed.
What will we find once we have pierced the veil?
Let’s look behind the door when leaders fail.

Photograph by Alyssa Kibilosky.

 

Blatant Bribery! Free Sourcebook!

I’m an English teacher. It makes perfect sense that I’m starting a poetry podcast. And it makes perfect sense for me to support that podcast with a Patreon.

But Patreons grow slowly, and I want to give this one a little boost. And more of you know me as a game designer than as a poet. So it’s time for some blatant bribery! If you sign up as a patron of Versed, my new biweekly, 5-minute poetry podcast, I will give you a copy of a rare, not-available-for-sale rpg sourcebook called Dangers Elsewhere.

Dangers Elsewhere is a 47-page sourcebook for Shoshana Kessock’s beginner-friendly larp Dangers Untold. This sourcebook, which I co-wrote with Avonelle Wing and Ruth Tillman, contains several diverse alternate campaign settings. Each setting contains at least seven pre-generated characters.

Given that this sourcebook is essentially a list of alternate settings, you could easily use it for Heroine or any other feminist YA fantasy game.

I will send a link to this rare sourcebook to every new Versed patron in the month of January. All you have to do is back the podcast at any level. I suggest the $1 per month level.

Publications

My poetry has been published by Dark Gothic Resurrected, Thomas Novosel Press, and elsewhere.

Here are two short poems I wrote in 2016.

“Most Beautiful Words”

Word around the pediatric unit
Is that my precious son
Goes home today.
Five of the most beautiful
Words I know:
My son
Goes home
Today.

 

“Last Dinner for Two”
The moon on the water, the stars in the sky,
How they shined while we dined by the shore.
The pine needles dance in the wind. You and I
Never dance in the wind anymore.
Oh my dove, how our love’s shadow grows.
Oh my dove, why’d I wait?
Oh my dove, I say, Hope. You say, No.
Oh my dove, it’s too late.
Now sky falls upon us, the earth turns to ash
And the air cooks our lungs with each breath.
The pine needles bake, and the lake turns to glass,
But I dance by the shore till my death.
Oh my dove, how our love’s shadow grows.
Oh my dove, why’d I wait?
Oh my dove, I say, Hope. You say, No.
Oh my dove, it’s too late.
[The speaker’s voice is temporarily drowned out by fire noises.]
Oh my dove, how our love’s shadow grows.
Oh my dove, why’d I wait?
Oh my dove, I say, Hope. You say, No.
Oh my dove, it’s too late.