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Belated Holiday Gifts! (More Coming)

I decided that I'd do a few little giftart cards, just because... There's no real order to who I picked, except that they're people that crossed my mind in the days before Christmas.

Scape For Pega

Rutilus for MoonlitStar


Kauna for Rouda



Anyone Else I think Of
Coming when I think of them

I can mail colored versions to folks that want them, since these are on cute little cards I had lying around, waiting to be used -- they can fit in a normal envelope without folding, so there's that.
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Seed's Poetry Corner: The Forest's Ars Poetica

There are times when being a poet in the forest is hard. For those times, I return to this. "Ars Poetica" is a slightly loaded phrase; I don't think I'm the equal of Horace, but... The Art of Poetry in the forest is complicated.

The Forest's Ars Poetica

From the words that cycle
like air in a closed room
inside my head, a question:
Where to keep them?
The forest, birthing stories
like it births sunny days,
but leaving those doves no place to land.

Keep the words efforted, push
my tines against the rocks, pushing
my words into them, if they're strong
enough that I don't break against the stones?
Leave little pale scratches, lasting.

Keep the words grounded, solid
in this world with the brush
of my hooves dancing
into the cool, wet earth,
letting me see them-- so concrete --
but cleaned away by the next hoofsteps?
Leave words for all of us to walk.

Keep the words brilliant as heaven, bright
in painstakingly-made berry ink. Blue as water's
jewels, sweet as honey, written on
the pale underside of leaves,
and eventually turning to rot?

Keep the words forceful, the rush
of sense and feeling, the pain
driving from my antlers into the flesh
of trees (my secret mark, outside of territory)
where the bark will scab it over one day,
but at least they will bear my scars?
Or do I

Let the words go, out
out, into the air
where perhaps the trees
shall cradle them,
the birds preserve them in their wingbeats
The tumbling leaves carry them,
the earth drink them to bring forth flowers,
But I will never know?

((For more poetry written by Seed, however he writes them, check out Seed's Poetry Corner))
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The Diary of Seed, 11-20-11

I arrived sometime before the birth... And I will be frank, there's much about this moment I don't understand. When Walter showed up, I wasn't sure exactly what to do. Walter hasn't always behaved well about fawns... Nor has he always behaved well about Illrose, which is what made this situation. But when he came up, she nodded -- I guess they decided that whatever had happened, the fawn was theirs to help protect.

Or something. I'm not sure I understand all of this. Either way, he clearly did his best to protect her, only letting deer near when Illrose gives them the nod. Like a bouncer. Sitting there, waiting, I felt the anticipation so thick in the air that it seemed a tastable smell, like all air in the world of snakes.

I even think Walter was a little anxious, which may rank as almost cute. But then, he was also swearing blue streaks at passer-byes who were just running on the side of the twin god's hills. He chased off a few others more immediately, and tried to shoo a few folks... But I was actually impressed. I guess Walter's felt that if he's going to have a biological family, he's going to need to pull it together for them, even just a little. And that's touching, in its own way.

Those of us watching, holding our vigil in prepartion of the newborn's life, seemed to gather a decent distance away. I may have been the closest seating observer. I guess I'm just not very threatening, ha-ha. I also got a chance to say Hi to Rut and Saosin, whom I haven't seen in a while. I'm sorry that it had to be while there was something going on. I just... I don't like choosing between friends, but sometimes it's not about who I like better, or anything.
Please don't think I'm insulting you, is what I'm trying to say. But Walter was there for one of the most important days of my life, and sometimes I've got to try and repay my favors. Please, do, seek me out for a rain check.

The birth of the fawn was very quiet.
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Seed's Poetry Corner: The Story of the Ruins

I was sitting with a group at the ruins when I wrote this, and began to wonder what the story of that place would be...

The Story of the Ruins

I want to write a story of these stones:
of the rooms they divided up, the walls they erected
the cells seperate from the world, where people
dreamed and slept, where the lonliness
of night hit them like a sudden bolt,
so strong I feel it like a phantom now --
of being in a room only big enough
for one bedding, one life,
surrounded by impassive stones,
all walled up in their own world.

I want to write a story
that their bodies carried them
over the threshhold, past the walls;
that they saw in one another the eyes
stained by tears like theirs, that they saw
their own faces in each-other, that
the thundering of their joy
sent the walls crumbling
and swallowed by the ground.

I want to write a story like that, where
today poppies grow
in the cracks of those forgotten walls.

((This has been another visit to Seed's Poetry Corner))
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In the Shadows and the Light (For SnowSauria)

In the Shadows and the Light

In the shadows, her antlers form a wingspan to threaten any knight
In the shadows, the fog of her breath in the autumn air blossoms out like flame
In the shadows, her heart finds words that contradict in it -- and holds the knot of feelings in a tight grip
In the shadows, when her hooves scratch the ground, the mark seems to trail like the sharpened edges of claws

In the shadows, it becomes clear: hanging from her belly is her treasure-trove,
her pile of gold, heavy and soft and shifting as she moves with it.

In the light, she must protect it with all that fierceness,
as deer or dragon, as her hooves beat the empty air.

((This was a gift-poem about Illrose; if Snowsauria doesn't like it, she's free to have me try again. Also, AT LAST! IT IS COMPLETE!))
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A little help with a story? [Contest]

You see, I have a TEF story in mind.
The good news? I have a good portion of it plotted already, which is my usual bugaboo.
The bad news? I don't have time to start even a short project right now. I will soon, though, but... Blerg. It's the pre-finals rush.

So, to keep the idea fresh in my mind, I'm going to ask for some help! Namely, I'd like you people to suggest some setting elements to me. The ones I feel are most evocative will make it into the story.

Evocative of what you ask? Well, I'm specifically thinking about a few major points in the story, so let's see...
Catagory 1:
A place of doubt

Catagory 2:
A place of rage

Catagory 3:
A place of forgiveness, peace, and tender-heartedness

Catagory 4:
A place of terror/fear

Catagory 5:
A place of battle

Catagory 6:
Free-for-all; whatever seems like it'd be a cool idea.

You can submit for as many or as few catagories as you want, and they can be as literal as you see fit... So have fun with it. Just specify what you're going for so I'll know.
Heck, let's make this a contest. Best ones in each catagory gets a gift art and poem! But you'll have to read the story to find out who won.

...And don't worry about them being logical; dreams never are.
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The Diary of Seed, 10-20-11

The fog broke like dawn, all of the sudden turning into daylight, leaving things a little changed in their place. I'd never seen the world go from night to day so slowly and so all-at-once like that: the forest's time is odd, but that moment left be breathless and clean.
After candles and lightning, graves (was my own grave, empty, among them? I get little chills), and bursts of poppies sending out bubbling opiates like fountains of light... It's strange that the departure of someone powerful and distant as a star, not the presence but the absence of something -- that such a thing is what leaves me breathless is astonishing in and of itself.

He came up to where Walter, Illrose, and I were sitting. I don't really understand how she could stand to be near him... Except, perhaps, that she's like me, and can't tear herself away. I'm not sure.
But one moment, I was thinking about ... other things... And the next, when my attention returned, there he was. I wondered if he had read my poem about him -- had he liked it? I bet he hated it. It really could have been better -- I had never even noticed that he breathes white smoke, or even thicker mist containing a thousand motes of light. How emberassing!

After he had gone, I sat for a little while with Rutilus on the edge of the fog, watching the light begin to change, and feeling like I was witnessing the heart of something stunning, in the soft half-grey, half-gold light. They should have sent a better poet. Well, I will consider the matter further.

...Still, I doubt he even knows I exist. All the same, it was impressive. And to watch the fog lift and light seep in like a sudden breaking of surfce tension -- even as I played among the giant mushrooms...
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Seed's Poetry Corner: The Fog

I've no interest in the spells he has to offer... But all the same, I'm a little fascinated by the Big Zombie. So, whenever I see him, there's a poem in it. He's a grand muse...So maybe I love him, in my own way.

The Fog

drips off his antlers and crowds near his head,
pressing against his half-rotten flesh.
He is preserved in the moment of rotting,
the action of decay stopped like a step
that never reaches the ground.
He smells like death, and the fog
drinks its smell and pulls it close.

The rest of the year, the fog comes
and goes without festivity, a collection
of water and air. But in his shadow, th world
seems wild and full of pressing bodies
in the dark. So it trails desperately
after his steps, and echoes backwards music.

It wants to capture something new in itself, something unknown --
it wraps him, his smell of death, his terror,
his great antlered majesty like splayed wings --
in itself, to taste his life. The fog swarms with glee for this.

And we wrap around him like the fog.

((Wow, Seed has a lot of poems at this point. You can see them at Seed's Poetry Corner Collection....Also, I better get to writing that poem for Illrose. I think I have something half-gestated now.))
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The Diary of Seed, 10-3-11

I've taken up running again. I used to, long ago, take quite a bit of enjoyment from athletics. I get a drink and take off. There's no planning in a course -- only moment. The forest is full of obstacles, to a runner of fine enough quality. Leap over stumps, zig-zag between trees. Follow paths of light. It's effortlessly beautiful, easy in its motion. There's no thought beyond the route, or of thinking about the route -- it grows recursive, self-inflicting, spiraling and devouring inward, like a person seeing through the eyes of their own reflection.

Eventually, I come and stop by Da Drinkplaats. I've not much mood to be a bunny or a dove when I'm alone (except, perhaps, the shrug on the illusion that I am not myself), but I love it. This and the crying idol are all the sacred waters from which I wish to drink. The water is clean and pops with magic, sending sparks, almost painful and shockingly clean, in the mouth. It is one of the most beautiful places in the forest, and certainly, it is the only place in the inhabited Forest where the rabbits come out. They are so still, and quiet, their noses trembling in the air. Perhaps they realize how powerful and clean the fountain is -- perhaps they love it because, as I like to suspect, they are not all they seem. Or perhaps they love it like I love pretty words, odd metaphors and sweet similes, stories and poems and songs -- they love it because it is more magical than them, and better, and more noble, and because of this, they cannot be torn away. (...I wonder if they love it like I love, loved, will still love, her -- but then I realize I have thought about it, and besides which, thought the same sentence twice in a row.)

I meet a few strangers: cuddling friends, a deer having a snack, an admirer of the fountain...
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The Unnamed Knight [Plot]

((Newest updates at the top, oldest at the bottom))

Update #3, 10/30/11 (or so): It was a chance meaning

and yet, perhaps no meeting is chance. The unnamed stag and the stag who eluded his full name – they met escaping Halloween celebration that neither could stand. The coming of fog behind them, they sat and spoke.

They spoke of illnesses, and the stag feels his own weariness, the decay of the recent past. But also the own confusion, the exhaustion of his mind.
‘I find you to be quite lucky,’ Bartleby, the stranger, said. And he simply could not see it. But as he thought of that, the unnamed stag could only keep thinking about illness. About how he ran in the forest like an enrage boar, like a monster in the brush.

“I'm...I'm better now. Much better. But the damage is still done... The da..."

He stops as the idea firework-explodes into his mind, revealing itself in a blast.
Because someone, someone, had hurt him. Somewhen, a high and ladylike laughter, ringing in his ears. Something dropping him, slashing across his middle. Some pain in his heart.
And all the while, the roaring and the laughter, flush in his ears, buckling his mind beneath it.

"...Something...Someone hurt me, like a knife in the seat of my soul. And then all there was was hurting."

He didn’t know what it meant, but it was so. That laugh, that drop, had done something to him. Whatever it was.

Update #2, 10/2/11 (Later): A Drink Refreshed Him

At least, it refreshed him enough to let him see straight. He bathed in the pond of the forest, diffusing the exhaustion into the water. How long had he been away? When had he been here last?
A stranger, who didn't linger long after, helped him get his antlers cleaned and white as bone. Stranger. Ha.
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