I was cleaning out an old purse (from 2006) and found, scrawled there, some poetry.
I think I wrote this poetry to advance the plot of “Out of Time,” my first novel, published by Lachesis. The sentiment seems eerily prescient of today’s Ukraine situation, however, while the second was about the suicide of one of the twin daughters of the President, part of the plot.
Poem #1, “Ukraine”
Hate breeds hate
And love yields love.
This a message
We must love
Or we shall die
A cosmic order
From on high
When will all the killing stop?
Save them from the bombs we drop!
Forgive us all our crimes, our deeds,
Show the path to where peace leads.
We are but a cosmic speck
Of ash and dust
Of finite dreck..
Yet our crimes, our sins abound
As we destroy this planet found.
When will all the killing stop?
When will tears no longer drop?
Can this tired world be saved, at last?
Or must we all repeat the past?
That was the first poem in this small notebook within my old purse, with this second one being part of the plot of “Out of Time:”
Death began to call her name,
In dulcet tones that sounded sane.
“Lift the glass. Take but a sip,
It will speed you on your trip.
Taste this fatal glass of doom.
Let me show you to your room.
Please don’t worry. Please don’t fret.
This is your best adventure yet.”
We just watched the fictional account of the young girl, played by Chloe Moritz, who encouraged her boyfriend to commit suicide (“The Girl from Plainville”). She asked for a bench trial, was found guilty, and was given 15 months in jail. The incident led to the passage of “Conrad’s Law” which makes anyone who preys upon a mentally fragile person, urging them to commit self harm, [as happened in the plot of “The Girl from Plainville,”] eligible for a 5-year prison term.
In the case of the character played by Chloe Grace Moritz, she went to jail for the 15 months, but was released early for good behavior. And the problem of teenage suicides continues to be a big one, especially since the pandemic.
This third poem was one I wrote to advance the “time travel” plot of another. Never again will I work for months, slaving away to make somebody else’s plot idea into a novel, only to have them give away the book signing that he was supposed to arrange at our local bookstore (then Border’s) to a different book he worked on with another “collaborator” (who probably did all of the writing of that one). The plot of “Out of Time” involved a time-traveling rock star, which should have been my first clue that this was a bad idea.
Not unlike “The Graduate,” the rock star hero of the novel falls in love with the mother of his girlfriend. Then, there is travel through time and a decision on which of the women to “save” and a lot of other unlikely stuff. I guess you do learn by doing, however, as I’ve written 3 novels since then in “The Color of Evil” series, and the readers and I believe that writing my own plot was an improvement.
So, here is the last poem that I found, (from something like 2006), on an old notebook in an old purse. You’d have to read the book (available on Amazon) to find out how the poem fits in the plot. I was encouraged to read about the discovery of the black hole predicted by Einstein just today, which makes the idea of traveling through time somewhat more plausible.
From “Out of Time”:
When daisies last in our garden grew,
You were me and I was you.
List closely now; I’ll tell the tale
Before night falls and our world fails.
Time’s winged chariot hurries near
I gather strength
To fight my fear
If I should die, before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
The scalpel lay there, cold and bright,
Reflecting the fluorescent light.
It screamed of fear and pain and crime.
Was there a chance? Would there be time?
The world lay shattered at his feet.
Was its fate sealed? Would time repeat?
Our past will not our future be.
If eyes are not too blind to see.
I know that I shall never see
A love so real as you to me
I’ve tried to purge you from my mind.
But caring’s not my choice, I find.
It always ends, as end it must
Ashes to ashes; dust to dust.
Life to death and death to life.
Stay with me and be my wife.
And, with that bit of ancient history, I prove why I seldom write poetry. Or doggerel. Or whatever you want to call it. A wise decision.
I have not written any since 2006 (the date on this old notebook.)