Literally critical!

Tomorrow, another one of poet Tallis Steelyard’s intriguing adventures will hit the virtual shelves. In honor of the event, here he is to talk about the life of a literary critic:

It is true that looking back I have had an interesting career. Indeed there is much I have achieved that I can look back upon with a sense of modest pride. There are very few incidents I feel disinclined to recall to mind and few about which I feel any real shame. But because I feel a duty to a younger generation of poets and other writers, I believe it behoves me to set aside my regrets, my mortification, and tell the plain unvarnished story. You see, I too have dabbled in literary criticism; I have dipped my pen in its unhallowed waters.

Now I don’t want anyone to assume that I did this because I was pandering to some unfathomable malevolence within my nature. No I did it for the most honourable of all reasons; we needed the money.

On reflection, one sees that within the life of even a great artist there are times which appear designed purely to test your mettle. This was one. Shena had not been well, she had caught something she just couldn’t seem to shake off, and she spent much of the winter confined to the barge. This meant that our income dropped considerably, we were faced with having to heat the barge during the day, and what reserves we had were waning rapidly. I had attempted to take her place dealing with the shore combers, but frankly I never made a tenth of what Shena did, and what I did make was purely because some of their number took pity on me and shared my desire to see her fit and well and back at work.

Then Silac Glicken approached me.

Sunny Side Up

IMG_20141027_144340Melted butter drips
From the sky onto mountains
Of mashed potatoes

As the world awakes,
Seeking coffee to wash down
The last dregs of night.

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

Unfurling Joy

wpid-20141225_072610.jpgBorn of winter, born
Of cold, full of stories yet
Untold. Full of all

That’s light and warm, ’tis
Only she can halt the storm.
‘Tis only she can

Change the world, only
She can sow joy unfurled
In a land of snow.

Joyful stories soon
She’ll tell, joyful noise she’ll make
As well, and soon

The cold and snow shall
Fly far from here, back to the
Sky as spring returns.

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

Hustle

"Peek-a-boo!"

“Peek-a-boo!”

Hustle, bustle, tear
A muscle, but please avoid
Life’s major tussles.

Hurry, hurry, life’s
Gone blurry! Why, oh why, must
I always hurry?

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

Erased

imageOutside my window,
A storm rages on so fierce
That it’s erased the

Horizon. The trees
Whip and sway, to and fro; they
Bend in time with the

Wind as it swirls
The snow round and round, until
All the world is white.

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

Memories and feelings

If you haven’t read Justine Manzano’s post about regrets and Facebook memories, go read it. Now. Without it, the following probably won’t make a whole lot of sense.

Read it? Good.

Her words about how “Facebook Memories are equal parts fun and annoying” sound so, so familiar. Mostly, I really enjoy seeing my Facebook memories because I’ve always tried to be very positive online. But sometimes even the happy memories remind me of a sad time (my youngest son’s birth, for example, was equal parts joyous and terrifying).

I’ll see all that positivity when I’m feeling down and think, “Why can’t I be more like that now? I used to be so positive. What happened?”

The thing about trying to wear such a positive face on the web, though, is that all the smiles sometimes make you see things through rose-colored glasses. You forget all the negative stuff that was going on way back when and how it affected you at the time. How it made you more of a black rain cloud than a ray of sunshine. After all, if everything looks so great, it must have really been that way, right?

It’s on the internet – it must be true.

And then…

Shimmers

IMG_20151209_215651A sun dog shimmers
In the morning sky…or is
It a trick of light?

The faint rainbow blends
So nicely with the pastel
Sky it’s hard to tell.

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

Rainbows

foggysunriseRainbow fog swirls
Round and round, teasing the sun
With glimpses of Earth.

Rainbow mist twirls
Round the trees, teasing the earth
With glimpses of sun.

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.