Poetry



The first two poems, There Stands a Maid, and The Ballad of Arien, go with a fantasy series (Tora Valley) I've been working on for about ten years now. In the series, Maid is actually a song; the first three stanzas are written by a bard named Tawnri Wood. The rest is written by Tawnri's sister after his death, and gives a very vague idea of the circumstances surrounding that death.

THERE STANDS A MAID
by E.V. von Baumer


There stands a maid,
With roses in her hair.
She sings a song,
The words are woven fair
With a harp of gold.
Song and voice unite
Into a twine of silver shine.

Clear light from the sun
Echoes down from the sky,
Falls o'er the fields,
Burns to amber the rye.
And later, in the night,
The moon twines it with silver shine.

Tonight, Midsummer's night,
As the stars glimmer down,
They look into her window
And she does not frown,
But takes a ribbon of their light,
And twines her hair with silver shine.

Up on the hill
In the court of the king,
There stands a boy
Silently; he will not sing.
A white cloak he twirls.
He walks a mere's sight
And is twined with silver shine.

To the courtyard comes a bard,
A song in his mind.
He smiles, looks to his left,
And now the maid is in his eyes.
Across the river he sights;
The sky has twined it to silver shine.

The boy ducks down on the stairs,
Looks to his friend, sad like spring.
He knows this pair of old,
Of the grief the maid will bring.
But death has brought it right,
In a blade twined like silver shine.

A song was sung
As he walked down the days,
Notes of a maid
And of a bard betrayed.
He halts at their graves,
Sees, while stands beside;
Frost and flowers both have twined them -

but not with silver shine.



Ballad appears in another book in the Tora Valley series. Chronologically it is several hundred years later and everything's gone to hell. The kingdom is in ruins, most of the old royal family is dead, and one of the last survivors, Arien, is very bitter about this, as he thinks he could have stopped it all from happening - and unfortunately, he probably could have, if only he'd been a little more daring.

The Ballad of Arien
by E.V. von Baumer


Night and silence overhead;
Darkness all around.
A single star is shining bright,
I see all that I've lost now unbound.

There stands the hill where stood the maid
That Tawnri described in song;
A crypt of kings crowns its summit now,
And the shadows fall from it long.

There's a fortress, ruined and
Desolate now, where
Pale wraiths must walk and wail
To errant children who no longer care

About empty windows
And dusty rooms only filled
With wind tonight, or snow,
That with rain chips away the gild

Of all that came before.
A thousand years and we are
Undone. There were none but me
To lead, and now we are scattered far.

One by one into the deeps
Of the old dark night
Have they slipped: now I alone
Stand here on the edge of twilight,

Watching - and waiting . . .


These next poems were written very gleefully to be very depressing. Go figure. I, II, and III aren't really related except in mood.


I

Imagine the rain in your soul
taking flight, changing to snow.
Feel the darkness in your heart
filling your mind and freezing there,
so icy and welcome you exult in it.
Still your cries. The sun never rises, here.

II

Beware to the dreamer,
For Death has danced here this night,
Slaying creator and creation alike.

III

I talk to you and we argue.
I hate you.
I sleep and I dream of you.
I love you.
I imagine me weeping and you holding me.
I hate you.
I turn around. You're there. You look steadily into my eyes.
I love you;
God help me.



A Study in Shadow was originally a speech delivered by a character in an early version of one of my plays. I cut it because at the time I thought it just a tad too melodramatic. I'm now considering its use in a Chicago Hope fanfic starring my favorite characters from that sadly declining show, Aaron and Jeffrey. I could picture Mandy Patinkin saying these lines in full-blown Geiger mode. No, on second thought, better make that something Aaron would say to Jeffrey; Jeffrey's sentence structure goes to hell when he's losing it. :-)

A Study in Shadow
by E.V. von Baumer
How can I tell you these things?
They make a shadow inside me that makes me shiver.
Likely it would freeze you. You couldn't help me then.

I feel as though I am falling
Into that emotion of night called melancholy.
It puts a veil over my vision. I think it might blind you,
And then you couldn't catch me.

Sometimes there are thoughts
That glide into my mind and shock me.
You, I think, would shudder and turn away from me.

If you did that, I'd turn and run,
Straight into a dark forest I've visited far too often,
Take a path I know far too well, until I reached the heart
Of the wood, and stopped, and the rain started,
And the temperature dropped, so that I'd sit huddled
At the base of one large tree,
Hoping that it at least would feel something kind for me.
Hoping also that you might relent and come after me,
If you dared, and didn't lose your way.
Then perhaps you'd lead me out, and give me a candle
The rain couldn't extinguish,
That would light the dark forever,
Silver-bright and bold . . .



I'm honestly not sure what this one's about. About all I can say is, "Use your imagination." I think I may have written it originally for a college class, but I don't know which one. I personally believe it's one of better efforts.

The Absence of Light
by E.V. von Baumer


Through rain and night I run.
I splash through puddles of
A forlorn city. There's no one here
Except for me . . . and them.

I hear steps behind me and dash up
An alleyway, wondering why the streetlights are on.
There's too much light here. I hate it.
I make my way out of the city.

It's colder now, and there's wind.
The pursuit is gone. I feel something dark ahead.
It's a castle. Not ruined, just lonely.
Through night and rain I stare at it.

I've heard stories of this place.
It's deserted now. They say someone lived here once,
All alone in the shadow, crazed.
Strange things happened there, and one night death came.

Now it's haunted, supposedly, by this person and
Death and . . . something other than these.
I hear a sound. They've found me again.
I don't know why they chase me but I'm scared. Of them.

I don't want them to find me. But there's only the
Castle now. Dear God, must I go in?
Even from here I can feel the ice on my soul.
It wants something from me that I will not give.

Lightning flashes. My eyes are drawn upward, to a window
In the highest garret. It stands against the dark.
There's a faint glow coming from it . . . I think.
Surely there couldn't still be someone there?

Through rain and night I stare at the castle,
And then behind me. It's cold. They're closer.
There's nothing and no one to save me.
Torn, I hesitate, then choose.



This was written for an English class in college. I was eating lunch with a friend one day in the dorm cafeteria and was telling him about how I had to compose a poem for class, and that I couldn't think of anything. Somehow over the course of the meal I became fixated on the idea of using hamsters as a subject (this was possibly brought on by the salad). So then I had to think of what to write about hamsters. I asked my lunch-mate what he would write about "cute adorable little hamsters." Exasperated by my use of the words "cute" and "adorable" he began shouting that if he was going to write a poem about hamsters, which he wasn't, it would be about them getting squished. Naturally that cinched it for me and I wrote a silly cutesy little poem about - hamsters.

THE HAMSTER
by E.V. von Baumer


The hamster in the wheel
Runs aimlessly round and round.
I wonder if it feels
Better here, than living in the ground.

Our hamster is golden
With a white bib. It eats
Pickles, flies, and M&Ms,
Most grains and lettuce leaf.

Would it rather be wild,
With a burrow of its own?
In here it's always mild
And the wind has never blown.

The cage is rather small.
(There's always water and food.)
We'll loose it in its ball -
It can roam, when in the mood.


Sniften's Song is trite, overwritten, and whimsical. I'd written a DragonLance story and needed something for a kender to sing. Maybe one of these days I'll put the story up, since Margaret Weis doesn't mind people writing DL fanfic . . .

Sniften's Song
by E.V. von Baumer


In the woods a song is trilled
To which all woodsy creatures thrilled.
On a branch its maker sat,
"To you, my friends, this song I grant."

In the stream a fish swims there,
Makes with moss and stones its lair.
Water tickles silv'ry scales
As it flows from out the dales.

Into the glade gambols a deer,
Dancing its way through sunlight sheer.
Leavy shade dapples its coat;
Over the grass it seems to float.

Deep grey clouds cover the sun,
Water-drops splash; the storm's begun.
Shadows that are, go with the dark.
On its branch sheltered stays the lark.

Soon the storm passes, light
Returns. Now comes the night
With moons and stars,
Sweet red light, with white, from afar.

Owls silent bank and turn
While small prey scamper among the fern.
Nothing evil can ever pass here
Where only the good and the innocent sleep near.


This last piece is from a Forgotten Realms novel (one of a series of FR novels) that I've got on the burner. It gives a clue to the fate of one of my supporting characters, especially if you can figure out which of the major characters writes it. If none of my FR novels are ever accepted for publication, I'll likely put them on my web page - I'm assuming FR fanfic is "allowed," since there's occasionally fanfic on the FR mail list, and none of the TSR people on the list have said anything about it. I'll have to check on that . . .

from Forgotten Realms: The Ballad of Aida Joidee
by E.V. von Baumer


There's a flower in my garden;
When it blooms I think of you.
Your song is in my lute -
Play it I no longer care to do.
With your patience and your love
You taught me all the strings
But I took your heart for granted
And I wouldn't listen to you sing.
I scorned you and belittled you
And spoke against you when you warned.
I slighted and ignored you,
Yet your heart to me stayed warmed.
And so it was you ended day
Because I would not hear;
I drowned your desperate cries
And told to none your fears.


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