Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cursed Drum of Julius and a thank you

A UK writer Cleveland W. Gibson sends me an email once in awhile about opportunities to be published online. Some of the sites he suggests are in the UK but others are elsewhere.

I met him years ago when I joined zoetrope.com. At the time, I was discouraged about my writing and he and I wrote a poem together. I really appreciate his ongoing support and thank him in the introduction of my memoir, My Schizophrenic Life: The Road to Recovery from Mental Illness. 

Sometimes it takes the encouragement of one or a few people to guide someone to accomplish a goal. A voice saying, "you can do this or try this," is a much needed nudge.

He also showed me that being a writer means you need to write often. I realized I need to keep generating ideas and work on the craft but also focus on the process, because the process is where magic happens. It's a journey of discovery and learning and using life experience and knowledge to grow stories. Writing is a lifestyle not only a profession.

Gibson has written 200 stories and poems, including two published books, Moondust and Billabongo, which are available on Amazon. Here's the poem we wrote together.

Cursed Drum of Julius 

In the darkness, the battle ended, the dead and dying bled,
Romans filled the drum of Julius, the cursed drum of lead.
The wild-eyed soldiers in the lion's den passed it all around
To create the undead, they spat hot blood full upon the ground.

Buried deep within the Earth, the blood sought out the secret curse,
As a scarecrow, I felt terror then the shock of something worse.
It awoke in me the taste for blood to kill the pure of heart.
The dark of night gave me life; from the field, I could now depart. 

The years slipped by relentlessly controlled by a vampire's will;
I saw the girl in pure white, the one I loved but had to kill.
No slip of knife or tight scarf around her throat so very pale;
Thirsty, I sank my fangs into her flesh, silencing her wail.

The hunters roused in rage, their bows primed, dogs barked thro’ out the night.
Fearfully, I faced the pack, unable to escape or fight.
They lit the corn, engulfing me in flames-- revenge has its price.
With heat so fierce, I felt the sheer pain, the end to all my vice.

My remains, a demented scarecrow, a mute, a troubled mind.
My best victim, the girl in white destroyed, the last of her kind.
With the curse to kill or lust for young girls’ blood taken away,
Finally I could rest, my ashes left to rot and decay.

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