My Father’s Prayer

This is a short post, and it isn’t something I wrote. It’s something my Dad wrote.

When I was cleaning up his apartment, getting it ready for him to move to another place, I found this in the drawer of his nightstand. Apparently, it was something that came to him while he was sleeping, and he wrote down what he remembered when he woke. Later, I snagged it, intending that it should be on those cards they hand out at funerals. But it, and the picture of him and my Mother that I had intended to put in the casket with him, went missing. Eaten by my house, only to appear again well after their purpose was past.

But it stayed with me, and now it has surfaced again. THIS time, I’ve saved it on my computer, and I’m posting it here, because the simple beauty and faith of it still stays in my mind. And that deserves to be passed on to others. So here it is.

.

.

… sleeping. Feb. 8, ’93

In the evening the flowers are gone

Sooner or later we too are gone

We enter a new beautifull world

A gift from God

.

There were more beautifull words that I have forgotten

But that’s all right

God said it all

.

.

.

I miss you, Dad.

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The Faerie Court

I guess it’s about time for another post. Unfortunately, I’m still running like the Red Queen trying to find a job, so my current writing is limited to boring cover letters and updates to my résumé. So instead, I’m posting something I wrote quite some time ago. It’s your fault, PD. You’re the one who brought up the Tylwyth Teg.

These are actually lyrics to a song for which I also wrote the melody. It’s out on a CD for the SCA (that’s the Society for Creative Anachronism, a historic recreation group I belong to) called Vivat Trimaris! Yeah, I sing, too. Sorry, I don’t think WordPress does mp3. 😉

The Faerie Court

My mother was a lass both wild and free,
And she told me of her life ere she had me
Her lover was no common sort –
Oh, my father was a Lord of the Faerie Court.

Chorus:
Ly a lady-o durrim dow
Ly a lady-o durrim day-o
Ly a lady-o durrim dai
Ly a lady durrilee day

She went out on a summer’s day
When the world was sweet with the smell of hay
She met a lad both tall and fine,
And he said to her, “O will you be mine?”

Oh, she was wild but she was wise,
She looked him right within his eyes
She knew he was no common sort,
Oh, she knew he was a Lord of the Faerie Court.

Chorus:
Ly a lady-o durrim dow
Ly a lady-o durrim day-o
Ly a lady-o durrim dai
Ly a lady durrilee day

She said, “If you would marry me
Then you must give me kisses three
And give to me a gown so fine
That it shimmers in the light of the bright moonshine.”

He said, “If you will marry me,
I’ll give to you your kisses three
For that I am no common sort,
For you see I am a Lord of the Faerie Court.”

Chorus:
Ly a lady-o durrim dow
Ly a lady-o durrim day-o
Ly a lady-o durrim dai
Ly a lady durrilee day

He took her slender hand in his
And gave to her a Lover’s kiss,
He gave to her a wedding gown
That was woven of the silk of the thistledown.

Oh, then he took her slender hand,
And led her through the sun bright land,
And thus it was he paid her court
O for that he was a Lord of the Faerie Court.
Chorus:
Ly a lady-o durrim dow
Ly a lady-o durrim day-o
Ly a lady-o durrim dai
Ly a lady durrilee day

Now in the Grove he laid her down
And made a bed of her wedding gown
And there they were so wild and free
Oh, that somewhere in the night – well, they made me!

“The dawn is coming, Lady mine,
Put on your wedding gown so fine,
For now you are no common sort,
Oh, for now you are a bride of the Faerie Court.”

Chorus:
Ly a lady-o durrim dow
Ly a lady-o durrim day-o
Ly a lady-o durrim dai
Ly a lady durrilee day

Oh, she was wild but she was wise,
She kissed him right between the eyes
And said, “Oh, this can never be –
A mortal maid and a Faerie free.

“Oh, you must have a Faerie wife,
And I must live a single life
For that you are no common sort,
O for that you are the Lord of the Faerie Court.”

Chorus:
Ly a lady-o durrim dow
Ly a lady-o durrim day-o
Ly a lady-o durrim dai
Ly a lady durrilee day

They parted there within the glade,
The Faerie Lord and the mortal maid,
But he said, “You are no common sort –
O, you could have been the Queen of the Faerie Court.”

Chorus:
Ly a lady-o durrim dow
Ly a lady-o durrim day-o
Ly a lady-o durrim dai –
Ly a lady durrilee day!

(Going to) Save You

Here’s one of those things that just crept up on me. I don’t recall what was in my mind at the time, it was just one of those where the Muse came up and smacked me, and out it came. It hasn’t asked for music yet, so I don’t know what it sounds like, other than it’s rock…

(Going to) Save You

Here in the dark
Where hope cannot remain
Nothing but rage
Nothing here to feel but pain
I saw a spark
I saw your need
I saw my fate
I saw you bleed
I saw it all
I have to reach you
God, I hope it’s not too late

Ch 1
I want to save you
No, I can’t let you die
Going to save you
I’ll give it my best try
‘Cause if I can save you
Then maybe I
Will learn the reason why

Your heart is pure
Too good for this dark world
How your light shines
Like a banner it unfurled
Against the dark
Against the greed
Against the hate
Can it succeed?
I saw you fall
I tried to reach you
When I did it was too late

Ch 2
I have to save you
No, I can’t let you die
Got to save you
I’ll give it one more try
‘Cause if I can save you
Then maybe I
Will know the reason why

There’s so much anger in my heart
Where does it end?
If all I feel is numb
When nothing’s real
And the only way to feel
Is to hurt someone
(whisper) Don’t hurt me

Now all that’s left
Is the whimpers and the cries
I’ve got to try
To live up to your eyes
You’ve left a mark
Planted a seed
It’s not too late
We will be freed
Tear down the wall
Please let me reach you
Before it is too late

Ch 3
I’m going to save you
I’ll never let you die
Going to save you
I’ll give it one last try
‘Cause if I can save you
Then maybe I
Will learn the reason why
Then maybe I
Can save myself…

Varina Suellen Plonski © 12/07/12

When I wrote for the Heroes

I write poetry. Sometimes. Sometimes it’s even pretty good. Then there are the other times…

I tell people that there are days when I sit down to write a poem, and it’s okay. Sometimes pretty decent. There are other days when I sit down and WORK on a poem. Fight for it, syllable by syllable, line by line, dripping sweat and anger onto the page to make it happen.

And then there are days—O gods of the holy Words—then there are days when The Muse comes up and smacks you with a two-by-four and it comes out your hand like thunder and glory. Those days are what I live for. Days when it doesn’t matter where you are and what’s going on around you. Because the space in your head is like that sudden silence in the X-Wing when Obi-Wan’s spirit says “Use the Force, Luke,” and you can do no wrong.

This was one of those. It was the end of December, 2001, after the fall of the Towers. The company I worked for had people in those towers. I had been born not far from that site. I was invested in that place on a personal level as well as that of a citizen of America, and a member of the human race. It was MINE. And that hurt and anger sat in my chest and closed my throat for all those months. Everywhere I turned were stories of the Heroes. The men and women on Flight 93. Those in the Towers that helped others get out first, and never came out themselves. Steve Buscemi, who stopped being an actor and went back home to be a fireman because that’s what a hero does. The men and women and dogs of the Search and Rescue. The construction workers. Stories like that. And most of all, the first responders of New York: Firemen, Policemen, EMTs, Doctors, Nurses. All Heroes.

It all sat there in my brain and in my heart, while I read Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan books, trying to understand what was happening around me. While I read Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear, trying to comprehend the aftershocks, the shivers that were still within me. Knowing I had to write it out, had to say something, had to say it in a way that MEANT something, something not trite but true, in a way I had never written before.

There I was, reading The Gift of Fear in the middle of the lunch crush at Burger King. The place was packed; the music was blaring, people were shouting to be heard in their not-so-private conversations, and on the other side of the glass was the play area with kids shrieking and bouncing off the walls and windows.

And The Muse came. And none of that chaos could stop me. The words flowed out of my pen like blood and fire and gold, from start to finish, with never a stop. It was all there, all that I needed to say about them, and not one word was wrong. Except… I sat there and looked at it, and there was one line that didn’t scan, that bothered my sense of symmetry. I tried to fix it, and The Muse smacked me down and said, “Leave that alone! That’s exactly the way it needs to be!” And she was right (of course she was right!), because when the music came later—again, all in a rush—that line flowed as smoothly as all the rest, and that was the line that broke my friend’s heart and made him cry when I sang it for the first time, because I had gotten it right.

I sing this song twice a year at my organization’s events on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. And when they stand and clap and scream for me, I tell them NO. I make them sit again, and I ask if there are any Police officers in the room, or their families, or their support staff. And I ask them to stand. And then I ask if there are Military personnel, Firefighters, Doctors, Nurses, EMTs; if their families are there, or their support staff. And I ask them to stand. And I tell the people to look around at those who are standing. I only wrote the words, I tell them. I only sing them. These are the people I wrote about. These are the people I wrote them for. These are the Heroes.

This is for the Heroes. Because this was all I had to give them.

The Watchmen

Every day they wake up
Every day they stand up
Knowing this may be the day
The last day they do –
They are the ones who stand between
Death and the Innocent.

Every day they put on the uniform
Every day they polish the shield
Every day they don the armor
Pick up the weapons, take the field,
Carry the banner
Of the Watchmen.

Every day they greet their friends,
Salute the warrior in each others’ eyes,
Every day prepare to fight the foe,
Prepare to hold the line –
To be the ones who stand between
Death and the Innocent.

Every day they put on the uniform
Every day they polish the shield
Every day they don the armor
Pick up the weapons, take the field,
Carry the banner
Of the Watchmen.

Every day they dance with death
Every day they smile and joke
While Death looks on, awaits their turn
Win or lose against a worthy foe –
Being the ones who stand between
Death and the Innocent.

Every day they put on the uniform
Every day they polish the shield
Every day they don the armor
Pick up the weapons, take the field,
Carry the banner
Of the Watchmen
Carry the banner
Of the Watchmen
Honor the banner
Of the Watchmen.

12/29/01 @ Varina Suellen Plonski

Dedicated to those in service to mankind – the U.S. Military, Police, Firefighters, EMTs and Medical personnel, their families, and all their support services, for being the line drawn in the sand.

The Watchmen

In honor of Veteran’s Day – to those who served, thank you can never be enough. But– thank you.

The Watchmen

Every day they wake up
Every day they stand up
Knowing this may be the day
The last day they do –
They are the ones who stand between
Death and the Innocent.

Every day they put on the uniform
Every day they polish the shield
Every day they don the armor
Pick up the weapons, take the field,
Carry the banner
Of the Watchmen.

Every day they greet their friends,
Salute the warrior in each others’ eyes,
Every day prepare to fight the foe,
Prepare to hold the line –
To be the ones who stand between
Death and the Innocent.

Every day they put on the uniform
Every day they polish the shield
Every day they don the armor
Pick up the weapons, take the field,
Carry the banner
Of the Watchmen.

Every day they dance with death
Every day they smile and joke
While Death looks on, awaits their turn
Win or lose against a worthy foe –
Being the ones who stand between
Death and the Innocent.

Every day they put on the uniform
Every day they polish the shield
Every day they don the armor
Pick up the weapons, take the field,
Carry the banner
Of the Watchmen
Carry the banner
Of the Watchmen
Honor the banner
Of the Watchmen.

12/29/01 @ Varina Suellen Plonski

Dedicated to those in service to mankind – the U.S. Military, Police, Firefighters, EMT’s and Medical personnel, and all their support services, for being the line drawn in the sand.