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The minute that his horse stepped through the gates
The people left behind, in great dismay
Began to loudly, ceaselessly, debate:

“Well, I have heard, although I cannot say
From where, that Gawain is so close to death
They had to quickly usher him away.

That’s why he seemed so terribly distressed—
Indeed, his brother looked quite close to tears
And Arthur too was quiet and depressed.”

Another spoke: “No sir, you were not near
The three of them enough to see what’s wrong.
But I was there—a spot not far from here

And I would guess Gawain is plenty strong
Just merely weary from the ceaseless crowd;
For after all, his journey has been long

“And treacherous.” A third spectator frowned,
and said, “I’m sure you’re wrong. The knight I knew
Was nigh unbeatable—and he was proud!

This new Gawain has so untimely proved
A sad, defeated, soul. But who can say?
Perhaps he’s just unusually subdued.”

Another disagreed: “I think the way
He looked, and rode, shows all. To me it seems
The truth indeed, that he has finally paid

For all his haughtiness, and too-high dreams.
He must have lost—why else refuse to tell
Unless he feared the loss of our esteem?”

And Gareth, glaring, heard these words as well—
At first he meant to angrily respond—
But when he thought on Gawain, his heart fell.

For in his mind, an imagine, graven strong
Was all the shame within his brother’s face
And he began to dread he had been wrong,
Defense of Gawain (II. Camelot)
The 2nd part is here! I hope it isn't too disappointing--it's a bit shorter, and (I think) less emotionally charged than the first. But then, longer poems need places where they aren't quite as intense, I think.

I would really appreciate comments/critiques on this, especially if you've read the first part. Thanks as always!
You have seeped into all the threads of my life:
your vividness has sunk between the fibers,
drawing the woven spaces together
as if you are somehow not just a fragment
of the tensioned warp, and not just a moment
from the shuttle of an unwinding weft

but have become a shadow instead, transformed
to a darkest woad, or to a crushed carmine red
burnt into the wool. The world grows dark
and I find that I forget how to breathe
without the burning waft of dye-bath scent.

You, who have blended deep within the fabric
I thought I was alone creating, you have taught
me I can be strung taut and not break,
and I can be broken and you will not forsake
(if even at this point, you would forsake)
me. Something of walnut-shell and iron-gall
bleeds through your heart: your promises
are those that only you could make, and still
somehow find strength enough to keep.

Too often I let myself wander into the past
with fingertips scrolling backwards across
the long expanse of the loom, and feeling
every catch and knot and piece of grass
escaped through the sharp teeth of my combs.

I cannot feel the vast expanse of color
drenching every moment. But I remember
and even the first time I felt wool slip
through the gaps in my fingers, twisting to thread,
swaying my whirling spindle; even then
your presence colored all my best memories.
Beyond the woven threads
One of my rarer non-rhymed, non-metric poems, so I would very much appreciate any critiques on it! It draws on a lot of weaving/dyeing/spinning imagery, so I would especially like to hear any comments about how effective people find that.

Thanks again!
Hey everyone,

I have a (possibly?) exciting update. "The Defense of Gawain," a poem I have been quite seriously but extremely sporadically working on for the past 5 years now--which I realize seems completely insane--is almost completed. 

The poem is now around 70 stanzas, which to me doesn't actually seem too long. It is in four parts (possibly 5--I haven't decided whether to split the last section yet). Anyway, I do intend to post the completed poem here, in sections. The second section will be up after a bit more editing, but look for it in a week (or even a bit less).

Meanwhile, I'll share the current titles of each section. We have:
I. Gareth (already on dA)
II. Camelot
III. Gatheris
IV. The King
(V. Guenevere)--possibly.

Thanks for all your continued support, and I am looking forward to sharing the rest of this poem with you all!
The world bent towards the end I would have written
then like a harp-string snapped—the twisted threads
unwound, and all sprung back to what we had been
now I am gutted—and you, I think, are dead.

What use are harps when vaunting horns of silver
proclaim the world has ended; what for me
is left amongst the ruin and raging rivers
of blood and ash, and every tie cut free?

And yet—when your song wound through empty halls
and through your melodies all was reclaimed
I loved it then; that strain; its dying fall--
but tunes are lost, and only words remain.

Yes, only words remain. I cannot write
the wonder in your song—the  world alight.
Sonnet XXIX: An ending
I realized I hadn't posted this, so I hope you can all forgive my current sonnet trend. :)

As always, I'm grateful for any critiques or suggestions!


williamszm's Profile Picture
M. W.
Artist | Student | Varied
United States
I'm a university student studying music.

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