Original Poetry: Night Blossoms

. . . 4-something in the still, birdless morning;

Through glass doors across the room,
a dark outline of a bicycle,
the thin bars of the balcony,
I can see the deep fuchsias
of rhododendron dimly lit by building light
and the more generic urban light pollution.

I imagine that it is the moon’s doing.

Come daybreak, the blossoms
will be a bit less exotic—a bit
less lovely. They are not rhododendron.
For those, too, I left in the little park
clinging to Brynmill village.
 
 
 
 
 
[Check out other original poems here.]

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Original Poetry: “And So”

Tie up your well-wishes with ribbons and bows
though a notary signature might ensure
your promises more to my liking. Who knows
less than me your truest intentions? An obscure
vision of security does less than a warmer
greeting of inaudible reference. It’s your silent
serenity massaging my anxiety, but I’ll endure
the turbulence a while longer without dissent.

Blame it on my emotionally masochistic bent,
but do, indeed, see me at my most pathetic
state. For soon’s the hour when I’ll repent
my weakness. I’ll grow cold and apathetic—
tired of waiting and hanging onto hollow
words. I’ll dance the lead without a follow.
 
 
 
 
 
[This old sonnet of mine stands as my own response to a previous sonnet I’d written, “And If”. Check out other original poems here.]

Novel Review: Recreance by H. G. Chambers

Recreance (The Aeternum Chronicles, #1)Recreance by H.G. Chambers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

More than a few fantasy series can be described as: a future dystopian society on the verge of social apocalypse with 1 or 2 teenagers stepping up to overcome terrible odds for the sake of all. It’s in the differences between this epic and others that makes it special and in the parts that it does particularly well. As the opening installment of a series, the potential is also worth. But the series also owes some explanations left unanswered in this volume.

Humankind long ago overcame aging and natural death, but that led to an unexpected new discovery. Like the changes of puberty in teenagers making them adults, humans undergo a second major change [or third if one counts menopause] in which after the age of 150 individuals gain a physics-bending, if not magical ability. Interestingly, the magical process taps into and opens portals and potentials in parallel universes. Some of these are quite different and deadly–and tantalizingly left for future volumes.

What matters here is that the truly ancient Patriarch wishes to keep others from the final change by culling them at 150 years of age. He also uses his abilities to enslave the citizens of the only known true city on the planet. His plans are of demonic, Lovecraftian proportions.

Two teens, Oren and Clementine, each lost their respective families. Cast aside by society, they are the city’s only hope.

Some things are handled particularly well by this series. 1) The development and yet understatement of exobiological species. 2) The individual development arc of the two teens. Each follows a very different path. Especially strong is the relationship between Oren and his mentor. 3) Speculative technologies and Clem’s manipulation of them.

Left unanswered is the atypical development of Clem and Oren to their species. Similar and shared experiences hopefully explain it, as otherwise the kids don’t represent the potential in us all. Lastly, the overly Millennial colloquial euphemisms and dialogue between the teens makes little sense in a world and time so different from ours.

I received my copy of the collection directly from the author through bookreviewdirectory.wordpress.com.
 
 
 
[Check out my other reviews here.]

Original Poetry: “And If”

And for this moment I’ll choose to only believe
all of your whispered promises and the firm embrace
of my shoulders dispelling the fears that the nights conceive.
And if tomorrow I’ve no choice but to face
the day’s reality of being solitary, I’ll displace
the anxiety with thoughts of your lingering scent impressed
upon my cuffs and collar. And just in case
your words are true and I’ve second-guessed
your honest intentions, put my mind at rest
with nothing more than what you’ve already done.
Put my own convictions to the test
to see if for yourself, I’m the one.
And if I doubt everything you do and say,
leave me—quietly—to make my own way.
 
 
 
 
 
[Check out other original poems here.]

Short Story Review: “Vermont Muster” by Nick Mamatas

2 of 5 stars.

This tale feels more Lovecraftian than ghost story when a teenager lights a candle and sternos a can of soup in front of his high school’s engraved image of a local hero that returned home from fighting in the Civil War.

A confluence of strange events ensues. The teenager has a seizure before he can start his seance. [But he is accustomed to having seizures.] His borrowed video camera captures an unexplained image in front of the engraving at the same time as the seizure. Civil War enacters from all over start to arrive into town after being compelled in their dreams–and they find it very difficult to leave again . . .

Much is packed into this short tale. However, a clear explanation and resolution are not.

This tale appears in Shades of Blue & Gray: Ghosts of the Civil War edited by Steve Berman. I’ve previously read this author’s “Hideous Interview with Brief Man”.
 
 
 
[Check out my other reviews here.]