Something completely different and beautiful

Margaret Elam is an author, a very good one, especially when it comes to stories about fearies, gnomes, ‘other world’ characters. She is also a very good poet and a lovely, caring person.

Not too long ago, she sent me the recording of a poem she wrote and recites. It made me cry, because I cry at beauty.

I’m posting it here, because I think it should see the world and be seen and heard by the world.

Thank you MARGARET ELAM for The Last Dragon

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30 Comments to “Something completely different and beautiful”

  1. Thank you so much for your kind words my dear friend. And thank you for posting the sound file. Many hugs.

  2. I thank YOU, Margaret, for a beautiful poem and it p**** me off that nobody else takes the bloody trouble to comment.
    Hoever, I am proud to post The Last Dragon and happy to know you there. So there!

    PS So far, 35 hits. Not bad.

  3. Well, dear heart then you know that your blog attracts readers and you make a difference in the world. Nice to know that people are listening no matter the comments. Perhaps they are all busy and just have a few minutes to spend. Sometimes that is the way of a world where a lone dragon stands watch. You and I write what lies in our hearts. We write because we must. That would not change whether or no, anyone read or listened to a single word. We are among many who spend countless hours pouring over phrasing and imagery? What noun? What verb? Cut this! Use that! More description, Show don’t tell. And most of all stay true to self. 8)

  4. Right on, Magggums, right on!

  5. Every time I read (or hear) poetry like this, I think again that I should try writing some.
    Problem is, it never turns out anything like ‘The Last Dragon’…

  6. Don’t we all? And yet, I think you should try. Knowing you as a writer, I think you would do well. While reading your ‘That Twisted Thing Called Truth’ I have found some purdy poetic lines, chaver.

  7. I hope Margaret Elam reads this, Joe!

  8. I did indeed read this and, Joe, thank you so much. No better praise for me than hearing words like yours.

  9. Margaret has so much talent and is very good about sharing wth the rest of us. Great work!!

  10. Totally agree with you, Sandy, and am proud Margaret allowed me to put her Last Dragon on my blog.

  11. Goodgoodgood.
    HEY JOE! Are you out there? The lady is talkin’ to you, mate.

  12. Yeah, yeah, I’m here, I’m here (just about).
    I was just really pleased to be able to hear the piece, Margaret. I always think it’s so difficult to get the work out there and taken seriously. There are a lot of independent press magazines for both poetry and short stories, but there’s also a lot of research to be done to figure out which ones are really worth submitting to and which are taken seriously.
    I also think it’s interesting to hear the poet read the work. There’s a topic for debate – whether it’s more interesting to read poetry and therefore supply your own ‘voice’ to the work, or if it’s more interesting to hear the poet’s reading of it.
    It’s a shame, Margaret, (and Ruth Deborah as well) that you’re not in London, as Adele Ward of Ward Wood Publishing runs a regular Friday night poetry night here, which is a good outlet for poets to get immediate feedback and reaction to their work. (No, I’m not one of them!)

  13. Maggums, are you listening to this bloke?
    I am, for sure, because he knows what he is talking about and is a damn good writer himself (poems? I dunno!)
    (Yes, Joe, pity we can’t take part in the super Friday Feast of Adele Ward. Quite a lady that lady and good publishers, Ward Wood that is.
    The’re publishing your ‘That Twisted Thing Called Truth’.
    Sorry, for interrupting your conversation with Joe, Maggums 🙂

  14. Maggums, are you listening to this bloke?
    I am, for sure, because he knows what he is talking about and is a damn good writer himself (poems? I dunno!)
    (Yes, Joe, pity we can’t take part in the super Friday Feast of Adele Ward. Quite a lady that lady and good publishers, Ward Wood that is.
    The’re publishing your ‘That Twisted Thing Called Truth’.
    Sorry, for interrupting your conversation with Joe, Maggums 🙂

  15. I am listening. First, Sandy, my dear friend, thank you for your comments. I can always count on you to be their for me now as ever. You know when I announce something, it goes out to everyone I hold close. Most don’t respond. But my old and dear friend you always do and I so appreciate you.

  16. Joe, I thank you for your interest in The Last Dragon. I like to read poetry aloud. I do agree that reading for someone else is not the same as the author reading their own work. They know the heart of the piece. I would love to find something near me where authors share their work. A place where the work need not be poetry but any prose the author feels strong enough to interest others.

    Recently some people have written to tell me that THe Last Dragon is a voice for animals, and I hope that is true. However, that is too narrow a description. There is a story behind The Last Dragon. I don’t know if it will detract or add to the understanding of the poem but will post it here in any case.

  17. For a number of years I drove a stretch of highway between home and the city where I taught. It wasn’t a long drive but a substantial one, about twenty-five minutes one way. I didn’t really mind it since it gave me time to organize my thoughts in the morning and prepare for facing those sometimes lovely, sometimes monstrous,( depending on the hormones charging their psyches on any particular day) junior high students. In the evening heading home my nerves quieted across those same miles and I gained tranquility of thought once more. And so it went for miles and miles. One morning in early fall I drove along just as the sun rose. Long grass along the roadside wafted back and forth rhythmically. Huge rolls of cut hay lay like harvest markers in farm fields, and the trees had turned those lovely autumn hues. The sky presented one of those clear blue days… the kind where the clouds do seem like giant billows of fluffed cotton. I thought how lovely that morning appeared, and drove on.

    By evening when I headed home, the scene had changed. Some time that day the county decided to cut the long grass growing at roadside. Those lovely swaying grasses lay in ruin, and what they had concealed so thoroughly was the refuse of man. Plastic bottles, aluminum cans, bags of trash, paper, old tires, pieces of fabric, and food containers. What I thought so beautiful that morning was nothing more than a garbage dump created at the hand of civilization. That picture, that ugly picture curled inside my head for a long time. And then one day… as I sat at the computer, I glanced up at the top of my monitor where sits my little friend, Scorch. Scorch is a Beanie Baby that a dear friend brought me for my birthday many years ago. I took him from the wrappings that day and set him atop my monitor where he has lived for the past 15 years. Scorch spoke to me that morning. Oh not so that anyone else could hear for dragons are particular about who they let hear their speech. I heard him though and saw the little smoke puffs that came from his nostrils. “When madam,” he said in his most controlled way. “When exactly do you plan to express that long held image?”

    Hence, came The Last Dragon…..

  18. You’re lucky, Margaret, very lucky.

  19. Adele is also on Second Life as far as I know and methinks there a poets and writers reading their work there. Don’t know if you know SL, Margaret, but why not drop Adele a line?

  20. Love that story and adore Scorch.

  21. Well, I guess THAT is what you get when you have the author’s own voice. You get the inherent ‘back story’ that only they understand and know.
    Margaret thank you for that. I know that quite often, poets and authors like to keep the background to a piece private.
    So, last thought from me, and this is for Ruth Deborah mainly, as Margaret has pretty much answered this already. Have you ever had anyone else read your work to you or for you and if so, do you find that annoying, that they may be missing your subtext?

  22. Yes, I did, Joe. Someone read my short ‘Hello, G-d’ on UKAuthors Live and she screwed it up totally. I sad listening to it crying and swearing.
    Now, since my own voice has become very poor, Maggi and I were talking about her possibly reading some of my poems. I think she has a super voice and know she knows my poems as well as she knows me (like you do, too).
    I think her story about The Last Dragon is great and realised that I, too, have stories behind my poems/stories, some of them so clear!

  23. Yes, others have read my work, Deborah for one. She looks beyond the surface to the meat of what I write and understands. Those who read The Last Dragon and thought it was a defense of animals, well nothing wrong there. Nothing, except that it is a superficial image of the piece troubles me because when that happens I start to question what I wrote and think perhaps I just didn’t get the idea across, that it wasn’t as clearly represented as I first thought.

    Keeping the source a secret…well for that one, I rather like sharing the background. With other pieces that I write, no, they come from the private world inside my head, from images I recognize and wish to haul from the cobwebs and examine.

    Now tell me. Does knowing the background for The Last Dragon take away from or add too the poem?

  24. This conversation is becoming so interesting I may move it to the front. Fun idea for another blog: read your own, or an other writer’s work. What thinkest thou?

  25. What, this isn’t the front?

  26. No, dahlink, it’s under ‘comments’. If I’m not beaten to death in the meantime, I think I’ll move it to the front page.

  27. Tis Halloween here and the goblins are threshing about with all manner of hideous things. Perhaps you need to keep one stashed in your pocket and put a stop to all of that. What do you think?

  28. I have a nasty little piece I’ll post here for you… Not like The Last Dragon at all and please cut it if you disapprove. I will absolutely understand. Short, just 300 words… I hope it fits.

    Perry’s Woman
    by
    M.C. Elam

    Perry’s woman liked packages. He used to think the contents excited her, but watching the way she felt up the crisp edges and pointy corners changed his opinion about that. Perry watched her run expert fingers along the edges and saw the delighted smile on her puffy pink lips. Was that the tip of her tongue just touching the edge of her teeth? He wondered what that damned mother of hers had sent this time. Some screwy piece of crap to collect dust, he supposed. Bitch woman kept telling her to come home. He’d send her home if she wanted to go. Home in a box. He wished she’d open that fucking thing and let him have a look. He wondered if she’d still be smiling when she finally opened the package.
    Perry’s woman smiled at the damnedest things. Like yesterday when he told her to smile that gap toothed grin of hers or he’d knock he fucking head off. She smiled then all right. He was particularly fond of those smiles because he knew he’d ordered them up special at the end of his fist. Smacking his woman around made up the best fifty percent of his leisure except when she went to wailing her fool head off. Then he’d have to shut her face before some fink of a neighbor called the cops like that time in Juarez when they shut him in that stink hole of a jail. She’d paid for that. Oh yes she had. Sure as shit, she’d paid him dear for that. Perry’s woman opened the package. Maybe he’d sell the shit or put it out for trash on Thur….
    Perry’s woman gazed into Perry’s stone dead face and kept right on smiling. Mama always sent the bestest packages ever to her baby girl.

  29. Nice ‘n nasty, Maggi.
    Also a cute idea: posting each another’s work on your blog. Literary exchange!

  30. I need ten of them to counterattack that one very nasty, big goblin.

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