harry furness poetry and some other random thoughts

An Ancient Tale #135 (part 6)

Posted by hfurness on March 1, 2011

Athagetten was the youngest apprentice that Horth had ever accepted
He was only eight anos, but he had an exceptional head for remembering
He was a small, thin boy and having a good head would serve him well
Young Ath already understood why his father, Centh,
Rotated planting fields
And which plants made good seed plants and which were for
Young Ath knew the medicine plants that his mother, Getten,
Collected from the rivers edge and from the hills beyond
The Circle
Young ones never knew these things
Ath’s two older brothers would be good farmers, but they did not have a head
For remembering
Getten would mate them with other farmer daughters
Ath had remembered all of the details that Horth had
Told him about the People
And as he walked about the new building
Near the far wall that was not yet finished he was amazed
How advanced life had become
He could smell the brewing of the foamy grain
That Baccath and his apprentices were making for this winter
He looked out over the surrounding area and saw as far as he could
Almost to the hills
All of the clans
He knew the importance of the placement of the twelf pillar
And how the walk to the river would honor all who came before
He was amazed that the brick making the surrounding wall and
The walls of the new houses were fire made
And that this was only found a generation ago
A potter named Upop from the next village over had
Fired a pot and it was stronger and could hold water for long times
Then he fired one of the mud bricks and it could sit in the river
And stand like a rock
This method enabled Baccath and his apprentices to make
More foamy grain and it could sit in the fired pots longer than in
Simple sun dried clay pots
This was a great achievement for the People
And he could see the boat with the middle pole and
Dharchu had attached a cloth and could command the winds to take
Him where he wanted to go
He was showing others how to master the wind, God’s breath
Other children Ath’s age were kicking a breath-filled goat belly
Long ago goat bellies were used to carry water
Some father long ago sewed up the belly with air and began playing with
His young ones and now it was all through all of the villages
As he was amazed at the time in which he was living
And knew that his people were the most advanced people
Young Ath walked straight into Goth
Goth, a huge man, important hunter and most likely the People’s leader
He looked down on Ath and scowled
Ath, red faced, apologized walking backwards until he felt he could turn
And run
Goth roared with laughter as he strode over to Horth’s house


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An Ancient Tale #135 (part 5)

Posted by hfurness on January 31, 2011

Old Horth leaned heavily on his talking staff
Walking with the weight of years and worry
His 47 anos have not been kind to him, but he stays in good spirit
And now with the coming of the winter circle welcoming God’s gift
The return of the Sun cycle
Placing the twelf totem, the massive pillar on its way
With the markings from the water carriers, Zethines
Soon all twelve tribes from all of the villages and the outlying hunters
Would gather on the plane of the ancestors
Near the mouth of the creation delta
The Henge mounds have been tended
Meat and grain have been laid aside
His apprentices have been schooled
Why did this script need to raise its hairy head again?
Capturing speech in markings in the dirt
Tales are to be told
Symbols on a tablet will cause the People to worship the clay
Not listening to the stories of God
Horth had learned all of the speech symbols from his teacher, Gareth
Gareth had been a great warrior priest, keeper of the scared tales
Hunting the lion that attacked Arrack with Gareth is how Horth
Became lame
On that hunt in the dust while waiting out the lion in the hills
Is where Horth learned these symbols
Gareth convinced Horth that the People must not create this false God
Or God would surely punish the People
Horth promised Gareth
The lion circled back on the pair and took Gareth and Horth’s calf muscle
Before Horth could strike a fatal blow
Horth fingered his talking staff, feeling the mark for Gareth
The marks on the talking staff were just memory devices for stories
They were not the same as the marks in clay
Yet Horth could not always convince himself of that
Children played near the wall, kicking a goat-belly ball
It was always good to hear their laughter
The People had been coming all week and setting up camps
Along the river and as far as the hills
There would be seven nights at the circle
The first three were celebrations of the gatherings
Stories and individual matings would be their focus
The middle night was a remembrance of all who had passed that year
And the last three for defining paths of our people
Apprenticeships, building needs, and such
The Mothers were meeting in the fire circle this evening
They would be planning the lineage, arraigning unions, determining education
The intermingling of tribal blood was essential
Girls and beardless boys would be given places within
A village’s walls
Horth needed to see to the completion of the pillar’s position
This new one would align with the winter’s setting sun
The calendar would be complete
The first of the three was for the rising of the summer’s sun
The last of the second three marked its setting
The first of the third three aligned with the rising winter sun
This last one would mark its setting
These sacred days set aside to worship God and to praise our spirits connection
To this great being,
That creative power that provides us bounty from the land
The summer festival is for life and creation
The winter festival to mourn our dead and show the strong connection
To our ancestors
Horth’s talking staff handed down from tale keepers of the long past
Leads the People in worship and praise
He wanted Zontan to follow him, but that may not be God’s will
Zontan remains an enigma to old Horth
After checking on the proceedings for the Mother’s meeting
He will head down to the grove of trees during the evening’s breezy time
To listen to the whispered words
Here is where he hopes will come the strength and guidance for which path
He is to choose
He knows that the Mothers are claiming that the earth is to be worshiped
The Elders, mostly men, believe that all life and power come from the sky
He seems to stand in the middle of many of the discussions
He is at least listened to with reverence
All of the people know of his careful deliberations
This and the word symbols could be his most important decisions

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An Ancient Tale #135 (part 4)

Posted by hfurness on January 20, 2011

Weasels and jackals were active tonight
Zontan and Uris could see the distant glow of the fire circleThree full moon’s from tonight would be the winter’s end
But now was a time for both putting the year’s dead to eternal rest
And when the Mother’s would select mates for the hunters
And farmers, toolmakers, those who studied the way, and others of each settlement of the People
The Mothers determine who we are; the Fathers what
Zontan had avoided Bibe’s choices, so far
He was well past the time for starting a family
Even Uris had fathered two children by Bethe
They were fatherless now, but the Mothers would take up their care
The People’s tradition of the line determined by the mother
There were twelve settlements, descendents of the twelve daughters of Ruth
Soon all would be walled villages along the river
Sumer’s wall was nearly finished and all of the stilted homes
Would be abandoned
Quetin was not comfortable about leaving his family home
He enjoyed the solace of living on the edge of the river and village
Near his obsidian store
Quetin did not have the solitude of the hunters in the hills
He was proud that his son Zontan was one of the lead hunters for all of
The People
He could track anything
Zontan had apprenticed under Goth, the best hunter
Quentin always made sure that Zontan had the best tips
And the truest shafts
On the plateau above the river’s banks was the circle
One entrance pointed to sunrise in middle anos; the other to sunset
In the end of anos
Celebrating life and remembering those who have passed
This end of anos, the People would raise the last, the twelf pillar
Each one carved to match each totem village
The inner circle would be complete
Horth, a son of Greathe and the keeper of the tales,
Would speak on the beginning of time and our placement in it by God
Stories handed down from the time of Aamdam and Evean
Zontan was there last month with the debate to expel Uris
He knew the symbols that Uris knew and the abomination that it meant
Capturing speech in symbols for all to see and not hear
Put in clay with no interpretation
The Fathers felt the fear; the Mothers knew it
But no one knew that Horth was beginning to understand the merit of
He had secretly sought out Zontan after the expulsion to question him
About the way of capturing sound in markings
There was merit in this method for teaching the young ones
Now that the People were growing in such numbers
It was easier to teach the past, mouth to ear, when they weren’t so spread out
He would need to ponder this with great care
It would not be the first time that he reversed himself or went against the
He knew that if he did, he would need to be sure and show them the reason
To break with the past and create new traditions
It would not be the easiest path
Then he would need to re-instate Uris and that reversal would be the
Most difficult of all
The Elders had never brought back someone banished
He would need time to meditate on all of this
But only after the opening night of the circle

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An Ancient Tale #135 (part 3)

Posted by hfurness on January 10, 2011

It had been rainy and lonely those first few nights
With only some cold grains to eat
Chasing him out with stones
Sending him out of the walls into the wilderness
Bidding him to never return
Driven out like that first couple from their maternal grounds
Uris felt that the people had stolen the fire from him
He had stayed angry
On the fourth sunrise as his wounds healed,
He dried out and let that madness evaporate
With the water from his skin
He found flint, obsidian, wood, and the will to move on
It was a time to hunt, not just for meat, but for a way to continue
He could not fashion the spear tips to match Quetin
Using the obsidian and striking stones he made smaller tips
And with strands pulled from his tunic
Was able to make the smaller striking sticks
He twisted the twine into a string, bending a strong shaft
Made a bow as he had seen a northern man carry once
It would do
The hare on the spit that night tasted like victory
If not vindication
Uris tried to understand the elders reticence in drawing words
Betheadeeon had first showed him how to make some of the symbols
He didn’t know why it was blasphemous if he only pictured praise for God
Or showing the exploits of the Gil
Some of the elders didn’t want these tales easy for everyone to see
Without them to tell them the tales
He would ask Zontan why the speech spinner-elder, Horth, had turned on him
Uris knew that Zontan could draw speech and hunted alone
He would track him when he came to the hills to hunt
They both knew how to set the symbols in wet mud to keep the words
Uris knew that it was death to be caught on the hunting paths
He knew how to hide his smoke in the hills
Damp leaves of the Tigerus tress suspended over small flames from hardwood
Skins from the hares would cure well and keep him clothed
But he missed his mother’s spinning
Maybe he could find a mountain tribe and hunt for them
Teaching them of God and the Gil and of his people who descended from Eden
And cultivated the crescent
From one full moon to the next, he planned and hunted and scratched symbols
In the far hills
Uris knew that Zontan would hunt the hills during the full face of the moon
He knew his rock

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An Ancient Tale #135 (part 2)

Posted by hfurness on January 4, 2011

The moon rise is cool in the hills above the river
It’s large, round, white lion face lights up the land and village
Dark rimmed eyes stare down
Seeing all
The dark will grow cold and long
I am grateful for the company while I sit on a rock, waiting;
Spears at the ready
Using a non-lethal end to make pictures of words
It is still forbidden to do so
Urisabethe was stoned for it, after only last moon rise
He has been banished and lives in these hills, alone
I will meet him tonight while I am on guard duty
The jackals are active tonight and I must stay aware
There is another lion pride that has killed our cattle
They hunt at sun rise when God sends us the new day
My people once only lived off of what God gave us
Now we are able to plant and grow;
Raise and herd cattle, sheep, goats
As well as hunt with skill; using knowledge gained from
The fall of Eden
The tale of the Gil – has taught us how
I rub out the picture speak with my foot and take up the trail again
Of the lion pride
Wolves howl at the night’s light
I hear the cattle’s concern from far below
The first summer night when I took my man-lion’s tuff, I was 16 anos
My father had fashioned me a strong, sharp spear
I tracked the pride to its lair, Eathis taught me well
I did not pick out the old lion as I was told
But the alpha; I wanted the pride’s best
When I baited him to charge – I place the shaft’s butt in the sand
Holding it fast with my foot and drove its head deep into his chest
As he fell at my feet, I was not prepared for the roar of rest of the pride
At his demise
Only the fire circle that I lit with my flint kept them at bay
I took the beast’s head in my hands, and praised his spirit to God
Knowing that when I ate his meat and wove his main into my hair
I would grow from his strength
Uris taught me to draw that story in the ground
Someday, I will place that in wet clay and let it dry so that it lasts forever
Horth and other tale-tellers will pass it in the circle of fire
These talk pictures will one day be inscribed for descendents
Ancestors and descendents will be able to live in the same moments
Knowledge and stories
Something moves to my left – I heft a spear, ready
This night will be long

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An Ancient Tale #135 (part 1)

Posted by hfurness on December 31, 2010

The first time the men took me into the circle of fire and
I heard the full tale of the hero, the Gil
I was 48 seasons or 12 anos
Smooth faced and just beginning to learn the hunt
The full gray beards sat closest to the red leaping flames
And told about time before history
The circle of fire was the night time circle of time
The straight tall polls arraigned to time the seasons
Letting us know when the sun will lower in the sky
And when it will begin its rise in the sky again
Here in the Tigerus valley this time table determines our
Plantings and when we bury our dead
Our river provides us plants and meat
Plants grow, animals come to water
I am Zontanabide, son of Quetin, the spear-tip maker
And Bibe, my mother, herb mistress, knowing the property of plants
My father can see into the heart of obsidian stone
Chipping out the strongest tips with flesh slicing sharpness
The flutes he fashions fit tight into the split-top pole
He knows when the sinew is chewed enough and will dry
To hold it all together
He made my spears special for me to kill my lion and
Taught me how to throw straight and true with keen eye
I have my lion tuff tied to my hair
And I’m around to prove both his worth as a spear-maker,
My courage as a hunter
I’ve heard the story of the Gil for six winters
Each time I see into our past with better understanding
The word spinner, Horth, is the wisest man of the people
His beard is white and long, his days as hunter are past

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Hello world!

Posted by hfurness on November 24, 2010

Hi ya anyone interested,

I plan on publishing some new poetry here.  The first is a long poem about the creation of civilization – nothing too ambitious…  There will be some other poems and random thoughts.  I don’t have a timeline on this so it may be some daily stuff and it may take some weeks to work on some of the passages.  Thank you for stopping by and I hope that you might even enjoy it. – harry

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