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 On Shattered Dreams

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Victor D. Lopez
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Victor D. Lopez

Number of posts : 984
Registration date : 2012-02-01
Location : New York

On Shattered Dreams Empty
PostSubject: On Shattered Dreams   On Shattered Dreams EmptySat Jun 15, 2013 5:30 pm

Memories assault my mind,
And make me drink a drought of darkness all my own,
The once-filled corners of my soul,
Are empty now, and though accompanied, I am alone.

I've given all I had to chase a dream,
Which taunted me for much too long a time,
Shards of reality now cut the empty refrains,
Of what might have been,
Of shattered truths and dreams gone awry.

I seek with the hunger of a dying soul,
For that which I know can never be found,
And am rewarded for my foolishness,
By finding an endless void where the only meaning to be gleaned,
Is from the shadows cast by my dying mind.

What of Don Quixote,
With his faithful Sancho Panza,
When dragons begin to take their true forms,
And windmills appear? He fights to hold on to the dream,
And failing to do so dies from the crushing weight of his reality.

When I awake, I will redden profusely,
Put down my ragged lance,
And take my rightful place,
Beside the great dolts of our time.

But still I sleep,
Though I know the uneasiness of incipient wakefulness,
I cling on to the dream, knowing it a dream,
For in its sweet promises lie the only truths I can accept,
My only hope the evanescent reverie of an immature mind.

[This free verse was previously unpublished and perhaps ought to have remained so. (c) 1988,2013 Victor D. Lopez]



Last edited by Victor D. Lopez on Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:13 pm; edited 2 times in total
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: On Shattered Dreams   On Shattered Dreams EmptySat Jun 15, 2013 5:56 pm

I'm glad it didn't remain so.  I love the sounds.  I wish I could hear it read aloud.  It's a poem that needs to be literally heard.  I hope you don't mind; I keep hearing Jor-el's voice (having just come from the film.) reading them softly and deeply:

And make me drink a drought of darkness all my own,
The once-filled corners of my soul,
Are empty now,....


You are a long, long way from being a dolt. I find myself wanting to respond with Langston Hughes, "Hold fast to dreams/ For if dreams die,/ Life is a broken-winged bird /That cannot fly."


But I think you know that.

If your words are not poetry, then why must I respond to them with poetic words I remember as I read?


Thanks for both of these, Victor.
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Victor D. Lopez
Four Star Member
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Victor D. Lopez

Number of posts : 984
Registration date : 2012-02-01
Location : New York

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PostSubject: Re: On Shattered Dreams   On Shattered Dreams EmptySat Jun 15, 2013 6:54 pm

Ann,

I have not yet seen Superman, but the idea of Russell Crowe reading anything I've written would indeed be a dream come true. Just for you, though, I'll try to record this poem and put it with the other rough readings of my poetry on YouTube as an audio file and link it to my web pages somewhere--including this page if I can do it.

The words still pain me. But your words, generosity and genuine kindness are a true gift. Thank you.
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
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Age : 76
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PostSubject: Re: On Shattered Dreams   On Shattered Dreams EmptySat Jun 15, 2013 7:12 pm

Cool.  

Annie
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: On Shattered Dreams   On Shattered Dreams EmptySat Jun 15, 2013 7:33 pm

BTW, Victor, are you aware that you just made your 555th post here?  As I understand it, 555, in numerology, signifies  a major life change - and you made the post on the poetry thread.

Another synchoronicity?
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Victor D. Lopez
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Victor D. Lopez

Number of posts : 984
Registration date : 2012-02-01
Location : New York

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PostSubject: Re: On Shattered Dreams   On Shattered Dreams EmptySat Jun 15, 2013 9:21 pm

I could use a major life change. If it will help me slumber a bit longer, I'll hang one more hope on numerology. Meantime, there is now a rambling dissonance to accompany my poems. I read each twice and chose what I thought was the least terrible reading. For someone who makes a living talking to people, I can't seem to read my own words without self-consciousness. Next time I'll try this with a brandy snifter.
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: On Shattered Dreams   On Shattered Dreams EmptySun Jun 16, 2013 5:29 am

Thank you again.  Your voice is much like I expected it would be, and your readings were poignant.

I liked them all.  I had read them earlier.  Hearing brings even greater depth.  The poem about the sometimes painful truth that comes out when writing poetry was one I especially identified with.

The poem about your grandfather reminds me, just a little, of one I wrote about my 3rd great-grandmother.  It is posted here.
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Victor D. Lopez
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Victor D. Lopez

Number of posts : 984
Registration date : 2012-02-01
Location : New York

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PostSubject: Re: On Shattered Dreams   On Shattered Dreams EmptySun Jun 16, 2013 10:36 am

Thank you, Ann.

I am sure you 3rd grandmother is proud to have you as her namesake. What a lovely way to shed light on branches of your family tree and honor those whose passage through life was not appropriately noted. Very touching.

My poem about my grandparents was very difficult for me to read. I had to record sections of it several times because I could not keep my emotions in check. I take Wordsworth quite literally in his definition of poetry as the (paraphrasing) spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions recollected in tranquility. I read even my own mostly crude lines and it is hard to keep my feelings in check. That is one reason I seldom write poetry any more--it is just too hard emotionally if you write about things that matter.

Prose comes from the mind; we can construct logical arguments and dress them appropriately for maximum impact or paint portraits with words so that others may for a time join us in our fictional worlds. But poetry comes from a very different place and, for me, serves a very different purpose. A part of me rolls my eyes along with most people who simply will not understand that; it seems a soppy, trite sentiment. But it is nonetheless true, for me at least. I don't work on that craft because it takes too much out of me, even when I get away from the dark cloud that seems to always touch my work.

My fiction is largely my version of the songs of innocence, even the darker fiction. My poetry is my songs of experience (with all due apologies to Blake) even when I focus on the joy that is life. One good thing about writing poetry is that it forces you to take a hard look at who you are, what you value, and results in more than a little self-analysis. I am actually a very simple man. The conflict in my writing is largely that of an idealist forced to live in the real world which mixes the angelic in almost equal parts with the profane. Hell hath no fury like a disappointed idealist--Lord knows I'm not the only one to prove that point on this forum. Wink


Last edited by Victor D. Lopez on Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
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Age : 76
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PostSubject: Re: On Shattered Dreams   On Shattered Dreams EmptySun Jun 16, 2013 12:07 pm

I hear you, in all of what you said.

My goal, for several years, up until two years ago, was to tell the stories of my maternal ancestors, beginning with Ailcy and her daughter, Martha Ann.

I hit a dry well, several months before I started to remember the old Redstone tales from my journals.

There are, as you can see, elements of valuable stories in the cold facts that one finds in genealogical records. To that I would add the reason I started the project to begin with: the complex and convoluted mother-daughter relationships that go back as far as anyone remembered in my matrilineal line. (I once told my brother, who was the real family historian, that I wanted to do this matrilineal story.  He got huffy and said he didn't know what that word meant.  However, his attitude is apparently valid, as the spell-checker for this forum doesn't recognize the word, either, and wants me to write matrimonial instead Rolling Eyes)

Genealogy is about fathers and grandfathers.  The women, who do the jobs of birthing and dying, are incidentals of no real consequence.  Our grandmothers only live through the stories we, their granddaughters, carry on.

It proved, for me, to be too heavy a task. On a practical level, there is the problem of dates.  One has to take in birth, marriage, and death records.  In addition, one has to be able to count backwards 9 months, to take in the time of conception.  That became very tricky in developing this story.  I had to know where the fathers were when their children were conceived, rather than when the children were born.  It is generally accepted that both parents are in the same area when it all gets started. There was little guarantee that daddies would still be around when the child was born.  That was an important item to be factored in.

And there was the lack of relationship stories.  I had to assume the patterns that were in place by the time the family reached Texas, and the tales became oral tradition, and the tensions between generations were known,  were in place in earlier times, but I soon found that the pain of them was too raw for me to handle with any depth.

I still want to write Ailcy's story.

Meantime, Maggie Redstone was born in the same year as Martha Ann, and into a similar circumstance, since the CW in the Hill Country was very close to the CW in Missouri., and her grandmother, Rachel Young Richardson, was probably half Cherokee, through her mother.  And her grandmother,as well as the distant cousin who comes into her life at the beginning of Daniel's Daughter, were both named Thorne.

So, for now, I content myself with writing these fictional stories of other characters who lived through similar times and experienced similar troubles.

And I apologize for getting away from your poem about your ancestors.  I just wanted to reinforce your feelings,  the pain it takes to write those stories, and to read them.
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Victor D. Lopez
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Victor D. Lopez

Number of posts : 984
Registration date : 2012-02-01
Location : New York

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PostSubject: Re: On Shattered Dreams   On Shattered Dreams EmptySun Jun 16, 2013 12:42 pm

Very, very interesting Ann. It is sad (tragic) that too many otherwise intelligent people haven't a clue as to what matrilineal means. It is just another symptom of the subtle misogyny (at least the spell checker recognizes this word) institutionalized in most of the world's societies throughout time. The accomplishments of women have been marginalized and treated with condescension, and the traditional role of women devalued, including by many women today. It is hard for me to imagine what it must be like to live as a woman even today, even in enlightened countries ostensibly not ruled by troglodytes. It is impossible for me to imagine the life of a woman in the nineteenth Century frontier. In historical fiction or fact, I hope that you will continue to write about the unsung heroes whom no one may remember otherwise and who have vital lessons to teach us all at a time in history when such lessons are vitally important.

You never cease to amaze my, by the way. Or surprise me.
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alj
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alj

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PostSubject: Re: On Shattered Dreams   On Shattered Dreams EmptySun Jun 16, 2013 12:59 pm

Poppycock!  Laughing

In case you are interested, I posted a early draft of one of those difficult chapters in our Works in Progress section, here.
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Victor D. Lopez
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Victor D. Lopez

Number of posts : 984
Registration date : 2012-02-01
Location : New York

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PostSubject: Re: On Shattered Dreams   On Shattered Dreams EmptySun Jun 16, 2013 5:46 pm

I liked the early draft very much. It is interesting to get a peek behind the different points of view expressed in colleagues' advice too. Thanks for sharing the thread.
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