Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Poem - The Monster of Moarning

A great many ideas come and go, lost to the eternal sands of time, merely for lack of intiative. I often find myself contemplating some wonderful story or brilliant scheme only to consign it, in an instant, to oblivion for want of pen and pad. This is something that most people must struggle with in one form or another, as the human mind can be terribly fickle. This is precisely the reason why I resolutely refuse to create anything in segments, where possible, as attempting to continue an unfinished project all too often forces the artist to rekindle a long-dead fire with the hopes that the fuel burns as brightly as before. In other words, an idea is never quite the same on subsequent visits, and while this can occasionally be a very important aspect of writing a good story, it all too often results in something altogether... hazy. Thus is the origin of the following poem, my first in at least a year, The Monster of Moarning: a vivid image elaborated on and developed in a single late night spree of inspiration before consuming the night hours and growing to fruition.

While I generally refrain from weaving too much metaphor and allegory into my writing (sometimes a rose is just a rose, and sometimes a story is just a story), it's often unavoidable. The following poem actually refers to depression, or rather to those afflicted by it. Where Moarning is a play on mourning (not, as some have interpreted, morning), our monster is the subject, driving those away with it's misery until some brave souls find the courage to lend their strength. The monster ultimately, as is the case with a great many people, grows tired of their attention and demands more, driving away those who sought to give help.

And now, as promised, The Monster of Moarning:


To the south of the hills, in a land very far
from the land that we know of the sun's searing bars
lies a land where the dark shrouds the moon and the stars,
where a troubador's spirits would scarcely but fall;
a land full of sorrow. I'll give you this warning
all but once, you'd be wise
to fear the land known as Moarning.

For deep in this land, at the heart of this fear,
lies the ghastly, atrocious, apparently clear
executioner's nightmare, the heart of the scorning,
the vile, ferocious Monster of Moarning.

For ages the beast lay alone in this land
enraged, for its misery could only command
that the night would remain and the color would drain
from the formerly glorious green meadowlands;
that the evil inside would transform from within
and bring chaos and sorrow to a now-barren land.

Then at last when all had been long since abandoned
a sight caused the creature to let loose a roar,
for up on the hills rose an old covered wagon,
inside were the bravest the gods could have born.

From inside of the wagon the four men outpoured
at the horror and pain of the inhuman roar,
and for the first time they witnessed the poisonous land
engulfed by the suffering creature at hand,
for they were but four of the heroes of yore
embroiled for years in the Great Heroes' War,
and returning to home after long decades passed
found the truth of their homeland's unfortunate past.

But the men felt not anger, for they were greater than we.
No, they felt only pity, for how could it be
that a creature of earth, deemed unfit by the fates,
could be subject of such a miserable state?
And how could this joyously fortunate band,
having valiantly ousted the spirits of war,
let their beautiful meadowland homeland of Moarning
sink to the depths of time's dark ocean floor?

So the heroes found courage, and mounted a scheme
'neath the horrible creature's eyes' horrible gleam.
They showered the monster with tokens and gifts,
and honored the beast that we all would abhor.
And under its sickening, glowering eyes,
and dangerous claws, and glistening teeth,
they rebuilt the walls and relit the skies,
and the creature felt feelings from long since before.

With Moarning resettled, the creature a god,
favours gave out much less oft than before,
the sorrow that clawed at its conscience consumed him.
Then the offerings ceased.
Then the evil arose.

With his hunger unsated
the dread monster screamed
and he thrashed,
and he roared,
and he gnashed
'till he'd gleaned
every last morsel from every last bone,
as a demon let loose from it's demonic throne,
until after the carnage was all that remained:
the pitiful Monster of Moarning, alone.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Stench of Brilliance

Let it be known that I like zombies. They're a sort of hobby of mine. With this in consideration, I would like to share a few revelations.

Firstly is last month's release of the online co-operative survival horror masterpiece known as Left 4 Dead. Any gamer should be familiar with this title by this point, which places four human survivors in one of several diverse locales where they must work together to fight their way through a zombie hoarde to safety. I've been following the development of Left 4 Dead since it first went public, and to say that it meets expectations is an incredible achievement. Survivor beware - these aren't your standard slow, stupid zombies. Instead, expect something more akin to the infected from 28 Days Later and I Am Legend.

Left 4 Dead Intro

Similarly excellent is a comic series - oddly enough - by Robert Kirkman (artists Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard). The Walking Dead is an aptly-named portrayal of a group of survivors, lead by small-town police officer Rick Grimes, struggling to exist in a world stricken by a zombie apocalypse. The series is unique in that the focus is placed not so much on the typical disaster-driven content of other mainstream comics, as Kirkman feels no need to further dismantle an already-rotting world, but rather the relationships between the people in this world, and the breakdown of established roles in the face of chaos. While the zombies are certainly a compelling and prominently featured component, the true genius lies in the emotional connections formed with the survivors as they must deal with a threat more dangerous than the encroaching ghouls: each other.

Also, for the uninitiated, any self-proclaimed zombie fan is obligated to read the following. Written by mastermind Max Brooks comes

World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide

For those who missed it last time, be sure to check out Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in the survival precursor to Shaun of the Dead. On a predictably unrelated note, I'm nearing completion of a poem, one of the first I've written in ages. I will showcase it in the near future.

About Me

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Nick Woll grew up in the Florida Keys, and is furthering himself in the fields of writing, software development, and web design. You can contact him at nwoll27 at gmail dot com.