Realm of Fay

Essays, Photos, & Fiction of David Alves

Remembering Sunsets

Here’s a poem I wrote for all those who love sunsets, Martha’s Vineyard, and Spadoni Hill–inspired by reflecting upon the occasion of Randall and Lela Spadoni’s third wedding anniversary, August 16, 2012:

“Remembering Sunsets”

Take Brisk Lane to Jettee Point Way or
Chowder Kettle Lane to Menemsha’s sunset.
Either way, your island days wash back in years later.

They slide you back to Maple Valley or Oak Bluffs.

Memory winds you around Gig Harbor until
you’re quietly seated on Spadoni Hill
smelling fat, ripe blackberries and
watching sunset ride yellow-blue waters once again.

No Singers or Strings

Songs sometimes come

with no singers or strings.

The melody first, somewhat imperceptible,

grows, then fades, then pushes herself

lightly forward.

Flirts, beckons, haunts, finally

demands to stay. We dance.

Harmony is jealous alone. She moves closer.

Arm in arm they stroll–

past my frenzied mind

–right into the song I thought was mine.

Turmoil

Trees today, breathe, sway, billow

turn up shimmering leaves to hot winds

Huddle beneath gathered darkness

under a heaving sky.

 

Summer winds, fleeing from cold

treat trees this way–carelessly–

barely noticing a small bird clinging,

huddled in feathers,

waiting for night, for peace again.

 

 

 

 

Jack London On Writing Notebooks

English: Jack London

Jack London, being quoted in an article in “Writer’s Digest” (July 1979), said that young writers should keep a notebook and “ . . . travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters up into your brain.”

I would add: Make sure that you go back and reread if you want them to be of any use at all! I’m way too negligent in this regard. And the older I get, the less I remember. So I NEED to go back.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Summer Days, Summer Nights

Summer days, summer nights

bright as our future, humid as our love

roll into deep August,

float on bossa nova, sun shafts our morning shades

Till fall. We awake in colors. Warm still.

SUMMER ’66

Down the gray shore

wind sighs your name

Searching old dunes for

      Your footsteps

Alberta’s clipper warns of snow

And I remember us: young

At Cronin’s beach

. . . and Scarborough
© 2012, David C Alves

Life Psalm

Heart that loves

Mind that thinks

Body that feels.

Spirit that lives.

Your creation and son, I am.

my Hymn of Praise,

my Spiritual Worship–

to give back to you–

I love.

I think.

I feel

I live–

   this gift-life, abundantly lived.

Yes, this is life, eternal–

to know You,

    My God,

    My Savior;

to gratefully live to the full,

   Your glory!

Prince of the Apple Towns

I sauntered in under shimmering

stars, down rows of gnarled, moonlit trees, past

crackling shalks and barrels of apples

onto the crisp October-valley farms.

 

. . . past maples, red and yellow leafed; through

ribboned cherry-smoke; to where golden

window-warmth spread out upon sugar-

frosted, yesterday-mowed fields and hills.

 

Down the frosty dawn I strode, passing

lodes of apple loads, shivering a

hundred-thousand dreams, past pumpkins piled

harvest-high; swishing gold down hollow roads,

whispering wintry, through a thousand

scratching leaves. Welcome and rejoice me

in while I pass, passing solemnly

the grizzled meeting-house resting-field gate,

tremoring the gnarled, naked Yew trees.

 

I blow echoes: of south-departed

wedges of geese, folks closing barn doors—

bundled children longing for first snowflakes.

I will have come and gone wrapped in gold,

leaving shalks to scratch my initials

in their minds. Now up, from upon parched

bowed wheat, up higher over dawny

apples, haywheels, silver horses at play.

 

. . . to peaks of hills, indium coated

. . . to frosted pines, hissing cloud-mountains

south into blue twilight, over two

huddled geese resting at Fuller’s field

by the indigo lake, slapping shore,

. . . upward into low-hung, starry nights

 

—toward the Milky Way

—toward the Throne of Day.

 

©2011, David C Alves

A Meditation on “Voice”

This act of writing moves me. How many wonderful facets. I’m thinking in terms of “voice” right now. What is voice but a filtering of everyday experiences from heart to heart. Walking the beach early, feet splashing in the cool salt tide, passing it through my own life-filter, then with Astrud Gilberto singing Antonio Jobim, fiddling with words to express it in just the right emotion to connect with the sense of the same experience and related emotions in the reader.

What a mission. What a wonderful, remarkable journey. The mix of music, encounter, and longing to recreate the collage of this afternoon’s restful, mellow, sweet, bright, refreshment–in the soul of another through my life-message–makes for “voice.”

Though what I am embodying can only find connection based upon like experience in the reader, nonetheless the expression gets its uniqueness from a lifetime of similar experiences viewed similarly which when rendered uniquely give satisfying perspective and nuance. The oft heard, “You put words to what I was feeling but didn’t know how to express.”

The writer finds words. He combines those words through the filter of his human experience which is not all that different from every other living soul. So, voice sings. Readers, hear and resonate.

The Art & Craft of Novel Writing: A Brief Review

The Art & Craft of Novel Writing. By Oakley Hall.Cincinnati: Story Press, 1989, 219 pp., quality paper, $14.99.

This is yet another book that stays on my writing desk, right next to John Gardner’s On Becoming A Novelist. Oakley Hall has presented the nuts and bolts of the craft supported by many helpful examples from those writers who do it best.

This is not a novel. It is a text, a reference to be used over and over. A review of characterization, a reminder about plot and primer on the elements of fiction. I especially was helped by the chapter on “finishing.” He seems to know what I experience. And like Gardner, encourages us to write and not quit.

©2011, David C Alves

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