The Wanderer’s Lament

I haven’t written much fiction lately, but I’ve been working on some poetry. And as our own Mr. Mastgrave reminded me this week, a poem can often be a form of telling a story. In my case, I certainly believe that that’s true. Some people are gifted enough that they can write beautiful poems about almost anything, but I can really only bring myself to write one when I have the right inspiration, usually when it has been influenced by something from my life—-a story, if you will.

Later in the week, I may write a post analyzing poems and storytelling a little more thoroughly. For now, I’d just like to share with you some of the latest ones I’ve written. The following is a work in progress born of an emotion inside me, but I didn’t really put it down in words until yesterday–so I reserve the right to edit and change it later on as I revisit it. (But I am planning to unveil it to the public at an open mic night tonight, so hopefully it’s ready enough for that at least!)

I have named this poem “The Wanderer’s Lament.”


Home is not the mattress I sleep on

in a brick building far too uptight

to be anything more than a temporary dwelling.

Home is no longer the four walls

where I talked and laughed with two best friends

right up until everything changed.

Home is not even where my parents live, or my brothers,

or the simpler, more idealistic version of myself

I can still glimpse within my mind,

reading a book or doing homework

in that familiar house ten years ago.

Home is not a past that can never be repeated–

but neither is it the ever-fleeting present

or some hopeful future still in flux.

Home is not a grand adventure

Image taken from user Ciscolo on Flickr Creative Commons.

where I crossed the river to chase my dreams

and learn how to grow up a little more

and just maybe begin laying down some roots.

Home is not the winding halls

of the university I still love,

or the classroom where I spend so many hours

to earn a living and hopefully make a difference.

Home isn’t found under a steeple, in a pew,

or even a friendly living room full of smiling faces

with a Bible in my lap.

Home is not my friends,

the ones who have stood by me for years,

or the ones who so graciously welcomed me

into a strange new land.

Home is not any loving community that I’ve found,

or any that I’m likely to find in a week,

or a month,

or a year.

If one day I find love

and build up a family in a house,

if I hold a wife close to me

or cherish the sweet laugh of a child,

even then the home I long for

will still be far from me.


If I Find in Myself a Desire
Image taken from Quote from C.S. Lewis.

Home will finally quench my deep desire

which nothing in this world can satisfy,

because, most probably,

I was made for another.

I don’t know what home will look like,

but I’ll see it when I go.



Plot (Setting) Challenge of the Week

Go little spider, go!

Alright, so we’ve done several (seven if I counted right) character challenges, which should give you a solid, and varied cast of characters to work with for your story.  Remember to flesh out your characters.  There are a number of excellent posts on character creation on the blog, and they are all handily tagged, so head over to the categories tab (–>) and read through them.  Now we’re going to move on to some setting challenges.  The goal of these challenges is to create settings for your story, and to begin to build the world around those settings.  So, first lets give you main character (whoever that is) a home.  The new rules: come up with responses to all of the following categories that fit your setting.  For this challenge the area should be no larger than a 20 square mile area.

Also, the photo to the left was taken by Melissa Fulton. Hopefully she and another photo contributor, Jeremy Brown (you’ll see some of his stuff soon), will soon get a website set up with some of their pictures for sale.

Categories/Questions (and follow-up questions):

Is this setting urban or rural? (If urban, is it a small city or large city? If rural, is it a solitary farmstead, village, mine, etc?)

What period of technological development is this area in? (What level of development are surrounding nations at? Why is this area lower or higher?)

What is the population of the surrounding area? (What kind of people make up this population? What are some of the basic principles of the culture [i.e. do they value freedom, order, righteousness, safety, strength, cleverness, etc, which do they value most? How do these conflict?]?)

What is the geography of this region (maps, maps, maps!)?

What political structures rule this region? (Why? How did they come to power?)

Who else has lived in this region before? (Where did they come from? Where did they go? What did they leave behind?)