Abstinence. A poem.

You abstain in the light
At night, small confessions
Are saltwater wreaths
Around your neck
Dragging you along
In a relegated riptide.

This abstinence
Has carved a furrow
And driven conversations
With shadows and mosquitoes
Wondering when the light
will answer you again.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

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Laidback DM: Free Map – Tinsen’s Bluff

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give away my hand-drawn maps any chance I get.

This week: Tinsen’s Bluff

From a recent adventure I ran for my 13th-level players. Tinsen’s Bluff was a quiet backwater until the people started mutating into crazed, blighted beasts. The Duke’s distant cousin sent a letter indicating this might be some kind of infection that could spread across the country. But what is the source? No one has heard anything more from the town. Time to investigate. Don’t forget to wrap up – it’s the dead of winter and you know how the snow brings out those mutated abominable yeti and white wolves…    

laidback dm - tinsens bluff - stevestillstanding

Above: Just right click and save.

This map is free to use for non-commercial purposes, as long as you acknowledge me and my website stevestillstanding.com. If you want to use it commercially, please send me an email and we can talk terms.

Happy Gaming!

Steve 😊

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

Support the Shotglass Adventures Kickstarter at
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/laidbackdm/shotglass-adventures-10-adventures-for-dandd-5e-an?ref=nav_search&result=project&term=d%26d
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Shotglass Adventures – 10 adventures for D&D 5e and OSR Role Playing Games – KICKSTARTER LIVE!

Hi all!

I’ve been working very hard over the last few months to write a book of D&D adventures, and the Kickstarter to fund the project is live right now!

Follow the link below to read all about it! I’d appreciate your support, as this is the first time I’ve done this!

Click on the link below to find out all about the project:

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Airport Carpark. A poem.

There are far better places
to while away the time,
yet we continue circling
like reverse-vultures.
This obtuse concrete garden
(no doubt designed by Daedalus,
whose Labyrinth was but a flea
compared to this circus)
leads us astray in every moment,
much like our heart’s content.

No way out, it seems,
no exits or reprieve.
The human and inhuman cost spirals,
much like our heads and souls,
relentless and yearning
for release.

.

The two worst carparks in my world (and possibly THE world) are the tiny Spotlight car park in Newcastle, and the Sydney Airport International Terminal car park. Seriously, who designs a car park where you can only drive upwards, with the only way out by driving through one-way lanes?

I believe everyone has a carpark nightmare. What’s yours?

Cheers

Steve 🙂

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Elixir. A poem.

The elixir that drowns
is a draught without measure,
a flood like no other,
an unstoppable well.

‘Tis the sweetest lifeblood,
and an undying treasure
brings me all the more closer
to the place where He dwells.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Perilous Logic. A poem.

Oh, perilous logic,
cast me upon the jagged knives
of your perspicacity.
Take these ramshackle emotions
and reduce them to tears,
aimless fears and accidental truths.
When my ego is broken,
my perspective becomes
the precarious precipice
upon which I’m choking.

Oh, perilous logic,
I believe in you at my behest.
When it comes to love, though,
I’ll gladly throw you off the edge
with all the other misconceptions
and misconstrued jests.

I like to think I’m a fairly logical person. I see a problem, I itemise, rationalise and rectify the situation. That doesn’t mean I sacrifice emotion for the sake of it. Hey, I’m the guy who cries openly in soppy movies.

In fact, logic is the first thing I shoot down when it comes to love – every time. I’m a pretty good shot by now.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

PS I live in Australia, using English spelling. No ‘Rationalize’ for me 😉

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM: Free Map – Elemental Cruxis

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give away my hand-drawn maps any chance I get.

This week: Elemental Cruxis

The party have to recover elemental seeds from each part of the cruxis, teleporting from the column room to each of the elemental crucibles and facing various elemental hazards and creatures. Once the seeds are joined, they summon an elemental god of your choice. Who’s not very friendly…    

elemental cruxis - laidback dm - stevestillstanding

Above: Just right click and save.

This map is free to use for non-commercial purposes, as long as you acknowledge me and my website stevestillstanding.com. If you want to use it commercially, please send me an email and we can talk terms.

Happy Gaming!

Steve 😊

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

Aged. A poem.

Cranky at the portents:
The breeze, it smells of winter,
Even though the summer
Has settled in
Like a squatter, rent-free,
Taking advantage
Of your misdemeanours.

Have your eyes aged
With the rest?
Or are you seeing as you did
Before the withered cheeks
And dragging jowls,
When everything was new
And you were innocent
As hyenas on the veldt.

Age has not wearied
The sullen and the sacred.
You had a vision of the sea,
But it was simply
Hallucination.
Time is and was and will be,
And you will follow suit.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Fences. A poem.

I thought I’d mend some fences
Build them up to break them down
Fill in all the trenches
Dig the mines up from the ground

I thought I’d build some bridges
And meet you in the middle
No more complex negotiations
No more angst or pointless riddles

I thought I’d mend some fences
It was all I’d ever want
But the fence needed agreement
To break this long détente

I thought I’d mend some fences
Build them up to break on through
Instead I’m tilting windmills
And I’m no closer to the truth

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Code. A poem.

I am yet to crack the code,
the enigma that I see.
These thoughts temptation sowed,
this conundrum that you’ve been.
I will try each combination,
I will twist and turn and pry
and after a long privation,
I will crack your code—in time.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM: Free Map – Ruined Tower and Crypts

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give away my hand-drawn maps any chance I get.

This week: Ruined Tower and Crypts

Here’s a map you can spring on your players. The labels may be misleading – after all, the map’s pretty old, and it may have passed through a few sets of hands and many years before it got to the current possessors…  

ruined tower and crypts - laidback dm - stevestillstanding

Above: Just right click and save.

This map is free to use for non-commercial purposes, as long as you acknowledge me and my website stevestillstanding.com. If you want to use it commercially, please send me an email and we can talk terms.

Happy Gaming!

Steve 😊

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

Poets Loved: Epith. By Carol Muske-Dukes.

Epith. By Carol Muske-Dukes.

Here’s the little dressmaker
on her knees at your feet,
mouth full of pins:
fixing you in the dummy’s image.

Your belled satin shivers like
a goblet of fizzled brut–
You wanted it late in life,
happiness, wanted little family

but after the kids grew up.
Like a saint on her death pallet,
you longed for an erotic God
but a refined deity–

not some oversexed Zeus
in a see-through raincoat,
spritzing gold coins,
rattling the canopy. No,

at last you’ve found a groom
born to forget the ring,
the bride’s name–
a regular holy ghost.

You forget yourself
with each glittering pin,
each chip off the old rock,
each sip of the long toast

to your famous independence,
negotiated at such cost–
and still refusing to fit.

A poem by Carol Muske-Dukes. I really enjoy her poetry.

Don’t know her? She’s a brilliant poet. You can find out more about her by clicking here.

Upstart Photographer – Rock

I take photos. I write poems. Chalk and cheese. Not.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Rock. A poem.

Rock of ages,
how do you stand
so firm and undeniable,
when every dog
has its day with you?

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

The Music in Me. A poem.

Why the sadness,
the music tugging
at heartstrings
in pizzicato fashion,
stretching my angst
beyond reproach?

Why the darkness,
flowing in a
syrup-like tsunami,
to swallow my horizons
and the shoulder I’ve
hung my head upon?

This rhythm and rhyme
brings me down
and wrecks me,
wrapping me casually
around the telegraph pole
that should instead
have been you
and
only
you.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

The Crowd. A poem.

From there, upon his pedestal,
he lingered longingly
on the crowd surrounding him.
Dialogue and dialectic,
commentary and whimsical surprise,
his cult of personality
awake and on the rise.

But fate is fickle, as is the crowd
and it passed subsequently;
a brief rejoinder as it exited,
a momentary lapse and then return
to unregarded reason
and art lost in the daily churn.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM: Free Map – Mountain Monastery

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give away my hand-drawn maps any chance I get.

This week: Mountain Monastery

Nothing like a remote mountain monastery and temple full of crazed monks for the player characters to discover. Not only will they have to fight those jazzed-up, battling ninja monks, they also have to deal with the deadly demons the monks made pacts with to fuel their power…

This is a bit different from my other maps – I spent a bit of time getting the architecture of the temple sections right. All hand drawn, of course. I thought it turned out pretty good!

laidback dm - mountain temple monastery - stevestillstanding

Above: Just right click and save.

This map is free to use for non-commercial purposes, as long as you acknowledge me and my website stevestillstanding.com. If you want to use it commercially, please send me an email and we can talk terms.

Happy Gaming!

Steve 😊

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

Poets Loved: Fame is a fickle food. By Emily Dickinson

Fame is a fickle food. By Emily Dickinson

Fame is a fickle food
Upon a shifting plate
Whose table once a
Guest but not
The second time is set
Whose crumbs the crows inspect
And with ironic caw
Flap past it to the
Farmer’s corn
Men eat of it and die

A poem by Emily Dickinson. I really like her poetry.

Don’t know her? She’s pretty famous. And she’s a brilliant poet. You can find out more about her by clicking here.

Glass. A movie review.

Minor spoilers!

Glass is the sequel to Unbreakable and Split. It’s the culmination of one journey and the start of another. It’s really good, and deserves more appreciation than it’s gotten from some critics.

M. Night Shyamalan is an auteur director with a reputation for ‘twist’ endings and a distinctly uneven quality to his releases over the years. Unbreakable starred Bruce Willis as David Dunn, a man discovering superpowers and coming to terms with his true purpose, aided by Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Elijah, who believed superhero comics were a mythological representation of real events and people. The film premiered in 2000 as superhero movies were making their comeback and starting to dominate screens. Unbreakable was quiet, deliberate and allegorical. And under-appreciated by critics and the box office.

Split was a more recent (2016) conventional horror/thriller which showcased James McAvoy’s wonderful range as serial killer Kevin Crumb, a man with 23 personalities who could call forth the super-powerful ‘Beast’. Whilst it could have been deeper, it took a more conventional approach and did well at the box office. And included a final reveal that it was set in the Unbreakable ‘universe’. My initial impressions of Split were lukewarm, per my review in early 2017, but this has improved somewhat on consecutive viewings.

The scene was set for a sequel to both, bringing the best elements of the two movies together and providing a fitting conclusion to a trilogy that wasn’t really a trilogy (it’s now referred to as the ‘Eastrail 177’ trilogy, in relation to events from the first movie).

Glass brings together all the major characters from the two prior films. And it does this well, affording each character reasonable screen time to establish their current status quo and motivations. The first act sees David Dunn confronting The Beast. The second act takes place in a psychiatric institution, where David, Kevin and Elijah are assessed by psychiatrist Ellie (Sarah Paulson), who attempts to convince them they are merely human. The third act is the final showdown between the protagonists, with a setup for future movies in the same universe.

Glass succeeds admirably as a sequel. On its own, however, it doesn’t have individual narrative strength—those who have seen the previous movies may appreciate it (as I did), but newbies may find themselves at a bit of a loss without the context of the previous films.

Don’t expect this to be a Marvel-style movie, just because it’s about superheroes. It’s a serious take, and it works. There’s a time and a place for mindless, humorous superhero antics, but Glass is not one of them. Glass is thought-provoking, dark and visceral. The acting, script, direction and music are top notch and show what superhero movies could be if the current mainstream gave intelligent superhero dramas a chance.

I loved Glass. I didn’t find the second act dragged. I didn’t feel any character received short shrift. I felt the movie was balanced in its storyline, and the dialogue was good, in keeping with the prequels. Shyamalan is a stylish director, who can deliver fine films when he puts his mind to it. Smaller budgets appear to have reined in his excesses, and this “franchise” looks like having feet for some time to come.

Rating: B+ (if you haven’t seen the two prior films: C)

Castaway. A poem.

Poker-faced,
a nascent clarity
before my eyes;
while behind
confusion and
regret in tides,
that while away
the dawdling time.

I seek to speak
but find no words
to fill the vacant mire
that fills this space
with more pregnant,
hesitant desires.

I am wrecked again
upon this island;
coastal reefs and waves,
burgeoning waters deep,
and no way off
for this lonely castaway.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Rope. A poem.

Tease this silver filament,
an ambit claim on every foot,
squeezed and cajoled through
calloused hands.

Climb this tensile fibre,
climb until the heavens bloom
and your body retches from
the unyielding pressure.

When you reach your goal,
set free the cord of Theseus
that led you ever-onward
in your rise to Olympus.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM: Free Map – Serial Killer Inn

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give away my hand-drawn maps any chance I get.

This week: Serial Killer Inn

The party stops overnight on the road between adventures. It just so happens this roadside inn is run by a serial killer, who preys on travellers who stay overnight. They kidnap unsuspecting guests during the night and hold them in deep, sound-proof pits in the cellar. They only go after individuals. Looks like each party member will be getting a room to themselves, tonight…  

serial killer inn - laidback dm - stevestillstanding

Above: Just right click and save.

This map is free to use for non-commercial purposes, as long as you acknowledge me and my website stevestillstanding.com. If you want to use it commercially, please send me an email and we can talk terms.

Happy Gaming!

Steve 😊

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

This Maze. A poem.

This maze we walk,
denies a bitter truth.

Our fingers trace its periphery
and yet still we walk in circles.
If escape is what we truly yearn

then perhaps there is
no maze at all.

Or perhaps the maze
is just a labyrinth of pain,
navigated by fools
like me and you.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Writer Interrupted: Young Classics

An excerpt from a response I did for a Uni YA writing course some time ago:

Do you have your own private classics? Name one. Why do you call it a classic? What do you think makes a children’s or adolescents’ classic?

Witches, Ghosts and Goblins, by Ruthanna Long, is an absolutely awesome picture book about a quest by the witch Miranda and two children to find her missing cat. The story is long and quite involved, with the team traipsing around a fantasy world filled with…well, witches, ghosts and goblins. The illustrations, by Paul Durand, are suitably bright and colourful and fascinated me as kid because of the detail (and the fact that certain things, like Miranda’s castle, looked different at the start of the book than it did at the end).

This story is wonderfully imaginative, from the witches’ technological city (where air traffic control and walkie talkies are used for take offs and landings), to the goblin mines, pirates and the giant’s beach. It was a book that stirred my imagination and, along with comics and adult books far beyond my age at the time, stimulated my love of creating, drawing and writing.

What makes a children’s or adolescents’ classic? I think the book needs to have a profound impact on the young person. Sure, there are plenty of books that can be considered classics, due to age or popularity, but I believe it’s the way books influence and promote creativity and imagination, that make them true classics. That’s the case for me, anyway.

Cheers

Steve 😊

Divides. A flash fiction.

This is a short fiction I wrote for a Uni subject I completed a while back. Enjoy!

Cheers

Steve 🙂 

Divides. By Stephen Thompson.

My mother is dusting. The feather duster she uses swishes lightly over the mementoes and photo frames on the shelf, cautiously tracing a path through our family history like a ship through a field of ice. I watch intently as motes of dust shimmer in the light, settling to the carpet, knowing this is only a short pause on their journey.

My father reclines in his chair, reading. The air is pungent with the thick fumes of an unfiltered camel cigarette. This is how I will remember him long after he is gone, like a silhouette left on a wall after a nuclear blast, its form as anonymous as the figure who left it.

My wife sits before me. Her eyes are electric drills and I am the timber. I’m staring at the table before us and my apologies fall to the floor along with our shared lives; wood shavings, waiting to be swept away.

My son is sitting on the lounge before his games console, the light from the TV playing over his intent features. I sit beside him, reading, occasionally glancing up to see the interaction of figures on screen. Between the lounge cushions is a yawning chasm.

My girlfriend sits across the table from me, sipping from her cup. My own mug sits before me untouched, the tan creamer an iceberg on a coffee sea. She smiles and I see our separate shadows painted darkly upon the wall behind her. Dust motes reflect the light as they dance prior to landing. The apologies to come are an abyss I must eventually cross.

The Midnight Hour. A poem.

In the blackest, midnight hour,
wandering perpetual halls,
wondering if you’ll clear
your dreams of demons
and finally get to sleep.

Your trackless thoughts
always return
to her and her alone;
You grasp your hands and suddenly
she’s there—your futile ghost.

Perhaps you’ve lost
your pleading mind,
far from the brink of sane,
until the sun begins to rise
and you Rest In Peace, again.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Poets Loved: Fire and Ice. A poem by Robert Frost.

Fire and Ice. By Robert Frost.

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

A poem by Robert Frost. I really like his poetry.

Don’t know him? He’s pretty famous. And he’s a brilliant poet. You can find out more about him by clicking here.

Laidback DM: Free Map – Above and Below

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give away my hand-drawn maps any chance I get.

This week: Above and Below

An interdimensional nexus created by a mad wizard, ‘Above and Below’ features moving corridors and rooms that rise up and down. Rooms that pass near corridors can be seen from the corridor (if the corridor is above) and vice versa. This moveable feast makes for interesting combats and pursuits, say by a few Goristro demons (MM). Of course, the player characters will need to recover several items in order to activate the teleporter in the middle to escape. Oh, did I mention the nexus is unstable, so the construct is collapsing in on itself? The PCs are on a timer, upping the ante and adding another layer of tension…   

above and below - laidback dm - stevestillstanding

Above: Just right click and save.

This map is free to use for non-commercial purposes, as long as you acknowledge me and my website stevestillstanding.com. If you want to use it commercially, please send me an email and we can talk terms.

Happy Gaming!

Steve 😊

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

Seesaw. A short poem.

He who hesitates

                              is lost

                                        upon 

                                                 a

                                                    seesaw

                                                                 of

                                                                      irrevocable doubt

 

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

 

Incontrovertible. A poem.

They say that proof
is not incontrovertible
and that the essence of truth
can be hidden in the words
encapsulating it.

I say I only need you
to touch me and say it, too—
your words punctuate and spell out
my incontrovertible belief
in you.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Underfoot. A haiku.

Much bitter fruit on
the path of our ascension
is crushed underfoot.

What is a haiku? Glad you asked. Click here to find out more.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Laidback DM: Free Map! Giant Mound

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give away my hand-drawn maps any chance I get.

This week: Giant Mound

You can use this map for any kind of giant insect or burrowing animal you like: Giant Ants (KTOB), Burrowlings (KTOB), Thri-kreen (MM), Kruthiks (MTF), Cave Fishers (VGM), Chitines (VGM), Choldrith (VGM), Meenlocks (VGM), Neogi (VGM), Tlincalli (VGM), Dogmoles (KTOB), Millitaurs (KTOB), Ratfolk (KTOB), Giant Rats (MM), Tosculi (KTOB), etc., to name a few.  

Change the scale and suddenly it’s a Purple Worm (MM) breeding mound! Or home to mutant insect/dragon hybrid creatures! The sky (or rather the mound) is the limit!

Giant Insect Mound - Laidback DM - stevestillstanding.jpg

Above: Just right click and save.

This map is free to use for non-commercial purposes, as long as you acknowledge me and my website stevestillstanding.com. If you want to use it commercially, please send me an email and we can talk terms.

Happy Gaming!

Steve 😊

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

Upstart Photographer – Tallship

I take photos. I write poems. ‘Nuff said.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Tallship. A poem.

You have bound me
as no ocean ever could—
wrapped in chains
and woven hemp,
fit to shackle Hercules.

Here I wait, as the wind
cajoles me with memories
of high seas and yesteryear;
my sails furled in impotence,
the waters lapping my bow
like a teasing mistress.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Vegetables. A poem.

All your hallowed dreams
are burned and charred, or
maybe lightly fricasseed;
cast aside like the hopeful rope
to the refugee always seems to be.

(Like vegetables in the pan,
never really what you want,
but always what you need.)

All your incandescent dreams
are tossed, shaken, turned;
dark thoughts that broil and churn
the pressure cooker of your head,
breeding out-of-season recipes.

(For vegetable dishes, no less, you see.)

All your vainglorious dreams
make absent mockery of fate,
your beliefs shipwrecked on reefs
that grate thoughts to Swiss cheese
or vegetables julienned, like these.

(Like vegetables in the pan,
never really what you want,
but always what you need.)

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

 

Rose-Colored Glasses. A poem.

The rose-colored glasses slipped away
and I saw you as you really are,
crowned in wishful thinking and spoilt
disparity of thought, overwrought,
less than I expected and more than I assumed.

I guess I didn’t know what I wanted,
or why you made me blue,
just another misdirected convolution
leading me astray, as always.

Got to get my mind in gear,
stop crunching the shift, driving in reverse,
overcome my hapless fears and get back on course.
And where would that be?
I’m not really sure.

But I am sure I’ll make the same mistake again,
unless I can come up with a way
to rewire my faulty brain.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Beach Birthday. A poem.

Hand in hand,
across a billion pebbled seeds.
A heat frisson
murmuring beneath our feet.
Foaming cerulean
paints the shore in shadow,
while white light
turns supple skin scarlet
and melts concerns away.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Laidback DM: Free Map – Tower and Undertemple

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get.

This week: Tower and Undertemple

Local villagers have been going crazy after visiting a ruined tower on a peak not far from town. Something has been climbing up from the bowels of the earth, infecting them and the denizens of the ruined temple below the tower with madness. The huge cracks lead to the source of the infection, deep down… 

The lowest section of the temple is partially flooded, and a cure for the infection lies in the south-eastern cavern. The PCs need to get past the crazed guardians before they can claim it, and try to stay sane themselves…

Ruined Tower and Undertemple - Laidback DM - stevestillstanding

Above: Just right click and save.

This map is free to use for non-commercial purposes, as long as you acknowledge me and my website stevestillstanding.com. If you want to use it commercially, please send me an email and we can talk terms.

Happy Gaming!

Steve 😊

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

You and I. A sonnet.

I am found: tears and fears and blind,
wandering far from the font of my regrets.
The nurtured pain in me enshrined,
to forgive and finally to forget.

The prisons in which we held ourselves
have run their long and lowly courses;
we languished apart within those hells,
and now, together, walk without pause.

These pale shackles cast to ground,
winsome tales steeped in honesty—
shared more and less, in time unbound,
to shake our guilt and shake the tree.

As obstinate as misguided dogs
with countless tricks to do and learn.
Slim pickings on cajoling bones,
but passion enough to slowly burn.

You and I were destined, it seems to me,
For something greater than a simple fling.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

 

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