Twenty Four Kays. A poem.

Twenty four kilometres I walked on a whim
“I can do this, no worries,” what was I thinking?
Five hours, two blisters and a sore ankle later
And I’m wondering if I should feel any way better
Was it just for my ego, or just to feel good
Or was it just for the pain, as I know that it should
And in the end, I can’t deny that which is true
Walking’s a poor substitute for being with you

.

For the full story about my little walking episode, click here.

Steve 🙂

Family Lost. A poem.

I’d long lost sight of my family
As I descended the stairs slowly
Those stairs they were so tricky
It was easy to trip and slippery

They climbed up the darkened stairs
Out of my tomb and into the air
Tasted golden winds of change
Above ripples in the water made

Four cold walls for my apologies
All lamentations and sobriety
Here I’d fallen and here I’d stay
We all fly free in our own ways

True Beauty. A poem.

True beauty
The power you hold
Unbeknownst to you could change the world
For one man all told

A man who longs for you
When nights are cold
As he lies alone with only thoughts of true beauty
To save his soul

The Sale. Part 13.

As Aisha and I ran down the underground corridor, squinting in the dim light, we heard a voice crackling from an old wooden speaker box on the wall. It was Silas.

“You can’t escape you know.”

We darted to the passage’s end. A blank wall. Backtracked to an intersection. Ran right.

“I had the tunnels built like a maze for just this reason.”

Another dead end. Aisha swore. “How do we get out of this insane asylum?” she cried. We backtracked to an earlier junction and took a left.

Silas continued, his voice echoing through the stone halls from various speakers. “I’ve been doing this for years, you know. And I haven’t lost a victim—that is, a subject—yet.”

“I guess we’re going to have to hear his monologue after all,” I said.

Silas talked as we ran down more corridors, hoping to find a way out. “I’m not happy about what you did to poor Junifer. She suffers from mental illness, you know. You took advantage of her condition.”

Aisha and I stopped at a cross junction. The tunnels went four ways. We gathered our breath. We hugged each other. Silas’s eerie ventriloquism continued. “Her mother suffered from the same condition, you know. I tried to help Junifer as best I could. But my experimental treatment was ineffective. So, I set her up as the mistress of this house. Only the best for my daughter.”

“She’s his daughter?” said Aisha. “That explains a lot.”

“Let’s go,” I said. I placed my hand on one wall and we jogged along, my fingertips always keeping contact. At the end, instead of retracing our footsteps, I kept my fingers on the wall and followed it around until I was next to the opposite wall. “This will take a long time, but eventually we’ll get out. As long as we follow the walls, rather than the floors.”

Aisha nodded and smiled. “So, what were you, John? A boy scout?”

“Just call me the ‘labyrinth lord’.”

Aisha rolled her eyes. We moved on.

 

To be continued…

Missed earlier instalments? Click here to read more.

The Laidback DM #8 – Yet Another Free Map!

Yes, it’s that time of the week, and in the tradition of my irregular Laidback DM posts, here’s another free map. As you know I like to draw maps for D&D adventures. Often I have more maps then I know what to do with. So, I’m giving one away free on my blog each week.

This week: a river keep ruin a stone’s throw away from an Ogre lair. The current occupants of the river keep are Goblins, and they’re not on good terms with their Ogre neighbours. Let’s just say the feud has been going on a long time. The Goblins have trained the giant spiders that nest in the grove of trees near them to work as watchdogs and mounts, which gives them a bit of an edge against the larger and more vicious Ogres. To spice things up, a Green Hag lives in the tower on the ruined wall, and has nothing to do with either group, although she has been eying the tower as a possible new lair. Meanwhile, down in the valley below the caves and keep, a group of Treants is having a meeting to determine what to do about their warring neighbours. Looks like the player characters could be entering the scene just as everything goes to hell…

River Keep and Caves - 20x13 - stevestillstanding

Above: Actual map is 13.5cm x 20 cm. 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 😊

The Long Haul. A poem.

The long haul north
The highway like a dreamtime serpent
Twisting forlornly through valleys
Of gum and wattle, towns and fields

I am an island moving
In the relentless torrent north
Towards faithless destiny
Not remembered or forgiven

Just complete the task assigned and say goodnight
I’m just a chauffeur on the fly

.

I recently drove 2200kms giving a lift to my aging parents to and from their holiday destination up north (there and back twice: all up 4400kms over 4 days).

I didn’t mind the distance. What I did mind was not seeing a family member I was once close to, who I haven’t seen for about four years, and who hasn’t talked to me since a falling out.

I’m not angry. I’m very disappointed. And sad. Maybe one day we’ll reconnect again. I hope so.

Steve

The Call. A poem.

Ask and you shall receive
Perhaps it’s meant to be
Only God can say
And His phone’s currently engaged
But I’ll keep ringing
In the hope I get through
Because the answer
Is everything

House. A poem.

I would build you a house
If you would live in it with me
I’d build it tall and proud
To share with you and family

We could live in golden halls
Dance to music from above
Until the furtive angels called
Our love I’m not worthy of

Let me build you a house
And together we will be
A perfect love to dream about
As one until eternity

A Rabbit Passes. A prose poem.

The rabbit’s body is stiff and heavy in my hand. I wrap it in its funeral trappings, a plastic cloak as light and airy as its existence. It’s family lies in burrows deep below, the farmer’s poison dried within withered veins. I place it within its casket, a waste bin its solemn ferry to where its family’s souls gently sleep.

There was a family of rabbits that lived next door. The guy there has chickens and sheep, so it was only a matter of time before he took steps to bait them. For a while that happy family of rabbits was something for me to look forward to each morning and evening, when they would enter my backyard to feed. 

Now they’re a reminder that not everything lasts forever, a sad metaphor for the briefness of our lives and the need to achieve what we can now, before our own time runs out.

Steve

Anniversary. A poem.

An anniversary
Three years of torment
Ashes from which I arise
A new man
A better man
Beholden to the past
But reaching for the future

From this crucible
I am forged anew
To rebuild
To refine
To create
Never to revisit past sins
But to find a better life

With you

.

Not long ago, I said I wouldn’t be posting any poetry for a while to give myself space to create poems for the poetry subject I’ve just started at uni.

Well, I couldn’t help myself. Looks like there’s room for both, after all: poetry blogging and poetry coursing (yes, I like to make up words. So sue me).

Steve 🙂

Rebirth.

Yesterday was the three-year anniversary of the worst day of my life. Those of you who are regulars will know that I celebrated (rather insanely) by walking 24 kms.

But before I did that I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and had an epiphany. Despite the fact that three years ago I lost EVERYTHING that was dear to me, that I’ve been near crippled with depression and anxiety ever since, that I tried to kill myself, that I’m still undergoing therapy to recover from PST–I am a better man now than I ever was before. 

I have accepted my failings. I took responsibility for my actions. While I can never forgive myself, God in his infinite grace, has. I find myself humbled, but stronger emotionally, physically, spiritually. Although I will never recover from depression (I’ve had it all my life), I’ve learned to manage it better. I learned who my true friends are and I value them more than anything. And I have vowed never to repeat the mistakes of the past.

I realised that I had to go through hell to find heaven (that might be a bit of a pithy analogy, but you know what I mean). Like the Phoenix, I needed to burn to rise from the ashes (I’m full of cliches today). Whilst I will always acknowledge my past, it no longer defines me. I am a new man, and I face the future with belief, hope and surety. 

That doesn’t mean you won’t hear me agonising about life. But it does mean I have a new found respect for it (life, that is). And with that comes a new found self-respect. Take that, low self-esteem.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Marathon Walk!

Today I walked 24 kilometres. Why?

I dropped off my father’s car at a smash repair place, and rather than catch a combination of trains and buses home, I decided I’d walk. Five hours and just under 24 kms later, blisters and sore legs, but not too worse for wear otherwise. Hungry, though!

Had to tell someone, as I’m a wee bit proud of the achievement. Yeah, it was dumb, but I’m not renowned for my smart decision making.

Happy walking!

Steve 🙂

Poetry Drought!

I started a new uni subject today, on writing poetry. Because I have to write a lot of poems for this subject it’s gonna mean a bit of a drought for my blog (normally I post a poem a day).

So I’m going to publish a few of my older poems to keep readers going until I have some time to post some new original poems (I can’t post poems from my current uni subject until it’s over, otherwise the plagiarism checker will pick up my own poems on this website lol).

So, without further ado, here’s an oldie but a goodie:

https://stevestillstanding.com/2017/02/23/today-a-poem/

Steve 🙂

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