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Darker Fables

Writing and reviews. Adventures, maybe? Exciting, definitely.

Excalibur

Swimming in the black lake,
I was shivering by night.

All my bones were aching,
soon to fall asunder.

There was one white moon
blinking over the water.

It differed from my dreams.

On shore stood a horseman,
with his slender red mare.

I knew him as my brothers,
though we had never met.

The blade was mine to give,
and so it parted from me.

He left, and I forgot him,
until the mists came,
and a boat crossed the water.

© Deanna Scutt, 2018

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My New Year’s Resolutions

It’s time to make some promises.

2017 was probably the best year of my life. So many things happened that I didn’t even have the time to write about all of them, which is something I will probably regret when the day comes for me to look back on my life. But I don’t think I’ll ever really forget the momentous events that happened.

I wrote more poems than I knew I had in me, and became a little wiser from the benefit of experiences both good and bad. I made some new friends, met the man I love, and most importantly, I proved to myself that I am capable of making a life for myself in the great wide world beyond the places where I grew up.

I don’t imagine 2018 is going to top it, since I had it so good, but I know that even if circumstances can scarcely be improved, I can, so here are my goals for the year ahead.

1. Write every day.

And I mean every day. I’ve really lapsed since I finished my undergraduate in terms of discipline, so it’s time I took myself in hand. I’m not going to set a daily word count, since previously I have found this promotes an attitude geared towards achieving, rather than exceeding, the limits of my expectations, but I am going to write something each day, be it a story, a scene, or just a sentence, and go from there.

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2. Read every day.

I set myself a target to read 100 books last year. I managed about half of that, which was rather disappointing. This year I’m going for it again. It’s roughly two books a week, so if I allocate some reading time every day (and steer clear of 500+ page monster novels), I think this is achievable.

3. Become more proficient in French.

If I’m going to get anywhere near fluency, there’s no opportunity better than the one I have right now. I’ll be living in Paris until the end of July, so the next seven months will be a concerted effort on my part to really embed this language in my head.

4. Become conversational in Tamil.

Before I moved here, everyone was joking about how I would have a spectacular love affair with a Frenchman, but it didn’t quite work out like that. My boyfriend is from southern India, and if I’m really going to make it work I need to form good relationships with the rest of his family. This means learning to communicate. It’s going to be considerably more challenging than the French, I think, given that I’m really starting from the beginning, with a new alphabet to boot, but I am determined.

So, here we go. My 2018 started last night with a distant view of the fireworks thundering over the Champs-Élysées. Today I started to read Ivanhoe, and I wrote this post. Not a bad beginning. I hope it will be a great year for us all ❤

 

Emigrée

It has been a mercy,
this bottling of bated breath,
this hanging
on his every word.

She knows how it feels
to be a sack of beans
on the back of a lorry,
trundling away from the earth
where she grew.

Like all the young and ambitious,
she forgot her parents’ names,
and never tells anyone
where she really came from.

On Sundays,
she does nothing
but work like an orphan
in a city of plagues.

Maybe sometimes,
when the dark hisses words
and her hands quiver on his skin
she wonders how all roads
lead to the same places.

Nothing is softer than her lips,
or the quick beneath her nails.
Nothing save promises,
and the moon
on her pillow.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

Flight

Sitting on my bed
in a spill of old pajamas
and a duvet not quite cold,
I was thinking about windstorms,
and the way things used to be.

The waking world is a wintry place,
peopled by spectres and snow.
There was no one save me
and the taxi driver,
humming along to the radio.

I’ve been there, and I’ve been there,
with sleep in the corners of my eyes,
suitcase on the laminate behind me.

I’ve spent days in the small hours,
with the smell of new cups, coffee.
So many times now…
but that was the one time
I knew where I was going.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

Sorry…

Dear Lord! Where did those sixteen days go?

I have been a crappy blogger so far this month. Literally as crappy as crap gets, because prior to today I wrote a grand total of zero new posts for December.

But in my defense, I did say December was going to be busy, and I was right. It’s been an eventful month so far. My little brother turned eighteen, so I went home for a weekend to see him (and to put up the Christmas tree – because no one was willing to do it without me). It meant getting up at four on an extremely frosty morning to catch a flight, but it was well worth it.

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There have also been some interesting developments in my professional life. Through some major bluffing I managed to secure a little extra work doing translation, and I didn’t botch it, so maybe I’ll even get some more. If I could stop being a nou-nou I really wouldn’t mind.

University is also going well, and… I’ve now been in a relationship for several months, which is, I think, a major success, since I’ve never made it this far without getting bored or beginning to go insane before. To my great surprise I’ve found out that there is nothing wrong with me. I can actually be happy with someone, and this is easily the best lesson Paris has taught me.

I hereby pledge to actually write some stuff for the rest of the month. I guess I know what my New Year’s resolution is going to be…

Neon

All the moons
in all the skies
of the old world
and the new,
could not sway
the tide
of my desire,
pulling me to you.

All the bones
in all the graves
could rattle
and rise again,
but I would walk
in search of you,
even after
the last amen.

Dogs might bark,
and tear my clothes.
The wind could
strip my face,
but I would still
know something
that time
cannot displace.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

Winter Comes to Paris

It’s the last day of the month, and tomorrow Advent begins, but it seems the weather is ahead of itself here, because after a faint and disappointing flurry this afternoon, it is now full-on snowing in Paris.

And the stars have aligned for me, because tomorrow I don’t have work until four, and am free to spend the day reveling in it!

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I think I’ve been a better blogger this month than I have been in some previous months. Hopefully I can keep it up over December, but since things are going to be busy (special highlights include a coach trip towards and through London the day before Christmas Eve – madness!) I can only promise to do my best.

For the record, bringing a wool coat to Paris is among the best decisions of my life. I’ll need it tomorrow, when I intend to go for a long long walk and hunt for inspiration in the snow.

Carbon

The funny thing is
I’ve been told I have a gift
for expressing complicated ideas.

But of course there’s complicated,
and then there’s shooting
one spinning coin
from horseback, eighteen
miles away, blindfold and victim
to a chronic, unrelenting seizure.

And I really do mean that.
(I think, anyway.)

Swear, if I knew my name
I’d pin myself down like a moth
on a sheet of card and prise out
my teeth until I had some
more specific truth.

But even that is slippery,
silk on varnish, though coarser by far.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

More Songs, More Writing

Christmas might be well on its way, but that’s no excuse for keeping a lid on pens and fingers away from the keyboard. This will be the first time in several years that I don’t have to work over any of the festivities, and over the interludes I intend to use my free time well. I’ll be spending it with some ink, paper, and some good music. Here are my latest finds.

1. Pale Waves – There’s A Honey

Sometimes you find a song that encapsulates everything you’re feeling at a given moment, and for me, this is one such. With a perfect contrast of upbeat rhythms and melancholy lyrics, this is my song of the season. And the band’s aesthetic is good too! If you like this piece, be sure to check out ‘New Year’s Eve’.

2. Seinabo Sey – Pistols At Dawn

In short, I love her. That voice. It gives me chills, and this particularly dark song is a perfect one for inspiring dramatic scenes.

3. Lana Del Rey – Love

Something a bit more mainstream, but that shouldn’t be a reason not to like it. I find Lana Del Rey’s songs a bit hit and miss, but this one is one of my favourites. A soft and subtle song, but underneath its sweet lyrics this piece has a lot of power.

4. LANY – Super Far

Another one disguising a sad message beneath a catchy beat. I heard this one playing whilst I was out, and couldn’t rest until I’d tracked it down.

I feel like a post is never really finished without a nicely rounded ending, but I can’t think of anything, so I’ll just say blah, and bye 🙂

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