poetry and stories


I have lived and lost this life many times

Been born and reborn and born again

Been pulled out of myself and put back again

I have found myself, of no accord of my own,

In the trees and mist of a dawn yet to show

In the wilderness,

In a foreign land

Given over to foreign arms,

That embrace nonetheless,

Lest none of the familial come to rest

Upon me and in me, that I may know

Something of this space as I alone

 Look to figure out just where the hell I am

To awake and to sleep and to be awoken again

In the desolate expanse of a grey sky

And a dawn (still yet to show)

Through sleet and ice and cloud and snow

A shelterless and aimless man I stand

And (in so doing)

Have froze and thawed and frozen again

And have wandered into yet another foreign land,


“So much as gladness that some end might be.”

And dare I live forever with a map inside of me

With so many dots, yet void of any lines

For I have lived and lost this life many times. 


Author’s Note: “So much as gladness that some end might be” is a line from Robert Browning’s “Childe Roland to The Dark Tower Came.” 



Let me start by saying that I’ve worked out a new system (again) for reading, viewing and voting for the next challenge. Thank you for bearing with me as I work my way through the trials and errors of blogging. I’d also like to thank all of you for reading, viewing and discussing all that is posted on this blog. I passed 1000 views yesterday and I am so happy to know that people are reading and even rereading my poems. Poetry is sitting in an odd position right now on the high wire of cultural relevance. Poetry seems to be everything our culture is not; it is slow, methodical, challenging and is not built for consumption, but rather for interaction. It requires being still, focused and listening to a quieter part of yourself that can easily go ignored. Poetry requires accommodation and that is why it is more important than ever that it be read. Poetry also creates a channel through which we can better understand one another. Through a recent conversation about poetry with a friend (yes you Dan) we were afforded the comfort of getting to see what strikes us differently, or similarly, in poetry as well as seeing what the other cherishes as significant in the words and in the world. So keep reading poetry dear readers, be it mine or anyone else’s. Quiet yourself and let it speak to you.

Ok enough chitchat. Down to business. The winner of this most recent challenge, by a marginal one vote difference, is “Kennin.” This poem was a complete labour of love for me and if it is at all well formed it is due entirely to the beautiful photo Meagan Tutti-Peters gave to inspire me. My goal with all of these challenges is to push myself as a writer and this challenge has certainly done that. Thank you again Meagan for giving me the means to grow in my craft, for all that I’ve learned during this challenge and most of all for your wonderful photography. Finally thank you dear readers for reading, viewing and voting. Lets do it again soon. 


~Alexander Drumm


Voting For “Kennin” or “epoem”

Part 1: Poem Written for Picture, “Kennin”


(Photo by Meagan Tutti-Peters, http://www.mktutti.wordpress.com/) 


So! We have heard tales           told of fallen kings,

The might of those that           thread themselves through

The oceans and seas           sewing together

Tapestries of war           waged and won in blood.

There are monuments           made in their honor,

Yet names and deeds slip           silently beneath

The waters of time,           to those onyx depths.

Mighty warriors          once wielding weapons

Have fallen prey          pierced by times cruel blade

Left fallen on fields          for the scavengers.

Picked and pulled apart           piece by piece taken

While keen blue eyes watch     waiting from afar.


The raven Kennin           keeps watch o’er the fields

For his feuding kin,           kingly brothers both

Hugin and Munin           mighty servants of

The god of one-eye             Odin, giver of rings.

Both brothers atop           an armored shoulder

Separated by            both head and helm.

Daily they leave on           Odin’s beckoning

To circle the world            Winding, wind and wing,

Gathering secrets,           stopping in the fields

Feasting upon those           that have been slain.

There Kennin wanders,           wordlessly waiting.

From the west Hugin           heralds his hunger.

From the east Munin            marks the morning light.

Flesh broken by beak           Black feathered brothers

Feast on flesh and blood           before their flight back.


Behold Kennin comes           caught by words of woe,

Unleashes his horde           held by beak and tongue.

“Brothers please heed me!           Make peace, feud no more!”

His eyes were as seas,           solemn in sorrow,

Flooded and troubled           torrents of tears flowed.

“May we be brothers           bound by blood again.”

Hugin’s reply is:           “In me all is known!”

Munin’s call answers:           “All known ends in me!”

Swooping into flight,           feathers unfolded,

Both brothers swiftly           strike Kennin, beaks bared.

Sinews split, bones break,           blood on black feather

Flows, as Kennin declares:           “Do not be afraid.”

His spirit consumed            caught in both brothers.

Munin and Hugin           hold Kennin within,

Burdened by his woe,           weighted by sorrow,

Forever knowing,           neither will be whole.


Author’s Notes: Hugin and Munin are Odin’s ravens in Anglo and Norse mythology. Translated their names mean “thought” and “memory.” Kennin is a made up name based upon the Norse word “Kenna” meaning feeling or intuition and is related to the word “Kenning,” the Old English/Norse form of metaphor. The first line of this poem is meant to be a play on Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf. The line “do not be afraid” is meant to pay tribute to the late Heaney, as they were his last words. 


Circles (Part 3)

Come with me then

Into that inner sanctum 

Into that holy of holies 

Where we can compare circles 

Push them together

Make eternity 

where they

and we 

become one

Circles (Part 2)

Had I not gotten ahead of myself

Had I slowed down

Grinded my gears back into place

Had I stopped




Had I halted

Held out

Held on

In time

Before it was after

Had I ceased

Stood still

Perfectly still



Had I not outran myself

Had my velocity of thought

Kept up with velocity of action

Kept up with the stillness of desire

Had my circles not bound together

Had I broken




Crashing into myself

Over and over again


Well the likes and comments have spoken and it looks like “Uneven Planes” is the winner. Thank you so much to Aisling from Oak & Myrrh Photography (http://www.oakandmyrrh.com/) for her beautiful, inspiring and challenging photos. Thank you to all the readers for participating, reading and viewing. I hope this is the start of many writing challenges. Please continue to read and respond. Happy New Year. 

~Alexander Drumm

Ps. If you haven’t had a chance to see either set of poems and their accompanying photo I’ve provided the links below. 




Part 2: Picture Taken for Poem, “Ceiling Fan”

Image (Photo by Oak & Myrrh Photography: http://www.oakandmyrrh.com/)


Ceiling Fan

Picked apart I am

Perpetually a new person

Continually a product

Of my whens and wheres

Which I wear

When dwelling upon such things


These moments

Your moments

Are segregated for me

Set apart

Picked apart

And buried in the archives

Of this heart

Under New Endings

And Old Starts

Because the last thing

That I remember thinking

(While we held hands

and watched that ceiling fan)


“This feels old”

Like I was already this new person

Lying there,

Watching that ceiling fan

Slowly suck that old version of me out

That poor boy

And you held my hand

As if trying desperately to keep him there

Trying to hold the boy and that moment

Away from those cruel blades

Away from that reality, spinning out of control

That cold, quiet reality

Insisting that

Times takes

What it wants

And what it wanted

Was that moment.

Our moment

But it was already gone

Gone as we had it

Two of us

On a bed

Hand in hand

Underneath a ceiling fan

Mourning a moment

As it was both given and taken


We were taken from each other that day

Like these bitter tears upon which we choked

Washed us away from one another

And as so much was said we never spoke

And we left that room together

As two new people who awoke

To find that they remember their past lives

And will ceaselessly search

For the one who held their hand

Underneath the ceiling fan.



Friendly Competition


     Tomorrow I will be posting 2 new poems along with accompanying photographs for each taken by the intrepid Aisling Turtle from Oak & Myrrh Photography (http://www.oakandmyrrh.com/). One will be a poem I wrote to accompany one of Aisling’s photos and the other will be a photo Aisling took accompany one of my poems. We have both enjoyed the process of artistically challenging each others artistic medium and thought it’d be fun to make it into a little competition. I will post the poems and their accompanying photos tomorrow, read both, look at both, and comment on which pair you think work the best together and explain why. At the end of the day we shall tally the votes and see which is best. Thanks for reading!

~Alexander Drumm

Ps. In the mean time don’t forget to visit Oak & Myrrh Photography online to enjoy Aisling’s amazing work and confirm for me that I’ve bitten off more than I can poetically chew. 



Look, Look, Look

No really look
Past the face
whose black holes black whose?
Light goes in and goes out to dark 
Touch the surface but the face does not feel touched 
Face the surface but the touched does not feel touch
Dark goes in and goes out to light 
Whose black holes black whose?
Face the past
No look really