Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bilbo and the Eagles

I've been going through some of my files, and I came across half a dozen Tolkien-related poems that I never posted during my rush of Middle-earth poetry a year and a half ago. I guess I left them out because I don't like them as much as the others, but they're halfway-decent, so I might as well complete my little collection online, and then maybe I can get around to writing some new ones.

One problem with this one is that I can't seem to confirm whether the Lord of the Eagles in The Hobbit is, in fact, Gwaihir. I thought he was, but now I'm having doubts... Ah, well. Anyway, here's Bilbo in flight, not something he's particularly thrilled about, and yet a little part of him is...

Bilbo and the Eagles

Jump for joy or quake in fear?
Bilbo can’t decide
How to greet the great Gwaihir.
Is he on their side?

Stern but still not quite unkind,
He lets out a cry.
Swiftly, as if of one mind,
His subjects fill the sky.

Bilbo shudders, stunned and shaken,
When a mighty eagle
Grabs him like a piece of bacon.
How can this be legal?

What a rush of vertigo!
Bilbo writhes around.
He does not care where they go –
As long as it’s the ground.

After what seems like hours,
All the eagles land.
He marvels at their power,
Drawn from wings, not hands.

Bilbo bows in homage to
Lord Gwaihir’s dominion.
Though terror’s in his talons, true
Beauty’s in his pinions.

He’s relieved to feel the earth
Underneath his feet.
But this ride’s been a rebirth.
The difference is discreet.

No one but the wizard sees
He’s changed with the descent.
Awakened by the journey, he’s
Ready for adventure.

A Fading Queen

This is one of my oldest Lord of the Rings poems, barring some really crummy ones I wrote in middle and high school. I probably wrote it about five years ago. I guess Galadriel isn't really a queen technically, but I've always thought of her as one. The Elves have a rather tough time of it in Lord of the Rings, and Galadriel is an especially tragic case...

A Fading Queen

In Lorien a maiden fair
Was born to reign as queen.
The sunlight shimmered in her hair
Through mallorn treetops green.

Aerendil’s haunting star of light,
Reflected in her eyes,
Betrayed a cruel heart-wrenching plight
That she could not disguise.

Her ancient wisdom served to tell
Of sorrows yet to come
But could not show Galadriel
A way to save her home.

Then opportunity arose
For her to take her place
As ruler greater than her foes...
But she declined with grace.

Her pristine spirit’s Elven glow
Would not be extinguished.
With dignity she’d fading go,
Wistful, but distinguished.

In misty lands across the sea –
Beyond the west of West –
Her enchanted soul wanders free
In soft slumberless rest.

A Prejudiced Protest

Here's a little rant I wrote in the voice of grumbly Gimli. He certainly wasn't too keen on spending much time with Legolas when the Fellowship was formed. If only he knew...

A Prejudiced Protest

I don’t want to go questin’
With any ruddy Elf
From the high and mighty West.
I would rather go myself.

I would rather battle Sauron
With my axe and my bare hands
Than accompany this moron
Across strange and barren lands.

I won’t travel any distance
With this pointy-eared buffoon.
I will utter my resistance
Till the light of Durin’s moon.

He’s self-satisfied and prissy.
Gandalf thinks he’s grand, I know,
But I bet that he’s a sissy
And he’s never used that bow.

He’s ethereal and pretty
With his lustrous golden hair;
Our adventure will be gritty,
And he’s surely unprepared.

I can almost hear him whining
In his silly silken style.
He’ll be melancholy, pining
For his trees mile after mile.

I’m a noble son of Gloin.
I resent being subjected
To his company. I’m goin’,
But I’m angry and dejected.

If I can, I will avoid him,
Difficult as that may be;
If I find I have annoyed him,
That will be just fine with me.

I will put up with this Greenleaf,
But don’t blame me if I fail.
He will be giving me more grief
Than a Dark Lord grim and pale.

If I manage not to kill him
By the time this journey ends,
I will be impressed but still
Know we never can be friends.

Good Morning

Here is another poem about Bilbo Baggins, this one focusing on his fateful meeting with Gandalf in the first few pages of The Hobbit.

Good Morning

“Good morning!” Bilbo greeted
The wizard at his door.
Internally, he bleated,
“What is it he’s here for?”

His figure was imposing,
As was his gnarled pole.
What right did he have nosing
Around his hobbit hole?

As Bilbo’s stomach rumbled –
For second breakfast waited –
He did not dare to grumble
But stood there with breath bated.

“Adventure” was the sole word
Escaping Gandalf’s lips
That Bilbo actually heard.
His hands went to his hips.

“Nasty things,” he objected.
“They make you late for dinner.”
“Tomorrow,” directed
Gandalf, “We will begin.”

He left poor Bilbo in dismay.
The hobbit thought, “How could
I be foolish enough to say
This morning would be good?”

The Innkeeper

I always really liked Butterburr and was a bit bummed when the whole incident with the message from Gandalf that he failed to deliver was cut out of the movie. He's a great character. Hm, and his name is suspiciously similar to butterbeer, my favorite fictional beverage...

The Innkeeper

Is Barliman a snarly man?
Oh, no. Hardly ever.
With ready smile and pleasant style,
He’s kindly, if not clever.

With warmth and cheer, he serves up beer
That travelers admire.
His cozy restaurant’s the best
On this side of the Shire.

The rousing tales, good food and ales
That fill the Prancing Pony
Spark gratitude. His attitude
Is grand and never phony.

Running this inn has worn him thin
(In mind, that is, not body).
It’s hard to claim that he’s to blame
If his memory’s shoddy.

And if he must watch with distrust
The dark, forbidding Ranger,
It’s no surprise. Those hooded eyes
Are flecked with hints of danger.

His heart is pure, but Butterburr’s
Rosy cheeks are redder
Than ever now. He can’t see how
He could forget that letter.

It’s understood this man is good;
He may be spared his gizzard.
But still he quakes, for his mistake
Has quite upset a wizard.

In his defense, the consequence
Of Barliman’s omission
Was not too grim. It’s not on him
If Frodo fails his mission.

He is, of course, filled with remorse.
As tears roll down his face,
Gandalf just sighs, “All right, don’t cry.
Your heart’s in the right place.”

A Dragon's Dreams

Here's a rather sad little ode to Smaug, the fearsome dragon in The Hobbit. He's certainly not a nice creature, but there are times during his conversation with Bilbo when I can't help but feel a bit sympathetic toward him...

A Dragon’s Dreams

Mighty Smaug, treasure hog,
Loiters in his cave.
All alone on his throne,
He need not be brave.

He need not give a thought
To the world of men,
But if gold makes them bold,
He’ll give chase again.

He will show that he’s no
Obsolete reptile.
His foul breath will bring death.
They will call him vile.

They’ll declare him unfair,
Repugnant and wrong.
“Villainous!” they will fuss,
Hating him in song.

He will spread gloom and dread
With his midnight raids
Twice a year, so the fear
Never fully fades.

Smaug’s dream stops. His tail flops.
With a startled snore,
He is bent toward a scent
He’s not smelled before.

He can’t see what must be.
Soon he will descend
Upon Dale, where he’ll fail
And his dreams will end.