Jo Walton (papersky) wrote,
Jo Walton

Bits and Pieces

I'm home from Boskone, exhausted. I had a great time, but I didn't sleep enough. I'll catch up.

Here's a picture of a panel, it's on Facebook but you don't have to be logged in to see it from that link. This was the panel on "What is storytelling for?" after which Patrick said that he wanted every panel he was on for ever after to begin with Ada explaining what people thought about the subject in the Renaissance.

Con or Bust have another couple of things of mine, in addition to the books I donated -- There's a signed copy of Twenty-First Century Science Fiction with a story of mine in it, and an ARC of My Real Children. Go there and bid if you want them!

Elise has been posting links to bits of poetry people have written about her pieces. I seem to have written some that I had forgotten about and not posted here. So here are a few little bits. Links are to the art.

Let's start with this bit about what Elise does:

There was a smith who made jewelry down by the harbour, made it out of metal twined around whatever the sea had tossed up that day, shells, pearls, mother of pearl, turquoise, and the pieces of amber that could be found sometimes, glinting, down at the tideline. She'd run the day's treasures through her fingers and mix them together with spindrift, old sea-songs, the crests of breaking waves, and the slow swell of the tide rising in the blood. When the piece was done she'd set it aside, saying "It will know its person." You could see her work on queens and princesses on far islands, on bards and wizards and pirate captains, in dragon's hoards, on merfolk and selkies and witches of the deep woods, on fishermen and artisans and village letter-writers. She adjusted her prices to meet her customers' purses. They say a princess paid a bale of straw-woven gold for a pair of freshwater pearl ear-rings once, and another time she sold a crown to a barefoot fishergirl for a song she'd made mending nets.

Bittersweet Harvest

The lines,
gathered up,
are not
the lines
waving in the breeze.
The answers,
brought home
are not
the promise
that was sown.
But, eh well,
there's always
next year.

Carnival Dragons

You swoop, and know you will be back.
The scent of dust on the leaves
Reminds you summer does not last.
It is dark now at eight o'clock
So the lights are jewel bright as you swoop.
The music playing
Sounds like distance and endings
The hand that will not always clutch,
That is already letting go.
The shouts and the laughter, the calls
"Toffee-apple, candyfloss,
Try the sweet sweet..."
"Try your hand..."
Your empty hand
"Anyone can..."
Jewelled scales
Upstretched wings
Great spiral eyes
Above tomorrow's flattened grass.
You circle and swoop,
The year keeps turning,
Taking you away,
Bringing you back and back.

There is a Way From Here to There

There is a way, a way forward,
never an easy way,
never a straight way.
We have to keep trying.

When light shines round corners
in the early morning...
when the sound of the ocean wavers
in the seashell of your ear...
when news of injustice shocks you
right through to the marrow:
there is a way from here to there.

There is a way, a way we can go,
filled with tiny precise steps,
filled with thankless work.
We have to keep hoping.

When the magic rises around the rock
and all the colours change...
when you are overwhelmed with sorrow
no power left in you...
when the weight of the world is all against you
but still you keep trudging:
there is a way from here to there.

Soft Arguments of Time

"If anyone discovers more about this, please let me know."
Last line of Leonardo's journal, talking about fossils.

The soft arguments of time
Wear you out,
Pare you down to the essential;
A husk, a carapace, a shard,
Rock-hard resin,
Linament of bone in stone,
A twisted knot of story,
Unanswerable questions.

What My Great Aunt Knows About the Fae

I had four great-aunts, actually; Hannah, Selina, Dolores and Spider. Hannah read books and went to college and stood in starched petticoats to teach spelling and arithmetic to the children of the valley. Dolores went to the bad, or so my mother told me. She smoked and drank whisky and drove fast cars. She'd come home sometimes in a swirl of cigar-smoke and Chanel number 5 and sit by the fireplace with her legs apart like a man. Selina didn't entirely approve of her, but of course she fed her, because that's what Selina did. She fed all of us. As for my Great-Aunt Spider, well, she sat and spun sunshine into gold and moonshine into silver and stories into jewels. We had great chests of the things upstairs when I was growing up, gold and silver chains strung up everywhere and chests of amethysts and moonstones and opals and garnets. I liked to run my fingers through them. Most of the stories were Hannah's, about the things the children got up to, or Selina's, about the house and the village, but some of them came from Dolores, up to no good in the city. Just every now and then, playing with the jewels, I'd run across a sapphire or a ruby. Spider wouldn't tell me anything about them, and when I asked Selina she said that they were from Edmund's stories. Edmund was their brother, my own grandfather. According to my mother, he'd been dead for a very long time. When I asked Selina about this she slipped me a cookie and said her brother Edmund might live under the hill these days, but that didn't stop him visiting his sisters once in a while.
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