Lines in Honor of Our Anniversary: Poetry from GHG Members

Did you know that the Grey Havens Group marks its fourth anniversary this month? We will be celebrating the occasion a little late with our annual Hall of Fire gathering in which our fellowship shares games, good food and, most importantly, reads poems and passages from our favorite writers as we fill up the corners into the early hours of the morning. To tide you over until the party begins, here are some brilliant rhymes from GHG members.

Let’s start with a limerick, written last year in honor of our group by the GHG member known to our regular readers as pipeweedjesus. It captures the magic of our group so perfectly that it never fails to bring a tear to my eye.

There once was a group called Grey Havens,
Reading Tolkien, and Barfield, and Gaiman.
They meet and discuss,
And disagree much,
Shaping moments of pure Sub-Creation.

Thank you, pipeweedjesus!

More recently, I challenged our group to come up with a whole new set of Tolkien-themed limericks. Proven limerick master, Katy, was the first to accept. Here are some of her valiant verses.

A clever young Hobbit named Tim
Remained always nimble and slim
Despite six meals a day.
He kept on that way
By having two quite hollow limbs.

hobbit-food

A Dwarf with a very long beard
Faced the Dragon that all others feared.
By the end of the fight
He was a truly grim sight,
For his braids were all smoking and seared.

Next, pipeweedjesus entered the fray with his clever contribution.

The Hobbit was written by Tolkien.
Could they film it, fans asked, without choking?
But the movie was bad,
The fans were so sad.
Mr. Jackson, is that pipeweed you’re smoking?

jacksoncalm

Finally, Scott Rochat, a former contributor to this blog, took up the gauntlet with these remarkable rhymes!

Frodo shook off a sting and a bite,
Spear and knife couldn’t do him in quite,
But when Sam learned to play,
On the banjo one day,
He screamed and ran into the night.

frodogif

There was Merry and Pippin and Sam,
Plus Frodo and Strider the Man,
Legolas came and Gimli,
Boromir died quite grimly,
And Gandalf fell over the span.

I was so impressed with Scott’s poetic prowess that I told him to drop and give me a sonnet. To my astonishment, he did–in just under twelve minutes!

The Ring, so bright, began in Sauron’s hand,
His aim to crush and rule the bright and Free,
But Isildur sliced off that golden band,
Then fell and left it washing t’wards the Sea,

But deep it stayed within a hidden lake,
Where Deagol raised it back into the light,
Beside him, Smeagol vowed the Ring to take,
He killed, then took his Precious far from sight,

Five hundred years rolled on, until the day,
When Bilbo Baggins came to Gollum’s cave,
He found the Ring; it helped him get away,
Then urged him to lay Gollum in his grave,

The pity Bilbo showed , to stay his hand,
May yet be praised by every realm and land.

hobbits-clapping

Then, just to amaze us all, he came right back with a sestina. Lots of smart people I know couldn’t even spot a sestina in a lineup!

“Reborn.”

Once there dwelt a mighty Man,
Named Beren, heart-struck with loveliest Elf,
Fair Luthien, she laid aside her life,
They claimed the gems from Morgoth’s very crown,
She pledged her soul to one who lost his hand,
And joined him in the tales of Middle-Earth.

Ages roll in Middle-Earth,
And once again there comes a valiant Man,
To throw down Sauron must he set his hand,
And yet his eye falls on a lovely Elf,
He for the briefest while forgets his crown,
He knows she is the purpose of his life.

But what can they know of life?
For darkness plots to claim all Middle-Earth,
The throne lies empty, no one wears the crown,
Two realms must be restored before the Man
Can win the blessing of Elrond Half-Elf,
Can ask and win the lovely Arwen’s hand.

In Mordor waits the Black Hand,
Yet lacking one thing still to claim all life,
Not gold of Dwarf or hidden lore of Elf,
But one small simple ring in Middle-Earth,
The Ring of Pow’r, bereft him by a Man
Of ages past, an heir to Gondor’s crown.

But now strange fate wins its crown,
The Ring comes to a simple Hobbit hand,
And now the fate of Aragorn the Man,
Is to protect its bearer with his life,
One desp’rate chance to save all Middle-Earth,
And then return to wed Arwen the Elf.

He must fare far from his Elf,
A Ranger and a King without a crown,
To many realms and lands of Middle-Earth,
Yet he knows fate lies in a smaller hand,
As Sam and Frodo now must risk their life,
At stake,the lives of Elf and Dwarf and Man.

Middle-Earth, rejoice! For a ruined hand,
Restores the crown, brings the White Tree to life,
And joins at last the love of Elf to Man.

Top that, blog readers! Leave your Tolkien-themed poetry in comments. Be sure to identify the poetic form. Everything is welcome, from limericks to free verse to disco song lyrics. Give us something worthy to sing in our Hall of Fire!

inthebath

For more brilliance from Grey Havens Group members or to become one yourself, join our Facebook group, follow us on Twitter and, of course, follow our blog!

It’s Time for Geeks to Unite in Longmont, Colorado!

At Grey Havens Group, we know that, like the TARDIS, the imagination is bigger on the inside. Now, one of our resident artists is helping to show the rest of our community!

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Donna Clement, creator of the Grey Havens logo, t-shirt designs, our amazing hobbit hole and more, placed her entry in the Longmont Shock Art contest. Shock Art, an initiative of Longmont’s Art in Public Places, has the mission of adorning the city’s many drab switchgear boxes with stunning art by local artists.

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After many, many hours of detailed design and painting, Donna hands over her scale model at the Longmont Museum. The rest is up to us!

Donna’s design is titled “Windows on Other Worlds.” It features gorgeous views of the Shire, Hogwarts Castle, the TARDIS interior and an image from the Enterprise viewscreen that any geek would weep to behold. Grey Havens, Grey Havens YA, Godric’s Hollow Group and other GHG affiliates have demonstrated the power of geek pride in our community. We know that multiple fandoms are passionately represented here. Now, it is time to let the City of Longmont know by casting a vote for geekery in all its glory!

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If you don’t vote, this could happen. Save the TARDIS!

If you are a Longmont resident, you are eligible to vote. Can you imagine what it would be like to drive past a former eyesore and, instead, get a glimpse from between the shutters of Hagrid’s hut or through the round, green door of Bag End? What geek’s day would not be brightened by an experience like that? I predict that fans from miles and miles around will make a special pilgrimage to Longmont just to see “Windows on Other Worlds” but, more importantly, our own hearts will be lifted every time we pass that wonderful street corner that takes us to the vistas of our dreams.

Voting has already begun and lasts until June 11. All you have to do is stop by the Longmont Museum at 400 Quail Road from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays. Check out all the scale models then vote for your five favorites. Donna’s submission is #12. Voting only takes a moment but it can bring Longmont worlds of joy!

Fandoms unite! Spread the word! You can’t stop the signal! We CAN bring magic to Longmont!! VOTE FOR #12!

 

IMPORTANT UPDATE: You do NOT have to be a resident of Longmont to vote. If you are in town, swing by the Longmont Museum to show your support for imagination and fun!

A Grey Havens Discussion of The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug

On a recent dark and chilly evening in the Longmont Shire, several members of The Grey Havens Group met at the Barbed Wire hobbit hole to discuss the new Peter Jackson film, The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug. Although we intended to record the proceedings for the benefit of absent friends, the first quarter hour or so was lost due to faulty recording magic employed by the undersigned. (Technological wizardry has never been my strong point.) The good news is we got almost all the good stuff. If you are so inclined, click below to listen in.

Grey Haveners discuss The Desolation of Smaug

The first voice you hear is that of resident Tolkien scholar and shaman, talelmarhazad, delivering a brief but fascinating summary of the history of the writing of the Hobbit. A spirited and good-natured debate ensues, involving the entire group.  Although one or two members, including myself, express views reflecting something less than complete adoration of the film, it soon becomes obvious that such opinions do not represent the group consensus. Local mage Charlie Krinsky, Katy Flynn the Fair, Dyhrddrdh the Young and Brave, Linda the Light-Bearer, and Beth the Most Resplendent all speak eloquently in defense of Peter Jackson’s newest creation. In the end, several members express a desire to see the film again (again including me),  giving rise to the excellent suggestion that we organize a second group outing to do so.

Winter solstice celebrations are traditionally a time to reflect, give thanks, and gather with friends to celebrate the birth of hope and new light in the land. While such was not the stated purpose of our meeting, everyone took advantage of the opportunity to greet friends old and new, exchange laughter and stories of the season, and break bread together.  (Although in this case the bread was actually a curious – and quite possibly magical – mixture of Cheetos and popcorn supplied by Charlie the Wise and Mysterious).

Although the second Hobbit movie is not one of my favorites (not yet, anyway), I can hardly wait for the third one to come out so we can all get together for another discussion!