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    dots Submission Name: A Warrior's Thoughtsdots

    Author: Lost Sheep
    ASL Info:    41 M Vancouver, WA
    Elite Ratio:    6.25 - 913/773/73
    Words: 395
    Class/Type: Prose/
    Total Views: 1053
    Average Vote:    No vote yet.
    Bytes: 2136

       Does a metaphor have to be poetic?

    Make the font bigger!! Double Spacing Back to recent posts.

    dotsA Warrior's Thoughtsdots

    The old warrior pauses at a big rock and sets down his sword for the first time in a day. He takes a deep breath and then sighs. It’s been a day of too little sleep and too much pain. He has a few new abrasions and a minor scar from the battle last week with the man he had thought a friend. But it’s not the new injuries that kept him awake last night; it’s the old wounds that hurt him most.

    Those old wounds trouble him most at night, when the world is quiet and the smaller, daily battles are won. The most painful wound is one he suffered close to his heart. When the spear stabbed her chest, he was sure he would die, right along with her. Yet somehow, even that scar has faded now. Just the barest shade pinker than his older scars, the pain has withered to a dull, timeless ache. The agony has finally dimmed enough to let him sleep most nights, though the memories of the hurt still haunt his dreams. His feelings of guilt were short-lived; there was really little anyone could do. Lacking an obvious, evil villain to strike at, he slays his own memories and attempts to vanquish his own weakness. He’s left with the undeniability of the gross injustice and the hard awareness that the world is an unfair place.

    He ponders his old wounds for a moment. He notes how each battle survived leaves a mark on his very person, how each successful campaign leaves a new source of pain. Late on those quiet nights, when he feels the untold aches, he questions his decisions that led him to the fight. Was the result worth the agony? When the hurts of a thousand victorious battles return to haunt his cold nights, the causes seem a little less worthy, the victorious parades a bit more shallow. In a world this capricious, where is the just compensation for a life’s work? In a world this fickle, is there a cause worth fighting for? He wonders if he’s getting wiser or if he’s just getting old.

    With yet another sigh, he picks up his sword, reshoulders his burden and returns to the trail. The one thing he’s certain of is that idle muscles make him think too much.

    Submitted on 2005-11-04 00:24:17     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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    ||| Comments |||
      This is excellent.
    It speaks on a physical level, an emotional level, and a bit of psychological level. This enables almost anyone to read and relate on at least one level, if not all of them.

    At times I am not sure which level you are focusing on, or what is physical and what exists only in his mind. (For example the spear wound by a woman near the heart, and its’ dull ache.) These ambiguities only add to the piece as a whole since the reader can take whichever version means most to them.

    The constant references to past encounters (Example: the battle with the person he thought was a friend, ) with very little information leaves the reader to guess at the emotions of the tired warrior, and so we are free to “feel” the experiences more than would be possible if more details were given.
    The fact the entire thing can be read as a metaphor for life in general is perhaps the crowning jewel.
    Truly wonderful work. I am sorry I cannot be more helpful.

    | Posted on 2006-03-09 00:00:00 | by dvd7936 | [ Reply to This ]
      I like the blunt honesty - the lack of lyrical flourish leaves the bare truth staring the reader right in the eye. I have nothing formal to critic, I'm afraid. Form, punctuation, grammar, ect. all seems to be in order. I hate to leave nothinging but raving compliments, but tuely, there is something rather satisfying about your work. I like how you gave sufficient detail to feel the old warrior's pain, but not so much that it got tedious. I'm afraid you've found yourself a new stalker, lol!

    With appriciation and Admiration,
    The Starless Knight
    | Posted on 2006-01-03 00:00:00 | by Starless Knight | [ Reply to This ]
      A really rich piece of prose, as science fantasy it reads well, however, I also gained the impression that metaphorically it applied to a journey through life. I liked the comparison of the physical hurt to the emotional pain and this is a wonderful line ‘ Lacking an obvious, evil villain to strike at, he slays his own memories and attempts to vanquish his own weakness’. If I was to continue choosing wonderful lines I would just have to highlight the whole thing. I would, however, change a couple of things. Stephen King states ‘the road to hell is paved with adverbs’ so I’d cut the ‘finally’ because that’s implicit in the ‘dimmed’ and the ‘really’ is also unnecessary. Still these are minor things in a wonderful write with a great conclusion 'The one thing he’s certain of is that idle muscles make him think too much'.
    | Posted on 2005-11-24 00:00:00 | by comradenessie | [ Reply to This ]
      Oh Sheep, I thought the last work of yours that I read (ie Courage) was beautiful, but I am completely humbled and awed at "A Warrior's Thoughts". This is such a fine piece of prose that it is hard to know where to start (even after reading it through half a dozen times).

    I think in a way it really pulled at me because it was as though you saw inside my head and heart to things that I often spend hours contemplating. And I feel I owe it to you to admit that on my first read of AWT, I actually cried. The picture you created is one that will stay with me for some time.

    Okay, I will really try to give some constructive feedback on this (because I loved it so much), although I will say up front that there is little I can offer that will improve it.

    S1: I immediately felt as though I was transported to any number of my favourite fantasy and/or historic novels. Have you ever read any James Shirley or John Dryden poetry (17th century poets)? Well, I even felt transported to some of their images as I read this first stanza.
    "and sets down his sword for the first time in a day" – I had only finished the first line, but I instantly experienced that sensation of when you are having a tough time or a long day/week/month and you finally pause … at that moment I wanted to know who the old warrior was and all his tales. (if you ever write a novel about him, I will be one of the first to buy it)
    "It’s been a day of too little sleep and too much pain" – the weariness and heaviness of this made me breathless. So simply stated and yet so powerful.
    "the battle last week with the man he had thought a friend" – I was intrigued at this and wanted to hear more. But perhaps not hearing more added to the weight of the rest of the prose. But, if you ever decide to elaborate, I will be back for more.
    And your last sentence in this stanza really gave context and hinted at something monumental in his life.

    S2: Oh yes, that is how I feel when I have those flashes of remembering – my dear friend who died of cancer and my father who is struggling with cancer as I write this – how can we go on with such pain, such wounds? Yet we do, but it doesn't make it any easier to bear, even if we do practice all those strategies that we are taught to.
    "when the world is quiet and the smaller, daily battles won" – I connected with this line. It truly is when the old wounds trouble you most. When all the distractions are set aside or when you stop to reflect or when you simply stop – the memories and worries flood back, and so too does the ache.
    "When the spear stabbed her chest, he was sure he would die, right along with her." – this was, to me, one of the most powerful lines. It captured much of how this prose made me feel: how can she[he] die, but I do not? How am I to live without her[him]? What am I to do? She[He] was everything to me. A metaphor within a metaphor. You captured it all in such a simple, direct and honest way. My only suggestion (and it is very minor, and probably not particularly constructive) is that perhaps a brief elaboration on the "spear" – what was it? Then again, further elaboration may take away from the impact of this line and the rest of this prose. ??
    "he slays his own memories and attempts to vanquish his own weakness" – isn't that how we see it … [sigh] this line only gives the image of the old warrior an added dimension or layer – something that makes me identify with him all the more.

    S3: Ah, this sang of futility to me, and yet also the need to fight on.
    "how each successful campaign leaves a new source of pain" – I wonder here, when you refer to "each successful campaign", whether you mean the "old fight for 'her'" or whether it is a reference to all battles? Either way it works, but I am very curious ??

    S4: This was such a wonderful way to round off this prose. Keep on going, don't think too much about, keep busy, battle on – that's the only way to survive - or at least that is how it feels.

    I was so impressed with this piece. In my mind, it is very difficult to achieve such impact with so few words, but you did it brilliantly. I am FAVing this not only because it moved me so much and not only because it was so well written, but also because I know that the story will stay with me for a long time (and I want to be able to come back to it time and again).

    Thank you.
    | Posted on 2005-11-22 00:00:00 | by TD | [ Reply to This ]
      Very true, that last part there. Idle muscles. You have a great way of telling a story, though it is set in the past and some sort of folklore time, it is written so that it can also be a reflection of oneself as well...in any time.

    Some wounds can penetrate a persons shell, some wounds just scar the shell...yet it seems funny how we place heavier hearts on the scars we get from others and sometimes neglect the open wounds we continually inflict upon ourselves when thinking on those scars, ya know? A very well written piece of insight and thought Steve.
    | Posted on 2005-11-21 00:00:00 | by hyproglo | [ Reply to This ]
      Love and loss, something we all feel, but yet the warrior in us all continue to fight on. We carry our scars with us and that is what keeps us going, that is what makes us stronger.

    If that is the point you are trying to make in this piece Steve, than it is beautiful. We are all warriors.

    Brightest Blessings,
    | Posted on 2005-11-17 00:00:00 | by lenotoire | [ Reply to This ]
      I've now read this piece five times. Each time I start to leave a comment, I am hit by another little piece of this metaphor. So, I'm gonna throw out a few of the most important thoughts...

    I miss her too. I am so glad I got to know her before that last breath. She was the best mom I ever 'had', and I hope I can be a little like her.

    I'm so thankful for the daily battles you fight while I am here taking care of hearth and family. We miss you when you are off 'fighting'.

    You are a hero, a provider, a father, a lover, and a best friend.

    I am proud to say I get to be with you on this journey through life.

    I love you!
    | Posted on 2005-11-07 00:00:00 | by Chell | [ Reply to This ]
      I read this then left, I read it again and left. I read a third time and stayed to comment.
    I kept being drawn back to your write. The write is great and the subject good. My problem was trying to comment on this piece. I didn't know how. Too good I think.
    The thing about this write is that it reminds me of a Viking Warrior.
    There is a calmness here. The warrior ponders much about his past battles and scars. He would like to retire but knows that this is the only type of life he will ever have. That is another reason why this reminds me of the vikings way of life.

    Anyways I have to say I really enjoyed this write.

    Respect and Admiration

    Wisdom Seeker
    | Posted on 2005-11-04 00:00:00 | by Wisdom Seeker | [ Reply to This ]
      I like this a lot. The ending or last half remind me of the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament, a lot. If you haven't read it I would encourage it, I think you would take a lot from it.

    One suggestion is that the language meets a transition after the first paragraph, it loses its rustic warrior story feel and begins into a more modern heartache feel, maybe I am just seeing ti wrong, but I would check into it, if it is even considered a problem. I would love ot write more about this because I truly enjoyed it a lot, but I ahve to get to class. Have a great day!

    | Posted on 2005-11-04 00:00:00 | by UnspokenDreamer | [ Reply to This ]

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