Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

Archive for the tag “shelide’s gift”

Shelide’s Gift – The Poem

Shelide's Gift

"Shelide's Gift" pen and ink by L. Studley

Long ago when time still slept
And night was dark, too dark to breathe
Nameless terrors slunk and crept
And noxious vapours seethed.

Man stayed home to tend the fire
And wholesome creatures shunned the night
Shelide shook her wings and vowed
She would not rest till there was light.

Light enough to banish fear
And bathe the night in joy and wonder.
Light to dazzle eyes and hearts
To tear night’s veil asunder.

“How shall I do?” She asked her kin.
“With gossamer trails” they cried.
“How shall I do?” She asked the sea.
“With waves of shimmering light.”
 
“How shall I do?” She asked the sun.
“Like me, but not the same.”
“How shall I do?” She asked of man.
“Like sparks that leap from flame.”
 
Shelide spread her wings and flew.
She flew into the dark.
Weaving light from drops of hope
And the pulsing of her heart.
 
A thousand years and a thousand more
She spilled the Milky Way.
She wove the glittering curtains
The Northern Lights let play.
 
A thousand years and a thousand more
And she forged the silvery moon.
And sparked the stars from the flinty hearts
Of the creatures of the gloom.
 
And when the night was set ablaze
And darkness set to rout
Shelide fell to earth again
To watch the stars come out.
 
She rested in the coolness
By a misty, moisty pond
Looked back across her shoulders
And saw her wings were gone.
 
“You took so long” the creatures cried.
“You took so long” said man.
“You must be the slowest thing
Since e’re the world began!”
 
And Shelide cried and crept away
Tears sparkling on the leaves
Remembering her lovely wings
She bows her head and grieves.

Shelide’s Gift – The Back Story

Geoff Ford's excerpt of 'Shelide's Gift'

Geoff Ford's calligraphic artwork of an excerpt of "Shelide's Gift"

I don’t usually play favourites with my songs or my poems, but I have to admit to a soft spot for “Shelide’s Gift”. Shelide is (or at least I am told so by the translator) Gaelic for ‘snail’, and my Shelide is a mythical winged snail who brings light to Earth. I’d like to point to some high and noble origins for this poem but it actually sprang from a spirited evening of laughter and conversation with friends; a bottle or two of wine figured fairly prominently into the mix as well.
Another of the things I enjoy doing is drawing fantasy scenes. letting all those bizarre things out of my head and afixing them to the paper. I was challenged to draw a winged snail. I accepted. The hours spent over the detail of the drawing ‘Shelide’s Gift’, allowed me to muse over her story. The story turned into a poem. I don’t usually sell my original drawings, but my friend was so pleased with the drawing I couldn’t refuse her. The original now resides in a private collection in Chetwynd.
But Shelide’s notoriety didn’t end there. I am a memeber of a website for artists and photographers www.wetcanvas.com and I posted my drawing of Shelide there and, because I thought it might be of interest to the viewers, I posted the poem too. I was contacted by someone over in the calligraphy forum who asked if I would let them use “Shelide’s Gift” as a calligraphy challenge. The upshot of that is that I met Geoff Ford, an amazing artist and calligrapher in Australia, who created a gorgeous calligraphic painting of an excerpt of “Shelide’s Gift”. He even sent me the original with permission to reproduce it. Thanks Geoff.
So in the next post I’ll include the poem “Shelide’s Gift” and the drawing ‘Shelide’s Gift’. But the image you see here today is Geoff Ford’s creation.

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