This set of poems resulted from
the experience of the 2002 "One Party" in LA, to share with others a
glimpse of what it was like to be a part of that unique fan gathering.
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An ocean of concrete under a sky of hazy brown,
An endless field blooming with roof-tile flowers.
A meandering, babbling stream of cars.
So many people, so many buildings,
Will we find our way in, or even back out?
Mild anxiety, searching the crowd,
For an unfamiliar face with well-known name
My handle shouted over the noises of baggage,
Setting it all at rest.
One in the shower, one still sleeping,
The other one paces the floor.
A cheap coffeemaker stands at ready,
Its plastic face bemused at being used
For a mere hot water dispenser.
Breakfast at Minas Beverly:
What a mundane feast for Cormari.
Crunchy Gondorian granola bars,
Orodruin oatmeal hot and bubbling,
Ranger raisins wandering the tabletop,
Withered but still sound,
And Bag End apples, nice and crispy.
Appropriate fare to be setting tooth to,
Enough to satisfy hungry hobbits.
The Costume Display
Sauron's armor looms above curious eyes,
But they stay unafraid and admiring.
This crowd quails not, nor falls back in fear.
Razor-sharp, raw-edged, yet he brings no travail.
Intricacies of design, delicate tracery
Seem both fitting and incongruous as
He grasps his impotent mace in stillness.
Intimidation is the only weapon left to him.
He looms, and accuses them
Of fashion insensitivity and
Such a drab looking building enclosing expectations.
What would we see? What had he made?
Approaching and entering - so like a warehouse -
Perhaps not a gallery fit for a king,
So large and echoing:
The pictures float like islands on near empty walls.
I do not take pictures, though the temptation is near.
My respect for this man is too great to rob him,
Even though I know they never will be mine.
Actor, photographer, painter and poet,
A man as multilayered and multifaceted as his work.
A montage of color and texture and words -
Capturing the many layers of the mind,
The many layers of living.
Core samples of feeling and thought.
He does not see the boundaries set -
The world is a many-colored mosaic in his eyes,
A swirl of color, a piercing sharp detail,
Life and death dance together in his pictures -
A bird unmourned, a dangling, twisted fork,
The contrasting beauty of fern and sky,
The poetic letter from a friend.
Many of the others seem uncomprehending -
But my heart is wrung by his work.
The King's Head Pub, a pseudo-English delight -
A gathering of friends and fans together.
Fox hunters peer out of their gilded frames,
Perplexed and mildly astonished,
They watch over these patrons of a different Inn
From a different Land yet so like their own.
The deer's head, regally crowned like a king,
Holds court with great honor over all
The courtesans of Middle Earth -
Lords, Ladies and Jesters alike.
Pippin's-Scarf plays her beloved harp and sings:
We are surrounded with a delicate,
As the hearts of the fans are kindled to take voice;
In sweet and gentle tone
They sing a familiar song of tears
With others whose eyes are also misting,
And whose understanding glances show
The same history of emotions and caring.
Empathetic mirrors, these windows of the soul.
Her fingers pluck at the strings with grace,
Self-conscious and courageous both.
Performing her heart's-love before them,
For they are not strangers after all.
This family bears hearts that echo with the same
Pain, longing and loneliness of this song.
Softly, they sing and share a dream.
What can be written for Irascian?
Our own Sir Ian of impeccable honor,
He who is truly great of heart?
A ready wit, an understanding look,
A gentle hand and a generous spirit.
He shares his humor and passion for
All things Middle Earth
With the delightful eagerness of a child
And the grace of a true gentleman.
With his twinkling eyes and shining smile,
We never could have hoped for
A kinder or more enthusiastic escort.
A companion on a journey that encompassed
Craziness and dreams.
I do not have the words to express
The gratitude of my heart,
But I know it is echoed by the others
Who were privileged to meet him.
Thank you, Ian.
Clothing flies through the air
Amid shrieks and screams, High-pitched
From both panic and adoration.
Elijah and Peter grace the tv screen.
Help - can you zip me? I need this pinned here...
Where is my lipstick? Where are my shoes?
Bodies running in all directions,
At every stage of dress imaginable.
Do you think this works together - I mean, does it "go"?
Oh, yeahhhh! (flash!) You look fabulous - really!
Are you really going to wear those? Your feet will go numb!
We are so beautiful, look at us, wooo!
I got my hair cut and now it won't flip right,
But I could have a Fro-doo.
Call the front desk - we need more towels!
Aaaaaaah! Look at this! (flash!)
Who's there? Watch out - it's a man!
Don't look - okay, now you can come in; we're all decent.
Which one should I wear, the sheer or the black?
I want my tattoo to show.
Crowded jockeying for position at the mirror.
I'm putting my hair up... do you think Sean will recognize me?
What time is it? (flash!) I feel so... glam!
Out of such chaos order ensues,
All garments tugged into place.
All faces painted and all hair pinned.
A bedazzling row of princesses traipse out.
Perhaps the making of beauty, like the making of sausage,
Should not be viewed by any of its intended audience,
But the excitement is worth every minute.
A look of wonderment on the faces of us all,
A desire that it should never end.
We want to keep it forever,
This ride with friends
To an unforgettable experience.
We gape out the windows at the white letters
On the hillside that spell out our destination.
The reflection of our limo in shop windows
Astonishes us - it looks so long, and
So mysteriously wealthy and chic.
This can't be us, can it?
A lady next to me speaks of keeping
This memory dear in her heart forever.
Her eyes shine like stars.
Waiting in Line
Stretching around the building,
The line waits and we wait with it.
Helicopters buzz overhead,
Traffic passes as does time.
The line shuffles forward,
And we shuffle with it.
We smile for our friends with cameras,
And wonder what waits inside:
If this takes too long,
Will we miss the awards?
The line waits and we wait with it.