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Song: "Take These Wings" by Catsittingstill - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Song: "Take These Wings" by Catsittingstill

Inspiration cascade!  I posted "Fledermäuse" in the series Fledgling Grace.  catsittingstill followed with a comment, which led to several new poems. I sent her backchannel copies of three poems: "Secondary Feathers," "Eiderdown," and "Pluck." She sent me back the lyrics for "Take These Wings." So we arranged a trade: I posted two of the poems inspired by her comment, for which I get to post her song, and she's going to create a tune and MP3.  Listen to the MP3!

*happydance* I love crowdfunding.

Take These Wings
lyrics by  catsittingstill

The Fledging came by ones and sevens
A scourge we might hope to escape
But over time we all grew feathers
Though never flight, whatever shape.

     (chorus)
     Take these wings; they are a burden
     That are no key to open sky
     That mark and mock and seem to label
     That all may see and wonder why.

The wings of doves, mark Norman children
The wings of crows the Crow attire
A favored few bear wings of cardinals
That mark the holy all admire

So some are blessed by confirmation
Of family pride in ancient tales
And some are torn by refutation
Where memory's guide to lineage fails.

Some bear wings of birds before us
No living soul has heard their call
But bitter sings a different chorus
For some are feathered not at all

Now some suspect my every kindness
Is just a mask for evil things
What can I do? Where can I shelter?
I did not ask for leather wings.

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24 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
siege From: siege Date: November 26th, 2012 12:55 am (UTC) (Link)
And in all this inspiration, what of Otherkin? I'll write my answer, if you write yours!
siege From: siege Date: November 26th, 2012 02:01 am (UTC) (Link)
And then, silly me, the Muse wouldn't let me go.
We, the Stars
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 26th, 2012 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Okay...

I've posted "Angelwings" and linked to your "We, the Stars."
http://ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com/2597706.html
catsittingstill From: catsittingstill Date: November 26th, 2012 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have an mp3 up here: http://www.hwaet.org/Catmp3s/TakeTheseWings.mp3

I will put up lyrics and everything at some point but I just put up Driver's Lament and would like it to be at the top of the list for a day or two.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 26th, 2012 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>> I have an mp3 up <<

This is beautiful. Thank you so much.

Do you want to edit the lyrics? It sounds like you were singing "They're just a burden" instead of "They are a burden" and "that hint and hinder" instead of "and seem to label." (I like the changes.) Not sure if there were other changes.

>> I will put up lyrics and everything at some point but I just put up Driver's Lament and would like it to be at the top of the list for a day or two. <<

That's fine. Maybe post the MP3 on Wednesday then? I've already linked it and boosted the signal.

Edited at 2012-11-26 08:47 pm (UTC)
catsittingstill From: catsittingstill Date: December 1st, 2012 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

I do intend to edit the lyrics; I'm planning to put them up today, and appreciate the reminder of what parts I need to change.
paka From: paka Date: November 26th, 2012 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice!
From: rhodielady_47 Date: November 26th, 2012 11:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Leather wings....not everyone would think them unwelcome.
I can see the goth types, the folks into vampires, and even the heavy metal folks actually wishing for them instead of feathers.

Can't you just see some heavy metal/death metal rocker getting embarrassed as the devil when he fledges out with pure white wings?
I can just see some guy sneaking out to buy black hair dye early in the morning hoping that it will work on his wings. (snort!)

I also have to wonder how many people who habitually work at night will fledge out with the wings of night birds--whipoorwill, tawny frogmouth, owls, cave swallows and etc.
And what about those people whose families have always lived and worked by the sea?
This just gets better and better!
:D
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 30th, 2012 05:59 am (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>> Leather wings....not everyone would think them unwelcome.
I can see the goth types, the folks into vampires, and even the heavy metal folks actually wishing for them instead of feathers. <<

True.

>> Can't you just see some heavy metal/death metal rocker getting embarrassed as the devil when he fledges out with pure white wings?
I can just see some guy sneaking out to buy black hair dye early in the morning hoping that it will work on his wings. (snort!) <<

*laugh* People do dye their feathers. For best results, though, it requires specially formulated feather dye rather than hair dye.

>> I also have to wonder how many people who habitually work at night will fledge out with the wings of night birds--whipoorwill, tawny frogmouth, owls, cave swallows and etc. <<

Ah, that's a good idea!

>> And what about those people whose families have always lived and worked by the sea? <<

See the Manx shearwater in "Merlin's Return" and the glaucous gull in various poems including "Dark Triangles."

>> This just gets better and better! <<

Yay! I'm happy to hear that.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: November 30th, 2012 06:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

">> I also have to wonder how many people who habitually work at night will fledge out with the wings of night birds--whipoorwill, tawny frogmouth, owls, cave swallows and etc. <<

Ah, that's a good idea!"


One fascinating fact about owl feathers is that they are FUZZY. The fuzz makes them nearly soundless when the owl is flying/hunting.
:)

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 30th, 2012 08:40 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

Yes, depending on species. I have heard barn owls fly in utter silence inches from my head, and great horned owls make a soft "woof woof" sound from a few feet away.

There's a brief mention of this in "Eiderdown," with the snowy owl wings.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: December 1st, 2012 08:26 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

Bats are also fairly noiseless in flight.
We had to round up a panic-stricken bat one night that got inside our house. We were finally able to gently catch him in a sheet and release him outdoors.
The thing that totally amazed me was the total lack of sound no matter how desperately he flapped his wings.
Hubby is the unoffical "Lord Protecter of Lost and Found Bats" in his building at work. He stands guard while the department secretary summons the bat expert from the Biology department on campus who then removes them for release elsewhere after a health check.
:)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 1st, 2012 08:37 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

The bats around here make a whuttering sound with their wings when they fly. Sometimes I see and hear them in the evening, catching bugs.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: December 1st, 2012 08:40 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

I sometimes have them follow my lawnmower when I'm mowing just after dark.
:)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 1st, 2012 08:51 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

That is so cute. The birds do that here. They think the lawnmower is a bison.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: December 1st, 2012 05:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

Back when we still lived in Louisiana, the cattle egrets would follow anyone on a tractor who was bushhogging or plowing a field. Apparently the sound carried a long way because it wouldn't be long after someone got started working that you'd see a flock of cattle egrets arrive.
We even had one cattle egret who hung around with the tame geese at the town park's lake. He'd wait until someone fed bread to the geese on the water and then he'd start fishing for minnows since they followed the geese around hoping for crumbs.
:)
From: rhodielady_47 Date: December 1st, 2012 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

Back when we still lived in Louisiana, the cattle egrets would follow anyone on a tractor who was bushhogging or plowing a field. Apparently the sound carried a long way because it wouldn't be long after someone got started working that you'd see a flock of cattle egrets arrive.
We even had one cattle egret who hung around with the tame geese at the town park's lake. He'd wait until someone fed bread to the geese on the water and then he'd start fishing for minnows since they followed the geese around hoping for crumbs.
These birds had no fear of humans so long as no one tried to approach them.
:)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 1st, 2012 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

Wow, that's really clever.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: December 2nd, 2012 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

There are now herons and egrets both who beg for bread crumbs and then put them on the water to bring fish in close. Seems like someone even posted a video of a bird doing just that on youtube also.
:)
paka From: paka Date: November 27th, 2012 07:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
And the more I read of your series of poems, the more I identify with this, rather than your "Cohanim" one. My experience has been about being singularly unwanted and constantly trying to re-evaluate how I feel about this ethnicity I never asked for - while other ethnicities are lauded or stereotyped positively.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 28th, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

I have some tentative ideas for further exploration of those angles. It seems that I rarely designate something as "evil" and then just leave it alone like that.
paka From: paka Date: November 29th, 2012 01:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

That makes sense. Just plain evil isn't very interesting; the only thematic reason for something to be just undebatably evil is as a background to exploring the heros (I'm thinking about LotR where Sauron and the orcs are evil because JRRT is much more interested in, say, Sam and Frodo interacting, or Frodo and Gollum).
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 29th, 2012 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

I agree. I find complexity more interesting than simplicity almost all the time. Often in writing, I find that I paint in broad strokes at first, then refine to explore the subtleties that lie within. So first the fledermäuse appear, with an implication that bat wings are associated with evil. Then the counterpoints appear, exceptions, variations, iterations.

One thing I know is that bat wings indicate someone who resonates with infernal energy rather than celestial energy. Obviously one way to reach that would be through evil thoughts (which is one reason not all fledermäuse have a criminal record) or deeds. But thinking further, it might also be because someone simply grew up in a wretched situation and that's all that was around; or because someone was crushed so badly by evil experiences that they came to believe the whole world to be evil. The compass points in the same direction, but it's not coming from the same place.

There also seems to be a strong emphasis on deeds over words. It's akin to the gentlemen's agreement between Aslan and Tash in Narnia: whoever did good in the name of Tash, Aslan accepted as service to him; and whoever did evil in the name of Aslan, Tash accepted as service to him. So people who live a goodly life may end up with cardinal wings even if they're not into churchgoing, while people who fight over religion may wind up with the wings of bats even though they purport to be following (whatever) God's will.

It forces the heroes to think more about what's going on and what they are doing about it. This is one of the rare series that's really about an Idea happening in a Setting, rather than closely following the experiences of one or a few people. There are recurring characters and other subthreads, but it's spread out a lot more than usual for my writing. And yet this series really pulls people in and entices them to ask questions about who would have which wings, or how a given problem might be addressed.
thnidu From: thnidu Date: February 25th, 2014 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

No…

gentlemen's agreement between Aslan and Tash

Distinguo, Ysabet, distinguo!* A gentlemen's agreement is between equals. No such level field is here. Aslan, who created all the worlds, is the very source of good, and accepts good deeds as service to him whether the doer knew it or not. And Aslan assigns evil deeds as service to Tash, whether the doer meant them so or not. Near the end of The Last Battle, which I recently reread, Peter, the High King, banishes Tash from the stable, I think "in Aslan's name". Had the greatest of Tisrocs met the Lion and attempted the opposite, what do you think would have happened? :-)

Not that I think you're unaware of this! I'm just taking your casual mention as a takeoff point for, um, procrastination and catbedship. (The Plump Lump with Rump / as Large as a Barge has taken her accustomed position between my elbows as I type and is psunrorring contentedly as I type.)

* Oxonian debaterese for "I disagree." Taking off on C.S. Lewis, "Distinguo, Tollers, distinguo!" to Tolkien, quoted ... GIYF: in Humphrey Carpenter's bio of Tolkien, p. 150

Edited at 2014-02-25 08:46 pm (UTC)
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