David Lewis Paget

Gold Star - 7,619 Points (22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

The Storyline - Poem by David Lewis Paget

I was sitting, deep in my study
Under a single desktop light,
Listening to the patter of rain
As I wrote, late in the night.
The other sound was the scrape of the nib
As it traced ink over the page,
A setting on out of the mood within
As I traced McMurtrey’s rage.

I often would write at night back then
For the house was dark and still,
With none of the interruptions that
The day would seek to fill,
So the world outside would fade from view
As the Moon came out to shine,
Then I could re-visit the world I knew
In the latest storyline.

Each tale I told from a birds-eye view
As I watched from my secret place,
A god’s perspective of what I knew
Of despair, or a saving grace,
My characters hung from puppet strings
That I dangled down from my pen,
And I teased and taunted with sufferings
In the way that I did, back then.

I never would share with the world outside
What happened within these walls,
Or open up to their prying eyes
My visions of haunted halls,
For that would take them into the light,
Out here where the world is real,
And men could see what a cruel pen
A storyteller reveals.

The night that I sat there, pondering
How to make McMurtrey fail,
He’d been obsessed with the girl Mei Ling
She was like his Holy Grail,
The storm outside was gathering
And the thunder brought more rain,
When after a lightning flash, I heard
A tap on the window pane.

It made me start, I must admit
My skin had begun to crawl,
I very slowly swivelled my chair
Around, aside to the wall,
I pulled the curtains apart just then
And I peered out into the night,
But the face that stared in back at me
Was stark in the pale moonlight.

I heard him say, vaguely, ‘Let me in! ’
As the lightning flashed once more,
Despite myself, I got to my feet
Unlocking the outer door,
He strode on into the study, stood
In a stance, most threatening,
‘I’ve come in search of my lady love,
As you well would know - Mei Ling! ’

The room had shimmered and shifted then
And it faded from my sight,
We stood in the Hall of Gordonstall
And I thought, ‘This isn’t right.’
The hall was hung with the tapestries
They’d brought from an old Crusade,
But nothing was real, I knew it then,
They were things that my pen had made.

‘Mei Ling’s betrothed to a Mandarin
And she wears his dragon ring,
The last I heard she was headed out
On her way back to Beijing.’
‘Then you’d better pull out your pen, old man,
Ensure that the lady stayed,
Or you’ll never get out of your mind again
While this storyline’s delayed.’

I wander the Hall of Gordonstall
And I see no way outside,
I hadn’t written the doorways in
And the walls are high and wide,
I need someone from the real world
To knock at my study door,
But I fear that I’ve lost myself inside,
As I pace the flagstone floor.

20 August 2013

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Poem Edited: Tuesday, August 20, 2013

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