“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” ~Anton Chekhov
Being a poet is not just about seeing the world with an eye for beauty. It’s about truth-telling, opening old wounds and allowing the world to witness raw, battered flesh. Poets bleed honesty and dream faith. All the love and hurt, triumph and defeat, joy
and anger, surprise and disappointment—all of it comes out when pen meets paper. When we tell stories, we may hide behind our characters, but poems leave us cold, alone, and broken—Locked naked in stocks in the village square, hoping yet fearing to be found. Poets are indeed storytellers. It’s just that their stories are often told in language which translates differently for every reader. This is poetry’s secret and its strength, and quite possibly the only reason it lives on as an art form.
This site has evolved from its original life as “The Temple Knight” to “The Lost Half Hour.” “The Temple Knight” refers to my first poem, “Templar,” which was my effort at coming to terms with a life-altering experience long ago in Beirut. It could be said that my whole life was transformed during that long, terrible night, but that’s surely an over-simplification of a process that had begun before that and continues today.
The Lost Half Hour is a lovely little Italian faerie tale about a simple boy who grows into a man during the story, a stolen princess, an old witch, a loving king, snooty nobles, pirates, Father Time, a shipwreck—And I almost forgot the dragon! If you’ve never read it, you should. Wisdom is more about what’s in your heart than what’s in your head.
I suppose I should reveal a little more about myself. I was a naval officer for most of my adult life, then a sustainable (green) building consultant and commercial real estate broker for a time. Starting with a degree in literature, I then studied law, linguistics, and some special subjects, including naval engineering and something called “naval intelligence,” which has been called, often with good reason, an oxymoron. All of that pales in comparison to what a whole bunch of world travel taught me. It’s impossible to overestimate the value of experiencing other cultures to one’s writing and life in general. My life has become more complicated as of late, hence long periods away from writing and a virtual stack of unfinished work in my digital files, most of which I will finish or consolidate soon. Still, my passport, knapsack, and camera are always close at hand and never far from mind.
You may see my work occasionally under the pen name Rivenheart. In fact, rivenheart.com should point you to this site.
Contact me: email@example.com
~AJ Mayfield 05/18/2022