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Night Guard

 A poem by Chase Ambler



























~ Reflection ~

Reading this poem is like opening a time-capsule that I sealed back at the beginning of college nearly a decade ago. It’s fun to see what interested me back then. I was beginning my journey into heavy metal, and all of its subgenres, so the medieval setting of the poem and the subject of a dying guard are pretty relevant to what I was listening to. If there’s one thing that a lot of metal-heads are drawn to it’s the bygone era of swords and battle axes, castles and keeps.

I wasn’t sure I should even submit this poem along with the rest since I feel my poetry has come a long way since this, but you can already find some progress from my earlier works in this poem. By this time I’d taken issue with rhyming poetry. Gone were the days of the rhymed verses of high-school filled with such angst and confusion. For the most part, my poems have remained pretty anti-rhyme ever since that period of time.

I liked the idea of taking a cliché like “crimson” for blood and twisting it a bit in a sort of last-moments stream-of-consciousness. The real, or metaphorical, scythe goes from bloody to flowery, and the guard gets stuck trying to remember violets but ultimately fails.

Looking back, I think the strongest image is “the firefly lit water.”  Not only do you get the ambiance that fireflies create, but by the end you get the image of them leaving as well. But they represent more than that as well. When they stay they connote life, and their absence is death.

One thing that I like, even now, is the color scheme that I kept constant throughout the poem. Red, purple, and black appear multiple times and tie the stanzas together. But I’m not sure how well the ink dye/die pun works as a closer.

Doing these reflections really helps me envision where I want my future poetry to go. Looking back on one this old shows me where I’ve come from and what I’ve been working on for so long. Like the scattered fireflies, my poems have gone off in all directions, yet they were all here once.

Chase Ambelr - Headshot

Chase Ambler is an American writer who spent his childhood in South and Southeast Asia. His life has been shaped by strange obsessions: heavy metal music, mountains, travel, and soccer. These subjects have all molded his poetry and prose in some way, but the birth of his daughter may have the greatest impact yet. He lives with his wife, baby daughter, and dog in Colorado. If one went looking for Chase, they could find him anywhere from changing diapers to summiting 14,000 foot mountains, but odds are he’s in front of the computer working on his next novel.

Visit the FB page for his Novel: Snowsong

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