Another writer friend I’ve made over the wide wide world of the web, Craig Gilbert hales from the gorgeous country of Scotland, a place where magic and the fantastic seem entirely possible. Perhaps this is what draws Craig to the things he likes to write about: new worlds, legends, a landscape both magnificent and menacing. His work leans toward the realm of fantasy–A Wizard’s Tears, Craig’s debut novel was started when he was just 16. More than two decades later, Craig continues to hone and practice his craft through fiction and now poetry.
Soul Shadows is Craig’s first of four books of poetry; his upcoming collection is called A Gathering of Wings. Forthcoming fiction titles include The Dark Shores and The Lemon & Other Short Stories, a semi-autobiographical collection that looks at therapists, young love, running marathons, significant birthdays, and more.
Below, a taste of Craig’s fiction and poetry:
The Dark Shores (prologue, an excerpt)
Jolner looked at Spirit’s Rock now. It stood in the centre of the sea between the two islands, a huge formation of black rock and stone, jagged and inaccessible. At its apex, the formation seemed almost man made, for there was a perfect circle that pierced it, and on the longest day of the year, the sun would shine through this circle, sending a ray of warm light skittering across the sea, glinting off the rock pools Jolner now stood upon with warm energy.
Jolner could not repress a shudder. Every time he looked upon Spirit’s Rock, he remembered the legends of that place. The people of Mykemu, himself included, believed the Rock to be haunted, and many people who had dared sail near its rough cliffs told of seeing a presence there, something that they could not define, but sense. Many came back with differing views: it was a man they saw, made of mist; it was a sea serpent, coiled around the cliffs and as large as the rock itself; it was a woman of ethereal beauty, captivating travellers with her song of mourning. All agreed their sense of fear, the way their hair stood on end, as if being watched, and the sweat that lined their faces, as if they had been through a great ordeal. Many complained of rashes and welts, and marks appeared on their skin, unbidden and without any explanation. People did not travel to the monument any more, and feared it, and cursed they were to look at it.
As Love Erupts
Transfixed, I feel time flow around me,
Essences of atoms sparkle and shimmer!
Dawn greets sunshine, then turns to pale leaves,
Autumn cascades and snow dazzles winters.
Rooted to the spot, I age and fingers curl,
As my soul, bound to this earth, hears the call,
It shudders and draws cold breath: Pearls
Drop like ivory tears into the dream’s thrall.
I feel your heart beating so close, now.
Two pumps of red river entwine and connect,
Coursing through veins and solemn vows,
A stream of souls’ harmonies, my mind collects.
Take my hand, guide me to this new Earth,
Remove me from this dark reality of storms,
I hear the clouds come, fragmenting stars aloft:
Grey and shades caress my land, greenery torn.
The clocks tick in a mutual beat,
Along with humanity’s blame,
The endless lies and deceit,
It is forever bound to be the same.
My watch cracks, splintered as I touch
The ethereal world reaching out to me,
Almost in loving envelops tickling as such:
My sight has gone from memory, but I can still see!
The dream is powerful, and it beckons me thus,
Into a place where the wild flowers bloom,
Exciting colours, fragrances and green lush,
Gentle laughter peals around the mushrooms!
Is this a sought after moment, a beckoning lure,
Devoid of the ravages of war, a place non-corrupt?
This is the place I seek, with you, so pure,
As you cradle me in your arms, as love erupts.
– from the forthcoming poetry book ‘A Gathering of Wings’
Each selection © Craig Gilbert 2011
→Craig, thank you for the glimpse into your worlds–real and fantastic. -PMc←