ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the perk for voting in the primary election. It came out of the January 2013 Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] ellenmillion. It belongs to the series The Bat Vampires, which you can find on the Serial Poetry page.


"Listening to the Lifebeat"


The vampires hunted by scent and by sound,
the sweet perfume of their waiting prey
and the drum-song of blood beating beneath the skin.

They hunted carefully and they claimed gently,
because they were peaceable creatures
and not the monsters that legend made of them.

They knew the sour flavor of fear and the bitterness of pain;
there was no abiding either, for everyone would know
once a vampire returned to the colony to share with others.

They wanted only the natural saltiness of life,
the sweet taste of pleasure thrumming over tongue
to warm their bellies through the cold winter.

The secret lay in listening to the lifebeat,
slow rolling thunder of the heart's rhythm,
quick to sound a warning if anything went wrong.

The vampires could hear everything,
their ears keen far beyond mortal ability,
reading each quiver of muscle and huff of breath.

They would take just enough and not too much,
perfectly in tune with their prey, open to every emotion,
every turn of thought and thrill of desire.

It was this connection that set them apart
from other predators, this particular tenderness
toward their prey that made them different.

It was this, and not their sharp triangular fangs
or their taste for blood, that made some humans
hate them and hunt them and slay them.

This sense of compassion, this devotion to peace,
was what the hunters feared would spread.
The legends were nothing more than a clever cover story.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-25 03:06 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Innnnnnteresting!

Somehow I managed not to see the previous poems in this series, a deficiency which I have now rectified.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-26 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johnpalmer.livejournal.com
That's a fascinating take on the vampire legend - and I could just see it working.

Interesting thought: what if vampires transmitted empathy with the bite - that might well be the spreading curse that was fought.

Maybe enough serfs get bitten and they recognize the terrible injustice of their situation - and perhaps with the empathy, have more understanding of each other, and can therefore act more effectively as a collective unit.

Makes me wonder if there needs to be a vampire attack today....

Thank you!

Date: 2014-03-26 07:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
That is an awesome description. Yeah, it's a good explanation of why human reactions range from "Wow, that was great!" to "I'm fine," to "AUGH! Get out of my head!"

From this I got the poem "A Strange and Gentle Contagion," written in unrhymed tercets. It describes how the exchange of energy works, and the impact on society.

57 words, Buy It Now = $20

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-26 04:22 am (UTC)

Thank you!

Date: 2014-03-26 04:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
I'm glad you liked this.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-27 10:28 pm (UTC)
ext_3294: Tux (Default)
From: [identity profile] technoshaman.livejournal.com
Oh. Oh my.

See, despite being born in the Transylvania County considerably *closer* to you than Romania, vamps have always fascinated me....

The idea of empathy being the *actual* "plague" and the Man trying to keep us down by concocting the legend of killers on the loose....

That hits home like a stake through the heart.

You know...

J.A. Pitts indicts the rich and powerful by calling them dragons. What if you turned that on its head with the vampires? Hmmmmmmmmm......

Yes...

Date: 2014-03-27 11:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> See, despite being born in the Transylvania County considerably *closer* to you than Romania, vamps have always fascinated me.... <<

I'm intrigued too, although my taste tends to run aside from the current fashions, as you can see.

>> The idea of empathy being the *actual* "plague" and the Man trying to keep us down by concocting the legend of killers on the loose....

That hits home like a stake through the heart. <<

Well, I already wrote a sequel; scroll through the comments here to find the thumbnail for "A Strange and Gentle Contagion." Feel free to prompt me for more if you wish.

>> You know...

J.A. Pitts indicts the rich and powerful by calling them dragons. What if you turned that on its head with the vampires? Hmmmmmmmmm...... <<

I did rich despots = dragons in A Conflagration of Dragons. These vampires tend not to be rich and politically positioned, although they do hold substantial power and are excellent at making alliances. There's a constant pull between their ability to find people who will keep them safe, and the fomentation of unrest by hunters who want to destroy them all.

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