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Poetry Reading: Dreams

All poets, whether hobbyists or professional writers, along with all lovers of poets and poetry are invited to the next Poetry Reading hosted by Princess Helena Redrain. The theme for the reading is Dreams. This can be interpreted however you like -- it could be a dream as in an ambition or goal, a dream as in the strange and enigmatic experiences we so often have in our minds as we sleep, or the waking Dream that is Aion's gift to us.

All are invited to attend whether they dream up a little poetry in advance or not. Please contact Princess Helena if you have any questions. And as always, there will likely be a little writing prompt to get us started, so bring your favorite quill along with you so you're prepared when inspiration strikes.

Date

July 29, 2019, 9 p.m.

Hosted By

Helena

Participants

Vincenzo Ian Fortunato Rysen Lianne Lisebet Catalana Eiran Khanne Monique Sparte Mikani Merek

Organizations

Scholars

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - Vellichorian Academy - Reading Room

Largesse Level

Refined

Comments and Log


Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist arrives, following Rysen.

Ramona - A Guard in Ashford House Colours, Bigsby - A Thoughtful Looking Young Man in Nondescript Clothing, 2 Ashford Archer, 1 Ashford Scout arrive, following Lisebet.

Stepping in from a lovely walk this evening, Vincenzo cradles a bottle in one arm and with a bow of the head to a few he sees, he moves to claim one of the sofas to sit back very comfortably.

Why is Ian here? Did he get lost? Did someone tell them there would be fighting? Is alcohol being served? For whatever reason, he's here, leaning against a wall on the edges of things, just... watching. Because that isn't creepy at all.

Fortunato arrives, in umbra and gold and duskstone, with his heavy battered bag by his side. He promptly deposits himself on the green sofa.

Fortunato has joined the a green sofa by the window.

Rysen arrives dressed in his flowing black mantle with Lygeia beside him. His left hand is bandaged, and his movement is a little stiff. He smiles warmly at Helena, and his eyes open with surprise when he notices Ian. He offers the Kennex lord a respectful nod as he takes his customary place in the back of the reading room.

Vincenzo has joined the Stately Sofa of Somnolence.

Steward arrives, following Eiran.

Ian nods to Rysen, and, leaning in his direction, says something to him in a low tone.

Who knows how long ago Lianne and Khanne arrived. Someone, surely, but they certainly did get in early. The pair, both in shades of green, tilt toward one another, engaged in quiet conversation intermittently interrupted with grins or giggles. When another joins them on the couch near the window--into which they nearly blend in such attire, a spectre and a ghost, barely there save for fair or olive skin, fiery or pitch-dark hair--the marquessa looks up with a warm smile, bowing her head in fond greeting to Fortunato.

As usual, the poetry reading makes for a cozy affair -- it's nicer in the colder weather with a crackling fire in the fireplace, but it's cool enough to enjoy in the evening as well, so long as there's not *too* many people sharing a couch. Helena stands close to the lectern at the front, and greets those she knows warmly, and introduces herself to those she doesn't with a delicate hand offered for something like a shake. As usual, there are little parchment journals and a plethora of inkpots and quills set around, just begging to be used.



The Redrain princess watches for a moment as people settle in, before moving to the lectern and smiling. "How lovely to see so many new faces here today, along with some of our most steadfast poets and audience members," she says brightly, blue eyes sparkling as she looks from face to face -- she no longer blushes when she speaks publicly, having done a good many of these readings by now.



"For those of you who are new, we like to start out with a bit of participation -- not required -- with a prompt I'll give you, with five minutes to write. We share these thoughts, if we like, or we don't, if we don't. Truly, I've been blown away by the poignant and sublime ideas that people come up with in five minutes so often. It's breathtaking. Also humbling." Her smile is a little self deprecating there. "So if you'd like, grab a quill and some paper. Your prompt for our little warm up activity is 'The last time I dreamed.'" She takes out a sandglass and sets it down, silver sand beginning to make its way through the narrow funnel of the bottle neck.

2 Kennex corsairs arrives, following Catalana.

Lisebet is accompanied by an Ashford guard or two, because at this point - not so much to defend her from anyone else, but more to help her stand up, after she sits down. She's very very pregnant, looking like she might pop any moment now. She finds a seat, quietly, and listens as Princess Helena kicks things off.

It's pretty clear what kind of kid Ian was in school, because there he is, whispering with Rysen in the back when everyone is supposed to be writing. He is not, surprise surprise, writing anything. Nor does he look like he intends to.

Catalana is only just late. Fashionably late. No more. She gives a smile towards the princess before locating her cousin at the back whispering. She comes up beside Ian and hopefully is enough of an influence to keep him from distracting the other boys.

When the prompt is offered, Lianne takes up a blank page and a quill, jotting down the prompt as a starting point as she murmurs softly to her companions.

Helena has joined the Stately Sofa of Somnolence.

Eiran makes his way into the Reading Room with a warm smile cast about, just a bit late--but in time to catch the end of Helena's speech. His head tilts a little, smile turning pensive. He plucks up a bit of paper and a quill, settling down onto an empty couch to lounge. But he seems more intent to watch the others around the room rather than scribble out any words, for the moment.

Eiran has joined the Stately Sofa of Somnolence.

Ramona gets a page and quill for Lisebet, leaving the duchess to stay seated. Lisebet does incline her head to those she knows, a quiet greeting so as not to interrupt the proceedings. With quill and page and a spot to write, at the least, Lisebet writes something.

Pleased to be sharing conversation with Lianne, Khanne smiles to Fortunato as he arrives. Her attention then turns to Helena, taking in her start to the event at hand. With the prompt given, Khanne's lips press together with a hum of thought and she looks towards Lianne.

At least she's practicing what she preaches this time, picking up one of the quills and using her own well-worn journal as Helena sits down, nodding to those nearby with a small smile. She glances up now and then as she looks to the timepiece to keep track of the ever-shifting sand.

Alas, all Catalana does by standing next to Ian is give him someone else to whisper to. It looks like he might be introducing Catalana and Rysen from the vague gestures he makes.

Rysen leans against a bookshelf and nods to Ian, smiling. His arms are crossed, though he neglects to take up a quill and ink for prompt. The light drumming of his fingers on his tricep is perhaps the only indication of his customary discomfort when he's likely to give a public performance.

Monique enters quietly, though it's hard to enter anywhere discreetly when you sparkle the way she does. Dragonweep glints off lamplight, stygian absorbs shadows, and the Minx of the Marches finds herself a place to occupy, choosing to remain upright during the first exercise. There's a smiling nod to Rysen as she notes his presence.

As the last of the silver grains of sand slip through the bottleneck of the glass, Helena stands again in a rustle of silk. Her dark blue gaze slides across those present, watching them write -- or not -- before she speaks. "And that is time. Do I have anyone who would like to share what they wrote? Again, this is purely for 'fun,' if you can believe that. I know some people find it the antithesis of fun. But it can be eye opening, where your quill takes you when someone asks you to write about something you hadn't expected." She pauses, waiting for someone to share.

Fortunato clears his throat. He stands up with a small scrap of parchment.



"Sing the half-heard song.



Fortunato clears his throat. He stands up with a small scrap of parchment.



"Sing the half-heard song.

Paint the half-seen face.

Hum echoes soft and long.

Before your memory fades."



He sits quickly back down. "That's every damn dream!"

Lisebet promptly speaks up perhaps trying to ease the tension somewhat. "When last I dreamed, the quiet of the night and the still of the air was disturbed by the kicking of tiny feet within and I found myself staring at the stars in awe of the life growing within." Though as she's beaten to it by Fortunato, she simply smiles, inclining her head his way.

Helena is overheard praising Fortunato: lovely verse!

Helena is overheard praising Lisebet: very touching

Khanne looks to Fortunato as he stands, listening to his words. She nods solemnly, applauding quietly. "I can somewhat relate, somewhat..." She smiles to Lisebet, clapping for her as well. "I cannot relate to that, but, lovely."

Monique listens to the others, and then chimes in grumpily, quietly, "When last I dreamed, I got threatened and then I woke up frozen in my bed. Color me envious."

Fortunato turns a small, faint smile on Monique. "Let's make it rhyme. 'I dreamed of ice, I dreamed of dread. Woke up so cold, stiffened half-dead.'"

Rysen grins when he notices the entrance of the Minx of the Marches, dressed in dragonweep, stygian, and steelsilk. He bows his head respectfully, and says to Monique in a barely audible tone, "Presenting something tonight? If it's not about roses and violets, your genius might through." He winks at her, and applauds for Fortuanto when he hears his poem.

Lianne breathes a quiet laugh for Fortunato's prompt contribution, a soft smile then turned to Lisebet for hers. After a look about to assure she's not preempting another, the marquessa speaks up, offering:



"The last time I dreamed, the world folded and

unfolded at angles waking eyes have never seen.

It crept closer when I looked askance, looming

like a lover playing at patience not possessed.

It retreated in the sigh of an opening door,

playing polite for guests as yet unfamiliar

with the collapsing and resuscitating world

I recall most completely & keenly in sleep."



The poem ends with a ruffle of the page as it's folded in thirds, to be taken home at the end of the evening.

Lisebet blinks at Monique and Fortunato, but it's Khanne's words that bring a chuckle. "Neither could I before quite recently," she notes. She quiets then to listen to Lianne's contribution.

Eiran had scribbled something on the paper at the last moment, almost lazily, and reread it a time or two before focusing on the others reading. He smiles as he listens, eyes flitting from one to the other. When a moment of quiet passes over the room he pushes to his feet to read from the page in dreamy, melodic tones.



"Butterfly, float with caution

The sea-wind is bitter and cold

as it scatters the pedals of your joyous garden.

Allow me to kiss the sea-salt from your wings

To unburden you of nature's weight

I awake with the taste upon my lips



Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, Vagari - Cinder Kitten, 1 Order of the Firebird, 4 Byrne Mountain Men arrive, following Mikani.

Monique laughs at Fortunato's deft rhymes, tipping her flame-bright head to the artist. "Now, if you just toss something about Eurus and Donrai Thrax in there, I'll be shuddering with how accurate that is." There's another nod, this one to Rysen. "Oh, I will be. Something terrible. No roses or violets."

Ooos--

And I wonder: Sea-salt, or tears?"

Eiran folds the paper up afterwards to tuck away, settling down and crossing his legs, eyes focusing on whoever comes next.

Ian actually seems to be taking something akin to interest now that the poems are being read. Maybe he was hit on the head or something.

Monique is overheard praising Fortunato: Quick of wit

The princess' eyes sparkle at Fortunato's lines, nodding thoughtfully with a smile. At the mention of Lisebet's 'tiny feet' Helena tips her head, and makes the face women make when something is cute. Her brows lift a little at Monique's aside. "I'm jealous as well. My dreams are rarely so pleasant these days," she says, then glances at the others to see if more extemporaneous prompts are coming. Lianne doesn't disappoint, with a full blown poem, and her lips purse into a soft and silent 'o.' "Beautiful, Marquessa." Eiran's voice draws her attention that way and she lifts a brow. "Very provocative," she says, smile tucked up to one side.

"You should piss off smaller people," Fortunato light-opines toward Monique, then inclines his head deep toward Lianne. "Deep and wistful as often, as often."

Helena is overheard praising Lianne.

Monique is overheard praising Lianne.

Helena is overheard praising Eiran.

Monique is overheard praising Eiran.

Sparte has late to slip in. He tried to write something, really he did, but he doesn't seem too happy with it. Folding it he slips the offering over towards the host.

Sparte is overheard praising Lianne.

Sparte is overheard praising Eiran.

Vincenzo stands up and claps for those who spoke and shared.



"Ahh, dreams. The stranger rose through sightless eyes

as gold filled dark where webs once wove.

From formless thought did god inspire

in dreams last night where lust did rove."



And through the hills did pilgrims roam

as shadows spoke, danced and drove.

But to the holy site we reached,

In dreams last night where lust did rove."

Khanne seems mezmerized by Lianne's words, soaking them in as if they paint a picture in her mind she can see, even reach out to touch. "That... Oh, Lianne. That was beautiful."

"I wouldn't even begin to know how," Monique murmurs quietly to Fortunato with a flash of a smile, before she settles in to listen to the poetry. "Gods and Spirits, so well done," she praises both Lianne and Eiran, and pairs it with an empathetic smile towards Helena. And then it's silence once more, as Vincenzo shares his ethereal offering.

Catalana listens to the poetry, amazement at everyone's creativity. She gives a small nod at Ian's words after.

Eiran replies to Helena's comment with a playful smile, then a helpless shrug--as if there were no other possibly option. "I am blessed with sweet dreams, thankfully." He looks towards Lianne, a belated nod of appreciation for her poem. And a thankful smile to Monique as well.

Vincenzo's quartets earn another soft smile from Helena, who murmurs a soft, "Lovely, truly," before looking around to gauge the crowd. "Thank you so much for those who have shared their writings. Such writing truly does give us such insight into ourselves and others," she says, glancing from face to face of those who shared, and also those who did not.



"For our readings today, I believe I have myself, the Marquessa Lianne, Lady Monique, and Lord Rysen." Her smile turns impish. "I've learned a little about hosting these things, and I'm going to take my spot first so I can sit and enjoy the rest of you without worrying so much, if that is quite all right."

Helena is overheard praising Vincenzo.

Lisebet is with Catalana at this point, quietly amazed and listening.

Monique is overheard praising Vincenzo.

Rysen has applauded heartily for the poets who've shared their writing on dreams, and nods, no doubt with great understanding, to Helena when she speaks of reciting her work, and the euphoria which often follows afterward.

Ian is definitely taking his cues from Rysen right now. It's not even subtle. A second or so after Rysen starts clapping, Ian starts clapping, too, and he looks at the other man more than once, like he's trying to gauge the right reaction for any given moment.

Catalana gives a smattering of applause. She murmurs just loud enough to Ian, "When you really love it, you should whoop."

Mikani enters looking a bit tired but still has a smile on her face. She applauds since everyone is clapping and stands in the back to listen to the poems.

And that, folks, is why Ian's taking his cues from RYSEN.

When no one denies her the right of first embarrassment, Helena smiles and opens her journal, a gray-leather bound thing, to a spot marked with a green ribbon.



"This is not so much a singular poem as several musings in a row. I was trying for thirteen, but I got tired," she confesses, a little flush of rose infusing her cheeks. "Thoughts on the Nature of Dreaming."



We are all creators for we all dream

and in our slumber, our minds craft

a universe uncharted, wrought of thought.



*



Some nights I dream the flowers are spirits

of all the beautiful intangible things I cannot hold:

the bluebells ring the laughter of childhood,

red dahlias spring from kisses of a secret love,

white lilies are innocence long lost,

chrysanthemum, the golden hopes of youth,

dandelions, a long forgotten wish.



*



Colors I've never seen and could not name

swirl in an iridescent ocean of wishes below

the star-full sky. Each star, an unspoken desire.



*



Nightmares come pounding through my mind

dark hooves clattering on cobblestones of a narrow alley.

No room for me, I flatten myself against the walls

in the corners of my own soul, trying to keep the dark

twisting horrors from touching what is mine alone.



*



Some say there are thirteen dreamers

each weaving together strands of the Dream.

Could it be we all hold a dozen more selves within

besides the one soul we think of as ourself?



*



Against black-violet like the velvet night,

rainbow brilliance spills off the wings

of a starling in flight -- a reminder

we are all dreamt, all part of the Dream.



*



Nothing disappears completely --

what, then, of dreams that die?

They become ghosts that haunt us with

an unceasing sessura of "What if?"



The poems finished, Helena closes the journal and looks up, that flush a little brighter -- it apparently returns when reading her own work.

Eiran watches Helena, leaning forward a little to rest his elbows on his knees. He smiles, entranced as she speaks, and afterwards lets out a soft breath and claps lightly, obviously pleased.

Vincenzo claps for Helena sharing her writing. "An excellent question at the end. What if? And why?!"

Rysen gazes at Helena with unabashed admiration. He claps loudly, nodding to the Redrain Princess.

About a second after Rysen starts clapping, Ian starts clapping, too.

Merek makes his way into the place to listen also.

Monique is overheard praising Helena.

Mikani always likes Helena's poetry and applauds for her poem as well.

Dark lashes fan pink-flushed cheeks and Helena murmurs a soft "Thank you," before finding the Marquessa with her gaze when it lifts. "Marquessa Lianne, will you honor us with your lovely voice?" she says, happy to abandon the lectern and return to the sofa.

Catalana applauds, but does not need to copy Rysen or Ian to know when to applaud.

It takes Monique a moment to applaud Helena's work, so lost in it as she is. But as soon as she realizes it, her reverie is broken and the Minx presses her palms together vigorously for the Princess.

Khanne shares quiet conversation with Fortunato and Lianne at the couch by the window, only relinquishing Lianne's arm when she is called up.

Lianne looks thoughtful when she's called up, very likely still considering a few points from Helena's piece. She makes a point of noting its, "Compelling questions," with an appreciative bow of her head in the hostess' direction as she rises. Addressing the gathered, she declares it, "A difficult piece to follow for how lost we all are in those inquiries. Yet, I shall try." She smiles brightly, then begins:



"I brought loneliness with me when I woke,

a thread of shadowed gold which I wove

into a curtain of gilded pitch

and hung upon my western window,

mourning dusk's inevitable descent,

catching dust in sun every morning."



A modest piece, it ends in silence, stillness, the warm smile she wears seemingly a private thing. It brightens when she looks back to those she was sitting with before murmuring, "Thank you," and rejoining them.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Mikani before departing.

"Mourning dusk, what a lovely turn of phrase, and so beautifully melancholy," murmurs Helena as Lianne finishes, applauding softly, a smile for the Marquessa's thoughtful comments and insightful writing.

Helena is overheard praising Lianne: beautiful as always.

Rysen listens to Lianne with a thoughtful expression on his face. He applauds, and his grey eyes remain on Lianne, no doubt still thinking over the words and images of her poem.

Lisebet listens with full attention, though she isn't clapping so much. She does look a tad uncomfortable, all things considered, even with the hopefully cooler night air. She does glance back at Monique and then Fortunato every so often, a hint of curiosity showing briefly.

Ian starts clapping, once again, about a second after Rysen. He still looks like he's clapping because clapping is what he thinks he's supposed to be doing right now -- not out of any actual admiration for the poetry. From the looks of his expression, mostly flat with the occasional trace of confusion, none of this is resonating with him at all.

Khanne smiles softly and applauds with her fingertips for Lianne, waiting for her to rejoin her on the couch.

Eiran sobers as Lianne begins, eyes focusing on her. By the end his smile is wistful, but still pleased, and his hands lift for delicate applause. "Absolutely beautiful, and quite moving."

Monique looks entirely pleased with the turn of phrase 'gilded pitch'. "That really is a lovely capturing of loneliness," she murmurs quietly as Lianne finishes, her applause soft for the nature of the subject.

Catalana applauds yet again. At least this Kennex seems to understand the poetry. She briefly leans to Ian and whispers a question to him.

Lianne's head bows in gracious acceptance of the praise, modesty expressed in that continued cant even as she turns her smile to the others. As her attention catches on Rysen, it lingers a moment longer, dark brows arching high in some unspoken inquiry. Or amusement. Who can tell.

"Lord Rysen, would you like to share your work?" asks Helena after the murmurs of praise and applause have settled back down to quieter comments among those sitting near one another.

Rysen nods to Helena, and moving toward the lectern, has a familiar red hue to his face, and a slight fidget to his fingers. He turns to face those assembled and closes his eyes for a brief moment, then opens them and begins to chant:



"I had a dream that was not all a dream.

The stars gleamed like tears in the frozen sky,

And the bright moon shone like an icy orb,

And no sun did arise to warm the world.



Brothers and sisters, mothers, sons, fathers,

And daughers did then huddle together

For warmth and safety, though soon the fuel burned,

And the wolves and snakes did move among them.



And neighbor did turn on neighbor, desperate

To find food and warmth amid the cold night,

Spilling blood to answer that primal call

That shouted over all sentiments - SURVIVE!



Yet they fell weary and hungry, and died -

One by one. A dog with her master stood,

And though her master froze, tears on her cheek,

Yet the dog remained, loyal to the end,



Until no life yet remained in Arvum,

But ice and cold under the frozen sky.

The world perfect, unchanging free from pain -

So forever the stasis Queen's domain."



Rysen's chant ceases, and he quickly walks to the back of the reading room to stand beside Mikani, Ian and Catalana.

Helena is overheard praising Rysen: Powerful and frightening. Let that one be just a dream.

Fortunato glances up from the couch with a low, "Very, ah, chilling."

Monique is overheard praising Rysen.

Eiran sighs dreamily. "That gave me chills," he murmurs, and claps lightly again, eyes following Rysen as he flees back to the back of the room.

Vincenzo claps, eyes lit up with interest on Rysen's poem, and he claps. "Well written!"

"Have we been sharing the same dreams?" Monique murmurs to Rysen, eyes narrowing upon the Crovane Lord briefly, suspiciously.

Whatever ease Helena was wearing about her shoulders after reading has slipped off, replaced by a mantle of tension as she waits for the resolution of the poem -- only to find it's not the resolution she wishes. It takes her a moment but she does applaud, even more softly. "Powerful imagery. Dreams can be portents but are gifts so that we can alter the course of the events of which they warn us," she murmurs, then adds, a little fiercer, "Believe in that."

What warmth Lianne had worn at the end of her own recitation strangely remains at the end of Rysen's, tinged with an odd curiosity as she studies the bard. "Provocative," sounds like high praise, her attention lingering while the others share their thoughts.

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant have been dismissed.

1 Redreef Warden have been dismissed.

Vagari - Cinder Kitten have been dismissed.

1 Order of the Firebird have been dismissed.

4 Byrne Mountain Men have been dismissed.

Ian lacking, now, his guide about when to applaud, Ian claps with a little less certainty.

Lacking, now, his guide about when to applaud, Ian claps with a little less certainty.

Khanne stares at Rysen as he recites his poem. A finger taps at her chin, but she is so lost in thoughts, she forgets to applaud. THAT is how much the poem impacted her.

"And Lady Monique I am sure will bring us up with a bit of wit and whimsy after that dark and scary trip into Lord Rysen's sleeping adventures," Helena says, impish grin alighting on her face once more.

Rysen smiles at Vincenzo and Lianne. "Thank you," he says softly, and glances towards Monique at her words with a lingering look, though Helena's words snap him back to his senses, and he seems to relax, eager to hear what the Minx has prepared.

Monique clears her throat with all of the ego she possesses. It's considerable. Head held high, she offers a slight warning. "Whimsy, certainly. I am no poet. In fact, I am terrible with words. But I find such joy in them, and their creation, I can't help myself. And so I offer you first my apology, and then my poem, called 'And I, but the Dreamer'." So prefaced, she laces her fingers together at the waist, dips her crimson head for a dramatic moment. Upon lifting it, she orates with an overblown confidence.



"How strange are dreams! I dreamed the other night

A dream that made me tremble,

Not with fear, but with a kind of strange reality;

My supper, though late, consisted of no cheese.

My stomach dared to grumble, hopeful hungry fiend

Oh Sleeping God, oh Dreaming God

And I, but the dreamer,

Prayed upon my knees



How long did I kneel there! It seems it was an age

I could use some primum now,

I thought the words with wistful, wishful hope;

My Supper, unchanged, despite my pleas.

Oh Sleeping God, oh Dreaming God

Whose great Dream we reprise

And I, but the dreamer

With my lack of cheese"



The Minx of the Marches bows her bright head once more to the poetry enthusiasts gathered, and then reclaims her place against the wall. "Gods and Spirits, I hope someone has a poem to end this event properly," she murmurs. Looking straight at Fortunato.

Helena is overheard praising Monique: that was not just gouda, it was grate.

Helena is overheard praising Scholars.

Fortunato clears his throat and raises his hand. "Come, Monique, please. How can I, in a spare second, top your paean to cheese."

Ian angles his head towards Rysen when he returns. Perhaps he's commenting on the imagery of the underlying metaphor of the poem's primary motif. Probably not, though.

Catalana tilts her head closer to Ian and Rysen, clearly tryinf to eavesdrop.

"I can't even imagine that it would take you a second," Monique tells Fortunato with a quickfire grin.

Rysen secretly seems to be enjoying Monique's poem, and grins happily at the final mention of her lack of cheese, and begins to clap, before coughing and rubbing his hands together and saying loudly, "Boo. You're terrible," adding softly, "at writing bad poetry because I still found it interesting." He laughs softly to himself and resumes clapping with a smile to Monique as if it were a challenge.

"It's true. Lady Monique has a monopoly on cheese odes," she says, laughing and applauding before standing again in another rustle of that dawnstone-hued silk. "And that I believe is our last reader, unless anyone else would like to bestow upon us another poem before we depart? Feel free of course to stay and discuss poetry, dreams, cheese, or whatever you'd like."

Eiran manages to keep a straight face throughout the cheesy poem, but at the end bursts into light, delighted laughter, clapping again. "Gods, now I am hungry..."

Monique is overheard praising Rysen: Terrible, wonderful liar

Perhaps distracted by the surrealism of the imagery of... (probably not, though), Ian takes longer than usual to realize that he's supposed to be clapping.

Fortunato flashes a smile at Monique. "Consider me beckoned. Next time, an, ah, reckoning."

"A beckoning to a reckoning, then?" Helena quips to Fortunato.

Fortunato smiles wider at Helena. "Indeed, your highness. I will overcome my shyness."

Vincenzo says, "As a cheese poem matures in the hearts of the audience, the cheddar it gets. Or something like that." to the couch companions.

The Redrain princess curtsies with a graceful flourish to Fortunato. "We shall be honored to have your wit and wisdom, Master Fortunato," she says with a bright smile. "I hope to hear more voices. If my dreams were to come true, I would hear the poetry of every soul, and yes, every soul does speak its own brand of poetry -- even yours, Lord Ian Kennex, don't look at me like that."

Mikani smiles at Rysen and softly pats his shoulder by way of thanks for the poem. She leans to murmur to him softly as to not interrupt others.

Monique is overheard praising Vincenzo: Clever

Lianne is overheard praising Helena: Magnificent as ever, and poignant.

Still whispering in the back like a naughty schoolboy, Ian jumps when his name is mentioned and blinks at Helena. "Uh, sorry." He doesn't sound like he's totally clear on what he's apologizing for, but he seems to accept that he's accidentally done something wrong. "I don't intend to."

"Curd you repeat that?" Helena says to Vincenzo, but she can't keep the dead pan expression and snickers, a little unprincess-like.

Vincenzo lifts a glass towards Monique's way for the praise and gives a smile.

Lianne is overheard praising Rysen: Provocative.

Shaking his head with amusement, Eiran grins around at those gathered before focusing on Helena. "Thank you for putting this on. It's been an absolute delight." He pushes to his feet to move around the edges of the party, giving nods to anyone who catches his eye--then quietly slips out.

Eiran has left the Stately Sofa of Somnolence.

Steward leaves, following Eiran.

Lianne is overheard praising Scholars.

Vincenzo is overheard praising Helena.

"The next poetry reading will be in a few weeks, with a couple of weeks advance notice. I hope to see all of you there," Helena says, more seriously. "Thank you all for coming. To those who read, you do us all good by lifting your voice and sharing your insights, humor, and wisdom. Those who listened, we cannot read without an audience. Truly, thank you."

Lisebet is overheard praising Scholars: Great poetry

Lianne is overheard praising Eiran: Where the sea and sorrow meet.

Rysen chuckles in appreciation of the wit of Fortunato and Vincenzo, and laughs outright at Ian's reaction to Helena's request for his poetry. "Thank you for hosting, Your Highness," says Rysen across the room to Helena.

Monique's laughter is bright, visibly enjoying Vincenzo's play on words. "Very clever, my lord. Princess Helena, will you be submitting a book of your own poems to the Gilded Page's Literary Contest? It would be a wonderful addition. And you too, Lord Crovane!" she adds, as he calls out to Helena.

Sparte is overheard praising Helena: Though I only listened, I still greatly enjoyed it

"We'll just have to crack your head open one day and look in there for ourselves, then," Helena quips to Ian. To Monique, her cheeks color, and she chews her lower lip thoughtfully. "Most of mine I've written are known, but I will see if I can come up with one, surely," she says softly.



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