Renaissance Festival time is here for those of us in South Louisiana. I made my first visit this past saturday and managed to film a sing along to The Bar Wenches Drinking Song from my book at The King's Head Tavern with a group of friends. I have found inspiration at the Faire on many occasions. I think the Bar Wenches song may have been the first. That was written the year I worked for the pub owner and it was a very cold winter at the Tavern in a little hole with lots of ice and ale. The 'song' was originally written as a jingle to bring in business because the Tavern is set out of the way of the flow of traffic. We had a good time with the filming and it was a good day for it.
Other Renaissance Faire writings in the book include one called The Faire: En Memorium and Albright. The Faire incorporates a few stories into one related idea. Death is as much a part of life as living at times, especially for the living who are only left with memories and the need to keep them alive and honored. My friend Gwendolyn, who is the owner of the King's Head Tavern, lost a good friend of hers that we had met and laughed with many times while working for her and spending time at the Faire. When she passed away suddenly, Gwendolyn had three purple banners embroidered in memory of her. One of them hung in the pub that first year as a constant reminder of Lady Angelique. She may be gone but she is not forgotten. This year marks the third since she has been gone.
Another couple we met through the Renaissance Festival, Judy and Patrick, also honor a fallen friend. His name was Aaron Myers and he carried a large custom made tankard with a miniature anvil for a handle. Since his passing, they have carried the tankard on every journey and to every show they attend to honor his memory and to keep a part of him at the Faire. It is his tankard that is in the photo opposite the poem The Faire in the book
I got to know a character nicknamed Rooster the same year that I worked at The King's Head Tavern. He is one of those 'Country Boy Can Survive' types. His tent actually had a wood burning stove inside! That was the warmest tent I have ever been inside and the classiest, like I said, it had been a cold winter that year. Rooster always came to the Faire alone, but once I got to know him he told me about his wife and how before she passed away, they always attended Faires together all across the United States. One day at the Tavern in the late evening, he walked away from us down the path and I had the distinct feeling that he wasn't walking alone. In my mind I could see his wife walking along beside him as he made his way towards the setting sun. A man of travel and adventure, a man of many stories and laughs, as he walked alone I could sense that there was a part of the man that was still missing and longing for what was once so familier. When I wrote the final verse, it was this scene that haunted my mind. "Another sun sets with golden hue, is it dust that clouds the air? Or is it the whispering of ghosts who walk beside us at the Faire?"
Read The Faire; En Memorium and more Renaissance Faire themed writings in I Wandered from New Orleans: Poems from the South.