Wrong Turn Taken on the Straight and Narrow
by Roy H. Williams
In the Land of the Way Things Ought to Be
I’m handsome and wealthy and strong and free.
But in the Land of the Way Things Really Are
I’m struggling and awkward, a bit bizarre.
I threw a party, invited my friends
From the Land of the Way It Might Have Been.
They were heartbroken. A man named Regret
Said they had gotten all they would get.
An Ambassador came, toupee in hand
From nostalgic Way-It-Used-to-Be Land,
Whose sad power comes from cellophane tape
On the box from which we try to escape.
War was declared by the Land of Who Cares
On the Used-to-Be, and all that is theirs.
“You don’t matter at all!” the Who-Cares cried,
“You said we had to, but we found you lied!”
Then there came from the Way It’s Always Been
Ten clones who bellowed, “Transgression and sin!”
They put their strength on the Used-to-Be side,
Shouting as one, “By these rules we abide!”
Onto the scene from the Land of Up Yours
Ran ten independents into the wars
Whose only concern was not being held
To standards imposed by heads that are swelled.
And all of this caused a deeper chagrin
Among those of the Way It Might Have Been.
“Can’t we all be friends?” they asked with big eyes,
Amidst the Up-Yours shouts and the Who-Cares cries.
But their pleas were drowned by the blood and noise
Of the late-arriving Gonna-Be boys
Whose only agenda was loud and long
Dismissal of those who said they were wrong.
And into the darkness the sparks did fly
And lifted like prayers into the sky
‘Til God stuck his fingers into his ears
And from his mouth flowed the music of spheres:
The sound of planets in orbit whirling,
The sound of lavender sunsets swirling,
The sound of smoke from a campfire curling,
The sound of a wondrous truth unfurling.
But none hears the music as they collide
Shouting “Beauty Herself is on our side!”
None hears the music. Not one of these Kings
Sees beauty in what the other one brings.
And the battle does rage, bubble and fizz
In the Land of the Way It Always Is.
Are you a cartoonist, sketch artist or illustrator? A water colorist, oil painter or photographer?
Wizard Academy Press is creating an online gallery of images inspired by the whimsical new poem, Wrong Turn Taken on the Straight and Narrow by Roy H. Williams. You can submit a single image or a series of images to illustrate the story. The truly ambitious might even illustrate each of the 23 scenes as though they were the text of a Dr. Seuss-type children’s book for children over the age of 30.
Who knows? Maybe it will someday be published like that.
Each entrant will be rewarded with a gift from Wizard Academy Press chosen specifically for them by Roy H. Williams. There's even an outside chance you might win a full scholarship to attend classes at Wizard Academy.
If Wrong Turn Taken on the Straight and Narrow becomes more than just an online thing and actually gets printed as a physical book and your illustrations are used in it, you will receive 50 free copies of the book and $1,500 in cash for the use of your images.
Submissions must be received as jpeg files or pdf files or streaming video files by Tamara@WizardAcademyPress.com no later than midnight Sunday, January 6, 2008.
All submissions become the property of Wizard Academy Press.
Aren't you anxious to see what you'll receive as your gift for participating?
Roy H. Williams
The Cognoscenti know full well that I believe in the beauty of opposites. Would you like to read a beautiful poem that communicates a mood opposite to the poem above?
See more of the images of Mark Lewin at http://www.markmyshots.com