A Sojourner’s Tale

26 11 2013

No Shadow of Turning


Imagine awakening one morning to find yourself in your bedroom, in your house, on your property, yet surrounded by some vast, untouched wilderness.  You look out a window to see a landscape that is familiar in flora and contour, yet obviously unaffected by human culture.  Outside, there is not one thing to be seen that is artificial.  All is natural, and impressing you with force.  Inside, there is no running water, no electricity, no communication via telephone or radio or television or computer.  Inside and out, you find yourself alone.  What would you do?

This novel begins with that scenario, and the reader is from then onward invited to participate – as if the reader were engaged in a personal dream event – with the anonymous main character in the ensuing struggle for survival, which is both physical and metaphysical.  Not only must the person discover how to obtain such necessities as food and water, the person must also seek to answer such basic questions of being as are contained in Paul Gauguin’s classic “What?  Whence?  Whither?”

The novel is available as an electronic book from Amazon. Search by author’s name: D. Raymond-Wryhte.

Here are some reviews regarding earlier editions of No Shadow of Turning from people outside Amazon who have published electronic stories, newsletters, and magazines. Also included are reviews from readers and writers at FanStory.

“While the book starts out like a Twilight Zone episode, it quickly adds fantasy and magic to the mix.  The book… contains some poetry, which is quite well written.  There is also a noticeable religious theme through the novel.  It is not overpowering; in fact, it’s rather subtle…. The book, overall, is well written… in places, it’s riveting….  I was totally engrossed with the story….  Let me say this is an enjoyable read, with many layers of story for you to sort out and study.”

“I liked it very much; couldn’t put it down.  It is well-written, and I found it quite interesting as a nature tale and a spirit story.”

“I did find what I read highly interesting and surely believe that there is a market for such a highly imaginative vision as in your story.”

“Wow to a beginning of an enthralling novel.  I felt as if I was in the twilight zone. Excellent descriptive phrases created stark images and evoked the feeling of the puzzling nature of the narrator. Very well done… so glad to run across you.”

“Wow, what a great start. Were this the beginning of a novel, I would purchase it without hesitation. Your style is gripping and fluent. I truly enjoyed it, and I look forward to reading more.”

“This is quite fascinating. It’s an odd situation–one that would give anyone the willies. Your writing style is a pleasure to read. I’m looking forward to more!”

“Can’t wait to read more. Quite graphic tale with lots of action, suspense, anxiety, terror. All the elements are here for an amazing tale. I will stay tuned.”

“Your writing is clear-cut, easy to follow, with no difficult or wordy sentences. A smooth, easy read. This chapter has some brilliant narrative. Sometimes the pieces of writing with less dialogue can be better and in this case it is. Well done! I found your story to be both well written and enjoyable. Aside from the dialog, which sounded quite realistic, there were many very realistic descriptive scenes which enabled me to completely visualize the events transpiring.”

“You have a very poetic style to your writing and, although you use shorter sentences, they flow from one sentence to the next naturally. I also thought that you added great descriptive detail into the scenery…”



The Path of Life

16 11 2013

When in the night I meditate
On mercies multiplied,
My grateful heart inspires my tongue
To bless the Lord, my Guide.

Forever in my thought the Lord
Before my face shall stand;
Secure, unmoved, I shall remain,
With Him at my right hand.

My inmost being thrills with joy
And gladness fills my breast;
Because on Him my trust is stayed,
My flesh in hope shall rest.

I know that I shall not be left
Forgotten in the grave,
And from corruption, Thou, O Lord,
Thy holy one wilt save.

The path of life Thou showest me;
Of joy a boundless store
Is ever found at Thy right hand,
And pleasures evermore.

Psalm 16 (as adapted for the 1912 Psalter of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches of America)


November Prayer

15 11 2013

Besides the autumn poets sing,
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the haze.

A few incisive mornings,
A few ascetic eyes, —
Gone Mr. Bryant’s golden-rod,
And Mr. Thomson’s sheaves.

Still is the bustle in the brook,
Sealed are the spicy valves;
Mesmeric fingers softly touch
The eyes of many elves.

Perhaps a squirrel may remain,
My sentiments to share.
Grant me, O Lord, a sunny mind,
Thy windy will to bear!

Emily Dickinson



13 11 2013

Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world, and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.

The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.

And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last long aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question ‘Whither?’

Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?

Robert Frost

the misty past

Thy Servant’s Consolation

11 11 2013

As pants the hart for streams of living water,
So longs my soul, O living God, for Thee;
I thirst for Thee, for Thee my heart is yearning;
When shall I come Thy gracious face to see?

O Lord my God, o’erwhelmed in deep affliction,
Far from Thy rest, to Thee I lift my soul;
Deep calls to deep and storms of trouble thunder,
While o’er my head the waves and billows roll.

Thou wilt command Thy servant’s consolation,
Thy lovingkindness yet shall cheer my day,
And in the night my song shall be my comfort;
God of my life, to Thee I still will pray.

Why, O my soul, art Thou cast down within me,
Why art thou troubled and oppressed with grief?
Hope thou in God, the God of thy salvation,
Hope, and thy God will surely send relief.

Psalm 42 (as adapted within the 1912 Psalter of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches of America)



Yet One Rich Smile

9 11 2013

 Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!
One mellow smile through the soft vapoury air,
Ere, o’er the frozen earth, the loud winds run,
Or snows are sifted o’er the meadows bare.
One smile on the brown hills and naked trees,
And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast,
And the blue gentian flower, that, in the breeze,
Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last.
Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee
Shall murmur by the hedge that skirts the way,
The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,
And man delight to linger in thy ray.
Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear
The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air.

William Cullen Bryant

late autumn

A November Night

3 11 2013

There! See the line of lights,
A chain of stars down either side the street,
Why can’t you lift the chain and give it to me,
A necklace for my throat? I’d twist it round
And you could play with it. You smile at me
As though I were a little dreamy child
Behind whose eyes the fairies live…. And see,
The people on the street look up at us
All envious. We are a king and queen,
Our royal carriage is a motor bus,
We watch our subjects with a haughty joy….
How still you are! Have you been hard at work
And are you tired to-night? It is so long
Since I have seen you, four whole days, I think.
My heart is crowded full of foolish thoughts
Like early flowers in an April meadow,
And I must give them to you, all of them,
Before they fade. The people I have met,
The play I saw, the trivial, shifting things
That loom too big or shrink too little, shadows
That hurry, gesturing along a wall,
Haunting or gay, and yet they all grow real
And take their proper size here in my heart
When you have seen them…. There’s the Plaza now,
A lake of light! To-night it almost seems
That all the lights are gathered in your eyes,
Drawn somehow toward you. See the open park
Lying below us with a million lamps
Scattered in wise disorder like the stars.
We look down on them as God must look down
On constellations floating under Him
Tangled in clouds…. Come, then, and let us walk
Since we have reached the park. It is our garden,
All black and blossomless this winter night,
But we bring April with us, you and I;
We set the whole world on the trail of spring.
I think that every path we ever took
Has marked our footprints in mysterious fire,
Delicate gold that only fairies see.
When they wake up at dawn in hollow tree-trunks
And come out on the drowsy park, they look
Along the empty paths and say, “Oh, here
They went, and here, and here, and here! Come, see,
Here is their bench, take hands and let us dance
About it in a windy ring and make
A circle round it only they can cross
When they come back again!”…. Look at the lake,
Do you remember how we watched the swans
That night in late October while they slept?
Swans must have stately dreams, I think. But now
The lake bears only thin reflected lights
That shake a little. How I long to take
One from the cold black water, new-made gold
To give you in your hand! And see, and see,
There is a star, deep in the lake, a star!
Oh, dimmer than a pearl, if you stoop down
Your hand could almost reach it up to me….

There was a new frail yellow moon to-night,
I wish you could have had it for a cup
With stars like dew to fill it to the brim….

How cold it is! Even the lights are cold;
They have put shawls of fog around them, see!
What if the air should grow so dimly white
That we would lose our way along the paths
Made new by walls of moving mist receding
The more we follow…. What a silver night!
That was our bench the time you said to me
The long new poem, but how different now,
How eerie with the curtain of the fog
Making it strange to all the friendly trees!
There is no wind, and yet great curving scrolls
Carve themselves, ever changing, in the mist.
Walk on a little, let me stand here watching
To see you, too, grown strange to me and far….
I used to wonder how the park would be
If one night we could have it all alone,
No lovers with close arm-encircled waists
To whisper and break in upon our dreams.
And now we have it! Every wish comes true!
We are alone now in a fleecy world;
Even the stars have gone. We two alone!

Sara Teasdale