The invisible knight col.., p.1
The Invisible Knight Collection, p.1Ray Daley
The Invisible Knight Collection
Copyright 25/12/11 by Raymond Daley
Introduction By The Author.
Most of the poems you are about to read were written during my time in the Royal Air Force.
I didn't have a great deal of freedom due to the dictates of the job and the military mentality so poetry was one of my very few outlets where I could do whatever the heck I wanted.
On a piece of paper, armed only with a pen (and after a few years then investing in an electronic typewriter) I was the master of my destiny. No-one was able to control what I wrote or how I thought. At least not whilst the muse was upon me.
The character of The Invisible Knight came about for various reasons, 99% of which I'd rather not discuss. Suffice to say he was necessary at the time and fulfilled certain things I had to do.
He's that anti-hero, not quite Batman but never superhero enough to be anyone much better. He was envisioned as living in the times of Knighthood and chivalry - a time when men were men and women were rescued.
In my head he was a twist on the Tin Man, an empty suit of armour carrying a 6 foot long double edged broad sword. Oh yes, I'd actually put that amount of thought in what kind of weapon he carried.
Over time and three or four poems the character developed to the point where I felt I wanted to write a book about him. I did start it, I did write bits of it and somewhere in my room there are numerous notepads of stuff and ideas which I hope one day will turn up so I can carry on working on them.
In the book he has a white horse called Benson, he was a human called Shawn (I think I decided his surname was Falcon?) and his ethereal state was due to a mixture of magic and technology.
Right, a few details about poem #1. I'll admit, I'd forgotten I even wrote it! It turned up when I filtered through my poetry folder. As far as poetic chronological content its the first poem that mentions The Invisible Knight by name.
It's not fair to say he was born here, his name was thought up but beyond that he wasn't any definite idea, nor did he have any kind of background.
All that came much later.
Causes Of Kaos. By R.P.Daley.(C) 25/9/90.
Kaos reigns supreme once more.
As the dreaded Beast without a flaw.
Takes to the night on a killing spree,
He could be you, He could be me.
Invisible Knight, He stalks the night,
A fearsome creature hidden from sight.
Driven by anger, Hate or lies.
Death, A creature with unholy eyes.
Beware the Knight, My noble friend.
For he brings nothing but your end.
Short and sweet and straight to the point, eh?
I used Kaos with a K for a reason. Nope, I can't remember it either, if when reading it occurs to you why then email me and let me know?
After this most Invisible Knight poems would be long epic type poems.
Poem #2 I DO remember ;-)
It started with a flyer for a poetry competition, I think my Mum got it at a library. The memory is fuzzy, over a decade has passed as has a lot of alcohol. It's highly possible it was an advert in a newspaper. One of those two things is definitely how it started.
I can say 100% for certain that the poem was written in small fragments whilst on duty in my war role. I can't remember where or how I got this typed up, I think I gave it to a female friend who typed it for me.
Most likely the wonderful Toni who was extremely kind to me in my early RAF career when every was big, new and incredibly scary.
Anyway, I had to cut the original poem massively as the competition limit was 22 lines. What you are about to read is the original uncut version. The cut version won and was printed in a anthology called Poetry Works.
A copy of which exists in the Bodlean Library in Oxford I discovered in 1996.
The Tale Of The Invisible Knight. (C) 1991 Monday Oct 21
The Knight was a beast who knew only hate,
But something occurred which had changed him of late.
"What's happening here?" the Knight did say,
"What causes my form to be seen in the day?".
The answer was easy; As well he knew,
Would never dare even be guessed by so few.
The love for a woman who he never could see,
For much though he loved her it never would be.
The risk at his capture had torn him apart,
For he knew this young lady had taken his heart.
To offer his love or surrender his passion,
To deliver his heart unto her was his mission.
While the darkness of hell was the home of his thoughts,
The light from her heart was the heaven he sought.
His every waking moment both in the dark or light,
To seek her love; A quest for her, through either day or night.
But could such a Beast ever hope to be tamed,
By the beautiful rose that the dark man had named.
The Knight's only flaw was his inhuman side,
Could it ever be buried?; as it never would hide.
As her class was so high he felt she was above him,
Could love cross such boundaries; Would she ever love him?
Might her love entrap him and bind him in chains,
Thus destroying the Beast,leaving human remains.
So this image of her which was stuck in his head,
Of her pale skin so smooth and her full lips so red.
The way she sat still as he pictured her there,
With those deep sea blue eyes and that flowing brown hair.
His undying love like the flames that keep burning,
But afraid she's gone now with no hope of returning.
Written By R.P.Daley Between 5 May 91 and 29 Sep 91.
I love that last line. I actually went to the trouble of noting down how long the damn thing took to write!
Poem #3, there's no real story behind it. I was putting out anything up to 4 or 5 poems a day at this point.
The Man Behind The Mask. By R.P.Daley. Mon 29th Jan 92 - 11:37pm
My audience have told me, It's time to show my face,
The punters want to see the real person take his place.
It's time to lose the grand disguise, It's time to lose the mask,
It's time to become visible, That's what the crowd all ask.
A Phoenix finally burned away, An Invisible Knight appeared,
The seven veils have fallen off and it's just what I've feared.
I must deny this last request, I must step to one side,
But the man the whole world wants to see, Just simply want to hide.
He's spent too long being someone else, can't remember his own name,
He wants to be the unknown man, but he still wants the fame.
Forgotten who he is now, Don't care who he's been,
He's the real no-where man, who wants to stay unseen.
No-one tries to chase him, 'Cause he simply can't be found,
Is it just him being paranoid, Or does no-one ever want him around?
A thousand people wish him dead, they only exist inside his head,
He lives his life in fear and dread, when he's hanging by a single thread.
What dwells inside that restless mind, hidden by a smile,
The foulest beast, a thing of black, a something dark and vile.
There is another man inside, the one who's just in for the ride.
He's seen life from many angles, he's been there before,
He's the one that knows no better, his life's just a chore.
Does he dare to come out now, Dare to show his face,
Shock the world, take off the mask, reveal an empty space.
[there can be nothing for there is nothing inside anymore-blank] (Holst The Planets, Mars-The bringer of war)
Ok, you are probably curious about the stuff after The End?
I'd gotten into a habit of not only noting when I wrote and what time, I also developed a nasty habit of noting how I felt at the time.
Clearly here was a low time. I also noted what I was listening to as well. This'll be my "classical period" then.
In that last piece I referenced a poem I'd written when I was at secondary school.
Ok, Poem #4.
Technically its not an actual Invisible Knight poem, he's not referenced or inferred but its in the general style and comes from the Invisible Knight mindset and mentality.
I get to say what classes as an Invisible Knight poem because I invented him.
On the whole I see him as a very dark character or personality, and the essence of "The Beast" is exactly that.
The Beast.(C) 15/6/92. By R.P.Daley.
The beast hides within,
Way below my skin.
The way he hides inside my mind,
By day that's where he'll be.
But when the darkness shrouds the land,
You can be sure he's close at hand.
So if he's trapped or roaming free,
It doesn't matter, 'Cause that beast is me.
Just don't forget if you can't see,
The beast inside is the beast that is me.
Another one that's not an epic, I probably just had to express a few things when I wrote it. Writing this kind of thing was therapeutic, a good way to get stuff out of my system.
Poem #5 is another of the epic length poems, it almost certainly started life where most of the rest of them did.
M1 means nothing to you, it was the mens toilets on the middle floor of the location where I was on war duty. Lots of ideas started in that toilet, it was quiet, it was cool (temperature wise) and it was a seriously brilliant place to hide from the stress of work of which there was a lot.
Cue Poem #6, another of the long ones. Sometimes when I wrote, ideas just fell out of me, it was a struggle to keep up with them. It's terrible to have a brain that's faster than your ability to write.
The Realm Of Silence. By R.P.Daley.(C) Sun 28th June '92.
Near the Labyrinth of Loneliness, In a shadowed veil of mist,
Is a darker place than the worst in space that the Sun has never kissed.
In the Caverns of Confusion, Is a place that's far from sight,
Which is home to the dream who's never seen, The unique Invisible Knight.
The darkness is his homeland, Where he spends all his time,
And he hides his face from the human race, Though he's guilty of no crime.
He's shapeless like a specter, Moving like a passing thought,
Just an insubstantial phantom, That the light has never caught.
He guards a hidden secret, Underneath his blackened cloak,
Just the slightest trace of a human face, And a name that's never spoke.
You'll always know he's coming, When you feel the iced winds blow,
He seeks no reward with his silver sword, Than a better place to go.
He's quite the man of mystery, Full of facts he can't disclose,
With a darker side where a love can hide, And a heart that never shows.
The Knight had been a mortal once, What made him now like this?,
Was a love so pure it must endure and a single woman's kiss.
It's the gir1 who's in the sunshine who has set his heart alight,
But he knows their love is doomed to fail, For this life can not be right.
For she had found his hidden heart, Entombed by walls of stone,
In a dungeon deep where his love could sleep, In a place far from his home.
He gave this beauty all his love, He'd made her all his own,
He'd sent all the love he had and all the things he'd known.
No settling for second best, Her love is what he needs,
To satisfy his one desire, Who knows where her love leads?
He can't tell her the future, And she'll never know his past,
So he'll use his might to see her right, And to hope their love will last.
The greatest love is hard to get, In a place that can't be reached,
In a tomb so strong it'd take too long for it's stone walls to be breached.
Can't bear to be apart from her or even feel her touch,
He don't think she can take enough then thinks she needs too much.
He'll never look her in the eye, Since her beauty makes him blind,
But her love went right through him, And then crowded out his mind.
Like the solitary villain. He's returning to the crime,
And he's running back to her again, Just to work things out this time.
Time went fast and he watched her age, She could not retain her youth,
As she asked of her impending death, He would not tell her the truth.
But he knows she's gone forever, That she had to die one day,
Did he have to be Immortal?, What had cursed him in this way?
And the only things he has now. Are his dreams and a lonely grave.
Sleepless nights he slept; As watch he kept with the girl he couldn't save.
Now he'll hold back a thousand tears, But they'll fall inside his soul,
He's so empty in her absence, And he can't fill up that hole.
There are many grey illusions, Which will chase you through the night,
You'll find they're all outside your mind, Just barely out of sight.
There's a single lonely figure, Who you won't find in the light,
Running wild alone in his silent home, The immortal Invisible Knight.
Have you noticed a lot of references to running? They're all me, I was training all the time for the London Marathon.
Lots of references to darkness too, mostly because the streets around the base had no lights.
The Edge Of Darkness. By R.P.Daley (C) 21st July 1992.
Under silent shadowed sunsets, Which have fallen full on fire,
Hides a deadly darkened creature, Who is empty of desire.
He is not part of creation, Not of fantasy or fact,
Just a dream unseen with a soul unclean and a past that can't be tracked.
In his shadowed glade of darkness, Where he watches night time fall,
He prepares himself for action, When he hears the blackness call.
You'll never see his shapeless form unless you can stop the clocks,
Because he'll be roaming in the rain, Near the sunset on the rocks.
He's a victim of his lifestyle, Which was caused by lack of love,
So he ended up just going to ground, To avoid the push and shove.
He's been searching for his princess, With his promises to keep,
And once that he has found her, There'll be just rewards to reap.
To pursue her love was futile, As was his lonely cause,
Most noble in his isolation, Never would he pause.
Her face haunting his dreaming, Her voice heard in his sleep,
He has a mind of darkness, Which he hides by force of will,
And a lighter part with a trace of heart, Which is hidden deeper still.
There's a man that's deep inside, Only she has ever seen,
Not the darkened shape in the shadowed cape where the man once must have been.
He will always come back to her, Since she knows he can't resist,
But he'll curse himself for leaving, When he sees what he has missed.
He wished that he could love her, This was asking for too much,
For all she would allow him, Was to look but not to touch.
Each day she cam. to ask him, What lay beneath his hood,
He knew that he must tell her, But was not sure he could.
He drew back his shadowed cowl, Just displaying simply space,
And showed her nothing lived inside, No sign of any face.
So scared by what he showed her, She went off far away,
And left him searching for her, Each long day after day.
His life was like a barren desert, He was all alone,
She was in his life no more, He was on his own.
His life was like a closing door, slamming in his face,
And he searched for her forever, But there never was a trace.
She's the only one who loved him, With her love so pure and true,
He had told her "There's a man inside, Who's only seen by you".
He will count his million memories, Which he keeps inside his head,
Of his love long lost at the dearest cost, He will not believe she's dead.
It's like he's mixing up his life, Like everything's in one,
So what's real and what's make-believe, Where has the boundary gone?
On the very edge of darkness, Where the shadows meet the light,
Dwells the legend lone who is only known, As the one Invisible Knight.
For Nell and her persuasive smile.
Nell was a very good friend and confidante. I missed her terribly when she got posted. Friends like that are few and far between. She's not the first girl I've written something for and she definitely won't be the last either. And before you ask, no, she's not the subject of The Knights affections. She was a seriously excellent person and I hope her life is brilliant.
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