Greetings! And welcome to my newsletter for October, 2012! Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be interested in keeping up with me! To receive these newsletters regularly, please drop me an email or subscribe online from my website ( ) or at: . Notices of events and items of interest are at the bottom of this email.


Pitchers ===============

The Jef Murray 2013 Middle-earth Calendar is now available! Featuring one large painting image and one smaller “watermarked” painting image per month, this Middle-earth themed calendar includes moon phases, international holidays, plus over 18 “Easter Egg” images that reference significant events of interest to “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” aficionados. The calendar is $16.95 plus shipping, and can be mailed anywhere internationally (see for details).


Ponderings ==============


The Utter East                    


When e’re the road flows by my door

And beckons loudly in its haste

to sweep me off through mist and moor

unto some rich uncharted waste,

I feel that tug of tempting fate:

September hailing from her hills,

insisting secret paths await

all souls who seek to shed life’s ills.


And so, on glowing eventide

I don my cloak and down the track

I pass, not knowing what might hide

in hedge or brake to turn me back

into the orbit of my life:

the one that now I seek to shed.

I may be courting untold strife,

but to such ventures I am led.


And so I jump the turnstile whence

the road resumes its onward march

past field and furrow, fen and fence,

through oak and hazel, pine and larch.

Soon sorrows fade and I embrace

that mystic sparseness that beguiles

those who would fain their fears outpace.


Over hills I swiftly stride

then pause and harken to some sound

pursuing me; but who would ride

this night through copse and barren ground?

Yet padded footfalls nearer fall,

their maker hidden in the murk

and clammy mists that cover all

the fetid glens where fell things lurk.


I panic, though I know not why,

and seek to flee this stalwart shade

that mocks my steps as forth I hie.

I plunge headlong through grove and glade,

terror stricken as I seek

to shake this specter from my track;

yet, I consider that I’m weak,

unable to withstand attack.


Then I remember deepest faith

that whispers aye of blessed themes

and counsels that no shade or wraith

might overcome baptismal streams.

And so I turn and trust that fate

will fend me from the wicked wight

that closes fast with quickened gait

to bring some crowning to this night.


But then, in glint of silver moon,

from lo, beyond the sylvan shade

a figure lopes, and light of noon

precedes its steps into the glade.

It stops and shakes a gilded mane

and roars; the echoes of that blast

sting ear and heart. Thus evil’s bane

must ever conquer sin at last.


I stand transfixed as if in stone;

trapped, I fear what doom resounding

comes, commanding flesh and bone.

This grand lord, glory surrounding

his great visage, brimming grace,

approaches gently, eyes downcast

until we both stand face to face.


He then lifts up his noble head

and I descry beneath those pools

of emerald wisdom, tears unshed

have welled; what evil, think I, fuels

such anguish in this noble breast?


He turns away, and passes on;

but like a moth by dusk oppressed,

I, to this glorious Light, am drawn.


I puzzle then, and hesitate;

my will to flee my life recedes,

but I, to seize my destined fate,

sense I must fare where this king leads.


I turn and gaze into the night

the road is straight, yet to one side

I see a trail that strays from sight

into the rugged waste, untried

by any traveler. There he

has turned aside and makes his way

down bramble-laden tracks; I see

that black path does not him dismay.


So I, too, take the thorn-filled trail;

this doom I choose not to evade.

Through wind and thunder, smoke and hail,

I bear all, yet am not afraid

of pressing shades that quail and shrink

from sight as I, with this warden,

persevere. And soon I think

of coming dawn, and my burden

rests much lighter; could it be

that these torments relent at last?


I scan the rugged trail and see

him scale the heights; he courses fast

to greet the coming dawn. ‘Tis meet

that I continue in his wake

for, though alone, my feet are fleet,

and soon the promised day will break.


So then, on glowing morning-tide

I lift mine eyes unto the pass

ahead, aware that this divide

my life would take, should I trespass

beyond it to be with my king.

So, here I shall steadfastly wait,

for his command, my soul to bring

unto that land and through that gate.




Prospects ===================

•      My first book, “Seer: A Wizard’s Journal”, has been formally released as the inaugural offering from Oloris Publishing, a new imprint of the Middle-earth Network ( Oloris is dedicated to bringing new multimedia works to fantasy, mythology, and sci-fi fans worldwide, and I am honored to have had “Seer” chosen as their first publication. You can learn more than you’d likely ever want to know about Oloris, and about “Seer”, by clicking on of the following link:


•      A frame-able full-sized poster/print of my painting Home Again is now available in the Middle-earth Network Store ( ). This is among the first offerings of the store, and the works of many talented artists, writers, musicians, actors, etc. will be featured there over time. Do take a look!

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