A work of Spenserian Stanza (or as close as is practicable). A modern epic of sorts. Part One I am dedicating to my friend Johnny O on his birthday today, seeing as I couldn’t come up with any other poems at the time!
On the dust of a hill skirting Earth City sat a man, a sailor, keen eyes full of visions, limbs throbbing with great power, head trembling in anger, heart not set to port nor starboard nor stern, but set straight with the bow. He held nothing back of the molten fire of soul that brimmed over and spilled out the vessel of his life into the vast and infinite seas of the universe. The waves of adversity always sought his destruction, but a strong wind always blew in to save him. That same strong wind was still with him to this day, taking him wherever he wanted to go in all haste and never failing him nor his crew, but the power it possessed came at a price: a dark cloud always followed him around and precipitated its drenching sorrow upon his ship… and upon his soul…without ceasing. And yet, there was always hope in the blackest darkness; it was after this hope that the son of Heron now chased:
May as well that death had claimed, conserved,
Of which no solace hitherto possessed.
From gates of city guarded, well-preserved.
For many walk its streets without contest,
And breathe its air, its grandeur coalesced,
While under watch, the package, guarded stiff;
“Thus I, my tent, do perch the hill southwest,
In wait for what may never be; then if
Bring down not gates, o’ king, I will, with might, uplift.”
Part 1: Incursion of the Past
Wind, the palace of the Kingdom of the Sky and heartbeat of the world between the ground and the stars:
To mount the winds of heavens, griffons fly,
As well the dragons, fowl, and clouds all share:
Possesses each respect for feather’s sky.
They fear no lowly twig of earth to scare
Or reach domains off-limits; highest stairs
Cannot deliver lesser-lings so nigh.
At steps of Wind, the palace, pulse to share
Its overflowing squalling blood–war cry?
Here comes the Dragon Slayers; shrink, you beasts, and hide!
Dragon King of the Kingdom of the Sky to the Dragon Slayers who had come, and their reply:
“Approach the throne of mighty Ziddus, come,
And tell me now the reason for this breach!”
“Do know you of the Sailor’s Stone, and chum
Of many who had sought its power, each
Of whom can never home return; beseech
You us to find this bitter man possessed
By stone, once friend of many, yet now leech
To those who by his call and beck divest
Of life, to save him, failure; most from earth do weep!”
The Dragon King’s indignation:
“Do tell the name of dweller, ground, and deeds,
And sin–and tell me rightly of his faults.
Do think you we of sky do care for trees?
Do think you think we fondly of basalt,
Or that of which do make the valleys halt?
For since from times unknown we gods of air
Lay hidden, peace residing, flying vault
And watch destroy yourselves, your foul affairs;
And never for you foul-filled mortals gave a care!”
“So how, now, do you seek asylum thus?”
The captain of the Dragon Slayers’ reply:
“You fool! To speak you such of Heron’s son!”
Of congregation, thousands, single fuss
Heard not, nor breathing; heartbeat, Wind, undone
And he, that giant Dragon King to Sun
Did look and bowed his dragon pride away
To now possess a higher pride, old shunned,
For Heron, Kingdom of the Sky, had saved,
And on their hearts and lips his name fore’ere engraved.
The tail of Heron, told by Sun, captain of the Dragon Slayers:
The tears did fall from mourning, scaly eyes,
Recounting past mistakes and errors strong,
And misplaced trust, as vision then sufficed–
“From misplaced honor, Heron suffered wrong,
Until he slayed the balrogs of the throng.
To hear the righteous recollection, hark,
And bid me speak this ever worthy song.
T’was after New Year’s, celebration’s park
That sin from mouth of Hades brought its morbid bark.
“That morn, a festive time and rare to see,
Those falling, flying creatures vent’ring round
And loose they rarest foliage feather’s free
To bless the earthen kingdoms, presence found
Of god-made beings shedding scale and down
For walkers of the earth, thus grateful, clap
This magic of the feather falls, a crown
Of joy and good assurance, power wrapped!–
If they had only known it was this year a trap.
For father, son, and daughters gathered forth,
To gather magic instruments thus shed
By Mother Wind’s kind creatures of the North
Replenishing man’s magic stock widespread
And share its glorious power, with love like bread
To countries famine-worn without relief
That comes from flowing matter overhead:
A flowering of soul , fruition brief,
But use of which is hindered only by belief.
That year, no succor, no precipitate
For as the mighty Freige, husband of Wind
Did swoop himself to cast aloft loose plates
A dreadnaught, kin of underworld, to sin,
It caught Lord Freige before he could rescind
And suffered him to of dark water drink
And quick forsake the light of sky and Wind;
A thousand meteors had seemed to sink
From heaven’s holy grasp, relinquished link!
In but one hour, more than two of thirds
Of Kingdom of the Sky was thrashed to earth
And rage and malice, soul of Freige, perturbed
Did rule the blood-stained heavens, widest girth
Which then possessed unfathomed loss of worth.
The earthen walkers’ children cried at loss
Their mothers trembling violent, fear-immersed
Since heaven ne’er had shed its brightest gloss
Nor dropped its floating mountains as if worthless dross
A moment in a time long passed:
There was a man with country, small, beside
Time, hated thorough by the gods of air–
Unhappy with his followers’ ill pride
Gods’ jealous that he of their power shared
And too, his subjects emulation ere
Not long before said Freige and Dthae to Wind,
“Resentment great that earthen men should bear
The gifts of gods and dragons; un-amend
Since Heron and the Dragon Slayers are but men!”
Yet Wind had answered not until this Time:
When strength of passion overflowed in hearts,
Flew Heron and his warriors to sky
“Of wings red, silver, brown and white, depart!”
The boldness of these men to now take part
In heaven’s losing battle after much
Revulsion of their personhood, black art;
For reason such, ne’er sky before dared touch–
Respect for prideful dragon’s will then clutched
Sojourners, each and every winged man,
Since writings old and ancient journals spoke
That home of which belonged they to hand
Not Earth, not Sea, not South, nor Tree but folk
Of whom possessed by heaven, home revoked.
Of sight, their homeland ripped and sundered foul
Their brothers, dragons, griffons, geese of yolk
As armies from the underworld there prowled
And caused the sky to rain on earth the blood of fowl
The thousand Dragon Slayers approach their home for the first time:
A war cry, loud, ripped painful Kingdom-wide
Looked up then every evil face disdained,
A wicked fear, deep, gurgled in their hide.
Swore dragons, griffons, geese and giant crane,
“A thousand mighty dragons we have gained!”
Then jealous of their speed, the hawk; of grace
was jealous crane; and dragons’ gawking gape,
“Alive has come the mountains, soaring chase,
Such power causes even dragons’ hearts to race!”
That flock of doom, retreated very few
Their numbers, power squashed by human fame.
The merciless invaders they had slew
But still did fly the mighty Freige, what shame
The dragons, lost of heart, to cry his name
To plead his soul return from Hade’s dream,
Yet wake he not; and howled they in pain
Then Heron, stirred of heart, turned west at scream,
Realizing flying snake was his beloved king!
To be continued…