ODOP: Questing Time

A very rough draft, but I think it shows promise. Constructive criticism very much appreciated on this one, it’s going to go through a lot of rewrites.

Dolphine, in the act of naming,
received her curse: waking and sleeping,
she’d hear the rush of
the Daffer’s blood in her head

a moody child, and an awkward teen
a strange and foreign weight in her lungs
not even in her sleep free of it
slowed as she was with echoes of hatred

the sage came, came one of those few
days she could work for her keep in the fields
and she left her scythe and ran to him
and pled for the power to clean her head

“Not even — much less — the Daffer’s death
a cure; unless it be by your own hand.
if another takes him first, unlikely thing,
his part in you does conquer you. Take my sword.”

the indignation! the almost-tears!
the words which she scorned them with
and stomped her feet, and swept
from them, and vowed her own pacific quest

travailed caves and dunes and magic things
sacred cups, and wicked waters
she hiked barefoot and supplicant
until in the mountainside she found

spiky ancient letters
confirming her hopes
of a mystic and fleshless solution
that insipid modernity had forgot

that the common folk had forgot
and cast away in tale
that her wise teachers had hid from her
for their own mislead whys

going further, going deeper,
she found the headdress of the sage
and placed it over her own
twin ears, and waited only to find

the pulse of Daffer’s magnified
till hers synced with it, with him —
the lord of darkling hatreds
loathed throughout the countryside

feared through the green country!
raged against even by the sickly,
tattered, twisted remains
of his own soul

love your neighbor as yourself
now, battled in warm soul-spittle,
only dead, dressed in cypress,
beatless and breathless, could she love herself

She sharpened her knife and
went to the sage and
placed a dry kiss on his feet.
He hit her with it, had her sharpen it right.

He taught her how to angle one’s hit,
to roll and dive, and bite one’s lip,
to parry lies with liars (and, worse,
with truthful souls), and how with a string

and a hook to unlock hidden things,
to bite one’s other lip, and kill
to fight by the stars, and track by night…
and sent her forth like a rat to the wheel

and oh it was exciting but foregone
how she brought down his guards with sickness,
put a merely crooked man in his place
after she stabbed him nine times in the chest

and she is gracious now and graceful
and if her mind is like a dry wind
and her heart’s unwarmable
at least her blood is quiet now, and she does sleep

this ends the tale of Dolphine
who, ten years before the death
of the prince, rejected the violence of our sages
but found it again

Oh, yeah, and the names suck; I welcome those suggestions most of all. Copyright 2010 Jobey George.

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