XII- Prophecy

A young man stands still in the Soothsayer’s shack

“It is not strength, but patience you lack” ,

the seer says beneath a tattered hood

in a drafty cabin to the north of the wood

The knight huffs and turns upon his heel

but stops at the sound of a wheel’s dying squeal

A gentle voice gives thanks for a safe night passage

the crone asks the knight if he’s heard the old adage

regarding the actions of wise men and fools

of the ways in which our hearts rule

Before he can give the seer reply

the form of a maiden catches his eye

She opens her mouth but finds words she lacks

The knight then says “aye, this be the soothsayer’s shack”

He watches as she passes through the door frame

and from the old woman learns her name

But before he can ask of midnight passage

and her thoughts on a certain old adage

The seer’s eyes blacken and roll

her body contorts as the spirits take hold

The oracle speaks:

“I see a fighter, valiant and true,

a kind leader betrayed by two

but as the sun sets, so it shall rise

and there is power in knowing their lies

But for now, you must wait,

trust blindly in fate,

The pale rider stands by

with his discerning eye

Mind the cups that you pour,

and how the birds soar

With your people make good,

learn the ways of the wood

Heed the words of the Fool,

his irreverence for rule

for the Bard will sing tales

of how the wicked shall fail

You will bathe upon the hill

find your cups to be refilled

Two lovers will sit under the sun and the moon

Lovers they shall stay until they are entombed”


Color returns to the oracle’s eyes

Her body releases and she lets out a sigh

Go children, she says, there is much to be done

and as I have spoken, you must be the ones

The seer collapses onto the bedroll

in her shack

Go, she says, you cannot turn back






XI- Warning

Snow falls onto a castle spire

and a princess sits, near burned by the fire

Peasant children play in the grounds below but it’s not a pleasure the princess knows

Her hands are gentle, soothed by fragrance and oil

Bathed in milk and honey, she dons the jewels of a royal

Her skin is untouched by the Pauper’s sun,

She longs to pick flowers, if only just one

Bells from the church break blasphemous thought

though a feeling nags, her status is for naught

She finds her warmest cloak, ties its strings beneath her throat

slips past the guard and treks to the yard


The jester she finds drunken and merry

as if he’d just eaten bush-berry

She pulls her hood tight, her presence he’d make light

She tries to sneak past, but the his will outlasts

yet instead of his rousing frolick and play,

he inches in to say:


“Dear Heiress, I am glad you are here

There is deception from those who are near

Though she feigns quite demure,

our queen is impure

Yes, there is another who desires your riches,

and the queen will do as she wishes

Because for those who seek power,

There is no shame in stomping a flower


The soothsayer waits in the wood past town

but you must halt until the sun goes down

Do as you please, but I felt you should know,

as we all have times in which we must go-

But heed this, princess, whatever you choose

the hearts of your people, you shall never lose

Return to the castle at once, my liege,

your citizens ensure you will travel with ease”


The princess pulls back the hood of her cloak

to find she is surrounded by solemn townsfolk

Deeply they bow as she treks through the snow

Burdened with thoughts of family turned foe

She enters her chambers to find a lady in wait,

with worry in her face and panic in her gait


“The queen seeks your ear, your counsel she desires

She waits in the hall in her seat by the fire

but there is a man of whom I’ve never seen

The look in his eyes is of a frightful dream

Forgive me, princess, if I speak out of turn

I may be a fool, but my stomach, it churns”


The princess nods, embraces her lady in wait

grazes her cheek and wipes the tear from her face

She looks to the sun hanging low in the sky,

thinks of the Fool and his knowledge of lies


“If it is truly counsel my queen desires,

then I shall meet her in hell, in her seat by the fire”



X- Crossroads

Two wanderers stop

where the dirt paths merge

She is coy, curious; He is brave, bold

Eyes catch and fall ignorant

to the sun winking behind the trees

He, from the East

and Her, the West

seek out the North and South but

carelessness has darkened their path

and the roads promise danger

As the sun and moon dare

to share the sky, She

looks to the star, smiles, and

grips His hand

They break from the Path

into the twilight of the Wood

and halt in an open field


She has been here before,

(though in a less willful time)

and calls his attention

to the shimmering breeze,

to the formation of a door,

Amethyst and gold flickering

in the dimming rays

and a seductive, slender handle

reflected in their widened eyes

She runs Her hand

along the golden frame,

touches her cheek to the stone,

and looks at Him with expectation


He looks to the cloudless sky

and back to his companion’s

darkening face

She watches Him reach

for the handle’s engraving

The pair jumps as it clicks,

hesitant of discovery

Deep purple opens into pearlescent black,

darkness that ripples at His touch

Brazen, bold, He pierces the veil

with a calloused hand

then turns to Her, smiles and

slips into the unyielding depths

She shivers, chilled by the knowing wind,

and stares into the void

His hand reappears,

silent offering for her own

She looks to the star filled sky

and coy, curious, She interlocks

her dainty fingers with His

and follows Him into the Abyss



IX- Heirophant

Atop the hill he stood,

steadfast, immovable

revered by the castle

and the land beneath its spires

Bards spun tales of his skill,

his grace, and the wounds

that would lead him to his cave

He peers out from within

the rock face, motion slowed

by his fairweather gait

and looks beyond the hill

beyond a warrior’s pride

beyond the wildflowers

who would wither within

the disorder of the seasons

Through the marigolds,

a young man appears

valiance written

on his unburdened face

The withered knight

steps into the mid-day sun

to greet the hero seeking

his hard-earned wisdom






VIII- Sunrise

Naked, I bathe in the glow

of still, solemn rays

that, like me, have

boldly chosen to rise again

I am golden in the early

hours, the wispy bits

of daylight before dreams

disrupt in the fullness of day

This moment is my own,

stolen from the Gods

It is an elusive peace of which

I’ve long since earned my keep

VII- Bard

The twang of a lute

summons all to the maiden

though there are rumors,

suspicions that it is not her words,

nor song, nor beguiling dance

that brings attention to her show

It is the glimmer in her eye,

the rose in her cheek, a finger

free from gold

She denies as quickly

as she captivates, but

her lonesome eye lingers

upon the waning sun–

How much time was spent

picking at her strings?


VI- Jester

The fool dances in the square

Drunken, merry spectacle

for the rigid, reserved

Assumed unskilled,

wasteful, nothing

to gain, little to prove

But in his secret world,

he holds memories, stories

wished forgotten, knots

he yearns to loosen with

each unsteady step

The fool waits, watches,

remembers, even in

the barking crowd, he knows

how to clear his path

V- Visions

Bronzed skin catches dying light

Muscles flex, heaving, at the end of the chase

Her breath slows, though she sits anxious still

She waits for the wood to darken–

she moves best in the moonlight

A familiar bush sits to her left

and she smirks, pinches a berry and crushes it in her teeth

A curious wind twists through the trees

and the light shifting in the foliage

bounces, echoing opalescence

through the heaviness of night

The wild woman embraces

this chosen disorientation, and

falls into the fragrance

of jasmine and pine

The moon focuses its glow upon

her sun-beaten brow, and she directs

her gaze toward the stars

drinking in their milky glow

IV- Pauper

Coins fall through a poorly sewn pocket,

and clatter dully on the cobblestone.

An opulent, imposing carriage

rolls thoughtlessly over the copper.

The Lord and Lady inside peer out,

eyes locking with the friendly layman’s

soot streaked smile, though they prefer

distance over satisfied curiosity.


As the Lord turns, the Lady winks,

and shining, jingling drops

trickle from the open carriage window.

The poor-man nods a kind goodbye,

scoops the gold into his leathery,

well-worked hand, and drops it

into the pocket without a hole.

III- Flight

I cling to mountain rock

weary from fruitless migration.

Wind tussles my feathers,

bids me unwelcome.

Ancient oak whispers of wisdom,

promises peace.

Coquettish waves push and pull,

winking an invitation.

I release my talons

and dive into the open air.

I seek guidance in the valley;

there are answers in

the world between.