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Poetry by Shigé Clark

"Let the battered heart rejoice"

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fairy tale

The Dragon

The Dragon

Theme Week: Fairy Tales Retold – 3

No More Nonsense

This crown that I am forced to wear,
Has grown so heavy on my head,
Made up of curling spikes of gold
But pressing down like gnarled lead.

My people look to me to end
The curse that twists our vibrant land,
That turns our whimsy into fright
And forces darkness from my hand.

The wizard knave that sent this curse
Has long since fled, and barred the gate.
He locked a shrunken door behind
And left us to an eerie fate.

The hatter now sits in his yard
And boils mice to make his tea,
The cheshire’s grin has grown so wide
He feasts on those that pass his tree.

We can bear no more children here,
So we grew daughters out of seeds,
Flowers that cut their brothers down
For fear their difference made them weeds.

The madness spreads across the land
(I feel its fingers scrape my mind)
And I must cease its sickly sweep
Before it ruins all our kind.

And so find I must execute
Those who have gone beyond our reach.
My edicts come in snapping rage,
Because I mourn the life of each.

But one has come into my realm,
Who somehow passed the shrunken door
Not of this place, not of this plague,
We are not hopeless anymore!

The logic brought from outside worlds
Could cure my kingdom of this curse!
But she joins with the tainted ones
And only makes the madness worse

I have the stranger brought to court
She is a pale and fragile child
A lovely flower, sweet and small,
Why did it have to grow so wild?

The sorrow stains my weary voice,
The sentence falls, “Off with her head.”
Pale roses make me think of her,
And so I have them painted red.

– s. Clark

Theme Week: Fairy Tales Retold – 2

The Sleeping Death

She didn’t know what allergies were,
she only wanted
to see the tree
stepmother had planted,
that grew in the meadow
somewhere on their farm
passed the brook on the east side,
but before the fence.

She left stepmother
staring into the bedroom mirror,
babbling to it
as she did every day
since the day father died,
and took the path she knew so well,
down passed the brook,
and on to the meadow.

She met the huntsman on her way,
coming back out of the wood
with his latest kill.
He said she should not wander,
that supper would be coming soon,
as would the dark,
but the apple tree was so grand
against the sunset,
all clumsy spilling out,
dropping its fruit on the grassy floor.

Just a bite,
not even enough to spoil supper,
and then off skipping home.
But as she walked,
her feet grew so tired,
her lips itched, her throat swelled.

She couldn’t breathe,
and as she laid down amidst the meadow,
with the trees
so suddenly dark and menacing
with branches like reaching fingers,
her soft skin faded white as snow
stained by rose-red lips,
and she fell asleep.

– s. Clark

Theme Week 1: Fairy Tales Retold

Neverland

The second star into the east,
And ride it until time has ceased
Leave all your duties in your trail
Of starlight. Breathe the clouds, and sail
Into the endless span of night.
With faith, and trust, and dust, take flight.

Come follow me, just take my hand,
I’ll lead you on to Neverland
Where you aren’t needed anymore.
Let burdens go. Be free, explore!
Just– take care in the ocean caves,
Lest merfolk drown you in the waves.

Release your worries, have some fun!
There are no tasks here to be done.
There’s no one who can tell you “no”,
Nowhere you’re not allowed to go.
But still– beware the woods at night,
Just to be safe… Don’t leave the light.

Here you can start your life all new,
If you would rather not be you.
New names and faces are just fine,
So let your memories slip your mind.
You’ll lose them as you linger on,
And you won’t even know they’re gone.

Come play with me– I’m so alone
I’ve been so long here on my own.
I’ll take you from the life you fear,
And trade it for the danger here.
Just listen to the song of Pan,
You’re never leaving Neverland.

– s. Clark

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