The Web Poetry Corner
The Web Poetry Corner
Fort Lauderdale, FL, US
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To Bed a Witch
I've walked all day from Gloucestershire, along the lower road,
With neither a horse, nor two pennies to cross, determinedly I strode,
In boots of Spanish leather, as soft as the skin of the rich,
Over this haunted heather, to find, and bed, a Witch.
With no man to recommend me, nor tell me I'm better off dead,
I've come all this way in the chill of the day to sleep in a witch's bed.
For I've heard men tell of a lass in the dell who can turn a man's soul to stone,
So I'm headed straight there, to take her, I swear! And to hear that witch's moan.
Now, I haven't lost my soul, so far, to any flash of skirt,
And I've had them all, both big and small, on beds of satin, on beds of earth,
And it seems, to me, well worth it - to forfeit a soul or two,
To a witch who is able to take that soul, at any time, from you,
And if, in the morning, I rise to find that my soul has, indeed, been mislaid,
I'll be glad that its gone, that the deed has been done, even if that's the price I've paid.
For what is the cost of abandon? How much for one magical fling?
Stand out of my way, I'll happily pay to see what the night will bring!
And when, in another day or so, they notice I'm not at my table,
You tell them you're sure I found heaven and more, and did just as well as was able,
But don't let them mourn, for as sure as we're born, we are often better off dead,
But if that's true to say, then there's no better way, than to die in a witch's bed!
These are automatic days,
Days of predigested news,
Of pseudo-liberated views,
All live, on scene, by satellite,
Edited, concise abridgments,
Of all the news there is to know.
Harken to what I tell you, lads, I've no strength to say it twice,
If you're bent on hunting dragons, pray take ye my advice,
I was not always a crippled gray, I was once a young knight like you,
And the minstrels will tell you that in my day, I slew a dragon or two.
So pass that flagon of brandywine and kick the dogs away,
Chase the young maidens off to their beds, but have your squires stay.
Dread not, for I shall not bore you with tales of my glorious past,
But when face to face with a dragon, men, you've got to be thinking fast,
Ands it's best to have ready the knowledge you will need to carry the day,
So harken to what I tell you lads, lest there be a price to pay.
Once deciding to take on a dragon, try to learn all that you can,
Know well ahead if your dragon can fly, its length, its breadth and span,
Understanding its nature, its likes and dislikes, its limits as well as its powers,
May be your greatest weapon, boys, in those final bloody hours.
Refrain from taunting a dragon. Provide no provocation.
Keeping a calm demeanor may one day be your salvation.
A knight once offered a dragon a curse and was struck down before he spoke it,
A dragon, at best, is a dragon at worst - there's really no need to provoke it.
And bargaining with these bothersome beasts is never to be suggested,
As the friars at St. Bartholomew's Feast learned - before being digested!
But look a dragon in the eyes and dare not look away,
'Tis Fear that a dragon will most despise, and Courage it must obey,
And once engaging your deadly foe, neither falter nor hesitate long,
It's commonly held, as I'm sure you all know, that a dragon's as fast as he's strong.
Get right to the heart of the dragon, no dodging nor flailing about,
Just make a good start, aim straight for its heart, tear even the roots of it out!
Leave no part of the demon moving, stay well past the time when 'tis dead,
Be sure of the cure, and I tell you what's more, don't let him live on in your heart or your head.
Take no trophy, though it may be tempting to pin back your robes with its tooth,
Carry no part of it off with you, be content just to carry the truth,
Leave others to pick at the bones, if they must, leave minstrels to carry the tune,
There's no need to display that last dead dragon's head - when another may be along soon.
I suggest you rest up betwixt dragons, though you younger men feel no such need,
Stay fresh for the fight, store up all your might, and you young men now laughing, take heed:
I admit, once again, that I'm old and I'm gray, that my arms have grown heavy as lead,
But I've faced a few dragons and must now point out, I am here, while my dragons are dead!
So suffer to take an old knight's advise, for 'tis free, like the ale, for the listening,
And it all stands as true as that clear shade of blue seen in a dragon's eye glistening,
Well, I thank you all now, for lending your ears and indulging me in my repast,
To you young knights I leave all the dragons, and retire to my chambers at last.
St. Vincent's Green
One night, upon St. Vincent's Green, where I wandered restlessly,
The Devil sent his rider forth, and he rode straight up to me,
"What manner of lady walks," he asked, "at so perilous an hour?"
"A lady," I answered unafraid, "confident in her power."
"If you are truly unafraid, pray accept my dare:
if you do not fear the dragon, let me lead you to its lair -
I'll take you for the ride of your life before I lay you down."
Then he gave what seemed a knowing smile, and I met it with a frown.
"If you are some sorcerer, speak now of your intent!"
"Only to have my Lady and the night both fully spent,
For I know what you truly want and I know well what it's worth,
To bed you, Lady - to spread you, Lady, down on your Mother Earth."
"How can you claim to know me, or dare to be so bold?"
"I haven't the time for prettier words, the night is growing old,
Nor would I insult you so as to lead you along with lies,
When I undress you - as I will - I'll look you in the eyes,
And you will not say that I led you astray, but that you came willingly,
And that you begged to be taken, and taken by only me.
So run from me now, or never. Ride with the Devil or hide!"
He extended his hand and he laughted at me...
I took it, and said, "I'll ride!"
He pulled me up behind him, then snapped the horse's rein,
And I knew as we rode out into the night, I would never be the same,
But I held no thought of turning back, as into the night we flew,
The time had come, and I knew it, to give the Devil his due.
Now, in my life, I thought I'd walked ever inch of St. Vincent's Green,
But this rider galloped out of time, to places I'd never been,
Then he took me! Without asking for, nor gaining, my consent,
Selfishly and firmly, without mercy, without relent,
Ignoring each little resistance, bending my will to his own,
Touching me as I'd never been touched and thrilling me to the bone,
He took more than I offered, leaving not even my soul,
Then left me there with grass in my hair while into the night he stole.
And, after moments or lifetimes, I finally awoke,
Cold and alone in a circle of stones, wrapped only in my cloak.
Now, some women feel, for love to be real, it's got to be given - gladly,
But I know that it's true, at least for a few, that love must be taken - madly.
And I know if I'm ever given the choice to ride with the Devil or hide,
I'll once again stand, take hold of his hand, and say with a will, "I'll ride!"
For although I often tell myself that it was all a dream,
I know that I got what I wanted, that night on St. Vincent's Green.
I used to know these woods,
I'd run, anticipating every rock,
every rut, each slant of the earth
along these paths.
Now, I hesitate, wary and unsure,
treading carefully and
trying to look far ahead and behind myself -
I know these woods much better now.
If, one night, I should come a-riding,
up the path and past your door,
calling, yet not quite inviting
you to join me on the moor,
would you don your boots and follow?
Could you leave your lonely fire?
Might you answer to my call and
let me tempt you to conspire?
Would you taste the wine if offered?
Sip it, or drink heartily?
If I dared to come a-flriting,
would you take the dare from me?
Do you find my questions threatening,
or their asking all too bold?
The challenge is to what you're fearing,
and the secrets that you hold.
She was redded head and he was guy,
The first time they went twane,
He bulsed her on her kitzenfrig,
And she blushed and poked his gain,
They both stood twill in full entire,
As fight nell on the boon,
And when they'd flot their bilt desire,
They welt in utter swoon.
Now they dill in the newly bog,
And feast on fill and dryne,
While biddlekits flay at their pleet,
And watch the tame blow by.
But sometimes, when the nill is blair,
And the sulls call sweet goodite,
They speak in sofly husherwisps,
Of the days when their herth grased light.
Ode to Parker's Bar And Grill
Let me take you down, good friend, to Parker's Bar and Grill,
If you don't have a good time there, I guess you never will!
The day begins with breakfast, and Margaret serves it up,
No need to wait for coffee, just get your own damn cup.
But if you like your eggs poached, don't bother Sweet Joanne,
She can't get the process down, but Margaret surely can.
Frank and Buck will be there, to greet you with good cheer,
While Clifford holds a stool down and drinks his breakfast beer.
But Parker's starts to rockin; at "beer-thirty" on the dot,
On Thursday nights, the beer is cold and the wings are "fucking hot".
Captain Belford gets there early, to try to beat the crowd,
And leaves an hour later 'cause the juke box is too loud.
Dave Temens can be counted on to cruise up on his bike,
There's not a soul at Parker's Bar that David doesn't like.
Paul will slip in quietly and find his favorite stool,
And Joan is always standing by to kick your ass a pool,
Dave Somners comes in after work for just one drink, or two,
He can't stay long, he 's got to get back home to "honey-do".
But count on seeing Gail and Wade and Kim and Fred for Certain,
And Chrissy D. is telling jokes, while Johnny Jones is flirtin'.
B.J.'s drinking iced tea, while Connie's slinging brew,
Jean, the owner, is captain, but works as hard as the crew.
Before the beer gets very low, you'll hear them shout for Jan,
Whose task it is to re-supply, as quickly as she can.
Pascal thinks that the folks there are the finest, you can bet,
He came, one day, from Switzerland, and hasn't gone home yet!
The Eastern Shore has nothing more to offer but the best,
And people down at Parker's are a cut above the rest,
So here's a toast to all the folks at Parker's Bar and Grill,
One you've met 'em, you can't forget 'em - I know I never will!
Men Aren't Dogs (A Country-Western Tune)
Men aren't dogs,
Dogs have courage and honesty,
Character and loyalty,
No, men aren't dogs.
A dog can understand the rules of living,
And even learn a simple trick or two,
And a dog can always find his way back home again,
(That's more than lots of men out there can do!)
No dog that you've fed would ever hurt you,
And I've never heard one cheat or tell a lie,
And you'll never have a dog that would desert you,
When's the last time some dog made you cry?
So believe me when I tell you there's a difference,
Between dogs and men and here's how you can tell...
You've heard the saying 'All dogs go to Heaven'?
Well most the men out there can go to Hell.
Blueblack wings throught dried and splintered trees,
With unabashed intent you dare
to haunt such dying woods as these,
To probe and peck the wet brown leaves
lay pressed against the fence
that spans the field across the way.
Rogue and noble,
keeping watch with scavenger's dark eyes the passing grey,
Then cocks... and springs,
to cheat the cold November day.
The Wind's been in my chimes all night,
I've watched them dance to my delight,
Ringing hollow melodies into the soft night air.
Damp grass and Night Blooming Jasmine,
Mix in mystic combinations,
Bringing ancient glamor and romance
On the breezes puffing at my hair,
(And two racoons out on patrol go by as if I were not here)
I turn my body over to the power of my soul,
And feel my spirit buffeted by the breeze.
A low hummmm in my arms and legs,
And then I'm out with practiced ease.
What an edge the Night has then!
What electrical clarity!
And I know again exactly where it is that I fit in,
And see all the magic of my probabilities.
Till something (the racoons?) interrupts from my immediate reality.
A Simple Man
And then one day a man came,
a man of simple thread,
carrying the secrets of the future in his head.
He had tried to keep them in the safe,
but he knew that they would blast,
and the secrets of the future
would be scattered on the past.
His saddlebags were empty,
his hands were empty, too,
but his blistered, twisted fingers
bore the scars of what he knew.
He had tried to keep them hidden,
but the wounds began to bleed.
When he put them in his pockets,
he got bloodstains on the deed.
A tired man, of simple thread,
a man who worked the earth,
and his only fatal error
was an accident of birth.
Now he thinks about a woman,
how he had to let her go.
She had bourne him seven children,
where they were, he didn't know.
He had lain her gently in the safe,
though he knew that they would blast.
Now the woman of his future
bears the burden of his past.
The wind is not inconstant
here one day
The wind does not die down
There is only one wind
It is that same ancient wind that blew
the stinging sands to round the temple stones
three thousand years ago
which rushed up last week's littered city streets
which kissed the baby's brow this morming
There is only one wind
It is that same wind which tugged at hand-sewn sails
one hundred years ago
which will tease clean clothes
on lines strewn across a grecian courtyard
It is that same wind which calls me tonight
by my secret name
There is only one wind
In the grey places are dark people
Who are singers of secret songs,
Thinkers of secret thoughts,
And doers of secret wrongs.
In the dark places are grey people
Who are bearers of worn out knives,
Wearers of worn out clothes,
Living their worn out lives.
In all the dark, grey, wasted places
Are people who were never born,
And who have always died,
And who can never go back home.
I can smell the rain
when sulfur-scented winds
do fill the air
and everything is grey
although the sound of green is everywhere.
I can taste the summer
when sticky-salty leaves
are on the trees
and everything is dry
although the smell of rain is everywhere.
I can hear the darkness
when long-forgotten voices
fill my head
and everything is cold
although the tastes and smells and sounds
of warmer times are everywhere.
The Virgin Bride of Magdalene
I walked straight back to Magdalene,
the moment I was free,
I could have run, I should have run,
But then where would I be?
My wedding gifts are yet unpacked,
My husband waits without,
The priest is here, my kin are near,
They tiptoe all about.
The women all look saddened,
The men all whisper, "Shame."
They cry for me, or sigh for me,
But no one speaks my name.
Just yesterday, I had their love,
They envied me, I know,
With warming kisses, with warning kisses,
They said they loved me so.
My one true love, or so I thought,
Stood beaming by my side,
I'd waited years, unsated years,
To be his virgin bride.
And when the priest said, "Man and wife,"
I saw my husband's face,
The man I loved, I thought I loved,
Took me in strong embrace.
He whispered, "Now, at last, you're mine,
You'll never leave my side."
I couldn't know, he couldn't know,
How soon he'd lose his bride.
'Twas then we heard the hoofbeats,
Of the Sheriff and his men,
Come urgently, so urgently,
Like thunder 'cross the glen!
I knew, of course, why they had come,
My husband knew it, too;
To make a claim, to stake a claim,
To bring the King his due.
For we are all but vassals,
He owns us, one and all,
It is his right, his royal right,
To take a lass on her wedding night!
I fought, at first, his wicked touch,
But knew I could not win,
He is the King, he is my king,
I let myself give in.
And somewhere, in the dark of night,
The woman in me waked,
And wanted him, and taunted him,
Until my body ached.
So now I sit inside the home,
We built with our own hands,
My husband's house, poor husband's house,
And pray he understands.
I cannot be his loving lass,
I cannot bear his ring,
Because my heart, my only heart,
Was given to the King!
There is but one solution now,
And by this vow, I'm bound,
To pull apart this untrue heart,
And lay it in the ground.
So pray for me when I am gone,
But don't repeat my story,
They must not know, he must not know,
I died in lust, not glory.
Just dig my grave outside the fence,
My secret never tell,
I'll take my love, my cursed love,
To burn with me in Hell.