The Wizard’s Son

My friend Claire sent me this pome on a postcard. My address is “Seven Pines”, hence the theme.

Seven Pines they grew
To trap the wizard’s son
Seven trunks weeping sap
To stop him in his steps
Seven sets of branches
To cage him ’round
The raven his gaoler
The squirrel his mess-cook
(Acorns on the menu, always)
But at least, on certain nights-
There were dryads for company
Seven sisters with hair like
blue spruce in the moonlight
and rough hands
and lips that tasted of resin.

And I thought it was lovely, so I endeavored to respond in kind. Unfortunately my brain took off with it and I could not rein it in. Eventually I had to just chop it off unfinished. It’s not as good as hers, but it does have rhyme and meter, sort of.

Seven times seven
Years lay ‘neath the pines
The wizard’s son.

Twixt branches glimpsed he
Sky, cloud, star and shine
Of Moon and Sun.

Asked he nightly of
His gaoler Raven,
“What lies beyond?”

It answered always
With silence craven;
‘Twould not respond.

Aked he daily of
His chatt’ring mess-cook;
“What of the world?”

But answered only
With a stern look
From silent squirr’l.

Asked he often of
Each dryad nursemaid;
“Whence comes the Sun?”

They answered never,
His questions for-bade
By ev’ry one.

Until a serpent
Wise with venom, and
Seeking mis-chief

Slithered ‘tween the boughs,
Lay beside his hand
Off’ring relief.

Honeyed tongue a-drip
Worm professed to know
What lay outside

Offered it to tell,
Mayhap, even, show
“Please, yes!” he cried.

“Then you must swear a
Solemn oath that one
Thing will be true:

That you will lend me
Aid as I have done
This night for you.”

And so he swore, and
So the serpent bade
Him bare his wrist,

With all the guile with
Which a serpent’s made,
It gently kiss’d.

The wizard’s son lay
Down to sleep at once
Among the roots

Perchance to dream of
Foreign climes, strange hunts,
Forbidden fruits.

Squirrel was the first,
When breakfast he brought,
To find him cold.

Raven and dryad,
With sobs all a-fraught
And unconsol’d.

Perhaps she will write more, I do not know.


~ by oberon the fool on May 30, 2012.

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