Icefire the dragon heard the soft clop of the horseshoes through the snow and knew a knight approached his bridge. His sensitive nose sniffed out that this was a rider from the East, one of the King’s men. Under normal circumstances, Icefire would come out from under the bridge and burn up the knight, which would indeed be a pleasure. But these were extraordinary times.
Last summer, Icefire had met a princess in the forest. Not just any princess, but the fairest maiden ever born. Instead of being afraid of him, the little princess had given him a bouquet of flowers. Icefire had fallen in love! He’d given her his pledge of honor. Anything in the world that she wanted, he would do for her.
She’d asked only one thing: please don’t kill her father’s knights when they crossed the bridge.
Hmph. It certainly went against a dragon’s nature not to set fire to a knight, but Icefire had his bouquet of dried flowers to remind him of his promise.
So many songs and sayings tell you to “live for today” in one way or another, but isn’t love an implicit promise of tomorrow? Today is simply the downpayment on your relationship house, which by its nature contains rooms full of tomorrows. If you’re focused only on today’s pleasures, you’re playing in an empty field and will run away when it starts to rain because there’s no structure to shelter you. The flowers you pluck from the field of today will die in your hands, leaving you with nothing. Yet ironically tomorrow never does actually arrive, does it?
I chose “If I Were A Carpenter,” written by Tim Hardin in 1967 and covered by many artists, most notably Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, to further describe this concept. Their 1970 version placed at No. 2 on the country music chart.
Save your love through loneliness Save your love through sorrow I gave you my onlyness Give me your tomorrow
Under a bruised sky, Love has passed me by. Golden days Streak my mind’s eye, And I lock them away, A distant glimmer Lost in memory’s haze. No need for the tease Of hope on replay, The false shimmer, Illusion’s trapeze. I’ll revel in the dark With the burned out stars.
Kent Lavoie (“Lobo”) wrote DEMTBYF for his 1972 album Of A Simple Man. It peaked at No. 8 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the US, and stayed at No. 1 for two weeks on US Easy Listening. It is a pretty song and easy to listen to… unless you’re actually paying attention to the lyrics, in which case, it’s really sad. At least, to me it is.
You always act so happy when I see you You smile that way you take my hand and then Introduce me to your latest lover That’s when I feel the walls start crashing in.
I love you too much to ever start liking you So let’s just let the story kinda end I love you too much to ever start liking you So don’t expect me to be your friend.
Yeah. I’m not one of those who hope that a man I once loved will find bliss with someone else. Pffft on that. He should regret messing things up with me and pine away forever for my awesomeness!
Every day I watched the girl. She had a pet fawn named Blanco And kept a brush up her long sleeves To groom his gleaming white coat.
One day I smelled fish cooking On smoking mesquite wood; My instincts took over And I crept up to the door Where the girl and Blanco played.
I did not apologize, But stared boldly, My intentions exposed. For I am a cat, Vain and proud, And that is what we do.
Luckily, it turned out, She could love me too.
Poetry Prompt via Robert Peake (get yours!). Include as many of the following words (or variations on these words) as you can: forgetful, blanco, total, vanquished, physical, traced, chestnuts, apologize, exposed, persons, sleeves, instincts, vain, mesquite, razor. Also: Include a familiar smell.
I had so much to say About yesterday’s pain– Vaguely familiar names, The streets, the café. I walked where we talked;
“Meet me in Brea!”
Memory-dazed, I felt the shame, Looking for a trace Of recognition Or benediction In a strange face, A flash of a gaze.
“Meet me in Brea.”
I walked off your words, Until the echoes Around my brain (“Meet me in Brea”) Faded to gray; Twice, thrice, past that café, The cupcake place, The theater… All ceased to matter. It was just another city.
Meetmeinbrea: Chant the sounds, Like a prayer. Amen.
It might be a thousand years Before the stars Line up again like this; One last incandescent kiss As the light diminishes And five million miles of dark Ribbon out In a long slow Deathless march.
Eons pass; A glacier cracks; Again the moon Hangs low and blue. Did she count the waves While I waited for you? The tide pulls us into alignment: Two frozen souls Circling Space and time.
I’ve lain with a hundred men And felt nothing; Yet your gaze burns my skin From across an ocean. Tectonic plates shake When we touch At last— Mountains collapse; The earth splits in half.
We retreat, Our cosmology incomplete; Resigned to the separation, The endless analysis and division, The rebalance and reposition, Until equilibrium settles over the seas. We drift once again To opposite ends Of this lonely galaxy.
“Uh, a lifetime alone, doing whatever you please, fantasizing about some ridiculous perfect love that doesn’t exist with an impossibly handsome man performing heroic deeds and then seducing you into crazy, gravity-defying sex.”
Zelda gazed up at the stars. “I’ll have to think about it.”