Guest Poet Cheryl L. Higgins

The Spell

diamond pointed minarets 
pennants waiting for a sigh 
stones above the battlements 
fragile as the years go by

absent maidens' unbound hair 
towers at the drawbridge wait 
crystal in the thinning air 
shattered by the falcon's plaint

emptied lists of foreign knight 
errant of their title claim 
pass in silent clashless fight 
ghostly as they wait their fame

traveler-less a rutted track 
grassed and bramble over grown 
twists around on aimless tack 
leading whither yon and down

wild within the courtyard walls 
ancient orchard fruitless grown 
harvest not where seedless falls 
slumbers 'neath the paving stones

frozen at the city's gate 
masoned by a timeless spell 
iced with tears unheeded wait 
Queen'd by no one's tongue can tell

fracutred wrist held broken high 
nesting birds in sceptered hand 
waiting for the pennants' sigh 
come the wind and stir the land

if the wind should rise today 
wouldn't careless breezes bear 
crystal in the thinning air 
tales of but a moment there.

October, 1998

Cheryl L. Higgins's Questions:

The poem dictated its self and came out with four feet each line in each stanza, instead of 4,3,4,3.  Alternating rhyming worked well for it, and the improbablness aspect of it is in the fairy tale idea that a wanderer has come upon an ancient castle, seemingly frozen in time (by a spell); and their are shades and shadows of its inhabitants about it, including a statued queen before the city gates.

the use of the word "crystal" is more truly meant to mean "Crystalline", but the latter is an awkward word and I wanted crystal to work in its place.  That doesn't mean it does.  I am trying to come up with an adjective to describe the idea of fragile glass and  turrets and architecture aged by hundreds, maybe thousands of years into something that sort of shatters or falls apart in a delicate way - shatter ( a verb, I know) implies too much impact - tinkling is the right word, but I hate it, its a weird word, to describe the distant sound of, perhaps, glass pieces falling a long way down onto a stone pavement, or something.  I like crystal, its enough for me, but I have had others read this that couldn't like it or "get" it, so...Also, any other stanzas or images too ambiguous?  If contemplated, the images are sort of static, just something a traveler might see or sense passing by this ruin where little life or movement has been where time seems suspended while wating the breaking of the spell...Cheryl

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