Saturday, October 20, 2018

THE FAIRY'S CAVE Part III "Dark Disposition" by Charles A. Swanson

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Dark Disposition,” Part III of The Fairy’s Cave, an epic fantasy narrative poem by Charles A. Swanson.  The poem will be published as a four-part series on successive Fridays in October.  The first installment, “Elf Bolts,” and a biography of the poet were presented on October 5 LINK.  The second installment, “Purple Polka-Dotted Mushrooms,” was presented on October 12 LINK.

"Swoon" Ink on Paper
By J. Artemus Gordon
The Fairy’s Cave
Charles A. Swanson

III. Dark Disposition

They came again, the little girl, auburn
tresses dancing like sunlit butterflies,
the dark-eyed boy. The fairy-elf watched them,
first dim against the cave mouth’s morning,
then merging with shadows in the grotto.
As Claudius so hungrily hoped, the boy spied
the polka-dotted mushrooms, but he turned away,
not tempted. He continued the words
he was already darting at her. Why was he
speaking crossly? Why was she smiling?
Eat some of the mushrooms, you rude brat,
Claudius willed. His fairy power held both
check and scope—he could not force
the boy, nor lay a hand upon him. Breathe
he could do, and he sent out that breath,
magic like pollen, magic that suggested,
magic that tempted, magic that made
the wartiest toad into a precious gemstone.
Take me up, the mushrooms crooned. No
treacle is half so sweet. The fairy willed:
Eat them. Become so baleful she’ll turn

with loathing from your dark, deep eyes.

Poet’s Notes for “Dark Disposition”:  Whose nature is the more corrupt?  That of the elf, or that of the boy?  Or, perhaps, the darkest mind is that of the girl, who seems to like the boy no matter how rudely he speaks?

The elf, as in many stories, cannot harm directly, but he can tempt.  The charm in this case also would not maim or kill, but it would make the ungracious boy yet more detestable.  Who will be able to stand such an arrogant churl?

Surely, Prince Charming did not win the day by being Prince Hateful?  The fairy has no doubt about the efficacy of his plan.   After all, he does live in a fairy-tale world with fairy-tale endings.

Editor’s Note:  Readers should plan to return to Songs of Eretz Poetry Review next Friday, October 26, for the fourth and final installment of The Fairy’s Cave, “The Bad Boy Effect.”

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