Friday, October 12, 2018

THE FAIRY'S CAVE Part II "Purple Polka-Dotted Mushrooms" by Charles A. Swanson

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Purple Polka-Dotted Mushrooms,” Part II 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

"Purple Polka-Dots" Ink & Watercolor on Paper
By J. Artemus Gordon
The Fairy’s Cave
Charles A. Swanson

II. Purple Polka-Dotted Mushrooms

He thought, troll, but his only troll buddy,
Bones-Sniff-and-Burp, was, dare I say it,
trolling somewhere in the bowels of the earth.
The little elf admired Sniff’s gait,
somewhat lumbering, somewhat loose-armed,
for Sniff shook the rocks when he gamboled,
while little Claudius—that was, alas,
the little fairy’s name—such a name
to grow into, and he would never grow,
but as I was saying, Claudius coveted
Sniff’s ground-trembling tramping,
for Claudius barely skimmed the earth.
So, no troll; no other troll did he trust.
Clever as he was, he gathered spores
of drowsy, nightmare-inducing mushrooms.
His fairy eyes could see moonbeams,
even the translucent dreams of other fairies,
so why not spores? He puffed his palm
into a dim corner of wood-chips, sawdust,
straw, and waited for mushrooms to appear.
Before that boy, that brat-boy he hated

peeped into the cave, a fairy bed beckoned.

Poet’s Notes for “Purple Polka-Dotted Mushrooms”: The story advances with the fairy’s desire to win the girl.  That he can never have her, not in a physical way, does not stop his delusion.  

A bit of the restaurant, The Mellow Mushroom, came into my mind as I dreamed how the fairy could work his mischief.  The Mellow Mushroom creates an atmosphere of the psychedelic '60s.  I breathe patchouli when I enter, whether there’s a real scent of it in the air or not.  And I have to order pizza with mushrooms.  It’s a given.

With this poem, the narrative moves further into the fantasy realm and further away from the realistic and human dynamic of a boy and a girl at play.  Trolls, purple-polka dotted mushrooms, and heightened senses of a supernatural nature all seem fair game.  Yet the boy, the human boy, is the elf’s nemesis.

Editor’s Note:  The development of Claudius' character is interesting to follow, enhanced by the speaker's sprinkling of ironic humor. Readers should plan to return to Songs of Eretz Poetry Review next Friday, October 19, for Part III of The Fairy’s Cave, “Dark Disposition.”

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