Wednesday 21 February 2007

The Joust

This poem was written as a result of a recurring dream. I suffer from several interesting sleep problems including clinical insomnia and lucid dreams; night terrors are a common occurance in my sleeping brain. Sometimes though my dreams are like movies, incredibly "real" and I experience them as if they were happening. The scene below is one that haunted many a dream until I found the words to write it. What it means I still don't know; is it something I saw in a past life or a symbol of feminist struggle in a patriarchal society that filtered into my subconscious? Or did I read it somewhere or was it that i ate too much cheese? All I know is on some level I did witness it, watched her walk, understood the story and its significance and I lay it out for you here.

The Joust

Holding a sword like a talisman
Weighed down
under it’s deadly weight
It’s cold beauty mocking her
Her arms aching
Straining every sinew to hold it high
As high as her head
as high as her heart

And across the courtyard she catches his eye
In shame he looks away
Only one person took the challenge
And the champion of the Queen
Was afraid
Held his life and watched her walk
Unsteady into the lists:
The queen’s own child, his princess,
His reproach.

And as the roar of the crowd
Swelled in disbelief
She swung once
With hope
With honour
Once more
With pride
And all with faith.

Holding the sword like a talisman
She became legend
Warrior queen
Cold beauty mocking A haunting dream.


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