The First Sonnet: Words in Vain

Note: My first attempt at writing in an Iambic pentameter. Phew, that was hard. Fun, but hard. Inspired loosely by the Dune series. As in, I had Lady Jessica in my mind a lot when I was writing this… Muad’Dib’s mother.. Don’t know why.. :\

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The words I know, and moments sunk in time

cannot suffice to mend this burning sphere

For I am lost in words that no more rhyme

and ghosts of people who were never here

It scares me that this world is changed to fire,

A desert fuelled by hate and crude despair

And all of these betrayals leave me tired

Cannot one see how hard I tried to care?

May I tell you a secret? We could stay;

and I could swear to never speak of Rain

Within your deep embrace I’d find escape,

Though we both know I bleed these words in vain,

For there is little you would have me say

And I love you in ways words can’t explain.

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The Night Begins

He came to her, as he always did, to their chosen secret place, and she smiled as he appeared, breathing heavily from the long walk uphill.

“You’re too happy”, he grumbled, even before she’d managed to greet him.

“Sorry”

He sighed, “Don’t be like that.”

“Okay.”

Damian frowned, but couldn’t bring himself to say anything further. After all, she had returned to see him again, just as she had said she would. He knew it must not be easy. The tired lines around her eyes as she turned to smile at him made him feel a twinge of guilt. But he shivered at the thought of that empty, aching loneliness which was just waiting to envelop him once she was gone for good, and he cast aside those feelings of guilt. Now was not the time.

Cerid was watching him closely, a strange expression on her face as she watched Damian’s distracted frown go through a series of minor transformations, until he suddenly snapped his icy gray eyes on to her warmer brown ones, and even though she smiled comfortingly at him, the haunted look in his tired eyes made her want to cry.

But, Cerid had not cried since the war had ended. Not once. Not even when she had spent two weeks watching Damian destroy everything around him, until the cursing and swearing and whiskey and screaming was all done with, and all that remained in its place was his pale gaunt frame, surrounded only by endless destruction and stony silence. Her heart had ached as she’d watched, but she hadn’t shed a single tear.

Damian liked to believe that it was because she had run out of tears, and not because other people’s agony and pain affected her more than his. Cerid thought it had something to do with the last battle she’d been part of. Because she had had plenty of tears to shed that day. An all of a sudden, the picture of little Remo, lying in a pool of his blood, flashed through her mind.

He had been a day away from his fifth birthday. She had promised to gift him a real kite. He had been counting down the days. The day of the last air-strike… it was Roberto who had found out first. Damian had been in the middle of his own dilemma. Straddling both sides of the war, he had a difficult decision to make. Even though, technically, he would always be of the Shadow Tribe first. Ceridwyn had been at the forefront of the battle. And she had watched Remo die.

Ceri! Ceri!

She opened her eyes to find Damian kneeling over her, eyes full of worry, “Are you alright?”

She laughed, then, suddenly aware of the bizarreness of the situation. “We have to stop doing this”, she whispered, leaning up into the familiar frame of his body. He swallowed, once, twice. “I understand”, he said, “But what am I supposed to do?”

She shook her head at him, despondent and unsettled, “I love you.”

He looked down at her cautiously, then swallowed again, “I have always loved you.”

“And that’s why you can’t stay”, she whispered, smiling up at him gently, even as her eyes sparkled with waylaid tears.

The baby wouldn’t stop wailing. She knew that it was Arianna’s son. Arianna, who had trusted her and helped them escape when the entire kingdom was against them. Arianna, who now lay buried not far from here, shot in the heart with a poisoned arrow, even as her husband fought on in the Outer Circle with the other Marine Corps. Arianna’s son was trapped inside the burning building, and his mother was injured, and there was no one around to help him. Cerid had already lost a lot of blood. But she could hear the shouts in the distance, and it was clear that victory was imminent. She was just steps away from the designated Tower. She’d get medical attention there, and probably be able to send someone for the baby.

But it would be too late.

And as she turned away from the tower and towards Arianna’s home, for some strange reason, she thought of Damian and the last thing he’d said to her.

Dead to me.

He stared at her for a moment, memorizing every detail of her face as she smiled at him encouragingly. “It’s going to be alright. I’m always going to be here, with you.”

“So,” he began, in a shaky voice, stopping to take a deep breath and continue, “What you’re saying is I’ll never be walking alone.”

She beamed at him then, and for just one tiny moment, Damian forgot all about the last night of the Quarter Century War, when he had returned to the village only to find her overwhelmed and outnumbered against Assassins intending to eliminate all the noble-born children.

He had joined in the battle, and afterwards held her blood soaked body in his arms, as the cheer of celebration and jubilation rang out all around them, and the last of her life ebbed away from her. “Forgive me” he had cried, but it had been too late, and the only answer he had was the silence of the blankness in her empty eyes, just as she had promised him.

Sudden darkness. The hill was empty now. A cold wind rustled past the nearby trees, and a whisper trembled at his ear.

“You’ll never walk alone.”

Damian fell to his knees.

The night had begun.

Molten

I cannot hold you in my hands anymore
Flowing out of my veins, like lava in flames
Shining like an intense ocean of red and gold
if I choose to burn, is it not only I who is to blame?

Though sometimes I still dream of that very first time
That my ice-cold soul felt the burn of your skin
Around your fingers, you wrapped my reeling mind
Leaving my edges on steam, and my core, molten.

And you should know I’ve been melting ever since
First in cracks that trickled, then in streams that screamed
And I wonder if you ever truly were the lost prince
Or simply a lord from some nightmarish tale I once dreamed.

My love, how can I follow you any further into this night?
When I know not the way through the depths of your mind
I set out following the treacherous moon and its light
Only to leave myself somewhere too far behind.

And now the embers falling from my skin
from all the places we have touched
are all I have to light my way of sin
Not enough, but always too much

I like to believe I’ll catch up with you sometime
Before going up in flames, or melting out of sight
And if being too weak to help you was my only crime
Then I hope at least my pyre provides you with light.

 

The Lost

Yesterday drifts through the mind
With memories of winter and frost
The signposts have been left behind,
But not the anguish of the lost

I knew a man, who had sailed the sea
and I asked him to be my guide
He told me of a better World
But I think he may have lied

For I live in palaces, always golden
but the real World waits just outside
Where poverty is bought and stolen
and it’s justice that’s denied.

All by myself, what is it I can do?
I asked both the brave and wise
You do what you can, you do what you must
But first you must survive.

Ah, surviving is half the war
That much, I swear, is true
And what mountains will I ever scale,
If that alone is too much to do?

And it was in those trials of ice and fire
That I first met the One I desired
And it was in those trials of fire and ice
That I lost not just once, but also twice

But that is a story for a different day
for first he showed me what I must do
It’s true, my Lord must have his way
But, my lonely soul, you must, too

So I walked on edges, watched and guided
Like a princess of Blood and Fire
Until the kingdom burned, and my Lord decided
that my feet deserved glass and wire

And it was I who hung up my dreams
In strings and strings of rope
It was I who set my kingdom on fire
It was I who strangled hope

Forgive me, forgive this dithering child
Every step I take turns into a mistake
I loved you, and the way you smiled
And it’s my own heart I most callously break

For now you no longer smile for me
I have transformed into all that is wrong
In breaking vows to reach where you sleep
I am no longer worthy of your song.

In colder times, you held my hand
You walked me home, said you understand
I remember winters, white, covered in frost
Ice and Fire, and the things that I have lost.

You will always mean, what you did to me
On that morning so old and golden
Before you could tell, and before I could see
just how irreparably I lay broken.

The Princess and the Blind

She walked up the narrow path, her long dark hair billowing in the wind behind her.

It was black once. But that was before the curse. And before everything in her life turned into the color of fire.

“Are you okay?”, asked the little blind boy. She nodded, and then feeling stupid, said, “Yes.. The path is just longer than I remember.”

And, it had been. The last time she had run up this path, she had been just a little girl, glad to finally be home, away from all of the horrors in the wide world outside. ..That was before she had taken the vow, and before she had worn the black. Now, she was just another passer-by. And the house was supposed to mean nothing.

“It’s time”, said the boy, and she nodded again, her gaze shifting to the ruins towering over them. It was.

~~~

The raven haired princess laughed delightedly as the knight pierced seven flying cards with his sword. And watching her smile set off a smile of his own.

“Would you like me to do that again, Princess?”

She nodded, and the knight watched her messy hair bob up and down with her head in rapt attention. Oh, how he longed to twirl a strand of that dark hair around his fingers. But, instead, he settled for piercing another seven cards of her new deck, losing himself in the tilt of her pale throat as she threw her head back and clapped at his boyish antics. If it were up to him, they would never march back into war. He had found himself a part of the heaven promised to them all in the name of their victory, and it was hidden somewhere along the contours of her narrow girlish waist.

~~~

“You still love him”, he said.

And she was surprised at the anger in his voice. Though she then realized that it was not so strange that he sounded so.. jealous. They had kept no company but each others’ in the last six months. Counseled none but each other. And the only time that she had gotten drunk in the last six months was in his company, when she had ended up revealing more than she ever intended.

“It does not matter whether I do”, she replied, wearily.

“He brings you nothing but pain”, he hissed, suddenly persistent.

She glanced at him sharply, and then turned away to watch the changing skies.

He dropped his gaze, and shuffled his feet forlornly, until she turned to face him again, the wind setting free strands of her tightly tied hair.

“I’m sorry, princess. That was out of line.”

~~~

He yanked her to himself, and laughed as she stumbled, his arms already enclosing her. She turned up to say something, but he had captured her lips in a searing kiss, and she wondered how she was going to walk away unscathed from this life lesson, even as his voice drifted into her aching mind.

“Are you okay, princess?”

“What– what are you doing?”

“I’m sorry, princess. That was out of line.”

“But.. wait! You said you had something to say.. What was it?”

“I don’t like repeating myself”

“But what did you say”

“Does it matter?”

“It does.. to me.”

He smiled at her confused expression, before kissing her forehead gently.

“You will always be mine.”

~~~

“Don’t worry about it”, she said, as kindly as she could muster, fingering the scar he had left her, flinching as she remembered the night he had given it to her. Perhaps things were never golden.. except until she thought about him. And then, it didn’t matter what precipice she thought of; all were achingly beautiful to her.

The little blind boy felt the expressions change upon her face, and knew that if he knew how to cry, he would, for her. For himself, too, as the princess was clearly never going to think of him in the way she thought of the fallen knight. But, mostly, his unshed tears were for the princess, because they would never find the knight of her dreams, and he did not know how to tell her this. Especially when she whimpered in her sleep.

The knight didn’t want to be found by anyone.

And two lost children, one of whom called out his name in her sleep, would not find him unless he wanted them to find him.

And it was in this perpetual fear that the little blind boy slept and awoke; that she would find him, and he would take her away.

Forever.

~~~

It’s cold, don’t you think?”

“Not if you come a little closer.”

“But you scare me.”

“No, I don’t. I only want to protect you!”

“From what?”

“Everything!”

“And what about you, yourself?”

“…No One can protect you from me, love.

Triangles

You stumble in,
in mauve and sin
the stale scent of smoky nights about you
I say, you lose
You tell me, I win
and wander off to find a place to brood

I don’t know why
I must stay to watch you cry
And so, I’m out of here, farewell, goodbye
Fall to your knees and weep
Sob yourself to sleep
The first cut’s meant to cut you deep

You crack a grin
I’m yours again
My heart sings and then my heart sinks
You fall down
Throw me your frown
But there’s still no way I can let you drown

Yet I know not
how I ever forgot
the depth of all your twisted little games
You stay on the floor
Don’t smile anymore
And, all we have is bitterness and blame

Say you’ll stay
I’ll stop right away
I can’t stand by and just watch you go,
watch you go
Say you’ll stay
The World is gray
I just can’t stand to watch you go,
watch you go

You stumble in
darker than sin
and I’ve already caught your restless eye wander
Please watch your step
You need some help
But you are away listening for the thunder

The storm’s long gone
but you linger on
Please don’t wait by that window no more
But, if the storm returns
and everything burns
Please don’t leave, say you won’t go?