Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tale of the Unicorn

Artist Unknown - Common Domain
Posted for Day 3 #NaPoWriMo and for #OpenLinkNight @dVersePoets Pub

In onceupon time unicorns walked with men
In hereandnow time she yearns for a guardian
On nursery walls they gamboled it seems--
Pressed into her memory, she dreams of him.

Awake she rambles pastures deep.
Sometimes a phantom horn takes shape
Lit in dense fog where objects fade
Or retreats from view. And again she sleeps.

At the edge of woods she sees him waiting
Bound to her through time, returned from other worlds
Last of the seven houses, few have seen his radiance
Only young girls at the edge of waking.

Into her arms he leaps and brings with him his horn
The flood has taken all and another age has come
The age of mystery and maid meet once again.
The mysteries unravel from the lost unicorn.

He speaks of Asallam, the Mighty from whom
The waters came and from the Garden did produce
The dawn of Ilvilon where gentle Vata,
(who comes at the end of days) knows
Of Isfendarmad's (keeper of the darkness) shame.

He tells her that the races of men have been sundered
From the guardians. Men abandoned the Golden Wood
To follow their earthly folly. Yet the guardians
Keep the memories before men blundered.

Where each house had a name; each made of light
Within them secrets were kept of unibex and men.
For the light had been given to both once
When earth's center point defined it right.

Darkness lay beyond and began to grow.
Much was bound to darkness and was never seen.
The light would fade and fog would roll between
Houses that bred  lies, and thieving sorrows.

In her arms there's the innocence of youth,
She preserves the history where two are writ.
She hides, though, the lies, pain and deceit.
She awaits light at the end shining truth.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 4.2.2012 * All Rights Reserved
Posted for Day 3 National Poetry Writing Month
Not quite an epithalamion but a song of love and innocence
Started for Claudia's post on Fairy Tales


  1. oh heck it the atmosphere in this...mythical, full of gorgeous symbolism and magic..the innocence, the divide, the darkness, purity...this is so much more than a fairy tale..

  2. gay this is beautiful...what a finely crafted have turned away you know to make their own way...and i can only hope for a happily ever the end on this...

  3. this IS beautiful... if I bought a book of fairy tales I'd expect this to be in it ;) I love how you made darkness and light blend so well together

  4. This truly is a magical fairy tale..I just loved the flow of the words. I loved the play of light with dark throughout.

  5. You have fashioned a classic poem/fairy tale. Amazing, Gay, there is such intelligence and labor in this.

    Just amazing...and haunting, too.

    Lady Nyo

  6. Ok--so I am going with everything said before me about this piece--it is beautiful and magical and mythical and I love it--

  7. Very ambitious gay - breadth and scope - golden scanning the logical myth :)

  8. Thank you to everyone. My power went out around one pm CDT and just now came back on. Sorry about that.

    Appreciate everything you have said about the unicorn. I pretty much think it's still in draft form; more story to tell. Seems like most of my writing is that way these days.

    Apologize to all and every for the lapses in reading lately (well the last year really, isn't it? I've had a bit more time the last few weeks, but I'm still putting one foot in front of the other and taking each day as it comes. If I've written anything or said anything peculiar, objectionable, or untowards I am truly sorry. I really want to be kind and encouraging; however, I may have said something inadvertently to cause offense and if I have, I am genuinely sorry.

  9. How I love unicorns and the tale you tell of them here. I read once somewhere that the unicorn decided to leave Eden to be with Adam and Eve out of compassion. So beautiful.

  10. A sweeping tale, Gay, full of the mystery of the past. Stay safe in this weather.

  11. Thank you so much for coming by Anna and Joy. Much to be thankful. Tornados hit close by but all is clear and OK here for now. With the renewal of electric power, hopefully I get a chance to read.

  12. Really beautiful tale, outstanding writing. I love fairy tales.

    Glad to hear you are safe from the tornadoes!

  13. A beautiful tale, I enjoyed it!

  14. This you make this up? awesome and amazing, enjoyed this memorable tale.

  15. @leah-jamielynn - yes. Thank you.

  16. As with those rich wall hangings of unicorns and maidens from the Renaissance - I imagine this as a tapestry, and you a weaver, pulling the shuttled threads of your legend across a weft of words, strand by strand completing the scene.

  17. Ah Sam thank you. I have seen them in New York at the Cloisters and they are soulful and moving. I so much appreciate your comparison. So gratified by your comments, always.

  18. Very cool write. Love the layering of language, fantastical elements and the texture that only can be found in myth. Also, love the tone/voice you chose here, very nice touch and especially appreciated in the first stanza how you combined here and now and once upon- very cool. Thanks.

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  20. Next time I wander through the Cloisters and view the Unicorn Tapestries, Gay, I'll remember your magical Unicorn tale...a beauty..., Thank you for this!

  21. So interesting! (And knowledgeable.) I am thinking of La Dame de La Licorne, Cluny Museum, and Terry Pratchett (ha). But so many of the images and so much of the language is really inspired. I especially like:

    Darkness lay beyond and began to grow
    Much was bound to darkness and was never seen
    The light would fade and fog would roll between
    Where that in dark became lies, and thieving sorrows.

    Thanks. k.

  22. This just felt so classical (in a GREAT way)- the form- the use of classical lagage combined with a fairy tale and fantasy topic. To me it said something about the value of imagination and dreams (childhood innocence maybe?) and how it can easily get lot in our societies cog's...who WOULDN'T want to escape into this world of magic and endless possibilities? I know I would...

  23. Thanks K and Stu. I think I may ponder it a while and expand it. But for now I'm reasonably ok with it. I appreciate your comments so much. When I posted it, I wondered if it were complete enough, but I think that it is by your responses. They have been very valuable.

  24. so very beautiful - how I wish for the Unicorn in all it's magical splendour - Oh what places we could ride - lovely Gay - as ever - love you - Lib x