Daaskmere Monk

William of Meadowsford

Book Cover

arrowShawn Postoff

Copyright © 1997 - 2009
arrowInfinitive Ink Limited


XVII ill title Ominous Challenge

Awakened by light gusts of wind on my face,
I opened my eyes without mem’ry of place.
The darkness was solid, no form was betrayed,
And only the sound of the river was made.
I turned my head up and was struck by the sky,
Whose infinite navy, unthinkably high,
Was clear with the coldness of luminous lights
That only presided on cloudless of nights.
I rose from the ground that was moist with the dew,
And crept from the camp so as not to undo
The delicate webwork of dreams being wound
Within the soft sleep my companions had found.

I stepped to the bank of the Umbrian flow,
And wanting some water, I kneeled me down low.
Then dipping my hands to the freshening cold,
I fleetingly wondered how winds could have rolled
To wake me this night that was tranquil and still.
But then having sipped from the river my fill,
I rose to my feet and uplifted my head,
To find ‘cross the water two beacons of red.

The shock of that moment cracked ice through my spine,
As quickly I realized the worth of the sign,
And stumbling me back from the Umbrian’s edge,
I felt at the threshold of sanity’s ledge.

“You fear me,” the whisper came over the waves,
“Tho’ you are the one who now lives among slaves.
Attempts to destroy me shall never succeed,
For wounds that are suffered will scar once they bleed.”

The Dragon's Fangs
The Dragon's Fangs

Its eyes never blinked as they stared through my heart,
And only their words would the darkness impart.
I could not find form or distinguish a shape,
The Dragon was shielded by night’s heavy cape.

“Who are you?” I ventured my voice ‘cross the stream,
Confused as to why I would speak, but not scream.

“Sad boy,” said the beast, “do I test your resolve?
Am I but a glorious riddle to solve?
Your king is a mocking, rhetorical name,
Who thinks of my presence as only a game.
Return to your pitiful marching parade,
And tell of the words that between us were made.
Entice them with treasures that wait in my lair,
Each man, in his armour, can fight for his share.
But first they must face me and hope to survive,
The world is now different, for Daask is alive!”

I watched then as slowly a dark silhouette
Rose up ‘gainst the stars as a lizard-like debt.
It turned to where faintly the dawn was aglow,
And powerful beatings its wings did bestow.
Tho’ hundreds of thoughts did I long to embrace,
I only was conscious of wind on my face.

The short seconds after the dragon had left
Created within me a mental like cleft
That broke the thick passage ‘twixt action and thought,
So I was unable to move from my spot.
In that immobility, most, I believe,
Would quickly have fallen to madness reprieve.
But I showed a curious coping defense:
I turned not insane but to reason and sense,
And thoughtfully played out the scene once again,
Recalling exchanges unknown to all men.
Tho’ words had been sounded that spoke of a clash,
I fathomed that ne’er were they angry or rash,
But rather delivered to summon my soul,
And challenge my mission, its upcoming role.
So then I resolved for my theory to test,
And realized this night could be never confessed:
To Robert or others who’d ask of my trip,
I’d tell them with all but a quivering lip
The details of jousting for Andrew the King,
But ne’er of this dawn or its news would I bring.

Determined direction now pointed my way,
So kneeling me down I then started to pray,
And thankfully sounded to God my relief
That still my exposure to madness was brief.
I quickly returned to where sleep was secure,
And ripping apart the silk webwork mature
I roused from their dreaming my pages at dawn,
Where only the heralds of sunlight now shone.
I issued an order to quickly up-pack,
To saddle themselves with their bundles on back,
And take up our journey, rejoining the throng
That numbered well over five thousand men strong.