Daaskmere Monk

William of Meadowsford

Book Cover

arrowShawn Postoff

Copyright © 1997 - 2009
arrowInfinitive Ink Limited


XXXI ill title To Daaskmere

If Death had encased me, as Daask did decree,
Then glorious Heaven awoke me to see
That still most intact was my body and skin.
I took me a breath and felt air deep within.
The first thing I noticed ‘pon filling each lung,
Was subtle a sweetness that suddenly sprung
To fill my whole person with fragrant, fresh air,
Infusing with life what the world would now share.

The next thing awareness would have me observe,
Was here, I lay naked, so each simple curve
Of body was open, exposed to the sea
That swirled of the excellent winds around me.

Then raising my head I discovered my place:
I lay on the field of the battle-dead space.
The ground, tho’, was warm as a baby new born.
It pulsed with a heartbeat most absent of scorn,
As if, in forgiveness, the earth had decreed,
That now, from the Horsemen, the world had been freed.
Of Famine, it told me, his scales had been smashed,
And swords of War’s conquest no more would be clashed.
The Pestilent locusts had made their retreat,
And ashen-borne Death would no longer defeat.
For bodies of Dragon-slain soldiers all ‘round,
Revealed me the cycles of life in the ground.

I lay there a time, with my ear on the soil,
Not wanting a moment of silence to spoil
The rhythmic advance of the world’s living pulse,
Eternal its breath and profound its results.
My eyes to the grasses around me did turn,
Revealing a kingdom for senses to learn,
Where insects did teem o’er the crisp sprouts of green,
And burrowed through jewels that still sparkled unseen.

I rose then, and slowly turned ‘round to the lair,
And calmly I found it was no longer there.
The cave had completely been vanished from sight,
The only thing left was the mountain rock height.
The Dragon had finally quit His old haunt,
And flown to another in need of His jaunt.
I realized that Leighton was changed in my eyes,
And further reflected that fear oft denies,
So others would never admit to its tale,
And Leighton would quickly forget without fail
The pains it had suffered, and losses it gave:
Already was Daask in His legend-like grave.

I looked to my chest where Daask’s nail had pierced through,
And found not a rash, but an image made true:
A dark silhouette on my skin was now made.
And over my heart, with my living it played,
And pulsed the expansion my chest as I breathed,
The small animation that Daask had bequeathed.
The Mark of the Dragon was burned into me,
A symbol that ‘twas with His eyes I did see.
Its tail wrapped around on my breast with a curve,
Attached to its body, whose claws were to serve.
And spikes all along it from tail up to head,
Whose face carried marks of two eyes fuller red.
A picture so detailed and clear image fresh,
The Dragon was in me, and seared on my flesh.
I smiled a happy amusement of bliss,
For now I was knighted a holier kiss:
My God was a Dragon, His book was the world.
In waters, on landscapes, through airs windy-swirled,
I’d learn from His testament, live by His earth,
Whose colours and fragrances sang me their mirth.

Away from the mountains, new Leighton did call.
A fresh, undiscovered expanse to enthrall.
So from the dead bodies I found me some clothes,
And walked to a mountain-run stream to repose,
Then washed the old garments, and sunned them to dry,
The meanwhile searching a breakfast supply.
Then after I’d eaten, and dressed me anew,
I made my return to the battle-site through,
And found me there waiting with patience untold,
The gentler of beings: Sebastian the Bold.

“Hello, noble friend!” to my horse I made call,
Approached to embrace him his stature more tall.
I noticed my saddle was still on his back,
And little he’d suffered from Dragon’s attack.
“Dost like my new garments?” I asked him with joy,
And felt a delight seldom known as a boy.
“From many a mortal they’ve weav’d into one,
They dress my new colours to shine in the sun.
You too will soon wear them, Sebastian my Bold,
Heraldic these oceans of black, green, and gold.”

But then I did notice his opposite side,
And something unusual from it I spied.
For hanging from saddle, a bundle was tied,
And I was confused, for in making my ride
I hadn’t included it coming to cave.
I reached for it, wond’ring, and looking more grave.
But as I unfastened it, eyes opened wide.
I barely could fathom the riches inside.
Then reaching within it, I pulled from the sack
The forgings of armour in golden and black.
The pieces of plate-mail were intricate carved:
A suit of protection so rich, it had starved
The treasuries of the most prosperous kings.
I’d come to an outfit mythology sings.
Across the broad chestplate such artwork was found:
My eyes in a glorious Dragon were drowned.
The helmet fantastic was Ares’ own mould.
The gauntlet’s construction could flexibly hold
Most any a weapon -- its rivets were fine:
Mechanical triumph, yet artful each line.

I eagerly started assembling its skin,
And fastened each piece o’er my body within.
The buckles were easy, the padding was soft,
The joints were like liquid -- no protests they coughed.
Without any trouble (unheard of was this!),
I managed to dress me completely its bliss.
And as I descended the helm o’er my head,
Sensations of happiness through me then sped.
‘Twas like from within me a spirit was wed,
Returned to its body with sacraments said.

So now as I mounted to saddle the reins,
With pride I reflected the course of my pains.
I turned my Sebastian toward the new West,
Where Leighton would find me returned from my quest.

We started our travels, away from the mounts,
And bright understandings prepared to announce
My high celebrations more rich than a king.
The lyrics, within me, demanded to sing:

“Infancy with ignorance
Once governed in my head,
Spilling simple carelessness
From woundings where I bled.

Discipline came slowly
O’er the years of feudal youth,
Jousts of faith and reason
Brutal battled for my truth.

Then arrived distractions
Born of visions for a knight,
Turning me away from that
Pursuance purely bright.

Now my sight matures with fire
And fin’ly understands:
Kingdoms crowned by Daaskmere
Have unfolded o’er my lands.”