Poetry by: Dal

{Chariots Await} {A Dream Within A Dream} {Empty Hope} {The Path} {Blind Fate} {The Stranger Between} {Alti's Gift of Sight} {Fair Trade} {Making Memories} {Treasure, Mine} {You've Taught Me...}
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Chariots Await

I left a life of violence
To reclaim a past denied
Where war-torn towns
Were mine to crush
And ravage in the night

The guilt that I now carry
Is a prison worse than death
My heart and sword
Will serve the meek
Until my dying breath

And while I searched for comfort
In a stranger's soulful eyes
A veil of calm
Washed over me
And yet I questioned why

My heart was with another
Though she was unaware
To have her close
I chose to keep
My feelings to myself

Her kindness has the power
To calm the raging flood
Her friendship is
My saving grace
A bond thicker than blood

So 'tis with her I travel
Her light will guide my way
My heart is hers
As is my soul
I vow to never stray

My sword still in its scabbard
My chackram at my side
I battle on
To change the world
In my ever dauntless fight

For bloodshed will continue
And violence will endure
While kings and warlords
Challenge peace
In their chariots of war

{A Dream Within A Dream} {Empty Hope} {The Path} {Blind Fate}
{The Stranger Between} {Alti's Gift of Sight} {Fair Trade} {Making Memories}
{Treasure, Mine} {You've Taught Me...} {Top of Page}

A Dream Within a Dream

I was taken by a dream
And in that dream I was awakened
To find myself a prisoner,
Morpheus' betrothed.
They placed a sword in novice hands,
Wishing, them, to stain with blood;
To keep me trapped in dreams
Where sacrifice is more
Than love allows.

While in this dream, I slept.
I saw her face, her eyes,
Intent on nothing more
Than messages and tutelage.
I heard her voice, her counsel:
"Do what you do best."
Still, words would fade
From lips too timorous to speak
Of love so rare.

And she followed me again
Into this nightmare realm,
And came to me;
A dream within a dream.
She fought her demons
To save me from the demons
That would be mine
Had I done their bidding,
And let the blood-lust flow.

So it was revealed to me,
In this dream within a dream,
That a warrior, fierce in battle,
Would rather give her life
Than see mine taken.
She conquered the darkness
That had sought to taint my soul.
And in that vile illusion,
Her own darkness was subdued.

Yet at the nightmare's end,
I walked blindly on
In the half-sleep of the ignorant;
For I am one of words
And such deeds escaped my notice.
She proved her love, with actions,
As she would again - many times,
But it would be a while
Before I fully woke.

{Chariots Await} {Empty Hope} {The Path} {Blind Fate}
{The Stranger Between} {Alti's Gift of Sight} {Fair Trade} {Making Memories}
{Treasure, Mine} {You've Taught Me...} {Top of Page}

Empty Hope

Of kings and virtuous men
So many tales are told
For war and bloodshed make for bitter ends

But kings lead lonely lives
When hearts grow hard and cold
And virtue can become malevolence

Yet ever vigilant
In all the midnight hours
The hand of one who holds the only key

Will turn the hands of time
Her legacy's the power
To cradle hope for all humanity

When cruelties of life
Cast faith and love afar
O'er cliffs to shatter on the jagged rocks

We shall not ever yield
For we hold in our hearts
The hope inside Pandora's empty box

{Chariots Await} {A Dream Within A Dream} {The Path} {Blind Fate}
{The Stranger Between} {Alti's Gift of Sight} {Fair Trade} {Making Memories}
{Treasure, Mine} {You've Taught Me...} {Top of Page}

The Path

I walked the path not taken
By those who wage their wars,
And found a soothing innocence
That healed these ancient scars.

The green and gold surround me,
Make pure my wicked past.
Awash in all their splendor, I
Am cleansed of sin at last.

For tranquil is the river
Wherein I choose to drown.
It leaves me breathless in its wake
Where selfless love abounds.

And with a gentle bearing,
This river overflows;
It calms the raging fury with
The peace it can bestow.

So I shall let it lead me
To distant, emerald seas
For I have found my soul, at last,
She walks this path with me.

{Chariots Await} {A Dream Within A Dream} {Empty Hope} {Blind Fate}
{The Stranger Between} {Alti's Gift of Sight} {Fair Trade} {Making Memories}
{Treasure, Mine} {You've Taught Me...} {Top of Page}

Blind Fate
(From "Return of Callisto")

I have been hurt in battle;
These scars do not mislead
And many men have tried, but failed,
To rid this earth of me.
But one man had the power
To end my will to live;
He spoke the words I'd sworn to keep;
His heart, did freely give.

He took you from my side;
Something naught else could do,
And thus a pain I'd never felt,
Did cleave my heart in two.
But short-lived was your ardor,
For evil came to find
The rapture living in your eyes,
The joy of love's most blind.

The Fates were at their cruelest
When, guilty thoughts, they heard:
Had I not wished his distance then,
Not uttered selfish words,
Your eyes would shine with fire,
And in that fire I'd bask,
For any bliss you feel is mine;
I share your happiness.

Though it was not my doing,
His blood in on my hands.
I have no words of comfort now
To help you understand...
My wish was not to hurt you.
My pride stood in the way.
To spare you pain and misery
I did, my soul, betray.
My heart is vexed with guilt
And love I can't convey.

I can't escape the irony -
When love is love's worst enemy.

{Chariots Await} {A Dream Within A Dream} {Empty Hope} {The Path}
{The Stranger Between} {Alti's Gift of Sight} {Fair Trade} {Making Memories}
{Treasure, Mine} {You've Taught Me...} {Top of Page}

The Stranger Between
(From "Crusader")

The chackram poised and ready
To defend the life she loved
When the warrior stranger dropped her sword
And spoke to Gin above

She asked for their forgiveness
An alliance soon was formed
But 'be careful not to trust too soon'
The warrior princess warned

They walked along in silence
As singing swans flew by
And the stranger's eyes shone brilliantly
When she heard the bard's reply

They strode upon the stallion
To the edge of shimmering pond
They exchanged their dreams and inner fears
And formed a stronger bond

When laughter tore the silence
As the princess then looked on
A tear appeared in her azure eyes
And her heart turned into stone

Her fevered mind was racing
Their future well displayed
Their destiny seemed ill-fated if
Her beloved bard should stay

The princess was determined
To leave a cleaner slate
For to put her trust in a stranger's hands
The torment must be great

She begged the stranger's guidance
For the visions dulled her mind
She said goodbye to her precious bard
And left her life behind

She came upon a warlord
Who knew the stranger well
The words he spoke while in shackled wrists
Were true enough to tell

But back at the encampment
The stranger spun her lies
The bard was captured by her words
And joy came to her eyes

The stranger promised nothing
She did not know as truth
The bard agreed to accept her light
With the innocence of youth

When the princess told her story
Of the warlord's true account
The stranger's true intent was clear
As her anger seemed to mount

The stranger raised her weapon
In defense the princess stood
Their humming swords began to clash
The evil against the good

In fear for the bard's safety
Her focus faltered some
The bard rushed forth to rescue her
As the princess was undone

She pleaded with the stranger
To let her princess live
And promised that from that day forth
Her devotion freely give

But not to be defeated
The warrior princess rose
And set out to reclaim the bard whose
Safety was foremost

She knew the stranger's weakness
Recognized it as her own
Determined now to win a war
She laid her conscience down

She found the bard in silence
By a cavern in a cave
A plan was formed by the princess
But the bard had to be brave

That's where the stranger found them
When she raised her sword again
Distracted by the struggling bard
Her efforts were in vain

Through wisely planned deception
They brought the stranger down
And brought her to be judged by all
Within the nearest town

Though beaten and outsmarted
The stranger's smile remained
She bade the bard all happiness
While bound in rusted chains

But when the princess faced her
The smile did quickly fade
The warrior princess pleaded
For she and honest answer craved

"Did you reveal our destiny
And break that dearest heart"
And when the honest answer came
It stabbed her like a dart

"Your confidence was not betrayed"
Said the stranger in hushed tones
"I never want to do her harm
That task is yours alone"

{Chariots Await} {A Dream Within A Dream} {Empty Hope} {The Path}
{Blind Fate} {Alti's Gift of Sight} {Fair Trade} {Making Memories}
{Treasure, Mine} {You've Taught Me...} {Top of Page}

Alti's Gift of Sight

My duty to defend the weak:
The helpless souls who dare to hope,
Leaves nothing of myself to speak
Of love for one who helps me cope.

I've never been the one of words;
'Tis you who weave the stories well.
I only know of war and swords.
My actions speak, when words do fail.

Yes, silence has the power now:
Relentless in its skill to mute
This voice, my heart, these solemn vows
This heart, my voice, though apt, refute.

Yet, you see through this fog of gloom.
You have a glow within you which
Makes light a soul once cursed with doom,
That hate had tainted black as pitch.

And I am now, at last, alive.
My spirit sings, its pleasure clear.
I have, no longer, need to hide
The rapture felt when you are near.

But envious gods, such grief, will bring
With cunning acts of treachery.
They'll twist the Fates' commingled strings
And, thus, take you away from me.

I have seen death in my soul's eye:
A future truth of prophecy.
Yet dare I hope, this truth, belie
With strength of faith and dignity.

Though strength and sword and will alone
Will never thwart this bitter end;
The maiden, mother and the crone
May choose, our stands of life, to mend.

My destiny and yours entwined
Beyond this earthly, mortal coil.
With pow'r of love, new strength we'll find
And thus, this wicked vision, foil.

With hope, we shall our spirits lift;
Our souls forever joined as one.
We'll cast off Alti's evil gift;
Our deaths, foretold, shall be undone.

{Chariots Await} {A Dream Within A Dream} {Empty Hope} {The Path}
{Blind Fate} {The Stranger Between} {Fair Trade} {Making Memories}
{Treasure, Mine} {You've Taught Me...} {Top of Page}

Fair Trade
(Because the course to true love never runs smoothly.)

Time for sleep.

The day we've left behind, the dusty road,
Were long and arduous.
I lay our bedrolls on the grasses
Where the dew will not collect in early dawn.
I go about this task in silence,
Sensing, knowing this to be your wish;
Wondering, as you build the fire,
What dark and private musings
Hold your tongue this night.

Ah, yes, the ritual begins
As rasping sounds of stone on sword
Recite a song I know by heart.
I draw quill over parchment
And find the ink has dried
Before its tint could claim this vapid space.

Enraptured by your silhouette,
I have misplaced the time. My mind
Is now as dry of thought
As is this quill of ink
Which, without permission,
Has abandoned my trembling hand.

Your performance ceases
Lest the honing of your best defense
Make dust from steel.
And the pounding of my heart
Is deafening in the stillness.
I wait for a word,
For a glance, for a smile, yet none come.
No. You will not be generous this night.

So I stretch out by the fire
As weary waking hours
Begin to slowly creep
Toward another glaring morn.
Then, in a rare moment
Of night's suspended silence,
Your voice, ragged
From lack of use, calls to me.

But, feigning sleep,
I let the silence linger.

{Chariots Await} {A Dream Within A Dream} {Empty Hope} {The Path}
{Blind Fate} {The Stranger Between} {Alti's Gift of Sight} {Making Memories}
{Treasure, Mine} {You've Taught Me...} {Top of Page}

Making Memories
(Inspired by "Waking Up Beside You" -- Stabbing Westward.)

I never really knew of loss.
I thought I did.
But when your soul was torn from mine
I realized the emptiness
That would, in time, consume
The better part of me.
But the gods saw fit to let you go,
To let you come, again, into my world.
You caught my gaze,
And as the light returned to them,
I memorized the color of your eyes.

I never really knew of fear.
I thought I did.
But when ghosts of darkness past
Invade your dreams,
I take your hand and pray
That you remain
And, thus, my dreams fulfill.
I tremble as I try to hold my tears.
You pull me close -
A reflex now,
And it is into strong arms that I curl
And memorize the warmth of your embrace.

I never really knew of love.
I thought I did.
But when I think of life without you near,
The rock I stand upon is turned to sand
As quick as death.
But every day we step further from the dark,
Closer to the truth
That you and I are bound
By a love even the gods can envy.
So it is, that I am yours now and forever.
And soon will come the night
When we will find our peace and make our love,
And I will memorize the way our legs entwine...

{Chariots Await} {A Dream Within A Dream} {Empty Hope} {The Path}
{Blind Fate} {The Stranger Between} {Alti's Gift of Sight} {Fair Trade}
{Treasure, Mine} {You've Taught Me...} {Top of Page}



Treasure, Mine

A prize so pure
The Romans call it gold:
The amber hues that glow
With sunlight in your hair.
My greatest wealth:
Those molten golden strands,
To which a treasure grand,
Cannot, itself, compare.

Such beauty, rare,
The lotus dies of spite:
Your lips, which new baptize
My spirit's silent wish.
And roses blush
At seeing, on your face,
A tint which seldom fades
In winter's chill abyss.

More precious, this,
Than riches mined in Chin:
The jade that shines within
Your effervescent eyes.
A steadfast jewel,
No king can ever claim.
You shall fore'er remain
My only reason why...

{Chariots Await} {A Dream Within A Dream} {Empty Hope}
{The Path} {Blind Fate} {The Stranger Between} {Alti's Gift of Sight}
{Fair Trade} {Making Memories} {You've Taught Me...} {Top of Page}



You've Taught Me...

     Of courage and of reverence,
All tales of true benevolence,
Which grow to myth as each new bard narrates,
Does not a legend from a man create.
When first your voice was heard by virgin ears;
These eyes, ashamed of never knowing tears,
Denied themselves to this convey:
No hand but yours could ever brush away
The darkness that would lead my soul astray,
Is only for your voice, your lips to kiss away.
     And as you stand upon that stage,
And weave your tales of bitter rage,
Of all the horrors man’s misdeeds have wrought.
The ones who listen, in their minds are brought
To worlds beyond their oft-imgined quests
Yet will not seek the violent hand of death.
But they can live vicariously
Through visions only you can make them see,
Their modest woes pale with reality,
And thus they're richer than the richest hope to be.
     But you and I are richly blessed;
For we know more than all the rest,
What wonders lie beyond these fertile fields
Are wonders fair or sinister, but real
As any tree or stone the hand can touch:
A gift that's ne'er too little nor too much.
I’ve learned what’s known to precious few,
And more than any mortal dare pursue;
I enter now into a chapter, new
As you, my love, my story-teller taught me to.

{Chariots Await} {A Dream Within A Dream} {Empty Hope}
{The Path} {Blind Fate} {The Stranger Between} {Alti's Gift of Sight}
{Fair Trade} {Making Memories} {Treasure, Mine} {Top of Page}