The Fairy Bird Flies

Fairy by Arthur Rackham

I wandered absent-mindedly into another room and without warning chanced upon the pair I sought – my reason with the fairy – although they did not see me at first for I remained out of view, the quietest of those present.

Both of them appeared to have changed clothes and had become somehow more real looking, which served to diminish their power in my eyes and deprive the sprite (as she had become) of the intensity of pure magical beauty.  Funny, then, that she attracted me somehow more strongly than when she had been composed entirely of fire and air.

The attraction was more basic though, for mingled with clay and water she seemed quite human, even if the golden hair, which had lost some of its length and lustre, still tumbled past her slender shoulders and glistened invitingly in the half-light.  She stood with her back to me, both hands joined with those of reason, who gazed at her in such complacent adoration that she did not see me at all.  I could not tell if they were dancing, making love or struggling with each other. Slight annoyance was mingled with an overwhelming desire to touch them both; I was totally beside myself and moved towards them determinedly.

As soon as I stepped forward they turned around quickly.  My reason beamed at me beatifically, “At last, you’re here, what on earth have you been doing, you were ages? We’ve been having a fantastic time!”

I acknowledged that the other one was less pleased to see me, but also that she grew lovelier once again as the weight of reason drew away from her.  The same reason moved languidly to my right and rested her head on my shoulder, “I love you”, she murmured softly, once again my modest companion. Fire grew in the sylph-like eyes of the other and with every inspiration she became more like the wind.

Subtly, almost imperceptibly, her robes changed again to the hue of dawn on a bed of blossom and the coils of hair unfurled into their pure golden streams.

I abandoned myself for an instant and lay down on the dewy carpet. As she spread her wings I closed my eyes and sighed in half-forgotten ecstasy, while the fairy bird leaped silently into the air and across our reclining figures, touching the surface of our skin with the hem of her gown as she passed us by on the scent of lilies and melted into the future night, rosy as clouds before dusk.

Was this the appearance of my passion?  I held it close as I lost consciousness and entered oblivious insight, soothed by the treasures of the sleeping mind.

Travel Time

A huge ellipse with markers strewn –
Stretching far, it seemed a tunnel –
Looked immensely like an air-strip,
Star-port landing, this the summit.

Before my eyes the globe appeared –
Pupils widened, thoughts ran clear –
Radiance filled the tunnel, deep;
Hidden star-ways mark this keep.

Then were sounds of celebration –
Laughter, shouting, whooping, cheering –
Drifting down to where I waited;
From their vantage point they watched it.

As it glided, came to standstill,
‘Here’s the moon!’ cried out the nation.
Thus I pondered, numb with wonder:
‘What brought round this situation?’

Whose the hymn of ardent praise,
The church of luminary office;
Are there here to end their long days,
Star-struck scientists of Attis?

Did these ancient priests control
The queen of ebbing, flowing tides,
The weathered ship of midnight squalls,
The treasured orb that mirrors light?

Only one can read their signs
If free; the one will travel time.
Then to one, unseen, unheard
Shall be revealed at once these words.

Emerald Forest

Sotheby's Collection
Emerald Lizard Brooch, image by Sotheby's

From the deep and emerald forest,
Silent as the moon in heaven,
Bathed in light, a horseback rider
Came and moved among the seven.

“One returns,” cried out the Shaman,
“He could tell a pretty story,
Judging by the hand that’s holding
Stuff of legend, history, glory.”

Robed in silence, seven sages
Watched the horseman drawing nearer,
Saw the treasure, clear as crystal,
Then, let out their breath in stages.

“Now are eight but who will show us
Where the final one is waiting?”
Spoke the Shaman, at which moment,
Something stirred within the forest.

Light of limb and swathed in mystery,
Dazzling in the emerald darkness,
Velvet steps upon the carpet;
Walked the ninth towards the others.

Sat she down beside the fire,


Tranquil as the moon at midnight
As the eight in spellbound wonder,
Took her as their inspiration.

Eyes that once were blind with wisdom
Opened then to something greater.
How it happened, none could fathom:
How the ninth became this lady.

So, there is the greatest mystery:
Free of time and made immortal,
Born to hold the key of history;
She, who dared step through the portal.