Prince of Lies
A wealthy young prince of the fabled Blue Realm,
Kept once a maiden as bright as his helm.
Seven fine rubies of rarest cut red
Adorned the tiara he placed on her head.
A gift she would wear amidst her wild mane
To strut for his ardor and further her fame.
A corset of silk and sculpted whale bone
Completed a wardrobe of feather and comb.
An actress of quality, known for her song,
Impassioned to please her he held her too long.
Playing the part of a princess divine
A mere mortal mistress playing for time.
The true bride of promise, a lady of court,
A hinterland noble away at her fort.
While planning the joining of his hand to hers,
Rumors of lust bred mistrust of Prince Cur.
Suspicions aroused by letters too few,
Caused her to seek an accomplice, who knew,
How to unmask a philanderer’s scheme,
Exposing a trysting without being seen.
“My Lady I’ll take on this task that you bid,
But mayhap the truth is a thing best left hid.
I will bring to you proof of the prince’s disgrace
Though my price is one night alone with your lace.”
The flush of her cheek I took as my doom,
Lit also her eyes with the glow of full moon.
A Lady of chastity when other eyes near,
Alone after sundown would show no such fear.
Though a portrait of beauty undressed in her cot,
The path of deception this time I like not.
I took from her payment that gladly she gave.
A thief may know ethics and yet be a knave.
A thief can’t afford to dwell in the past,
Regal blue towers sing trek’s end at last.
I skulk in the shadows, the night knows my craft,
Passionate whimpers through crevice on draft.
Entwined in their slumber, a pair of prize pups,
From her long hair, a lock I will cut.
I do this as warning, for I must concede
To love a small votive, this one chance, this plea.
I recoil in half-light to give one night’s grace,
Next time together, romance I’ll displace.
Dawn’s predilection for truth will reveal
A dalliance too many, this then is my deal.
Daylight is passing I wait the sun’s fall.
Shadow friends lengthen, chase light within halls.
Slipping through dim ways I come to their tryst,
An unwanted nightmare with tiara to wrist.
I thought they might warm to the sign of my heed.
But a thief such as I knows a bit about greed.
Asleep I will leave them in each other’s arms,
The loss of these jewels be the least of their harm.
Away from the palace I walk a dark land.
War does not suit me, I must form a plan.
This token would cost me some friends I would grieve,
But I am a thief with a trick up his sleeve.
Companions are many, true friends are few.
Parts of ourselves we’ve recovered anew.
These we embrace and protect when we can
For walking alone is the fate of each man.
I keep my black promise and deliver red news
To a raven-hair princess, in darkest of moods.
I bow as I exit her realm of chagrin
But tarry a time with her hand maid to mend.
When flickering torches grow faint in the night,
I shift in the shadows, avoiding the light.
I retake tiara and trinkets she’ll miss,
Then exit to leave her a wiser princess.
SS Matthews Barefoot Poetry