Barefoot Poetry

SS Matthews


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Thief Saga – Jewel of Night part 1&2

Jewel of Night

Part 1

A spell is best cast upon those who believe,
that power through practice of magic achieves
superior craft when one’s talent is rare
to call from the shadows what things you might dare.

A firm non-believer may discount results,
never-the-less beware the occult.
Dabbling in darkness may offer a thrill,
but lurking within are things that can kill.

From velvet chambers she conjures a Name,
invading my night with her summoning game.
Called from my card play to heed her demand.
Does she think me novice and hers to command?

For here’s a magician awake in the night,
able to shine an experienced light
on some would-be sorceress testing her fate
by compelling a demon to dance for a date.

A trio of knaves I fold with a frown
placing a threesome of winners face down.
Gambling for coin requires no heart.
I make no excuses, just rise and depart.

The curse that I carry does grant me a boon.
To spells of control I am nearly immune.
When muttered at midnight amidst full array,
even a specter might fail to delay.

Some find me more than a shadowy spell.
Some even think me an agent of Hell.
Her witch-work is potent and tough to defend,
drawing me into a this contact with men.

The stench on the street is nearly to much.
Streets should be vacant of riff-raff and such.
As torches of pitch throw their intricate weaves
of shadows down alleys, the playground of thieves.

I spot the two bullies, clubs poised to transfer
cherished possessions from my hands to hers.
Did they think me easy, a target of sport?
My dagger by moonlight will swiftly retort.

Dull eyes from darkness leer red in the night.
Mistress of magic how deadly your plight?
Fool of a bully, come fill then your grave.
Torch-light I wrap and reflect from my blade.

This phantom is more than some ox at the block,
this fine cloaked pedestrian’s head you would knock.
A blur is my answer, your mate must now grieve.
Red eyes roll upward and blood stains my sleeve.

What vanity drove you to wear this grave face?
Your thug-mate retreats at full speed from this place.
Fleeing this figment of death’s steel caress
may save him some breath and sudden arrest.

I’ve no time for chasing a wet-legged fool.
The witch that awaits me by her gazing pool
will see by the shadows a-swirl that I come
and wonder if mayhap her deed is undone.

Part 2

Arcane reminders to visit by day
circle her threshold and would keep at bay
most any practitioner of ill intent.
By spoiling their purpose my message is sent.

Withering sigils, well-crafted in blue,
might stymie the best, but I weave and pass through.
Having shadows for allies provides me an edge
to slash through illusion when out on the ledge.

As final announcement alerting the lass,
the old oaken door cries aloud as I pass.
Faintly a glow from her corridor’s end,
warns me away from invading her den.

A pentagram smoldering crimson conforms
to a waxwork geometry set round her floor.
Surrounded by candles reflecting her gaze,
she stands in her witch-light miasma ablaze.

Feeling secure when ringed by designs,
an elegant mistress of dark paradigm.
The envy of monarchs is won by her stare.
The envy of ravens is won by her hair.

Black is her raiment, black as her frown.
a web-work of lace to suffice as a gown,
Youthful and supple, I study her form;
voluptuous assets with skin pale but warm.

My interest reveals her control near its ebb.
She lifts from a table a bowl brimming red.
“Hold witch!” My dagger tip tickles my palm,
“You got lucky once, be still and keep calm.”

Her mouth sags to open, her robe reveals all.
A practiced beguilement, a trick to forestall.
I should not indulge the shape of her thigh.
“You’ve brought us together, I want to know why!”

I send forth a thought. She winces in pain.
Feeling my power she utters a name.
“No one can help you, but he whom you face.
Last time I’m asking, the truth, every trace.”

“You have many secrets of vigor and youth,
while other men stumble about most uncouth.
Fables surround you and legend’s your name.
I crave to learn these, to be just the same.”

“So is it my talents you say that you need?
Lying is painful, might cause you to bleed.
Your story, I will with spells, rip from your mind.
You’ve kept me this long, yes, I have the time.”

“Onto the table witch! Off with that robe!
Look not so shocked when acting so bold.”
A light from my hands quells her every protest.
She did as I bid and I did the rest.

Her story she utters in mutters and moans.
My real adversary stands right of the throne.
I left her to dreaming amidst her designs.
Magic has uses, yeah, magic like mine.

Barefoot Poetry
SS Matthews

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Thief Saga – Jewel of Night pt. 1

Jewel of Night

the sea witch by frank frazetta
The Sea Witch by Frank Frazetta

A spell is best cast upon those who believe,
that power through practice of magick achieves
superior craft when one’s talent is rare
to call from the shadows what things you might dare.

A firm non-believer may discount result,
never-the-less beware the occult.
Dabbling in darkness may offer a thrill,
but lurking within are things that can kill.

From velvet chambers she conjures a Name,
invading my night with her summoning game.
Called from my card play to heed her demand.
Does she think me novice and hers to command?

For here’s a magician awake in the night,
able to shine an experienced light
on a would=be sorceress testing her fate.
by compelling a demon to dance for a date.

A trio of knaves I fold with a frown
placing the threesome of winners face down.
Gambling for coin requires no heart.
I give no excuses, just rise and depart.

Some find me more than a shadowy spell.
Some even think me an agent of Hell.
The curse that I carry does grant me this boon
To spells of control I am nearly immune.

Yet muttered at midnight amidst full array,
even a specter is urged to obey.
Her witch=work is potent and tough to defend,
leading me into this contact with men.

The stench on the street is nearly too much.
Streets should be vacant of riff-raff and such.
Torches of pitch throw their intricate weaves
of shadows down alleys, the playground of thieves.

I spot the two bullies, clubs poised to transfer
cherished possessions from my hands to hers.
Dull eyes from darkness leer red in the night.
Mistress of magick how deadly your plight?

Did they think me easy, a target of sport?
My dagger by moonlight will swiftly retort.
Fool of a bully, come fill then your grave.
Torch-light I wrap and reflect from my blade.

This phantom is more than some ox at the block,
this fine cloaked pedestrian’s head you would knock.
A blur is my answer, your mate must now grieve.
Red eyes roll upward and blood-stains my sleeve.

Your thug-mate retreats at full speed from this place.
What vanity drove you to wear this grave face?
Fleeing this figment of death’s steel caress
may save him some breath and sudden arrest.

I’ve no time for chasing a wet-legged fool.
The witch that awaits me by her gazing pool
will see by the shadows a-swirl that I come
and wonder if mayhap her deed is undone.

Arcane reminders to visit by day
circle her threshold and would keep at bay
most any practitioner of dark design.
I tingle a little, but cross it just fine.

Withering sigils, well-crafted in blue,
might stymie the best, but I weave and pass through.
Having shadows for allies does give me an edge
for shredding illusion when placed on the ledge.

Barefoot Poetry of
SSMatthews


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Riven (poetry of the savage sword)

images
Art by Frank Frazetta

This piece was crafted around 2000 and looking at it now it begs for a revision. For today however, I’ll let it stand. Growing up I fell in love with the works of Robert E. Howard- Solomon Kane, Kull, Carter and of course Conan the Barbarian, The accompanying artwork by Frank Frazetta, Jeff Jones and others made for some fantastic fantasy material. I confess to having collected many of the early paperbacks and had a subscription to the Savage Sword. I don’t read like I once did, but that’s because of degenerating eyesight. For those of you Sword & Sorcery fans who may yet persist, this one’s for you.

Riven

Deep in darkness where I wander
done with thought no more to ponder.
I came upon a roadside tavern
more brightly lit than my own cavern.

Inside the laughing of the merry
lost in drink and thus unwary.
I enter through the tavern door
and pace across the oaken floor.

The barkeep offers ale and feast.
“I do not drink there comes a beast.
Best you rest with shutters drawn
his stride will bring him here ‘ere dawn.”

The guests withdraw a pace from hell.
Alone I’ll wait and mete the knell.
I pull my cloak of black about
and draw my blade to draw him out.

The fire’s feeble sparking light
bespeaks of wind out in the night.
I hear the wail of midnight air
a sighing hiss ‘He comes, prepare!’

Beyond the door a wretched cry
to curse my scent my sword and I.
A hilt of silver in my grip
warms my nerve as shutters split.

Fearsome eyes with hellish glare
seek my own to spring a snare.
He’d steal my strength and my resolve
then drive me down with razor claws.

I let him look into my eyes
so he will fully recognize
the foe is death that he must face
to stand within this blighted space.

Glimmer from the fire’s light
betrays my arcing wand of might.
Immortal blade finds fiend to fray
a bloody song to sing at play.

His bellow rattles men in beds
with blankets pulled across their heads.
Whom he would rend and then devour
were I not here in this dark hour.

He seeks with overwhelming weight
to be the dealer of my fate.
But I have yet to make my point
with breast of beast this floor anoint.

Fear creeps in to stall his strike
and there exposed to driven spike
of steel honed keen for such a chance.
I pry into his heart with dance.

He staggers back. His gaze goes dim.
My work has been the best of him.
The river Styx he will re-cross
with ferryman to soothe his loss.

SS Matthews

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