It’s National Poetry…

It's National Poetry Month! I thought about trying to write a poem a day, but life is so hectic recently that I think taking on more commitments is ludicrous. But I can at least try to post a poem a day, and perhaps some of them will be new. Someone recently mentioned that they liked this one of mine, so for those of you who like fairy tales:

gold rose dust: a fairy tale

they promise her a kiss, the twelve
fairies bending over her crib, a kiss to wake
her from her sodden sleep, a kiss to make
up for the weeping years, the loss
of sunrise in the mountains, water
dried to dust in fountains across
her courtyard; a consolation and a hope,
a rope to cling to as she swings through
the abyss, a kiss to wake the princess from
her sleep, to keep her safe and whole
in her chamber high above, a kiss for
love, and so, you know, she does not fear
when the witch beckons -- "Come here,
my dear..." -- she climbs the stair, her
golden hair trailing down, catching
dust, as she must, in the hundred years
to come; she pricks her thumb on the
spinning wheel, so quick, so slick, she doesn't
feel a thing, and then she sleeps, to dream
of tender kings and wedding rings, the
wings of love to lift her up from where she
lay, but what is this? the sun sets in the west;
its dying rays illuminate two babes upon
her breast, a pair of twins whose eager
lips bring only pain to the tips...oh, what
is this, this is not bliss, what's gone amiss,
oh say, twelve fairy godmothers, oh
say...was that a kiss?

*****
M.A. Mohanraj
2002

Hmmm...I'm not sure if everyone is aware that in an older Italian version of the Sleeping Beauty story, she was woken by two babes nursing. Implying all sorts of things had happened while she was sleeping.

You can find it in Italo Calvino's Italian Folktales. From Wikipedia: "Italo Calvino included a variant in Italian Folktales. The cause of her sleep is an ill-advised wish by her mother: she would not care if her daughter died of pricking her finger at fifteen, if only she had a daughter. As in Pentamerone, she wakes after the prince rapes her in her sleep, and her children are born and one sucks on her finger, pulling out the prick that had put her to sleep. He preserves that the woman who tries to kill the children is the king's mother, not his wife, but adds that she does not want to eat them herself but serves them to the king. His version came from Calabria, but he noted that all Italian versions closely followed Basile's."

Re: Basile, also per Wikipedia: "He is chiefly remembered for writing the collection of Neapolitan fairy tales titled Lo cunto de li cunti overo lo trattenemiento de peccerille (Neapolitan for "The Tale of Tales, or Entertainment for Little Ones"), also known as Il Pentamerone published posthumously in two volumes by his sister Adriana in Naples, Italy in 1634 and 1636 under the pseudonym Gian Alesio Abbatutis."

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