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Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Role-Playing Game


(A fool's anthem)

by John MacBeath Watkins

I should begin my journey to lay siege to your heart
(a trebuchet, a catapult, mines beneath the walls
armor seared in boiling oil, charges into pitfalls)
but my forces seem to scatter before I make a start.

I will have died a thousand deaths before I reach your door
I'm not the hero of your heart, I'm just the fool you've seen before.

But I'll speak up for the fools who came before me
and I'll speak up for the fools we've yet to see
those who cawed like crows instead of cooing like a turtledove
the ragged voices that have never found a way to speak of love.

I should begin my journey from my battered high redoubt
(tumbled stones from fallen towers, broken wheels from ruined carts
a clock whose hands forget the hours, ashes in abandoned hearths)
but my forces melt around me before I can remount.

I must endure a thousand deaths before I reach your door
to be the hero of your heart, or just the fool you've seen before.

And I'll speak for all the fools who came before me
and I'll speak for all the fools we've yet to see
those who cawed like crows instead of cooing like a turtledove
the ragged voices that have never found a way to speak of love.


(The image is one of Dore's illustrations for Don Quixote.)

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