in the Shadow of Greatness


December 9, 2003

Words 'are too' sticky

Grand Affair :: Passel visits Caithness, Maiden Queen of Ghenesh

"Poets and playwrights. How we love them in Rebma. There is an old story. Syrene, the first to wear the Jewel of the Sapphire Sea, was inconsolable after the death of Lir. She sat his throne but would not hold court because her heart was only half and very dark was the void within it.

"So one day, a poet entered the court. The dark waters there held part of the chill of that mighty Queen. This fellow told Her Majesty that he had written a most powerful poem to the memory of Lir. He wept and asked if he could present it to her.

"She agreed, telling him, 'be this not moving or able to slake my torn memory of good Lir, I shall have you flensed.' The poet paled in the dark.

"He took out his sealskin and looked at it, clearing his throat. Squinted and asked kindly if the torches could be lit so that he might continue.

"Syrene had the torches lit for the first time in months.

"The poet then saw the fierceness in the Queen's face. Saw death writ in every line. He trembled."

Passel then holds out her free hand near to Caithness' cheek. Her fingers slightly tremble. Her eyes smile down into the Maiden Queen's. "The man of letters asked kindly if the molten kettles that warm the throne room could not be charged so that he might continue.

"Syrene had the power brought to the kettles until the rock within glowed and soon the waters there were warm for the first time in months.

"The poet then got down on his knee. He began, 'Syrene,' and leaned forward and kissed the Queen's knee. He spoke, 'Syrene,' and then kissed her thigh. He said, 'Syrene,' and kissed the blue kelp bed canyoned between her legs.

"He kissed and spoke, kissed and murmured, kissed and dined from the depths of the Queen's memory and She agreed at close of his poem that the memory of Lir had been well served."

Passel ap Morelwyn sips again from her snifter and her eyes have stayed on those of Caithness throughout. The pulse at her neck beats an ancient clock. She clears her throat lightly. "Exploring the depths of Words will always have a place in Rebma. You are so right."

Filed under : Amber, Muse at 09.12.2003