January 12, 2008
Illustrations originally presented as slides
projected during a live reading
at Easter at Avalon
April 8, 2007
There was not long ago or far away
A town where children played and sang all day
And once their folks had tucked them in at night
The kids hid under covers in their fright
Except one little lady, strong and feral
A wild, precocious child by name of Carol
Who‚Äôd lie in silence, with her eyes tight closed
And wait till all the town serenely dozed
Then up she‚Äôd jump and loudly she‚Äôd declare
‚ÄúIt takes more than the dark to get me scared!‚Äù
Outside her window, an old Oak-tree grew
Perhaps this tree‚Äôs who she was speaking to
Regardless, she continued ‚ÄúOh well sure
I‚Äôm frightened when the morning traffic roars
The hairs on my young neck do stand on ender
When mom throws fresh tomatoes in the blender
And last week on a class trip to the zoo
The tongue of a giraffe, it scared me too
There‚Äôs causes for concern both far and near
But one thing that I‚Äôll never, ever fear‚Ä¶‚Äù
‚ÄúIs England! Yeah, they once were some great power
But now are ‚Äòbout as fearful as a flower
Their royal navy bullied the whole world
Now they can‚Äôt frighten this six year old girl!
I fear the toxic waste dumped in the sea
I fear the slash and burn of every tree
I fear the monsters underneath my bed
I fear the spirits mumbling in my head
I fear the pit-bull readying to pounce
But I do not fear England ‚Äì not one ounce‚Äù
And who‚Äôd have thought these words from little Carol
Would prove to be old England‚Äôs greatest Peril?
To bring long dead King Arthur back to sense
As sworn to rise again in her defense
He looked around, asked ‚ÄúWhat‚Äôs the matter, son?
That I‚Äôm so summoned back from Avalon?
Where blossoms bloom and apples sweetly grow
And women are all true, unlike that‚Äî‚Äù ‚ÄúWhoa!‚Äù
Young Carol stopped him speaking ‚Äúquiet please!
If Mom and Dad hear, they‚Äôll call the police!
And just in case your vision‚Äôs gone all shady ‚Äì
I‚Äôm no-one‚Äôs son, ‚Äòcause I‚Äôm a little lady.‚Äù
‚ÄúBut tell me, girl, have Saxons stormed my lands?
And smudged the Grail with their unwash-ed hands?
I‚Äôll swing Excalibur to smash their ranks
I‚Äôll rend their necks, their elbows and their shanks.
But lo, I see no horror in your eyes‚Äù
‚ÄúNo, I don‚Äôt fear you prehistoric guys.‚Äù
She answered ‚ÄúMaybe once you fought so greatly
But tell me, Arthur, what have you done lately?‚Äù
So Arthur pondered this and said at last
‚ÄúYou‚Äôre right. All my great deeds are in the past.‚Äù
Just then the window opened and they stared
The oak was gone ‚Äì there stood a lady fair!
And Carol asked ‚ÄúAre you his faithful bride?‚Äù
‚ÄúNo, that‚Äôs my sister Morgan,‚Äù Arthur sighed.
‚ÄúMorgana, please,‚Äù the lady said ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs true
I am his sister, and have powers too
I may not be a mighty patriarch
With lordly conquest legends to impart
But no less than this king‚Äôs great deeds in worth
For mine, you see, are powers of the earth
Each blade of grass that reaches for the sun
Each river that leaves flowers where it runs
All animals and insects on parade
Are part of this same earth from which they‚Äôre made
Though men don‚Äôt praise my glory by the sword
When men are gone, the Earth will still endure.‚Äù
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs cool!‚Äù said Carol ‚ÄúWhy‚Äôve I never heard?‚Äù
‚ÄúWe girls don‚Äôt get the credit we deserve.‚Äù
‚ÄúWell thank you, Morgan, but that does not help,‚Äù
King Arthur sighed ‚ÄúI need to scare this whelp.‚Äù
But Carol answered ‚Äúput away your sword
I understand, this world needs mighty lords
To be inspired with righteousness and truth
But if the planet‚Äôs ruined – what‚Äôs the use?
Perhaps combined, the two of you could grant
Some balance for mankind upon the planet.
Your power would not need to come from fear
But rather from the songs of life you‚Äôd hear.‚Äù
Young Carol woke and looked around her room
Saw her two guests had vanished with the moon
But through the window, Carol smiled to see
the sun arose and kissed the old oak tree