Fancy And Folly

I met two sisters so joyous-jolly
as sisters seen in playful debut—
I met the sweet twins, Fancy and Folly,
while longing for experiences new.
The one to the other to me but smiled
as if each a mischievous cohort,
and the two sisters seemed lovely and wild
and worthy of great efforts to court.
So I dared to ask for a dance or two
and they obliged me at the ready,
taking turns in the dizzying venue
till my mind spun quite light and heady.
But how to describe such lovely ladies?
Fair, at first glance, as floating fairies
with dreamy eyes as if beneath shade trees
and lips as tempting as red berries,
but as berries of the crooked yew tree,
for they tasted of a final breath,
and, if pursued so quick and foolishly,
one may well pursue untimely death.
But pursue them, I did, and quite gladly,
the two together, or thus never,
for they were as one, though both were madly
in love with me, for I was clever.
Though bigamy might give pause to weak men,
the very thought thrilled without surcease,
for I was the rooster, they each a hen,
sharing my life without moment’s peace.
Enraptured of them, I felt I could do
all things, however implausible,
nor did I fear what I might, in time, rue—
for everything seemed possible.
And my ladies did so oft entertain
when I took them out on social nights,
being popular (whoever did reign)
and the talk of many socialites.
Who needs wine when my twin lovers swayed me
with intoxicating emotions
and wild dreams that both made and unmade me
in the drunkedness of their notions.
What mischief twinkled in their lovely eyes!
Those who claimed it a lunatic’s gleam
were but jealous, envious, or likewise,
at being denied our special dream.
Arm in arm in arm, we were such a force
and accomplished much by our merit,
not withstanding the end result (of course)
which failed because Fate could not bear it.
Yet, even our failures were victories
insomuch as we attempted them
whereas others, from fear or idling ease,
dared not, choosing instead the venom
that was smirkful gossip and ridicule
to recompense such complacency
as would dismiss me as a naive fool
while forfeiting their own agency.
Who are they, after all, to thus decry
the twins as foes of the human race
when, frankly, such ladies are reason why
Man exists in the very first place,
for the twins were improv midwives of Man
and have raised all peoples as their own
from small, scattered tribes to today’s great span,
great gardens grown from a few seeds sown.
Without Fancy and Folly at our side
where would we all be as a species?
Never would we have gone so far and wide
to dare the chance of our odysseys.
And so I still court them, the sly schemers,
on the chance of Chance they can provide,
hoping they favor me as those dreamers
who, in the past, took each for a bride.

Fairy Wealth, Or The Cure For Pessimism

There is much love to be had
and so much joy to enjoin,
far too much to be so sad
as if all a fairy coin,
and even so, covet leaf
in a purse of gilt Autumn
rather than indulge the grief
of a lordly, ill-got sum.
Some fear the poor peasant’s lot
and there’s much to fear in such
for what comforts might be bought
or fare found at such a touch,
but fairy leaf from the wood
can still make a bitter brew,
which when hot still tastes as good
if imbibed with wisdom’s dew,
for it warms and heals the soul
even when a trick is played,
drank inside when cold winds blow
with lemongrass from the glade,
whereas a brow on the throne
breaks beneath the coffers’ weight,
castles chilling to the bone
and troubles beyond the gate.
True his throat knows better food
and grows fatter, (never thin),
but it is his neck that’s hewed
if deposed by his cousin.
So when life gives you such wealth
from the Fae, those puckish thieves,
thank the errant, lying elf
and boil water for the sieves—
after all, you could brew tea
which might earn sums most handsome
from folks feeling quite chilly,
thus earning a king’s ransom.

The Slow Suicide

I have oft slain myself
with many leisure hours
spent idle on a shelf
while my dear dream sours—
squandered much in repose
when I might have else gained
much more, or so it goes,
had I not thus refrained,
and in wasting the hours
wasted myself in course
and whatever powers
of mine might provide force
to propel with the stream
of my goals and desires,
profligate unto dream
while my dull life expires.
So many my phases
spent sawing my own thread—
sawing my thread with wear
as Atropos raises
her scissors as fated
to spur strident regret
as I see the frayed seams
and how I also whet
Death with layabout schemes,
for languid was my mode
when ample time blessed me,
but now that I grow old
I am no longer free
to seek diversion for
lounging as I so please,
but must face Death’s black door
and the chill in Fall’s breeze.
I who have taken day
and made a dull, dim thing
of every sunray
that could crown me a king
with the riches of Time,
(a precious rare tender)
rather than this crime
as my own self-lender
indebted evermore
and never to be repaid
as the mortgage grows more
with debt indolence made,
for I am a turncoat
against my own season,
a suicide whose note
was slow in its treason.
Hark! The clock strikes again
as day drains to the lees—
it is a mortal sin:
suicide by degrees.