The Second Isolde

aloneI hired the best musicians to beautify the background
through dinner meals or as we sat at the fire,
and I played the violin, taught by a traveling magician.
I learned the songs of my people and of his also.
I had a voice the animals in the field would stop to hear.
I bathed in herbs the magician gave me and smoothed
my arms and legs with perfumed oils that came Continue reading

Percival

The Temptation of Sir Percival by Arthur Hacker

The Temptation of Sir Percival by Arthur Hacker

 “ . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . one night my vow
Burnt me within, so that I rose and fled,
But wail’d and wept, and hated mine own self,
And even the holy quest, and all but her;
Then after I was join’d with Galahad
Cared not for her nor anything upon earth.”
–Percivale, Idylls of the King

All but her
Not for her Continue reading

Elaine

head-of-a-young-woman-with-tousled-hair-ledaAs a girl I gathered the gooseberries
effortlessly and helped my mother bake the pies.
I knew just how much sugar was needed
for the berries—and I could sense
their taste by lightly squeezing them
and measure the tautness or softness
against the sugar. I was always right.
Women paid my mother to have me
make the pies for their festival
offerings or weddings or homecoming feasts. Continue reading