The following poem is my first attempt at a ballad. I enjoy working with fixed forms as much as with open form. Traditional forms of verse really train you to think! Plus, in this case, the subject matter is near and dear to my heart, so I hope you enjoy it!
In Defense of a Witch
Upon a hill on Cherry Street,
A dark and windy road,
Begins a tale of ghostly fright,
Enigmas to decode.
A dark-skinned female in a house
Was taunted by her foes.
Her neighbors and their children both
Abhorred her, I suppose.
You see, this female, and her cat,
Seemed from another world.
Her stately face, his fearless strut…
The rumors ‘round them swirled.
Folks said the cat her husband was,
Before he slipped and strayed.
She cursed him to his present form,
Revenge upon him paid.
But in return, and out of love,
She left him with one pow’r:
Return as man, for lust or love,
But only for one hour.
So gossip went as gossip goes,
The seasons came and went.
Then one Samhain, or Hallow’s Eve,
There came a grave event:
Some costumed teens on Cherry Street,
They plotted and they planned
To tease our dusky lady friend,
And scare her off her land.
They made a zombie out of straw,
They giggled as they worked.
They fancied Lady Dusky Hue
Would surely go berserk.
Upon her house, on Hallow’s Eve,
These youthful rascals crept.
They danced the zombie on her porch,
Made noises while she slept.
These naughty boys observed their fun
And had a new desire –
To take the zombie, with some wood,
And place it on a pyre.
Some harmless fun, no doubt they thought,
What damage could they do?
The fire will die, they’ll share a laugh,
Then have a drink or two.
Our lady did their conduct hear
And cursed them as she woke.
In privacy she lived her life –
To her this was no joke.
A cauldron, wand, and pentacle
Two candles, black and white,
These tools our cloistered lady friend
Would have to use tonight.
Before the circle she could draw,
Before her spell was cast,
Before his actions she could stop,
Her cat had acted fast.
He hopped upon the window sill.
The kids, they saw, and mocked.
But when the cat became a man,
The group of them were shocked.
They blamed it on a lack of sleep,
Perhaps the stolen beer?
They trembled, sweated, closed their eyes,
And held their breath in fear.
“Artania is my name, you clods,
Diana is my wife.
You’ll leave this place and ne’er come back
Or I will end your life.”
With that, the zombie doll rose up,
It’s body still on fire.
And chased the screaming boys away,
‘Twas something to admire!
This loyal cat, our Lady’s spouse,
Inspired by love’s true thirst
Received a lusty recompense
And had his spell reversed.
Diana knew her wand’ring mate
Had learned his lesson sound.
By proving love’s protective air,
Redemption he had found.
Our witchy couple’s love affair
Thus had a happy end.
Their hapless bullies’ fate was worse;
With them I’ll now contend…
Those rogues were dazzled by that night,
They tried to tell their tale.
But cursed as liars, tricksters all,
They spoke, to no avail.
The goss’py town which shunned our dame
Would shun these boys as well.
The rumors ‘round them swam and flew,
Their reputations fell.
See, witches live in every town,
And privacy they crave.
They cast their spells and heal the sick,
And bless those in the grave.
Molest these folks or do them harm,
And then you soon will see
That Power dark and twisted will
Return to you – times three!