Sonata: Excerpt from Eric Syrdal’s Pantheon

She has seen evidence
of the beast
everywhere around her
Through the streets
of the city
it leaves its evidence
on the grey landscape

Scorch marks on the concrete
broken scales on the playgrounds
teeth shattered and discarded
in the gutter
shades of green and brown
but often clear like ice

She hears its wings
scraping on the sides
of their tenement
at night
While everyone but she
is sleeping

She’s heard its low growl
The heavy air of its presence
in the hallway
right outside her door

Pure of heart…

Her blood formed a natural
resistance to the beast

When the pressure of
the outside world bowed in
on her
The air would thicken enough
that she could hear its voice
speaking to her in rich whispers

But her life was solid and
secure behind the ramparts
she had spent the dearest
years of her existence building

And so…
she would go…
from gatehouse to field
from field to gatehouse
day in
day out
collecting her wages
from the lord of the land
Paying her tithe
to king and country

Feeding mouths which cannot feed themselves
saving the scraps for herself
Dining alone in the kitchen
When the rest of the world is in repose
fat and groggy on a full belly

Retiring herself to a lump-filled mattress
only when the hearts and breaths
of those around her
beat the slow rhythm of slumber

It is then,
In this time where dreams hang
just out of reach

That the dragon speaks

A thin crack
no bigger than a length of
brown hair
from her head
will let it filter in

The voice…
like salted butter
on warm bread
aged and beautiful
like a rich wine
from ancient Greece

What harm could be done?

let it inside
let it crawl around the floor
under the kitchen table
around the chair
sleep on the window sill

It steals a small, reptilian kiss
from her lips
like a playful suitor…

Watching TV at 3am
Away from home and the hearts that need her
In the moments between heartbeats

When the world takes its accusing eyes off of her

A flicker of a forked tongue
a trickle of fire
down the throat

Serpentuously sliding itself
around her heart
purring there
until morning

Leaving no trace

Gentlemanly stealing away
before dawn
taking with it, the guest key
sweetly provided
and leaving in its place
a lovely note of:

“fond wishes and thank you for a lovely evening”

Flowery signature
punctuated with a long stem rose

And so it comes to pass
that the dragon and the damsel
purchase a delicate peace
and defer payment to a
nondescript weekday of the far future

Pantheon is coming soon from Sudden Denouement Publishing

Eric Syrdal is a poet/author.  He’s an avid gamer and Sci-Fi enthusiast. He enjoys reading science fiction and fantasy literature and spends a great deal of his writing time focused in those genres.  He is a romantic, at heart. His work usually contains elements of the supernatural and fantastic along with potent female voices and archetypes.

He is from New Orleans, Louisiana, where he lives with wife and two children.  You can read more Eric’s writing at My Sword and ShieldWhisper and The Roar and can follow him on his Facebook Author Page

20 thoughts on “Sonata: Excerpt from Eric Syrdal’s Pantheon

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