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Curse her in the Oak

dreamed 2009/9/28 by Wayan

Tonight, Victoria is Queen again, and young.
And so am I: Rose, an English girl,
pale, frail, blonde-curled. My family
lives in a rural county; but no
ignorant rustic I, nor mine; our line
scholarly, rooted, renowned (well, locally).
But Pappa taught me all; Mamma died young.

By nature I am shy; but three years ago,
my father much encouraging me, I
took the post of Land-Protector. 'Twas
not easy facing gypsies, place-spirits,
haunts, bogles, beggars, imps, but now
I've learned at least authority to feign.
And a vigorous guardian has been sore
needed here; we have a gang of good-for-
nothing Wildings troubling our farms.

Long was I patient with these Lost Boys'
petty thefts and pranks; but got no thanks.
No repentance. Enough! They think me a shy
English Rose; their crimes have slowly grown.
Past time to show Ann's ragged runaways
my Land-Protective thorns. Therefore

I don my stoutest mudding-boots and long
blue frock (the hue of power) and cross
that broad flat field--new-scythed,
our harvest just in--surrounding their
Hideout Tree. To the careless eye, a great
writhing common oak; but these miscreants
it shelters go sheer as glass while in
its branches, or their badgery lair
a-tween those crook'd ensorceled roots
like some troll-mum's knotted arms.

So I raise my chin and chant
to the tortuous Oak--
and unseen vap'rous flock
of child-ghosts, crows
truant and unschooled
as curling candle smoke:
"As County Protector,
I curse Ann Sowanseaux,
in the Name of the Light.

Leave our County! After your
last crime, Ann Sowanseaux,
I'll duel you on sight!"

I'm shocked at my own severity.
'Twas all unplanned; the spell
burst forth, white, unstoppable
as a typhoon-swell. Such cry
is binding. If I do spy Ann

I must attack! Not merely to retain
authority as a girl of my word;
compelled by my own spell.

For song, in this pale Realm
of Souls Invisible
is but full-focused Will.

Well--'tis done. For good or ill.

Woman in antique dress looks into a huge oak. Dream sketch by Wayan; click to enlarge.
A couple of Ann's riper minions drop
out of their oak, acorns loose with rot.
A girl lands afore me; over her head
a grubby hood. She moves as if to doff--

I snap "You had better not be Sowanseaux!
'Tis all-out war between us." She bares
her sooty face defiant--do ruffians e'er
bathe?--but I face only a crony's sneer.

Inhale relief. For I'm yet unprepared
to face that Ann. Spoke as spirit urged,
but now I ebb as then I surged.
But will I ever fully ready be?

The tree fades out as deeper doubts
halo my head like a horde of gnats.
For I'm a wretched judge of faces!

What if I mistake, see Ann in some innocent?
Could my sworn curse burn
a girl I never meant?

Near as dire: what if I fail
to recognize Lost Ann unveiled?
Will will alone her wicked soul detect?

What good is a Protector who
dare not full-ferociously Protect?

NOTES AND GUESSES a woman in antique dress gestures at a huge oak; dream sketch by Wayan.

LISTS AND LINKS: I'm Just Not Myself Today! - gender-bent dreams - time-bending dreams - dream jobs - magic - crime - trees - invisibility - Peter Pan - anger - spells and curses - assertiveness - health advice? - England - same dreamer, same night: The Dog King - another spell in an English wood: The White Deer, Re-Enacted - dream poetry - the Dreamverses project - the next Dreamverse: Sky and Prester John

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