Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Diana, a poem


Of golden sunlight,
Pools of green,
Dapple her skin like
A fawn's
As she runs
Through the glade.

Of silver arrows
Flash in the quiver,
Rattle in their case like
The shards
Athenians scratched 
To vote.

Of startled birds 
Fly up into the blue;
Her arc
Is in her hand,
An arrow notched
And ready.

Scatter, wet and gleaming,
As her golden-sandalled foot
splashes in the brook,
A warning
To the prey
She seeks.

Sparkle on her cheeks
Like angry diamonds,
Splash onto sunburned arms 
And dusty knees;
Weary she returns
To her garden.

Begin to prick
The violet dusk;
Bathed and clean
She sits in the fragrance
Of evening jasmine, henna, myrrh,
Under a crescent moon.

And he comes
To her there
In the secret place,
Tiny brazen hooves and silver horn,
pushing his velvet nose
Into the hollow of her neck,
Bowed in prayer.

Caroline Lawrence 1998

Nothing is lost! This poem I wrote in 1998 bore a kind of fruit nearly 20 years later when I did a re-telling of an ancient Roman tale for Barrington Stoke. Virgil's tragic Camilla story is found scattered out of order in books 7 and 11 of The Aeneid. I tried to put it in order and fill in the blanks. Queen of the Silver Arrow is written in simple prose for reluctant or dyslexic teen readers. But although the vocabulary is easy enough for a 7-year-old to read, some of the themes and images are better suited to children 11+

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