Sample verse-chapter from Enchantments:
From the time Claire was a little girl,
she’d heard the stories of the elves.
Yet, more than merely tales they’d seemed,
held inside old books that waited
lonely on the shelves,
more than just some notion dreamed,
more than simple bedtime stories
of good men and their glories.
She’d loved those stories of the elves!
—How they’d help a stranger, lost;
heal his wounds, feed his soul
and share their stories, in sweet songs,
of courage and the cost,
and what it is that makes us whole,
and how it is they’d come to cherish
that which will not perish.
She dreamed of traveling far from home
to find some ancient, magic wood
where she would meet one for herself.
She’d bring a single, precious gift
and give it, if she could,
to one tall, slender, gentle elf.
The gift—her treasured crystal locket,
kept safe in her pocket.
A locket made by ancient hands
which, opened, would reveal some truth.
Then she would play some simple part
in helping good souls find their way,
and wise, in spite of youth,
she’d help return them to the heart,
where all true victories are won
and evil deeds undone.
Well, years passed by and Claire grew up.
Forgetting magic woods and elves
and busy with her daily cares,
she spent her time in hopeless toil
with those who served themselves.
Trapped within life’s cunning snares—
that shadowed world of half-truth lies;
deceits clouded her eyes.
And thus she spent each sadder day.
Having lost her dreams of heart,
she filled her life with work and things
of comfort and of costly beauty,
further set apart
from magic and its lucent wings.
She’d lost her life. Yet, fearing death,
she grieved with every breath.
Until, one evening full of stars,
during summer’s hot embrace,
for no reason that she could recall,
she chose to take a walk along
a lonely wooded place.
From there inside, she heard a call
so strange and song-like in its tone
it thrilled her to her bone!
She thought of crazy wanderers.
She thought of cruel men and of thieves.
But still, from somewhere deep within,
she knew these voices held no threat.
(The child within believes!)
'Twas then she heard the call again.
From far within the trees she heard
one solitary word.
“Come,” the voices sang to her.
“Come,” they sang so high and sweet.
'Twas then old memories flooded in
and spilled out from her weary eyes
and fell about her feet.
She wept and sobbed and wept and then,
with all those memories full and swollen,
knew what had been stolen.
She ran into that wood so fast
her feet flew, barely touching ground!
Frantically she searched the place
from where the tender voices sang
but no one could be found.
“Why tease then vanish with no trace?”
she cried, and dropped down to her knees
and wept among the trees.
She saw her life so clearly, then.
She knew the truth and knew the lies.
And that was when she made her choice
to walk away and not look back,
no matter what the ties.
‘Twas on that day, Claire found her voice.
She stood up straight and stood up tall
and softly sang her call.
“Come,” she whispered like a sigh.
Again she sang it, “Come to me.”
With all her heart and all her mind,
she focused on her childhood spirit
still alive in memory.
And with such faith (that some call blind),
she kept repeating, “Come. Come!
Come and take me home!”
Finally, wind began to stir
and all the leaves began to dance.
She breathed in deeply summer’s scent,
sweet and pungent on her tongue
and, nourished by its fragrance,
once again she sang her chant.
“I will not leave until you come!
Come and take me home!”
She sensed them first, before she saw.
(The leaves were rustling like a sigh.)
She did not move but for her breath.
While light and shadow wildly played,
a star fell from the sky.
She watched its brief pass into death
and when she turned from that black bowl,
their gazes pierced her soul!
She knew them all, though not by name.
Yet, so familiar was each face
that each one seemed a long-lost friend.
And warm affection filled her breast
when they, with royal grace,
bowed low, their arms outstretched, palms opened,
waiting there in silent night
while bathed in full moon light.
Then the tallest of them smiled
and gave his hand for Claire to take.
“I am Gle’anden. We have come
from far away E’alowen,
across the Crystal Lake.
We’ve come, at last, to take you home.
For though your mind became deceived,
your heart always believed!”
Now while Gle’anden spoke these words,
the other elves all circled ‘round.
And all the forest was transformed
to dancing light, like silver threads,
from topmost bough to ground.
Claire just smiled, quiet, warmed.
It all was good, it all was right—
this symphony of light.
Then, swept up in that symphony,
they danced and sang themselves—away.
Until the wood was just a wood
and silent as the dark itself.
Yet, on the ground, there lay
one silver thread where last they’d stood,
shimmering in the soft moonlight.
A memory of the night.
Now there’s a land that’s far away,
where forests sprawl out lush and green
and lakes and rivers dance and shine
and fill the sky with rainbow hues,
the loveliest you’ve seen!
There, the folks are good and fine.
Claire lives there, with Gle’anden,
© Copyright 2007 Susan M. Botich