Monday, October 17, 2011

The Tale Of a Wonderfully Curious Romance

photograph by Joann Bartone

My very dearest friend Carolyn took a bride over the weekend. I was so honored to be asked to participate in the ceremony by reading a piece of my work. I'm not much of a Hallmark poet, and I don't think the girls were expecting that when they asked me to read, but I do feel that I captured these two special ladies in my own unique way. My best wishes for the best life has to offer go out to Carolyn and Beth.

The Tale Of a Wonderfully Curious Romance

Once upon a time
is the way most tales begin
but this one is a little different.

In a pink palace, nestled away on McKenzie Avenue,
lived a young princess some called Little Joan.
Unlike most princesses, this sovereign girl
dressed in leather and defiantly changed
her lovely locks from honeyed gold to Jett black.

She realized early that she would rather rock out than frolic
in a field, as most princesses tend to do. She built a music chamber
in her dungeon, where, instead of picking petals, she picked
a guitar. She tutored herself in the arts of Townshend
and Honeymann Scott until she found her own groove.

She never allowed herself to be wooed by the pursuits of gallant
princes but instead invited a dandy one to the ball.
There, they exposed their true selves despite
the traditional corsage and boutonniere
they pinned to one another’s bodies.

Over the years, this maid grew into a maiden.
Her virgin skin gave way to a magnificent tapestry
that included dancing skeletons and Sir Ozzy With Rhodes.
Her golden locks returned but the cut was rumpled
and too un-princess-like for some with traditional taste.

A series of doomed loves and failed musical troupes
only seemed to strengthen this maiden’s resolve
for finding her own unconventional fairy tale ending.

A few provinces away, in a different garden in this same state,
lived a daintier princess. Unlike the rocker one,
this noble maid followed a more time-honored path.
She harvested great joy tending to her gardens
giggling and frolicking among her flowers.

She held an affinity for horses, as many maids do, and fell
into popularity among the youth of her kingdom.
She cheered on the masters at the royal games
and acquiesced to the courtships of noblemen
with a titter and coy flutter of her fan.

She adopted the classical veil of princess by tossing
a bouquet into a hopeful crowd of maids and by dutifully
ruling over a nobleman’s castle. But this contentment was short lived,
for she found herself trapped in a tower
built of tradition and Tupperware.

She found this storybook life was one unworthy
of her pursuit and escaped this stifling stockade. She, too,
embarked on a pilgrimage for finding her own unconventional fairy tale ending.

One princess preferred the grating of rock-n-roll
while the other preferred the twang of country,
so it may come as a surprise to learn that it was music
that bound these two together.

One maiden’s resting quarters renovated into a music
chamber for the other. And one maiden’s horse power
gave way to the power of another’s horse.

In time, their love-at-first-sight renewed into a love
usually only reserved for the conclusion of fables.
The daintier and rocker princesses found in one another
the happy ending that they were searching for.

On one picturesque day, these two princesses stood before
their court and expressed to one another a devotion
built on truth. Those present were enchanted forever by what
they witnessed that day and by the knowledge that
sometimes it’s not always a prince that rides in to save the damsel.
And that sometimes it’s not always a horse drawn carriage,
but rather a horse powered hog, that carries them into
happily ever after.

written for the union of Carolyn and Beth, October 16, 2011

copyright Robert Paul Langdon, 2011.

This an other poems are available in print and digital in "The Candied Road Ahead: Poems and Stories." Available by clicking here