"A decade has passed since I saw your eternal smile,"
said the Poet (in classical Greek) at the Louvre to the Horseman.
"Stone lasts. Your millennia dwarf my little while."

"How sad, but your self-pity leaves me cold," said the stone,
"for I am only a lump of marble carved by a mortal:
my envied eternity thus is really his own."

The Prince and the Dragon

Armoured only by his raw awareness
of vulnerability and the pain
of death, the desperate prince besieged the tower
to free the green-eyed lady or be slain.
    Bewail the dragon's agony.

The dragon had mastered all the tricks of warfare
and seen and eaten princes before,
but the one thing he could not conquer was tradition
and thus, his nine lives he yielded sad roar after roar.
    Bewail the dragon's agony.

The colours of the land had yearned to open,
the birds and brooks and bees to sing. But the snail
wrote a silver script across the sunshine:
that this was far from the end of the tale.
    Bewail the dragon's agony.

The hero got his girl and gold and glory
and chose from his enemy's weapons, taking the best,
and went home to settle down to the life
of a dragon: plotting peril for every guest.
    Bewail the dragon's agony.

Thomas Orszag-Land is a poet and award-winning foreign correspondent writing from London and his native Budapest. His work has been published by Message in a Bottle and it appears in current, forthcoming or very recent issues of Acumen, The Author, The Jewish Quarterly and Stand.)

                            Art Work by Derek Sellen