A few weeks ago I shared an excerpt from an epic pirate poem I’m writing, currently titled An Unfinished Tale of a Villainous Pirate. I have to clarify that when I say “epic” I actually mean it – this thing is turning into a cocktail of Chaucerian couplets (but with the rhythm of The Night Before Christmas), Norse folktales, and an Odyssey-like journey for a band of completely unlikeable pirates.
Today, I’m skipping way ahead in the story to share a very teeny, tiny excerpt that’s making me pretty happy. Like the last excerpt, this is still a first draft with a lot to polish up, and it’s also nestled in an abundance of content and context, but I’m still so delighted by how this story is pulling me along that I’m not even thinking about editing yet.
The Sleeping Tidal Trolls – by Michelle Joelle
Most trolls of the old lore tend to reside
In mountainous caverns, as far deep inside
As they can burrow themselves without disturbing
Secrets the mountain does not want unearthing.
For that is the reason why trolls remain hidden:
To guard all of nature’s most valuable wisdom.
Truths our own history never has told,
Being too great for words, and far, far too old.
But trolls don’t just limit their watch to the caves,
They protect what lies hidden beneath ocean waves.
You’ve seen them before if you’ve been to the coast,
Though I’d wager you not recognize them as foes.
They appear just like rocks sticking out of the sea
And you can skip on their backs just as safe as can be.
Through the blue-green salt water they look like shadows
Or the darkness which marks off the deep from the shallow.
But if ever you wade among the large rocky crags
Beware of sharp fingers, or you might just get grabbed
By those who lurk in the water, scrounging for bones.
Lucky for us, dry air turns them to stone.
It’s not how they stay, no, it’s just how they sleep,
Settling into their slumber in the tidal retreat.
There they lay guard while the sea water rests
Over treasures too sacred to fit in pirate chests.
Can you see him here, curled up for a nap? He’s got a lovely beard.