Poetry by Jeff Green

3506–Death_Valley.html

Death Valley

by cricketjeff on April 16, 2012.  © Jeff Green, All rights reserved

At the bottom of the valley there’s a long forgotten cave,
Where so many hopes lie perished with the gravestones of the brave.
Where the scent of constant magic once hung heavy in the air,
There is nothing but the stench of cold despair.

Though the valley days were sunny and the soil was rich and deep,
Simple shepherds lived with terror as they tended to their sheep.
Fathers locked away their daughters and their sons were keen to fight
As they waited for their enemy by night.

In the skies above the valley could be heard the beat of wings
Lowering clouds were lit by flashes that could freeze the hearts of kings.
In the mornings there was silence but the nights were filled with screams
And the scents and shapes that mould the darkest dreams.

When a proud and noble lordling heard the tales that travellers told
He set forth to win great honour as the bravest of the bold.
With two dozen lusty fellows, armed with arrows, sword and lance,
They were sure to show the worms a final dance.

In the weeks and months that followed death walked taller every day,
As the mighty men of valour chased the beasts of myth away
Twenty men and fifty dragons would be dead before the end
Young and foolish lords feel life is theirs to spend.

Arranhand the wise and golden was the last to leave the cave,
When his family was slaughtered there was nothing left to save.
With a last few mighty wingbeats and accompanied by jeers,
He was chased from where he’d lived five hundred years.

For a while the simple farmers thought these men had saved their lives,
Though it seemed no-one had ever lost their children or their wives,
Dragons took some sheep and cattle but weren’t prey to human greeds,
Only killing what they needed for their feeds.

There’s a price to pay for progress, and it can be very high,
For it wasn’t only fear the dragons brought down from the sky.
When they died their magic ended, year by year the crops declined,
And the men who fought so bravely left a sadder land behind.

Now the valley’s dry and barren and there are no flocks of sheep,
With no herds of well fed cattle to fall victims in their sleep,
Just a few old men remember how those lizards used to soar
But the dragons of the valley are no more.

Author notes

Late as usual