The Quest Divides

(c) Melinda Kucsera

The Quest Divides

Part 27 of Quest

(If you missed a part of Quest, find it here on its TOC.
Picks up where Weighing Quests left off.)

Quests, like hearts, divide.
One quest’s end starts another.
The heart picks the quest.

~ ~ ~

Chero stirred, waking from sleep and troubled
dreams as his ride halted at a nondescript
granny-apple-green grass patch that bubbled
up as he watched two bright slashes that ripped
the ground apart, making an aperture
that spied a tent city ringed by white dunes.

“That’s not Shayari. Where’ve you brought us to?”
he asked his psychopomp pet, but the loon
pointed a hairy leg at Istan, who,
saw that foggy place and knew it’s his stop.

“Our fellowship ends for me, not for you.
We’ll meet again and our stories, we’ll swop.”
Istan nodded then and started to go
but Irene halted him; she had to know.

~ ~ ~

His leaving after she had found again
what she’d lost long ago to youth’s folly
hit like an electric shock jolting fain
hopes she’d entertained of times more jolly
regained; now with visceral pain, she faced
separation again. No, cleansing such
thoughts from her mind, she moved alongside, placed
herself between him and that wormhole; much
rode on her next words; they mustn’t be feeble.
She couldn’t allow him to go north to doom.

He touched her lips with a finger; eagles
screamed somewhere, giving voice to grief that looms
in all lovers’ hearts, e’en those separated;

“I have to follow a cross,” he stated.

~ ~ ~

She had her own Quest to pursue, Undeem
demons to tame, their queen’s pow’r to hamstring.
With a kiss, they parted and the ground seamed
itself back together; its elastic
feel easy on her sore feet as she shuffled
on, following a spider through plastic
passes cut in a landscape that’s ruffled
by their presence and the syncopated
steps of their psychopomp spider; the land
shifts underfoot into a timepiece, plated
in silver with black hands that twirl round and
round, blurring until a portal appears.
She jumped, dropped down that hole and disappeared.

~ ~ ~

The hole closed up leaving Hen to wonder
if his turn’s next to part the company
of his winged friends, who’d saved his life, wandered
far to help him find the kidnapped baby
in his arms–a child he’d no way to care
for, no milk, no clean nappies, not even
a roof to put o’er his head; it wasn’t fair.
He had nothing but thanks to offer when
his exit rose up, a ghostly mirror
reflecting the avocado green shoots
breaking through the thawing earth–spring’s anchor,
those shoots, bordered by roots, which marked a route
that led up a rise into a valley–
one of Shayari’s famed hundred valleys.

~ ~ ~

Hen stepped forwards to enter that image
and smiled when, his spider guide and friends
entered; e’erything went sideways; night’s cage
fell upon them; a mad queen’s cackles blend
with howls; the last tincture of sunset’s rose
is swallowed by falling night and somewhere
a portal opens spewing a monster clothed
with hate for all life, a viscous meld there
to exact vengeance for their swift escape.

“Run!” Chero said, hopping off his spider’s
back; their tired, eight-legged savior shrinks its shape
’till into Chero’s pack crawls his spider.
Two of its legs loosely drape round his neck
in an embrace; its head rests against his neck.

~ ~ ~

Off they fly, fair scouts.
Below runs man holding child.
The Undeem give chase…

The Quest continues tomorrow…

Before I leave you,
allow me one question, please.
Your thoughts are welcome.
Dear Reader,

I’m thinking of ‘writing into the gaps’ I left and adding prose to the poetry to flesh out Quest into a more traditional narrative. The poetry would stay; there would just be prose passages filling in the gaps caused by the restrictive form I chose. So, there’d be more action, more interaction, more characterization and more room for the enchanted forest to do its thing and mess with our Questers. (Because that’s what a quasi-intelligent Enchanted Forest does. I’ve been curtailing it and it’s not happy about that.)

What do you think? Do you want more Quest?

I’m not sure how this would play out editorially yet, suggestions welcome on that. If this doesn’t appeal to you, feel free to say so. Quest is not ending here with this post, in fact it’s just beginning.

Thank you for reading,
Thank you for comments and likes,
You’re always welcome.

The Quest Divides incorporated the following prompts: Color Your World: Granny Apple Green and Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie’s Wordle #97



31 thoughts on “The Quest Divides

  1. I love the poem in the opening especially and I really thought the dialogue was fabulous and want to see more of it. You’ve incorporated the words beautifully and in such a natural way. I would like to see this as narrative but I also love it the way it is


  2. I am going to break my vow of silence as you are asking for an actual opinion. Personally I find it more magical with the poetry but you are right that it might be restrictive in characterisation to an extent. I would say follow your heart, choose what it guides you to do. You will still have followers reading you anyway 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for speaking. There would still be poetry; I agree the poetry makes it more magical but dialogue is tough to do in sonnet form and make it both realistic and understandable. The few attempts I’ve made at it sound artificial to me. I’m really grateful for the feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. First of all, this stanza appealed to me the most:
    “He touched her lips with a finger; eagles
    screamed somewhere, giving voice to grief that looms
    in all lovers’ hearts, e’en those separated”
    This is the best evidence of what I told you before, that you have that great skill of putting realistic touch to your magical tale. This stanza just made my heart flutter. ❤

    As to your question, honestly, I think I am no fit to suggest. 🙂 Not because I don’t love the quest, it’s because I loved it so much that my suggestion may harm it! 😀 I believe in you so much, Mel and you know I look up to you. Wherever this quest will lead you, I will follow. 🙂

    But still, I will speak my mind because that’s what you asked for. 🙂 As your reader, and again honestly, I love your poems 🙂 but I can imagine the prose easier. 🙂 (That’s why I love Sarn a lot. <3). And it with be great to know where do your characters went after this, because I believe they each have their own exciting individual quests. 🙂

    Thank you, Mel! That would be all from me. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rosema for your comments and your honesty. I had a feeling that the prose would be easier both to read and to write. Writing 4-6 sonnets a night is tough. Your thoughts are always welcome and appreciated, never doubt it! Thank you so much for speaking your mind. It’s a great help to me especially since I am so tired and stressed tonight from work that I haven’t much poetry in me. And you’re right, they do have their individual quests and I want to write them all! 🙂 (You know I will write them too. They won’t let me not write of their exploits.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very much welcome, Mel! 🙂 I can’t imagine how hard it is to write 4-6 sonnets a night, especially after a hellish day at work.
        Have some well-deserved rest, my dear Mel. 🙂
        Whether you write prose or poetry, and wherever this quest lead your diverse bunch of characters, I will be here, reading and commenting. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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