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Magic Horses

As a child, I loved
a favorite chess piece: The Knight.
(Though really, The Horse,

’cause my dad’s chess set
had Knights carved to resemble
actual horse heads.)

And they were magic!
The horses could jump over
opposing pieces,

though I imagined
that they actually jumped
between the pieces

or even through them!
Some kind of dimensional
legerdemain or

tour de force. Couldn’t
be held in or back. They were
unstoppable djinns.

Yes, at four I knew 
Ali Baba’s forty thieves,
Aladdin’s old lamp,

and especially, 
princes on flying stallions.
Scheherazade’s tales.

Dad’s chess set folded
into a box where the game
pieces lived at night.

In this dark corral,
the four horses, black and white,
would graze together,

and talk of battles,
of slipping through the warriors’
maze and trapping kings.

Sleeping, the horses
dreamt of emerald pastures
where they galloped, free,

in thundering herds
or alone, ranging far, wide,
under a bright sun.

Magic Carpet

— for Kathleen Lawrence
a terza rima haiku sonnet

Kath, the strange beyond
enchants. Odysseys await.
Let’s ride, curl upwind

on Solomon’s steed,
woven nonpareil magic,
miraculous weft.

To Shangri-La’s peaks,
Rivendell’s pellucid sky,
Barsoom’s svelte epic

towers swirling high
over copper horizon.
To Elfland we’ll fly,

Xanadu, Byzantium.
Narnia, Oz, and Aztlan.

Vince Gotera is a professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa, where he served as Editor of the North American Review (2000-2016). He is Editor of Star*Line, the print journal of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. Recent poems appeared in Altered Reality Magazine, Crab Orchard Review, Dreams and Nightmares, and Philippines Graphic (Philippines), and the anthology Multiverse (UK). His poetry collection The Coolest Month will be published in April 2019. Other collections include Dragonfly, Ghost Wars, and Fighting Kite. He blogs at The Man with the Blue Guitar.


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1 Comment

  1. Josephcon

    asfh here


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