Robert Yates




The troubadour lay down his lute and sighed:

“Your Majesty, forgive me

for speaking is what I do worst,

but your presence cuts my song “

The princess turned coyly and smiled.


 “Your eyes open to me unfathomable pain,

complex as a conversation,

flashing like razor blades on an artery;

I shall not sleep till I have shared that agony.”

The princess pursed her lips and frowned.


“I am less civilised than you

and more autistic,” the troubadour said,

“the cold beauty of city nights

has been my great and oldest friend.

But grant me the visions of your voice

and I will be transported to the real

by the power and body of your breath.”

She motioned to a guard.


“No, do not threaten

to torture me

you are enough.

Hope is the captive of defeat.

I see the years, the eternal

road, performances to empty rooms,

the struggle and the flight to be

abandoned works; and thee. And Thee…”





you’re not a full-time poet then?

no, just drifting,

can I borrow a pen?

well, we do have one, but we need it, for keeping score,

did you want it

for a long time

or a short time?

I don’t know.



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Sentinel Poetry (Online) #40


ISSN 1479-425X     March 2006