The Song of Ceber

Argument: Ceber, cast out from her home and tribe wanders toward Mount Cran, an inactive volcano on the plains of Alleguay. In despair she laments her fate, asking the gods what she did to displease them so. The Red Dragon god Terite hears here and inspiring her with confidence provokes her onward up the side of the mountain.

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Two: Ceber’s Travels and Terbeir

Mount Cran

Comely, cold       and barren was a desert,
So Ceber went toward Mount Cran
Mighty Mount Cran       Misty in the Morning
Sky-scrapping, owned by man
Man of rough wool cloth
Iron workers.
No friends of       the fair wasp folk
Wars had been fought, indeed--
Red mixed with yellow blood
stains those steep       and silver-cold peaks

Ceber wronged       and wingless
Left to wander       found her way
To an enormous cleft oak at mountain’s pass
And under the break slept
Awakened by spectral visions       of male marauders.
Takara goddessed her with       ghastly nightmares
Invasions and intense       rapes innumerable
But soon Takara’s husband
The sky-bright dragon       warrior god
Awoke and seeing his wife’s evil
Exclaimed:

“Fiery Takara!       Forever gold and ebony
Life of my world,       What is this?
Why does my favorite devotee
Cry under a       cleft oak tree?
Why does a maiden of my shield
Look so disheartened?”

The toothed goddess       told thus,
“She killed a poet, one of the worm’s own.
Fate backhanded her for this crime. Her own
people turned her out. You were sleeping,
overpowered by the slow thoughts. Nothing
can be done against the threads of fate and destiny.”

The Dragon thought about this and said,
“Maybe not, but Ceber is strong.
My favorite Warrior.
She will not give up and I will help her.”

Then Ceber fell under the Dragon’s magic
And slept still,       soundly under the spell.

Takara smirked to herself,       saying,
“Brother, I will enjoy breaking this thing you covet.
She will sting herself in the end. I will not be denied.”

Awaking, three days later,
The birds belling       between the leaves.
Ceber saw       the sun shining.
“I thought I wished myself dead,
too great my shame was.
But now I see it was a foolish thought.
A malign notion       poison in mine heart.
Left there by some stupidity.
Listen to the birds!
The bees too       make their own music.
Our little cousins…
Even without words,
They know the value of labor.
I am Terite’s own.
But Ausohara       has her own appeal
In the Flowers       in fair fragrances
In mud-boltered brook’s babble
The sun never felt so good.
This is a god’s work.
The pain is muted.
All I have lost are my wings.
Ground wasps       do well for themselves
My virtue is intact.
The invader missed his goal
And paid for his evil with his life.
Mine is still here.
I have agency.
The world is only       what we make of it.

She set south toward       Mount Cran singing
Fair-done doggerel:

Ausohara leaps with joy
To see a garden grow
All green things are hers alone
She loves the plant life so.”

But she found her       stiff legs
less than wings for closing distance
A mountain on the horizon,
Direct flight       a dozen minutes
Became hours       on her hard-steps.
By noonday she had       none of her strength left.
Hardly a good deal       heading into the human’s lair.
Ceber did not know of them
Or she would have gone around.

The pass she sought vainly
No easy pleasant       path would present
Over cruel crags       she crawled like
Some lowly beast       bred for beating
Not a strong stoic wasplet       striding valiantly
Another battle here.
Shell versus rock       cactus versus carapace
Wary work       this walking.
Ceber, blood-drinker       breathed heavily
But she went on       only her will sustaining her
Through the thickets       that grew around Cran
Getting gashes       on her face
on her legs, her abdomen
Welts welled up       bruises broke
Fire flickered       in her fierce gut
A siege of terror       at her sense
An inattentive guard
Bred by broken       tired treading
She’d have fled but for a buttress of courage.

Ceber, weary Ceber
Found no refuge.
Winding down, she fell
Asleep.


The Song of Ceber

Song of Ceber 0: Explanatory Notes ¦ 1 ¦ 2 ¦ 3 ¦ 4 ¦ 5 ¦ 6 ¦ 7 ¦ 8 ¦ 9 ¦ 10 ¦ 11 ¦ 12 ¦ 13 ¦ 14 ¦ 15 ¦ 16 ¦ 17 ¦ 18 ¦ 19 ¦ 20 ¦ 21 ¦ 22 ¦ 23 ¦ 24 ¦ 25 ¦ 26 ¦ 27 ¦ 28 ¦ 29 ¦ 30 ¦ 31 ¦ 32 ¦ 33 ¦ 34 ¦ 35 ¦ 36

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