Josephine Wall

 

Non est locus istis hominibus in hac terra.
There is no place for these men on this earth.
--Martial

(after Ernest Dowson's "Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae")

 

 

Non est locus

 

Lyn C. A. Gardner

 

Last orbit, we put down between the lake and wood--
Pink-fronded "trees" drank red with corpse-pale, waving hands
That picked me out, Terra! to root me where I stood--
For you died, poisoned by pride, a crime for love and gain,
         Waiting one word from me to turn the sands--
If I'd but seen how I adored you, Terra! while I'd time.

We sang through shining hoops, mining metal-rich rings,
The powdered, pilfered lives of worlds more dead than ours,
Scoured clean immaculate skies whose beauty stings--
For you died, poisoned by pride, a crime for love and gain,
         And I lie sleepless, dreaming your last hours--
If I'd but seen how I adored you, Terra! while I'd time.

Some hells are worse when shared. Exiled, I can't go back--
Law's bar turned unjust truth: my sentence condemns us all.
We've ships, loves, food, wine, wonders, worlds--scarcely a lack.
But you died, poisoned by pride, a crime for love and gain--
         Sacrificed for glory, geld, one live girl--
If I'd but seen how I adored you, Terra! while I'd time.

"Blame not, for all are guilty; there's no setting right."
These creeds--our life now. I hate myself, holding her.
I thought she was the world--not you. I burned so bright.
And you died, poisoned by pride, a crime for love and gain,
         Blind, heartless passion cost us forever.
If I'd but seen how I adored you, Terra! while I'd time.

 

 


Author Bio

Catalog librarian by day, Lyn C. A. Gardner coedits the journal Virginia Libraries. She's had nearly two hundred stories, poems, and articles published in Abyss & Apex, Best of the Rest 2, Challenging Destiny, The Doom of Camelot, Horror Garage, The Leading Edge, Legends of the Pendragon, Mythic Delirium, Strange Horizons, Sybil's Garage, Talebones, Tales of the Talisman, and more. Two stories and a poem earned honorable mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (12th, 13th, and 15th editions). Gardner is an associate member of SFWA and a 2004 graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop.
Visit www.gardnercastle.com.

 


 

"Non est locus" Copyright © 2009 Lyn C. A. Gardner. All rights reserved.
Published by permission of the author.

 

This page last updated 11-17-09.

 

artwork by Josephine Wall

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