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By Lonnie Hicks
Posted: Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Last edited: Sunday, October 07, 2012
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.
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This is a tale of politics, family and history. Warning this piece is 35 pages long and written in my interpretation of Shakespearean style, more or less. It is an unfinished piece. It was written before Obama but I think it applies nonetheless.
Updated: 7/16/10 I am turning back to this work for editing and to continue with new chapters.





I. Election

His election was the on-rushing Sun

impaling night

elevating him,

propelling truths plain

beyond sight;

he was Hope to banish

and set aright   

every ill;

to adjudicate each and every claim

their on-rushing joy

could ignite;


True Hope’s awakened plebiscite

transformed the crowds’ might

to Hard Justice reclaimed

whose sharp edges

would slice

to the core

of the body politic inflamed;

and bleed it’s fever.


'I cannot' he said at the inaugural

'speak this proud heart;

I cannot utter or reveal

this ebullience born

whole cloth and sleek.


I cannot from these sputterings


in rhyme

adequately greet

perfection's own conjured touch

from which I reap

all this.

I am for you humility

rapturous this night

to be

riveted upon promises I'll keep

at each days end

where I will seek

each goal and nuance

foretold here;

til crime and its cousins Poverty,

Fear and Greed

shall shriek

and sulk away

far from here.

Tonight we dance with energy

loaned to us from Bright Intents

and vow to keep

our sights bent

upon honor’s glorious ends.

We shall not forsake

nor misremember ends

here now we stake

and shall in time apprehend

the announced demise

of the evil three

Greed, Fear and Poverty.' 


In thunder

the pact is born

amid a crowd swollen upon

new thoughts torn

from Hope's mouth.

Peter’s words surely did excite

propelling himself and everyone

to height's horrid cloud

which adrift

was festooned with promised sweets

anointing the night resplendently-

Hope peaking-

plump with expectations

to exceed

wondrous mellifluous

Good Presents;

now a rising sun

then a setting phoenix

bejeweled now

but, later to be

crashed down

to  Escheated


and Properties.

So dizzy these heights

that the Fall will certain see

the deep depths

behind the curtains we draw

across intense intents

and proud decrees.


Sweet Elizabeth, Peter’s wife

cries softly foreseeing

Pride's Steel-Locked Stance

being aware even then

that Democracy's Choice is iron

and will devour

the sublime

who mindlessly believe

now comes his time.

Rafael, the son

now proud to see

himself one day

in Father’s place

thumps to the joy of it,

a time when justice gleaned

from Efforts Hope

rises from within him deep.

Monique, his intended


herself ascended

to high regard-

sees in Rafael her love

a future bright

glowing shinier still

with new prospects;

power’s appeal.

Her beauteous

quiet nature

belies an intelligence

yet beginning

but soon to gather

to critical mode

in one so tender

in her years.


The ministers all

with Peter now some years

see the dawning of New Time;

all pausing to celebrate


all trouble and obscured

nearby chimeras.


But joy drunkens;

swollen eyes are befoged

by the on-rushing times

and addicted

we all succumb

to revelry

and numb,

notice not

moorings loosed,

which in time

set adrift our oared skiff

rendering Certainty moot.


Precious Love unsure,

and Pain now paused

will soon be ladled to each


in time

in line.




Loving Too

That Night She:

'Your sugar eyes

move my soul.

You have me in my secret place

my rivers run full for you;

in enveloping heat

I am lifted by your soft kiss;

I take you inside

to fit

swollen against

my oval space.

I admit you to

the deep secret me.


I open to all of you

my sweet,

love settling upon

my pillow keep

where whispered calls

beckon my pleasure-sleep.

Our hearts bind now;

promises and ecstasies.”



'I am swept away to aching degree

for you

my thickness tingles

and seats itself


Without you

I am rudderless.

Without you

I have nothing achieved.

Without you,

my way streaks




absent love's crucial pleat

in my heart’s linings,

which with you

I’m rendered complete.


Touch us now Simplicity

man to woman

lover to lover’s

fulsome esprit.

So gripped we,

softly gasping,

move together till short day-light

chartered one to the other

joined this to that

perfect destiny welded tight;

two together at the sensual site

spinning beyond midnight’s

Magic Transfixion.


'I love you' she cried. ' in all ways'

'I love you' he said

in double receipt.

The two wrapped round together

each bonded symbiotically,

one to give more to the other,

each to give more than given,

both to grow larger than

each one’s talents alone could abide,

each to exceed beyond

a solo effort striven.


Love's Test moves

to achieve

to go far from the mundane goal,

beyond even Hope's

stated given.

Circumstances now all in place

Opportunity secure in state

quivering Excitement's Face glows.


Now begins this human race.

Two lovers there initiate

the Crown of State in Sexual Space

these things preceded by you see

lovely love and the nights embrace.


So much in human history

is bedroom born; face to face

through limbs embraced;

so much human history therefore:

War and Peace.


III. War Reckoning

Peter's hand in suceeding years was bent toward peace

and he

in inclination's way

sought to avoid conflict

so much so that he did not see

in the fifth year John's dark rise from the East

till that day arrived in which he

had to decide

upon War or Peace.


Elizabeth’s eyes could see that Destructions' Fear

was nigh and upon them.

She counseled:

'He has taken lands which did not belong with him

he flanks you on the left

even now at the river's edge.

You must quell this trend.

His armies advance and will descend

till late to the sword

you’ll have to jockey

your men

at the very kitchen door!


The maps’ edge creeps

close to our very walls.

Your minister's quake-

nay sleep-

yet you do not hear, see

or speak.”


Alliances like marriages can quickly wear

if the habit develops where one loves war

and the other craves peace.


'Grasp the jaw bone of the ass' she said

'and strike now.

Later then

enjoy the peace.


Otherwise I fear

there will be no calm

except that of the bloody hand,

a muted shriek

and lost, sad, Opportunity.

Hope herself will weep.

Now, now' " she said

'is the time to employ resources

amass your leadership;

you could expend a small pittance's gold

and a colossal treasure reap!


You my love have too much regard

for harmony.

Efforts’ just return is what you seek.'


But Peter was not persuaded thus

his way was gentler still

Foreboding's Shroud gathered round his brow

quietly shrill.


'I could raise the taxes and

recruit the army and move my chessmen

'cross topography

only to find unrest and booty

be taken from me

by those left behind to guard the nest.


Nay, I worry most

of the Enemy Within.

Hollow victories

and homeland defeats

are equally cheap.

I would have in this, fired the first shot

only to feel the pain in my own feet!


Why, my God, is it that the advisor is always bold

when the advisor is not the one to pay

in consequences and gold?


I am leadership

whose charge is to think

before I become bloodied

upon the jaws of victory

then only by hindsight

to see the irony

of sudden, unanticipated retreat.


No, I will council with my own destiny

and look to see how to act in circumstance.

All that is clear is Uncertainty

where potentially what lurks for me

is homeland treachery

and deceit

concocted behind my own lines

from fickle friends who’ll turn on me.

Then all I’d bring home

is that which is not victory

but a hollow stampede

bereft of the prize I seek;

no triumphant victory.


I sit  now to think.

Risk is the saddleless horse we ride

and I don this night too

Caution’s Cloak

not to sip upon homely bromides."


Elizabeth’s eye was steeled blue

Impatience's Glint


Peter’s hesitation for her

took the bold

and denuded it

behind fearful thought

and adverse risk;

he thought not to act

but to think;

not strike

but to stare at Opportunity Blatant

and blink.

Rather than speak her mind

she choose to eschew

biting conflict

uttering only

'Yes dear.  All you say is true .'


IV. Counsel of War

 Peter yet with his own Counsel of War

resolved to manage his risk

and send his son Rafael

to collect the army’s taxation list.

Peter, least his homeland fears come true ,

surmised that

he Peter

would be close

to the rear

to forestall his homeland enemies caveat

and at once to foil the Trojan Horse

which could crush victory won

on distant soil.

The day came when Rafael had his list

and he gathered himself to leave.


Elizabeth hovered by

in  grief

imploding with the belief

that Peter had opted to sacrifice

her son

to whom she had over the years

grown to cleave

more closely it seemed

than to Peter even,

whose preoccupations

had caused her silent strife

and inward grown.

She had plunged all love and grief

into the young son

who now, prepared to leave.


'"Promise me you'll not risk injury

rather, gather the guards round your group

and protect this county's future state.

Honor this

by oath agree

and this night I’ll rest serene."



“I am not given Mother to lead

by retreat;

my place is at the head

and to indeed exceed

at the forefront lines that meet

in the face of our enemies.'



You do not have to do this;

you can return to me

and take your place where the need

will be greatest here in our own country.

Say to your father, and I will support,

there is no need to risk your young life

wastefully, needlessly.'


Peter heard this from his approach

and incensed, he roared:

'You will not object to decisions of state!

You will not seek to undo or abate

that which is decided by me!


This boy's time is now to leave

neither to cleave to your wiles

nor evade my own will.

Away from both of us lies his formation

and destiny

That my dear is the reason he was born to us-

to leave.

Neither one of us can sacrifice him to our individual need;

to clutch him too close

to you nor to me denies him his destiny.


He goes,

that is best

eschewing even my own desires

and your anxieties.


“No, you do not use cold reason here.

You do not rationalize this sacrifice

to an empty state-craft device.

This is not mechanical

but yours and my son's life!

Do not send him deathward there

Do not press life from him

with marching bands

and horns and hymns.



“I will not be treated like this!

Mother you want guarantees and security

where none is possible for me.

You, Father

all you see is glory and duty

yet it is love which drives our solders

not booty.

I am a symbol and indeed

love is not yet mine to receive; I am not worthy yet;

but if I die

it will be because I am committed

and trapped

by the circumstances

we weave

in pursuing our goals and needs

that this line of soldiers marching means.


Yes, we shall grieve death’s lot

perhaps mine

and then it will be over

and all shall lift a cup

and move on

no lingering memory sups.


I will go as you request Father

because I have chosen duty

But I am not the reasons I leave

I am the person leaving.

I am not reason’s ploy

I am Rafael

I’ll fight for friends and you;

for our family

and those who understand a young man's need

to achieve that which is unutterable--

to matter in the scheme of things.

I meander;

but my course is to straightaway

to leave.



“Whatever is in you

I understand leave you must-

time flees.”


Monique to whom Rafael

was to marry

caught him

at the door

and aside spoke




'I am unable to persuade you

nor can I beseech any caring feeling

strong enough to avert this.

I am filled with a desperate foreboding.

Go, but, only later my sweet.

Surely there can be no harm

in delaying a week

death itself to cheat.'



I cannot shrink away from this

as others themselves gather arms.

Lead I must and you should understand

some things a woman must do alone

and similarly therewith a man.

You do not understand,

your heart always reaches.


In life and even love

in some things we are alone

even amid our comforts

cocoons and hearthstones.



Horns Blow


“I must go.”



“How silly it is

to me to see

that so many are willing to die

for baubles ribbons and trinkets.”




if I must die

I shall do so with your name on my breath,

and within me

though my heart be wounded

you shall know

you are my most felt one

and wounded there

know that even at death’s door

my love for thee is genuine

shall not be stayed

and will remain strong.”



I shall pleasure receive

hope for your safe return

and yet,

even if it must be so,

reach you

beyond even death’s door.


Here on these lips

plant this kiss

for relief  from even

Cold Death’s Grip

and return you safe revived,

home to me.'


With this they embraced;

staunch memory

etched on mouth

and face

and Rafael

moved out

in formation haste.


So, there were the colors

and departures

long lines and battleships

weeping eyes,

and goodbyes

long looks and promises;

and off thousands sailed

each without travail

till iron glory upon them all prevailed,

in battle greens and blues

in clamorous scenes

of smoke and hue

of faces blank and wet

from battle cries

and wounds rosette,

from shock and battle death

which swept down suddenly

on many and the few

who spun from blows spent

to pirouette

falling listlessly

to ground and history

whose names read once

in letters due

to family, lovers, children

and those who would not forget.

The smoky haze of death clears slowly

to reveal those who would return

and those who would not

and those still clinging to life

all strewn down amid dirt and blood;

this one wrapped in glory

and another in despair’s


other's never to see the gates of home.


It was with Rafael a middle ground;

a battle line snaps

and he

in the Slashing Grim

lost a limb

hacked away

while in the saddle

and yet, he persisted

bleeding throughout

till coma-like he fell


sidelined within

sight of victory,

a lump upon the pocked ground

he lay awaiting

rescue sounds

his pain exceeding

till his mind passed away

to dead faint

eyes rolled up


silence now decreed,

his body clumped

upon the battlefield to bleed

death's blood.


“Monique.”, was the silent cry

on his lips parting

'all for you; even this

death itself is not enough;

words cannot express

how my love grows

even as I die departing

this earthly ground,

my love for you

now more than then

is stronger

and more profound."


His first words on revival

were 'Did we prevail? '

The answer back,

'No sire

defeat nor victory was ours-



 V. War's Rewards


That day split the times:

booty not

nor glory.

War’s initiation

stripped the grace

from Innocent’s eyes

and often heard thereafter

the cry

to what, therefore, and why?

'To protect our land

peoples and crew

our children, women

and all those whom we love"

the answer rang.


So home them all

with stories true and tall

to sit


till another time

when the battle

might resume

and again the clarion call.


Ghost battles for some in this hiatus

re-fought til that time renewed

when there will be fresh blechings

new flame engulfing young men and boys,

girls and youth--

new flesh for war to consume.


Yet repeated this so many times

the need cannot be doubted

sometimes it is our fate

to fight, and die

thereby doubt itself to be routed;

stand, be true its said

and be counted.


We, in the end must support,

those who took to hand

stout arms and went

far far away

to fight against

our foes and enemies

despite all consequence.


All energies spent

Rafael’s limb lay severed,

slashed and soiled

by sword’s tip.

It was gathered up

and delivered home to Monique who

could not at first contemplate

the view

of him a returned

broken patriot

a limb arriving before him

entombed in alcohol, awaiting his return.


For days she sat inconsolate,

her rooms a duty gray

rearranging the folds of her

simple dress



Her thin arms moved

only to grasp

tea served occasionally

by Marion

the one who visited with news

and solace in compendium

from those who loved her

together as one.


Finally Monique after weeks and months was able

to reluctantly agree to see the returned Rafael

who depressed, was still unclear how glory could be

lived on the veranda, in the house

or in the street

wheelchair bound.


His wheelchair rolled toward Monique's rooms

a full three months late from war's end

fear and indecision clamped down upon him all this time

barring him, unable to face Monique

feeling himself to be only half a man.


The two,

as with the war

in these first months after

came together

in neither victory nor defeat

beginning then only began

an interlude to tenatively see

as life now wound down to the concrete

and mundane need;

whether a young man neither totally incapacitated

nor dead

yet alive,

yet still

brimming with desires,

wishes, hopes, and dreams

could exist now all in caveats


and apostrophes

reach out to the once-loved and re-coop

all that was lost.


Rafael now sat then


ignored Monique

who languished hesitantly

while he

inspected limp limbs

realizing for the first time

she in the silence was watching him.

He malingered the first night

not knowing how he would do

what he couldn't do

for his wife to be,

how love could translate,

how arms could encapsulate

how his genitalia could move

could perform feats

other men do.


His younger that his years face

glowed white that first night

as she approached from across the room.

Yet 23 and hands small

she placed them close

by his face palled

more lined now and worn

from the War’s end.

She spoke:


'I am so so sorry that I have not

been able to be with you;

it was shame that held me back.

No it's not shame for you but for me.

After the first week I was ashamed that

I had not been to see you

and the longer it grew

the more difficult it was for me

to move

toward the decision that

I’d missed.


And the shame grew

till paralyzed

I could not move

from my rooms

till the time grew


endurance yet I sat

in my rooms

loving you

but, paralyzed.


I am so sorry that my humanness

surely hurt and harmed you.

I know you have for yourself

your own endurances.

I only ask

you forgive me now

and let pass

what was for me

inexcusable and

grief driven;

leaving me

unable to offer now a true excuse,

uttering now only words oblique,

hiding myself behind;

opaque at the door.”



“Monique I have these many weeks

given every thought to you

and more

my soul leaped at any image


So when the plunge took my leg

and I was homeward bound

I felt a small relief

that again this tattered heart

would view

that face which sustained me


hell-fire and death dealing

crushing blows.

 I saw men fall

shattered it seemed by inward


eyes opened wide

still seeing

yet already gone-

beyond feeling.

And painful cries-

heroics to be sure-

all there amid the many and the few.


Never tell, I think, the details there

for they do indeed, far exceed

explanation and belief

if you were not on the field

to see

how so much ingenuity

in war and arms

goes with the sole intent

of mayhem and bodily harm

to young ones who are often sent

armed only with fresh-minted


And then they fall

torn from them

the veil that sheltered

their innocence.


All we believe Monique


this is the essence of injustice

yet all of history’s testament

is each era


confront and commit

the scene over and over again



That first night he lay in repose

the first night she gave him


the first night suspended them

between the lagging conversation

after love's glow

into questioning

about what to do at 23;

she remained unsure of life's meanderings

he lay wondering

'How can I be a man with thee

you have most to do

to bring to me to the point to sate

overcoming meager desire’s weaken state

How can love compensate? '



'It can

my love

give me time to suggest

how devotion’s arrow is stronger still

than body limbs.

You are the man I love

and now surely there is this test

for us now

but all years ahead

will allow

my will

to love whole

as we are

to manifest.


"Surely now we are challenged to make of it our best.

And best it shall be

because together we are whole

and all we need to be.

To begin

and beginning is what we are about

no doubt;

we have all we need

to go forth

and succeed

at whatever passes us.


Do not for one flicker doubt

I shall be here

to carry whatever the load be.


And so Rafael and Monique

made their peace,

for the time being.


VI. Elizabeth Grieves


Elizabeth took to bed

and did not grieve initially

rather she lay in state it seems

rigid in her mien

and unwilling to take a single step

fueled so to speak

by small amusements

and stimulants.


To Peter she would state

'I warned of this outcome and portent

yet unheeded you allowed all to go forth

and now all left for me is grief bedridden where I will die”

she said “a thousand grieving deaths.”

'You cannot' Peter said 'lay here

each day arms raised

piling lament upon lament

I am dead to you now

Is this my punishment

Are you wife no more

You must do more

You are nottotal done

Life cannot pass us by-

you must rise"


'If I could only cry' Elizabeth said


'You are my wife'


' Wife no more-I‘m lost

Do you want Angelica?" Elizabeth said slowly.


'Utter not that name to me

you know that is something I forbid.

She left us now many years and now

you would bring her up to me.’?


'I am desperate placed to offer whatever

I can to give you what I now lack

and if it means she comes back

even that I am willing to contemplate.

John knelt beside her saying:

"It true I am alone out here

bereft of you

I too have my own form of grieving."



“Peter acclimate.

I am down here for the long time.

Rise I would if I could

but all this was a fatal brush

with more than I can handle.

Perhaps it was the war’s end,

or Rafael whose very life lies in ashes.

There is only so much

my mind can take

There is a line beyond which we all break.

I fear my boundaries have been ripped,

sanity reels and slips away

from me sometimes

more often it seems more frequently

and frighteningly I grasp

at darken maps

looking for a tiny blip

to let me know I still exist

underneath there in the catastrophe.

Hollow voices call, my own I think

"Rafael, help me, help me." she said.


Peter felt he was slipping

from his own grip

and could not in these early days

bring himself to carry on

without the strength

Elizabeth brought.

His drug ways increased

his heart would cease

in odd moments

wherein he would have to remind himself

to breathe.


But tragedy was not done yet

because more befell this bedraggled set.

It concerns footsteps light

which Elizabeth laid down one fateful night

leaving her bed

renting her vow

and traipsed her way by corridor

to enter unannounced

Rafael’s room.


Monique drew her eyes from sleep

and peered into the darken room

awaken by swishing sounds

of rushing cloth and flowing gown

to dimly see Elizabeth kissing Rafael

who still maintained his deepest sleep.

Her hands drew tenderly across

his still sleeping face

then a kiss fell

followed on by a full embrace.

Monique called to Elizabeth

her voice barely a whisper

but paralyzed she could not move

or be heard by Elizabeth who

had given Rafael all her nocturnal attention.

Now he roused himself from sleep

and face on with her that sought to reap

more kisses planted upon his countenance


His hand rose

still sleepy amid

the attentions being paid him.

Now it was then that a muffed yelp escaped

from Monique who again stifled yet another yell

when Elizabeth heard and noticed her.

Coming from Rafael she slowly made

to Monique a tosseled slow approach.

Her face was dimmed in bedroom light

and Monique could only see the partial smile

whereon she said 'Hello my dear, how I envy

you. I so desperately appreciate how you have

sought to heal this Rafael.


She knelt to kiss Monique upon the lips

and stole softly away

leaving in her wake

a shaken two

Rafael and Monique.


Both staring in the dim light and wondering

'What and wherefore

was this'


VII. Angelica


But then

amid this time

Angelica came through

contacted by Peter

hoping Elizabeth would rip aside

that tissue placed

between her grim despair

which had effaced

the joy Peter now missed

so much.

Many years in exile deep

Angelica sometimes could keep

at bay insanity.

She had been Peter rock

when all else failed

but this too

drew Elizabeth's fire.

And so she was exiled, now 10 years.


Slow motion she

mounted the coach.

The ride was a silent one

Angelica reluctant to speak

or emote, to Peter's eyes
she still beguiled, in ways he oughn't

and Angelica unsure after these many years

of how her words would be taken in,

what affect her own feelings

would project

afraid of her own chagrin

that her father had greeted her

so listlessly

after so many years slumped

in to a gray silence

as the country side rolled by

remembering the resentments then

and anger later

rejection and lost of station,

of nuns and midnight readings

and yes thoughts of revenge.



Angelica's Return

Clad in the cloak still melancholy

king and daughter disembarked

from the coach to step through

the receiveing line which had

formed to welcome her back.

"Good to see you my child"

Marion said, "we have missed you

around here."

Max the gardener bowed next,

he had shown here the wonders

of the forest

opened her mind to nature and horticulture.

Mary, and all there others from her childhood

were still there, all there but Elizabeth

who stood above at the corridor window

observing below, even at that distance

felt old hard feelings return toward Angelica.

She steeled her self nontheless vowing then

to gently place aside that old bitterness

and prepare for this new chapter

in the kingdom's book.

This was to begin with a welcome back Ball

that was planned at Peter's insistence.

All things of State and Arms began first

with the King's ball where all the ministers

and dukes and counts came together

at that excuse to sever or mend old alliances.

Know too as well Angelica had her own plans

for this  her second coming out

which would at the end of several years

would see herself in the place of Queen.

Her gentle smile, gently conceived

years of planning for that event

the ball indeed was to be that plans

first step.



























Web Site: Lonnie Hicks Website  

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Reviewed by m j hollingshead

thought provoking read , you might want to write several shorter pieces, I think some readers might stop reading especially longer ones

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