Roland Skye

Roland Skye

A Poem by JayG

 

THE BALLAD OF ROLAND SKYE

Jay Greenstein

 

 

 

 Roland Skye, unhappy boy.  No friends to meet, he owns no toy.

Orphan poor, with face so plain, his life so dark, he knows such pain.

 

So small and meek, he’s pushed aside. From bigger boys he has to hide.

From jeers and taunts, from trick and fake; his life, his goods, are theirs to take

And take they do, just to annoy.  Poor Roland Skye, unhappy boy.

 

At age sixteen he runs away.  To seek success; to find his way.

His hopes are bright, he’ll do his best.  He packs his bag and faces west.

He tramps the road in search of love.  For tenderness, that soft white dove.

But all’s the same, he’s failure’s toy.  Poor Roland Skye, unhappy boy.

 

At seventeen he turns to crime.  He learns to steal.  He does some time.

As years go by, he fails at all, till now his back is to the wall.

Too many years all filled with strife.  It’s time at last to end the life.

 

He takes his tears to Harrow hall, and from its top he’ll take his fall.

His feet on stairs seem filled with lead.  His hopes and dreams, now finally dead.

His final words on midnight’s bell.  “For one good day, I’d deal with Hell.”

 

Then on his arm"like touch of air"soft fingers fall, so pale, so fair.

He turns to look, and in surprise, is trapped and held by wondrous eyes.

By lips and nails, and hair of flame, as voice of honey speaks his name.

 

“Your words were heard, oh Roland Skye.  And we took pity, he and I.

Your fortunes sad no more will be.  For if you wish, I come to thee.

I’ll give you life, though it be late.  Forget your past, my name is Fate.

 

“For seven years I’ll give you aid.  Your soul is all we ask in trade.

No man could ask for more than me, but more I’ll give than what you see.

 

“I’ll guide your life, you’ll have your dream.  Success will follow every scheme.

When seven years have passed away, then I will go, but you will stay.

Long life you’ll have, till final roll.  Then come to us, we own your soul.”

 

Stock still and froze was Roland Skye.  A teardrop poised on either eye.

For with the tolling of his bell, no one would care, except for Hell.

He takes her arm, this Lady Fate.  In pay for years of bitter hate.

For seven years, or just a day:  His life, his soul, he’d gladly pay.


And to her word, her deed was true.  Her love, his fortune, grew and grew.

The rich he saw, they bowed to him.  He soon was given every whim.

The power brokers near and far, paid heed his name, they fed his star.

 

But all who see him have to note, the scar on face, fresh blood on throat.

It seems that he is unaware of cut and scar, or has no care.

 

But none could see, not even he, the shell of man he came to be.

For none could know of horrid deed; for none had seen his lady feed.

She blocks the pain of fang and claw, so blood and scar was all they saw.

 

*

 

For seven years her word was gold.  Her love was his to have and hold.

But seven years did finally go, till now’s the ending of her show.

She sits with him, to say good-by.  While he, in vain, tries not to cry.

 

But words she speaks now give him cheer, as soft she murmurs by his ear:

“Perhaps I might just stay a while.  (He never sees the secret smile)

“For surely this is love I feel.  (And you my lamb, my favorite meal)

 

A favor small, that you can do, will bind me always close to you.

Use all the wealth at your command, to draw to us a tiny band.

With skills and art at beck and call, to sunder chain and pierce the wall.

 

“My master seeks a tiny boon.  To walk the Earth, to see the Moon.

For just a glimpse, he’s never seen, of plant and tree and grass of green.

For just a look, for one short hour:  you marry me, and keep my power.”

 

For Roland Skye, there was no wait.  He’d kill and more for Lady Fate.

He rushes on to do the deed.  To doubts and fear, he pays no heed.

He thunders on, a blinded goat.  While drops of blood trail down his throat.

 

He wastes a fortune, searching wide.  For those he seeks will oftime hide.

But find and gather close at last, a band of men, with power vast.

They join his task, o’r records pore.  While Fate gives aid, and oftimes…more.

 

They chant the words, they cast the spells.  All locked within their private hells.

She guides their task.  She fans their greed.  She holds them close, to feed and feed.

They labor hard, their dying long.  While she grows great, her power strong.

 

And on their throat, and breast and brow, the mark of beast is growing now.

 

*

 


And now they join to speak the name.  To say the words, to fan the flame.

The deed is done on midnight’s bell, as cracks the lock on gates of hell.

 

Come forth oh fiend, oh succubus.  Come tear and kill, come run with us.

Now come you zombie from your grave.  The Earth is ours, there’s none to save!

Come fly, and fill the midnight sky.  Come help us find the ones to die.

 

But Roland Skye cries out at last:  “Begone, go home, your hour’s past.”

The Lady Fate just laughs at this.  “Come close my love for one last kiss.

 

Oh mortal one, did you believe, we’d take a crumb, and then we’d leave?

Oh foolish man, how could you think, we’d satisfy with just a blink.

The earth is ours, oh slaughter’s lamb.  Now see me as I really am!”

 

He stands transfixed, his eyes a stare.  For gone is face and flame soft hair.

A female thing now holds him near.  A thing of horror, fangs and fear.

 

“Come close my love, you’re mine for good.  And now we’ll love as demons should.

My failing dear, all else above:  I always hurt the one I love.”

The pain she held from him so long, now fills his world, now sings its song.

 

“You’ll scream my toy, but never die.  It’s my wants now you’ll satisfy.

So come and kiss me, I’m in need.  Hold tight and scream as now I feed.”

 

Poor Roland Skye, unhappy boy.  Not ever more a search for joy. 

For Roland Skye, how sad to tell.  Because of him, the Earth is hell.


© 2017 JayG



Author's Note

JayG
A bit of an epic, just for fun, and to remind that people who recite their poetry in public also have other bad habits.

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Reviews

I'm getting more than a touch of Browning's "Childe Roland..." here. And in that context, this is very striking. Very impressive.

Posted 7 Months Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Delightful telling of this epic tale,
where desperation leaves its ugly mark.
Poor Roland blindly treads his heady trail.
His eyes deflected from the coming dark.

For seven years, he wallows in his joy,
until she pulls the switch and reels him in.
Here you leave him swinging like a toy.
Her promise holding faint hope he can win.

“Begone,” he shouts, a last gasp to redeem,
the soul he'd cast so recklessly aside.
His cringing heart knows he can only dream,
of ever feeling glee again, or pride.

Enchanting, how you've shown us down his path,
her smile holding check his well earned wrath.

Nicely done, JayG,

This is my first review on Writer's Cafe. I feel fortunate to find such a delectable morsel to chomp.

Posted 7 Months Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is most definitely the kind of poem I love to read.

Posted 8 Months Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I enjoyed this piece very much, the blinded promises one takes for anything. Yes, it makes you think of so many things in life. It sounds like many rock stories I know, of rock bands that sell their soul just for fame. Yes, these are always fun to read. Awesome

Posted 8 Months Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Great poem! It is really lovely to see a modern ballad well done as I often find that the history of this form paired with modern language/contents ends up being uncomfortably jarring. You've also managed to stick to ballad metre without it getting too sing-songy and repetitive, good read!

Posted 8 Months Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow, absolutely breath taking. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this!

Posted 8 Months Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow. Epic is right - and beautifully told. Hats off. Really really good stuff.

Posted 8 Months Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow! Beautifully written..

Posted 8 Months Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A good story that held me till the very end. There are no free lunches in life. Roland should have known...

Posted 8 Months Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on February 7, 2017
Last Updated on February 7, 2017

Author

JayG
JayG

Philadelphia, PA



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