22. Sep, 2019


And just when all seems lost, the key

Clicks in the lock and opens the forbidden door.

All the darkness and stench of the world

Jump at her and suck her inside.

Her feline eyes see in the dark.

There’s an unsealed coffin on some planks.

The lid has been removed.

She trembles and stumbles in the dark,

And when she is near enough, she covers

Her mouth and opens her eyes wide in a wild,

Piercing, soundless cry.

Her prince is lying there.

As handsome as ever; yet no longer

Dancing and laughing. She covers his smooth

Brow with everlasting kisses. His full lips

Are pressed into a sad line.

He, the prince of all the dances, frozen

Into the baffling stillness of death.

He himself dreams of his cruel lot

In a stupor of disbelief.


Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels

12. Sep, 2019


And as she runs, rushing from door

To door, breaking into the Western wing

Of the castle, trying to unlock secret

Doors, she hungers for her beloved,

And for her sisters and their friends –

Nowhere to be found.

She thirsts for a just reason, a fair

Outcome, a comforting truth

To redeem them all.

Silence treads heavily in the castle’s

Meandering halls. The brave princess

Is alone.

8. Sep, 2019


At night, her passion and agony begin.

Night in, night out, she may break

Like a brittle vase; instead, she endures.

She dreams of liberation. She dreams of


Till one day, the tyrant leaves around

His forbidden key.

Despair goads her into stealing it, for

Her despair is stronger than her fear.

She still dreams of liberation. She

Still dreams of revenge.


Photo by Anugrah Lohiya from Pexels

1. Sep, 2019


Like many a silly man, the king

Dies a dull, sudden death.

As soon as the old soldier is king,

He throws the eleven princesses

And their princes in jail. Each flung

To the most remote corners of his kingdom.

He has the bride-to-be dressed in

A stifling corset, buried in layers of

Brocade and velvet. Her hair tied up

Behind her neck,

Her movements constrained

By tiny glass slippers. Her eyes,

Swollen with crying, covered with

A white veil.

For all she feels, it may well be

As black as death.

Her prince is nowhere to be found.

In vain, she scans the crowds on

Her wedding day.


Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels

25. Aug, 2019


Soon, the king proclaims the soldier

To be his heir. He hands him the key

To the princesses’ room and bid him

Choose the one to his liking.

The old soldier’s pride is satisfied:

He sees the look of shame on the bashful

Cheeks of all the princesses…but one.

The eldest looks straight into his eye,

Throws back her neck, pouting.

That I shall have – he cries.


Picture by Alise Alinari via