You ask where you will find her. Beside the singing fountains,
Where orange trees are blossoming and perfuming the air,
Where the night is like an orchard, with orange blossoms shining,
And the spirit of the fountains unbinds her wild blue hair.
Ask courage of the crimson bird and follow where it tells you,
The talking bird that maps the long brown road to heart's desire.
Pass by the groaning forests, and boars that speak in parables,
And stop your ears as you approach the taunting realms of fire.
When you have reached the final citadel, you'll find the trousers
That give a man a league at step, the cither that is wise
Enough to know how you can open all the cut–glass doorways.
Release the cat that smiles and blinks its dreaming amber eyes.
Then, after chasm and abyss, and after crystal mountains
That dazzle and confuse the mind like verticle green seas,
You'll come at last beneath the trees of fragrant orange–orchards
Where the princess in the singing fountains bathes her soft white knees.
About the Author: Theodora Goss' poems and stories have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, and collected in The Rose in Twelve Petals and Other Stories and In the Forest of Forgetting. She won the 2004 Rhysling Award for Best Long Poem, and has been nominated for the World Fantasy and Nebula Awards. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts with her husband and daughter. For more information, please visit the author's website.
"Fairy Tale" © 2008 by Theodora Goss. The poem may not be reproduced in any form without the author's express written permission.