Heartache: the Young and the Senseless

This is a belated Valentine's Day story -- well, actually a letter. I had some ideas for an Anakin/Tahiri contribution, but then decided to try something a bit out of my comfort zone. So here's the result.

The poem is based loosely on "rime royale". I wanted a 7 line stanza because I thought the stanza-length could be related to the Vong gods, which as you'll see is explained in the letter. I didn't keep to the
ababbcc rhyme scheme of the traditional rime royale form as it sounded a bit too forced. But it does have a regular rhyming pattern. Who knows maybe the Yuuzhan Vong did have traditional poetic forms. After all Onimi seems to like rhyme.

Hope you enjoy this Yuuzhan Vong version of a love letter.

Mezhan Kwaad,

It is silent here in the warriors' grashal and the damp of morning lies heavy in the air. I breathe out and watch the curls of steam stretch into sinuous fingers -- like yours, my dextrous love. Alone in this compartment where I sit with stylus and parchment in hand, I can still sense your fragrance, your flavour, and it fills me with a yearning that only lovers may know. The pain is glorious -- searing through me like rabid hunger, then consuming me whole like a vangaak. Thus tortured, I cannot rest, I cannot eat, and I think of you constantly.

Last night, after we parted, I couldn't get you out of my thoughts. It's as if you haunt me, temptress of Domain Kwaad, as if you have seeded something in my brain to drive me to this insanity. Then in the crazed grip of my insomnia I knew I had to record these my feelings for you. Dangerous, yes -- but what is life without the imminent reality of death. I managed to procure writing implements (the usual method) and started to work, but surprisingly -- to me anyway, having no experience in the art of the scribe -- the words rolled from my mouth down the i'fii quill as easily as my blood flowed into its bladder.

Easy is not the way of the warrior, least of all my way. Easy breeds indolence, lacissitude -- and I would rather you run me through now with your shaper's finger-spears and bleed me dry, than watch me descend into the degradation, the deplorable ignominy of such weakness. I cast the stylus aside and went to find a healing skin to seal the slit I had cut on the back of my hand.

Then I remembered the art of the poet, the hours spent in the crèche as a child wrestling with the many poetic forms as I tried to force my words to behave according to the rules of rhyme. I remembered the sweat, the punishment when I failed, even the feeling of failure itself -- the frustration driving my nerves to the edge and making me insane with jealousy for those who succeeded. Such torment! And yet torment unlike any other, except the torment of this love.

And so I started this poem. I struggled with it, fought with it all night. The agony of squeezing my feelings into this rigid shape, of forcing them to expand and contract, to scan, to rhyme according to the rules of the form I chose was excruciating. And I selected the most challenging -- the ancient lyric rima of Domain Qah.

I am now exhausted -- but it is complete. However, I will not rest until I have your response.

So read carefully, my cruel one. Step lightly though the stanzas in case you crush my heart with your heel.

I await the next darkness -- and the fury of your embrace.

Savage love, no poet's skill have I.
A warrior from the crèche, my art
lies not in symbols. And yet I see
that my tradition is not so far apart,
my stylus -- my couffe. My parchment -
the flesh of my foe, where time again
I wrote my sacrifice of blood and pain.

Dangerous love, my partner in crime,
my passion for you unsummoned, callow,
shy at first, a tender seed that grew bold
and now begs to bloom, yet must in shadow
remain. Discovery a double risk for both
this poem, our love. Begging dispensation,
the gods of love reward us with temptation.

Forbidden love, is this our lot? Secret
assignations praying the gods will smile,
agony of deceit rising like sap, driving us
to sweet despair. Desire, no longer docile,
awaits its season, cares not for reason,
but craves your touch -- your absence an ache,
an overwhelming thirst that naught can slake.

Manipulative love, sculptor of life,
your skill my inspiration. But not worlds
for my fingers, nor flesh. I choose the lyric.
Seven lines numbered for each god, words
become the means to contain our love.
And in this ancient form I replicate
our challenge to tradition and constraint.

Cruel love, dismiss this poem if you must,
but know something of its cost. Tso'asu skin,
from the grotto of Yun-Harla -- priestly
scroll -- stolen along with i'fii quill, thin
and fine, the best quality. The medium,
my blood, spilling its heat -- a conflagration
locked in glyphs that shape my desperation.

Secretive love, and so you must remain
till prayers move the gods to be benign.
This poem then our simulacrum is,
our destiny reflected in its rhyme.
Line one supreme creator Yun-Yuuzhan,
line four and two our patron gods so numbered
by trickster goddess separated, sundered.

Our hope the final couplet represents
the gods of love -- each stanza's culmination.
Unfaltering, this record of our love
demonstrates our perfect combination.
So love, consuming love, my work complete
I rest but not content. I yearn to be
forever yours -- in glorious agony.

~Vua Rapuung~

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