Dana's Page Header with a few tiny pix from her past theatre projects - Left to Right - Wendy from Angry Housewives, a 1998 headshot, Mrs. Mullin from Carousel, Sybil Birling from An Inspector Calls, and a 2008 headshot  
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Dana's Story Book

Story #3:
Battle Wives
Copyright © 1998 Dana Lynné Rice, All Rights Reserved

Actually an epic poem, I guess. ::wrinkled brow:: Sometimes I wonder where this stuff comes from... ::chuckle::

You haven't forgotten, my husband I tell
Tonight I'm to be the sight and the smell,
and the renaissance of the intelligent creature,
the monster, the episode that did not feature

the wars and battles of all the good men
and the women resolving it, all in their ken
When everything came down to battle or lose
some wrought, some wept, and others did choose

To take up the sword in untrained fashion,
the battle to wage, to war with great passion
and fight they did bravely, with ever the face
of the warrior, that Rome would endeavour erase

In the nights they now lull their husband to sleep
they bind him and gag him and leave him to keep
in wonderful insights he led them thus bound,
His wives fighting for him, his legacy sound.

Without need for vengeance, his children home safe.
Twenty wives go, and he bound to chafe
And when they return, later that night,
After battle they meal, clean their wounds and their sight

They loosen his bounds, clean him, feed him as well,
And cheerfully talk of their mission and quell
His fears of losing just one of his dears,
the women who've lived with him most of his years

The leader among them, whom he taught the sword
Sits down beside him, says listen, my lord
and tells him adventures he missed in the fight
He listens in awe of the tricks played with might

Of men so deceived, of girls undiscovered
Of towns saved by enemy plans all uncovered.
One tale of a mistress who told them no good
And led them to ambush in neighbouring wood

And many the allies of woe and of folly
to hear the bells ringing in this hamlet jolly
When afterward, even though tricked, they did reign
Then spirited back, covered long with the stain

Of blood that did seep into thoughts clear and muted
And afterward all celebrations eluded
For paying the price of defending their homes
Left them the nightmares to fill many tomes

The husband hears all of her tales in succession
And remembers the night of her first confession.
The light in her eyes as she loosened his bindings
Her triumphs, her tortures, her losings and findings

I love you she said and so do we all
and we plan everything to have none of us fall
we want you to know something we've never told
and it means that you'll carry a secret 'til old

Tonight, we'll be cloaked in the solstice parade,
We twenty are warriors, the famed night brigade
that fights off the Romans with such great successes
Yet lovingly weeps over lost youth and tresses

We leave every scene of our battles in conquest
not leaving a trace of whom brave men revere, lest
the leavings do see trace or cast of our grace
and give us away to those who would face

Us in battle at home when we cannot prepare
In time to fend off the demons that dare
Attempt to come find us in compromised state
And level the innocents locked in our gate

So stand in our way for the look of it once,
and see what the enemy sees when it fronts
us in battle, dear, yes it is just and forthright
for them to see nothing but men in their sight

Listening, though, they will hear the fine breath
of woman and animal just before death
we are gentle, and swift, and do not linger.
To death's winged door, we deliver the winger.

So now you know why, and dear you must keep,
Our secret of how we elude Rome's night sweep
We ride after battle to wood and to cover,
Revert women's clothing, return to discover,

Who lives among trusting and wrecked, ravaged faces,
Who dies by our hands, leaving no one with traces
Of memories, no witnesses left who can tell
Our tactics, our secrets, our fair matrons' hell.

We live with our secrets, our castle, our ken,
By daylight, the Romans pass by, search for men
No bard tells our tales, our battles or loves,
Our cloaking serves well, our hoods, armor, gloves,

Our followers, all men and women included
No one can name them, not one excluded
nor can they tell, from whence come they here,
nor our warriors' secret, the source of our fear

Our warring won't harm you, our husband and lord.
We are saving great rivers for our children to ford
Their futures will have not just rivers but sky
Our homeland will never be Roman to ply

When nightfall brings us to fight like the gods,
We never have wanted to leave you at odds.
Our secret revealed, we've come now to mend you.
Allied with you now, we seek to defend you

We can't be revealed, we don't torture or maim
a life is swift taken with our precise aim
by all of us, well trained, all aspects rehearsed,
All manners of battle completely well-versed.

Do you know that you'll father a new order of kings
Our delightful evenings will bring forth great things
And they will be hidden until it is time
For the day of ascendance to a future sublime

Be aware now dear husband not to go forth in battle
you must not be killed, you shant gain the saddle
for we will protect you from death or from life,
whichever is needed, the name of one wife

need merely be spoken, and we will appear
to this promise, eternally we will adhere
to ensure your survival, to carry our lore
to rule in benevolence for six decades more

I assure you with twenty that you must remain here
As we need to be sure that you give them no fear
Of your highness's likelihood to remain living.
Our children require your years to them giving

I must go now, assist the next mother to yours,
to replenish the dearth of our people from wars.
Of life and of love, I must go and forsake you,
Sleep, gentle one, sleep and we shall awake you

Upon our return, with news of the land
Good night dear. I see as my lips touch your hand
that you are not willing to yet know the man
which you must become to live with our stand

Listen, we know that we're not your equal,
In battle you can't rival, even in sequel,
That our good training, you did rightly begin,
That we have surpassed it, learned far beyond then

If nothing else, hear this, our greatest king
Our eldest fight right alongside us and sing
The obstacles you are not made for, the duel
Stay, let your mind be prepared for the rule

What difference it makes that we are not men
Aren't you safer with us here so close in your den?
All possible entrances our troupe observes
By day and by night, three shifts and reserves

He watched on that night as his wives let him think
They dressed up in costumes for parade, fox and mink
The bear on the floor took on a new life
It became solstice costume for his thirteenth wife

The king set to memory the news, just as broken
Each night as he lay, bound to keep it unspoken
Each night as they parted, they each lay a kiss
On his brow, on his eyelids, on the face they would miss

In their journeys, adventures, returns home each night
To tell him of every encounter and fight
Til one day just ten of them did so return
The rest, killed in battle, their bodies did burn

To keep the deep secret of the King's night brigade
He dressed in disguise, to watch the parade
Of ashes, to most their admirers unknown
The king only knew of the theft of his home

Unable to outwardly tell of his grief
He elected a son and a daughter as chief
To go among all, dressed as soldiers, promoted
As the first team, warrior siblings, and quoted

The words of his dear parted wives as his own
Brought life to their legacy, and hope for the throne.
His children he paired two by two and then trained
That their lives might never be fettered and chained

And untold the secrets he fathomed to share
His ten living wives led new armies with care
Still secret, the older battalions, yet strong
The younger battalions lived open and long

The kingdom as such for centuries flourished
Long after Rome fell, its children it nourished
And continued traditions of sibling-led legions
That continued to keep its folk safe in all regions

So, centuries later when hence came the new
Who sought to impose inequity, favour for few
Having now fought with women and skin of all shade
For such generations as their history had made

This kingdom did say, you are wrong to implore us
To impose such an order would slight those before us
Our brothers and sisters all fight side-by-side
To change our bright culture would hasten the tide

Of our self-destruction, our lack of defense
We cannot allow this, we've worked too long hence
To strengthen our country and foster its power
The thing you suggest would our strength soon devour

So devils of gender and race wars desisted,
Decided to move on to work less resisted
And found such places in the travels of time
That gave them the fodder to foster their crime

But yet lives the place, once delivered by wives
That cannot be split by examples of lives
Lived in battle with forces of much greater evil
Than armies of Romans, or Saxons medieval

The greatest of battles is yet being fought
Over most of the world, the warriors are wrought
From the blind and the weary who need easy outs
To save them from thinking for very long bouts

And giving them something or someone to blame
For all of the cultural heresy, shame,
And partisan ventures that have not one gain
But to foster the greed of the shallow and vain

So step up, all warriors, your inner wars won
You'll have much more future, devoid of the gun
There are much better answers than gender and race
Much better answers that we all can embrace

And now we accept that all beings can be
Our own true legions, in fights to be free
And so, thinking of them all once and inclusive
How can the evil be ever intrusive?

The legions we make keep the bigots away
From inside and out, our hearts cannot sway
No matter how much the evil seems to offer
We are the champions, for peace we now prosper.

The kingdom of legions of siblings imbues
In our hearts, the siblings all genders and hues
The place is not myth, nor fancy nor fiction
The place is in each of us, our great conviction

We live, each of us, mixed races' memorials
Rushing past lives, in conflicting tutorials
The truth, on the surface, may seem too complex
But in truth it is only the lies that perplex

The lies make the demons of conflict alive
To what end do the demons continue to thrive?
To conquer us? What would they do with our spoils?
To subjugate us? Who could want all our foils?

The species reacts to too many members
With many responses, and one of them renders
The like as the different, the friend as the foe
To keep populations curtailed and just so

We don't need these methods, or war, just to gain
Reduced population, we have means and reign
To execute choice in the masses we breed
By not bringing more than the number we need

And the problems arise when all that is noticed
Is lack of same choice in others, and focused
Design to invade, through sheer population
And force all the others to find trepidation

Fathered and mothered by all sorts of beings,
Species reacts to threats by not seeing
That all will come in, and all not go out.
And somehow, the next generation will shout

And hear the same focus, to not overfill
The pockets of nature and cause the great spill
In the waters off coasts with no life left to save
The children will all bear the marks of the grave

So fearing invasion by uncommon culture
Is not the fine answer, but takes us to vulture
And careful we must be to not fall down from it
We are the last hope, the last tack and grommet

That holds it together, the lake and the earth
The sky and the stars, the plenty and dearth
So come back whenever you need to remember
Our friend the King, his legions dismember

The hatred and greed, the vulture and sword
The vanity, shallow and ugly, untoward
The place we retreat to in hunger and fears
In weariness, pushed by our lives beyond tears

Remember these legions, assembled and strong
They live within you, and fight hard and long
You are the warrior, your effort is here
Now see all the obstacles faced with less fear

The war against bigotry cannot be won
With any brave soldiers, yes even one
Fighting for evil, the plague and the gain
Of money, of substances, malice and pain

Ask for the healing, the answers we need
To call the solutions that will defy greed
And in all our battles what can we hence heed,
to keep every legion's remembrance fair deed.

Remind me, next time that we meet, of the thought
That the value of legions is not in wars fought
But just in the fact of their wanting to climb
Out of victimization, and out of all time

To live in our minds as reminders of when
We choose poorer answers, and so we can then
Make all the better, the future our mend
And place ourselves back in the natural blend

Copyright © 1998 Dana Lynné Rice, All Rights Reserved

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