Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "master of water, master of wood"

This poem was inspired and sponsored by marina_bonomi, who wondered what I might do with Cao Cao and Zhuge Liang.  In my hands they turned into historic role models for the Kirigami Mage and the Origami Mage.  And now we know where the rivalry really turned personal.  This poem belongs to the Origami Mage series, coming after "ongaeshibanashi." 

master of water, master of wood

Cáo Jiāo the Dragon
was a master of water,
constant as the sea

people named him as
a military genius
or power-grabber

lightning-fast he struck,
but to temptation he was
ever unyielding

Kirigami Mage
took him for her role model,
history's mentor

she thought of him as
she wielded her bright scissors
to master paper

his wisdom and grace
inspired her young fingers:
dragon's fluid dance

Zhou Lóng the White Crane
was a wood master, patient
as a growing pine

people named him as
a most gifted diplomat
or else a coward

lightly did he move;
kindly he kept his balance
and others' as well

Origami Mage
chose him as her role model,
enlightened wizard

thus she dreamed of him
as her tender fingers made
fold and crease and fold

his tranquility
inspired her diligence:
crane's quiet courtship

no one remembers
who started it, only how
bitterly it burned

the two girls quarreled
over who served the better
master, as girls will

they turned their backs on
both constancy and kindness,
enfolding rancor

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, writing
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