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The Clay Road

tapestry series

The Doorkeeper

A beryllium set in silver,

the opal in a crown:

at the head of one poor table,

a modest fare—

amongst nocturnal cavern’s fi re,

the dragon lair’s repast.


At heart, your streams are chaliced gold

and in the underworld, we chant,

the hallowed halls bequeath

you knighthood.


The horse shall breathe his last,

in this honored battleground,

when Aurias comes stately home

and banners of the sea doth fly.

--Emily Isaacson


One tiding of good grace

and how the fair art blessed

by night, the child unseen,

unsung, thy melody.


The sting of cruelty’s wake

bereft, now on the shore,

of title deed—rose, lily, thistle,

the portal to each world:

chivalry, justice, and libertine.


Each candle lit at sundown,

beeswax dripping in a round;

the advent chimes each hour,

rues of rival earthly walls—

the boiling oil of chastity,

and holy sepulcher untamed.


--Emily Isaacson

Where quail roost, hovering

in the straw,

thou art my dove,

steady and secure,

without thorn or scar:

beloved house of Avalon’s dowry,

now jaded tile—escaped

from funeral’s pyre,

within thy starry firmament

avenge the kingdom

of the Lion and Unicorn.


Aurias in golden robe,

thine fiery hair, unbidden to the floor:

the wisdom of thy years,

now marked by unshed tears,

do within thy resolute compass

hold the reason for thy mass.

      --Emily Isaacson

Under the open scepter,

chancellor a sepulchral undertone,

I fledged my wings to fly by night,

and took the westward course.


In foul caverns, goblins dwell,

the ghouls of time will shed their souls,

and hags entice the fledgling knight

who knelt in sunny palace once.


The ladies’ bed, a veiled forgery,

some royal velvet cue abandoned,

a once-shed tear from Christmas night

and holly boughs will glow

with solstice.


O angel of ye gods,

who stands at tiptoe’s reach:

relinquishment, your sword of peace.


The refuge of thine arms,

an unaccounted piece now played;

we wallowed lowly once

to reach thy vestal eternal throne.


      --Emily Isaacson


All poems from The Fleur-de-lis, Vol II

"Isaacson, 36, figures she's written more than 1,200 poems. Her postmodern poetry is colourful, lyrical and even magical in its break from realism."