by Karen Winter

Our vision fades, the earth is mapped and known.
The wonder of this world is all run dry.
The Queen of Air and Darkness yields her throne,
And unicorns are just rhinoceri.
No magic lingers in their shining horn.
No crystal ship with silver-tissue sail
Will float us westward to the faerie bourne,
For all the strong enchantments finally fail.
The Isle of Glass and Arthur's Avalon
Are visited by tourist motorcoach.
The Russians tell us Prester John is gone.
Al-Qaeda is Cour-de-Leon's reproach.

Now Fancy's wings are broken on the rack,
And Southwest Airlines flies us There and Back.

But still we hunger for the farther shore,
Enchanted lands of triumph or despair,
The absolutes of love and death and war,
And glamourie both perilous and fair.
We turn to other times and other stars,
To inward worlds imagination-seen -
No robot probe makes Barzoom less than Mars -
Darkover, Middle-Earth, or Tatooine.
With Enterprise and all her sister craft
We sail by hyper, warp, or endless years
To Brendan-isles created in a draft,
The imram of our timeless hopes and fears.

Rejoice, and thank those mythic authors whence
We garner back our lost inheritance.


Winter's Tales