Chinwe D. John’s collection of poetic tales of love and loss is titled Tales of Fantasy and Reality and she includes the tales of her travels from all over the world to create these fascinating poems. Published by CreateSpace in 2012 I am happy to share a sample below:
He looks up the jagged hills to see
The castle hidden behind the trees
Medieval walls gleaming in the sun,
Within its fortress, a jewel to be won.
He fears neither the moat nor barricades,
For victory belongs to the bold and brave.
With sword in hand, he scales the gates,
Hungry to grasp the treasure that awaits.
She has sat by the window forever
Waiting an eternity for a hero to save her.
Vacant sockets sunken into an absent face,
A golden scepter is clasped in a bony embrace.
Threads of tangled lace and spider webs
Form a shroud from crown to legs.
On her finger sits a diamond ring,
The finest stone that wealth could bring.
He bursts triumphantly into the ancient halls
Marveling that the legend was true after all.
Swiftly he takes hold of her skeletal hand;
Deftly he tries to remove the dazzling band.
Suddenly, a vise grip seizes his eager wrist.
He lets out a howl of dread and tries to resist.
She will not resign; her faith has kept her alive—
A corpse, waiting for love until the end of time.
This poem reminds me of Sleeping Beauty only she wakes up and lives long past her time out of sheer determination. Imagine the treasure hunter following up on the tale only to find the princess rotting away, stubborn and determined and alive. I like this twist on the typical Fairy Tale. *In the back of the book are notes, “Hand-Festa” is an old Norse word meaning “to strike a bargain by joining the hands,” and is likely the origin of the word “handfasting” in which the bride and groom’s right hands would be tied together during medieval weddings. Interesting, yes?
Through the forest’s strong walls he pushed,
Bow in hand and threading with a light foot.
Stooping down, he aimed his arrow low,
Striking one of two antelopes as they roamed.
Resting under an Iroko tree on his return home,
He sipped palm wine and sang an old hunting poem.
The leaves rustled, and he saw a figure approaching.
She moved with a grace that was stately and becoming.
At first he asked no questions, and she gave no answers.
From that night on, she would become his steady partner.
In time, he wished to know the secret that she kept.
Relenting one day, she asked that he follow where she led.
As they made their way, she sang of love lost and found,
Of vengeance and fidelity—both to which she was bound.
They were well into the forest when she slipped from his side.
He, on realizing, turned around to face a pair of haunting eyes.
In this poem, the hunter is lured into the darkness by the spirit of one who he has hunted. I like this twist, too. If he had never asked about the secret, I wonder if he would ever have been led into the darkness?
An Artist Remarks
Who sits at my grave and weeps?
Whose salty tears disturb my sleep?
These loud laments that fill the air
Come when I no longer care.
Save those black designer clothes;
There’ll be other times to primp and pose.
Turn away your mournful, pensive face,
Lest I should awake and return your gaze.
Where was all this love when I had need?
You mourn for yourselves and not for me.
The press now hails my work as genius.
My face has found its way onto t-shirts.
My sales have soared to an all-time high;
I hear that happens after one dies.
Hollywood is frantically casting for my likeness
Anyone who exhibits box-office prowess.
How good to be free from the gimmicks and games.
Pack up the band and kindly go away.
I really like this poem. What artist doesn’t secretly fear exactly the above scenario? You work and create and strive for recognition and while you’re alive you do not see the respect or interest you want for your work and then… When you die, there is the sudden interest, the accolades, people parading around in finery acting as if they knew you and that you were important to them though they never gave you the time of day when alive. Again, I really like this poem.
If you enjoyed this sample of Tales of Fantasy and Reality, you may purchase a copy for $7.95 by going to:
You can also watch Chinwe D. John perform her tales to live music on YouTube here:
You may also friend Chinwe D. John on Facebook at:
Thanks always for reading, please drop in again tomorrow…