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the adventures (from frederick and the enchantress – dance drama)

  (i) introduction

  his home in ruins
  his parents gone
  frederick seeks
  to reclaim his throne

   to the golden mountain
   he sets his path
   the enchantress listening
   schemes with wrath

  four desperate trials
  which she takes from store
  to silence frederick
  for ever more

 (ii) the mist

  softly mist suppress all sight
  swirling stealthily as night
  slur the sureness of his steps
  suffocate his sweetest hopes
  swirling curling slip and slide
  persuasively seduce his stride

  from following its essential course
  seal his senses at its source
  bemuse the soil he stands upon
  till power of choice has wholly gone
  seething surreptitious veil
  across the face of light prevail
  against this taciturn and proud
  insurgent - o smother him swift cloud

  yet if you cannot steal his breath
  thus snuffing him to hasty death
  at least in your umbrageous mask
  stifle his ambitious task
  mystify his restless brain
  sweep him swirl him home again

 (iii) the bog

  once more the muffling mists enclose
  frederick in their vaporous throes
  forcing him with unseeing sway
  to veer from his intended way

  back they push and back
  make him fall
  stumble catch
  his foot become
  emmired snatch
  hopelessly at fog
  no grip slip further back
  into the sucking fingers of the bog
  into the slush

  squelching and splotch-
  ing the marsh
  gushes and gurgles
  engulfing foot leg
  chuckling suckles
  the heaving thigh
  the plush slugged waist
  sucking still and still flushing
  with suggestive slurp
  plop slap
  sluggishly upwards
  unctuous lugubrious
  soaking and enjoying
  with spongy gestures
  the swallowed wallowing
  body - the succulence
  of soft shoulder
but no his desperate palm struggling to forsake the clutches of the swamp finds one stark branch overhanging to fix glad fingers to and out of the maw of the murderous mud safely delivers him (iv) the magic forest safely - distorted joke from bog to twisted forest gnarled trees writhe and fork asphixiated trunks - angular branches hook claw throttle frederick in their creaking joints jagged weird knotted and misshapen petrified maniacal figures frantically contorted grotesque eccentric in the moon-toothed half-light tug clutch struggle with the haggard form zigzag he staggers awe-plagued giddy near-garrotted mind-deranged forcing his sagging limbs through the mangled danger till almost beyond redemption beyond self-care he once again survives to breathe free air (v) the barrier of thorns immediately a barrier of thorns springs up to choke his track thick brier evil bramble twitch stick sharp needles in his skin hag's spite inflicts its bitter sting frederick (provoked to attack stung stabbed by jabbing spines wincing with agony and grief) seeks to hack a clear way through picking swinging at the spiky barricade inch by prickly inch smarting with anger bristling with a thin itch and tingling of success - acute with aching glory the afflicted victim of a witch's pique frederick frederick the king snips hews chops rips slashes cracks cleaves rends pierces pierces and shatters into pointless pieces this mighty barrier of barbs - comes through at last (belzivetta's malignant magic smashed) to freedom peace of mind and dreamless sleep

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