7:4: “The Diamond Throne”, by Marsheila Rockwell...

We met before the Diamond Throne
Privileged children of the Gem Court
Fosterlings pledging our parents’ fealty
Our freedom the price of their luxuries

Perfumed courtyards and music-filled halls were
No mask for the truth of our new setting
Star-on-Earth, jewel of all the bards’ tales
A prison fit for noble chattel

Our fates needle-writ upon our arms
Shackles forged of iridescent ink
Markings the same as those borne by
Both the king’s horses and his whores

We loved despite the Diamond Throne
Displaced children of the Gem Court
Our lives no longer our own, perhaps
But not so our hearts-not so our hearts

Their machinations brought us together
Closer than they could have known, or wanted
They had not counted on our dark desire
Like calls to like, trapped behind velvet bars

Shadowed gardens or garderobes
Our trysting the only brightness
In lives of pampered slavery
We should have seen how it must end

We wept before the Diamond Throne
Disgraced children of the Gem Court
New sentences inscribed on our flesh
With scourges this time instead of quills

But not to welcome death, not that release
Our lines the mortar of alliances
We could not be killed, but separated
Bound now to others for the good of all

You, fiercest son of the House of Ruby
I, a Sapphire-gentler, but no less hard
Yet in the end, corundum only
And diamond, my darling, cuts us both

Marsheila (Marcy) Rockwell is a Rhysling-nominated poet and author who resides in the Valley of the Sun with her husband and children. From her desert castle, she wages an epic war against spiders, crabgrass and construction dust. In between skirmishes, she writes. You can find out what she’s written lately (and who is winning the war) here.

For a writer or a poet, no experience is ever wasted-it all becomes fodder for the next story or poem. In this case, I finally got to put my geology minor to good use. Who knew rocks could be so tragically romantic?

6:3: “Those Who Wait”, by Marsheila Rockwell...

I’ll wait for you
She said when he got his orders
Though they both knew
A deployment to the Outer Rim
Meant she’d be in her sixties
When he returned

While he’d barely have aged


I’ll wait for you
She whispered against his chest
Salt tracks drying on her cheeks
As she listened to his heartbeat
Slow with sleep and satiation
And got the first glimmerings
Of how she could


I’ll wait for you
She shouted over the booster rockets
Watching his troop transport
Rising into the sky
Waving long after its bright wake
Could only be seen
In her imagination


I’ll wait for you
She repeated as she sold
Their house, both cars
And even the diamond ring
He’d given her just months before
And took the money
To the Cryobay


I’ll wait for you

She murmured as gas filled
The glass-and-chrome pod
And she drifted off
Dreaming of a distant homecoming
A yellow ribbon clutched
In one frozen hand


I’ll wait for you
She’d promised her soldier

And wait she did
Through long years of war
The destruction of the Rim Fleet
And the invasion that left
Her homeworld a smoking ruin


I’ll wait for you
She croaked as she awoke

Inside a silver coffin

Her planet long abandoned
Power—and air—finally running out
The yellow ribbon falling, futile
From lifeless fingers


I waited for you
She said to him
As she stepped out of her body
And greeted her ghostly lover

With an incorporeal kiss
Then he took her hand and
Led her into the black


And I waited for you

Marsheila (Marcy) Rockwell is a Rhysling-nominated poet, author of Legacy of Wolves (Wizards of the Coast, June 2007), the mother of two wonderful sons and the proud wife of a brave Seabee. She lives in the desert in the shadow of a mountain with her family and far too many books. Find out more about her and her work here.

“Those Who Wait” was written for my husband and my hero, LT F.O. Menez, CEC USN, currently deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I will always wait for you, my love.