How it got there:
I have been on the Haro mailing (Help a reporter out) list for several years. I don’t always look over the requests, but a while back I was reading through the requests when I noticed a request for information about GLBT themed recent novels, so I sent in the information.
And now, for your enjoyment, is a poem from the novel:
Ballad of Barad and Garan
Barad strode out one two-moon night
upon dark desert sand.
He kissed Garan upon the lips,
then listened to his demand:
“The time has come for us to part.
I’m going off to fight
Let us exchange a pledge of love
before we part tonight.”
Barad replied, “I cannot pledge
although I love you true.
I fear the consequences when
I swear my love to you.”
“Barad, your fear,” his lover said,
“is all that holds you back.
I hope one day you’ll seek within
the courage which you lack.
“I will march off to war tonight
while you remain behind.
The spirits will find fault with you
for love you have declined.”
Barad beheld the moonlit sand
as Garan strode away,
while praying spirits keep him safe
amid the coming fray.
The battle raged in dark of night.
Garan reached for his blade.
Too late, his blood dripped down his breast.
He felt his life-force fade.
Around a world went ringing out
Garan’s last, dying cry.
His lover’s name was upon lips,
Garan let out a sigh.
“You failed to promise me your love.
I lost the will to live.
Your selfish pride, inconstancy,
spirits will not forgive.”
Barad stood tall beside a rock,
the wind blew on his brow.
He said, “Perhaps it’s not too late.
Oh spirits, hear my vow:
“While I may wander through this life,
if love should come to me,
I will not turn my face away,
however hard it be.”
Barad meandered far and wide.
He fought for many years.
And every night he hungered more
for love he’d lost to fears.
One day he met a giant brute
who tried to block his way.
Barad took out his long, sharp sword.
He fought for many a day.
The giant had a longer reach,
Barad was much more quick.
He wore the mighty giant down
The brute was tired and sick.
The giant heaved a mighty sigh,
and said, “Let’s call a truce.
I vowed to stop the fighting when
I found a good excuse.”
Barad continued on his way
up to a heap of stone.
He sat and sobbed, “Deprived of love.
I’ve spent my life alone.”
He rose and wandered to a town
to find something to eat.
But in the town he found the man
he’d feared he’d never meet.
Barad gazed at the other’s face.
The stranger stared right back.
Barad heard spirits call to him,
“Here is the love you lack.
“We spirits bless you with this chance,
and you must see it through.
You must now kiss the stranger twice,
tell him you love him true.”
“I vowed I would not turn away
if love should come to me.
I’ll kiss this stranger with the wish
our love is meant to be.
“I’ve never met this man before
How will he now react?
I’ll take a risk and hope, at least,
I will not be attacked.”
Barad then kissed the stranger twice,
both times with mighty smack,
and said, “Oh, sir, I love you true,
Oh, will you love me back?”
With a smile the other replied,
“I’ve waited many years
in hopes my love would come to me,
for love to conquer fears.
I’ll love you true forever more.
You need not be afraid.
I bless the spirits for their gift,
the love for which I prayed.”