My husband and I
are an alignment of stars
woven with sticking spells
by Merlin’s sweet necromancy.
Yet who is this new champion?
He wears my favours in tournaments;
his jousting is just divine.
This could bring down the throne of Britain;
yet am I wrong to fancy
a large sprig of garlic
in place of my trusty bacon?
I have visions of my knighted, noble self
at war with my corporeal, guilty self.
Great swordsmanship, keen horsemanship
and still smooth skin
have brought me fame and favour
and more Celtic maidens abed
than I dare to remember.
But, fuck me, the Queen of Wessex
has beguiled me like no other.
They don’t call me Lancelot just for my weapon
though it may yet bring a kingdom down.
My queen and her lover
are engaged in a tryst of treason
cloaked in courtly rituals
of reward and seeming propriety.
Though it breaks my heart,
I shall get her to a nunnery;
no fancy French men there.
And as for my honourable friend –
he who was once my right arm
is now a beastly burden.
We shall fight on, reduced, without him.
Allen Ashley is an award-winning writer and editor based in London, UK where he works as a creative writing tutor. He is a committee member for the British Fantasy Society and is the founder of the advanced science fiction and fantasy writing group Clockhouse London Writers. He is the sole judge for the British Fantasy Society Short Story Competition. He is currently editing a Moon-themed anthology for Eibonvale Press.