I once saw a horse
As big as a mountain.
It stepped over trees
And smooshed tiny villages.
I saw all this and thought,
“I must conquer this horse!”
So I found an empty field
And started planting seeds.
“What are you doing?”
Asked my mother.
“I’m going to conquer the horse!”
I proclaimed. She shook her head,
“Son, the horse is dangerous,
It will crush you and not even notice!”
But I gave her the bird and continued
Planting the field.
I waited for months and months,
But nothing rose from the ground.
I went into the city to see
If someone knew the way.
“What are you looking for child,”
Said one of the merchants.
“Magic seeds,” I told the old man.
“I’m going to conquer the enormous
Horse!” He shook his head.
“You’re an idiot-child. You will die
Before you see a bud in your garden.”
I told him to go screw and then found
Magic seeds at a discounted rate.
I planted the seeds and went to bed.
The next morning came and the whole field
Was covered with trees, their branches
Heavy with bright red fruit. I smiled,
Knowing the horse could never resist.
“Child.” I turned and saw a man
With a mustache, smoking a pipe.
“What’s all about?” I asked
Who the hell he was. “I am a doctor
Your parents have called from the city,
But let us talk, as friends.” I told him
To piss on his shoes and ran into my forest.
I ran and ran. This is what I wanted.
This was my dream. To conquer
A big, giant horse. But as I ran
The ground started to shake,
The birds fled from the leaves.
I stopped to look and saw the sun
Turn to black. “It is here,” I said,
My voice quivering. The horse
Didn’t take long to scoop up
Half the trees with its endless maw.
“Now what?” Asked my mother
As we stood at forest’s edge.
“What was your plan to conquer
The enormous horse?” Before I could
Tell her to shut it, the horse came
And shoveled us into its belly.
“Way to go, son,” my mother said
As we wandered the pits of its stomach.
“Mother,” I asked her, “why don’t you
Believe in me?” But she sighed.
As we walked we saw not just my trees,
But also houses, and other, smaller horses.
We soon found a campfire
Surrounded by dirty bearded men.
“Ah, some new residents!” They laughed.
“Yes, no thanks to this one!” My mother
Pointed at me. But I wasn’t embarrassed.
“Let me guess child,” one of them said,
“You too were after the horse.” I stared
At him. “And these trees were just a ruse
To lure the beast to your trap.” I nodded.
“Yes,” I said. “I am to conquer the horse!”
They laughed some more. “Child,
We were all like you, trying to tame
The giant horse. But we failed.
And so have you! Thanks for the apples though!”
My face turned red. “I will show them,”
I said aloud. “I will, one day, conquer
What could not be conquered
By weaklings such as they!”
“Hey!” One of the men stood-up.
“We’re not weaklings! You’re weak!”
“Yeah!” And their fists rained down
On me. Soon, my mother joined.
But as I writhed in the muck,
I did not feel the pain or shame.
It was nothing to me.
The horse continued swallowing
Up the world. Villages, townships,
And cities flooded around me.
The people that came were quite
Upset, but it didn’t take long
For them to continue living
As if they were outside. Some even
Calling the horse God. I cursed
Them and everyone else
Who had given-up. Cursed
My mother, who remarried,
And the dirty old men farting
By the fire. But I did not curse
Years passed until I found
The next step in the course. I plucked
The apple seeds and continued growing
The forest. The trees grew and grew
And the forest spread to every corner
Of the stomach. “Son,” mother said,
“What are you doing? Soon we won’t
Have enough room.” And I told her
That soon there won’t be any room
And the horse will explode. “But,
We might die.” I looked up at her,
Told her that better to die than to be
Conquered. Everyone else disagreed
And soon I was tied-up, ready
To die, but it was too late, a rip, a tear,
A shake, and a bright light tossed us.
I woke-up and saw the remains
Of the horse across the land.
People were mad at me for destroying
Their homes. “Why?” My mother cried,
“Why did you ruin it all? Why did you
Ruin your years?” Lessers always ask,
“Why?” Isn’t the act reason enough?
I had my reasons, but they do not matter.
None would ever be good enough
For those who dream of sleep in the bowels
Of a beast, to sit around the complacent
Fire, bind themselves to a warmth
That demurs. I have no fire. I run through
The air. I have conquered. I will conquer
until there is nothing inside.
An “epic” poem (for me) that I intended to be almost a parody of tall tales, but it ended-up just being kind of weird.