The Tale of Armless Tom – Fantasy Poem

By D.C. Ward


Our tale to tell begins with this chord,

A tale both great and long.

A life of crime,

That turns with time,

‘Tis the Tale of Armless Tom.

*

In the darkest night of Grada’s* end,

Shone one small beacon of Joy.

A lord and a lady,

Birthed a sweet baby,

And Tom was the name of the boy.

*

A short time passed for young fresh Tom,

Before his parents were killed.

The boy upped and left,

To a life full of theft,

With the void of his parents ill-filled.

*

He became the best at all that he did,

Whether stealing or cheating or worse.

A boy no more,

And black to his core,

He was lured by the pirates’ curse.

*

The decades past and Tom learnt much,

As he relished his devious role.

He had found his place,

But his parents’ disgrace,

Was beginning to eat at his soul.

*

He plundered the north, the south, east and west,

They were never far from a feast.

All feared the black sail,

And not once did he fail,

‘Till he lost his left arm to the beast.

*

His ship was lost to Grada’s wrath,

Floating hopeless amongst the waves

A Monstrous roar,

Put an end to the bore,

And the crew could start digging their graves.

*

The hydra flew beneath the waves,

Whilst men did pray and weep.

In not too long,

The brave and the strong,

Would welcome eternal sleep.

*

Tom had lost most of what he had,

To the cruellest beast he had known.

His ship, his crew,

His arm and a shoe,

And that’s when he dreamt of his home.

*

His heart it filled with guilt and regret,

The feeling was sudden and strange.

He saw his fall,

As a spiritual call,

And promised his life would now change.

*

He began his journey back to the east,

The waves now offered their aid.

He found the shore,

With a raft and an ore,

And soon his new life had been made.

*

The jewels on his fingers and chains round his neck,

Were pawned for a sack-full of gold.

Tom’s hair had greyed,

His beard now shaved,

As he rescued the poor from the cold.

*

One-armed Tom was labelled a saint,

He fulfilled the promise he vowed.

His happiness spread,

With each child he fed,

And he knew that his parents were proud.

*

As his reflection aged he started to think,

His repent still carried a scar.

He began to speak free,

Of his old life at sea,

And soon he was hunted by guards.

*

He fought for a while for fear of death,

But his skills as a fighter grew poor.

His skin met steel,

And forced him to kneel,

Now both of his arms were no more.

*

The capture of the peasants’ saint,

Was a shock to all he had saved.

But his crimes were done,

And soon he was hung,

Yet the people still flowered his grave.

*

This very last chord signals the end,

Of a tale both great and long.

A life of crime,

That turned with time,

‘Twas the Tale of Armless Tom.


*Grada is a season of thirty three days in which violent storms are constant.

This is a fun, simple song from my fantasy world ‘Odesus’, the setting of the Watching Shadows series I am currently writing. It is meant to be a jovial drinking song, but the tale itself is of a real, historic figure in the the universe who may, one day, feature in a short story of a more solemn pace. If you enjoyed it, please comment, like, subscribe  and check out the rest of the site. Thanks!

By D. C. Ward

And if you’re now in the mood for some more fantasy, give The Demons’ Cry a read, a serial fantasy that we’re very excited about. Or there’s the a fantasy short story The Yesterday Key.

We also have a whole heap of fantasy book reviews for you to read. The Broken Empire Trilogy by Mark Lawrence, The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Try those on for size.

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5 thoughts on “The Tale of Armless Tom – Fantasy Poem

  1. This was a neat effort. You tried to play with the rhyme scheme, I liked that. Writing poetry especially a ballad looks like fun but has its own challenges – imagery, character, plot.

    While you have used some right words which help the reader anchor the setting in their head there is still scope to make the tale here more vivid. I liked how it sounded, it was easy to read but not simple to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Demons’ Cry – Chapter 4 | Sentient Ink

  3. Pingback: The Augustine Bells | Sentient Ink

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