The Selected Verse

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A Brief Biography

Musician and poet, Lady Dusty (last name unknown), is as well known for her emotionallly charged life and her occasional tendencies towards acute nervous breakdowns and hysterics, as she is for her verse. It is worth casting an eye over her turbulent life in order to gain a better appreciation of her work as a whole. A mere physical description cannot quite capture the essence of the bard in performance; indeed, even the sketch found at left barely manages to catch a hint of the impishness in her manner, or the sharpness of her tongue. The origin of the sketch is unknown, and the artist has never come forward, but it adequately reveals the green eyes, wild mop of curly brown hair, slightly upturned nose, and the freckles. The slenderness can best be attributed to the rigorous dance regimen that the poetess follows, in which the principal move is the pirouette.

Much of the early life of the self-styled "bardette" is lost to us, as records were not adequately kept. There are myths asserting that the Lady Dusty was born an elf in a land of magic, but such accounts may of course be immediately discarded. As near as can be ascertained today, both Dusty and her late sister Kiera were born in Lima, daughters to a mercenary who had come to the Americas in the hope of making himself rich off of Inca gold. His fate as a conquistador is unknown, but it is known that the mother of the two girls died when they were both young, which may explain their later paths in life. As to which was older, there are conflicting statements.

The common nickname for her, "Fox-tailed flautist," is apparently attributable to her old habit of wearing a fox tail braided into her unkempt hair, and because her first instrument was a silver flute. However, it is known that she also plays the lute, guitar, harmonica, piano, and once played a lovely Stradivarius violin that was unfortunately lost in a shipwreck.

One of the most notable aspects of Dusty's troubled life has been the number of her suitors. Sanquela, a noble knightly man from Viceroyal Peru, threw himself over a cliff when he realized that he could never have her. He was supposed to duel Greyscot for her, but chose the path of death when he saw that he could not possibly win the duel. Greyscot himself was her suitor for a long time, ntil her indecision and fear of commitment led to her freeing him. He eventually married Birdy instead and fathered several children. One of these children, Alexandra, later fell under the sway of the Dark Lord.

The Dark Lord himself is a long-time adversary of the Liman bardette. It was her verse and satire which first termed this mysterious entity "the guppy," a term which has since entered common usage. The Antipaladin Edith slew her over this slight. Dusty has continued to denounce the Dark Lord at every opportunity, as can be witnessed by her attempt to free Alexandra and Moira from his evil influence.

As a noted bard, she was one of the first to write verses about one of the great love stories of our time, the romance between Bart and Rusalka. She also wrote a moving elegy upon her sister Kiera's suicide. Although it is known that she and her sister did not get along very well, it was a fairly placid relationship compared to her dealings with individuals such as Magda and Mercenary, whom she frequently taunted and derided. The sting of her satire was felt by individuals such as Cheese, whom she regarded as betraying the Order of the Scroll (which she later renounced, accusing the leadership of cowardice) and even her erstwhile suitor Greyscot. One of the best examples of her wit is undoubtedly the great limerick battle she fought with the late poet Limerick, widely considered a classic of of the poet's art.

Indeed, Greyscot was killed largely because he declared that he'd do anything for her, and the famed killer Sylia took that to mean anything including die. Often indeed has a close relationship with the bardette led to one's untimely demise. It is said that she even attacked and killed Kiera once over a stain on a sweater that her sister had borrowed. It is possible that this can be attributed to the rumors of her drunkenness, although the tales of her promiscuity are almost certainly slanders spread about by her enemies.

Dusty's whereabouts are presently unknown, though it is told by some that she appeared in Sherwood and took some commissions for epic poems from the likes of Conan and Agrippa, as well as composing an impromptu ballad for the pookah Bronwyn. Unfortunately, these works, if they ever existed, are now lost. Rumors have reached us of Lady Dusty's death, but we feel sure that these are greatly exaggerated, and that someday soon she will once again be breaking hearts and savaging fragile egos with her art.


The Selected Verse

"She Walks Like a Ghost"

Written for Bart about Rusalka, when Bart was seeking that lady's hand in marriage.

She walks like a ghost, gliding translucent,
Hair swirling madly in fingers of wind.
Where are the hands to cup her cold cheeks?
To warm her pale skin with blushes and sin?
She is the rusalka, the spirit, the Gypsy;
She is the lonely, the lovelorn, the lost...
Yet even the shades that walk in the shadows
Must feel love--and must know its cost.

Ode to Leileth

Leileth accused Dusty's erstwhile suitor Greyscot of infidelity with a mysterious woman whose name started with "G." When she failed to send forth a champion to defend her cause on the field of honor, Dusty composed a little satire...

A pity, a shame, your now-tarnished name
Can't be correctly defended;
You say you're abandoned, and even slandered
And fences just cannot be mended
Yet you will not step forth or send champion on horse
To tilt at the lists for your honor?
Perhaps you should settle for HAVING no mettle
And slink away, a doxy... or commoner.


Cheese, an erstwhile friend of the Order of the Scroll, was found by Dusty to be looting the clan hall despite not being a member. This was the result...

Cheese the false friend likes to hide his true nature
Behind the smell of his rotten and moldering face--
He loots from those who once gave him good shelter
And trades their secrets for shame and disgrace.
Let it be known that Cheese is anathema!
Cheese is foul and stale and low!
Don't let him into any of your sandwiches,
Don't trust him with aught that you know.

A Fair Little Minstrel

Greyscot, once upon a time Dusty's suitor, but by this time, no longer, was involved in a dubious fight in which he killed Bremmar while the latter was very grivously wounded. Dusty, always one to get back at those who hurt her, released the following bit of public nastiness.

There once was a fair little minstrel
Whose name was gray as the hills
His great talent was at retreating
He'd shrink and withdraw, curl up and away,
No longer upright and alert
And hide himself deep in his cups...
Not even birdies could heal his hurt.
But one day in the fullness of time
This fellow felt much engorged
And strutted about to go slaying
Bremmar The Terribly Bored
He found him indeed greatly wounded
And slew him with one single whack
And then did he strut quite bravely
Another bantam cock on the walk.
And oh! the opprobrium, ah! the dismay
As the world thought him sort of sick!
But from past cruel knowledge I can attest
It's merely that he is a p****.

'Ware the Rabbit!

Alexandra, daughter of Dusty's ex-suitor Greyscot and of the Lady Birdy, spent a lot of time in the company of the Antipaladins. In fact, she had a certain stuffed rabbit that seemed to have far too close a link to the Dark Lord.

An innocent child, betrayed by a kiss
Who ever knew it might come to this--
A stuffed little toy that is soul's poison indeed
An evil mind that creates evil deeds
Alexandra is lost in the darkness, she's crying for help
But the Bunny speaks whispers and leads her to Hell
Will no one halt the velveteen spread?
'Twould better be for the kid to be dead!
The Guppy has risen and inhabits the plush
And the night echoes cries of the darkling thrush
The Elder Gods have attacked and possessed the playroom
And the pod people lurking shall create our doom
Fight against Bunny! Against the Dark Lord!
They want to control us just 'cause they're BORED!

Mercenary's Epitaph

A fragment of a poem that is lost to us. All that remains is Dusty's critique of the state of Mercenary's soul...

You gather souls up to your heart and watch them slip away--
Who will hold you to their chest come YOUR judgement day?

An Elegy for Kiera

Kiera, Dusty's sister, was a famed killer and the head of the Assassins. Although the two sisters were in many ways like night and day, they harbored a deep affection for one another. Kiera eventually committed suicide, and Dusty did not learn of her death for some time.

I miss her gray eyes with twinkles of murder,
This sister of mine who is gone;
She walked the knife edge of civilization
And preyed on the meek and the strong.
She took life as she found it, usually by force,
And left behind empty hearts and a corpse.

She baited her rivals with words tinged with wry,
This sister of mine who is gone.
She struck from behind and betrayed unacquainted
And never stayed good friends for long.
She took love as she found it, often by stealth
And robbed men of life and good health.

I miss her small smile as she faced her dark future--
This sister of mine who is gone;
She knew just how empty the nights could extend
When one sells people's lives for a song.
She loved life and she lost it, perhaps lost even more,
This Kiera I miss, this sister, this soul sold past darkness' door.

A Limerick for Baca

What more can be said? Her opinion of this fellow's verse was not high.

This fellow named Baca wrote verse
Which caused many hearing to hurt
But it was still a relief
Since they were rather brief
And Lord knows Merc's woulda been worse

The Limerick Duel with Limerick

Be warned that many of the following limericks are, as typical for the form, not exactly polite.

Let it be known that the gauntlet was taken--
The challenge shall not be forsaken--
The limericks are coming!
(Not the person, who's slumming--
His verse isn't quite half done baking.)

A limerick contest was started
By those who believed themselves artists
But their verse was a bomb
Delivered sans aplomb
And only last place was awarded.

A child was dropped on his head once
He became a purveyor of bad rhymed puns
There was nothing to do
Amidst the cry and the hue
So they called him Limerick, the poor dunce.

There once was this Limerick fellow
Who thought Dusty's undies were yellow.
Not that he peeked--
Or even sniffed the reek--
Just that he had a fixation on Jell-O.

Jell-O the marvelous goo stuff
Fills skulls that have not brains 'nuff.
Take Limerick's spew
(Grape-apple? Eeeewwww!)
The equivalent of poetic dandruff.

Some men see themselves as satyrs--
Insatiable, sexy, bed-baiters.
Let's talk about grooming--
Hairy legs and horns looming
Won't make the satyr be able to sate her.

This girl thought herself a vixen
And dined upon men with the fixin's
But all the red dresses
Got stained with the messes
When she failed to get all of her licks in.

Bad verse tends to the salacious;
Bodily functions amaze us.
Public mitosis
and bad halitosis
And limericks tend not to be gracious.

Forgive the judges their sad state--
They drool, these incontinent once-greats.
But Limerick's bad rhymes
Quite zapped their minds
and left them as idiotic blank slates.

Some claim that Dusty was banished
Her last poems forged, her pen vanished
But reports of her death
Were hoaxed by the best
By the would-bes among the satire-fannish.

The last limerick has been spoken--
Quick, before English gets broken.
They're flash and no substance
Romance with no love dance
A poem with fire no one put smoke in.

The limerick's the lowest form of verse
As humor, only bad puns rank worse.
But we're not at the nadir--
Nobody gets PAID here
For literarily analyzaling our ums and ers.

Limerick speaks wisely of bawdies
And of matters politeness calls tawdry
Perhaps self-analysis
Led to paralysis
When it came to dealing with female bodies?

Poor fellow uses verse as a crutch
For seduction and loving and such
But a pen is too weak
And leads him to weep--
It just isn't meant for holding up such!

In response to Limerick's volley with "Yes Dusty, your Undies are foul/ I thought you were a nice gal/ But I saw your skid marks/ As loud as a lark/ You're soiled by movements of bowel", she responded with this:

Cry foul on foul and gal, fool!
Perhaps if gal were gaol, you'll
Get past the judges--
As it is you fudge it--
Rhyme right or head home to your cesspool.

Some folks attack my hairstyle's mess
Because it ain't nice and arranged with a dress
But men know that rumpled
Means a girl who once tumbled
And decided thereafter to rest.

Limerick decries my wild head of hair
And makes up what's not really there
He flees--whatta tease
And crotch-scratches the fleas
Which infest the bare spot where he bears no hair!

It's two-forty-six in the morn
And Limerick's blowing his horn
But I have a job
So I'll be a snob
And let him blow solo as is his norm.

That pants bulge don't mean he's inbred!
Lim challenged to verse this bardette,
But kicking his butt
Entailed slight smut
Which I fear went to his SMALL head.

Magda's Nose

Magda was a dear friend of Dusty's sister, yet she and Dusty have never gotten along. This was a recent description of Magda by Dusty.

Hide your underwear, everyone... from Magda of the long nose!

It's practically prehensile, mobile and quasi-mental
It's Magda's the amazing sniffing nose!
It slides and squeezes, sniffily wheezes,
Magda's inquisitive nose!

And at night the children think
That monsters lurk and evilly wink
But it's only nostrils in that dark, with snotty glows!

Beware, beware, the nosy hairs, the quivering stretching stare!
Flee, be free, before she sniffs too close of thee and me,
it's Magda and her
trained and dancing
waxed and prancing
wavy long
and ALWAYS wrong