Kalgachi poetry

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Kalgachi poetry is about as varied in quality as its literature (to those charitable enough not to consider it universally awful). The Kalgachi poetic tradition has its roots in the bucolic idealism and romanticism of the early Minarborian era but is distinguished from that origin by streaks of cathartic fatalism which characterise the inhabitants of the modern Ketherist Garden as stunted pioneer species growing from the barren ashes of their ancestral incarnations.

While this outlook is mostly owed to the cyclical animism of the Deep Singers, in reality most Kalgachi poets belong to a specific class of gin-sodden Lywaller whose work is said to be a projection of their repressed mourning for the days when their undead benefactors ruled all of southern Benacia and their native creed of folksy jollity held sway far beyond the castles of Lord Toastypops.[1]

The Shrubby Lichen

Upon the sheer and craggy rock, a shrubby lichen grows
(Although more properly it must be called a fruticose)
Each winter snow besmothers it from grim archonic skies
But yields each thaw to pastel green, a balm for weary eyes.

It draws no jealous sickle cut, as poppies do when tall
And yet its verdant majesty is known and loved by all
The grazing goats alone would dare to tear it from the rock
But even then it grows anew, awaiting the next flock.

Have pity on the groaning pines, exploding with the cold!
See brushfires race through juniper, their berries turned to coals!
The shrubby lichen has its woes, but weathers them away
No fear, no pride, no sucker shoots, it grows the same each day.

The Sleepy Tee-al

The Tee-al ate today, he ate and he ate well
His quarry now transmutes toward ordure of putrid smell
All done is the pursuit, the struggle and the kill
The rodent teeth like adzes and the blood they duly spilled
What care does Tee-al have, of who his prey once was?
A goat or hapless herder, Tee-al gains from either loss.

For now the Tee-al rests, in squatted corpulence
His lazy nose acquiver for a whiff of female scent
Today brings no such luck, his thoughts arrive at sleep
His pair of shiny bloodshot eyes are closing to a peep
But then they open wide; he's suddenly alert
A rustle in the shrubbery - what could it be, dessert?


A Gub got with a 'Zeni girl he'd met in old Merensk
The next week he was praying to the Salvators at length
Her boy back home was Laqi, he was furiously pissed
He cursed her kind and thence became a National-Humanist.[2]

Frutex Resurget

Shrub Shrub Shrub
Shrub Shrub Shrub
Shrub Shrub Shrub
Shrub Shrub Shrub
He hasn't gone away, you know.

Ten Kids on the Urchagin

Ten kids on the Urchagin
Locked into unheated dorms
The fat ones just about kept warm
The rest, they shivered till the dawn
By then, the thinnest one had gone
Nine kids on the Urchagin.

Nine kids on the Urchagin
One went into Ellie's hut
The music rose, the door was shut
There she suffered Vanic smut
Until her own sad throat she cut
Eight kids on the Urchagin.

Eight kids on the Urchagin
One had lost his moral heart
For privilege, he sought the guards
His cowardice they punished hard
Consumed by fright he fast expired
Seven kids on the Urchagin.

Seven kids on the Urchagin
The march began, along a crag
Top-heavy, hauling shoulder bags
One stray foot caught on a snag
Straight down, another corpse to tag
Six kids on the Urchagin.

Six kids on the Urchagin
Just as they sat down to lunch
A wall of snow crashed through the bunch
This sudden mountain avalanche
Crushed one against a fir tree branch
Five kids on the Urchagin.

Five kids on the Urchagin
One was foraging for food
Grasped at something he thought good
The dreadnettle surged through his blood
He died face down in slush and mud
Four kids on the Urchagin.

Four kids on the Urchagin
Now the nicer part, they said
Indeed the camp was fine, warm beds
But these kids were not done being dead
An old wound flared, and sepsis spread
Three kids on the Urchagin.

Three kids on the Urchagin
Sometimes after so much shock
The heart relaxed, and promptly broke
Such things could strike at any folk
One boy slept happy and never woke
Two kids on the Urchagin.

Two kids on the Urchagin
They eyed each other with suspicion
Two days left of this suicide mission
One cracked and fled without permission
Barefoot and scared without provisions
One kid on the Urchagin.

One kid on the Urchagin
Resigned to fall as death's last crop
His head the fateful scythe to lop
Instead arrived Lord Toastypops
Whose judgement came forth, "THIS SHALL STOP".
One kid from the Urchagin.

One kid from the Urchagin.
In later life, resolved to care
He taught within a schoolhouse where
He helped the final year prepare
Ten young faces lined up there
Ten kids on the Urchagin.


  1. ^ Although Kalgachia's average living standard is far in advance of that achieved during Minarboria's extractive amonetarism, the notion of an idyllic Golden Age of Shrubdom - informed by folkish tropes of a society on the edge of poverty developing 'high-trust' communalism and spiritual purity - is set to become more popular as the last of those who actually remember the Minarborian era die off and the desperation and anguish of that empire's dysfunction are relegated to dry historical record.
  2. ^ This scenario formed the premise of a risible musical performed by the theatrical companies of Merensk's Paradise district; it subsequently passed the scrutiny of DEO censors and was allowed a brief run in Oktavyan, where the novelty of a production from the hitherto-forbidden UGB drew a larger audience than was strictly warranted by its dramaturgical merit.