Loose ends were tied; the message sent,
and I walked on in merriment.
With ruddy arms I build a cairn
that lies a ways past yonder barn.
One piece of gold I have in tow,
my back faced to the winds that blow.
This growing monumental mound
will hide my grief on sacred ground.
A daily prayer, a daily grind,
a rock a day to ease my mind.
“To reach the sky! To find my love!
To live the dream I’m dreaming of!”
The brook once reached beyond these hills,
her streams left banks for bigger thrills.
A few returned to pay their dues,
whose lovely stones I can’t refuse.
To my surprise, when I arrived,
this little man did sit beside
the running water, clear and sweet,
biding his time, soaking his feet.
His clothes were rent, his hair unkempt,
his gaze locked in the days lament.
The solitary of the fool
’twas felt on my side of the pool.
He raised his head, and looked my way,
and nodded at me, as if to say,
“No need to fear, no need to hide.”
I crossed on over to his side.
He bade me, “Come! You need a rest!”
He drew his flask, “Please, be my guest!”
My guard withdrawn, my throat gone dry,
my pity for the man ran high.
The sun had yet begun to set,
so down I sat with no regret.
Refreshing wine he passed to me,
I gave a toast to harmony.
I asked him how he knew this place,
a smile flashed across his face.
Wrinkles deepened to disguise
the teary trails of Rainbow Eyes.
I waited long for his reply,
the hours slowly crept on by.
I could not let him get away,
though night be setting on the day.
“What are you thinking?”, I decried.
He seemed to take it all in stride.
I thought him dead, but then he rose,
and brushed the cobwebs off his nose.
Padding pockets, feeling around,
his fingers dug until they found
a little book that looked quite old,
filled with stories never told.
As he began to tell his tale,
“Reflections On The Wishing Well”
the elderberries cast their spell,
into the deepest sleep I fell.
Though dreams do come, they always pass,
there are no curtain calls at last.
My soul must surely understand
why ends meet up in Wonderland.
I must have slept away the night,
my brain was throbbing in delight,
with recollections blur and dim,
and I don’t see the likes of him.
An Elder tree had sheltered me,
I thanked him very graciously.
Methinks he knows why men grow small,
why life grows short, whilst tales grow tall.
In retrospect, I do reflect,
it was a case of self neglect.
My daily prayer, my daily grind,
a rock a day, I’d had in mind.
Then slowly it came back to me,
I had to jog my memory.
The words he read, the things I said,
fell into place inside my head.
‘Twas then I thought to check and see
if I still had my piece with me,
the piece of gold I keep in tow,
that brings me luck where’er I go.
The pouch hung empty on my belt.
You can’t imagine how I felt!
The trickster played me, this I knew,
I had to hope that dreams come true.
Bewildered and a wee dismayed,
aghast at just how far I strayed,
but that’s what happens when you roam.
I scoffed it off and headed home.
The skies grew dark to cloud my pain,
I paused to scan the woods again.
I’d no good reason to remain
in the throes of a driving rain.
The winds picked up, as did my pace,
a branch swooped down to slap my face.
This forest seemed to have the gall,
I wished to hang it on a wall.
The leprechaun was now far-gone!
The early morning storm moved on.
My good coat drenched, I hungered still
for daily bread, fresh from the mill.
The sun came out to play my guest,
and drove the rain off to the west.
Gazing upon the looking-glass,
this top performer showed his class.
The sky put on her Sunday best,
she wore the rainbow like a vest.
I fancied over those two ends;
one could land where my porch begins!
I had a hunch my luck had changed.
Priorities, I rearranged.
Forget the cairn past yonder barn,
I’m going home to spin a yarn.
By then I had the barn in sight,
my legs obliged with all their might.
The little man came back to mind.
Had he been here? What might I find?
I passed the barn, rounded the bend,
this journey was about to end.
At last, I caught sight of my home,
and spied a gift left by the gnome.
All in all, if truth be told,
there was no promised pot of gold.
But I was in for a surprise,
the gift came from ol’ Rainbow Eyes!
I ran towards my door to see
this bag, and what’s in store for me.
The leather pouch, a little tote,
held just three things, one was a note.
There also was my lucky charm,
I knew right then he meant no harm.
That piece of gold I always tow,
sure brings me luck where’er I go!
Then one last look was all it took.
I gazed upon his little book,
a book that he bequeathed to me,
a gift that soon would set me free.
Then down I sat to read the note,
the very last words my father wrote.
© Keith Alan Watson