Gnomic Saga I

I.

In long ago times
Gnomes sang their myths and old tales
around their small fires.

The dangers loomed large
Remembered in rhyme and verse
Heroes standing tall.

How loved, the red caps
set firmly on the brave heads
sung of years anon

These gnomic heroes
We sing their praises and names
With joy and much pride.

Tonight’s moon we see
was, by the legendary
gnomes, seen in times gone.

Its light was bright then
and showed the way for our tales
and cheered the hero.

The bear wheels above
as he shambled long ago
stars bright then and now.

The gnome we first see
Red-capped hero of his folk
Bold small journeyer.

Garden left behind
Safe nooks a warm memory
His path to meet fate.

The moon lit the road
Leading away from his home
and fair gnome maiden.

II.

He shouldered his sack
full of food and on bottom
something wrapped up tight

His love had tied up
a small bell in a hanky
and slipped in his bag.

When he strode from home
His father stopped him to give
a glittery sword

He took the weapon,
long on the family wall
tribute to the past.

“I sharpened it, too.
Wear it most bravely my son.
Ailfrid, be most bold.”

He bowed low and long,
Put the sword in its scabbard
And to all, farewell!

He did not look back
He tried to steel his torn heart,
no tears on his cheeks.

The path finally
met a road he’d never seen;
A road he must take.

His vest pocket the words,
tied up in the small brown note.
Come to the castle!

Bidden by the crown
But now on the road so dark
He traveled alone.

III.

The dark scary trees
stood in the moonlight so bright
and cast long shadows.

The moonlight pushing
shadows longer than tree tops
covered the dark path.

The night’s voice of silence
broken by a frog, an answer
and an owl calling.

Our hero, Ailfrid
Walks on bravely singing soft
thinking of his love.

His heart is racing
On what quest will he be sent?
Will he return home?

Wayfarers journey
The destination unknown
Home a memory.

The sweet thought of home
gives strength to our inner heart
gives hope to our soul.

The promise of love kept
adds strength to questioned resolve
makes dark bearable.

And so, he strides on
pausing only for a drink
or a look upwards.

The stars travel too
all keeping his company
cheering him onward.

IV.

All night the castle
nearer and nearer was drawn.
first seen, by day break.

The walls and turrets
were dipped in and out of view
the road rose and fell.

Onward he strode.
A single bird fluttered blue
through trees above him.

He gave a whistle
imagining she sang a
cheery melody

The bright tune echoed
back and forth between the two
merrily answered

Day moves hour by hour
Road left behind step by step
Then the last hill topped.

The warm afternoon
wrapped surprise in simple joy
He felt so peaceful.

On his shoulder lit
the blue bird tipping her head
quietly singing.

He patted his pocket
feeling the invitation
“I guess we’re onward!”

He took the first step
That step which starts each journey:
Not leaving, going.

V.

As the path shortened
Ailfrid’s thoughts ranged far and near
to home and forward.

His feet raced along
one before and one after
pacing off the road.

How long before he stands
in the castle to receive
what will be his quest?

His dream of a life
garden, hearth, home, and his love
not even a dream.

Most ordinary.
The king’s man gave him the key
Unordinary.

The rolled up paper
opened a portal to vast
adventures unknown.

As he entered in,
the bustle of the inner
city amazed him.

He wound his way in,
deeper into the city
to find royalty.

He’s asked for the scroll
looked up down and all over
the court watches him.

He is led inward
He kneels before the High King
and awaits his fate.

VI.

The glittery court
turns to see as young Ailfrid
bending knee, awaits.

What must the lad do
to serve his king and his home
They wait in stillness.

The old King says naught.
The Chamberlain whispers soft
He beckons Ailfrid.

There’s a quest for you
he says, kindly eyes smiling
will you accept it?

Your father was brave
your grand-sire most bold as well
your mother served too

They took on a quest
To serve their kingdom, their home
Not counting the cost.

Thus I ask again
Ailfrid, will you take this road
adventure unknown?

Said Ailfrid loudly
Yes Majesty, I serve thee
I go where you point.

My life shall not rest
Until this questing complete
And I home again.

Only say what the quest?
What to be righted? What wrong
you would have me right?

VII.

Ailfrid, young quester
pauses to receive the quest
and hopes for honor.

In glory attired,
the King pulls Ailfrid closer
and whispers “Night Star”

“Night Star, great jewel
of our realm, gift of the night,
savagely stolen!”

The Queen, fair of face
leaned and hung a heavy chain
about Ailfrid’s neck.

“Where hung the Night Star
The kingdom’s sky is blackened
Light no longer seen.

A thief most horrid
snatched the sky’s most precious gem
and faded away.

What blackness of heart
tore the starry crown away
and left but darkness?”

She spoke but softly
A tear, sparkled like a star
on her pale soft cheek.

“Your braveness must go
to return our joyful gem.
Bring it safely home!

Gone the graceful light,
the joy of the Night Star light
Bring it safely home!

VIII.

Ailfrid bowed to her
and to the King gave respect.
His heart was bursting.

Gear and food given,
Escorted back to the door
“No map?” he wondered.

Shown the wide-paved road
Full of coming and going
The daylight most bright.

This time, departing
with no fond waves of farewell,
Just marking distance.

Further down the road
Again the choice: right or left.
no map. no idea.

Ailfrid sat looking down
the road he’d just followed down
then right and to left.

“No idea where to go,
and no hint who to pursue.
Not even a clue.

Not going further.
Perhaps the moon will whisper
a hint in my ear.

He sat and he watched
the darkness, just listening
to the quiet night.

The moon sailed on by.
The night said nothing at all
Ailfrid slept at last.

IX.

Something near his ear.
A fluttering near his head.
He opened his eyes.

A small blue bird there,
perched on his knee, stopped singing
and looked right at him.

Bird, unexpected
and welcome sight this morning
after lonely night.

Have you news from home?
Helpful news from the castle?
How to find Night Star?

The birds small head turned
one side and then another
and then he sang out.

While there are no words
in the song of a blue bird
there is a meaning.

The trilling poured out
Ailfrid closed his eyes to hear
and listened deeply.

He fingered the chain
and turned his face to the sun
as the bird sang on.

When the song finished
then Ailfrid opened his eyes
and looked right and left

The road to the right
was bright in morning gold light
glowing in welcome.

X.

To the left shadow
lay deep in the road’s folding
purple and darkling.

Ailfrid stood to look
shouldering his pack again
opposite the bird

He looked once again
toward the sun toward the darkness
adjusted the pack.

He gave a whistle
in answer to the blue bird’s
trilling morning song.

“So off we must go
no gold-lighted road would call
the thief of Night Star.

So off we must take
the way of shadow and rogue
and evil intent.”

The bird kept singing
though it flew near, here and there
Cheerily singing.

The shadowy cool
The morning blocked from his view,
The road continued.

His face, he turned from
the delight the morning held
his goal close to heart.

The trees dark, looming
the sky darkening, gloaming
where fled the new day?

One Response to Gnomic Saga I

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