Ride with me

April 30th.

The orignal of this poem took a different line, but I have adapted it to suit the prompt for today, which is directions. I hope you enjoy the ride.

In the morning, when the sun illuminates the sloping back of your steed, prepare to ride.

With the heat rising from mane to tail, blending with the rays to create an equine corona,

Buckle up your armour, don your gloves and mount – then away.

Away down the same road he takes every day; each and every day.

Open the gate and turn your back on the safety of sanctuary.

Set your sights on the quest, and the well, to quench your thirst there and return.

In the early light of morning, summer scents will assault your senses.

Soak in the fresh forest pine, dab the damp musky dew cologne to your cheeks, then,

Pause at the crossroads, it was here that it happened, destinies and destinations decided.

As your mare snorts dragon clouds into the air, let iron clad hooves ring off cobblestones.

The road ahead will be quiet, so settle into your saddle, feel lost in the rhythm of the ride,

Allow the lanes to glide by with the ease of fields drifting beneath buzzards’ wings.

To the right you will pass a silent cottage that once rang to the sound of children’s voices.

The lawns trace steps that ran in giddy mazes, from den to tree, playing hide and seek,

The overgrown borders now drift melancholic perfumes, turning the air to lost candy floss.

Take time to nod back to the roadside Foxgloves, as bees chime their bells,

Amongst them stand other flowers that mark the way rode before.

In silence they persist, decaying but not dead, bereavement bouquets for faded names.

Ride on past the scorched wood where bird song echoed among oak, ash and elder.

If you stop here, the drift of long-dead smoke will climb your noses and sting your eyes.

You have no time to waste in arid places, press on, you must reach the well.

Pick up speed and veer south into the lush, bloom bedecked meadows.

Fill your lungs with sweet aromas and cleanse yourselves of the wood’s acrid reminders.

Take the time to indulge in this moment of grace.

As Apollo pulls his chariot to its peak, you should arrive at the abandoned castle.

Its grandeur now lost; the once great balls now hosted by ghosts in empty halls.

They say that its queen was driven mad by her own spell and made the palace her tomb.

Ravens now scavenge among the sun bleached turrets and stonewashed facades.

Come the full moon, wolves will gather, noses straining for the scent of fresh blood.

Do not linger here. Do not look back.

Ride on and let glade, copse and heath fall beneath your feet then leap the gate and take the high road.

From here you can see for miles, to the east lie the plains of artistry, where musicians played.

In the Spring it is enchanting, but in summer the Buran blows bringing drought and misery.

Below, in the valley sits the well beckoning you on, you should heed its calling.

With the wind in your faces, let your horse have its head and thunder down the hillside, on,

through the stream, up the banking, past the fallen cedar tree, and then walk from there.

Let the sound of rushing blood leave your ears, dismount, and tie your companion to a tree.

Peer into the well and feel the cool promise of a new beginning greeting you.

Lower the pail into the darkness, let the rope go limp, then wind up the vessel of hope.

Here you will see a face and eyes questioning yours from the mirroring cold water.

Wait, savour the moment, feel the stillness all around you, let it salve your tired brow,

Then drink in great quaffs, let the well’s gift run through your beard, cooling your breastplate.

When you are sated, lean back on the cold moss clothed well wall,

Look toward and above the black mountains of lost faith, see the sun arcing downwards.

It is time to go home. The long ride back awaits, as does the morning, when you must ride again. 

All comments and thoughts are most generously welcome and responded to by yours truly.

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