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The sign said ‘Garden’, but it seemed like nothing more than a long unkempt driveway that wound its way into an unseen distance. She pulled her long pink jacket tightly around her body against the chill of morning air. Then a tight row of stone steps called her down another leaf strewn path until she arrived at a lake where light played tricks and trees seemed to reach from beneath the water’s glassy surface back towards the branches they reflected.

Tiny bridges reached to a tiny island, but these were not hers to cross, so she circled the lake slowly, engrossed by the reflection of the world beneath the surface that seemed so much more real and vibrant than the one she inhabited. The stippled back of a rainbow trout broke the water’s glassy veil twice, sending it to endless ripples, ripping her briefly from her reverie back to the ground on which she stood.

Then a vibrant flash of candy pink caught her eye from the nearby bridge where a small child suspended over the rails glanced up quickly from the water, catching her attention and squealing with delight. The brief meeting of their eyes was as deep as the lake itself, as true a reflection as the connection between actual trunk and reflected leaves.

Then like the fish, the child was gone, and the adult knew that when she was ready to appear again, she would do all she could to make her feel safe enough to stay a little longer. The woman could neither see nor feel the magical breeze that rippled the water and caught the most golden leaves and gave them the sacred gift of flight. She held out the palm of her hand in hope, while the flutter of delicate yellow leaves danced like tiny golden kites before gilding the water below.

When no gossamer leaf kissed her hand to grant her wish, she folded it back into the warmth of her pocket before ambling up the path, towards a world where rainbow fish and butterfly leaves and children on bridges were little more than gentle whispers of what might one day be again.

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It’s the tinkling bell sound crickets make,

As the sun sets golden on the sand.

The waves that lap upon the shore,

Where paper boats return to land.

 

Where imaginings of the dreaming child,

Are hidden in the words he asks.

In the misty moonlight softly bathed,

He gathers stars within his grasp.

 

To spread upon the earth below,

From the highest branches of the Tree.

Laughing as he gazes out,

At all the wonders that he sees.

 

Within the darkness of the forest fare,

The faeries dance to merry tunes.

Where lamp lights glow with candles bright,

Shadows play from light of moon.

 

Where the magic of some simple words,

Is formed from memories long past.

Written in the ‘Book of Dreams’,

Within the Tree from where they’re cast.

 

Upon a dragonfly is carried,

All his hopes and dreams so true.

Silken wings in moonlight glow,

Starlight on the diamond dew.

 

Within the sky an ethereal glow,

Stretches far as eyes can see.

Spread amongst the stars that shine,

Like children smiling down on me.

 

Quietly I sit once more,

Where shadows stretch across the ground.

Senses charged in ready wait,

Listening for that all familiar sound.

 

Echoed laughter fills the air,

Reminding of what used to be.

Will the old man ever find the child,

With time I’m sure that I will see.

The little girl climbed the tree rather tentatively as it had been a long while since her small hands had clasped the rough branches. She was not truly frightened, but some days she wondered whether she had somehow forgotten the strength and agility needed to ascend to the lofty heights of the familiar branch which had borne her weight so many times in the past. After such a long absence, everything seemed so strange and familiar at the same time, and that in itself seemed very strange.

The boy was not here, but everywhere there was evidence that he had never been far away. Glittery blue dragonflies dangled from odd lengths of string, not just from one branch but in fact from them all. She smiled then giggled as she brushed past them; how her imagination set them free from their strings and sent them into frantic, blissful hovers, each wing moving in a different direction to achieve their magically perfect stillness, like falcons riding the rolling wisps of wind, suspended from distant clouds.

Yes, the tree was full of dragonflies, their gossamer wings glistening in the tranquil sunny haze. It took some time to spot any butterflies at all, and when she finally found them, they were somehow dull and faded and tattered from neglect. They looked like lost whispers, like tired, grubby napkins. Like a child’s toy – once cherished, now almost forgotten. Yet somehow the small child’s presence in the tree filtered soft rainbow prisms of light onto their tired paper wings, spinning ever so softly so that one might think they might almost twirl back to life. She took a breath, and exhaled slowly, savouring the air, the light and life itself.

The next time the young boy climbed, the magical breeze blew against his skin like a whispered secret. He brushed past many twigs that scratched his arms and legs as he searched for what he knew he would find. He darted between the dragonflies he had suspended from every hopeful branch. He scanned for shimmers of colour amongst the myriad of worn butterflies, but everything was old and nothing was new. Disappointed as he had been so many times in the past, he lowered his back against the tall trunk, one foot upon the branch, the other barefooted leg dangling like lost hope.

Idly, his fingers played along the rough bark of the branch that held him. The tree that once had been so young and vibrant had now grown to ancient wisdom; every furrow of bark was familiar. The next moment, something felt strange to his touch, small and soft, somewhere between the feel of bark and leaves. Careful not to dislodge the tiny unseen mystery, he bent down carefully to see whatever secret his branch now held. The magical breeze blew again, and with great care the wide-eyed boy made his way back down to the earth’s thick carpet of leaves.

Though excitement flickered through his thoughts like a ripple, he knew he would need to be more patient than he had ever been before. It might be a very long time before the chrysalis would transform, but when it finally did, the stained glass mosaic of butterfly wings would bring a new flush of colour and renewal to the tree’s ancient branches. He had already waited a very long time. And now as he looked back over his shoulder to the silhouette of the tree in the fading sunlight, he knew he could wait just a little longer, and maybe even forever, for a new butterfly to emerge.

The ocean sound so wild as it crashes on the pebbled shore,

White foam forming on the beach as the waves come in once more.

Dark clouds drifting overhead to hide the deep blue sky,

As I stand and stare in awe at a single seabird drifting by.

 

At times I think of many things the thoughts of days long past,

Searching for the hopes and dreams from wishes I have cast.

Then there are the paper boats that sail horizons far,

Carried deep into the night searching for that guiding star.

 

I listen for the laughter that once filled the valley green,

Echoed from the deepest branches of the friendship tree.

Now as I walk quietly, fingers stretched to brush the daisies pink,

I hear the whispers on the wind that carry words to make me think.

 

Now the leaves they shimmer in the subtle starlight glow,

My imagination running wild of thoughts of all the things I know.

As I sit alone within the branches mobiles spinning wild and free,

An apparition comes and goes reminding me of what used to be.

 

So all I ask is if you find the time to come and climb,

You know there is a place to rest amongst the dragonflies.

Where butterflies all flutter hanging from the finest silken thread,

Words released into the night as they spin so slowly overhead.

 

I am a little white haired boy who spreads his magic now and then,

And you are just a little girl that I have called my friend.

One day soon we’ll climb the tree and sit there for a while,

Sharing stories that we know and giving just a simple smile.

Poem: Awaken Child

The beauty of the garden there,

Unfolds before my very eyes.

With hidden jewels at every turn,

That brighten up the darkest skies.

 

Where creatures scurry cobbled paths,

And birds in blue and yellow call.

Amongst the dappled forest light,

The air so fresh from raindrops fall.

 

Carved in stone or metal formed,

Standing like a sentry proud.

Reminders of an ancient world,

Or future thoughts that cry aloud.

 

As footsteps tread upon the earth,

The child awakens there to see.

And all the mysteries that he knows,

Within this place alive can be.

Poem: In The Stars

 

If I only wonder for just a while,

Then will the sky not come to life?

And the falling star that takes my wish,

Will it carry me away in flight?

 

The pinpricks in the velvet there,

That shine upon a little child.

All along his dreams to be,

Imaginations running wild.

Child and Stars.

Poem: Destiny

 

As I drift within the ocean blue,

Wrapped cool as I’m suspended there,

Alone beneath the silvery waves,

Without a worry or a care.

 

My friends they are not what you think,

As a silent voice it calls their names,

Then one by one so they appear,

Now life can never be the same.

 

As I sway where currents carry me,

I’m taken on a merry dance,

Colours changing shapes now formed,

Holding me within a trance.

 

As though I left here long ago,

Into the water now returned,

At one with all of natures gifts,

Protecting them with what I’ve learnt.

 

They say we have a destiny,

That one day we will come to see,

A plan that takes us on a ride,

So we become whom we should be.

 

As each and every day reveals,

A mystery for us to find,

I only hope that I fulfil,

What it is I have in mine.