Tuesday, 6 March 2018

A child’s dream of adventure

Languid days when I would lie in prairie grasses nine feet high
gazing long and hard upon a dream land fresh and sweet
I’d trace the peaks and valleys there and walk its silken streets.

I’d swim in waters fresh and clear and dance from cloud to cloud
I’d take repose and rest awhile upon the billows deep
where fast and long I’d slumber on in unimpeded sleep.

Revived, refreshed, to do my best the hero I would rise
to fight the daemon dragon king with murder in its eyes
with fiery breath that blasted nigh it roamed across the skies
but with my crossbow I would cause its ultimate demise.

Or, like Jim Hawkins, I would be a runaway to ship and sea
I’d climb the rigging, raise the sails, perhaps like Ahab find a whale
or better still a secret map that told a buried treasure tale

Of places lying undiscovered, more imploring than later lovers
to the Barbary Coast with buccaneers, to the Amazon jungle with pioneers
I explored the world’s exotic places, travelling with Stevenson to Samoa,
riding the Silk Route with Marco Polo, going into space aboard Apollo.

Like Robin Hood I’d take an oath I’d never break or disavow
to help the poor subjected ones, those bent in deep kowtow
those shackled to another’s will, the crestfallen, and the cowed.

I’d run the gauntlet, forge the brook, see off invaders mean
I’d hunt the deer and track the boars that roam the forests green
Steal tarts with the Knave of Hearts, play croquet with the Queen.

I’d drive the giants from out their lair with heavy heart and grateful prayer
I’d rescue the young maiden fair and bring her safely home
then drink and wench the night away fight well in bar-rooms brawls
Have minstrels write me into songs sung late banquet halls

Then in the morning I would wake and off to school I’d go
behind me lay unfinished tales of glory and of woe
tales of heroes , tales of yore, a vampire one of blood and gore
but after class you’d find me back, nose in a book once more.

© Sheila Ash, 2018

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