The Dry Well

During the searing heat of day
A cheerful brook had told me many things,
For which to seek I left
The shelter of the cool and silent house.
Beyond, I found a bridge
Fallen into disrepair.
A sorry sight, this state of sure neglect.

So without hesitation
I crossed the bridge with steady step,
Returning to it some of its former dignity.
On the other side an orchard lay,
With apple trees, and further still
Uncounted waves of fields rolled
Far into the distance.

Bending under burdened trees,
I found my way, dappled with light,
To the very heart of the blooming garden
And there I saw a well, run dry:
A sigh of sleeping air,
When I tried the pump.

I took the cracked crock,
Half-hidden in the grass,
And in the dimming light
I ran for water from the brook.
Spilling most along my hopeful path,
I poured what little water there was left
Into the dry well’s thirsting trough.

But from the mouth no water came.
Instead, a many dozen fireflies
Flew from the dry well’s spout,
And danced around my head
Like a crown of living fire.

© jsmorgane (July 2010)

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  1. Powerful.
    a Metaphor?

    • yes indeed… been exploring the elements, and maybe my own limits too…
      during my last production I staid at a convent where they had that kind of well with a pump in a beautiful garden… hope all is well with you!

  2. I have never stayed at a convent, though I have spent many happy hours on retreat days at several.
    I did however make a silent retreat at a Benedictine monastery for a weekend while 7 months pregnant.
    I could do with a retreat right now. I am finding things very hard. My beloved dog, who was diagnosed with cancer almost a year ago, and who has been doing so well, has finally started to go downhill.
    It’s going to be a hard week ahead.
    I loved the poem, espeically the crown of fireflies. Reminded me of the line at the end of When you are old and grey and nodding by the fire, by WB Yeats, about love hiding his face amid a crown of stars.

    • during music productions I need a lot of quiet when not working – a convent seemed perfect, and turned out to be just that 🙂

      I’m so sorry to hear about your dog – it must be very hard for you. A lot of strength for this week! xx

  3. I just love the story, it is very much a story to me.
    I think I like the dappled light best or at least as much as the bridges diginity being restored.
    I am glad you went to that convent.
    Please explore elements and limits some more.

    • in my mind it’s a bit like a movie… just that I feel more involved 😉 I’m not sure what I’d choose for a soundtrack though…

      • I want you to know that I felt very involved.
        Much of my life has been spent dappled in the light of pine forests and hardwoods and rolling through those uncounted waves.
        I reckon I called it a story because in some way I made it into my story.


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