Each day a kind and wise old man
sat for hours on his favored bench
resting on a round park in the middle
of a quiet, quaint, small, town square.
Some traveled from far and near,
seeking knowledge he imparted.
Never a question fell unanswered
despite so many learned attempts.
His repute was known coast to coast,
the old man who no man could best.
But this crisp, fall day he’d see a test
presented by a boy on a pure quest.
“Sir, if I may ask but one tiny thing
because I know you’ll tell me how
when no one else has been able to
lead me to where they can be found.”
Young man, I’ll do as you wish, but
what you want seems difficult to me.
Surely, “how” and “where” make two
questions. So explain what you mean.
“Kind sir, I wish to be a poet but
don’t know how or where to find
correct words to write, somehow.
Can you assist me along the way?”
Rubbing the stubble on his chin,
the old man smiled, knowing his
record was secure, and after pause,
the requested information began.
The words you seek are easily found
but difficult to see laying all around.
On a rock, under that tree, in flowers
within your dreams, just above head
or way down below the salty brine,
floating on a breeze, in Mom’s smile,
for every leaf that hits earth, poems
spring forth, waiting to fill your pen.
Think of what I’ve said and look about.
With fresh eyes and an unclouded mind,
the poems will come from the inside out.
“Thank you kindly, sir, I’ll be on my way.”
Copyright © 2016 Ron Shaw