A gilt-edged leaf, sprung new from bud,
Blissful toes in silty mud.
Dragons, trolls, a hunt for moles,
An elbow scratched and dripping blood.

Then shadow came with fingers slim,
Pouring over window rim.
Now blood is real and he can feel
The darkness reaching out for him.

Was he asleep and new awoke?
His world now wreathed in sullen smoke;
Or was the fire Sauron’s desire
To weigh him ‘neath a burning cloak?

The letters fade into the band,
Crimson song of evil planned.
Old eyes trace a younger face -
Will he truly understand?

Lashes quiver, fall, and rest.
Then lift to meet those of his guest.
Now tight his hold about the gold,
As yet It is the thing possessed.

The leaf has darkened, touched with fire,
Cold feet scrabble in the mire;
Wraiths of mist, an arm death-kissed,
Yet Mordor cannot conquer Shire.


S. Judd / '03