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Poem: "The Fountain of Age" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "The Fountain of Age"

This poem came from the February 5, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by my_partner_doug and DW user Chordatesrock.  It has been sponsored out of the general fund, based on an audience poll.


The Fountain of Age


A young fool went into the forest
in search of the legendary artifact,
a fountain that would convey
all the wisdom and respect
that came with great age.

Against all expectations, he found it --
for he was a fool, not a loafer,
and he searched most diligently --
a stately fountain covered in sleek green moss
held aloft by four stone tortoises.

He showered himself in the fountain's spray,
watching in awe and delight
as his black hair turned white as wave-foam
and his smooth skin crinkled like walnut bark
and his straight back bent like a bow.

Surely everyone would listen to him now!
He went back to the village, but alas,
the people laughed instead of listening,
for he was still a young fool inside
although he looked  like an elder.

Then what did the wrinkled young fool do?
He took himself back to the Fountain of Age
and washed in its waters a second  time.
All the wisdom of history entered his unprepared head
and rinsed out what little wits he used to have.

Months later, some hunters found him wandering the woods
with sticks in his hair and his boots on the wrong feet,
and it was a miracle that he'd survived at all
because he clearly couldn't look after himself well,
so they took him back to the village.

People listened to him then -- because sometimes
rather good advice came out amongst the babble --
but the wrinkled young fool was unable to appreciate it
because the waters of wisdom had left him little self-awareness
and only the soap-bubble illusion of being someone important.

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2 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: technoshaman Date: February 11th, 2013 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Be careful what you wish for...
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 11th, 2013 07:29 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

Very astute.
2 comments or Leave a comment