Size: 11 x 14
In a courtyard, on a pillar of stone,
Sits a young jester, all alone.
All is kept out by walls all around;
Solitude unbroken, not a lonely sound.
Of the outside world all he sees,
mountains, cloud filled skies and tall green trees.
At his right is a thorny red rose;
its alluring smell permeates his foolish clothes.
On the cold stone he sits and reads,
the Book of Life with truth that frees.
The shadowless dial down by the wall,
reminds him, there is no time, answer the call.
The Book says, "Take the path that leads to the gate.
Get off that pedestal before it's too late.
Leave the walls that imprison your soul,
Flee before time and solitude take their toll."
His Gilded Book says, "run now to the gate,
run to the gate that few will take.
One gate to freedom, one gate to a cell,
through the one gate a desert, the other a well."
To the one gate, he sees a dirt path well trod,
to the other gate a path of untracked sod.
He asks his Book, "which gate do I take?
It's to the well and freedom my journey I'll make. "
"To the gate rarely used," his Book says to go.
The allure and the thorns of the rose hold him back;
to start he must cross the well trodden track.
A call he hears from the well beyond,
temptation aside, he decides to respond.
Off the stone and across the dirt, on the path unseen he flees,
to the far gate he runs, and beyond he sees,
A land celestial, with emerald trees,
In the center, a pool, with strange light did glow,
He paused at the gate, but his Book said, "go!"
So to the glowing pool he did run,
all around him was light, but there was no sun.
At the pool he kneeled, the water invited, he drank deeply,
his spirit now excited! As his eyes lifted, a Shining Man on a bench he did see.
And a voice of pure beauty said, " Come sit with me."
As their eyes met, tears of love and joy blended in the pool beneath,
the Shining Man said, "Oh fool of men, you've finally come to the place of Comic Relief.
Written by D. R. Hartle
Story included with print!