The Gnomic Saga came about as a side project during National Poetry Writing Month 2012. I challenged myself to write ten haiku a day and I was curious to see if it would be possible to tell a story by the end of the month. I find that when I write haiku they often come in clumps of three or four. This month-long project was very hard at times but I was glad I kept going through to the end.

Here are days one through five. You’ll find the rest linked in The Gnomic Saga link above.

I.

In long ago times
Gnomes sang their myths and old tales
around their small fires.

The dangers loomed large
Remembered in rhyme and verse
Heroes standing tall.

How loved, the red caps
set firmly on the brave heads
sung of years anon

These gnomic heroes
We sing their praises and names
With joy and much pride.

Tonight’s moon we see
was, by the legendary
gnomes, seen in times gone.

Its light was bright then
and showed the way for our tales
and cheered the hero.

The bear wheels above
as he shambled long ago
stars bright then and now.

The gnome we first see
Red-capped hero of his folk
Bold small journeyer.

Garden left behind
Safe nooks a warm memory
His path to meet fate.

The moon lit the road
Leading away from his home
and fair gnome maiden.

II.

He shouldered his sack
full of food and on bottom
something wrapped up tight

His love had tied up
a small bell in a hanky
and slipped in his bag.

When he strode from home
His father stopped him to give
a glittery sword

He took the weapon,
long on the family wall
tribute to the past.

“I sharpened it, too.
Wear it most bravely my son.
Ailfrid, be most bold.”

He bowed low and long,
Put the sword in its scabbard
And to all, farewell!

He did not look back
He tried to steel his torn heart,
no tears on his cheeks.

The path finally
met a road he’d never seen;
A road he must take.

His vest pocket the words,
tied up in the small brown note.
Come to the castle!

Bidden by the crown
But now on the road so dark
He traveled alone.

III.

The dark scary trees
stood in the moonlight so bright
and cast long shadows.

The moonlight pushing
shadows longer than tree tops
covered the dark path.

The night’s voice of silence
broken by a frog, an answer
and an owl calling.

Our hero, Ailfrid
Walks on bravely singing soft
thinking of his love.

His heart is racing
On what quest will he be sent?
Will he return home?

Wayfarers journey
The destination unknown
Home a memory.

The sweet thought of home
gives strength to our inner heart
gives hope to our soul.

The promise of love kept
adds strength to questioned resolve
makes dark bearable.

And so, he strides on
pausing only for a drink
or a look upwards.

The stars travel too
all keeping his company
cheering him onward.

IV.

All night the castle
nearer and nearer was drawn.
first seen, by day break.

The walls and turrets
were dipped in and out of view
the road rose and fell.

Onward he strode.
A single bird fluttered blue
through trees above him.

He gave a whistle
imagining she sang a
cheery melody

The bright tune echoed
back and forth between the two
merrily answered

Day moves hour by hour
Road left behind step by step
Then the last hill topped.

The warm afternoon
wrapped surprise in simple joy
He felt so peaceful.

On his shoulder lit
the blue bird tipping her head
quietly singing.

He patted his pocket
feeling the invitation
“I guess we’re onward!”

He took the first step
That step which starts each journey:
Not leaving, going.

V.

As the path shortened
Ailfrid’s thoughts ranged far and near
to home and forward.

His feet raced along
one before and one after
pacing off the road.

How long before he stands
in the castle to receive
what will be his quest?

His dream of a life
garden, hearth, home, and his love
not even a dream.

Most ordinary.
The king’s man gave him the key
Unordinary.

The rolled up paper
opened a portal to vast
adventures unknown.

As he entered in,
the bustle of the inner
city amazed him.

He wound his way in,
deeper into the city
to find royalty.

He’s asked for the scroll
looked up down and all over
the court watches him.

He is led inward
He kneels before the High King
and awaits his fate.

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