An Old Tale

Once there lived a man, pure of heart,
Who sought only to help those he loved.
But when the great war came, and the deadly bombs fell,
Unwillingly into conflict he was shoved.

The things that went on in those battles,
The man would never forget what he saw.
His once burning heart of pure blue flame,
Now turned to stone, so brittle and raw.

When the man returned home, he left his family behind,
Not wanting them to see what he had become.
His happiness, his love, his joy for life,
All of this, the war had undone.

It was in his lonesome wanderings,
His solo travels across the lands.
That he found a dark house, in a forgotten forest.
Far from watching eyes, and prying hands.

In the house he met a woman,
Her hair as white as snow.
She took one look at the man,
And everything within him, she did know.

For the woman was a witch,
Of the bitter and cruel sort.
But she had a beautiful face,
Without a hooked nose, nor wart.

The man knelt down before her,
And he begged as he wept.
“I have nothing left in this world,
No memories cherished, nor kept”

“My heart weighs me down like a stone,
No longer pure or bright.
It bears a sickness like no other,
One that I cannot fight.”

“Save me”, said the man,
Who was broken within.
So the witch knelt down beside him,
And gently grabbed his chin.

“It is an escape that you want,
So I shall do something nice.”
And so she kissed him softly,
And then she turned him into ice.

The man looked shocked,
But soon became calm,
As the ice promptly covered him,
From head to toe, leg to arm.

His stone heart was now frozen,
Turned icy and cold.
And then the man rose,
His frozen legs did unfold.

“Now break me.” said he,
“Shatter my heart.
I do not wish to live,
For I’m falling apart.”

But the witch ignored him,
For she had already done her part.
She had taken away the pain,
By freezing his heart.

The man would not leave,
He stood there many years.
Watching the witch’s life,
While he shed frozen tears.

Half a century did pass,
But he’d aged not a day.
Nor had the witch aged,
Her hair still white, not grey.

She came up to his frozen form,
Looked him straight in the eye.
And asked if he what he truly wanted,
Was just to finally die.

“You took away my pain once,
But now all you do is cause more.
I asked you for an escape,
The reason I came here for.

I’ve seen death and violence,
That you wouldn’t believe.
I want the dreams to stop,
I just wish that they would leave.

But my wish was not granted,
I still stand here alive.
Death is all I want,
For the abyss I strive."

“If death is truly what you wish,
Then I shall grant it, if somewhat late.”
And so with a final kiss,
His pain did abate.

The ice fell away,
As did the stone.
His frost turned to flesh,
The ice back to bone.

He smiled softly at her,
And she smiled back.
Then she punched her fist through his ribs,
With a deafening crack.

She then ripped out his heart,
And with a single breath.
The pure blue flame,
Returned for his death.

The flames danced in the man’s eyes,
In them he saw the truth.
Not the repeated lies,
But the simple truth.

The heart burnt away,
But the flames remained.
Yet the man still stood,
His clothes now blood-stained.

“You shall die a pure death.”
Said the witch with a grin.
She put the flame in his chest,
Then grabbed the man’s chin.

“You know what words can do,
You’ve seen my power.
I can turn a man into dog,
A frog or a flower.

I know what I did to you,
Was not merciful nor kind.
But when it comes to the heart,
I’m hopelessly blind.

But I bid you farewell,
On this one final quest."
Then she lay him down,
Crossing his arm’s on his chest.

“Sleep well old one,
May your happiness be found.
For in life’s mortal coil,
You are no longer bound.”

An Old Tale


Melbourne, Australia

  • Artist
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