Image by Nathan Dumlao

WHIMSY

the madrigal, volume iii

The Garden Wall

by catherine roth

I walked down the garden path at sunset,

To the dry stone wall spotted with moss.

Beyond, fields stretched to Horizon's Edge.

I heard a robin's evening song,

The shuffling of hedgehogs beneath the beech,

And I paused, listening.
Then I glanced at the wall and saw
Not lumps of stone but castle ramparts

And, peering closer, caught a glint of silver.

Edging nearer I saw polished armour,
Glittering under the fading sun.
Sir Geldhain, the knight, was dashing and brave,

Defending his kingdom from pillage and plunder.
His foe was a lord from the North called Caligo,
Who wore thick plated armour the colour of midnight. Caligo drew forth his sword, pointed and sharp:
Some say it was tipped with the deadliest poison,

Others say it was forged from the darkest of magic.

High on the ramparts they battled,
Sir Geldhain and Lord Caligo,
Whilst the wide river below flowed its course.
The gallant knight, quick of thought and nimble of foot, Fought with courage, honour and valour.
The armoured lord was no match for the knight,
Who fled from Sir Geldhain in bitter defeat.
Sir Geldhain, triumphant, raised high his sword,
In victory over the marauding lord.

I walked down the garden path in morning's dew,

To the dry stone wall spotted with moss.
Beyond, fields stretched to Horizon's Edge.
I heard a chorus of birdsong,

The rustle of leaves, the bleat of a lamb.

And I paused, listening.
Then I glanced at the wall and saw
Not castle ramparts but lumps of stone

In a country garden limestone wall.

I knelt down in the dew moistened grass,

Peered into the thin trickle of a stream,

That just yesterday had been a river,

And caught a glint of silver.

Like a lost jewel I pulled it out and wiped it clean;

There in my hand rolled a hat pin.
Then from the corner of my eye I caught,
Thick plated armour the colour of midnight,

As I spotted a beetle scuttling away.

Catherine Roth is a writer of short stories, poetry and scripts. Her work has been published in anthologies and magazines, and her short plays have been performed by both amateur and professional actors. Catherine lives in Derbyshire where she draws inspiration for her writing from the rural landscape.