Tony Jolley

Rookie (17th June 1958 / England)

The Alchemist's Feet - Poem by Tony Jolley

Invisible to the mortal eye, but not to the spirit’s sight
When you move – it moves, goes everywhere with you
Softly, unobtrusively, but surely;
Neither leading nor following: accompanying.

Your touch is its living origin,
Whence, at a radius of less than an arm’s length,
Extends its creative, protective compass.
Attached, seamless as a shadow, to your feet,
It lives and breathes:
Your sweet and constant companion.

For this circle is to me a special place: the special place,
The Point of Presence where the world meets ‘My World’.

Boundless within this small border
Lies a realm of pure and gentle alchemy
Wherein you engage with all the elements in the Periodic Table of Life
And where, with such simple apparatus:
A clear eye; a listening ear; a quick mind and an open heart,
You reduce and refine, catalyse and create
Upon a workbench forged of love and experience
With two wise and willing hands for tools.

This is a blessed marriage of the magical and the miraculous,
Where the ‘simple’ is queen and the ‘ordinary’ king
Whose children are known as Beauty and Honour.

No traveller in time or territory leaves this land as he came: unchanged;
For the treasurehouse is full, free and open
To all who would invest themselves in life and love;
Whereas, woe betide those poor fools in search of easy-pickings:
They will find themselves caught between tigress and cub:
Beyond the help of hope and prayer.

I have been searching all my days
For the place where life and love meet,
And finally now I’ve found my home
Beside the Alchemist’s feet.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, June 29, 2005



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