The Warrior and the River -fantasy poem

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The Warrior and the River -fantasy poem

Sometimes men dream of a better time.  A time where there is peace rather than war. So is this free verse fantasy poem of a warrior weary from battle who takes a momentary rest by a placid river, only to soon be drawn back to the reality of battle.  A reflective poem, and to me,  one of my best fantasy poems, and one of two of my top  personal favorites.   This fantasy poem is actually an allegory of my battles in court as a trial lawyer.  It got to the point where I was just really burned out on the whole practice of law.  Each case was like a battle to me,  and the pressure and stress was finally piling up.  I longed for a day when I wouldn’t have to battle it out, and after forty years as a trial lawyer,  after I wrote it,  this poem actually was the path that led me to retire.  In the poem,  the knight is myself.  The river and the whispering trees are the dream of finally putting it all behind me.   A video I made appears at the end of the poem that also expresses the solace and peace I yearned for.  It is actually the first “fantasy” video I ever created – and I’ve since done several, but mostly cowboy poetry for which I have a special love. 

The Warrior and the River – fantasy poem
copyright 2017 by jon gutmacher

He sat down in the tall grass by the river
watching the downstream
ever flowing
softly, endlessly
or so it seemed

And lying back he began to dream
a dream he had so often
where he no longer wore his armor
nor fought in wars
but lived a life of peace
and tranquility

Surrounded by those he loved
and trees that swayed in the wind
and spoke to him in whispers
whispers of days gone by
and days to come

But then he heard the thunder of hooves
coming toward him
the thud of the many in full gallop
pounding across the ground
and the dream quickly vanished
as once again he shook off that placid moment
to put on his armor
and take sword and shield to hand

For dreams are just that
momentary and beautiful
only to be brought back to the real world
far too soon
as the next battle
was about to begin

The background fantasy image is “The Weary Warrior” by an amazing digital artist, Rob-Joseph, and can be found at:  It shows a battle weary warrior bending down for a drink as he straddles a small stream.  A momentary break in the battles he obviously has fought and will fight again.

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