The journeyman threw down some clay, and stood beside his large display
Of watering pots and jugs and bowls, the crowd collected young and old.
They stood and watched from all around, his wheel securely on the ground ~
The potter poised to demonstrate, this time of year as well he might,
Move about with horse and cart to show his craft and sell his art.
‘Gentle Folk,’ I will begin.’ He was apt to talking and to spin,
And just as storytellers would, he stood and waved his arms about.
The crowd transfixed with eyes and ears: the potter kept them where they were ~
He talked of history and lore, he spoke of magic just before
He went to sit upon his stool and spin the biggest tale of all:
Of whirling back the hands of time, a journey of a different kind
To the one he’d made today. He turned the wheel and, fair’s to say,
He had the skill and made his bowl; his story was a little tall,
But no, he said that it was real and there was magic in his wheel,
And in the goods he’d made upon the table – a likely tale, the potter’s fable!
Now, when he reached his story’s end, the potter doffed his hat and said:
‘But my humour is in truth my friends. What has begun will never end ~
The wheel will turn, the earth will spin, and time will travel back, to when
The dream it hides or seeks to keep, it pulls awakened from its sleep,
Rewards the traveller, nothing less, a greater gift he cannot guess.’
‘But heed my words,’ I heard him say. ‘The magic lives but once a day ~
A second time and you may find, the wheel will leave you far behind.’
So tomorrow ~ while these goods are on the table ~ come turn the wheel if you are able,
And fill your pots with gold and silver, linen softest, honey sweeter,
Then wait the hour the magic wanes and time will travel back again.’
So stood he ‘side his large display, and many things he sold that day
To tempted souls from left to right ~ their purses grew a little light,
Their bags were filled but not with gold, just watering jugs and pots and bowls
And hopes of riches still to come ~ Alas poor souls! His work was done,
Their dreams would fade by turn of dawn ~ the artful potter packed and gone.
Written originally as the Prologue to Whirl of the Wheel.