The Elderly Magician Drinks Alone

They call the bar
The Broken Wand
but its real name
is Charlie P’s.

And on a stool
an old man sits
sipping rye
mixed with black tea.

And in his hands
a well-read letter,
and slightly worn;

A letter that’s
engaged the man
in a bitter,
mental war.

Is it a warning
from his enemies
or an overt

The words chill him
to his core
though its authorship
be a mystery.

He drinks, he thinks
of all the tricks
he’s played
on those he knows.

He thinks, he drinks
another round
’til he trembles
from his woes.

The old spell-spinner
then decides
from whom the letter
must have come.

He conjures up
an onyx blade
that shows he knows
what must be done.

A southern Rose
waits home in bed,
a Rose not
always his.

For his Rose was
once married to
the white warlock,
Finneaus Phibb.

Upon Phibb’s abode
does the man
descend with weapon
held so tight.

Where Finneaus Phibb
sleeps sweet and sound
under star-wove
cover of moonlight.

“Arise ye, Phibb,
you spurious knave!
Arise, to meet
your doom!”

“Arise, arise,
illiterate waif!
Your foul words
have come home to wound!”

Then in pale smoke
and bone white robes
comes the roguish,
Phinneaus Phibb.

“What noise, trouble,
what grief you bring
to that home
which you’re forbid?”

“‘Tis grief indeed
I wield, white one.
A greater grief
you’ll never find.

“Your letter’s stoked
my quiet ire.
Now only blood
will soothe my mind!”

White Phibb, he laughs
and turns his face
up to
the moonlit sky.

Then he speaks
an incantation
that brings lightening
to his eyes.

“The words that wound
your heart,” says Phibb,
“were not wrought
by mine hand.”

“The words that wound
your heart,” says Phibb,
“shall be your end
right where you stand!”

“Hold now, hold,
how can it be,
that these words
are not from you?”

“For they tell of
love – once had –
now lost to time’s
fathomless pool.”

The old man’s anger
falters then
and his voice
grows meek and mild.

Then White Phibb’s eyes
do rest and soften
before his soul
returns from wild.

The old man says,
“I am mistaken.”
White Phibb says,
“To be sure.”

The old man says,
“I am foresaken.”
White Phibb asks,
“Have you talked with her?”

Then interrupted
Phinneaus Phibb
into the night.

Leaving the
elderly magician
to contemplate
his wrongs and rights.

He reads the letter
once and then
once more
for fortune’s sake.

Then he tosses the letter
to the winds
to see which
direction to take.

The wind blows South
as he knew it would
to the lands where
sweet roses dwell.

But he instead heads West
to The Broken Wand –
the favorite bar
in his lonely cell.

*inspired by rachel lyon’s plot roulette

The Elderly Magician Drinks Alone

Sock it to me

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