PartIII Chapter 6.3



Frodo and Sam appeared together outside Tom’s house. 


They looked around in amazement, for they could not believe this was the Seventh Age; for nothing seemed to have changed since they journeyed through the Old Forest on TA 26 September 3018. 


From the doorstep they could hear Tom’s song:

‘Hey dol! Merry dol! Ring a dong dillo; Ring a dong! Hop along! Fal lal the willow! Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!’ (JRRTolkien, Fellowship of the Ring, ‘The Old Forest’)


Immediately they felt their angst from their flight from the world of Gollum dissipate, and they stepped up to knock on the door.


From inside, a voice sung out:

 ‘Enter and welcome dear hobbits. The door is open for you Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee, friends from the Shire and Quest.’


They opened the door and crossed into a low and long chamber filled with light and warmth.  Tom dressed, as he was Five Ages before, in blue and gold, was beaming with his ageless smile, beckoning them: 

 ‘Come sit down, for your travel through time wearies the spirit.’


On the rustic oak table stood earthen bowls of steaming porridge covered in marble-coloured honey.

‘Here is the sustenance of the gods... oaten porage with the nectar of the forest...’


Before them, the fire in the hearth blazoned brightly, filling the room with comforting glow, and the scent of apple-wood bringing memories of the time Ages ago when they rested in peace with Tom and Goldberry.


Frodo felt drained and did not feel he could eat anything, but Tom urged him to try a spoonful.   As he swallowed the warm creamy cereal with its silky syrup, it was as if it was an elixir eradicating his weariness, he felt rejuvenated.  Sam found the oatmeal delicious and soothing, eagerly devouring the plateful, likewise feeling every spoonful   restoring his being.


Tom smiled at the two as they ate; he knew this was no ordinary fare.


Sam was scrapping the bowl when Frodo spoke, serious and somber:

 ‘Dear Tom, we have come with a huge request.’

 ‘Yes, Frodo to ask me about the meaning of life,’ replied Tom.

 ‘Oh no, Tom, not the meaning of life,’ Sam responded excitedly, licking the last remnants of the mixture off the spoon, then in a lower and subdued voice, ‘of the meaning of death.’

 ‘Ah, Samwise, death is merely a moment in life, like birth, and to understand its meaning, you need to understand life itself,’ Tom replied in a genial tone.  

He paused, nodding his head as if he was perusing things in his mind; Frodo and Sam looked on quietly, not wanting to interrupt his train of thought.

 ‘Hm, there are multiple paths to revelation … but of all; this understanding is the most daunting.  For all things are relative, good and evil, life and death.  I cannot give you its meaning; you must feel it, experience its essence, its raw and intrinsic elements.’

Tom looked at Frodo and Sam, and saw in their simple souls, a horror at this momentous prospect.

‘Do not fear this my courageous friends from the Shire, for in another time you walked alone through the midst of The Dark to destroy The Ring, and in this journey, I will be there to watch over you.’

Frodo and Sam sighed with relief.


Tom then rushed from the table, mumbling instructions about what needed to be done and picking up assorted objects from around the room.  He motioned to hobbits that they should stay and he would be returning soon.

Frodo and Sam looked at one-another, for it was obvious that Tom’s mumbling instructions were to himself, rather than to them.  They shuddered; for Tom spoke to himself just as did Gollum.  Now in his absence, their apprehensions grew:  what was Tom going to show them of ‘life and death’, and what exactly were they going to experience; a cold sweat enveloped them for what lay in store.

Anxiously they went over his words: ‘daunting’, ‘raw’ and ‘feel’, and as they speculated wildly on their meaning, Tom suddenly reappeared, breathless, exclaiming with delight yet urgency:

 ‘Everything has been arranged. There is much to do, so we must make an urgent start.  Come, come my Shire adventurers, leave all your belongings here, we go on a titanic journey.’

‘Titanic?’ Frodo asked, but Tom was gone, through the open door and down the path directly into the forest. 

The hobbits rushed out, struggling to keep up. 


They did not notice, but an amber orb in its early morning flush cast scarlet shimmers through a pale periwinkle sky.  A soft spring breeze blew from the mountain top, but as they trudged through the forest, an ominous sense of plight surged, and the breeze turned into a blustery gust, then gale-force; it wailed around the trees.  The hobbits drew their cloaks tightly around them; they felt a mounting mood of dread.

Tom was humming to himself as he scuttled along, but it was not his usual happy ditty, but a stirring soulful tune; the words of which were mostly lost to them, absorbed by the forest and its wind, but they heard clearly:

Of life and death there are many stages

Of happiness and woe across the ages

The visions will show the meaning of all

Of the cycle that continues to recall

All those from one time into another

Except those with darkheart who themselves fall asunder.


They continued their trek through the forest, and plunged deep into its heart; into a realm of ancient trees, with over-story canopies and twisted trunks, dead standing snags, and boggy pits and mounds. The air was choked with woodland vapors, of primal decay and renewal.  Greyish beams of sunlight filtered through the crown covers, meeting and merging with a whirling mist rising from the forest floor; their melding casting sinister shadows across their path.  There was a muted murmuring; the hobbits were sure it was the trees conversing.

To the west, the River Withywindle winded its way warily down the mountain.  The hobbits heard its babbling; they were not far from where Old Man Willow had entrapped them, and they first met Tom, who had come to their rescue.  The path stopped, and only the treading of the undergrowth showed them a track.  Frodo and Sam stumbled over the fungal nets as they grabbed their legs, wanting to resist their way.

Abruptly from the direction of the river, came a haunting howling as if it knew of the visions soon to be seen were to be of waters of blood and tears. 

Horrified, the hobbits, ran up to be alongside Tom, who laughed at their fright:

 ‘Come on my little fellows, do not worry about the mist, it protects us from prying eyes.’ 

‘Mist, no not the mist Tom, what about...’ exclaimed Frodo, however Tom had walked on, and was announcing excitedly:

‘Here, we have arrived. Frodo and Sam, over here!  You are to enter a sacred site.’

Frodo and Sam looked at each other, had Tom not heard the howling?  But there was no time to question him now, for he was furiously waving for them to come over to a thicket of hoary beeches, unlike any trees Frodo or Sam had seen before.  Mammoth and light grey, their smooth bark shimmering in the mist, they were conjoined by intertwined and matted branches, which seem to be forming an impenetrable screen.  Dense canopies fused above, with thick leaf litter forming a lush carpet below. 

The hobbits stood in amazement before this wooden wall, Frodo exclaimed:

‘Tom, is this where we must go, for there seems no way through...’

‘Ah, Frodo, but it is all a matter of what you know,’ Tom smirked, striding over to the bottom branch of the middle tree.  Pulling this, there was a grinding groan, and the entwined branches dropped down, creating a narrow passageway between a colonnade of trees.

‘Step lightly my good fellows, the passageway remains opened only for a twinkling of time.  Quick now!’

Frodo and Sam scampered through the opening.


They emerged in a vast shadowy cavern.


‘Hobbits, please give me the Phial of Galadriel and Star of Elendil,’ Tom requested, holding out his hand.

 ‘We know of the phial, but what is the Star?’ Frodo asked bewildered.

 ‘Galadriel told me she had given you the phial, and I believe you found the Star where Gollum had hidden it.  It having been thought to be lost with Isildur.’ Tom explained.

 ‘Is that the Star of Elendil?’ Frodo and Sam gasped, ‘We did not know!’

 ‘Of course not, and unbeknown you were carrying an immense treasure with you young Baggins for conjointly the phial and Star will illuminate the way from before to now, and, and to your meaning of death.’

Frodo handed both the phial and bag containing the gem to Tom, who then walked over to the far end of the cavern.  He took out the gem, seemingly unaffected by its fiery blaze, and climbing a flight of stairs hewn from stone, inserted it and the phial in a carved slot on the wall. United they shone brilliantly, the star singing to the phial in a wistful voice.

Now the cavern was basked in light, Frodo and Sam looked about them. The cavern looked like a black onyx vault, but it was not cold or threatening.  Instead the air was balmy, and its walls appeared to be flowing, as if there were curtains made from delicate silk, drawn-across to hide them from the view of the world.  On the floor, there was a layer of moss-like grass, a luminous emerald covering that gave the ground a plush cushioning, and from this arose the scent of simbelmynë.

There was a peaceful, almost hesitant, silence; as if it was waiting, waiting for something to start.


Tom motioned to the hobbits to come into the centre of the cavern.  It was here that Frodo and Sam saw the lights shone the brightest. 

 ‘I must explain what we have prepared,’ Tom declared with some urgency.

 ‘We?’ Frodo questioned.

 ‘Yes, what you are about to experience has been a creation of two of us, myself and a cherished colleague, a Blue Wizard, Alatar.  He will watch that everything will proceed as planned, for it is not without risk what lies before us,’ explained Tom in a grave tone, one that the hobbits had not heard previously.

 ‘A Blue Wizard, but where is he?’ replied Frodo scanning the cavern.

 ‘He sits behind the Phial and the Star,’ Tom responded.

Frodo and Sam turned to look, and there was an outline of a figure consumed within the aura of the light.

 ‘He watches over us; there is much to tell of his journeying in Middle-earth, but not now as we have an urgency to begin.  What will be set before you will give you an understanding of life and death.  We travel through time and worlds.  A myriad of events arise from terror and torment, but these are in the nature of life.’

 Tom could see the wrenching apprehension on the faces of the hobbits, and assured:  

‘Fear not, for although I cannot explain this meaning, which you must sense yourselves, I will be there as your shield with the power of the Phial and Star,’ and then turning to Alatar, he requested:

‘Alatar, bring me thus the Star.  For we must begin as time beckons us to proceed.’


A tall being totally cloaked in a dark ocean-blue robe and hood came towards them.  It did not seem to walk, but floated over the ground as if carried by a wave from a swirling sea.  No features could be discerned from this being except bright hazel eyes, a trim auburn beard and solemn lips, from which came no words.


Tom pulled Frodo and Sam in towards himself, and this being lifted the Star high above the three, and chanted in a haunting tone harmonized with the Star’s own mournful tune.


Star of Elendil and prophet of the Valar escort these two

Through time and worlds, and pathways of life and death

For visions of those famous and those known only to kith and kin

For in this journey will the insight on this be endowed

The Light that protects you, gives the percept avowed.


As Alatar finished his chant, he let the Star fall from his hand.  Frodo and Sam could see it expand as it fell and with this there was an amazing transformation.  For Tom became a statuesque being, with silver sweeping hair and beard and crystal cobalt eyes.  His blue and gold clothes were transformed into a white silken robe, with the only remnant of its previous colour being a thin binding of blue, gold and crimson that hemmed the garment.   The figurestood over the hobbits, smiling, and whispered:

 ‘I am still Tom.  Fear not I will remain with you and be your guide.’ 


With that he disappeared as if absorbed into the Star’s light, which then enveloped the two hobbits, as if they also had been consumed by the jewel.   Frodo and Sam stood transfixed side-by-side, but they felt a reassuring sense of Tom’s presence close to them.


Frodo and Sam looked out, and could see that the light of Galadriel’s Phial was shining on them and from them.  The light illuminated what seemed like a fathomless void, for there were no longer any walls, roof or floor; no cavern at all.  They felt suspended in space, not conscious of having any form themselves or being able to be perceived by others into whose lives they were to be immersed.  Events occurred and then passed.  And as they appeared, Iarwain Ben-Adar’svoice guided them through the visions. Visions in which they stood as observers of universal and scant consequence, but which brought to them the understanding of the meaning of life.  Time was as nothing in this journey, but in Quest’s temporal measure, morning passed to afternoon, and then on to dusk, and dark into dawn:  

 “and words unheard were spoken then

Of folk of Men and Elven-kin

Beyond the world were visions showed” (Tolkien, ‘Many Meetings’)

Through times of goodness and of sin

From ancient realms and lore bestowed

The meaning of life they forebode.




Of Middle-earth, it came to pass for the hobbits, a kaleidoscope of visions from ancient times of The Lord of the Rings to their own Third Age.  These visions by vignettes of words are expressed.    

You are encouraged to read through the stories and only later, if you wish or need, visit the links




Two Lords of the fifteen Valar

Brothers in blood but not in soul

The King, for power unconcerned

Knew not his brother’s baneful will

But when all evil he amassed

The King, him, in The Void did cast


The Dark Enemy, feared Valar

 Envious to destroy all things

Pity and courage he knew not

All matter with ill he did taint

Elves to orcs, and corrupting all

Yet his vastness brought his downfall


A  Queen of the eight Aratar

Bestowed to earth, grief and mourning

Teaching pity and endurance

She showed the way to live, and how

tears of compassion and power

Brings forth feeling, fruit and flower


Dark Lord of LOTR lore

Zealot of the Dark Enemy

Deceived Elves, the Rings to create

But forged his own to dominate

As Evil Eye he did recur

A fiery end he did incur


  The Wizard Chief of the Istari

Whose knowledge of magic and lore

Was corrupted by his desire

Ensnared byThe Dark and its ill

Routed by Ents in Isengard

Murdered when he the Shire scarred


A Maiar of lore’s Fellowship

Fell in battle with the Balrog

But from death arose as the White

to fight in the War of the Ring

With triumph, friends and noble heart

then to the West he did depart

A Noldor King, jewel maker

The Silmaril gems he did forge

In vengeance, The Dark Lord these stole

The King, a fearsome oath did swear

An impossible task was doomed

And the King by fire was consumed


Asecond son; poet and bard

Bound by a father’s fearsome oath

Battled for the holy jewels

In pain, he cast his to the sea

In gloom across the world he strayed

‘Til from memory he did fade


The maker of the Rings of Power

Beguiled by the Evil One’s guise

Sixteen gold rings he forged from fire

In secret another three [?four]

Tortured, sixteen he did reveal

And this torment, his life did steal


A friendship between ancient foes

Mirkwood Elf and of Durin’s folk

Valiant they battled side-by-side

For Middle-earth against The Dark

From them true friendship did arise

Their end as one they did devise


An Elf Lord and his fair daughter

He, wise leader, brought to be, those

of the Fellowship of the Ring

She, relinquished eternal life

To wed the heir of Isildur

Upon whose death, his doom she bore


A Dwarven King in secret oath

To reclaim his home of Erebor

With Ring of Power he journeyed east

Captured by servants of The Dark

Thrown in the pits of Dol Guldur

For years of torment to endure


- Three dwarfs seeking to find mithril

Aroused the Balrog and were slain

- A petty-dwarf, who did betray

For a treasure; but at death, cursed

  - A maker of swords of commend

These, their maker’s life, did transcend


A Stoor Hobbit, of adverse selves

One, for a Ring, a friend did slay

When stolen, in fury he snared

And reclaimed from its new bearer

‘His Precious’, and in its enthrall

With darkheart, into Doom did fall.


A Hobbit who dwelt at Bag End

Journeying to slay the dragon Smaug

In the creature’s cave, found The One

His life it prolonged without ill

Freely it, he did surrender

His end blessed with Valar splendor


A Hobbit, Bearer of the Ring

With his friend and creature possessed

Journeyed through the dark of Mordor

Yet he could not The Onedestroy

With darkening wounds from the Quest

He sailed with friends into the West


AHobbit, loyal friend and true

Saw the Bearer through Mordor’s dark

Saving him from Cirith Ungol

And Doom’s destruction, and much more

When his beloved passed away

With his friend, in the end, did stay


Two Hobbits of the Fellowship

Saw Isengard destroyed by the Ents

One, inquisitive and reckless

The other, perceptive and brave

Piercing the WitchKing with his blade

At their end, in Gondor, they stayed


The man feared by the First Dark Lord

And was by this Black Valar cursed

Ill and tragedy him befell

Hexed, his sister he did marry

And when the truth he did discern

Upon his own sword he did turn


A once proud kin of kings of men

Corrupted by the Dark Lord’s Ring

Became leader of the Ringwraiths

When against men, he did campaign

By Rohan maiden he was slain


A Queen of Northmen in new lore

By name and deed of righteousness

Beloved of a Númenór Prince

Desired by the Dark Lord himself

Yet she resisted all his sway

He, in heinous spite, her did slay


A King of Arnor and Gondor

With Narsil, from the Dark Lord’s hand

He cleaved, the One Ring of Power

Consumed by ill, he claimed The One

Betrayed, it slipped from his finger

To end in the Anduin River  


A  Usurper of Gondor’s throne

From rebellion he ruled ten years

With an iron hand and foul deeds

His subjects rallied their true King

And at Erui, in an affray

The despot met his last melee


The twenty-sixth king of Gondor

Suffered a short and tragic reign

After his father’s brutal death

The Great Plague, ravaged from the east

In rage its reaper to convey

To all the King’s kin as its prey 


A Chieftain of the Dúnedain

When to the East The Darkwithdrew

But Eriador was not evil free

For when the Chief wild wolves did snare

He instead, was felled in their lair


The King of the United Lands

Mighty warrior and healer

Victor in the War of the Ring

By lore, an Elf maiden did wed

She, immortality renounced

He, with grace, his own end pronounced


A Lord of Gondor, by new lore

Made a pact with the Dark Wizard

To anoint his favourite son

But when he was viciously slain

Over the Steward, madness spread

And in dark despair, his life he shed.


The favoured son of the Steward

Valiant warrior, by new lore

Lured to The One by a pact’s will

By inner strength, he fought this curse

At Amon Hen, honour to regain

Shielding others, he met his bane


 The King of Rohan’s second line

Enslaved by a thrall of The Dark

Released, he defended Rohan, [and]

Led the Rohirrim to Pelennor Fields

Where fierce combat with Dark’s army

Cleaved his mortal ties in glory


The noble Lady of Rohan

Suffered an unrequited love

Bravely in battle shielding her king

She dauntlessly the WitchKing slew

 [In old lore]  She found a captain in love’s ray

[In new lore] Another end and future lay


Three evil forms, serfs of The Dark:

The orcs, once elves, Dark corrupted

The balrogs, wraiths of fire and flame

 Like the Dark Lord, from Maiar came

The drakes, fire and cold, Dark’s base feat

Creatures all, whom ‘good’ could defeat


 A sole snow flake, from winter’s sky

On the peak of Methedras fell

Formed with others, a vestal stream

And surged through woods and across plains

Fusing as the Great River flowed

Witness as events were bestowed


The oldest being in Ennor

Immortal shepherd of Fangorn

Saving two Hobbits with Ent-kin

Razing the land of Isengard

[In new lore] From all times his knowledge and views

Gave the Quest the future to use


Ard-galen, on this wide green plain

Raged the Battle of Sudden Flame

Siege laid to waste and gasping dust

Consumed by flame and bodies slain

In battle hate and evil sea

A foul doomed desert came to be



Of a world beyond Middle-earth in time and space, it came to pass for the hobbits, a kaleidoscope of visions from ancient times to a Seventh Age.   These visions by vignettes of words are expressed.    

You are encouraged to read through the stories and only later, if you wish or need, visit the links




 Leader, lawgiver and prophet

Led the Israelites from bondage

Yet for their faithless evil deeds

For forty years through wilderness

They journeyed to a promised land

But not for him, his God’s command


The second king of Israel

Mighty warrior and poet

From humble beginningshe rose

His kin writhed with foul deeds and grief

His death he struggled to forestall

But he could not deny end’s call


A teacher, ‘the Enlightened One’

As prince, shielded from faiths and pain

But awakened to the ‘four sights’

And overcoming suffering

‘The Four Noble Truths’to release

Passed away fearless and in peace


A philosopher of the streets

Young and old in dialogue engaged

To seek out meaning and virtue

Accused of corrupting the youth

For which a death sentence was laid

By hemlock, his soul’s freedom paid


A King of Macedonia

Who wished the whole world to conquer

Yet weary of warring, his troops

Refused his command to march on

Yet when by poison he was guiled

In tears, passed his deathbed, they filed


A warrior from ancient Thrace

Escaped and led a rebel force

To vanquish two Roman legions

Then, against his will, they advanced

To Rome, but were here defeated

On the cross their end was meted


Queen of Egypt, last Ptolemy

A woman of great persuasion

Pursued protection for her throne

From Emperor then General [of Rome]

But when her troops were overcome

With darkheart, by asp she succumb.


A lordly teacher and healer

Across the world his words did spread

He preached redemption through belief

For this his followers believed

He was betrayed and crucified

Resurrected and deified


An uncle and nephew of Rome

The Elder, naturalist author

Crossed the Bay as the Mount burst forth

Burying two cities in its path

He, with thousands as they did live

Forgotten, darkness’s captive


The third bishop of Antioch

Refused to deny his new faith

Condemned and on journey to Rome

Brought others to revere his God

Staunchly with his belief complete

The lions of Rome he did meet


A German mystic and healer

Taught of female divinity

Fought against unjust practices

Exhausted by inquisition

She died acquitted in the end

Her visions, her life did transcend


Two explorers of the New World

Both seen as hero or villain

One claimed adventures to China

Yet doubt remained at his deathbed

The other, revered for fealty

Or, by some, charged with cruelty

The accuser and the accused

The inquisitor with vengeance

Pursued accused ‘unbelievers’

Betrayed by some kin, kith or foe

Upon them the accused’s guilt turned

To be thus tortured, hanged or burned


Two Tudor Christian notables

A Catholic Lord Chancellor

And a Protestant reformer

The first denouncing the second

Who died upon the stake; later

The first, was purged as a traitor


A Dutch composer of masses

Transformed music of simple source

to extravagant melodies

Yet while renowned in his own time

When he succumbed to the plague’s bane

Little sway of his works remain


The ‘Renaissance Man’, genius

Artist, musician, inventor

Visionary and creator

Yet secretive and suspicious

Driven to unlikely allies

For whom old age brought his demise


 ‘As a well-spent day brings happy sleep,

 so a life well spent brings happy death’  LDV


The tulku in the land of sky

A one, the spirit of the first

Known for scholarship and teaching

Living through thirteen other souls

Not always by thus peace endured

The lineage by rebirth assured


A challenger of given laws

By dissection and scrutiny

Authored a definitive text

As pilgrim fled Inquisition

But was shipwrecked on return home

Perished, a pauper and alone


Artist of the earth and spirit

His life and art filled by torment

Struggling spirits in it revealed

With the death of his adored son

His world and art he could not brook

Suffering, his life he forsook


Known as ‘The Incorruptible’

Despot of the ‘Reign of Terror’

Calling for virtue with horror

Comrades plotted to stop his reign

And as he, for others, did send

By the guillotine met his end


Child prodigy and composer

of opera and symphony [and much more]

And unparalleled performer

Consumed by genius and life

His requiem, unfinished lament

to a life cut short, fully spent


A leader for Irish self-rule

With a hatred for the English

Conspired for an armed rebellion

And with the French, atrocities

Caught and was by hanging to die

This with [darkheart], his own hand would defy.


Inspiring English Admiral

Battled the French and Spanish fleets

By a markman’s bullet was struck

Though conscious he remained until

British victory was declared

Then he to a hero’s death fared


A child, unknown to history

Enslaved to be a chimney-sweep

While all beatings he bravely met

When all appeared as beyond hope

Life merely a pitiful pall

To death he let his body fall


French General and reformer

Desired to conquer all the west

From defeat he regained power

Waging war but routed once more

And to Saint Helena exiled

His end, stomach cancer defiled


A composer virtuoso

Failed love and deafness he endured

Instilling in music his all

Of suffering and elation

His end from lead-poisons’ pillage

Thousands mourned his final passage 


A widow of little renown

By custom, at her husband’s death

The practice of suttee to mark

She was, by kin, bound on his pyre

And with pleading and screams of fear

Her end, a base holy veneer


A leader of a slave revolt

A preacher, driven by visions

Led black slaves to ‘their work of death’

Slaughtering his kind master first

Captured and then sentenced to death

Met his end with remorseless breath


  Head of theTaiping Rebellion

Self-proclaimed as ‘Heavenly King’

With despotic reforms imposed

His worshippers slaughtered millions

But his realm was beyond help

He, with darkheart, poisoned himself.


Two brothers at Gettysburg

On different sides they took arms

In hateful combat torn apart

Starring across the bloody fields

And when the guns were finally stilled

In the hot sun both were found killed


The Seventeenth US President

From humble roots he crusaded

For the ending of slavery

And to heal the deep wounds of war

But by an assassin’s hatred

His vision of his end, fated


 US cavalry commander

Distinguished in the Civil War

Fought to contain the Indians

Ambushed at the Little Bighorn

Noble or murderous command

Troops massacred at his Last Stand


 Naturalist and theorist

A voyage inspired a theory

of the evolution of all

He endured an unknown illness

Diagnosed now as from his travel

By thus his life and end ravel


German opera composer

His life and works full of drama

His music of themed harmonies

Seeking synthesis of the arts

Yet he stirred a hatred of Jews

By heart attack his life did lose


Master of expressionism

A life of struggle and torment

Yet his art shone of vibrant light
‘Longing for concision and grace’

(Hughes (1990), 144)

But he as despair descended

By his hand to death surrendered


French Catholic Missionary

For years with zeal sought a mission

in China to impart his faith

After his first mass he was jailed

Yet to his crusade still wedded

He was tortured and beheaded


Irish author, poet, scholar

Self-exiled native Dubliner

Driven by deep inner conflicts

His ‘Ulysses’ a masterpiece

The modern novel’s watershed

His lifestyle led to his deathbed


Hold to the now, the here,

through which all future plunges to the past.’

Joyce ‘Ulysses’


Stoic Antartic explorer

For glory of country and self

Strove to be first to the South Pole

Hero or ‘heroic bungler’

By tragedy and omissions

Perished in savage conditions


To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield’

Tennyson ‘Ulysses’


Soldier in the Great War’s trenches

He tunneled and fought from this hole

Beset by twisted cold bodies

The enemy past ‘no man’s land’

As poisonous shells descended

By gas his life would be ended


Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan

And the woman he raped and poisoned

Leading a wave of Klan terror

Scornful, he claimed he was the law

Dying she accused him; and by so

His and the Klan’s downfall did flow


Pioneer in two sciences

From years of sorrow and kin deaths

And working beyond all limits

Isolated pure radium

From which Noble Prizes were conferred

And stealthily, her death occurred


The Queen of the air’ and author

From a spirit of adventure

Arose daring deeds and records

But on her flight around the globe

Approaching Howland Isle she veered

And then forever disappeared


One who died in a camp of hate

Known only to her kith and kin

Innocent, no crime committed

And when with her escape thwarted

Her last days spent with others doomed

Yet her spirit forever loomed


A Fuhrer, a Reich of hate spawned

From rejection his spite festered

Monstrous begetter of horror

On his word, millions suffered and died

And when defeat finally loomed

He, his darkheart forever doomed.


Father of the Atomic Bomb’

Unleashed in a race for power:

‘radiance of a thousand suns’

Feeling ‘the destroyer of worlds’

To a simple life retreated

Yet by cancer was defeated


Great Soul’- ‘Father of the Nation’

Preached ‘truth force’ and peaceful protest

To end poverty and prejudice

Inspiring many to his ways

But for one, who only felt hate

Chose ‘Great Soul’ to assassinate


A family the brunt of hate

Known only to their kith and kin

On a farm in Kenyan Highlands

Massacred by Mau Mau rebels

Who killed to put injustice right

For the killed, death for being white


35th US President

Fought for Civil Rights in his land

Quarantined a crisis of arms

Caught in a race to conquer space

A life driven by deep passions

A death plotted by assassins


Three lives destroyed by others’ wars

Two soldiers, fought for their nation

One fell to a masked terrorist

The other, led a massacre

The third, devout man, himself set

On fire, in tormented protest


A beloved author and scholar

From experiences and knowledge

Flowed dazzling words and fantasy

Burdened by fandom’s clamoring

Soon after his wife, he did die

[Forever] as Lúthien and Beren to lie


Two voices, silenced in the same year

La Divina, unique soprano

The King, a white black baritone

Drama of life and stage entwined

Struggled for the suffering to cease

A brew of drugs, brought them release


Founder of the People’s Temple

In the Georgetown ‘sanctuary’

He decreed with an iron hand

And commanded all followers

To drink the poison he had brewed

Darkhearted he his death pursued.


An eccentric virtuoso

With vivid interpretations

He ceased concert performances

Choosing studio recordings

In which to create his tributes

Grimly a stroke stayed these pursuits


Unknown Rebel and those who died

For the Tiananmen Square protest

The Elders sent in troops and tanks

Thousands fell from bullets and strikes

Alone theTankman took a stance

Boldly halting the tanks advance


The gift of life from tragedy

Transcending the borders of hate

A heart, liver, kidney and lung

Transplanted in four on death’s door

So a new life to them to give

And as part of them, still to live


A beauteous spirit and soul

Beloved one of all kith and kin

A candle that lit all others

Herself she gave to all who asked

But her eyes grievous pain foretold

Only darkness could she behold


There is no end to the gnawing sadness and loss


The two killers of Columbine

The depressive and psychopath

Wishing to outdo all others

In a savage killing rampage

Destroying themselves to impress

Darkhearted, in endless nothingness.


Those in Alaska Airline 261

In terror they plunged through the sky

To doom in the dark ocean’s depths

And for those that loved and mourned them

For answers and redress they cried

 For the wear on one screw they died


Young South African AIDS victim

Inspired nations with his words of:

-  the evil of all prejudice

- the need for unconditional love

The tragedy underlying

The way he bravely faced dying


Two assassins for their own cause

In callousness they planned their death

 Taking the lives of innocents

One, into a symbol flew a plane

The other, self detonated

Darkhearted, [forever] obliterated.


The victims of two assassins

Targeted by nation or faith

And those killed, by chance, alongside

The spirits of these innocents

Will rise again and be cherished

Those of such slayers, [evermore] be perished.


Simple youth and selfless martyr

Walking with a friend one evening

Saw a car driven towards them

Bravely pushed his friend from its path

Taking the full impact solely

Sacrificing his life nobly


Two who wished their lives to finish

and those who with love aided them

One, to end cancer’s agony

The other, the base throes of AIDS

Vehemently for their rights they fought

Dignity in passing they sought


 Doctor and serial killer

Admired in his community

Yet preyed on elderly women

Injecting fatally hundreds

To a life in prison he faced

Darkhearted, his own life erased.


Author of On Death and Dying

She battled doctors’ criticisms

To seek understanding and rights

for those dying and their loved ones

Of after-life she did relate

And was ‘anxious to graduate’


Those who learn to know death, rather than fear and fight it,

become our teachers about life  EK-R


Hobbit, not of Tolkien’s making

Remains eighteen thousand years old

Hobbit-small with fine proportions

Unknown in humanity’s line

Her species status in mankind  

Her life and death to be defined



And so as the dawn was to break, the light of their search faded and the ring disappeared.  Tom, Frodo and Sam became as they were.


And so it was that of things great and small; of challenges, successes and failures; of things done for good but with ends of evil; for lives of sorrow and deaths that followed; of happiness and misery; of deaths from the cruelty of fate or foe; and of those of own volition, sometimes in despair but others with malice and hatred; of the old and young; of nature’s way and of those destroyed by beings; of things that looked like chaos and ‘underserved’, but from below or above some plan appeared.


 ‘So now have you seen and felt this kaleidoscope of life and death’, Tom said.  ‘You now have what you need for your mission to be complete.  You will need courage and wisdom to answer the question of The Light, and these lie in you both, but will be accentuated by that of the others of the Quest. 

He hesitated in deepest thought, as if recovering the wisdom of prophets.  Looking solemnly at Sam and Frodo, he pronounced:

 ‘Take heed of the words of the wisest of the elven sages, Elmowé, which I impart to you for the others of the Quest:

  Do not dismiss the joy and grief of yesterday, nor ignore the pleasure and pain of today, but know it is the power of the goodness at the heart of life, like the power of evil, that is real, and will shape tomorrow; that which will ultimately triumph will not be dependent on the might of either but the spirit within.


‘Go my dear friends from the Shire in surety that The Light illuminates your way.’


And although Frodo and Sam did not understand it all, they knew, for they saw and felt in the depths of their beings, the cycle and how it occurred. 

With that, as the dawn glistened with a golden glow, they travelled to The Light on its 10th day.