A Pool Becomes A Fountain

by Ben Pickard   Nov 2, 2016

"Don't go near the fountain, children"


I stumble on a lawn that seems
so listless as my wife's voice disrupts
an already stormy sort of reverie -

the kind I feel whenever I enter
my grandparents' garden...

(and why is it always winter here, now?)

My present is suddenly awash
with memories that hurt;

and they really do hurt...

laughing, splashing and merriment
beneath evergreens that shelter the


my grandmother bringing
blackberry jam sandwiches and lemonade
to a posse of boisterous children,
while Grandpa cooked rosemary-infused
chicken on the barbeque -

- and summer's golden rays cradled us,
as ever present then as the frosts are now.

We were so happy.

They were The Golden Years.


But as time itself seemed to age,
the garden entered a state of permanent


and Grandpa became confined
to a chair, whilst leaves seemed
to rustle, mockingly, at his feet.

(the clocks around the house
seemed unnaturally greedy
in those later years)

The barbeque's embers went cold and
the pool fell into a state of disrepair -
in its depths, I could almost imagine
children, reaching longingly up to the
dwindling sun...

...one of them was me!

Grandpa died eventually,
but not before

the fountain was built.


Cruelly shaken back into the present,
I watch my retreating children running
down the length of the garden, as if
they were ghosts from my own past.

(they do their best to resuscitate what was
but it's not quite enough, somehow) -

they continue, beyond the privet that
separates the rest of the grounds from the -

from the what? what is it now?
In wicked, wicked honesty -

what is it now?

I steel myself;
draw a breath that
threatens to drown me
and repeat the cruellest words
my wife has ever spoken:

"Don't go near the fountain, children"


Ben Pickard 2016


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Latest Comments

  • 1 year ago

    by deeplydesturbed

    Very descriptive benny. Well done.. i am sorry about your loss of your grandfather as i know you were close..
    Such a sad write..

  • 1 year ago

    by stormingdance (Jessica)

    Wow, another beautifully written poem by you! :) Clever word usage and imagery, bringing on the feeling of nostalgia.

  • 1 year ago

    by Mary

    Hi Ben,
    I remember you recently commenting on one of my poems and stating that the situation reminded you of memories of your grandfather and his passing. You had mentioned the garden, but not that you had written a poem about this! This is very descriptive and helps the reader easily visualize this scene. This is beautifully written!

  • 1 year ago

    by Ottase

    Beautiful... Life cycle in a view!

  • 1 year ago

    by Ingrid de Klerck

    To have good memories is something so precious, Ben. You are so blessed to have them. Over time, they become bitter sweet as they remind you of your own mortality.
    Also, to be a parent and to be the spoilsport is a cruel and nasty side effect of being the one responsible for their well fare, lol! How we would love to just be one of them, eh? ..if only we could.

    Well done, a beautiful melancholic verse and message woven into one :-)


    • 1 year ago

      by Ben Pickard

      Thank you, Ingrid, and you are right, as ever.

      All the best

    • 1 year ago

      by Ben Pickard

      Thank you, Ingrid, and you are right, as ever.

      All the best