His eyes are like beacons,
his body a lighthouse guiding the way for the ghosts of his past,
wisps of morning mist
dance to the beat of his broken
and scarred heart.

He is a Watchman
and this land is his own.
His childhood was orange,
a tree covered in monarch butterflies, apricot-hued skies, a crackling fire and its glowing embers.

He yearns to see the faces of his elders once more in the molten amber
of those lost years.
It is a barren land he safeguards, parched earth where there
once was life,
its people lost
to the insidious hands of time.

Behind closed lids he sees his home, a plain of sunflowers
the colour of melted butter, standing tall and proud,
facing east towards the dying sun
in their last vibrant days.
He sees streams and tadpoles
and round-bellied children,
gentle rain wets their bright faces and they know of no evil.

The scent of chamomile
and cinnamon lingers in the air,
it is a place of safety,
familiarity.

But his are eyes open
and he is reminded of cruelty,
of thunder and lightning and hopelessness, of war and terror.
He no longer sees a field of sunflowers, and the children of this land are grown.

Destined to watch over
the remnants of his home,
he mourns for his past,
but where death wields its gnarled hand, life persists.
A new sun kisses the horizon,
naïve in nature, pure in intention,
and when he looks out
and watches it set over his kingdom,
he catches a glimpse
of the golden brass of his childhood,
of slow evenings,
and the dipped-in-honey haze
that covers his precious memories.

One day he will return
to the perpetual summer of his youth where the sunflowers grew,
and his lost hours will become marigold-coloured gems,
glistening in the sun.

But until then,
he is a Watchman
and this land is his own.