Poetry & Art: Poetry inspired by Artworks
"The Alchemist" by Jonathan Wiltshire
As Wiltshire saw the completion of the Elixir of Life,
He first tested it on flowers.
With only a drop from this liquid,
They all bloomed again with magic powers.
The Elixir was presented to the King,
Who took the Alchemist to a wounded knight.
With only a drop on the lips of the dying man,
His wounds were healed; again he was alright.
“What about a man who is already dead?” The King asked,
but the Alchemist didn’t know.
So from a grave, a fresh corpse was dug out.
The Elixir was tested again, but the dead was to remain.
“What about a man who just died?” The King asked,
but the Alchemist didn’t know.
So they went to find a sick man in care near by,
but the King ordered them to wait for him to die.
“Your majesty,” The Alchemist said,
“Why would we wait for a man to die,
when we can cure him with the Elixir before?”
“Because we need to test if the Elixir can revive him once he is gone.”
“What if it doesn’t revive him?” The Alchemist said,
“We would have lost the chance to save his Life.”
“What if it does?” The King replied,
“We would be giving him the chance to come back from being Dead.”
For so long, The Alchemist had work on the Elixir of Life,
Trusting it will only bring prosperity in its immortality,
But now the King’s actions were putting him in doubts,
Due to his morality.
How cruel was to wait for a dying man to die,
The Alchemist didn't feel right,
but it was the King's decision, and there was not much he could do.
All he could do is hope the Elixir
Would bring him back to life.
And so it did. After the sick man died,
the King and the Alchemist came in to test the Elixir again.
With only one drop to his mouth, there was a new breath,
The man was alive again; he came back from the dead.
The King placed his hand on The Alchemist and said:
"All the golden coins will belong to you once you help me with my plans."
Next day, the King asked: “What about a man who is already alive?”
But the Alchemist didn’t know.
So he called forth a knight and ordered him:
“Drink this Elixir.”
But the Alchemist stepped back saying: "No."
He refused to give it to the knight, saying:
"I am the creator of this Elixir, and it should bring only Light.
I rather drink it myself instead of risking it in someone else's Life."
"No." The King said, "You are the Alchemist, the Creator of this Elixir,
Your Life is far more important than anyone else's.
There are many people we could be save, please understand."
"Your Majesty. I understand." The Alchemist said.
"But I don't want to keep risking others,
It is not right to use Lives as Tests.
I will drink it with my own risk, if this is what you prefer to do next."
"Then it shall remain untested for the Living." The King said,
"No one is allowed to drink the Elixir.
I rather have its effects be unknown for the Living than risk losing you,
Alchemist, along with all the plans I plan."
"The Elixir is mine to share." The Alchemist said,
"I will not make its magic to become a political plan.
I sell you this flask, and only this one I will sell.
Then, I will use this Elixir to help others,
and bring Life back from the Dead.”
"You will not do such thing." The King said.
"Guards, take him to prison. Perhaps in your solitude you will decide:
You either help me or waste you life behind bars. Your choice. Not mine."
The guards surrounded The Alchemist to take the Elixir,
He knew he would spend his life in chains.
So, he did the only thing he thought he could do:
He drank the Elixir, bottoms up.
The whole flask he drank, and then he threw it empty to the ground.
All eyes were on him then, to see what happened next.
The Alchemist begun to grow young, his skin was purified and unwrinkled,
His gray hair was now black,
His muscles and bones were rejuvenated,
All his teeth were back. "I'm young!" He yelled in happiness,
but the King was not surprised:
"Then you will grow old in prison, unless you do more Elixirs for me."
"I will not." The Alchemist said.
"Take me to prison and let me grow old.
We'll see how many days your conscience grows sane.
This Elixir should be celebrated, not used as a power to rule.
This Elixir should bring Life, not pain."
Wiltshire was taken to prison, as the King grew impatient,
How could he change The Alchemist's mind?
In prison, Wiltshire was shaken, afraid and sad,
How could the King change his heart?
Next day, the King went to prison and asked:
"Wiltshire, if you could do more Elixirs, what would you do?"
"I would give it free to the people," The Alchemist said,
"Cure all who are dying, bring back everyone we care about from the dead."
"The other kingdoms will hear this," The King said,
"There will be demand, there will be chaos if means are not met.
I am no Alchemist, but I know how to rule."
"If you know how to rule, why am I behind bars?" The Alchemist said.
"Would you give me freedom for this gift?
I will sell you one flask and only one flask I'll make.
It is enough for you to be young,
It is enough for you to have more time,
It is enough be cured and use it on the ones you love."
"No." The King said. "It is not enough for the Kingdom,
I think of the people who would need more.
I cannot accept only one flask, there must be more."
"Regardless what you feel and think," The Alchemist said,
"I won't make any Elixirs behind bars.
If this is how you rule, what choice do I have?"
The King stood up to leave saying:
"The choice of following orders or growing old behind bars."
Time passed and the King did not visit him.
Wiltshire, the Alchemist, stayed in prison for some time.
But there came a day when the Queen was sick.
People came to treat her, to give her remedies,
But she was sick still, coughing all night.
There was nothing they could do, the Queen was going to die.
So the King swallowed his pride,
And went to the prison to talk to Wiltshire,
And there he begged him to save his wife:
"Please Wiltshire, I implore you,
Sell me one flask of the Elixir,
And I promise to let you go free.
No matter what you do, or where you go,
I will let you be.
Please save my wife,
Please save the Queen."
Wiltshire accepted the offer, and that is what he did.
The King released the Alchemist
For him to do an Elixir in his lab.
And for two days Wiltshire worked on his Alchemy
That would save the Queen's Life.
On the Third day, The Alchemist brought the Elixir,
and in front of the King, The Queen drank it all.
In just a few moments, she was alright.
She even looked more radiant and young.
"What remedy is this? The Queen asked.
"This remedy is the Elixir of Life." The Alchemist said,
"And no amount of gold can buy this again.
So enjoy its powers, for they last."
"I will buy you more Elixirs," She replied, "As many as you can make."
"Thank you, your majesty," The Alchemist said,
"But Fortune and Fame do not resonate with this.
I would rather take my freedom and do
What I freely do for the people of the land.
With the King's promise I will go and travel,
Find the road I seek for me to unravel
With the powers of this elixir of Life,
So people can be cured, live and not die.
As much as I could make many flasks,
The King's actions woke me up to see,
How the World is not ready for this,
Much Chaos would bring,
Many would be killed,
I would rather take this as it is,
And care for it attentively,
Give it wisely to the good,
But most importantly, use it as reflection
For our conscience to remind
How Life has its value
And how it must be lived
is the greatest treasure to find."
And so, Wiltshire, The Alchemist, left
Taking all his studies from his lab
in search of other places he could help
with his best creation yet:
The Elixir of Life.
The Story continues . . . in Part 2 "The Alchemist & the Old Man"
- Facundo Raganato
Artwork "The Alchemist" by Jonathan Wiltshire