The release of the Rings of Power TV series has put me in a bit of a Tolkien mood as of late. The Lord of the Rings was a pretty formative movie series for me and I have a great respect for the books (even if they're not perfect).

Even though they're full of wizards and dragons and epic battles, a through line of much of Tolkien's work is that everyday things are more valuable. The line that sticks with me most are Thorin's dying words in The Hobbit: "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

That's the sort of sentiment I was trying to capture in this new poem. I hope you enjoy!

When the ships sailed away? I stayed.

Though “coward’s” what they called me.

But when none returned? I yet remained.

Their sad fate did not befall me.

And when the spear-horn blew out loud?

Bidding friends and kin to war?

Behind again I stayed to tend,

My fields and stead once more.

I grew old and wise into my silver years.

Absent touch of battle’s glory.

Content with hearth and fruitful vines,

Living a smaller story.

I cannot say if they’ll sing my song.

When my days at last expire.

But mayhap fond thoughts (Held close to heart)

Will remain with those I’ve sired.

Legacy need not be a sword,

Or a legend of those you’ve killed.

It can be the memory of green summer days,

And the home you raise and build.