-- Side Story: Please skip ahead if you want the riddle --
Intro: Everyone knows of The Oracle: After months of dodging dragons and trolls and sneaky gods and the wrath of the entire world, you are allowed to ask one question, and the Oracle will give you the answer.
Of course, as everyone soon finds out, the Oracle's like a genie: They give you what you ask for, not what you want. Their words twist and wind like an Egyptian asp, clouding your mind and making you lose hope.
One day, seeking an answer, a young boy asked the Oracle, "Where do you get your answers?" The Oracle sighed and started to cry, slapping the boy on the back. "Son, I've been doing this since Jesus was a little tyke you're age, and I still can't figure it out."
Suddenly, a rolling, chortling bail of laughter filled the air and ravens leapt for the sky.
"Why little boy, it is I,
the Riddler of Life, you see.
When the Oracles are lost, or all in a fuss,
advice from me they seek."
"Now, the Cheshire's mad, The Joker glad,
they all try to lead you astray.
But stay with me,
and then you'll see,
a world you've never imagined."
The Riddler of Life was a weary old grandfatherly figure, but the wicked glint in his eye caused the little boy to shiver and quiver.
"What, don't believe what you see? Well then, here's the question:"
Of Sugar sweet, and frogs astray, of rocks and things, and everything nice, what in the world is my advice?
The Young man thought for a moment, and then grinned as he gave the answer:
"Easy; what's the _____ of Life?"
The Riddler of Life grinned and wrought the boy's hand,
"Ah, I think you'll do nicely.
I'm the Wandering Jew,
over a thousand and two,
and my life is slowly ending.
But before I leave,
my wisdom to seed,
I need someone young and understanding.
Will you take from me, the powers that be,
a sharp wit and a mind of stone?"
He said with glee,
and the Riddler beamed delightfully. "Well, there, don't you see?
That beaten tree?
Well, there's the clue for your answer."
"The answer to what?"
The boy said in fraught.
"Why, to the question I asked you to seek!"
The boy heaved a sigh,
and scratched his behin',
and went to find the answer.
First a bird, nearby plane,
no, a shattered sky!
puzzle the letters and find out why.
A screen, not reflecting,
a deep brown hue,
a reference makes me feel real blue.
A joint most fitting,
D'el('s) bow string never fitting.
the valley splits between.
mesh the words, you will find your answer:
the answer that you seek.
The boy scratched his head,
his brain worse than dead:
"The answer, it's not,
just a clue, you clot!!"
So with a sigh,
and a tear in his eye,
he went to make sense of it all.
The Riddler dozed peacefully, propped on the wall, a scroll lying down beside him.
"Congratulations," it read,
"You're building your head,
with the logic that we cherish greatly.
Now, you're almost done,
but the sun's stretching lon',
and I fear I am quickly dying.
My last gift to you
is my blessing, it's true,
and the final answer that's ringing."
"Ringing where? In my hair?" Ask the boy all befuddled, as he read the old tattered scroll aloud.
With tips of three,
what could I be?
A book, a crook, a surly cook,
use me segmentedly!!!
Gassy Silena garnished me,
though of a form, a rose I be.
And once you've solved me, you may see:
I'm a piece of pie,
a rude, crude man,
a real clean freak.
Now tell me my friends, what was in his head, the mind of this Riddler so deep? For truly, it's bold, that story of old, that I inherited just this week. My great-great-grandfather told his son, who told his son, and know I have the Knowledge.
But, ever willingly, it's true,
and thus I give to you,
the advice of the Riddler of Life.
May its wisdom guide you,
nurture, never bind you,
and keep you always from strife!!!
What did it say,
that's still true today,
it's truth putting all in perspective?
-- The Riddler of Life
Note: Partial answers highly encouraged. Good riddle hunting, my friends. ;}
P.S. Congrats to @knave for finding the answer to Part 1! But, as most of you have realized, that was only a warm-up!! Who will be worthy of leading the Oracles for the next millennia?
P.P.S. Congrats to @McMagister for solving puzzle #2. Now, who will put the various clues together and find the final answer?
P.P.S. alright. I'm running out of steam here: You can see the process used to solve Riddles 1 and 2 here: http://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/26670/the-riddle-of-life-to-ease-all-your-strife or, you can start a new conversation here: http://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/35932/riddle-of-life-part-2, which I strongly recommend. I will try and be more active on the chat this time around, so feel free to drop me a line if there's something you're unsure of. I realize this is a complicated puzzle, but truly think everyone will be satisfied once it is finished.
Hint for Riddle's 3:
the last answer is a portmanteau. If you look at lines 4 and 8-10, they define all three words needed to get the right portmanteau. The other lines provide other ways to find the answer, by looking into its form and description. Well, That's all, Folks!