The needle has struck, the hour has come,
and the open road unwinds.
With a heavy heart,
I place my soul’s keeping
into nature’s lair for the journey unknown.
Of human depredation, her foibles,
I know well her misspent youth.
And so I pocket my worldly things
and hit the road with tired legs and an aging gait
And through the mist and haze
of freezing winters, burning summers
and manmade gales, I shall labour on.
Until I chance upon a shore
where the sands are soft, the waves calm and the waters still.
Far from the memories
I dared cherish my own.
And ever so far, as far can stretch,
from the wagging tongues of her native patriots.
For her fiery mobs have erred on the side of their fair progeny
and her tempered oracles have made good their prophecies.
And so what of me,
the wee ‘other’ me
and the foreign nation I’m deemed?
From the loins of distant forebears,
of tanned skin, exotic airs,
mine is a legacy altogether denied.
Of my ancestors, their words, mores and smiles, I’ve no clue,
for I am a ‘guest’ all my life who never returned ‘home’.
But my labour is ‘mine’, its sweat ‘consummated’ on the soil of familiar fields,
picked and plucked and thrown side to side,
used, abused, discarded,
an expense too great.
So what solace is there for me?
Lingering in the midst of forlorn thoughts, a ‘fool’ with no ‘home’.
And so I steer my makeshift raft into the wilderness of bleak stretches,
that open and run for miles and miles and miles,
unpeopled, unsoiled, bristling in nature’s untamed glory,
a virgin to the human plough.
And there, in the calmness of my refuge, redeemed by life’s perilous pulse,
I hope to live out my days an elderly frail,
my thirst quenched, my hunger spared,
perhaps I too will become a ‘nation’ worthy of seed.
I shall bury it deep in ‘the expanse’ now entirely ‘mine’,
flowers blooming, the air sweet, tender, motherly, everlasting.
But then, as life is always eclipsed by her demise, presage looming,
nature recoils her blessings, her roses wither and dye
and my budding seed forever after demand their just dues.
This I know to be true,
couched in the ‘claims’ of ‘antiquity’s everlasting ruins;
of humanity’s false gods,
how we insufferable humans exhume ourselves from the ashes of embittered follies.
Satiated by castoff grains, we lay waste to her harvests,
usurping the ‘life’ of menial serfs and their beasts of burden
by childish stroke of nativist providence.
Even of millennia’s simpleton myths,
we claim her dispossessed streets, her nooks and crannies.
For in the clarity of ‘this’ our most gamely age,
we still live in the wilderness of primitive greed.
Ensnared by the patriotism of our beloved earls, dukes and kings,
Foreign as foreign can be, in homage to the sons of the soil and their celestial histories.
This, the price to pay for devotion to canny maps, unruly borders and infused souls.
Canvassed on nature’s most splendid artistry,
betwixt the chaos of human egos,
modern man’s stupid fictions abound,
unbounded, ceaseless, incessantly mean-spirited.
Alas, we think it smart to adore our base-instincts in awe of our ‘Father-Gods’
on high, below and in every breech, we kneel to their ‘whisperings’,
kidding ourselves to the impunity of our ways,
ugly and uglier by the day.
We speak loftily in awe of all that condemns us
for the cheerful species we could have been,
but are now surely debased!