Friday, June 29, 2012

The Lament of the Swan Feeder

He is there everyday.
At the edge of the ever lapping hungry waters.
Out of his mouth comes a gurgle of words.
Venir ici mon cher,” he says.
The old ladies cringe away from him.
From his beard and mustache
As soft and tender as an eyelash.
He never notices everything
Living selectively
Around trouble.
His eyes milky white
And his shirt patched.
He wears no belt, it would bind him he thinks.
That is not allowed.
Lined hands covered in rips and tears.
His veteran gears need oiling.
Inside he screams and wails
He forces everything down deep inside
To where it pounds at his soul like John Henry’s hammer.
Crudely ripping bread
And tossing it into the swan’s water and onto the grass
Which is his bead.
In his palace of a grassy hill.
Tears have grooved deep canyons into his
Rough cheeks and bread crumbs cover his pant legs.
Sourdough and cornbread
From the trash.
He measures the days with wind and sky.
He never calls he has no one at all.
He is nobody’s son, an orphan.
He waits eternally for the sky to fall.
He wears an amulet around his neck which sways before he steps.
Shoes which have walked miles.
An antique, vintage man.
He talks to the swans as he feeds them,
“Maybe one day I’ll leave, where would you be then,”
He asks them teasingly.
Even putting on his shoes is like a journey beyond the sun
So sometimes he doesn’t put them on at all.
He wraps a scarf around his neck every day at noon.
One day
Someone will understand him.
He is a dweller.
Not a lodger
Nor a liver
Or a fleer.
He has never gotten a valentine.
He doesn’t speak of the future or the past.
Only partially visible he winces behind his lips.
Etherized, numbed.
His world is angled with frayed edges and jagged curves.
We shall go to see him
One day, you and I.
And hear the songs of the man, the swans and the trees and grass.
Until the leave’s swaying
Lowers our heads into
Beds of moss and clover.
When bells toll and pigeons fly
Joining the swans.
In murky
Scribbled alleyways.
Swans as white as snow
Out of place with this mysterious man.
In his mind there are books of philosophy and religion
There are houses full of beautiful paintings.
And empty bookshelves.
We shall go to see
The man and his swans
Until the sun sets
And all the lights go out.

 Note- The 4th line translates from French as "Come here my dear"

1 comment:

  1. Yay, a new post!
    But what a sad poem. I really really enjoyed it though. And I love the last line.