What ordeal had he endured that threw him
into solitude and made him a sojourner?
Was it the memories of lost lovers, their faded lilt
echoing against the butter walls of cold sandstone quarries
in the memorials of his distant homeland?
Perhaps a frightened memory of walking weed-choked
paths leading reluctantly to an ancient ruined abbey
where black twisting branches scatter through high stone survivors
of royal outrage - and blank-faced Sanctuary windows once flamed
an altar with brilliant meaning. No trace remains to mock false promises.
The sojourner regards the fields of failure and moves on. Instantly,
he kicks at something buried in the drying earth; rock or treasure, neither
will divert his focused eyes from what lies beyond. A place of
compromise between himself and otherself; one an invitation to flee,
the other to lie in grace, listening to the life-song of treed cicadas.
The traveller now is on his way. Not curious to turn new corners,
he has no truck with the lean excuses of times locked up
in dried out reed-beds hiding their acidic tragedies deep within the bog,
frozen when no ice remains above. Instead, he treads carefully on
while counting the hours before he will rest, asleep upon new ground.