By the edge of the road
I stopped and sat down,
at the bottom of a mile-long hill.
I mean, it was the height of summer
no shade and my hangover disabling me.
My sweating stumps could get no further.
Why should a brown Austin Allegro
roll to a stop 50 yards ahead?
Perhaps 10 minutes later
my pulsating plates of meat
were persuaded to shamble over.
A white-haired man sat eating cake from a tissue.
After ascertaining my sanity
he gave me a life-saving lift up the hill.
Little more was said
but he had a peculiar twinkle in his eye.
I wish for two poems here. The first is
simply in recognition of these uncanny episodes-
you need to be saved
and, unreasonably it seems, you are saved.
The second concerns human beings
and their evolutionary process of growing up.
The white-haired gentleman
by the glint of humour in his eye
inescapably highlighted the fact
that I was not the finished article.
I couldn't argue with that, being full as a sea
with laughably shaped fish.
It changes nothing that I could play every note of
"Recuerdos De La Alhambra" on the banjo.
How many times can a ball of clay refashion itself?
Are there enough philosophical attitudes
to commit to, like positions from the Kama Sutra?
Was I (aged 28.5) really a contestant in the game of life?
Perhaps the Robinson Crusoe of solipsism
must languish for decades before finding
the heart to make the fantastic gambit
towards uncertain shores.