The Traveller

The Traveller

 

“Oh no, I never think of it as 'travelling,' I replied

while pulling on my second Bass and considering an easesome lass

go striding around the bar. Its just an eccentricity, my dear Akira,

a foible if you will – still, it lets me wander bare-foot

through seasons past, when taller (and, I admit, of sounder mind).

 

Yes, I've certainly learnt more tolerance among the years,

I mused, looking over my glasses and thus becoming nearly blind

(which some say makes me seem a little less confused) -

not muddle-headed at all! No, I meant the passing scene,

its people, places large and small, by night and day, all that.”

 

You see it lets me fly afar, away from present strife – even

sometimes to recall another life, or wife.

What's that? Yes, more than one, I regret to say.”

My companion looked away in thought, as if to show

she could not stay drinking with such a wastrel,

such a peripatetic and and ungrateful hound.

 

Of course, I'm no such being, I ventured, extremely sound and never fey,

why, I'm properly termed a 'wandering star'.” Warming to my theme

I began to ponder just how to expand my views, and proceeded thus:

 

I appeared upon this Earth unformed, and so I largely remain today,

unwilling or unable to provide a tolerable vision of myself,

at least in others' eyes. Do I surprise? Is this a startling revelation?

So it may be; after all, you're propping up the same old dreary bar as me,

the same vocation. Lonely is it? You know, I really don't know what that means;

merely solitude overdone, I'd claim.”

 

By the way, please stay if only you can, and I'll explain.

 

These eyes have witnessed many a curious sight;

some I cherish as a newborn babe, others I cannot espouse.

Of the former, each deploys a sensibility both arch and bright,

and yes, I've played a game or two with crazy Nero in his Golden House,

rode Alexander's charger from Babylon when the fever claimed his life,

caroused with Comrade Stalin when his föetid anger yielded to the fife.”

 

In short, I've been around; but you knew all along that I've known them none

(though many a doppelgänger's brought himself undone) before me and beyond.

Frauds and shysters all, I regret to say; each cruelled by deep admixtures

of psychopathy to boot! Myself? What a thought, Akira! Well –

perhaps a touch of sadness now and then – not root and branch you understand.”

 

Oh, I might be caught out looking at my shoes on a star-strung summer evening,

nothing more. I'm simply dreaming , scheming and waiting for my home,

a home upon this land.”

 

Chris Hubbard

2019

◄ The Wake

Nirvana ►

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