Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Three Travellers.

Three travellers, meeting on the mountain-side,
paused to speak briefly, each to each.

Said the first:
I seek the mountain's distant height,
the mighty summit's peak,
beyond the struggle and fray,
the endless lies, the dark deceit,
the never-ending thump of guns,
the bigotry, prejudice, the preening conceit,
O high, so high above
the plain's violent stagnation
I seek a vision and a dream
and in desperation flee
from cruel, oppressive humanity.

The second replied:
This ledge is sufficient for me.
I have long stayed observing here
and I delight to see
the curious scurrying and strife
on the distant plain below,
the march of armies, the boom of guns,
the inevitable ebb and flow,
and when this momentarily ceases to delight
then I raise my eyes up to the sky's
interplay of colour and light
and wrap myself
in glorious velvet night.

The third said:
I have walked to the summit
and now return to the plain,
though the armies plunder
and the rapacious growl for gain.
I have heard the orphan's cry,
the widow's sorrowing groan,
the homeless sigh,
the wounded moan.
I descend, taking what I can,
gifts ever so slight and small,
touch soft and gentle like a kiss,
empathy that is palm to palm,
my tenderness and humanity,
words as kind as healing balm.

With that the first and third went their different ways.
The second stayed and watched them go.
An eagle circled, gliding on the thermals.
To the west, beyond the sea,
with orange glow
the sun suddenly slipped beneath the horizon.
The artillery emitted tiny sparks.
Night sounds emerged.
The Evening Star swung low.

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