The Recluse

In the heavy air of a silent dawn,
He arose from a reverie of the beautiful swan.
As the last ghost of a fleeting dream slipped away,
He realized the futility of another exhausting day.

Getting ready for he knew not what,
Dressing up to go nowhere,
He put on a coat and a pipe in his mouth,
Sat in a chair facing south.

Through the open window he saw
A panorama of incessant activity.
Brooding on the transient nature of humanity,
He inhaled smoke from the depths of depravity.

Chirping birds and that rascal of a dog
Kept him restless amid a dreary fog.
The sound of passing time disturbed him,
Made him get up and run out on some weary whim.

Strutting down a street of burning conscience,
Building courage within masks of pretence,
He made his way over silent pebbles and leaves of birch,
Registering the melancholy tolling bells of the Church.

He crossed himself when he spotted the crow,
Solitary, black – as he felt the wind blow,
Lifting his hair off his dead red eyes,
Taking his soul farther into the skies.

Fatigued, he sat down in a meadow,
Sat for hours, until he could converse with his shadow,
Who slapped him on the back, lit another smoke,
Cracked some twigs underneath and yet another sorry joke.

They walked back hand in hand,
This time, he had a smile on his face,
That mellow tune surging in his head,
Barely bothering about what his companion said.

Up the road, They saw him coming,
Muttering to himself, the bitterness of the world.
Children scattered and women scampered,
As his blight, stark naked, unfurled.

Amid the chaos he left in his wake
Stood a man staring as the night turned blue,
Feeling his burning shame of liquid solitude,
As he walked back to loneliness – the poor mad recluse.

(January 2007)

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2 thoughts on “The Recluse

  1. thanks! you know, you actually helped by criticising it in its first draft, wayyy back then. 🙂 you told me the rhyme sounded very deliberate. not so much now, no?

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