Monday, March 16, 2009

The Wayfarer

Stranger from the highlands and cold climes
Your gaudy costume and cleated shoes
Speak of romance and never ending adventures
What can you tell me of the land that you came from?
Did a mother cry when you tightened your bootstraps,
And did a sweetheart pour her heart out and tore her golden hair,
In the highlands grooved with gorges and capped in white?
What made you turn your back from the warmth of the home fire,
From the safety of familiar haunts and comfort of kinfolks?

I look at you in wonder and in honest envy,
Did I not have the same urge to seek out the world?
The long road beckoned, a gilt lined horizon held promise
Of riches, strange loves, sights and sounds waiting to be felt
The wanderlust of youth never been put to rest
Now the resolve is almost gone though the urge remains strong

I listen to you with whirred hearing
Your tales conjure images unclear and lackluster
How pitiful that imagination has failed
To see the splendor, the spectacle, the thrill
Of faraway places from whence you came.
What is the color of a sunset from a mountain crest?
Are daffodils and edelweiss as bright as sampaguita?
Tell me again and again because the images fade quickly
Blurred flashes, a confusion of gray, black and white’
A mind-numbing monotonic haze is all I see.

Rest your tired arms and legs on my soft chair
Let the cool sweetened bubbly quaff moisten the dryness
Of a roughened gullet so that you can weave more tales
To regale my inquisitive yet hardly comprehending mind.
Looking at you now and trying to feel the pleasures
You must have felt throughout the years of wandering
Leaving your trail on foreign sod, seeing faces
Black, white, brown, yellow and other hues
Friendly, hospitable as well as hostile and cruel.

Tell me if it was worth it all
Leaving a crying mother and a woeful wife
Abandoning kith and kin, familiar and friendly haunts
Or is it just the folly of youth, the dare of the unknown?
Do you not regret having the hot winds sear your face,
The trackless routes, the gravelly path, the thorns in your shoes.
Do you not regret these?

Tell me I am right in staying put
The travel itch still unscratched, but, I would not know
If the pleasures are as my mind earlier envisaged
Or will I forever wonder what glories and fortunes
Have passed my way when I did not sail or fly my fancy.

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