Walking Home


I walked home from the city   the saddened world within my mind,

Talking to passing shadows, to slippery shapes in kind,

Longing for refuge somewhere   a safer place to be,

Before I die a lonely death   in the old house by the sea.


A weary, sad and sadding place   a place full of diamond tears,

That touch the petals of long dead flowers   killed by our fattened fears,

In a town which should be nowhere   beyond the claims of Fate,

Or in a madman’s nightmare         or near the devil’s gate.


I saw in thoughts those other times,   when all was good for me,

My family at the seaside       a girl in Tuscany,

Until I passed the open door   and climbed the stair’s first flight,

And heard an Arab play the oud     and sing sweetly to the night.


An open door framed a girl and boy   a loving, kissing pair,

They lived in tiny, dirty rooms   but now they did not care,

And I stood awhile and stroked the cat we all had sometimes fed,

A lonely, stalking, city cat     that searched for all the dead.


I stepped into a darkened room   through an opened door,

And breathed the air of emptiness     that made me yearn for more,

I stopped but why I cannot say     no reason not to stay,

And who has more than this     I heard my voice to say.


Torn carpets, shattered cups, some ancient golden locks,

Night Thoughts on the table,   Dante’s Virgil climbing rocks

In Hell, while I laid down in bed     and read those tales the fairies told,

Of magic places that cannot be     where youth grows never old.


Such tales of light, to passions dulled   is like the dark red wine,

That weaves a new reality   from angel hair wove fine.

But soon I lit the blackened waiting screen   of the void they call TV

And saw nothing there but emptiness   nothing, paid or free.


So on I turned the radio and heard the music call,

Opera, blues and rock and roll, but they pounded on the wall,

Still I listened, and looked straight up     and thought I saw a glow,

But no sign of god could I see there   nor   Michaelangelo.


I looked into a mirror   and caught the sudden tears,

That face is mine they say   just carved by bitter years,

I began to read the paper     to see what news there was,

But I read and read of death and sin     and never-ending wars.


As madmen wash their hands in blood and glory in the fear,

Tortured winds scream in pain   and storm clouds gather near,


So in sweet silence still I lay   wondering of our fall

As a siren like a hot cat howls   in answer to us all.


In deep I breathed the dead night air   and visioned time to come,

Walking from the city   with my ragged coat and rum,

Remembering rhythmic dancing songs     sung in sultry bars,

And one Spanish dancing girl   once kissed beneath the stars.

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