Poet Blood


Poet Blood

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
– Henry David Thoreau, Walden

“We be of one blood, ye and I.”
– Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book

It is said one lives longer
if part of some community.
Does this mean outcasts
are slowly being murdered by society?,
and hermits are invisible suicides?
Both might see
a deadzone of spirit and intuition
in the congenial orthodoxies
and mindless homogeneities of social convention.
If so, then what does it mean to ‘live longer,’
and who, indeed, has really ‘lived?’
And for our loners,
driven by the unrelenting power of their visions of truth,
do their solitary paths
weave into some tenuous fabric of kinship?,
like castaways
trading messages in bottles across an indifferent sea?;
or cougars
spraying their pungent declarations on distant outcrops?
Some of them, I know,
distill experience down to its essence, its nuggets, its salts,
and throw these back as poems into an unsensing world,
knowing there are others like them
also casting,
also, occasionally, breathing in the sting
of newly found insight:
“We be of one blood, ye and I.”

30 December 2001