You are swift and tall and thin, little man,
And you walk against the wind, little man.
The pride with which you wear your name
And ride to conquer wealth and fame
Is lordly but in vain, little man.

Through days and years you toil, little man,
To tend your hearth and soil, little man.
From fine-wrought plans and wistful dreams
You raise a house of paper beams
Which crumples with your ashes, little man.

Where do you think you're going, little man?
The pain is in the knowing, little man.
Though swelling lungs take up their part
With the beating of your heart,
Your pulse is ever slowing, little man.

So build your ships and towers, little man,
And gather restless powers, little man.
Seize up in arms a mighty crown;
To son and daughter hand it down,
Then perish ere you've loved them, little man.

Pain and scars will wrack you, little man.
Yearning flames will black you, little man.
A plague upon the wind that's blown
Or fatal kiss of steel and stone
Will smash your crystal fortress, little man.

Each dawn begets a twilight, little man,
An endless thirsting night, little man
Where you and yours will be consigned
And every living, breathing mind
Must be dispersed in darkness, little man.

I am bloody, brash, and bold, little man.
I am sad and sweet and cold, little man.
And with a maiden's lips I press
To the hollow of your breast
And lay your last caress, little man.

For none is dearer to me, little man,
Than those who would eschew me, little man.
Have done the passions you have grown
For all that you would call your own.
You're mine and mine alone, little man!

George Chadderdon © 2000