Reflection On Solitude

There's a certain serenity
In the emptiness of solitude:
From the storms of give and take,
Of love, of hate,
Of indifference.
To be an island in calm, cloudless waters,
A feather skimming the gusts of the world
With a philosopher's steady composure,
To be a white-dwarf nestled in the black
Abyss of night:
No fear,
No thwarted passions,
Just universal questions, mild reflection,
And soft, untroubled sleep.
Oh, bliss of the sublime,
To live as one's own,
Take words of wisdom for one's bread...
And yet,
It often seems no great success,
My eunuch's existence, my
Shadow of a life.
It's a kind of poverty I live with:
A poverty I was born into, but have grown accustomed to.
Mine is a wealth of wisdom, a safe and cultivated anemia of spirit.
In taciturn contemplation, I've made my way
Down the straightest paths,
Skirted the hills and shunned the dark forests
In favor of the level, well-lit way,
And now I am faceless even among the faceless,
A stranger among strangers and friends.
Would you tread on my heels, young man?
You seem to know the road as well as I.
You step swiftly, deftly read the signs,
Avoid the dangers of the open highway,
But you are not happy.
I know the road ahead, young man;
It's a quiet stretch, and a paradise for some men,
But it's not your way, son of desires.
Turn back while there's still time.
I hear the roses have never bloomed so sweetly
As this time of the year.

George Chadderdon © 1996