I
Navigating the arid wastes of being
Investigating the whys and wherefores
Plumbing depths considered unplumbable
Making forays that give one the jitters
Sailing on dark, deep, uncharted waters
In need of a beacon but none is had…
Will he abandon the quest,
This mad, hamstrung voyager?

 

II
He seeks a metaphor that can’t be seen
Desires a tune that may never be heard
Such a tune as can never find its bars
At home in any of our instruments
Not even the fabled filched royal horn
Can dare to hold its otherworldly wind…
Does he ever realise,
This sad, moonstruck voyager?

 

III
He set out one bright and fair spring morning
Turned his back on the only life he’s known
Shunning all the pleas, and disdaining all threats
He opted to sail purely by his lights
To live on his terms, to find his reason
Or to perish in the very attempt…
An obstinate fool he proved,
This scatter-brained voyager!

 

IV
For many moons he journeyed on his way
He got into scrapes and bogged down in mires
Unfazed and undaunted he carried on
No wiser nor readier than previously
Galloping forth on his merry fool’s dash
He came within a breath of wrecking ruin…
But we need not have feared for
Our audacious voyager

 

V
Eureka! Eureka! Madly crowed he
And hopped, and jigged, and wiggled he his waist
As emerged he upon the horizon
Muddy and begrimed, and in such a state
Full of discoveries that can’t be expressed
Full of delight that he scarce could withhold…
We it were who end up shocked
At this mad voyager’s find

 

VI
At long last he gathers his wit enough
To give an account of his wanderings
And what a tall tale he regales us with
Only slightly less taller than the horn
A curiously carved crudity used
As the sole prop in his bizarre theatre…
His narration casts a spell
Woven thick by his gestures

 

VII
But as he lifts the strange horn to his lips
The vision dissolves in morning’s glad glare
Its birthing gloom ousted in effulgence
That streams unbidden twixt the parted blinds
And we are saved from the poisonous draught
The mad voyager drank to turn his head…
Plucked off in the nick of time
Recalled to life’s daily humdrum

 

VIII
The voyager recedes into the mists
Shrouded over like the bad dream he was
Yet the vision isn’t completely cleared
And scary reminders crop up often
Although our teenager is all grown up
A dark inner voice whispers mockingly…
Surely the voyager’s dead, but
In the ash lurks his Phoenix

Iroko

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