Chance

You have but one chance

to make your ‘it’ happen

other chances may occur

but they will not be the same

the main chance

main time

your time

the harder part

is to not let anybody

tell you

that this

is not so

no matter what the ‘thing’ is

that you know to be true

you

must do it

& then let it be

forever

if you hesitate

let another

say wait

until tomorrow

your ‘thing’

will

be gone

never

to be the same

what this bravery

forgets

is the pain

in tending your solitary furrow

taking the long way home

being you

against the wisdom

the take

of the crowd

enjoy

the urge

atavistic compulsion

to leave an offering

to some votive spirit

in the place

I’ve camped

rested peacefully

or enjoyed my time in

nothing grand

no gold bars

but a silver coin

once a bottle of wine

a token of peace

to mark the place

give back

no mysteries of origin

when all this is

a simple attempt

at thank you

or maybe

balance

hannibal

It is possible

the historians tell us

to witness first hand

the flattened paths

where Hannibal

his army

the elephants

ground their way over the alps

the will to do this

determination

character

& the insight to connect

Geography over distance

& those elephants

strange fish

out of stranger waters

& I wonder

as I do

of the fertility of that route

the following spring

& the strange plants

that grew in their wake

she was yellow

as a dirty roadside companion rose

I was tied to my hospital bed

by lyme disease

could walk as far as the toilet

to much disapproval by nurses

she would smile as she walked by

and we began a conversation

would I like a newspapaper?

a kit kat from the shop?

and off she’d go

seeming happy to have something to do

& the nurse said

‘don’t get too close

she will be gone

by Saturday’

so

of course

I had to ask

‘an overdose

these are her

days of grace

before total organ failure’

not a high priority for transplant

when my yellow dusky rose returned

she could see by my face

that I knew

she smiled

said

‘oh well, eh?’

& the next day

was gone.

oh to have been a hippy

all hair

patchouli

poor hygiene

string haired girls

eyes wide

to the next horizon

& that chance to travel

Istanbul across the bosphorous

journeying to the east

finding everything anew

of thousands of years old

the riches

treasures

then open

derided

as old

not new

to the western view

now hidden from our eyes

destroyed

by wars created

religion

opium

oil

they went

they saw

& came back

powerless

to prevent

any of this from happening

oh to have been a hippy

visiting timurs tomb

on long old silk roads

trodden by thousands

feet

years

smelling just so

to return

to who cares

why bother

knowing

there was

is

a different

better world

over that horizon

marco polo’s edit

You meet them

everywhere

hail fellow

well met

to

share a bottle

sage meal

of whatever is local

cheap

for

you are forever

of

Bedouin

Viking

Traveller

Crusader

blood

you must tell

a good tale

in this company

or be lost

in the flicker flame

of poor story

thin fare

nothing learnt

the

these were

also on the road

lost in

chaucers

marco polos

edit