Fernweh

The old man is a fool

he thinks the world starts and ends

within the lines of his palms

sometimes he watches the winter snow and tries

to read stories in the dimming lights

tries to find words and meanings in the scars on his body

it is odd how he sits on the swing in his garden, his mind

barely holding onto the reins of his crazed legs

and dreaming of the day he might make a great push

and hold onto the tails of the wind

and leave for someplace else.

 

Sometimes the old man

makes up fierce creatures and fanciful love stories

far-off lands and forlorn princesses

imprisoned in prisons he creates with precise care

while his shaking hands drop things

with an imprecise, awkward nimbleness.

he sometimes thinks of writing something of his life down,

and the next moment he tries remembering what day it is

the day he undertakes this great Labour.

often he just sleeps, and shivers in nightmares.

 

The old man wanders off to all the places he has been

milestones he gathers and places a little inaccurately

geography and history, and memory engage in a confused dance,

and kisses forsaken, and promises forgotten

and walks taken down gravelly paths

and lifetimes spent by riversides wondering how he…they would grow old together…

mix up his present

and make him see things that shouldn’t be there.

 

But more than that, the old man thinks of the world, and the worlds

beyond the lines of his palm

beyond the scars on his chest

beyond the somewhat laborious stories he thinks he might write

and wonders if the things he sees,and the promises he makes, and the lifetimes he spends there

are real.

 

Fernweh

 

P.S : Fernweh: A German word roughly meaning being home-sick for a place you have (they say) never been to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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