the Pilgrim’s Stranger

title slide of poem by lyw

if I decide to walk
down a given city road
full of people protecting theirs
ignoring mine
can I trust that a stranger
will meet me somewhere
along that path
when I no longer know
which way to go
and have foolishly dogged on
as far as I can
with just that
forced to rest and wait, weary
by some roadside
for benevolence
to hand me a clue

and if I start following
this path, dropping
one after the other
everything that becomes
too heavy to carry
can I trust faith
that a stranger will be there
to lift the loneliness
that has refilled all my
empty shopping bags

what stranger will stop
to give me the time
so that I can understand
that I can go on
when I faithfully know that
all strangers shun strangers
in my world

there is a land, I am told
to the west
where people are
bold and curious
they make it their business
to know stranger business
even to the point of being
rude and invasive

bless the brutes
with the arrogant chivalry
who will follow my dreams
just because they like them
and persecute my crimes
just because some things
have to be,
how ever the
dust, wind or shine
may confuse our
crossing lines

will I brave this path?
to meet this neighbour
knowing I will most likely
have nothing left of me
by the time I get there
to offer my host
except a few good stories
and, maybe, some jokes
oh, and there is that
old dream I had
the one that told me
to go looking

shall I, pound this dream
into one of your tenacious stones
and prove its
strength and endurance
or unfold its delicate
petals and flavours
into the evening meal
and prove its
rich abundance

and when you have
met her, was it worth it?
to send this pilgrim further along her story
beyond our known borders
and give hope that one day
she will return with nothing but
a few more stories and bad jokes;
a wandering friend’s embrace
and whatever happened
to that old dream

will it have been sufficient
payment in kind

© lyw 

(a poem inspired by a mashup of Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress and Coehlo’s The Alchemist)

Please experience this poem on Youtube (best seen in highest HD setting):

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