Collected Poems of John Holmes
Holmes, John A., Jr.
Harried, bewildered, lonely, tired, bruised,
You said you were, and said you wished to God
You could get away to some place less confused,
Where sun and sleep and food, rock, sea, and sod
Matter, and nothing else; where cries and calls
Are birds to birds, and no one wanting you;
Where wave and light lift up the only walls.
Mind has no hurt there, heart no work to do.
To go now go now, you said, a long, long way
From here; oh for a cliff upon the coast
At the other end of the country, low and gray,
Of all calm capes on the maps the uttermost.
But I said no, go somewhere not so far
At first. Live there a year, and then move on.
Ask, like the wise men following a star,
The slowest way to loneliness, Go find
Always the towns here peaceful people are,
But few, fewer, then none who know you gone.
Then heart's dry desert. Then the crags of mind.
Come then to your cliff, but leave yourself behind.