A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Thursday, 3 November 2011

a vagabond life

i'd be off again
at the drop of a hat
at the swing of a stick
at the slink of a cat

at the lick of a dog
at the clang of a bell
at the wink of a star
over compostelle

at the bark of a deer
at the lilt of a lark
at the arc of a moon
in the chill of the dark

at the glow of a sun
in the bowl of the sky
at the moan of a sea
where the wild geese fly

at the scent of a rose
at the prick of a thorn
at the sigh of a breeze
at the rage of a storm

at the rush of a stream
at a kingfisher's call
at a salmon's jump
up a waterfall

at the tang of a peach
at the suck of a fig
at the leap of a frog
at the squeal of a pig

at the rim of a rock
at the roll of a stone
at the flick of a wrist
at the click of a bone

at the smile of a girl
in a flowery dress
at the press of a hand
at a lip's caress

at the flare of a match
at the gleam of a knife
i'd be off again
to a vagabond life

The influence of that Dr. Seuss gets everywhere...


Grace said...

Ah, you make the vagabond life sound so appealing and romantic!

Ruth said...

I heard a deer bark (so startling!), does it count if it was here, not there?

I love this, Dr. Solitary.

ksam said...

Nah...we're not hooked at all, could quit anytime we want! Right! Of course that leaves the question why would we want to! Really enjoyed this one!

Rachel Fox said...

Pretty neat!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Love it Robert - that nomad life has really got into your soul hasn't it.

am said...


You must have some John Muir genes.

I read this somewhere in connection with John Muir:

"Had Cain been Scot,
God would have changed his doom,
Nor forced his wander,
but confined him home."

I thought I was hearing some Bob Dylan in with Solitary Walker when I read your vagabond poem, but now I am absolutely sure that Bob Dylan, like you, picked up that lilt from Dr. Seuss (-:

John Muir was right about everything being connected.

Wonderful and mysterious images, Solitary Walker!

Cait O'Connor said...

Found your blog via another blogger. As a long-time cloudwatcher I love your header pic. And the poem too. And Marmite. I will be back.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, one and all, for your responses to my poem.

am - that's astute of you. I hadn't realised it but, yes, there is a subconscious, playful, list-making, childlike, Dylanesque feel to it! (Under The Red Sky, Hard Rain?Others.)

I tried to use a mixture of cliché and subverted cliché - with attention to rhyme, half-rhyme, assonance etc. to make the thing swing along musically, like a chant or a children's rhyme or some kind of mythic but light-hearted litany - relating all the images as far as possible sonically as well as thematically. Every image has some obvious or tenuous connection with the Camino.

The Solitary Walker said...

And thanks, Cait, for your visit. Hope to see you again soon! Fans of Marmite are very welcome round these parts.

Suman said...

How very enchanting! Love the luscious scenery the poem paints. And the 'lilt of a lark' and the 'moan of a sea' - brilliant!

How I hate my humdrum life after reading this! :-)

George said...

Fun and delightful, Robert. I count thirty-one potential developments that could send you off to the vagabond life again, and I'm quite certain, of course, that there are many more. You are a vagabond at heart, regardless of where you hang your hat.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for visiting, Suman. You are getting quite a regular round here, and your presence is always most welcome! Humdrum life is what we live most of the time. The trick is to transform it somehow (without even the need for a camino) - as we live it - into something meaningful and beautiful. Hmm ... not always easy ...

Thanks, George. I think I speak from one vagabond to another here...

Friko said...

ants in your pants?

And why not, why not follow that path to the ends of the earth? Have stick, will walk.

(So you do't believe what I say, eh?)

Elizabeth said...

Love it...nuff said. x

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for your comments, Friko and Elizabeth.

Friko - those ants are getting itchy...