Retreat, hibernate, a hermit become.
Engineer, keep your pulleys and cranes,
mariner, your salt water and rum.
Light dims and yellows the land.
Hermit, you I understand.
From a child, I wanted the wild,
the marks of twig, leaf and bark in my hand.
Sun cannot reach so high in the sky.
Geese go, know they cannot stay.
From the far mere, west they fly.

Hermit, I wanted to be you,
stood in your coppery painting
in my local gallery, garbed
in your brown, rumpled robe.
From your rugged chin
hung your wild tangle of beard,
your eyes clear and sharp
as any weasel, otter, beaver or hawk,
outside the shadowy mouth of your cave,
sheer rock mounting behind you,
as on the cap of a toadstool,
a snail slid on its slippery trail,
and in the without wind silence,
the creak of a branch, the stretch of a root
let you hear the trees talk.
And I wondered if you lived on berries like a bear,
the nuts in the woods, along with the squirrels,
you hoarded your share.
And I understood, to be a hermit in the wild,
that would be good.

Vanity. Vanity. All is vanity, The Bible tells me.
Looking around me, I cannot help but agree.
But maybe if your face is your fortune
it is a way to let you be free.
With so many sides in the conflict,
no wonder they cannot all sit at one table
to sign that treaty.
No, to be a hermit is not such a bad thing to be.

When we are not there, where are we?
When we are not here, where do we go?
Exiles from Eden, if we are truly,
maybe it is not so strange to be a hermit,
alone as we are not meant to be.
But then, it seems only long ago
or in the never future can we seem to be free.
Why do we ever pine to be elsewhere?
Why in the here do we want to be there?
Is this not our home? Why do we wish to roam?

Sorry, the wind tells tales.
Wish I were a fish with ears to hear
deep ocean pipes, the song of whales.
A hermit in a coral cave,
that picture I save.


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