Lonely Vagrants

Lonely Vagrants

Oh, it's such a world of wonder
to a lonely vagrant's eyes
Row on row of gilded cages
Filled with birds of paradise
Wheeling, preening, stealing glances
From their multicolored wings
And he, like ancient beggars, brought to
share the banquet of the king,
Moves unseen within a vacuum
protected by his sense of space
The fluttering flock ignores his passage
with their own sense of social grace.

He hears the sound of distant thunder
Stares up at a starless sky-
A watercolor halo of the rising moon
reflected in his eye
He looks in on the senseless chatter
of the birds behind the glass
Another lonely vagrant passes
- he turns to let him pass
Acknowledgement is swift and silent
you'd miss it if you tried to look
But in that molecule of time
they read each other like a book.

The moon climbs high, the night grows old
- Amid the void life passes on-
A hungry babe cries out in anguish
- somewhere another star is gone
And down among the gilded cages
the bright lights go out one by one
And birds fly to wherever birds go
when the weary night is done
And two old, young, and sleepy vagrants
pass a bottle in the park
They dream of birds in gilded cages
and whistle softly in the dark...

© Bob Mullany 7-12-84

1 comment:

  1. "There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher."
    -Victor Hugo