Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Watercolour by Tony Taylor http://www.paintingbreaksguernsey.com

Monday, 16 March 2015

SOLITARY MAN

This poem was inspired by a scene not unlike the one depicted below. 
I spotted an old man sitting alone on a bench and found myself contrasting his apparent isolation with the companionship that I had noticed amongst elderly bench-sitters during my time in Italy last year.  
There, it’s common to see a row of extremely old gentlemen perched like sparrows on a communal sedile in the piazza, all seemingly at ease with one another, exchanging whatever passes for banter in la bella lingua. 
We know that appearances can be deceptive, so my assumption may be incorrect and the old man may, in fact, have been enjoying a rare escape into solitude.
I'll never know. 
I went home and wrote these lines.    














RECLUSE

All scattered to the winds and ways,
like blushing cherry blossom blown,
the friends, he knew when not full-grown,
have vanished from his elder days.
The carelessness of childhood meant
that friendships were a thing to find
then let escape. No contract signed.
No deal. A currency unspent.
If friendships had been coins or gold,
he might have locked inside a cage
all he had gathered to assuage
the loneliness of growing old.

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