Location: marengo, il, United States

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


“This journey started out more than sixty years ago.”
With that, the old man sat down for a rest
“The time has come to tell of things I know too well.”
But first I offered water to my road-weary guest

He took the drink I held, and he put it to his lip
He closed his eyes and tilted back his head
He raised up his brow. He drank, and then he swallowed
Then satisfied, he sat it down; and this is what he said

“It began from the outset with no clear plan or reason.”
And a far-away look came into his eyes
“I packed up my raft and the two of us fixed sail
On constant moving currents set below the lonesome skies.”

I could not help but picture him as a very young man
Heading for the verge of some exotic shore
Filled with his desires of insatiable regard
So I lent an ear and asked him to please tell me more

He said, “I met misfortune, and her almost at once
Yet as odd as it may sound, I really felt secure
The raft overturned and dumped me in the sea
But I reveled in the fact that I was able to endure

I washed up on the beach of a score of unknown islands
Which you should know, were my intended plans
For I dreamed of this moment, back in my youth
So I set forth exploring among these foreign sands.”

He paused and took a drink as I sat with my patience
Then he told me of strangers that he had came across
More that I could hope to itemize for now
But I got a sense of how he must have felt so lost

“I wandered up some pathways that led to woe and trouble
And I went to places angels feared to tread
Though how I escaped still remains a mystery.”
He shrugged and smiled and said that he really should be dead.

He showed me his scars and told me of his wars
Yet I could tell the man was very grateful for his fate
He finished up his drink; then rose up for to leave
And said, “I should be going as the day is growing late”

I was not one to press him or cause this man discomfort
But I’m sure he caught the question that played in both my eyes
He hoisted up his pack, but then he hesitated
First he looked at me, and then he looked up toward the skies

“I see you want to know how I got this peace I have
That lives within this sorry soul of mine.”
His eyes began to glisten, but his lips portrayed a smile
And he told me he once tasted a long sip from the Vine

Now a shiver ran right through me; contemplating this
I thought I knew, and yet I wasn’t sure
But something down inside knew within an instant
His implication was not of an alcoholic cure

“You yourself arrived here, though you don't remember
Dirty; and you’re bound up in it yet
I myself was like you until the day I found
The only One who possibly could ever pay my debt.”

Then he thanked me for my kindness. Then he turned and walked away
And left me there, standing all alone
And I have to say his words ate into my wretched heart
But live within me fresh, even though the man has gone

So now I must offer to strangers and all pilgrims
A drink for restoration, one to shore up a tired soul
That thirsts for Living Water and pure true peace
It’s given to all freely. And it’s worth is more than gold


Blogger Gone Away said...

Brilliant as ever, Way. Now that's one thing I can't do - tell a tale in rhyme. When I try it, it comes out sounding silly. But you have the gift, sir, and a fine tale to tell as well.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Gone Away said...

You have given me an idea, however...

2:19 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

He's right, the rhyming scheme sounds effortless, like words chosen for their own merits, not because of their appropriateness.
I wonder: did you sit down at your computer and get it all out, or have you been working on it for some time?

2:36 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I think this is my favorite aside from the bicycle story of all of your stories Dad... Good show!

1:52 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

"Drink" was done originally maybe a year back, Jay. It took one day to write. Then I spent several more days

Then I took a couple of hours to pick
and pull at words again, but even after
"publishing" the epic thing, I saw one more change
needed. Oy vey.

2:23 PM  
Blogger The Bubaker said...

Bravo Mr Way, bravo. Encore I say!

8:38 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

Thank you all. It's amazing to me that people seem to like poems.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Actressdancer said...

It's not poems that people like, Harry, it's wonderful writing. And writing wonderful poetry is like crafting a fine wine. Get it right and the world rejoices... get it wrong and they spit it at you.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Hannah said...

I am green with envy.

11:30 PM  

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