The Lone Man

Detail from "Nighthawks" by Hopper

by Frank Thomas Smith


            Now is today,

            which will be


            and was once



            Render time as you would

            a bouquet of roses to your love.


            like all the beauties of the world,


            quicker than a lie,

            whimper and die.


            They lived for a time,

            an eternal instant,

            a touchdown eternity.


            The earth is made

            of flecks of matter,

            lovingly crafted

            and joined to form

            a solid living mass

            on which we stride

            the day long in light,

            on which we lay our heads

            when the night spreads

            its dark quilt upon

            our shivering bodies.


            The lone man

            is more alone

            than any finite star

            He shivers despite the quilt

            and the raging fire he has built.


            Warmth can come, though,

            from a southern breeze:


            the heart's breath.


            No Warmth can come

            from northern gales:

            the head's details.


            Embrace the breath and taste its warmth.

            Then will the morning cool

            spring from your loins like a lamb.


            Keep faith with the burning tiger

            in the jungle's dark silent breath

            till endless time whistles death.