A man of the road

A man died in the night.
On a bank of grass he passed.
A man of little consequence,
a weeks stubble on a silent jaw.
Pennies only in ragged pockets

Stories of the road now remain
silenced on dry and frozen lips.
Memories of trips taken, roads
His boots a mosaic of his travels

Ditches with an imprint of his passing,
summer slumber on a journey
to nowhere or everywhere.
I did not know him well
but for a word now and then.

The world lost a gem,
a man of the road who walked
miles untold.
A cartographer of cliff paths
and unfenced fields.
Of highways tramped in hobnails.

A historian of the flora and fauna
of ditch and dike of dips and pikes.
A man who knew
where primroses grew in abundance
in sheltered lanes that glittered
in April’s rain

A mind content with the simplicity
of the here and now.
Who paid no heed to greed
or politics
or the machinations of ivory

But rather sought a wooded bower
to sit and smoke and rest an hour
in the company a wilderness
that exists on the edges
of a world in flux.

Goodbye I say, in silent prayer,
but there is no one to hear
just the air and the sky
above where lay down to die.
A man of the road
who is now no more.

-Dave Kavanagh

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