The nomad walked,
Wings hailing to and from the north.
He found a flower,
A rose of unusual color birthing from the sand
A sight fit for a king-
He knelt down and whispered into her ear
“I too, am alone”
The nomad then set up his tent-
A circular abode.
He sat always in arm’s reach of the rose.
Longing always to pick her
And take her wherever he should go.
The rose must stay.
So, the dark man
Drove the stakes of his tent
Deeper into the ground.
His brow shone with oil
Mixed in blood and sand
Every day the rose grew more and more beautiful
Pushing the ugliness of the desert
Farther and farther away.
Soon, the grass began to sprout
The winds became cool,
The land began to heal
By a power he did not yet know.
The nomad hung up his robes at the threshold of his tent
The sun no longer seethed at him
Now, the morning sky sang to him
Sending his anxieties away
But one morn, horizon called
Demanding heed to some destiny.
On the other side of the plane
Should have grown another bloom
To tend and then forsake
Yet the man stood transfixed
Before his little flower
He found he could not breathe
For the air had become so sweet.
She whispered too,
“Please love, will you tarry?”
He choked on tears to abandon his flower
To never sit with her again
To never have this exchange of whispers,
the small home at his feet.
He feared the songs of their love would surely fade
If he went to that far place
“Nomad, will you stay?”
So there I will linger
And there I will remain.
And the rose of unusual color.
From the Author
This is the one. The poem that started it all. The cornerstone of all my other work. My autobiography.
When I was a child- enduring to today, I was enamored with the nomadic lifestyle. Find a nice spot. Set up a temporary abode. Forage the land and let your livestock graze until you feel you’ve outstayed your welcome, then leave to let the land recover. Stay for but a moment, and be sure to do no harm. I applied that ideal to my life and my pursuits and my relationships- even when it shouldn’t have been applied.
I grew up feeling homeless and lost. I could never seem to truly connect with the people I went to school and church with. We never seemed to “get” one another. As I’m older and a bit more educated, I realize that this was largely due to being the son of immigrants, living in a part of town with little diversity. But back then, it felt as though everyone on the planet was functioning on an entirely different plane than I.
Like I said- I had trouble creating lasting connections.
Instead, I looked for people who intrigued me. Didn’t quite matter if you were a good person or a bad person as long as you had a piece of the puzzle I was trying to put together. My purpose was studying these pieces, learning to understand them, determining if your perspective had value, then assimilating that piece accordingly.
Then I was done with you.
And it was lonely.
Sometimes I made friends with other lost children, but they had the same connectivity issues that I did- the same gaping holes in heart and logic that I did. More than anything, I just wanted to find someone and something I could stay with. Someone and something I could live and toil with while tuning the “normal” dial all the way to zero.
A flower so beautiful, that I couldn’t help but to stay.
To be clear, this “flower” isn’t exactly a person- More like… a “something” to give one’s life purpose. Something will never be found to be meaningless ,or maintained through untruth, or propagated by suffering. A pursuit. A worldview. A creed. An answer for all the painful and difficult things that we go through in life… Tikkun olam (A Hebrew phrase that sort-of means “To heal the world” but not just that- Look it up)
In the future, if you ever see a work from me with “The Nomad” as a character, you can assume that he is me… or who I wish I was… Or who I wish I wasn’t… or who I imagine I’ll become someday. Eventually, I’d like to complete a project I’ve called “The Chronicles of the Nomad”- An autobiography in the medium of poetry. Through my own irresponsibility I’ve lost almost all of what I’ve composed for the project, so I’m starting from scratch- from this latest revision of my first real poem. As I work, I can only hope that I continue to grow as a person- fill in the voids wherever they may be, then account for them in prose.
I hope I can find my flower within that time, and be wise and kind enough not to pick her, but to abide by her forever, remembering to whisper to her that I love her every day.