The Rebel

By Jack Hermiston


As each day dawned I died a little more
Before the labour of my day began.
My life and work which once I’d held in awe
Induced the thought to flee.
I lived my time in sycophantic toil
In unremitting ennui. 

When they that matter say that time is money
Where goes my need for air and space and beauty.
Lack promotes the lessening of my being
And leaves me full of spleen.
Sustenance from these things dear to me
Lie buried and unseen.

I turned to a seductive, ancient aid
Which spoke of fire and peat and ripening barley.
Glistening, glowing with an aureate sheen,
It loosed a sense of freedom.
Aqua Vitae gave me back my life
And made me fly from tedium.

It is a task of life to gladden all my senses:
Flowers whose scent can raise a poet’s ardour;
A setting sun with islands bathed in red;
To these I’m now related.
A poem declaimed with feeling and with grace
I splendid and exalted.

When riding waves my life went elemental
And I sailed to use the power that’s free.
I joined the birds and fish to swoop and turn
And be no longer chained.
I watched the tide and marvelled at its power
And knew my soul had gained. 

When seeking solace on the land and sea;
A single daffodil is worth a ransom.
The surge and swish when cleaving through the water;
Sets exaltation alight.
The beauty of the earth is now my backdrop
For I have taken flight.

personal rebellion, defiance, seeking solace