The Joshua Tree

Meet me at the Joshua tree
When the autumn is in full bloom
When you have been set free
In the dark of night – in the gloom

Meet me at the Joshua tree
The stars will be our witness
They did not flee
A light in the blackness

Meet me at the Joshua tree
In my dreams and yours
Beside the inland sea
Away from these shores

Meet me at the Joshua tree
But only if you are truly free

Come with me

Come with me

Come with me
Says a close friend to me
There is unpleasant task at hand
But it needs must be done

The day was dreary
The Sun was weary
Such days are for men to sleep like the dead
So I put on a shirt of colour
To put some light into the day

My friend called it false
And bid me put on black
For where we go
A pall is laid on all
A friend is passed on to who knows where
I knew he was in trouble
But I only asked once or twice
And he said I need not worry
Time heals all wounds
Now he is dead and gone
I would that I need not go
But I have dined at his table several times
And his sisters – don’t they call me brother?

The mother held the casket like life itself
The father did not take it like a man
As we filed past the coffin
I looked in and was surprised to find him in repose
If it were a bed, I would have thought he was asleep
But in the casket where he laid, the smell of death though faint was there indeed

We stayed awhile
With heads bowed in silent consideration of the pains of those alive
And the thought of the dearly departed
And after an hour or so
I asked my friend if he knew of what malady the young man died
Loneliness he said.
The look on my face betrayed my lack of believe
But he bid me hold my peace
I know I will know more in time
But not in that place for respect of the dead and the sorrowful

Could loneliness take so young a life?
I think my friend spoke in parables
For stick and stones may break bones
But thoughts of the heart
Surely, they may wrinkle brows
But take life, I thought not

Loneliness he said
Maybe I heard him wrong
In that silent room in which he whispered
The walls might have swallowed a syllable or two

Time passed slowly
Meaningless in the room
While men rushed about in the gathering gloom
And the voice of one who lady luck had given a boom

And as we bid the family adieu
I could not resist the urge to gaze for one more time upon that peaceful face
Drawing near I looked in again
What surprise! It was I that laid in state.

2:30AM 19/Jan/2013