The Poet at 81

Just as Ulysses spent
the long years trying to return
to Ithaca.
Just as Leopold Bloom
lived an eternity
within twenty four hours
in his circuitous wanderings
through Dublin before arriving home.
Just as all journeys
lead to obscure destinations
so too this poet.
Wandered nighttowns
and daytowns.
Voyaged through fierce
and sometimes dangerous
places toward unknown
Lived a life both hard
and easy,
with no Homer
or James Joyce
to record his sorrows.
He too set out
to slay the dragon
as now he knows
the dragon still runs free.
His single large regret,
that he never wrote the poem
he knew lurked inside him.
Now however even that regret
is fading. Fading.
as all things fade.
Fading into nothingness.
I wonder what's for supper?

Leonard Irving
December 2005