not in peace

I sat down

where the great man wrote

to take a look

read from his book

& heard what he heard

saw what he saw

& I understood the words

had already fallen

for the idea

some time ago

felt the sense of place

exit from cities

foul humanity

dirt squalor disgrace

but I was not the only pilgrim

others had been before

& no doubt more

will come

like those who leave their litter

bottles cans paper plastic

homage corrupts if the wanderer

comes for bragging rights

not in peace

the reading

I don’t enjoy it much

saying the words out loud

that I found in my little space

out on my own

that I crumble

under the cold stare

in hot rooms

with my low voice

now unused to speaking loud

& worse it was for free

though they promised

free beer at the bar

& at a fiver a pint

I thought it best

to earn my keep

there was quiet for most of it

with an occasional yeah!

or an oh no!

did he really just say that?

& at the end

they gave me a bottle

of decent red

some decent applause

& I learned that what I read

is not always

what they heard