The Old Man

Poem By Walter W. Safar

How many wishes and hopes pass through a man's mind?
This is what I am thinking about while looking
Into the sad face of an old man
Who is motionlessly starring into the distance,
As if down there,
In the blue eye of the dreamy sea
He shall find all the answers.
And while the turquoise hands of the moon drive the shadows
Into the old man's embrace,
A turquoise butterfly merrily flaps its wings
And radiates rays of light
Along the dark ridges of this warm summer night
Above his trembling tired head.
Perhaps this is the reason why
The old man's sad face looks up
Instead of down,
Why the sparkle of life still glows
In his tired eyes.
This butterfly is very young,
But his noble parentage is very old,
And that noble parentage used to spread its turquoise light
In the times of the old man's parents
And grandparents,
Back in the time when hope was born
(and people say that hopes are younger than solitude) .
It seems that the old man feels it,
And he raises his tired eyes whenever he hears
The harmonious sound of the butterfly's turquoise wings,
And death,
Like a dark lady,
Respectfully waits for its turn,
As if it took pity on the old man's boyish gaze;
How many wishes and hopes pass through a man's mind
While he helplessly sits
And waits for death?
I wonder where his thoughts are traveling now
And which soul in heaven do they touch?
His mother's soul?
His father's soul?
His brother's and sister's souls?
Because souls are like butterflies,
Crawling the earth with people,
Only to eventually fly up to the sky,
Perfectly free and magically bright.
All of this must be passing through the old man's thoughts
While he looks at the turquoise butterfly
In such a childish and lively manner.
Everything on him is dead,
Apart from that childish gaze,
Which makes his old man's thoughts so young
And so full of hope
That his soul might soon enough fly up
Like his dear butterfly;
How many wishes and hopes pass through a man's mind;
Yes, Lord, how many wishes and hopes are passing
My old father's mind now.

Comments about The Old Man

A very well crafted piece with great imagination coupled with emotions makes it most outstanding.....Walter........ Thanks for sharing this poem
A refined poetic imagination, Walter. You may like to read my poem, Love And Lust. Thank you.
You used the green butterfly to symbolize the soul. The spiritual butterfly is crawling with the body. Wonderful imagery. “Hopes are younger than solitude”. I liked the saying. Son is the light of hope to the father always that brings back strength and youth to the Old Man, Father. It's a beautiful poem. I enjoyed reading it.
Walter, I like the ending and some of the images. Lines like In such a childish and lively manner are too talky, too much telling instead of showing. Do you read much contemporary poetry? Poets like Billy Collins and Mary Oliver could inspire and guide you. If you have time, check out my new website: jeffersoncarterverse.com Tell me how you like it. Thanks. Yrs, JC


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