When I was young, (the strange man said)
They said, "You are no more our Lord!"
They took away my dangerous sword,
They took my sacred coronet,
They took from me my glowing shield
And set me in a barren field.

The weeds did not tow down to me,
The wind was my sole sovereignty,
Hunger my minister, pain my pride,
And a black spearhead burrowing in my side.

I lived, I lived long in ugly thirst,
I blessed that field and its dull curse,
I wove the thistles for a crown,

I whistled the wind and it lay down
Like a beggar or woman at my feet,
In my pain and hunger I found meat

And gave the wind one-half to eat.


Then the black sorrow in my side felt good,
And when at last I understood
My kingdom was neither of power nor wit

I found a cross and died on it.




Circa 1963