Empty words? Empty Man?
JH Smith
© 2007

An old man sits at rest under a large tree
When he was born his mother planted it here

Now grown older, the tree in it’s prime the man past, the tree always strong and tall in any storm
The man a simple man, a man of war, a man of peace, just a man remembering a life, now most past

His friend the tree stands silently by and remembers when the old man, a boy and would sit
next to a young tree and dream out loud of all the things life and the world would bring

The leaves on the tree tremble as it remembers
a young man coming home from a war, no longer to climb in it’s limbs

Returning not with smiles nor laughter, but with eyes old much beyond their years
So the tree lowers a limb to brush the old man’s cheek

The old man smiles, but a sad tear falls as he remembers, again out loud
Returning, returning from what to what, what was lost, what was found

What was to be found, Innocents
That, if only I could then have remembered the meaning of the word

Remembered a time to laugh, smile with out purpose or gain
As a child free, to be as an old one with only beautiful memories for company to share

I remember the feeling to except, to care, to love without reason
To hold out a hand, offer a smile or a kind word

Asking no gain, doing simply because someone there was of need
Then I learned to walk with death, laugh in joy at another’s defeat

To lay death at another’s door, to steal with death their love of, and for family
To live only to survive, not with love, but with a hundred ghosts as my companions

Mocking me each night as I try in vain to sleep
A heart dark, a soul weary of my load, looking only to protect my gains

Hiding within my own fear
Afraid to show, afraid to care, wanting only to take, never to give

So I looked around, all I could find were others like I had become
I am only my creation, an empty shell, a ghost of my own making

Wait! I have only become what others asked of me
I have gone and done as they asked, spoke as they, thought as they

So why am I not happy, Are They, These friends who only ask
Empty friends, Empty people wanting only to receive never to give, to take, never love

So I find myself with the bitter cold steel of regret for what is lost,
For the darkness I have become

Hard cold steel of reality lays heavy, cold within my lap, and darkness surrounds
Then a light, a light so precious, holding out a hand with innocents and a smile

Offering nothing, but giving everything, permission for me to be me
Permission to speak my words, permission to care, permission simply to be me

Best of all permission to love, to care, to do, not expecting, not wanting gain
Now! I may find my heart, I may talk with my soul, I may speak my own words

With the speaking may they help, make happy or fill a heart with love
Though I know not who shell hear my words

May my words bring them closer to those to whom they belong and care
Should my words bring a tear, may they be of happiness or loving remembrance

My responsibility I know is great, for once spoken, words drift forever across time
Coming back to you time and again in whatever from they may take, may they be of love

If someone should offer you the chance to be you, to again find innocents
Take it, you could not ask for, nor receive more, how could you, they have given you everything

The tree listens as the old man remembers and spreads it’s branches before the sun
Now a single ray of sunlight reaches down and warms the old man

The tree thinks to itself, I was wrong, I thought an old man had returned to sit on my roots, but I see within the old body before me, a boy has at last come home this day