A tightrope trod by hanging hands
Is the tight path of human plans,
And on this rope between the canyon
Treads one lone climber, named Man.
Some thousand feet is his height,
And miles front, back and side,
So he pulls from rise to set,
Never ending, never beget.
Lone climber of the monuments:
Cool ruler of temperament,
Binding strong to the rope
Where blistered hands bear his load,
To pull, push, press and part,
As is the nature of his heart.

In all the canyons in all the world
Men do hang in them alone:
From the princely palace to the streets
Shall he be working for his needs.
From every walk of life is Man,
Who works, fights and lives by his hands:
Man, who is not as those who pretend
To be as the decent gentle Man:
But Man shall wage war against all
Rather than from this tightrope fall;
Bearing the world upon his back
Never failing, never slack.
And Man shall still hold to his rope
Climbing for his greater hope.

He who stands in the coliseum
Of life’s harshest competition;
Of beasts, monsters and all things evil,
Of Goliaths and giants armed in steel;
Each hungry for a fleshly taste;
And yet will he stare them in the face,
And fight the good fight to the death
Until his enemy is undone and bereft.
Standing, bloody, without a sound;
Bearing his scars like a crown;
Still treading the rope as he hangs,
Holding tight with scarred hands;
And years may pass as he holds on
To be the winner, the champion.

And for all that he toils under the sun
He counts all toil for none:
All he works and wars in blood;
He labours first and foremost for love.
Man, who though he utters not a motion
Has a heart riddled with emotion:
Made of pure unquenched passion
To win his heart’s Rose of Sharon;
Whose absence leaves a hole in his side
Where divinely came forth his bride;
That he should be her gallant knight,
Her midday sun at dark midnight,
For she is why he treads this rope;
To catch her when her hands let go.

And there he hangs, despite all things,
With raw nature as company,
For this is where he was birthed,
From the wilderness’ earth;
A complex composition of clay,
Who’s will to climb come what may
Is forged into his being at every part,
For Man, if nothing, is wild at heart,
And he shall keep on through the rain,
The sleet, the snow, the anguish, the pain.
For, what has man fought for
That he shall not die for?
Though violent winds may blow
He shall never let go.

21st March, 2002

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