Loving you, flesh to flesh, I often thought
Of travelling penniless to some mud throne
Where a master might instruct me how to plot
My life away from pain, to love alone
In the bruiseless embrace of stone and lake.
Lost in the fields of your hair I was never lost
Enough to lose a way I had to take;
Breathless beside your body I could not exhaust
The will that forbid me contract, vow,
Or promise, and often while you slept
I looked in awe beyond your beauty.
Now I know why many men have stopped and wept
Half-way between the loves they leave and seek,
And wondered if travel leads them anywhere --
Horizons keep the soft line of your cheek,
The windy sky's a locket for your hair.
When I heard "traveling" my thoughts went to this poem.
This poem has meant a great deal to me throughout the years. It was in his "Selected Poems 1956-1968 that I bought when I was still in high school. My late brother was in the infantry in Viet Nam in 1969 and miraculously came home intact to spend the 2nd semester of my senior year in high school with me. We shared a room and I had the volume of Leonard's poems on the night stand between us. He was reading it and I asked him which was his favorite poem-he said, "Traveling."
The Kabbalah says, "When the man & woman face each other, God sits on his throne" (Leonard actually spoke of this in an early concert).