A Pilgrim's Tale
[around a campfire somewhere in the Milky Way]

The age of Man is but a passing thought upon the Earth;
Life is but the flicker of an image in a dream;
The Earth is less than dust within the dim-lit Galaxy,
Itself a dying ember in the Stream--;

So who are you, and where have you been wandering?
Tell your tales of travels in the sky!
What have you brought here that we may listen?

It isn't where you've lived, but how you die.
You never know a planet 'til you've died there.
And really died, kaput, kapoof, the end.
Fortunes may be made or found or stolen,
But you never know your money 'til you spend.

Though travelers' tales are always tales of dying,
In the telling they lose something of their sting.
The traveler may have faced his death as freedom;
Still, the teller has survived his travelling.

The listener's thirst is what draws up the story.
And listeners drink deep on tales of woe.
The draught is sweet, but may be laced with poison.

Travelling is the only way to go.

© Copyright 1995 by Richard Hodges
All Rights Reserved