Thursday, April 10, 2014

national poetry month, day ten: c. day lewis

The Tourists

Arriving was their passion.
Into the new place out of the blue
Flying, sailing, driving --
How well these veteran tourists knew
Each fashion of arriving.

Leaving a place behind them,
There was no sense of loss: they fed
Upon the act of leaving --
So hot their hearts for the land ahead --
As a kind of pre-conceiving.

Arrival has stern laws, though,
Condemning men to lose their eyes
If they have treated travel
As a brief necessary disease,
A pause before arrival.

And merciless the fate is
Of him who leaves nothing behind,
No hostage, no reversion:
He travels on, not only blind
But a stateless person.

Fleeing from love and hate,
Pursuing change, consumed by motion,
Such arrivistes, unseeing,
Forfeit through endless self-evasion
The estate of simple being.

Lewis, C. Day. "The Tourists" Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of the Twentieth Century in Poetry. Peter Forbes, Ed. London: Penguin Books, 1999. 253-4.