The Old Gentleman
This poem is written in the style of Edgar Allan Poe whom I recently read several short stories and poems by. The old man in this story could, at least in my mind hold many different images for the reader. As for my self I prefer to picture the old gentleman as sin.
The Old Gentleman
I’ve seen that old gentleman walking,
walking in the night of a summer’s eve.
He walks jauntily. His black shoes a-tapping on the worn down, dirty streets, like the sound of a sober drum a-tapping.
The sound never ceases. In my dreams I hear his shoes a-tapping. It is like a sober drum tapping into eternity.
As much as I try to avoid that old gentleman I find I can’t.
He and I are night walkers and as unusual a route as I try to walk I always find him there. He seems drawn to me, or I seem drawn to him by some mysterious magnetism.
Dressed in black apparel as if one in mourning, he strides upon the moonlit streets.
In a youthful hand he holds a gnarled cane.I wonder is he old,or is it the cane that is old?
He is always courteous to me, tips his hat and says hello. Then he returns his hat to its crooked resting place, hiding his neatly combed, parched and thinning hair.
If there is one thing I dread more than all things upon our meetings, it is his voice. It has the tone of a child grown old yet with a sort of deadly whistle like the cue of a dieing bird. It fades whimsically into the night air. It chills me through, like a gush of cold wind inside of me. And when he laughs, it sounds like a gentle stream that is drying up. Yet this too overwhelms me.
His tired eyes burn with what might have once been an innocent fervor, but which now seems hollow and twisted, like the eyes of a bull being killed in a bullfight, burning with the last sparks of a dieing storm, brimming full with a cold life.
When I see him coming I can see his eyes shining with the white ash of a burning log. The pupils of his eyes are always flitting about with the anxiety of a bird trapped in a cage, but when he sees me they become fixed upon me like the eyes of a spider about to pounce.
Oh how I long to shout to him “Be gone! Leave me alone! I have no love for you!”
“Walk under the shadows of time and space you figure of distorted youth and leave my soul in peace!”