You should not imagine that

he’s ever doing nothing. If you find him

thrown across the sofa, head

propped blankly on a hand and eyes

fixed on the sightless distance,


don’t ask: he’s occupied.

You may imagine that he’s lost

in a desert without words,

a waste with no horizon

for the sun to climb. Life is a great jigsaw:


maybe he’s lost a piece

and needs to work on where it dropped.

Or love is a well

down which he may have thrown

his last penny and is breathless


waiting for the splash. Or fortune

has an eye the size of the world

and he could be, he could just be

staring into the eye of fortune

trying not to blink.



© John Stuart