Alistair Graham

Veteran Poet - 1,190 Points (Belfast)

Hiding From Humanity - Poem by Alistair Graham

I pulled into the car park
at work this morning,
just like I always do.
I swung open the car door
to a view of the Cave Hills
in the horizon.
The hills summoned me to
come play a while and leave
the work thing alone.
I looked down at my feet
to the brown leather shoes
unsuitable for hills,
I considered my life:
the constant longing,
the suffering, the falling
asleep and waking up
in relentless torment,
helplessly staggering from
one grim day to another,
eating, drinking and smoking
like a madman.

Leaving my clothes on
the bonnet of the car
I walked naked past the office
window where my boss sat
in his suit at his desk
typing his life into a machine.
I waved to him and ran
towards the Hills.
At a post office
on the Antrim Road
a lady pointed
me out to her friend.
“Look at your man”
she said, “he’s lost
the plot.”
I plodded on, my feet
cut to shreds
on the rough edges of the
broken Belfast flagstones.

A cop car pulled up
just as I was
entering the gates
to Belfast Castle.
“Hey you, you there, ”
someone shouted
through the window. I
turned my head to look
the voice in the face.
I saw faces laughing,
one to the other thinking
I was crazy.
“Where do you think
you’re going,
dressed like that? ”
one of them asked.
I opened my mouth
and the words lifted
up into the air.
“I am not dressed, ” I said.
“I am not dressed at
all never mind
dressed like that. I have
cast off my chains
you see; my nakedness
is my enlightenment,
I can no longer think
in the ways of man
nor can I walk
the path of a slave.”

“Where are your clothes,
big fella? ” one of them shouted
as I proceeded to ascend
the grassy hill. “You can’t walk
about like that, ” the voice
continued. I sensed the hurt,
the anguish, the longing inside
the hearts of the crew in the car
and how they lived unfulfilled
lives in constant pain;
the suffering, the falling
asleep and waking up
in relentless torment,
helplessly staggering from
one grim day to another,
eating and drinking
like machines
at the drop of their cop hats.

I climbed further up the hill
to look down
on the roof of the car.
A head popped
out from the window
on the driver’s side.
“I’m not coming back, ”
I shouted, “you can
keep my clothes; cast
lots and divide them
among yourselves,
you’ll find them
on the bonnet of my car.
Sell the car too,
give the money to
the poor. I’m no longer
a child therefore
I have put away
childish things.
You may look for
me in the hills
by day and by night
but you will not
find me because you
go where I am going.”

I could hear screams
rising up from
the cop car. I could
sense fear
in their hearts and
it saddened me. I knew
my announced departure
had sickened their stomachs
and they couldn’t imagine
a future without me.
I pushed my body
away from the face of
the Cave Hill
and descended to
the bonnet of the car.
I stood strong and tall
watching their frightened
faces through the windscreen.
The cops couldn’t
bear to see me
leave so handcuffed
me to a
gorgeous cop girl.

Topic(s) of this poem: human condition

Comments about Hiding From Humanity by Alistair Graham

  • Life Sparkles (11/22/2015 10:44:00 AM)

    I love it!

    We are not of this world are we
    and the pen that keeps us the
    slaves in has holes in it, look
    for them and get out!

    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, November 22, 2015

Poem Edited: Friday, May 20, 2016

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