I am a homely man and who'd love me
Were it not for my songs? Strange
How these bones of craft that in me lie
Hold fleshy form; how in this ugly
Mass chance brings on such desire.
Ah, me, what good comes of questioning
Chance defensible without reasoning.
Come, look closely how craft
Upon itself turns and grows,
A tendrilled weed spawned
In its own self-chosen bed.
Seeing then naming, we pull it out,
Hope that something fresh will grow,
But chance engenders only chance.
It is a weed, grown wild
In a fertile spot unseen.
At night it drinks up dew
And in the morning shadow
Grows like liver spots,
Like gnarled bone, like
Wrinkles, like memories
A homely man stores up.
And, if it were not songs,
What might an old man sing?