The Social Contract (1985)

I without a compass
A tramp unto the wood
Destiny by chance
Manifest for one

Nor in my distance fathom
That as our feelings go
Nature can contemn a man
Care even less to know.

The green envelops, thickets
But process steals it all
Until the ground beneath your feet
It jerks before you fall

It’s the human mind, gifted,
Devastating scythe
A crop outside the quota
Customary sweep

Alien to the turkey
That scurried at my call
Alien to the deer that fled
My beauty of intent

Eight miles in I rested
A gut at river’s edge
Cutting the alluvia
A stream of freshet age,

Slicing the primordial cake
(My birthday after all)
Cutting down to further crowns
My turn as fossil tooth 

I fled before the terror
Eight miles without pause
Followed west the sunset
To the city of Nabob

Met there a man who asked me
Why I didn’t have a job
And why no gal to salve your pain
As handsome as you are.

I brooked his sneer contented
Even snapped him to my soul
Derision by a word preferred
To derision by the soil.  

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