70spoems/hermit*

THE HERMIT

Hermit on cliff of empty air
night grown cold as silver,
monks garments shredded
by winds swept up
from the mouths of night witches.

Gray-bearded old visionary
blinded by lantern reflection
turned back on tight tough skin,
shaped by day winds up mountain.

Battered by night
fog-dimmed lantern slips
from bony gnarled fingers,
turns into she witch,
wild-eyed hair streaming Cassandra.

Lantern falling to pit,
hanging hanging,
watches bony bloody
finger by bony bleeding
finger as each nail breaks.

6/23/76