Treasure Island

Frank Bana


Challenge to Joy


That evening
I sat in weary happiness on the high marble steps
Of Grand Central Station, still hearing Dylan sing
Through the sweet-smelling air of the Beacon Theatre
As if the whole world's heart would be opening

As if white magic had taken hold
And for this night - or was it for two -
A remote transformation was possible
To a time of great joy, diamond-hard and true

That night
When I stood in cowhide boots, guitar in hand
Beside the slow-moving Okavango waters
The thatch-covered Bistro still echoing with songs
We sang to amuse the cattlemen's daughters

Everything seemed more spacious around
And inquisitive moonlight disclosed to me
The motions of beasts on the opposite bank
Pure in their nature, unmolested and free

That moment
When your beauty for the first time flooded my eyes
In a crowded red room at the height of a tower
Built by insurance on the Boston soils
Overlooking a wasteland of corporate power

The world seemed enlightened by your smile
Which spoke in radiance and gave no clues
To the pain weighing down upon innocent dreams
And the challenge to joy brought by childhood abuse.

Now joy surfs and glides on the waves of our lives
A singer harmonizing with a faint night breeze
A springbok tenses to leap in fright
Its joy proud and wounded, not captured with ease,
Wary of predators that haunt it always.

Submitted: Monday, October 23, 2006
Edited: Wednesday, October 27, 2010

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  • Original Unknown Girl (5/2/2007 5:28:00 AM)

    Such a poignant write. I can just see you standing there with guitar in hand in those cowboy boots and waiting for your love, oh the anticipation. This has such a lovely flow to it, it has it all, all the highs and the lows encapsulated into poetic perfection (for me anyway) ! Love it. HG: -) xx (Report) Reply

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