The Hermit - a poem

This is a poem I wrote a few days ago. It was inspired in part by my therapy and part by an article in this month's 'womankind' magazine: "Learning to love your shadow" by Jules Evans.

The Hermit

With fond remembrance of Crusoe
From dim days of childhood leisure
The appeal of seclusion grew so
In the folds of my mind; hidden treasure...

My shadow created an island of gold
The waves were glittered with diamonds
And ingress to my island was strictly controlled
My shadow and I, in alignment

Whether sticky in sunshine or bitter in frost
Our lips drank the moonshine of wanderers lost
And the nectar of nature was enough.
The nectar of nature's enough.

When the world asks my shadow to peel away
And our island is all but forgotten
Still below lies his legacy - sharp, steel, grey
Cutting deep into flesh, soft and rotten

For my shadow knows horrors that I know not
And shudders and shies from the shapes of his youth
And sometimes creates friction where ought there be naught
But sometimes sees harrowing truth.

Should I yield to the shroud of his inky embrace
In utopian concord with only myself
Would the island become a real place?
With a footpath to follow for health?

Would Virgil accompany me on the ferry
And waken me at the first circle?
Or would blood and tears forever we bury
Once released from pressures external?

Yet perhaps I can soothe the hermit within
Without sailing to quite such lengths
For the island's edge could be simply my skin
And the seas, just a vision of inner strength

The island is anywhere we can call home
The lock and the jamb are the waves and the foam
My shadow and I shall be King, Queen, and castle
Safe within, our sanctified chapel.

by Holl Morrell