The Nowhere Man


There was a time I lived in an old world over there,

Told people "I am from here" and knew no elsewhere


Then adventure called and I left my town and folks

I flew over mountains, oceans and forests of oaks


I traveled to a foreign land, saw cities of abundance

I met new people and soaked in their exuberance


I cast off my allegiance to the old world as time flew

Embraced the new world along with the old, and now ...


When I am there, I want to leave and come back here

And when here, I want to be there in days very near!


Here I ride fast routes thru hills and scenic desert

There I trod dusty paths into short bushes and dirt


There, exposed to the raw elements, I feel vulnerable

Here, safe in a cozy sterile cocoon, it is rather dull


The abundance of humanity here can be suffocating

The loneliness of there feels heavy and daunting


There, I feel like a bird, free to learn and explore,

Here, I push and pull in the web of relations galore


There, I am on the move, eager and ready to tear

Here I am like a turtle - in no hurry to go anywhere


I miss the riot of sounds, colors, smells, when there

Out here, I long for the peace and clean odorless air


There, no one bothers with me, I'm servant and the boss

Here, hemmed in from all sides, privacy goes for a toss


Here I enjoy the unruliness and chaos of a wise culture

There I thrive in a new world of precision and structure


Do I belong here? there? Am I now a no-where man?

No! I have just been blessed to be a now-here man!




Abhay B. Joshi


Poet’s note: This poem describes the tug of war felt by an immigrant from an old culture.