Little was known about him
Except as a metallurgist.
He made wrought-iron gates
Created to suit all budgets and tastes
In his studio, his rolled-up cigarette
A constant adjunct.
He wore masks, elaborately painted his face
Rather like actors in Kabuki theatre
Stylised showmanship to the fore.
In another guise, in a different time
He wrote Tangled Up in Blue
A song that is so much more;
A poem and a hymn, a psalm so true
A drifter in transition, on the move
Painting vignettes, episodes that curl up beside you
Characters meeting and parting in autumnal hue
Nomads in bars and basement, city to city, keeping
Landmarks in view.
He still waits by the gate
His latest paramour unconvinced
His exotic gifts not enough, his lyrics too opaque
Guitar and harmonica, the tools of his trade.
Ten years pass: the scenery changes
He is overcome by his unworthiness.