Standing before the desk of a man I respect
he was telling me that image is everything.
Buy a couple of good suits he said
improve your use of vocabulary.
Doors will open to everywhere,
you can go anywhere your heart wishes to be.
See the world you want to see,
success is readily waiting at your feet
if you just clean a few things, smarten up.
So taking to heart his advice
I recalculated my use of language
started to sound like every other bit player
on the glorious corporate stage,
let all my timbre and tone be dictated,
by them above while I doused my innate rage.
I shaved my beard, cut my hair,
Yes I appeared twice as good as ugly can,
I made myself to look nice, as scarred and beat up can;
I even gladly bought products from drug store shelves.
I went out of his office, just like he said
the world opened up for me;
a vast expanse of new reality.
Oh damn if only you know how often my resume was scanned,
career paths outlined a way laid out for me and planned.
In my new suit and shoes I went a trekking,
Finding those vaunted company ladders
everyone I came across with dead bodies and train wrecks
covering the bottom though only made me sadder.
Looking for ways to pay tributes, taxes, and my dues.
Roaming about place to place
quickening daily the pace simply to see
just what job it was that was going to make me, me.
I knew I had to leave find a way in which I could believe.
I travelled the valley floors in desert heat
myself up through mountain passes on I dragged ,
by the time I finished that part of my life’s journey
I found, that a good suit easily gets ragged,
leather sole shoes are slippery on a mud covered slopes
it takes pitons and small picks and ropes to abet hope.
My hair again began to grow some and then some more
my beard got longer and fuller too with each closed door
Well then, beastly though I looked,
I felt better about myself with it,
not quite so corporate and weird.
Advice from a respected mentor is a good thing to get
but there is no way to tell if the words spoken
in a moment’s time that you never forget
are really going to make the valley to mountain tops
easier to climb. Living is not a series of job hops
but a steady journey of taking and giving.
Be who you are,
stand where you stand,
let your roots allow you to grow
for from the outside another can never know
more than the you they see.
And what they see is what they see
not what you are or who you want to be.
My mentor and my friend sad to say may
believe I rejected his wisdom that day so long ago.
But truth to be told I never forgot that image matters.
Though the suit lay for decades in a heap all in tatters
and my hair much thinner is quite a bit longer
while the beard speaks for itself,
I may be many times broken but I am much stronger.
For what he taught me that day in his office standing post
a’fore his desk but I took so long to learn
was the image I have of me inside is what matters most.
Passion never is to smolder but has to hot white burn.
So today here I stand outside alone having made my way
knowing without braggadocio, boldness, or boast
that I have walked my road honestly with compassion
and that my friends is my idea of images beautiful fashion.
© M Durfee