A poem by Donald L. Hughes, 2014
A parallel universe exists in the mind,
Born between two separate lives;
A ghost or a spirit that’s cruel or kind,
That either haunts or motivates, halts or drives.
A man torn between what is and what was,
Destined to suffer the in-between;
Hiding what he thinks, sees, believes and does,
Hoping for both disappearance, and to be seen.
A genius of the written word, a catcher in an open field,
A self-proclaimed protector of youth and innocence;
A Holden, a Glass, and a soldier refusing to yield,
Fighting a world that doesn’t make sense.
He was each of these, yet none of these,
Neither totally alone nor part of the living;
Behind his closed door beyond the field and trees,
He painfully lived without taking, without giving.
Few shared in the simple pleasures he found,
Of laughing and walking, of dancing and viewing;
Each watched him, waiting for something faint or profound,
But each leaving empty, no enlightenment, and no renewing.
Forty years of writing, word by word and page by page,
All hidden up, in the vault of his home, and the one in his mind;
He refused the role of a hero, a mentor, a prophet or sage,
And never gave in to the lime-light, the fame, nor the worldly grind.
Whether a voice to untried youth, or a trigger to unbridled passion,
His words struck a chord and fueled debate;
While so many felt understood, influenced in one form or fashion,
Others felt despair, anger and hate.
It is said that the human mind is complex, neither wrong nor right,
Often an ocean of life and ideas, sometimes a desert hopeless and dry;
Like the writer searching for an anchor, a beacon, or light
To rescue him, deliver him and become his Catcher in the Rye.