An individual man went walking down the street
With individual steps to an individual beat.
Big groups were on each corner—the dems, repubs and gays,
And blacks and Jews and Christians, and even groups of strays.
They called on him to join them, to make their total strong,
But he kept right on walking, he cared not to belong.
They yelled and screamed and hollered to get their message out,
While he kept right on walking, nor paused or turned about.
This individual man, with individual pride,
Had individual will which they could not abide.
He’d individual purpose and individual aim,
And never wore a T-shirt that said he played a game.
His shoes were like his clothing, of individual style,
And though he never posed, he’d an individual smile.
When once some heard him whistle, they whispered, “He’s a loon,”
Because they couldn’t place that—individual tune.
He didn’t join a choir, to clubs he never went;
His individual days were individually spent.
He wrote him just one symphony of individual might,
And no one heard—but he did—how strange it was, yet right.
He kept it in his head all his individual years,
And now he just keeps walking, with individual cheers.
Alone, above the city, a-top its single hill,
This individual stops, for there’s a woman, still.
She does not see him looking, knows not one hears at all,
Her individual singing that soft, so softly calls.
He’s suddenly transported to space beyond all space;
He flies in such a rapture he knows no time or place;
He grasps, he recognizes, an individual soul,
That soars above all group-dom in individual whole.
She turns, lips part; her eyes are darkest black;
They pierce on through his body; they judge, almost attack.
But, after observation, with head uplift and proud,
She sings her song once over, a little bit more loud.
He kneels upon one knee with individual poise
And claps his hands together—soft, with muffled noise.
The tears upon his cheeks, above his radiant smile,
As in a mirror capture hers, that gleam as dew a while.
She stops; he hums a melody that no one yet has heard,
And she is all a-quiver, like some glad forest bird.
With individual steps they close the space between,
Up high above the city where groups cannot be seen.
O Individual Life, O Individual Mind,
O Individual Beauty, in truth of justice kind!