Tag Archives: cautionary verse

The River: cautionary verse

These questions that you warn me not to ask,
they do not simply fade away unsaid;
and while your tacit threat may chill my bones,
it will not stop me, until I am dead.

What good is bullying, and idle scorn,
without the end result: my mindless fear?
Those weapons that your faithful bring to bear
cannot pretend to stop up every ear.

You would, by force of will, bring me to heel,
and so like Galileo, to recant;
but while I see no art – just the raw deal –
you may attempt, but in the end, just can’t.

For I, unlike you, am not so afraid
of fickle public image, fleeting fame;
the race has not begun that you can win,
though I be hobbled, blinkered, deaf and lame.

I understand the questions – as do you;
and so the answers speak out plain enough,
regardless whether you and I exchange
a single word of merit, or just fluff.

I stand against you, not to prove a point,
but rather, because living so requires;
so long as breath sustains me, I persist,
and will not flee imprisonment or fire.

But is this revolution, my small acts,
or simply sitting, spinning out my days?
Now there’s a question: which is longer lived?
The river or the cliff it wears away?

2 FEB 2017

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Beyond this point: a cautionary verse

Beyond this point, please tread with care:
there are no guard-rails mounted there,
nor safety nets to break your fall.
You might not make it back at all.

The light is poor, the floor is slick;
to navigate is quite a trick.
Until your pupils focus down,
you’ll see neither the sky or ground,

and worse, once your eyes do adjust,
you’ll only look because you must
at crumbling walls and broken paths;
brave adventure’s epitaphs

whose faded script from days long past
is all that names what did not last
on this dark path beyond the gate.
Turn back, now, before it’s too late!

There are no signs, no maps, no guides:
just where you go, no path decides;
you follow, where the darkness leads
without a single guarantee

of coming out the other side
the way you entered, or alive,
at least the way you understand.
So put away your foolish plans.

Beyond this point, we all must go:
if we would seek past what we know
of spring and summer, in the fall,
and for a moment, live at all.

06 DEC 2010

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