Abandon Hope, all ye that enter here;
forsake that vain and selfish childhood bride
to drown her sorrows in a stale warm beer,
and unencumbered, dare to step inside.
There are no maps, no hackneyed turns of phrase,
to guide beyond the first steep, darkened stair;
you’ll find no succor in the growing haze,
no scent of promise lingering in the air.
For here none blaze a trail ahead for thee;
alone, and as a pilgrim, you must seek
your own self’s definition, and be free
of preconceived ideas of hear and speak.
No minotaur awaits beyond the bend,
awaiting your messiah’s blade of death;
nor will you find a confidant or friend
to give you courage in a whispered breath.
Instead, just a great nothing waits within,
a void built from the shadows of your doubt;
the sum of what you could or might have been,
subtracted from what you could live without.
Abandon Hope, all ye that seek this door;
she will not be admitted past the sill.
Look on her face with kindness, just once more;
prepare yourself for a great test of will.
The journey on is not for finding out:
creation, not discovery, the quest;
but Hope will lead down a mistaken route,
with fantasies of blissful peace, and rest.
Sleep not! Lest in that slow malaise you fall,
and leave to others what should be your fate.
Forget those vain illusions! You must crawl
on hands and knees, and never hesitate
to seek out for yourself, and fill your hands
with truth, to feel its beating heart direct,
and in that moment’s pause, to understand
what most learn in a lifetime to neglect.
18 DEC 2006