Tag Archives: mourning

Colors Besides Black

There are some other colors besides black,
I once said upon my exit from the goths;
and yet, when all the world is shades of gray,
where people tend to seek polarities,
how many days are suited for pastels?

For secondary shades, one must be bold
and smile through every hopeful lie and fantasy:
the world is getting better, by and by,
and when you’ve grown up you will understand.

Let white, and even creams, remain reserved
for rituals and those observances required
when we admit collective lack of words
and make up answers to get through the feast.

But black is not just mourning and sackcloth;
it is a practical solution, after all.
When all our lives are spent here in the dark,
what better way to soldier through the days

than in a wardrobe blind men could still match,
and that requires no consciousness to pick.
Think not of grim and stern sobriety,
though these occasions can and do arise,

but of a silence suffering that stands
at the back of the room during the wake.
There are some other colors, it is true,
but none that hide as well as black tones do.

18 MAY 2017

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No More Sad Weepings of Regret

No more sad weepings of regret
for could have beens and not quite yets,
for rituals left incomplete
for locked doors facing empty streets

for words lost in a tempest’s rage
for missteps on an unlit stage
for ancient wounds now faded scars
for long burnt out, far distant stars

for fashions past that won’t return
for matches far too wet to burn
for verbal gaffes, for unrhymed verse
for knowledge gathered and dispersed

for books unwritten and unread
for love once endless, but now dead
for rusting bars on unlit cells
for buckets drawn from empty wells

for seeds and wild oats never sown
for first together, then alone
for motions carried just for spite
for daylight’s retreat into night

for a whole lifetime spent for naught
for fish, and punchlines, left uncaught
for seeming more, and being less
for each new forwarding address

for moments passed that are no more
for losing count, for keeping score
for hours lost in speechless grief
for seeking elsewhere for relief

for finding fault, for feeling shame
for wanting to assign the blame
for wasting one more second’s worth
of this brief span we have on earth.

06 APR 2005

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Decoration Day: a complaint or lamentation

Bang the drum and sound the horn!
Wash and press the uniforms.
From each window flags are flown;
now the troops at last come home.

Proud young sons and daughters, too;
freedom’s torch they’ve borne for you.
Through the world they’ve marched and roamed;
now the troops at last come home.

In the face of unseen dangers
they went forth, and fought with strangers,
giving of their flesh and bone.
Now the troops at last come home.

For the cause of pride and nation,
each assumed their assigned station
in the name of some unknown;
now the troops at last come home.

Trusting in their leaders’ visions,
never doubting their decisions;
each one thinks now of their own.
Now the troops at last come home.

Used as pawns in plays for power,
missions logged in countless hours
’til last reveille is blown;
now the troops at last come home.

Cheered and thanked and decorated,
from the headlines they have faded;
in battalions, or alone,
now the troops at last come home.

Limousines in long lines creeping,
sounds of countless children weeping.
No more battlefields to roam;
now the troops at last come home.

Bang the drum now, slow and loud!
Drape your flags as funeral shrouds,
speak in low and somber tones:
now the troops at last come home.

Fold the flags and thank the grieving
for their service, for believing;
wrapped in concrete, wood and chrome,
now the troops at last come home.

10 APR 2004

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A Willow Tree

Bending down to touch the path at my feet,
do you shed your warm tears for me and mine,
letting the bitter salt blend with the sweet
fragrance of the surrounding oak and pine?

What sad piper lays down his head to sleep
beneath the stretching limbs of your embrace,
while dreams of a troubled, maddened world keep
the lines of sorrow etched in his still face?

Amidst the green strands of your falling hair
is a tenuous fortress that protects
the heart throughout these mysterious times.

Are you mourning those who seem lost, out there,
those heart-sick souls society neglects?
Do you shed those warm tears for me and mine?

07 MAR 2003

for LJ user stephanielynch

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Getting Older

Maybe it gets a bit harder to rise
at dawn after a few pints late at night;
and those few pounds get harder to disguise,
making a climb up the stairs no delight.

Maybe your ears aren’t as sharp as they were,
yet some echoes you never can forget;
so many things fade away in a blur,
except her voice’s sound the day you met.

The new ways of youth seem so strange and wild;
and you think often of different times –
when the world was young and full of verve,

and could not fathom you with a grandchild.
Each passing year seems more and more sublime
as like our memories, we are preserved.

07 MAR 2003

for LJ user dougs

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