Tag Archives: sorrow

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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A flame in darkness

It does no good to mourn one candle
when its flame goes out;
nor to try to keep it lit
when its wax melts away.

It does no good to sit in darkness
thinking of past light;
nor to imagine some bright place
where bulbs go to retire.

Each source is only one of many;
when one flame expires,
you must tend to the others
if you would have light at all.

The memory of dead lights won’t fade,
if they were truly yours;
they burn somewhere for someone else
if they once burned at all.

But those lights that are left behind
will fade out, if ignored;
if you would truly fight the darkness,
feed what fires remain.

29 APR 2013

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The Speed of Now

What use is feeling sorry
for what might have never been,
some chimera of fantasy
that if it had appeared
might easily have torn to shreds
the life it would improve,
inspired to burn too brightly,
leaving nothing in its wake?

What use is sad reflection
on a course you left behind,
now overgrown in disrepair,
its signposts worn away?
The journey down that avenue
might not have led you here,
but who’s to say what’s for the best,
or where footsteps should lead?

What use is reminiscing
on the glory days of yore,
mad hours of strength and courage
when you and the world were young
and did not know of what to come,
of bridges yet to burn
whose light would fade out, in the end,
to soot and bitter ash?

What use is feeling sorry
for what still may come to pass,
imagining the road ahead
determined by those past,
a die cast in some yesterday
that cannot be undone,
a somber, gray formality
that withers into death?

What use in such pretending?
There is no course so set
that it cannot be altered
or made to turn or bend.
Leave off such mad dejection,
if you would live at all.
We travel at the speed of now
or stagnate where we fall.

16 APR 2013

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Lay down

Lay down your weary tune;
lay down your weary tune.
You’ve been singing it for far too long.
When others faltered, you still held on strong:
never a missed note or phrase gone wrong.
Lay down your weary tune.

Lay down your worried mind;
lay down your worried mind.
All those ideas that still carry you,
lost dreams and wishes that have not come true,
still doing nothing with nothing to do:
lay down your worried mind.

Lay down your troubled heart;
lay down your troubled heart;
You’ve let your flame go out and found the dark,
toasted with gasoline to find a spark,
and in the scheme of things, to leave your mark.
Lay down your troubled heart.

Lay down your weary tune;
lay down your weary tune.
Just find another, something more inspired:
outside the door where things are still not wired.
Leave that old one to quietly retire;
lay down your weary tune.

03 FEB 2013

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What Good to Grieve

What good to grieve a faded hour?
The sun has long since filled the sky
and led to moments come and gone
as filled with life as that passed dawn.

Besides, to mourn what has now ceased,
too long, is to remain in black;
and while the new day’s wedding feast
is still a revel, see its shroud.

What good to dwell on might-have-beens?
One action to another leads,
and just as likely finds the course
that from another deed was dreamed.

Besides, the marrow of the past
makes for a poor and somber dish;
it is a ghost of this day’s meat,
and does not fill up or nourish.

What good to grieve a faded hour
when minutes live but to expire,
and, in their brief and fleeting flower
of seconds, spend no time in tears?

Besides, who would deny the dawn
and cling to shadows that must fade,
while life remains today unlived,
tomorrow’s sorrows yet unmade?

20 NOV 2007

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Time the Devourer

Tradition, will your ancient prison walls,
behind which all are born and most will die,
hold firm against time’s fervent battle cry
that need not force its soldiers in your halls

but deep down in your dungeons simply waits
while you parade its likeness on a throne,
pretending what was muscle is not bone
piled high against your cemetary gates?

For how long can this mad charade go on
before your weak nostalgia does not sate
nor satisfy the hunger of your state?
The flexing of its jaws is no mere yawn,

but warm up for the table. It will dine,
devouring ours and theirs, both mine and thine.

05 SEP 2006

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Before the Last Visit to the Vet

The smell of the sick-house lingers
where the medicines are mixed;
even fresh washed clothes and fingers
tend to keep the reek of it.

The taste of food is changed,
its scent turned sour and stale,
reducing appetites to nil
and turning faces pale.

Continued deathwatch, so it seems;
each act, each meal observed,
a constant examination, hoping
for improvement’s curve.

A day’s reprieve, perhaps a week
of seeming health and vigor;
and then, relapse. The problems
only seem to grow or linger.

What quality of life is this,
just watching for some sign
that she is half of what she was,
not weary and resigned

to constant medication
and injections, week by week?
Would she consent to letting go,
if she could only speak?

10 AUG 2005

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