"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time." (T S Eliot)
"A dark and chanted verse is what I am." (
Forough Farrokhzad)

Friday, July 2, 2010

FANFARE FOR FAILURE


Trumpets stream sticky strains of juice
And jugular contortions.
We've heard it all before,
Complete with conceit,
Tongue-twisted with distortions.

How many nights this week
Have you cried before sleep?
How many months these years
Have you stopped to stifle tears?
Add them up and check the sum,
Then count again before the auditors come.

You know it's nearly over
When the trombones belch and blast.
Then the soprano saxes soar and trill –
More breathy terror than throaty thrill.
Responding seems so useless
But you try a march at the scary score,
Which is just so bloody hard to do
With your feet nailed to the floor.

What romances can you truly seek to begin
When there's no more willing hearts to win?
How does the end of hormonal heavings display -
Pure boredom, or some silly kisses to mark each day?
And yet your weak mind urges new climbs both hard and long -
Like those you scaled when you were still so young and almost strong.

Then the drums rumble to the front of the room –
Bang and bash and kaboom!
There's expectation and longing
And perhaps a chance to resume.
But the horns move back to the fore
And brass sets the tempo just once more.
So you creep to the edge and you cry,
Knowing all that is left can live on if you die.

QUOTIENT



In the quotient of quiet granted
To the deep hours of a winter morn,
There's a continual hum
That scars the calloused cold
And cuts the tender dark.
And you can hear the occasional rumble
Of a train, with its jarring warning horn.

Somewhere in the distance
A siren screams escape
And, closer, a black dog begins to bark.
But sly sleep brings its sleek deliverance
And ferries the fragile dreamer away
To places you can't get to
In the leering light of day.

LOSER


I never once threatened the world order.
I was far too shy and inclined to mumble.
I never ever pulled at Atlas’ sturdy ankles
To see if I had the strength to make him stumble.

Yet I was earnest and committed enough
To make some progress at doing some good
While I provided adequately for all my own
Because I felt the cold state never should.

Then those pathetic putrid looters
Came up behind me to bully, ambush and bash –
Callous bulls in a fragile china shop
Plundering nothing less than someone else's cash.

All my years of work and all my days of faith
Counted nil, indeed much less if it be fully known,
And hateful hyenas picked my carcass dry
Then they let sun and rain and wind grind each bone.

So now I recline here rendered dormant,
Never again to dare, never again to choose,
Wondering if it feels in any way better
To lose when you have much more to lose.