There were days in the chivalrous past
When it seemed there was a future
Fired by perfume and frolics.
Now it’s hard to discern
Such moments of merriment
In the mists of remorse
And the warps of shame
That shroud and distort my name.
Certainty of innocence lapsed
Long ago into trances of guilt
And foolish deformed regret.
Hope degenerated into dread
Soon after the lies were read
And the great and good
Demanded life sentences
But signed off on slow death.
There are days now that start
With the urge to shed tears
And wash resolve away in a flood
Surging over burned bridges.
Pent up weeping drips away
Until the dark night slashes
Its way into the wells of gloom
And eyes swell with grief’s gashes.
Ahead I can see only the doors
To a fiery furnace beneath Babylon
Where even the god of Shadrach
Never dispenses grace to salvage
The souls of men who reached up
And, before lowering their empty hand,
Were choked like flowers royal
By bleak cash crops amidst corrupted soil.