When untruths burn so deep and hot
And scalds blister your broken heart,
It’s hard to salve your soul with hope -
Blame and shame will start.
All you can see is spoiled and foul,
The air you breathe has no real life.
The path you walk is cracked and frail -
Split by flaws and strife.
Rancid bouquets replace flowers
That you barge past in search of spring.
Grotesque creatures stalk every step,
And no birds sing.
Blue sky is scarred by scattered clouds
That spit cold rain if they’re provoked.
Flickering rays of feeble sun
Puff and then are choked.
People are all potential foes -
Their mouths marred by bizarre falsehood.
There can be none who tell the truth,
None who can do good.
The best retort must be withdrawal -
Banish brute beasts from being’s blurs,
Contrive helpers in obscene dreams,
Yet ignore their slurs.
* The title is from John Keats’ ballad, ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’.