What is to gain
From voicing aloud these words?
Granting them form in sound
Gains me naught.
So I swallow.
But I am loath to speak,
Even here to write these thoughts encoded.
I trust rather to hope,
Though hopeless I deem the pursuit
Of the perfection that could be,
That would be,
Even that should be.
So do not take my silence as wisdom,
Nor pensive pauses for time to digest.
I hold my tongue in disgust,
And shame at the separation
Of where we are,
And where we could be.
Tag Archives: pain
What is to gain
I have lost a day to the distance,
for this place is beyond dreams
and past the night.
All is different here, so very different.
I am torn down in the fire by ideas
I can never understand.
I am a child without a voice,
without right –
pushed and pulled,
swayed to either side by desires around me.
My soul is too different,
my ears a curse.
I can no longer speak –
my opinions melt under the onslaught.
I have a mind,
I wonder how to return to life,
I gaze upon the painted sky; it cracks.
I press against the hoar-rimed horizon,
so cold and biting. I strain to see through
but am allowed only a furtive glance;
a peek at another world. Mystery
and shadow – I see my dreams through the crack.
I flatten myself against the dome and
struggle to slip through the hole in time, o’er
gossamer borders spun ‘twixt life and dream
as the icy kiss of the bounding wall
warns of edges sharp from fractures honed,
cold claws that reach and rend my mortal flesh.
Through action wary, misplaced though it be
I fail to mark the cruel blade sliding
into my belly, piercing through my ribs,
until the point rests just within my heart.
my lifeblood’s warmth over my body spills,
a mask to the glass bite raw, elation.
Into my mind through mist of shock-numbed pain,
disbelief of thought, “What has just occurred?
what trick of dream-disguisèd sense is this?”
Though to the earth I drop in pain of wound
aknee across confines of worlds apart
I fall owned, part of each, by neither claimed.
My form just short of dreams cast down, I hear
the serenity songs through branch of tree
and peace of moon called forth, “come now to us”
Sweet voices of a thousand birds cry out,
Come fly with us, through mystery unveiled,
panoply vista of sight enchanted.”
I make to lift my breaking style, weak now
through loss of blood I retch in painful breath.
from just below my chest strikes out cruel blade
nearly hilts-deep into my belly thrust .
Upon the pommel resting light – a hand,
the trembling mother of this grievous pain.
The very form of grace and beauty warm,
How I long to stroke this exquisite hand
To touch and to be touched upon the face,
please let the caress come to end this pain.
Violent sobbing jarring my bladed chest,
through agony forceful, my tears are dried.
Lethargic shutters make a gradual slope
From light to thought,
Or to that state where thought once lived,
That place to which thought will soon return –
Return to cloud the present
With mask of knowledge
And of mystery –
Illusion and form.
There is no thought now,
Sharp at the core,
Fading to a dull ache at the edges,
Shaded with dry fatigue.
Perhaps the fatigue
Is colored by dim pain –
I can no longer discern,
Not in this place.
From here I can see myself,
Watch a slow animal drag its way through the world,
Floating and tasting and touching,
But never sharing,
No, not sharing.
This form occupies a space,
Both are illusory,
And this pain-clouded thoughtlessness clears the vision.
I can relax.
Mr. Dudley’s not home,
say good-bye to his empty smile,
for someone or something
Knowledge of being a burden
was his only security
other than the maddening depression.
Drink it all away,
it does ease the pain,
at least for a while,
at least at night when it’s dark,
something to occupy your mind,
again the pain dissipates.
Soon it’s time to go,
the knowledge is somewhat of a comfort,
delusions of peace,
if you had only listened.
Now you have found that which you sought.
For Uncle Donald,
October 16, 1995
Where are you,
I look for you,
Search for you in vanity of thought,
We all know
That I sit alone,
Smiling among imaginary figments,
So it looks like all I’ve got now is what’s in this pocket.
Memories don’t fit,
so I slip them to the wind.
Run away again,
do you think this is something I need?
Do you think I like to be bitten?
I see these walls surrounding your faces,
stories of lifetimes I no longer care to know.
I have been lost,
and you all have lost me too,
I look inside,
then in this little pocket to see what I’ve got –
a wad of cash and a few pieces of paper,
some soviet smokes and the keys to my cell.
This is not my world.
as I had once hoped,
but now I see this is a foreign place to me,
I am alien.
I look in this pocket,
what I’ve been given to finish
whatever it is I must do here.
I look and see my work,
words of welcome,
expressions of friendship,
but none of you knows what I keep in my pocket,
and you never will.
I am a liar,
and a mocker,
and I suffer from emptiness.
what did you expect?
Why did you call me friend?
Have we given each other something,
Do you know me?
Is you life different without me?
That is why I look to this pocket –
to see what’s left
and to know what is mine.
do not call me friend,
for such we are not.
I am an island here,
in this world,
in your world.
I am alien,
nakedly clutching the meager contents of my pocket.
A wad of cash,
and some soviet smokes.
That is all I have to fight the emptiness?
But what do you know of emptiness?
Or for that matter,
Who are you to judge what you cannot fully see?
Can you speak of my love,
of what I have tasted and helped to shape?
Who are you to believe I am as simple as what the surface belies?
I have no room in my heart
for your sadness,
and your biting words are nothing –
it’s sad with only this pocket,
and this handful of life.
But I have loved like none can imagine.
I have loved purely and deeply and solemnly.
Fly away blindness!
And send your biting words to the wind.
They will not fit in this pocket.
Maybe he stood there still, but not quite long enough. Maybe he started, but his magic was hidden, even to himself. Everything moved. He looked to see that he had remained still, and he smiled inwardly and whispered, “I am proud.” But everything was moving and he began to fear. For though he had remained still, he know that soon, he too should have to move.
“But not now,” he thought, “and tomorrow is just a day, as any other.” But he was no longer sure. And again, as in times nearly forgotten, he began to think and to fear. Tomorrow loomed closer, and yesterday melted into folly. Holes arose. Holes in everything, and the sun started to dissolve.
“I am strong,” he chanted to ward off the darkness, “I am candle. I am light.” He shone dimly. All things were moving shadows and he was no longer sure. “I am not separate,” he cried as the holes began to attacj his light, began to attack his soul. Through clouds of smoke, rolling thunder shattered holes into everything.
Across a field, the sight of trees and white crosses sheltered the elusive horizon. He jumped, climbed the trees, and stepped on hills to see the other side. He ate his meals dreaming, “an apple as the world, yet I can never see the other side.” And dreams of unspeakable darkness came into his mind. “I have been knighted, and I now carry my device on my banner — I am me, and that is all I need.” The words echoed in his mind, yet ever the fear of that horizon, and who waited on the other side – always these fears tainted his brightly polished shield and tore at his fluttering banner.
A few of them remained – yet did not remain unscarred by the passage of those who had gone.
“How do you spell emptiness?”
I asked and she held out her hand,
withdrew her heart,
and breathed my name.
“How do you draw alone
and tore the colors from the sky.
I danced that night the dance of the trees,
drawing of magic from the Earth
as I cried for the changes in my heart.
“No one dances together,”
again breathing my name,
again tasting my name in the wind.
“no one dances together,
and together is not…
“Look at me!”
dull words that came back to me on that wind,
that most terrible wind.
“look at me and see me,
for my insanity is not of the surface.”
I glanced at my skin,
The dance for that day,
again the dance of the trees
was meaningless in her eyes,
and she knew nothing,
only I knew.
The stars loved me that night,
and the moon touched the world
with her cold light –
there were no more colors to steal from the sky.
Afraid and alone melted in my knowledge
and she diminished to a shadow.
Here at the edge we are all the same,
and she diminished.
“you know nothing,
and have no wish to learn.
You know only of my emptiness,”
as the cure was lost with the colors
as the night awoke and scattered the day.
She knew nothing of nothing,
and still I believed her,
her honeyed voice of milk,
sliding the blade into my world –
I would not be that again.
The past is a story, a legend.
for thoughts of yesterday make you die.
“Do not wilt,”
I told her,
for already I had dreamt of fire
and of paradise falling.
“Do not think of the legend,
of what was or who I hoped to be,”
I grew enraged with futility
as her mind closed on false thought.
Drown this story,
forget these colors -the moon and the stars,
for fantasy shines form within,
and it is to the inside we must flee.
The inside is safe,
I go to the inside when I think of your name.
I go to watch the tragedy melt.
I go for the rivers.
I fell into the river that night
as she sang the similarities
between my name
I pulled her down into the river to stop the song
and to find those colors.
I danced in the water,
again the dance of the trees,
and forgot of empty
and of words –
I forgot the difference.
I am there now,
sinking in the river,
forgetting yesterday and her stories.
I sink into peace.