A Short Ode to the Countryside

 

Take me far away from here

To where the sun falls late and cool streams run clear,

Quaint townsfolk graced with a comforting air

Greet you with pleasure each day of the year.

 

The grass is always better

Where wild cattle graze unfettered,

The sweet scent of pine suits me just fine

As our fragrant dreams are untethered.

 

Reveal to me that place you love

Just south of the river but known only to one,

Where the birds and the bees make way for real needs

Spooked by dominant peaks poised above.

 

Procure for me one hint of gold

Beyond a system that’s rigged on sick sorrows of old,

When the duel of ideas is conquered by fear

We escape to create a new mould.

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Waiting Patiently for Death

 

Once more that filthy sense of dread

Creeps up your spine from heel to head

As all you crave is love returned

By now you’ve learned you’re always spurned,

This plight infects the greatest men

They too perceive our hope as sin

The tragedy of phantasy: the unkempt mediocrities

None of us are ready.

 

Years pilfered by our TV screens

Who are you now? Where have you been?

Malignant shades of slivered time

– the days, the weeks, the months float by –

Not once occurs the question: WHY?

Wanting more but reaping less

Afraid to live we cling to death.

 

A symphony of questions; the calamity of answers

Somewhere lies the melody; interspersed with emnity

So open wide that feckless shell

And ponder here your living hell…

 

How does one ‘stop’ without a start?

How does one choose from worlds apart?

Why live when love arouses jest?

How does one trust a failing heart?

So why not claim eternal rest?

Why seek to solve such grand abstractions

When all we glean are rough extractions?

 

Waiting patiently for death

We hoard our fears within a nest

Of fickle wants and swollen cares

When schemes we weave begin to tear…

When each path grazes mass despair…

The life you leave is your nightmare.

A Cruel and Costly Servitude

 

A retrospective servitude.

For every day you drift in brood

(every day you have to lose)

– Not once –

Is respite truly found

– Not once –

Does modern life abound

Beyond a poignant interlude

Of oversight and rash miscue

(beguiled by Catch 22),

A retrospective schadenfreude.

 

Devoid of want with naught to do

You long to be transported to

A finer time, a brighter place

You wish you were another face:

A clone fed with all new memories;

New loves, new friends, new enemies,

New goals, new fears, new destinies.

 

A greater task lies out there,

To thin your life from false care

Forsakes that precious chance to change

Small lives which lift your hope, and praise

Perpetual risks you face, through pains

To reignite our empathy; to reinstate equality.

They strengthen you. You strengthen them.

 

This world lays bare, but for your will

A gift to nurture idle land,

Yet pawns of habit seek to kill

Aspirations forged in sand

Though by their hand one may fulfill

The noble dream unique to man:

Community of fortitude,

Freedom from our servitude.

My Passing Soulmate

 

Grappling with false memories

I cherished her, she treasured me

– We thought our love was meant to be –

Few days well spent, the rest in mope

She held no clue she wore my hope

In every tame, unbroken stare

Past every vain and vexing fear,

A cure for all but absent dreams

The fix for tangled life which teemed

With fatal self-destruction.

She was the cure.

 

The irony was perfect.

 

At the fringe of her expression

Emerging blank but thinly veiled

Lurked years of stifled torment

I knew her feeling well.

In me she claimed a saviour

Yet she was always mine,

Together we’d take flight

– But spluttered

Embedded in delusion

Distracted from dark times.

 

The union was perfect.

 

When now and then we parted ways

Acquiescing Fate as if to say:

“Our lives are yours to give and take

But please erase this placid haze”

The chains between us soon gave way

Releasing forth the prize remains:

A fond memory to fall for;

A blithe reverie to chase.

 

The fantasy was perfect.

 

Trapped behind Fate’s temporal walls

I’ve lost her soul, she’s lost my call.

On days of pain unbearable

I question if she cares at all

Or if she hears each tear which falls

On vacant space that should be hers

Two victims of an aimless curse.

 

The tragedy was perfect.

 

The urge to form a lighter tune

To span the rift from me to you

Arises strong but cowers deep

Plagued by seeds we now can’t reap:

Years of rich, unfettered youth,

The reality feels too uncouth.

Yet some solace survived…

 

Her memory endures.

 

Mere Trifles

 

The heart of human affairs:

Blunt spears, men swindled to tears

For what?

Mere trifles, novel sights and sounds;

Fresh objects, glossing vacant mounds

For glory?

 

When bloodshed requited bleeds a morbid excitement

Each captive of instinct needs fear the incitement

Of a greater Dark Age, where brawn always trumps brain,

We feigned a new era but our base lusts remain,

The contest is fierce when we’re each doomed to play

A zero-sum game for trifles.

 

A system vast, all consuming

Embeds itself into the

Barbed but brittle machinations of man,

Embalmed in void doctrines, they extract from lush land

Vein upon vein of profitless sand

Through ‘vested’ self-interest.

 

Driven to need, compounded by greed

We live in suspension

(the tool of convention)

Yet the Earth stays its course

(an eternal light force),

Uniting the self with the cosmos compels

A divergence from norms we praised as high thought.

 

Subversion is looming…

Greatness Out of Reach

 

The crux of endeavour: the patience we sever.

When the soul drawn to ease lays down the hammer

A cacophonous clamour of life undeveloped

Pesters the ego, the mind softly stammers:

How may I reclaim a sense of endeavour?

Why aren’t I happy? I’m surrounded by pleasure!

 

A boundless shore of endless haze

Is life no more than empty chase?

When a man is broken his heart bursts too,

If there’s greatness in me…

There’s madness in you.

 

To escape from escaping the depths of unrest

Is to undress the sorrows the masses protest,

For the cry of one child charges us all

To right plain injustice in spite of the fall

From comfort to change, we’re no longer sane,

The loss of the self is torturous feign,

But the world gains our greatness, a means to itself

While the comfort we’ve lost befriends someone else.

 

Your essence drifts from side to side

From wish to will, from will to life.

Swept sorely through the surging tide

Of unmet needs, our jaded mind

Resolves to keep vain strife inside,

To lose one’s faith, and hence the fight

Allows the spate to break your might,

A future torn, the means denied

You made it so, renounce your pride.

 

Caught in narrow modes of thinking

We find ourselves forever sinking,

For the things we seek most desperately scare the good away

Once more we find our lofty dreams need wait another day.

Tethered to Freedom

 

Are the seams of our dreams an end to the means?

To strive without prize, the strange stupor it breeds

Apathy, shame, the death of the dream…

This new world is dreary; our triumphs unseen,

Forever the slave to our bodily pleas

A glorified wreck: the path of the Free.

 

There’s a land out there you have yet to adore

A plush valley of feelings you have yet to explore,

Break away from knowable gloom, I implore

And tend to that hole in your soul you ignore:

A succession of fates, once too old now too late

Staunchly anchor the will with no way to replace

The time of your life, it never took place.

 

You have nowhere to be… nowhere to go

There is no one to fear… no one will know.

So dress up your day, hope the void drifts away

You endeavour to work when the heart wants to play,

Tethered to madness raw blandness engraves

A punishing stillness upon the afraid.