December Comes

The time has come to bundle me up
In coat and scarf, well-worn over years,
Guarding against the frosty air,
Though nothing thaws the cold within.

A heavy August morphed into fall,
And after, a deadening grayness.
The seasons changed and so did I:
From bleak environs now benumbed.

Ornaments and tree, skates and carols,
Distract me as best they can, but no,
The brumal bitterness remains
A frigid reminder of loss.

Even in the cold and wind and rain,
I still remember the feeling of
Singing your simpler summer songs,
But now I know December’s come.

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For What?

Why don’t I keep up my writing in the evenings?
I seem to have lost the motivation to finish the tale,
As if another history has taken its place along the way;
And I just don’t know how the story ends.

Why don’t I walk around the city at night?
The skylines, the harbors that drew me once
No longer call loud enough to rouse my spirit;
I force myself to check some boxes as a minimum.

Why don’t I turn on the lights when I get home?
There is in them an ornamental loveliness
And candle’s lights offer their warm glows;
But there’s not much to see by them anyway.

Why won’t I just snap out of this and live today?
Sometimes it feels like today happened once–
A long time ago–in another place, another story;
Only in my head can I get back there and stay.

Veni, veni

Too often these nights, I stand and think alone–
This time hesitating to consider before beginning
Formation of year’s-end one-room winterscape,
Replete with light and ornament, tree and stocking.

I paused to wonder which will sink me lower:
An absence of familiar Noellic tradition, or
E’en that creation which once brought joy,
Though then from family, friend, and more.

But I rejected self-infliction of the former
And remove box after box and so commence,
But find too late that spirits still won’t rise
As tinny carols ring through empty apartments.

Instead, Thou Key of David, come set free;
Ransom one last lonely mourner from exile.
Disperse the shades and shadows of long night
And bring me swiftly to the end of this trial.

The Exit

Jean-Paul was a fool–and more the pity–
For if hell’s locale was in other people,
I’d be satisfied behind my pearled gate,
Shut away from the hellish cityscape.

Instead, I discover the lie I believed,
And yearned for, would betray me:
I was never meant to play the hermit;
Not for all my single, solitary wit.

I know who I want to take me home,
But I am home, and lights won’t turn up
As I finish my whiskey and beer;
It’s closing time, and I stay here.

Heaven is instead the place I will be from
After the slow march toward the exit,
When I’ll gather up my jacket and again
Find one beginning at the other’s end.

Connection

To me it seems sometimes strange,
Though the feeling is familiar,
To hate and love a thing at once
And never know the true desire.

To discern myself has proven
The task beyond ability;
Learning my own mind and heart
Has only taught me more humility.

Like other men who came before,
I wondered of my own worth;
How could such a one as I
Be but a lesser creation of this Earth?

What contribution do I make,
What gift do I offer God or man,
While sitting alone in dim-lit room,
Another useless, lonely also-ran.

Once, did I not have potential?
A dream there was, dear to heart,
That I might prove–some day–useful;
Have I never moved past the start?

Unfortunate, I do not know my lack
And am left seeing only the effect;
With all that I know not, I know I have
An inborn inability to connect.

How can I be the only of my race
To whom this does not come freely;
Instead of knowing, loving, being,
I might paint the walls like Kurt and Ernie.

But then tonight, at twilight-time,
The Heavenly Painter showed me,
With brushstrokes of blood-red on black,
A canvas renewed each eve in beauty.

The lonely trumpeter taps away
As the evening lamps are lit,
But he gives no sign to carry on,
Or if he does, I do not hear it.

What now, my oldest friend?
Do we go on or end forever
This experiment of our life–
Our greatest and only endeavor?

Dazily stumbling, sullenly marching
Onward, we continue to press,
Against a lack of hope and will
Or chance of once-defined success.

We go—until we no longer might—
In search of a better aim;
Knowing naught but to hope and trust
That all will not be done in vain.

Set Eternity in the Heart of Man

This life is a binary proposition.
The question’s answer is yes or no–
There will not be any modifier–
Merriment and vanity or something more.

Can a man transcend objectivity?
Can I deny that for which I was made?
God has set eternity in the heart of man;
I have not been made the exception.

Only it seems that in recognizing this,
I have been fated to greatness and loneliness
Or offered the obscurity of soft acceptance.
The choice cannot be left unmade.

In separating myself to climb the heights,
I would find myself rejected by those below,
In whom I would otherwise find the appreciation
Of self-congratulation of another who joined the mass.

But this less than madding crowd,
Which seeks solace in self-same company,
Is less than sure of its worth
So that it demands capitulation

From those outsiders who dare
To cause them to feel less than worthy
In their wholly unsatisfactory performance
And woefully inadequate achievement.

For they have decided to rest content,
Hidden away from eternity’s demands,
And hate ever to be reminded of
Their everlasting calling to Truth.

Should I be required to sacrifice the work
Of which I am capable, to which I am called,
Only because others feel themselves incapable
And recognize neither calling nor requirement?

Woe to those who find themselves in good company,
Who have never known the greatness of loneliness,
Who have never made the precious sacrifice required,
And to whom vanity is a comfort.

Little Endians

Greatness confounds Lilliput.
“Who can fathom,” one might say,
But then, it is simpler than that–
Far less grand, less bellicose.

More like a beggar, dumb and lame,
Unable to stretch out our hands
Or to call out to the passers-by
Who might otherwise understand.

And if they could be made to understand,
Would they not take pity on us?
These strangers that see and scorn,
That look down on while looking up to.

Too beholden to their little ends,
Convenience’s-sake has lost its meaning
And attempts to enlighten are lost causes
That would blind all involved.

So forsake and be forsaken is the verdict
Since conformation is not left open to us.
All others are out-sized or foreign in form
And in mind; we are destined recluses yet.

Greatness and preciousness beget
A loneliness, tired and world-weary
From a lack of peers, perchance:
A dearth of like minds and loves.

Everything Reminds Me of You

Everything reminds me of you;
It is the most wonderful and
The most agonizing feeling
To see you everywhere you are not.

Truthfully, ‘everywhere’ is one place:
It is here, where I now stand;
In the remotest parts of the world
I have brought you with me,

Though the only place you now inhabit
Is my mind and in my memory;
For until we again meet face-to-face,
You live only in thought and dream.

Numb

I walk the world asleep these days.
Wandering aimless about my work,
Listing from one senseless moment to the next
Until it is time to lie down to wait for dawn.

When daybreak comes, I take my daily anesthetic
And forget how to feel the world around me.
I cannot let the outside in; it might prove too much.
I can only focus on so much pain in each moment.

The hurting is the only thing I feel today,
And even that might prove overmuch
For my already weakened state
From tiredness and ever-longing for you.

We say Some Day and it relieves the pain–
Temporarily. Until I remember that Some Day
Was once Yesterday, or Last Month,
And now even Next Month is uncertain.

When will Some Day be Today, oh love?
To ask you is unjust, for we neither of us know
What tomorrow holds, or what holds the year–
The year with all its empty promises.

So I choose pain over apathy as a last resort
For I need to feel something when I say “love”.
Pain is a reminder of what I do not have–
Temporarily–until we reach Some Day.