Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Mourner’s Vigil

From priests and Popes
To the lowliest form of fool without a woman,
Who’s lost all hope or hangs imprisoned in his mind,
His spirit hostage, his heart and bones buried in grave solitude—
Even for the least bit of scum afloat on the pond,
Nothing is ever finally settled except the silt and mud,
So nothing much is gained by merely talking.

Whatever it is or is not that you believe,
Should BE believed,
But need not be discussed, I think,
Except with others of your cult—
You know, your own selfish ilk—
You should please leave others alone.

From priestesses and princesses
Out of their skirts and down to their pants—
Religion’s just another pretence of reality that we whistle past.
Oh what a sham, what a dance—it’s worse than TV!
Everyone at the old swimming hole in my dream
Was worried to death that they couldn’t be saved
And my team seemed to be losing but we outgrew all of that.

Whatever it is that’s bothering you,
Was thrown down or cast away by others years back—
I gave it up myself, long ago—
And nothing in our youthful views
Ever effectively warned us
That all those things we loved were leading to
This early cold despair, this eerie dirt repose.

Relations sigh and
Settle back on their heels
When they at last arrive and then begin—
“There are so few monuments to lean against
Or sit upon any more”, lame old aunt Edna whines
As she surveys both left and right,
“But there’s just as many dead…”

Last year’s mourners are soon dog-tired again—
For nothing's buried so deep as these sinking bones
Nor is so thick as the silt which fills the bronze urns,
Uncared-for and forgotten since the last time.
It’s as stuck as hard red clay or black Texas gumbo—
Nonetheless flowers must go in.
We shiver as our kin labor long to clear the fluted vase, but
We pull the earth in over us and still we feel no warmth.

Created on 10/27/2009 11:00 AM

1 comment:

  1. Ooooh, a cold cold poem - but very good one, Ron.
    Matches my gloomy mood this New Year's Day.
    Good wishes coming to you from me for 2010. Hope you'll keep poetry-ing. :-)


Abandon hope, all ye who enter here! (At least put on your socks and pants.)