Phillip Priest

January 24, 1958-Franklin
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Getting Darker

Not being human,

Truth is not kind.

It liberates us

from the cherished prisons

of our beliefs.

It spares not our feelings

nor recognises our Rights.


I look over

the lie of the land of my Life,

and I know the landscape

has been altered,

and not always in my favour.

Friends recollect different things.

What do we know from Memory

that we can keep

from the ills

that afflict

the walnut-looking brain

I would not take them with me

when I leave.


He was just a man

who decided to kill himself.

The idea struck him

as he was thinking,

darkly,

upon his life.

Dazed

his logical mind

found things to mirror the idea

till it all made sense.

No objection

alleviated his quiet misery.

Remembered disappointments

piled up

till the door out

was blocked

and he was trapped

in the darkened room.

Day after day spent killing time

now sees the knife in Time’s hand.

All dissenting voices

sounded vain,

childish,

and cruel in their promises.

Curiosity gone.

An overdose of sleep

and he drifted away from

this dark shore.

Flowerless funeral.

No mention of a God.


Though I sit within a reflection of Heaven-

the noon sun mirroring Eternity

opening a wide cloudless blue sky

to infinity,

I am already abandoned,

for the world shifts

and this moment

will not take me with it.

I cannot live within the feeling this

moment evokes.

These brief times

are not enough,

just

occasional drops of rain

in a desert

of unrelenting distance

all around

that just keeps going on and on.


listening at the door

I overheard them talk

of a road that led to a golden City.

Outside

traipsing about

the wind whispered the same rumour-

a way that unwound a man,

though I was but a boy

and did not understand.

One night,

lost in my fearsome shadow,

I stumbled upon the Way.

My dreams of that City

swelled like a sail

and so I embarked.

But now I am becalmed

my tattered sails have flagged

The golden City

but a long faded mirage.

In the doldrums

I review.

It is a childish notion

that game of hide and seek

for a treasure desirous to be found

for it keeps running away

to hide behind some rock

it puts in my way.

So many notions designed

to spur us on

all come to a dead end.

So I take my pen

I sit and try to be good

at that which is

not much good for anything.

What was once to the boy

the way of golden noble poverty

has gained me

nothing but wretched regret.


Back then it may have been

Love.

But from here?

I would not say that it was so.

It was that we were both arrived at Winter

at the same time,

cold and abandoned.

You had something I wanted

and I just happened to have something

you wanted.

We crept,

thieves,

through each other,

and stole what we could.

I stood in the shower,

with cursory tears,

washing your fragrance

from my skin,

then changed into new clothes.


You are this World away from the Sun,

but have no interest in such things.

In each of us a golden atom

of consciousness

by which we are.

Some days I ascend

to a mountain top

and the Sun

briefly

crowns me,

then I am open-hearted,

empathetic

and more

for all.

Then, it dies away.

I retreat to my room

and revert

to my usual misanthropic

disgruntlement.

Outside

steeped in the World,

they suffer from Evil

they refuse to see.


Some walk alone.

It is better for others that they do

for they are difficult

not just unto others but

to themselves even more.

They wrestle themselves at night.

They have tasted Love

and though it satisfied a need

a deeper hunger consumes them

Occasionally they go

accompanied by the memory of friends

when the loneliest miles

they traverse

and the moon has been taken

from them.


Far down below

the dark brother sits

in a comfortable chair

sipping the brandy

he is partial too.

He reads the flames

of the ever-lasting fire

and through the open door

they come

mainly religious

heads full of dark storms

eyes flashing

they take the branding irons,

heat them in the fire

and leave.

Another child scarred for life.

It has been a long time since

he has proposed

he of the most blackened name.


When the news arrives

of the Death

of friends or acquaintances

a little of the will

to live long

is sapped.

I stop on the road left to travel

Tired.

The way shortens by a step or two.
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