Tossed on the heap, I molder under the weight of a thousand
gulls picking at my eyes and coveting my liver.
Just another pile of bones bleached, cracked and leaking marrow
onto the streets of gold. What is it about this place? -It’s as if
the sun will never show forgiveness and return to shed light and
shadow into the dark corner where I make my bed.
This back was not shaped to sleep on stones and roots.
These hands were not fashioned to hold the beggar’s cup.
Once, the world was in my hands and water ran through my fingers,
whet the seed of my dreams. Then the world turned to sand,
slipped through my fingers, every dream became a grain of regret.
I carry my spirit like a cross, or a stone, or a grain of sand,
anything but the light it is meant to be. Rejected by the
sun I walk in a gray line while golden dreams are reflected
in the eyes I dare not meet with my leaden gaze.
Even the water of Cana has become poison, injected to kill
the dream that refuses to die. But death is not the release
I seek, it is a distraction, a mirror I wear around my neck
reflecting fear in averted eyes. There is no mystery in this
potion only the numbing relief from fear that serves us equally,
without prejudice, at opposite ends of the table.
The illusion of you and me has its purpose -a cloak for shame,
a fog to hide the ugly truth that we are the same, from
the same womb. Joined in the same graceless fall we are the
two sides of madness speaking the lines we have learned.
We walk as if chains hold us in place. But lines can be erased
and chains can be broken.
Bones and spirits and backs are not made to be broken.
Streets of gold are not made of lead. Dreams are not sand.
Water is not poison. Truth is not ugly, but there is fear and
madness in the fall from grace. The illusion shows us what is real
-there is no difference, there is no razor’s edge, no one step
away from the heap and the gulls. There is light, there is shadow,
and there is the reflection in between.
how have i been missing these??? this is lovely. gonna need to read it a few more times…now – off to figure out why i’ve not been getting alerts when you post…
Ronald E. Shields said:
thank you for following my blog. i Really hope you like this poem because your article on the homeless inspired me to write it. and once again, as with my humble humanist blog you are the first to leave a comment.
then let me be a happy second! this is wonderful. i love your poetry, ronald. such heart, such compassion for humanity. it speaks to me softly and yet screams in my consciousness. you are a clever insightful poet and it is indeed lovely reading you.
Ronald E. Shields said:
t.dot i am sorry i missed this comment when you posted it. i hope you will accept my belated thanks for saying such nice things to me. i have your recent posts in my inbox but i have gotten way behind on my reading…got waylaid by a doctor who insisted on removing a tumor from my spine…all is well and i will catch up with your latest posts very soon…i always look forward to reading what you write.