Lament (1)

by phillipmedhurst


If I knew what the living of this life

Obtained, I would obtain it. All that strife,

Anxiety and hurt would contribute

To some exchequer full of meaning’s loot

Which, plundered from the stinking hold

Of death, would help me to pay off, all told,

Those bitter creditors who lay in wait

At each day’s wakening – not to this state

Of ignorance, bankrupt, without defence,

To give up hope without a recompense.

For once I rose, then fell. Again I rose

And staggered to this path. This one I chose,

To leave a trail (which will be overgrown within

Another lifetime) – not that I begin

Anew: my marks and tracks haphazard fell

Throughout this forest floor, which scarcely tell

Of feet that trod this way. For no-one cares.

Each too in isolation, lost, each fares

Towards a light too briefly glimpsed, before

A rush of wind removes what we just saw –

If not imagined. Then, sometimes, we look

To see if we can scry within the brook

From which we drink an image of the stars.

Instead, the canopy of boughs, like bars,

Blots out the sky, an ever-growing lid

Built by our past mistakes – nor can we bid

It stop. It grows and grows. The image of

The light which we remember up above

Gets dimmer as we go. And so our trail

Bequeaths no thing of value, and we fail

To teach to those who follow a true way.