Lament (2)

by phillipmedhurst


We came. We paused. We went. We had our say.

And whether night or day, it makes no sense:

Our toil receives no lasting recompense.

The arbit’ry division of the days

As hours, minutes, seconds; and the ways

In which these segments must be spent; and how

We should be happy and fulfilled; who bow

To, who revere; and where we are consigned

To at our death: all these make chains that bind

Us. We embrace these shackles, since the free

Must for themselves define what they must be:

What “happy” is, and what should make them sad,

And wherein dwells the good, and where the bad.

Night brings no rest unless we lose ourselves

Inside a dream-world where our psyche delves

Into those wishes unfulfilled, beyond

The grasp of nightmare’s reach, a pond

Beneath whose surface deep desire thrives

Without diminishing our thwarted lives;

A magic chalice where all beauty lives,

Which takes from no-one, ever – only gives

To all, and none must beg: its grace

Wells up to all, and all can find a place.

But dawn’s cold light reveals it full of lies.

Best not to dream when we must close our eyes.