Sitting in Michael's Lap
Fate weaves her web for each of us the same,
Without regard for fortune, or for name;
And we are made distinct by what we feel:
What never touched the heart was never real.
Each miniscule detail, each tiny part
Of what we do, contributes to the art
That is our soul – the thing that will remain
When we are gone. In shades of joy and pain,
We stain the cloth of life: our hues will stay
Long after Time has swept us on our way
To take our place as figures of the past.
We linger in the shadows that we cast.
A face in crowds, a player in a cast
Of millions -- yet we hope there will remain
A glimmer, should one care to wonder past
The picture as a whole. Our deepest pain
Is smaller than a grain of sand; the way
Of History is, only giants stay
Bold in the fore. But, tangled in the art,
Invisible, but vital all the same,
There stands for every man, unique, a part
As singular as is his very name.
Each drop of paint helps make the painting real,
However insubstantial it may feel.
Each waking hour, each dream, each time we feel
That all has gone for naught, that sorrow's art
Has made its dismal portrait all too real,
We must believe that all have felt the same.
Yea, even those who bear a noted name
Have felt the weight of sadness; for their part,
However, it was not allowed to stay.
When cold despair would lend its ashen cast
Or drape its ragged curtain in our way,
Undaunted and aloof we must remain:
For round the bloodied whipping-post of pain,
There grow exquisite blooms of trials past.
We bear the scars, the echoes of a past
That make us wonder why we choose to stay;
Persistent, proud, we smile despite the pain.
We struggle to maintain control, or cast
The world aside, ‘til only we remain;
And ever at our side, along the way
The shadow walks -- mute witness to the part
We choose to play. It colors how we feel,
This silent shade, though not a man can name
It, save in dreams. ‘Tis such a subtle art
This watcher works; no two vignettes the same --
And yet, each masterpiece is doubtless real.
An artist's rabid fancy, rendered real --
Unruly and untamed in every part --
This canvas that is Life. Never the same
From dawn to dusk: no map of how to feel,
Or guide to clarify this cryptic art.
Our baffled tongues, so desperate to name
What brooks no designation, wind their way
In stuttered circles. Time meanders past,
But stubborn in our silence, we remain
To peer at it in puzzlement. We stay
Entranced by its allure -- no glance is cast
That strays from this hypnotic pallette's pain.
The obvious conclusion: life is pain;
And yet we strive to find a kinder way
To frame our fascination -- brighter cast
To splash upon the gray. The time is past
When, with a careless heart, we'd gladly stay
And wonder if we might achieve the same
As those who scrawled that image with their name
In scarlet infamy. Are they more real
Than we whose colors blend to shade their art?
Is then our humble place, our smaller part
Unnecessary afterthought? We feel
That it is so, yet faithful we remain
To this ungrateful entity -- remain
Unswerving allies to familiar pain.
To save our legacy, we vow to stay
And try to leave our mark along the way;
That we may not be lost to unsung past
Obscured by anonymity's blank cast
As thousands went before. They're all the same;
Those faceless men who died without a name.
Forgotten souls, who chose instead to feel
And live as free, ignoring what was real
And never striving to secure their part
Or win a place in Time's expansive art.
With sound and fury charged, with careful art
We strive to shape our eulogies the same
As those whose brushes played the larger part.
Unresting force, a need we cannot name
Compels us -- as we age, it seems more real
When Death's pernicious fingers we can feel
About our throats. A desperate shadow cast
That as we fade away, it might remain
To whisper quiet secrets of the past --
Of guileless joy, of all-consuming pain --
To lead the next aspiring artist's way
That in his heart, some shred of us might stay.
No act of man, nor fervent prayer, will stay
The hand of Time; our mortal die is cast
At birth, and barely wavers on the way.
Imperfect born, imperfect we remain:
The wages of our sin are paid in pain,
A currency assigned in distant past.
In feeble words, we capture what we feel
Or paint our passion's dream as optic art.
If only in the seeming, they are real
To us, though other eyes may see the same
Depiction, giving it a different name --
The painting, not the picture, is the part
That leaves the footprint in the sand. A part
Of us may want those looking on to feel
As once we did, to understand the name --
The spirit and the flavor of the art --
They gaze upon. Perhaps to taste the same
Exuberance that made our fancies real
To us, the relics of a cherished past.
Infused in ink, alive in paint, we stay;
As years and respite strip us of the pain
And wrap our souls in warm contentment's cast.
Though dust returns to dust, these sparks remain
To cast a ghostly light on shrouded way.
A vision on the page -- the only way
To make your mark upon the future past;
When only memories of you remain,
Your work ensures that those, at least, will stay
Emblazoned on their minds, in reverent cast.
As certain as the wound begets the pain,
The art reveals it's maker -- makes him real;
More real than when he lived -- the deathless part
Is larger than the man. The sense of "same"
Continues undiminished -- they can feel
The shadows of themselves within your art;
For but a moment, they will wear your name.
No matter where, the place you sign your name,
When you are gone, will be the single real
Reflection of your soul. The only art
Left of its kind; a proud and priceless part
Of you, of who you are, of what you feel.
Your gift to lonely pilgrims who remain
Behind, perhaps to live the very pain
You felt so long ago. Along their way,
Your legacy may lend a gentler cast
To their despair. An ally from the past,
A shadow by their side, you'll always stay.
When Death has made the artists all the same,
Who reads your name becomes the pressing part:
For pain dissolves into forgotten past,
No longer real. When naught remains to feel,
The way of grief has never been to stay.
When Kronos' art unmakes us, each the same,
The shadow cast is all that shall remain.
You cannot choose the way of your death, but the path you choose will determine its own end.
[This message has been edited by Skyfyre (edited 01-13-2000).]