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Passions in Poetry

Chapter One, The End

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Michael
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0 posted 05-13-2002 12:23 PM       View Profile for Michael   Email Michael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for Michael

Chapter One, The End


Thirty-four and faceless, I must face the facts, I've failed;
The events past, forever cast, my destiny unveiled.
My life seems but a story that somehow strayed from the plot;
I know there once was meaning, but somewhere I just forgot.
-----

The prologue wasn't very long – ‘twas mostly in a fog.
I faintly recall "It's a boy" amidst the dialogue.
A mother's bane, a father's pride, the table had been set...
And I, the victim -- I, the prize -- just didn't know it yet.
The standard admonition of a billion pawns in wait,
I heard the call of Childhood and I raced her to the gate.
Humankind, a curious lot, she tossed the die of Fate;
I closed my eyes, in dream – ‘would seem that I awoke too late.

At six years old I stood, a man, beneath a child's gaze,
Drawn to animosity through a melancholy haze.
I watched them spit and throw things, still I couldn't quite abhor
Those soldiers getting off the plane coming home from the war.
There, crept disease into my blood for forsaking the trite;
The rottenness of hell, within me, taking form that night.
I met the challenge, tried and true, but never gained control,
For what amounts to tolerance pays no homage to soul.

Then Nixon gave a peace sign and I understood the "lie."
The Challenger exploded and I saw my father cry.
The tender years were passed me and I drew my mother's scorn,
I was simply the child she wished she had never borne.
I lay on my back, on the floor, my feet propped to the bed;
The aches, the pains, the night sweats all arrayed within my head.
Thirteen years old, biding my time, I could, too plainly, see
The pendulum of Death, above, tick-tocking, mocking me.

Then Education showed the guiltless harbor no reward;
Decorations fall where they might, if kin to the school board.
Hard work and dedication are the keys to any fall,
And the insights of those like me are best left to the stall.
Then one by one, as if by curse, the closest to me fell;
And yet they lived by voice, in verse, in my story to tell.
Perhaps was just benefice found to somehow give life worth,
As stone by stone I turned, alone, to give each back to earth.

*******

To pulpits and to prophets, God, I bled the spoken word.
I delved into His parables -- still swear I never heard
The answer to one question; "Why suffering never ends,
And Darkness won't relinquish me even as Night rescinds?"
I prayed for hope, I prayed for love, those things I'd never felt.
I prayed for understanding of the cards I had been dealt.
But careful what you pray for, for nothing in life can burn
More than the knowledge love and hope may garner no return.

Then bullets flew over my head, but well within my grasp,
As all around the world paused to meet them with a gasp.
Hinkly may have been famed for life, if just a better shot;
Bullets meant to kill Reagan, though, hit men we all forgot.
Yet somewhere in that paradox I came to know disdain;
As solace became silence, and emptiness a refrain.
I drew her like a blanket ‘round my battered, bitter heart,
And slept the first sleep of my life where dreaming played no part.

A robe, I donned, of blackness, shrewd, but one fit for a king;
Then sought the witch of ill-omen and proffered her the ring.
Perhaps there of my own accord, perhaps drawn by her spell,
She accepted the role offered and shared my private hell.
‘Twas there I flung, for eight years full, on strings at her command;
Slave to the grind, a man grown blind, beneath her wispy hand.
As inch by inch, as piece by piece, she eroded my shell
Then gave full slack unto the strings to laugh that I had fell.

There, with a sudden angst attuned, and with a fearful cry,
I saw the blood upon my hands and looked unto the sky;
Exposed for what I was, a fake, sought sanctity above,
Reminded, there, what comes to those in search of hope or love.
My Dad was gone, my one true friend, the strength in me from birth;
I watched him die beneath the lie of all life maybe worth.
Still cancer's a peculiar thing, I realize it's true;
Everyone who witnesses it, in his own way, dies too.

But I bent over backward and I nearly broke my back,
To strive and strain and wrack my brain for all in life in lack.
The grim Reaper incarnate, robed once more and now with scythe;
I'd make amends to father and I'd watch the wicked writhe.
I found success is forged upon the keys of greed and hate,
But inspiration's not a charge that's payable to Fate.
And in the carnage of the bloody sorrows that were wrung,
Disease anew, back for round two, laid claim to my left lung.

*******

I lay there, cursing, lay there, screaming, lay there night and day;
Coughing, gasping, groping, grasping life slipping away.
The doctors felt I could not heal should they draw the blade,
And so should I just slowly make my way unto the glade.
Two years dead, but Death wouldn't touch me, till they split my side
To remove that which cursed me in my curse upon my bride.
Two years more I lie awake clutching an empty chest;
Closing my eyes to shut the light, but seldom, then, to rest.

Impeached he was, our president, and yet he wouldn't leave.
New heights of gall, I must attest, ones I could not believe.
A silver tongue, a crooked smile, deceit cleverly hid;
I found one day I could care less just what the bastard did.
No faith in man, no faith in God, nor Death as I could tell;
I lost all gained in life that they should laugh at me, as well.
And so I ran, and so I hid, a shadow in the night;
Garnished myself in nothingness, that none know me by sight...

To dream away a thousand things that all in darkness crept,
And sleep by day my life away in promises unkept.
But towers fell and I awoke, and as yet, have not moved;
I know there is a point here, though know not how it be proved.
We hold up signs, "A No Hate State," but all know kindness kills.
It's not a battle of borders but a battle of wills.
And I, a man without a voice, might seem disturbed, at best;
To hold human life above all, knowing we've failed that test.

And so I ride my carousel of life, so prearranged,
Wondering how it comes about to leave one so estranged.
A calloused heart, a weathered soul, and eyes that just can't see
I'm lost between a man I was and one I'll never be.
Perhaps it's just a mystery, perhaps just a cruel joke.
I really can't begin to touch on what these thoughts invoke.
In all endeavored to mistrust, or Death might have curtailed;
Thirty-four and faceless, I must face the facts, I've failed.


Michael R. Anderson

05/13/02

© Copyright 2002 Michael Anderson - All Rights Reserved
Sunshine
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1 posted 05-13-2002 12:28 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


I will be back to take this in...for this is where the magic resides...
Christopher
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2 posted 05-13-2002 12:47 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

yeah you did!

you failed to keep it short enough to where i could reply to it at work! i will be back, but i will mention how much i liked the admixture of personal biography (however jaded, lol) and Billy Joel "We Didn't Start the Fire" type recollections.

peace m'friend.

Chris
Tiersdin
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since 11-17-2000
Posts 2476
east coast


3 posted 05-13-2002 12:57 PM       View Profile for Tiersdin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tiersdin

Michael, you've penned a story that takes the reader on an exhilarating ride through your life (or the life of the character spoken about)

I'm still trying to catch my breath!

An awesome read!

~tier

"I shall never bond again, as I have bonded with you..."

Christopher
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Purgatorial Incarceration


4 posted 05-13-2002 02:31 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

btw - EXCELLENT title.
Midnitesun
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Gaia


5 posted 05-13-2002 02:35 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

What an incredible journey. You seem to be highlighting the saddest and most disappointing moments of a life in this piece, rather than the joyful moments. Will there be a sequel? Peaaceful hugs to you, Michael. You are an amazing writer.
bsquirrel
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6 posted 05-13-2002 02:40 PM       View Profile for bsquirrel   Email bsquirrel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for bsquirrel

It felt like an entire building of bricks fell on me, slowly suffocating under the weight of habitation.

Really enjoyed...

She said burn ... together.
-TON

Seymour Tabin
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since 07-07-99
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Tamarac Fla


7 posted 05-13-2002 03:00 PM       View Profile for Seymour Tabin   Email Seymour Tabin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seymour Tabin

Michael
We are but a tick of a clock. A grain of times sand. A moment of humanity in the human stand. We are something and nothing, a fire fly in the dark of the sky. And but for the tiniest time we know we're alive. Weather you think bad or ill is nothing to the mill. For change is our etenity and forever is the spill.
Dusk Treader
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8 posted 05-13-2002 03:15 PM       View Profile for Dusk Treader   Email Dusk Treader   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dusk Treader

Wow! I have to admit right off that I didn't understand everything, but what I understood was so heavy, so eloquently written that it is was impossible to do anything but feel. There is no failure here. I stand awed.

"A hard, cold wisom is required for goodness to accomplish good. Goodness without wisdom always accomplishes evil" - Robert Heinlein

Skyfyre
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9 posted 05-13-2002 03:16 PM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

Sheesh.

You didn't write about how I beat you each night, whether you need it or not, and how you're forced to wait on my every wish and whim.  =P

But seriously folks, I understand the melancholy that has hold of you, hun, and for once I hope your natural stubbornness will prevail.  Same goes for mine ...

Very well done with the interspersal of personal and world histories ..

~me
serenity blaze
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10 posted 05-13-2002 03:20 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

This reads like a night of insomnia...and I do mean that as a compliment. Relentless thought, the past relived only to come to a point of no conclusion.

Not just an examination of one life, thus lived, so far, but a commentary on generations and society, family structure and self-examination. And the pain is PERSONAL...

I consider all of your work a "stand-out"--and yet, this has made an impression on me beyond anything that I have recently read--by ANYBODY. I'll shaddup now--lest the reply go on longer than the poem...and IT COULD, if I went through this line by line...and? I wouldn't mind a bit either. It's--it's--INTERESTING and powerful and familiar...and oh...I was gonna shaddup!

sigh. Incredible Michael.
Janet Marie
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since 01-22-2000
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11 posted 05-13-2002 03:25 PM       View Profile for Janet Marie   Email Janet Marie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Janet Marie

Thirty-four and faceless, I must face the facts, I've failed;
The events past, forever cast, my destiny unveiled.
My life seems but a story that somehow strayed from the plot;
I know there once was meaning, but somewhere I just forgot.

===============================
A mother's bane, a father's pride, the table had been set...
And I, the victim -- I, the prize -- just didn't know it yet.
=======================
The tender years were passed me and I drew my mother's scorn,
I was simply the child she wished she had never borne.
I lay on my back, on the floor, my feet propped to the bed;
The aches, the pains, the night sweats all arrayed within my head.
Thirteen years old, biding my time, I could, too plainly, see
The pendulum of Death, above, tick-tocking, mocking me.
================================
Then one by one, as if by curse, the closest to me fell;
And yet they lived by voice, in verse, in my story to tell.
Perhaps was just benefice found to somehow give life worth,
As stone by stone I turned, alone, to give each back to earth.
===============================
To pulpits and to prophets, God, I bled the spoken word.
I delved into His parables -- still swear I never heard
The answer to one question; "Why suffering never ends,
And Darkness won't relinquish me even as Night rescinds?"
I prayed for hope, I prayed for love, those things I'd never felt.
I prayed for understanding of the cards I had been dealt.

But careful what you pray for, for nothing in life can burn
More than the knowledge love and hope may garner no return.
==============================
Yet somewhere in that paradox I came to know disdain;
As solace became silence, and emptiness a refrain.
I drew her like a blanket 'round my battered, bitter heart,
And slept the first sleep of my life where dreaming played no part.

A robe, I donned, of blackness, shrewd, but one fit for a king;
Then sought the witch of ill-omen and proffered her the ring.
Perhaps there of my own accord, perhaps drawn by her spell,
She accepted the role offered and shared my private hell.
=============================
My Dad was gone, my one true friend, the strength in me from birth;
I watched him die beneath the lie of all life maybe worth.
Still cancer's a peculiar thing, I realize it's true;
Everyone who witnesses it, in his own way, dies too.

==============================
And in the carnage of the bloody sorrows that were wrung,
Disease anew, back for round two, laid claim to my left lung.
*******
Two years more I lie awake clutching an empty chest;
Closing my eyes to shut the light, but seldom, then, to rest.

==================================
And so I ran, and so I hid, a shadow in the night;
Garnished myself in nothingness, that none know me by sight...

To dream away a thousand things that all in darkness crept,
And sleep by day my life away in promises unkept.
=============================
And so I ride my carousel of life, so prearranged,
Wondering how it comes about to leave one so estranged.
A calloused heart, a weathered soul, and eyes that just can't see
I'm lost between a man I was and one I'll never be.
Perhaps it's just a mystery, perhaps just a cruel joke.
I really can't begin to touch on what these thoughts invoke.

In all endeavored to mistrust, or Death might have curtailed;
Thirty-four and faceless, I must face the facts, I've failed.
==============================

You were expecting me, right? and since you already know how I feel about so much of whats written here, you already know how many of these lines went thru me.
You also know there is so much I could say to this...the parts of it I wish could be rewritten...that burdens lifted that should have NEVER been yours to carry ...but I will TRY to restrain my mothyself and say that, though its expressions of loss break my heart and though I disagree with the "failure" analogy,
I understand that you had to write this, and I am grateful I got to read it.
You could never claim to be a failure at being a poet, methinks lightening would strike you. And though I understand the reaons one feels like an old soul -- At thirty four, you've got time to write more chapters M. ... and you know I wont ever stop believing in happy endings.

"A calloused heart, a weathered soul, and eyes that just can't see
I'm lost between a man I was and one I'll never be."


You need to see yourself through the eyes of those who love you....the view might surprise you.
heart-hugs M
jm

( ok...so I didnt do a very good job of restraining my self...but that just goes to show how your poetry evokes so much emotion from the reader )How much can a moth take.

When your own emptiness is all thats getting through
There comes a point when youre not sure why youre still talking...
I passed that point long ago

Toerag
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since 07-29-99
Posts 5839
Ala bam a


12 posted 05-13-2002 03:33 PM       View Profile for Toerag   Email Toerag   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toerag

Mike? Is that you?...Same guy?....Your son hasn't changed a bit?....
rosepetals25
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13 posted 05-13-2002 03:33 PM       View Profile for rosepetals25   Email rosepetals25   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rosepetals25

Michael,
    
    I will be back to read this again.  I can't even tell you how much I love this.. how good this is.  This one definately gets slipped into my library.

Hugs,
Tara

"My heart is like an open book, for the whole world to read"
     - Motley Crue, Home Sweet Home

Nicole
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since 06-23-99
Posts 1896
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14 posted 05-13-2002 03:37 PM       View Profile for Nicole   Email Nicole   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Nicole

Can I just be eternally envious of the DEPTH and quality of your writing?  I've never understood, but god I wish I could, how you could put so much into what you write.  You can write something, and have your own personal meaning behind it - but there's something there that anyone can relate to, at their own levels and stages.  *shaking head*

I love this:

To pulpits and to prophets, God, I bled the spoken word.
I delved into His parables -- still swear I never heard
The answer to one question; "Why suffering never ends,
And Darkness won't relinquish me even as Night rescinds?"
I prayed for hope, I prayed for love, those things I'd never felt.
I prayed for understanding of the cards I had been dealt.
But careful what you pray for, for nothing in life can burn
More than the knowledge love and hope may garner no return


And then the repetition of the idea later on.  I want to say that this is awesome, Mike, but duh - like it wouldn't be.  

REALLY good to read you again!



Poet deVine
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15 posted 05-13-2002 04:22 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

There is no possible way you could fail. Your writing has been an inspiration to me for a long time - longer than the blue pages - the depths you write are so deep, so real and alive that it makes me hold my breath when I read your work. You are an amazing writer. (and a darn nice guy!)
Christopher
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16 posted 05-13-2002 05:07 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

good poet, yes... i'd say even amazing... but a nice guy???

hahahahaha

uhm - just kidding mike.
Balladeer
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17 posted 05-13-2002 09:02 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Quite an epic, Michael. You took the history of the sixties, your father's life and death as well as your own thoughts and struggles and wove them all into a piece of work that went along so smoothly from line to line the reader just naturally flowed with it...and happily so. It is writing to be proud of.....
Martie
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18 posted 05-13-2002 09:18 PM       View Profile for Martie   Email Martie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Martie's Home Page   View IP for Martie

Michael

You have a depth of character and wisdom that is so apparent to me when you write, yet you are young, with many roads ahead, to be so jaded.  You are too smart to take the negative slide down...there is too much more for you to write and experience. Heart poet hugs to you.
devina
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19 posted 05-13-2002 09:59 PM       View Profile for devina   Email devina   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for devina

Faceless my rear end Michael...no matter what has happened in your life, you've accomplished PLENTY...

Let's start with your wonderful sense of humor...that teamed up with your stubborn nature makes you YOU...

You're a wonderful father and try to be the best person you can be...

I'm probably not the best on pep talks for you right now...but I do hope you're doing well and you are always in my thoughts...I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to see inside the complexity of you Michael, and it still means alot...

*cheer-up hugs...sending vodka for old times*
You are supposed to grin now...

Take care of yourself MR...now that's a stubborn order sweets...

Much love
Tanya

Open arms can be the most fragile in the world...


Michael
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20 posted 05-14-2002 01:16 AM       View Profile for Michael   Email Michael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Michael




Thank you all for the kind replies...

Sunshine, good to see you again, I've missed your brightness.

Chris, speak to me of jaded will ya...

Tiersdin, ‘tis my life alright, though hardly exhilarating from this vantage point as it were.  Glad you enjoyed it so.

Midnitesun, Joyful moments? Honestly, and not including the past two years, there weren't many of those to choose from in my life... so much so I can honestly say that none come to mind at all.  A peaceful night completely alone might serve to be the best of memories from those years.

bsquirrel, yeah - seems quite a few blocks went into my wall, doesn't it.

Sy, profound insights and ones I would most definitely agree with.  Though life, itself, can seem meaningless without purpose - and purpose meaningless without faith - and where do we garner faith when we, as a whole, lack purpose or at least the understanding of it.

Dusk Treader  "I didn't understand everything, but what I understood was so heavy, so eloquently written that it is was impossible to do anything but feel
"   In one sentence you summed up everything I ever wanted to be in a writer.  My writings, for the most part,  are far too personal for most anyone to see the events clearly, as I may, but the emotion behind them is what I truly wish to convey.  I am glad I was able to in this case. ty.

Linda, same goes for you, indeed.  Even if you did start torturing me every night though, I doubt I could ever return to the sadness and melancholia of my past.  Just having known you and sharing the love we have would be enough to keep a half smile on me for the rest of my days.

Karen, I do my best writing, if not all my writing, at night, when totally alone - no secret there.  Sleep is highly overrated imho..  I dunno why this poem took a reflection on my past as well as a historical one - save that I can always seem to remember exactly how I felt when many of these events occurred.  My life, however viewed, adds up to a set of tragedies where upon I would engaged in a hope, even dare to believe, that it all was happening for a reason only to come full circle into another tragedy of sorts.  Somewhere along this pattern I lost faith, not only in myself, but in religion, and in my fellow man as I watched the events of the world unfold around me - I think that is what I was trying to reflect most in this.

Janet, Failure , too, is a peculiar thing.  One that can never be achieved with expectation.  In a sense, one can never really fail at all, suffice that he never knew or felt purpose to begin with.  I just look at the world today - not just at my life - and fell I could have or could be doing something more.  This feeling is quite of drown out immediately by a feeling that it would not make a difference in the slightest, that is where the feeling of failure derives.  

Toe, rofl - good to see ya here.  Yeah, it's the same old me - but my son, wow,  he has grown into quite a young man.  I really need to post fresh pics, huh?  He expresses interests in chess and poetry and for the most part is a mirror image of his old man, save for the lack of depression.  Something I thank God for everyday.

Tara, your words mean much to me, ty.

Nicole, "You can write something, and have your own personal meaning behind it - but there's something there that anyone can relate to, at their own levels and stages." I am a poster child of the human condition...lol Seriously, that is all I strive for as a writer.  — on another note, I wanted to say congratulations to you and let you know how happy I am for you.  Linda and I may be headed up that way soon, too, so ya better be ready for us...lol

PdV, have to agree with Chris here - you may convince on the writing thing one day but NEVER on the nice guy part.

Balladeer, thank you so much.  Any compliment from you I consider to be great.

Martie, It's Chris' fault - he jaded me.  Seriously, I have lived in happiness for the past two years but the feelings that once suppressed me and overwhelmed me will always hold the memories of my first 32 years of life captive.  To forget would be a travesty in itself, lest I return to them one day.

Tanya, "wonderful sense of humor" - you're joking, right?  Seriously, I am grinning though -
and you above all have the right to give me pep talks I would think.  Hope all is well with you - send us a picture of the young one.


Thank you all again,


Michael
Kit McCallum
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21 posted 05-14-2002 07:37 AM       View Profile for Kit McCallum   Email Kit McCallum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kit McCallum

"My life seems but a story that somehow strayed from the plot;
I know there once was meaning, but somewhere I just forgot."

"Thirteen years old, biding my time, I could, too plainly, see
The pendulum of Death, above, tick-tocking, mocking me."

"The answer to one question; "Why suffering never ends,
And Darkness won't relinquish me even as Night rescinds?"
I prayed for hope, I prayed for love, those things I'd never felt.
I prayed for understanding of the cards I had been dealt."

"And so I ride my carousel of life, so prearranged,
Wondering how it comes about to leave one so estranged.
A calloused heart, a weathered soul, and eyes that just can't see
I'm lost between a man I was and one I'll never be."

I snuck in from the office yesterday, and read this from work Michael, and though I didn't have time to respond then, I e-mailed the link home so I would be sure to come back when I could take the time to truly appreciate this.

The alliteration and cadence I read into the first line seemed to set the tone for the wonderful flow that followed throughout Michael, where the internal rhymes would play out so subtley, yet beautifully ... this is excellent. The way you captured historical milestones and wove them into your personal timelines was exeptionally well done.

So often, when I read your work, the similar emotions you elicit from my own personal vantage, simply floor me ... as you did again with this piece ... you're truly an amazing writer Michael.

Best wishes,
/Kit
Nan
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Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


22 posted 05-14-2002 08:37 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

You, my friend, are blessed... Blessed with the gifts of life, of love, of beautiful children - and... Blessed with the gift of poetry...

Your words are an inspiration to me no matter how somber... Nice to see your wondrous verse here, Mike... I miss ya..
Enchantress
Member Empyrean
since 08-14-2001
Posts 37801
Somewhere in time~


23 posted 05-14-2002 09:14 AM       View Profile for Enchantress   Email Enchantress   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Enchantress

Michael,...Dang!  I am speechless.....
Nicole
Senior Member
since 06-23-99
Posts 1896
Florida


24 posted 05-14-2002 10:20 AM       View Profile for Nicole   Email Nicole   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Nicole

  I can't wait!
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