gnarled

it finally had to happen
I should have never answered those questions
they had found me sitting there on that rock
water still dripping from my ragged clothes

it was said that I was giggling like an idiot
I don’t remember much aside from the cold
the cold and that strange hand from nowhere
I can still describe each of those gnarled fingers

fingers with twisty knobby joints like tree roots
that hand supported by such a long thin arm
reaching out through frigid murky water
stopping my senseless plunge into darkness

queries delved far into my deepest thoughts
memories that would not remain suppressed
leaving a chill deeper than that frigid water
a chill that lingers after all these years

they tell me I am all better now at long last
the decision to commit had long been made
nothing much has changed after all this time
shocking brought intense pain but no relief

relief has finally come I am on my way home
my ordeal is almost ended or is it really
nagging doubts assail me from every side
should never have made mention of that crown

that crown is at the root of all that happened
I can longer charge recklessly at windmills
I feel that my days of chasing giants has ended
restraint would have been wiser than wine bags

I could care less what they think of me now
time has come to start on the final chapter
first I must take away of all those old pages
my committal has generated a deep resolve

a deep resolve to revisit that strange event
a convulsive plunge into frigid murky depths
reaching from nowhere that same gnarled hand
this time extended in welcome

cracks

I’ve oft pondered the meaning of “fall through the cracks”
could this old idiom hold an actual truth or definition
I mean could one literally fall through said cracks
could one be cast through a crack to another realm
it’s not a question that can be answered by science
conjecture only offers a trifling investment of fact
not related to the fingering of knotted prayer cords
variations of reality leads one to practical applications
staring at a blank wall would never be of any benefit
possibilities abound crawling across a hardwood floor
at the risk of being misunderstood cracks are there
so taking a page from a story about a looking glass
placed my eye to a crack to see what lay beyond
what happens when you let someone fall
gamboling about like a puppet on a string

a wave of sadness almost overwhelmed my senses
before me there appeared a stupendous panorama
faces as far as I could see parading past before me
some vaguely familiar others completely strange
my friends begin to pass with pained expressions
I know so many that I had completely forgotten
no not forgotten but pushed wantonly aside
by one who no longer wanted them any more
I was beginning at last to understand
what it means to “fall through the cracks”

ironmongery

Mind!
I don’t mean to say
that I know
of my own knowledge
what there is particularly
dead
about a door nail
I might have been inclined
myself
to regard a coffin nail
as the deadest piece
of ironmongery
in the trade
but the wisdom
of our ancestors
is in the simile
and my unhallowed hands
shall not disturb it
or the country’s done for
You will therefore permit
me to repeat  emphatically
that Marley was as dead
as a door nail.

perpetuate

beauty hath evermore held prerogative and grace

to reconcile man’s mind and attract his will to it

where yet hath been none such opportunity offered me

with all those who were present having ne’er felt desire

much better things would be by not having such opinions

nor longer suffering themselves to be seen or felt

yet thinking to keep yon treasure hidden for themselves

twas nothing more than lies to perpetuate this myth

ridicule

There is no character,

howsoever good and fine,

but it can be destroyed by ridicule,

howsoever poor and witless.

Observe the ass, for instance:

his character is about perfect,

he is the choicest spirit among

all the humbler animals,

yet see what ridicule

has brought him to.

Instead of feeling complimented

when we are called an ass,

we are left in doubt.