Friday, June 24, 2005

The Rusty Shade Of His Own Slow Twilight

With unerring syntax, his slow
motions upon the canvas, that
dull look in his eyes, those heavy
limbs now calmed and tamed
with the invisible chains of
age and unrepented sin.

The bell-clear moment in the
silence of the crowd, he who
we so feared laid low and
painfully mortal, all his
efforts failed, all his pride
shattered, the myth of his
own early ferocity disproved
in the rusty shade of his own
slow twilight.

All conciets aside, this one
we hailed as the terrible and
bestial king of old is now
cooked down to a weedy,
tatooed hulk whose time has
past, eclipsed in his own
shadow, humbled by his
own disfigured legend,
washed over by the afterflow
of his own wake.


Braleigh said...

Holy fuck. So effing good. The first paragraph especially makes me want to pick up some charcoal and capture the visual imagery in dark, morbid, and violent pictures. And I don't that's a strange urge indeed.

drthunder said...

Being a little Pollyanna at heart, I feel sorry for those who suffer with age, and see the rest of life as being nothing but a memory or a loss. While change is inevitible, it's not alway unwelcome. I speak from the lofty height of being "OLD."

Firehawk said...


Thanks for the support. You should make a go at drawing anyway. Quality isn't a requirement, as long as you're amusing yourself.


Some people get old in a single night. Sports figures face being obsolete at a very early age, which must be rough. The realization that you can't do what you once did anymore is like dying without the end of pain.

Well, it looks like everybody's out of town for the 4th, or does't like me anymore, so I'm feeling lonely right now. No matter. I have more poems written, and I'll post them at what seems to be a reasonable interval. Thanks for commenting, though.

Bill said...

Damn... how'd you know 'exactly' how old I was feeling today?? :)

Another very moving piece, nice crisp images for me.

(and it's been slow all over for a bit)

swiftboat said...

I love the this bit:

“washed over by the afterflow
of his own wake”

It's a little known and arcane fact that flat water canoe racers will charge a short section of shallow water in the certain knowledge that their own wake will push them over it.

Most people would not admit to rushing headlong into their own old age. But by the recklessness of youth, many do.

This poem “paints” a great image and also causes me wonder if you had any particular character in mind, or if this artist is purely fictional?

Firehawk said...


Just coincidence, I guess, as far as the "old" thing goes. I actually wrote that several days before I posted it. Just got ahead of any reasonable schedule for a while (as I am right now, with 3 poems already in the pipeline...) I'm goal-oriented, and I always want to see lots of comments, but I guess everyone's out and about at this moment. I hope it picks up after the 4th.


Thanks for your comments. When I worked on boats several years ago, I noticed that your own wake could catch you if you slowed down too fast. I suppose that's what brought that line out. I was actually moved to write this one after seeing Mike Tyson and his latest debacle. I think that, in some way, boxers exemplify the speed in which someone can age, going from kings to fools in a few short years.

Again, thanks to everyone for their comments.

erin said...

Well, I'm back and I still like you This piece brought to mind the image of my grandfather in his last few months of life as he looked out from a body fading into itself... when there was no trace left of the man from the pictures..

Across Inconstant Breath

Would that this skin this frail armor atop the husk of slow departure -  Would that it held against the teeth  of night's maw a...