Friday, September 09, 2005

Sketched Out in Brief

We have been ravenous
and we have taken our
fill when we could,

We, the children grown
in solitude and given no
rule of others to look
upon, building our own
dark arts upon the site
of our creation, creating
value in what dreams
we’ve been able to
dream in the dark,
silent moments of
the night, lying awake
and chill in the shelters,
listening to the sounds
of other, hidden bodies
moving beyond the
limit of our down-turned
lamps.

We, the rough young folk
grown big and angry as
mistreated hounds, barking
into morning for the sheer
company of it, howling
out the unnamed pain
of having been born and
bred to this, but our fists
crack open and give us
hands again if we find
some heavy medicine,
some antidote to the
futility of all these days
of trying to be idle in
the eye of this hurricane
force of industry.

We, the boys now grown
to uncomfortable heights
and ages beyond our initial
consideration, trying to bridge
the gaps between what we
wished and what we were,
between dreams and the
cold cycles of getting up
mornings, going to sleep
late into nights ill-spent,
balancing wishes we can
only see when we squint
hard at them now with
the exigencies of money
and health insurance for
our stained teeth and
questionable knees.

We, who have become part
of our fathers, though lesser
somehow, more diffuse, without
the nobility of labor hanging
sharp and heavy about us like
the sound of hammers falling
and the retreat of a steam train
into foggy distances, and we
know that more time has now
been spent than remains to us,
that we have failed at most things,
but a few chances for success still
remain, desperately clung to
like rafts to the castaway masses
as the searchlights fade.

We, who find ourselves now
aged and useless, deprived of
the fortitude of our youth and
all its conceits, live upon the
unfulfilling meal of daytime
television and repeated phrases
from the final good days, now
years passed, when the world
made any sense to our eyes, when
we knew the names and the faces
of those in the seats upon the
hill, and preserved some measure
of hope that we could be good,
and if not more than our forebears,
at least almost as much, almost
as brave, almost as well-lived
when the ending came.

We, the fading legions unheralded,
dying slow with the day, but
open-eyed as the slow churning
hours of morning pass by,

We have been ravenous
and we have taken our
fill when we could.

5 comments:

Bill said...

Firehawk - An excellent travel though the hourglass of live... I find myself here:

"We, who have become part
of our fathers, "

I work, yet somehow I long for a time when the work would have been more 'manual' where producing tangible goods was the 'good job'. Where the sounds of hammers, wrenches, machines and such were the sounds of work, not the clicking of fingers on keyboards.

Nice piece, I may just print and keep this one!!

Whit said...

Wow.
Saying anything else would seem pedantic after reading through your illustrative prose.

Soulless said...

Like your piece about the seasons, i.e. "Per Annum," this one takes me, enfolds me on a temporal ride. You have a way of weaving time into form with word-threads. And, in most of your poetry, I catch a feel of a bird's eye view -- and I then promptly revel. Gratefully, I might add. ^_^

I've enjoyed reading this, especially the third stanza...

barking
into morning for the sheer
company of it


Ahh, what insight! You spoil me with such soul-food. *grin* Thank you.

Mushster said...

Whit sounds like me lol.

It doesn't matter what your topic is, it seems we can all relate. That is an extra dimension to your gift :)

Firehawk said...

Bill,

There's an element in us that likes to have something more tangible to hold onto than just writing (code or otherwise). We like to have something hard and present to show for our work. That's not as common these days, though.

Thanks for your positive feedback on this one. I felt it really turned out pretty well. An "hourglass of life," as you called it.

Whit,

Thanks a lot for visiting. I've seen you over at Bill's site, and it's great of you to drop in and say nice things. I'll have to return the favor.

Soulless,

I guess I've been into the idea of time passing and what it means lately. I'm glad that I can take you with me on these journeys through the chronos with me, and that you get a kick out of them. Again, I'm always honored when you have such nice things to say.

Mush,

Unless something has the voltage to arc across the distance between us, unless there's something understandable and innately true, the work means nothing.

Thanks to you all once again. Your great thoughts and enthusiasm keeps me coming back when it would be easy to let things slide.