Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Forlorn Hope

With held, stale breath,
we assault the towers
of evening,

Keeping these grim
hopes hard in our
hearts like cracked
stone of the mountain,

Keeping the faith
that has lately fallen
and gone down into
the unforgiving

This marble upon
the blank face of the
outer void—

A lost and arcane
carried unknowing
in the grimy pocket
of this forgetful
and aging super-being,

These folk--

Small creatures of
no great import on
a small-scale world
recycled through
the hands of a thousand
generations of careless

With prosaic implications
and dim cognition driving
us slow upon the road
to nowhere…

But we are not yet
doomed, not yet lost
on the winding path
and dusty loom of
the ages,

And with our
nonsensical claims
of godhood ringing
falsely in our ears
we are yet a force
of mind unweakened
by reason, unleavened
by the sense of
hopeless wanting and
slain fate,

These dying warriors
of evening, going
upward into black
with war flags held
high and stale, spent
breath upon our lips,
blood crawling at
the back of our throat,
perhaps more willing
than able, but nonetheless
a screaming hurricane
of untidy emotion upon
the stygian, barren surface
of the benighted sky.


MB said...

An interesting world you conjure up. It seems so bleak, yet curiously insists on hope.
we are yet a force
of mind unweakened
by reason, unleavened
by the sense of
hopeless wanting

That phrase, "unweakened by reason," is an odd one. One normally thinks of reason as an agent of steadying and strengthening. Yet these warriors draw strength from emotion. I'm struggling a bit with this one because it seems there's a strange duality here of implied criticism and stated pride.

Firehawk, thank you for your careful reading of my poem and your thoughtful suggestion, yesterday.

drthunder said...

Yes! I agree with MB. There's a curious blend of recognition for man's weakness, yet a nod to his strength to overcome these weaknesses. In this way, it appears that you have identified a modicum of dignity in the human species.

Firehawk said...


I suppose this one is all about duality and even paradox. If one has a flaw that can't be altered, I suppose being proud of it is the only option.


I don't know what I've identified. I'm just putting down the words as they come.

MB said...

Well, I don't think I agree with you that being proud is the only option, but it certainly might be just as well to be proud. (Some people get depressed, for example!)

Paradox and duality, yes... I'll read it again.

You might want to correct a minor typo in the new tag line at the top of your page. Sorry, proofreading is habitual with me! ;-)

Firehawk said...


Thanks for the heads-up on the tagline. I guess I was asleep at the switch at that point. It's fixed now. I don't know that I like the poem that much, now that some time has passed. I wonder if I know what I'm doing at times. I keep sitting down to write a different poem, but it has yet to come out. Maybe next time.

MB said...

What, you think I think I know what I'm doing?? ;-) I can't count the number of times I've sat down to write a poem about something in particular and what came out is completely different from what I expected. I think that's part of the creative process, at times, isn't it? After all, we have to follow these little rabbit warrens of our minds to whatever endpoint they lead us to... it certainly isn't all under my control! This morning, for example, I set out to write something on a completely different topic than my dog, and I did write another poem but not a version that I could post right now, so then out came the fluffy bit about my dog. Not exactly what I anticipated! But for me, anyway, it's all part of the process and eventually I believe that poem will arrive. (Or else, by that time, maybe it won't be needed anymore.) Which is to say, I wouldn't let myself be too discouraged.

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