Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Where the Behemoth Falls

Look upon these husks,
behemoths and hulks of
servitude run down to
their grim obsolescence,
devoid of all those burning
reactors of potentiality,
unladen of all that good
cargo, that soular kinesis
of old, and wonder out
these answerless questions
against the sad and sand
carrying winds.

If we have disappeared
from beneath our own
worn uniforms, heard still
in nothing but an echo of
a name, all goodness gone
and only the malice of
ghosts remaining, then
why do we yet dream,
yet yearn for all those
handholds higher up
the cliff’s face than we
ever managed to grasp?

If we are doomed, nothing
but scraps upon the emptied
dust bins of time, purposes
all gone for naught, nobility
pierced through by every
well-documented exception,
servitude to our own basest
urges written so clear and
bold on the document of
our reign, why have we
created all these elaborate
falsehoods and grandiose
conceptions of worlds
beyond and undreamed?

If we were wrong about
everything, taking all and
giving none in return, just
as angry children do at
each awful birthday party
and never seem to understand
as their friends, one by one,
seep tears from their eyes and
ask to go home, have these
flashes of holistic thought
been nothing but a series
of off-speed pitches, us
on those rare good days,
perhaps moments of
clarity decorating a long
eternity of drunkenness
and spite?

If we lay dying, or have
already passed from these
shattered vessels in all
but the smallest, phantom
remains, if we are lamented
by none, mourned by
no legion of friends, given
elegy by no chorus of
happy angels, why do
we yet cling so hard, and
maintain, somehow,
hope of another dawn,
hope of another chance
to be all those things we
have fallen short of
thus far?

5 comments:

drthunder said...

"why do
we yet cling so hard, and
maintain, somehow,
hope of another dawn,
hope of another chance
to be all those things we
have fallen short of
thus far?"

I really enjoyed this peom, Firehawk. I'm not sure that we need to answer all of these questions, nor am I certain that we need to feel as thought we have fallen short if we don't accomplish all that we set out to do. I love knowing that tomorrow I can add to, or correct things that I did today. I've experienced the hope that you speak of. I've become unsettled by wanting more. As with most of our species, I've experienced the discomfort of not "knowing when enough is enough."

Bill said...

Firehawk, I was about to paste the exact lines that drthunder did...

I don't know why others do, but I think I know why *I* do...

I like knowing I can make tomorrow better than today.. love my wife more tomorrow than I had today... maybe learn one more skill to take into tomorrow from today...

If I lost hope, or faith, in tomorrow being better as a result of what I do today... I think things would feel pretty bleak indeed.

Firehawk said...

Doc,

We can't answer all these questions. If we could, we'd be ready for whatver comes next. Continuing to walk around and eat and go to work once the mystery of the world had been unraveled would be rather pointless, wouldn't it? It's the unknowable question, the unscalable mountain, the bitter sea too wide to navigate...these are the things that make the world a suitable challenge to our consciousness.

Bill,

Life without hope for better would certainly be an awful season of consecutive, pointless misery. If we can't make some sense of what's come before and hope for better in the future, I suppose we'd all start mixing up Drano in a glass and writing our final farewells.

Bill said...

Firehawk... that, and I can't stand the taste of Drano!!

MB said...

If we can't make some sense of what's come before and hope for better in the future, I suppose we'd all start mixing up Drano in a glass and writing our final farewells.
I think you've answered your own ruminating question, Firehawk! I always admire how smooth your writing seems. I don't think that's easy to do in longer poems like yours.