Guest Poet T. Reed


Were change a ray of truth,
I'd have sooner seen that light,
Shining down upon me
To soothe unwanted plight.

It shone in red - then blue
Like the spectrum of a fire,
And consumed my timbered house,
Bequeathing me -- a pyre.

I see -- oh yes -- it has arrived,
No longer so far off.
For now I cradle in my arms
The flame -- unable to rebuff.

God, help me man! I plead aloud
To those around me deaf,
But supplication fails to aid --
Destiny steals what's left.

So as I force myself apart,
My soul by fission split,
I turn to see what's there behind --
To mournful times I flit.

Sweet violence of my thoughts had passed --
Too quickly did they yield.
When in the murky depths I plunged
The black bottle itself revealed.

I learned -- no doubt -- but many things.
Not just the simple facts.
Yet love no longer came to me,
And loneliness attacks.

I became mere Emptiness,
Which in me it I could
Not see there deadly resting --
Amorphic and devoid.

I grasped. I reached. No one was there.
True, 'twas then the couth.
Just dumb and lifeless blobs we sat,
Ignoring painful truth.

Fortune, though, is with me now,
As I burn upon the spot,
Where passages of time diverge --
The fates deny I'll not.

So severed is my soul, you see,
That takes the tougher path.
The wound will stay to go with me,
A reminder of what hath.

September 1997

T. Reed's Questions:

Questions: Is the temporal flow of the poem understood? Do I need more specification? Is some of the language appropriate, inappropriate -- too archaic? Or does it lend itself well here? I must admit that this is my first real attempt at lyrical poetry, so I'm quite interested in how you think this piece does or does not gel. Thank you for your time -- T. Reed

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The Albany Poetry Workshop