I wrote all of these back in 2010, back when I was on something of a poetry-writing kick. I’m woefully out of practice nowadays, though.
Mnemosyne, give me succour;
the present and its impulsions haunt me;
and your voice is my only friend.
Your whispers are my shelter;
your speeches my hearth;
your visions my hiding-place.
look after me; shield me from Today;
give me this day Yesterday’s truth,
and I will overlook the transgressions of the Present.
Mnemosyne, spare me;
spare me your hushed admonitions in my mind’s ear;
spare me your exhortations, your proddings and pokings;
you are air to me; invisibly cool on my tongue;
forever present; you envelop me;
I would I could escape you;
but you surround me, like a cage fashioned of air and spirit and mystery.
Abandon your cruelties; return to me with your goldwoven tales.
you had me trapped in a gilded cage
filigreed and done with fancy traceries
looks really quite gorgeous outside
you’ve been so proud of your handiwork showed it off to your friends
a picture of seminal achievement
but like any other birdcage
it’s full of shit
I press against the glass, hands covered in fog
I am immured, imperceptibly present
I am as true as the sky, the sea, and the air
I can look inside myself and see existence manifest,
but I am invisible, unseen, unknowable.
Rarely do I hear my name;
Rarely can I see myself as I glance into the mirror
Chills course through my spine, through my arms, and in my mouth
I think, speak, dream, plan, and imagine,
but those imaginations are attributed to another
My subsumption is drowning me.
My eyes droop precariously; my shoulders ache
I feel fifty years old but a score and a half younger
Old and weary when I should be young and spry
My head pounds subtly, like a brush on a drum
My fingers poised over the illuminated keys
Almost arthritic, but with subtle wincing pains
My shoulders feel hollow; my arms disengaged
I crack the joints quietly, attempting to alleviate in vain
My thoughts are intangible, floating away
I sit inert, wondering and waiting
For it to lift, for me to emerge, for time to settle.
You can’t have dreams; you can’t afford them
Dreams are for the moneyed, the privileged, the well-heeled;
You must be a monk, hunkering down, and denying yourself
The pleasures of the mind, the pleasures of the flesh and the pleasures of the spirit
Because ambition, too, is the preserve of the wealthy.
Dreaming serves nothing; you must put such childish notions away
Know your priorities! Be realistic! Separate yourself from foolish fancies!
Asceticism is the province of the poor and lonely.
You will redeem yourself through waiting and patience and enduring
Red tape and still more waiting.
Listen to me, young man, listen to me.
For I know your future, and it will be attained through self-abnegation.
Don’t be fooled by their harps and Porsches and lyres and iPods and tapestries;
They are mere distractions, there to serve you no purpose
But needless wanting and wishing for something you cannot have.
They’ll promise you things that cannot happen,
But I know the plans for you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
Deny yourself; cease wishing; and it will be yours.
Your rough-hewn voice,
Subtly accompanied by the lilt of your harp
And the patter of your accompanist’s piano
You weave lyrics from magic faery dust,
plucked elegantly from the cap of mythical magicians,
and arcane vocabulary spilling from years-old thesauri
Your blessed brilliance soothes me, you bewitch me, like no other.
© Finn M Gardiner 2010-2018. All rights reserved unless otherwise specified.