I watch the hangman wind, the headsman
A lunatic without restraint I clutch
At chaos as a scoundrel’s last resort,
Grasp mayhem as depression’s last resource,
For metaphors of all I cannot say.
I rest my devil-weary eye upon
The sea waves laddered to a dead man’s
A ramrod fist grotesques the faceless sky,
A bare-soled boot strikes at the angled
A heart the shape of heaven calms the
I know to live is life’s determined goal,
Yet even when survival’s cause seems lost
A tendency to love’s our common cause.
A finger never idle in your name
Traced a treasure in continental dust;
Has worn the ring to elemental rust,
And scratched a shilling from the mortal
Such silent toils condemn a voice to death.
A jar of words is set upon the shelf,
A conversation for a rainy day.
I loathe the years it took to learn that
No more than fear applied to trains of
Soon swallowed up at stations of the cross.
I medicate against the rant and rave
And brimstone hymns; a faultless prayer
Transports the grave-aimed turbulence that
The christened path that writhes between
And leads you through the cyclone of my
There scale the crossed hill’s height and
A saint to shear the hoisted bastard’s
The last day’s done. The one-dimensioned
Are scraped of youth, an elegy to ruin;
My groundless step and senseless hand
A private zodiac, a captured star,
Unseen except by eyes the hue of home.
The Ploughman’s hand had sown a seed of
Its reaped reward a furrow on the brow.
The whole I had I harvested for hope:
Precise as childish prayers, as vague as
And dead as grass beneath the constant