I’ve emerged from my blogging solitude to publish an original poem: Maybe it’s my version of a mid-life crisis. It’s comprised of melancholy, resilient reflections on the sweep of life, metaphysical truths, and finding a place in history, from the perspective of my culture and generation. Many of the images and phrases flashed into my mind last fall during a brief quiet season in my life. I jotted a first draft. Then recently, more ideas and images came, until I decided to see it through to the finish.
I don’t necessarily expect anyone to enjoy or appreciate it, or make any pretense about all the underlying meanings, or to consider it much more than a carefully constructed third draft of my own focused ponderings. But if anyone else appreciates the quasi-literary gesture or takes a moment to reflect as a result, then it’s worth posting here. Without further ado:
The Cold War’s last children breathed the morning air,
Ate our sugared cereals, rode our Huffy bikes.
We shadow-boxed with Russian monsters to the strains of G.I. Joe.
Pounded pulpits punctuated the solace to fears,
Church organs intoned beyond our headphoned ears.
Victory was certain; our whole lives lay before.
An Iron Curtain like lightning crashed down and stole our breath–
Shiny Pyrite heaped before our eyes, then slipped through our grasp.
This vast accursed orb had never seen
Peaceful waters amass such glitt’ring baubles and gracious balms.
Better toys numbed our joys, if we allowed;
Fewer griefs, more relief, made us restless — and proud.
Grasping. Wanting. No true satisfaction.
Untouched conquests loomed inside our aimless souls.
Lost in the overflow, our eyes could not see
That History’s Author reserved the right to start another chapter.
Darkened hearts in distant lands
Seethed and schemed within His Steady Hand.
Faint alarms could not pierce our slumbers,
But conjured dreams that we’d been Saved By the Bell.
A people exhaled, sighed, laughed.
We fell asleep with hopes of History’s End
And awoke to tiny figures leaping from melting Towers.
Our youthful minds were seared.
What came before faded into flimsy shadows.
We watched remote valleys and bloody sands swallow better men–
Taking pause, standing tall, bowing heads, wondering why.
Our placid lives absorbed the pain,
Flags and token doubts remained.
It felt less and less like our fathers’ wars;
Until we forgot.
From near and far, tragic events like lightning flashed
Into our living rooms, our desks, our pockets and purses.
Granules of fellowship and good manners slipped away,
Vestiges of Victorious days.
Pixelated glows swallowed shrinking souls,
Blinded eyes, too weak but to shrug at the mirror’s blurry tale.
Is another chapter being written before us?
With wealth surpassing wisdom,
And once great pillars crack’d and hollow,
Another letdown seems sure to follow.
These facades never earned our faith.
Lord, hold us close and draw us closer.
Can we now Master our Fate?
Is there any use in making the Past’s Rites new?
Alas, our wand’ring eyes now miss
The foggy harbor of innocent bliss.
Unmoored, we stagger in search of a friendly port;
We need to set sail for an unseen home.
We stumble to another crossroads:
Perhaps this choice will matter most.
Morning air is gone, the day’s heat has set in–
Weary or not, serious work lies afoot.
Huffy bikes have turned to rust,
Plastic Joes all gathered dust;
For a grander vision we haltingly pray,
Yet sighing we sit in the ashes of silence.
The darkness need never rule us,
While Courage unnatural can help us Rise–
Help us Stand–
Help us Love.
Thank God, that in His Time,
The best is yet to come.
© 2018 Jammin Amalgamated