ByJared Midwood, writer at
Jared lives near the nation's capital, where he studies public policy and philosophy and specializes in writing poetry and criticism.

Here lies the world,

In a forlorn state of synthesis

Struggling, tearing at the windows

All along a blackened street

In the heart of the harbor town,

Downtown where the wind blows

Through the vacant lots and empty alleys

And whistles at the doors of fortune tellers,

Waking up the corner sleepers

And painting the night with ecstasy

In all shades of purple.

The midnight city crawling with bursting energy,

Clocking minutes and miles and hours

From a million feet above

Where the sky high diamond fowl

Wander and circle, waiting

For the abandonment of reason and progress.

Peace, though it seems far away,

Whispers to us like the dynamite of years gone by

And the waves lapping at the ocean shore

Carry with them regrets heaped upon failures

Broken with the regressing moon’s tides.

Here lies your past,

It is wrapped in the ebony night and waiting

For a spark of kindling to revitalize distant memories.

Every walk, every wave, every piece of sand

Falling through the fingers of the mind

Is caught in its all-knowing embrace, but it chokes,

Choking the life out of the commuters

On the drab highway laid out before them

Through the town where they grew up so long ago

In the houses where they sat reading Boethius

Staring at the dripping rain on the windowpanes.

My fair bride! How green are the trees in your valleys

Where the world is shook by earthquakes and hail

And acid rain falls like fire from above the clouds,

Crimson peeking out from the darkened angry sphere

Where celestial birds and angels crash into airplanes,

Scattering their ashes out over the Adriatic

On nights like tonight.

And still on the marching soldiers go

Towards the apex of their conflicts and their inner wars,

Stopping not to smell the flowers that grow so suspiciously

Underfoot of the industrial machines.

Here lies the world,

A sorry sight but true, in all its glistening decay

Spread out on a canvas like so many gleaming crystals

Of truth and aesthetic privilege where any painter

May tinker and destroy and rebuild and be an architect

Of progress in the west, the land of freedom.

And the recitation of forgotten poems around bonfires

Lit by the latest volumes of periodical academic raving

Will rise up and waft toward the nostrils

Of the muses and gods of art and snobbery,

Where they make their home in ivory castles.

Broken images still reflect the sun,

The dying celestial orb which fires forth heat

Day after day burning up the cities below

With the apocalyptic visions of a dying man

And the speed of gravely chariots carrying away

The soul of the forgotten man

Who for years sat on the street corner

And counted sheep and moons and lonely coins

Playing the stringed instruments of his soul

And waiting for a friend to pass in the night

Like a ship destined for the pearly sea.

Here lies a tombstone,

A heaping pyre to the patient longings

Of our generation, constrained by temptation.

We have broken down walls and doors and walls again

Pursuing gates to perfect worlds

Which underfoot were seen through a sea of shimmering glass,

Where the kaleidoscopes touched the sky

And astronomy failed for lack of a more deified rule

By which to govern the passing of the nighttime

High above the sleeping valleys and burning towns,

Fire, fire on the horizon, running ever away from the river.

Paradise was lost today and it was typically

Buried in a rich man’s grave by the side of a path

That no one will ever walk down again

Or turn from their meanderings to consider,

Where it diverges in the wood from the beaten track

And chooses instead to droop and swoop down from

The mountain, that guardian far above us,

Giving life to the river and patience to the meadows.

Larks sing there, waiting for the hangings

That burn the night sky with screams in the dark

So thick that for miles they can be felt crawling on your skin.

Here lies the world,

An emerald mess illuminated by a single low-hanging star

From its perch over the land, and brightened by its reaches

Where it stems and stands alone for all to see,

Patiently reaching down its light to the edges of the faded map.

Sometimes when we feel ourselves fading and growing dim

We drive out in the rain and sit for hours

Looking at the river swell and then overcome its banks,

And wish we were the pink –laden trees on its shores

So that we too could weather the storm

And be better for the pounding refrain.


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