Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Response to T.S. Eliot





A Response to T.S. Eliot 
(first version written in 1999)

August is more cruel than April —
he bears no flowers, no tears —
just hot, angry breath on my neck.

April is a little girl,
splashing obliviously through mud puddles —
August is a bitter old man
whose soul is cracked and parched.

There is no respite
from the fire he brings —
no cool wind, no warm rain — 
only the sun beating down
and burning my heart...




A Response to T.S. Eliot
(revision and addition written in 2007)

I.

Wretched water falls from a broken sky,
drenching shattered landscapes, bitter sorrows harvested from fallow soil.

Seeds are cracked and withered,
bearing no fruit or bloom from their last aching gasp,
bereft with moonlight's waning woe.

Anguish furrows this thoughtful brow,
decimating hope's murmured protestations -
shadows seep into a once-loving heart encased in icy grieving:

Winter swallows the horizon;
grey, barren branches shudder in this gloom.
Night falls far too hard to bear in silence.


II.

August is far more cruel than April;
he bears no flowers, no tears -
just hot, angry breath on my neck.

April is a little girl's innocence,
splashing obliviously through mud puddles -

August is an jaded old man's agony;
his soul, cracked and parched.

There is no respite from the fire he brings;
no cool tenderness, no warm rain to nurture -
 
only the sun beating down and burning my heart.

Memory is singed,
leaving only ash drifting on the wildest winds -

weeping will not permeate this hard ground
where my life lies bleeding.

Healing will come on the slow, subtle wings of time
and birds will trill once more, so I am told -

until then,
I hear only aching silence echoing within these caverns,
filled with the stark darkness of unavoidable truth.