“Unstrung.”

I wrote this one at the Anglican convent in North York on Saturday afternoon, while I was depressed and frustrated with job-hunting…

I hope you like it!


Unstrung

My wrists still hurt; I feel my listless eyes closing,

And pry my gaze away from glowing serpent screens

To seek out silent snow and buried stones.

I feel like withered Sisyphus; each day’s a stone

That I must roll uphill, to no avail,

Because the smallest stress will send it down,

Still rolling past my frantic tired grasp.

I’m unstrung, like a broken Fender bass

And out of tune, like some ancient woodwind,

Dissonant from years of stern misuse.

 

Oh, you who lives in silence, come to me!

I beckon you from every far-flung star

To shine your endless light upon my path,

To beckon me to claim my destiny

(If “destiny” is not too strong a term).

Reveal me to myself in white-hot light,

And show me what this path is that I walk!

 

My path is made by walking through the snow,

And over every jagged, broken stone.

My wrists still hurt. At times, my feet may bleed,

Preventing me from seeing all the flowers

And floods of verdant grass that make my way.

Sometimes I smell the coffee, sometimes not;

At other times, I catch the stench of weed.

Sometimes, I taste the softest olive bread,

While some loaves turn to ashes in my mouth.

 

I wake, and taste the loamy soils of the grave;

I know no joy in greetings from the dawn.

Instead, I forge ahead with aching limbs,

As though I cut through thickets with a blade

Or strike my oar in dark and stormy seas.

Come, be my anchor in this life’s new storm,

And redirect my fragile, failing craft;

Come, realign my sullen iron strings,

And let me sing your fulsome melodies

In every open, vaulted concert hall,

In every strained and straitened prison-cell.

Come, show yourself to me in fallen snow,

And let me hear you in the boles of trees.

Come. Let me drink your wine of ageless joy

And taste the fruits of heaven’s apple-trees.

 

You come to me in dark-brown cups of tea,

And whisper softly in my silent soul.

We sing together in the frosty air

Of rainbows made of endless neon city lights,

Of crosses in the empty desert spaces,

And unmarked cairns beneath the snowy hill.

My wrists still hurt, but now I know you’re here.

I wait for you to turn and speak my name.

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