“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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“Refraction.”

I cut myself as I clipped my nails last night, and bled pretty profusely! That served as the catalyst for this poem, which concerns my frustrations on the job-hunt.

I hope that you like this. 🙂


Refraction

Today, the blood is dry. The snow still falls

Upon the empty, ardent, trash-filled streets,

Upon my wounded heart, still gushing blood.

I yearn for meaning in the morning light,

For pleasant walks with lattes in the sun.

My yearning for fulfillment gnaws at me;

I feel a void where pride and joy should be,

An emptiness that swallows each fleck of tasty chourizo,

And gulps down whole each tender sky-bright note

From post-punk or meandering blues guitar.

 

I do not feel the whimsy of a summer’s day;

Instead, my desires are concrete and dense.

I ache for solace from the slowly-drying blood,

For gentle touch to soothe my anxious, twitching limbs,

A lover’s kiss to wash my sullen aches away.

 

Although my scarlet blood still dries upon the page,

And even though my trembling hand still fights

To write the next line, to fill the space,

I hear the winter wind; the snow still falls,

Encompassing everything in penitent white.

Does darkened snowfall call me to repentance?

Is there some errant path I’ve walked these days

From which I must turn, like a slowly-moving train?

My fretful question whistles in the wind.

 

It doesn’t matter now; how could it matter now?

My emptiness and longing are my own.

They’ll still be there tomorrow, when I run

From bus to snow-slick steps to chapel’s warmth;

They’ll dog my soft, determined pace from Bloor

And Dufferin to Dupont, and be where I go.

I hear depression’s soft descending bass,

And sing the melody of faith and fear.

 

In sleep and wakefulness, I’ll hold the line,

Embracing all that darkness gives to me.

I feel the snow overwhelming the old world,

And whispering all the little birds to sleep.

The dawn will come, with its still-nascent fire,

To light my heavy soul upon its way,

To help me to refract the light of stars.