Too Late for Him

There is such a valley between us,
That once flowed a river of love and complexity,
Teeming with potential and abounding life,
Continuing the promise of surprising simplicity.

Ghosts now wonder where the living once stood,
Reminding themselves of their own importance,
Playing the game as if they invented the challenge,
Preying on time as if the next second were a guarantee.

The valley does hold in it the key but not in it the reality,
On one side there is a wall, 
Built by sorrowed hands and angry thoughts,
Maintained as if by some majestic memory.

On the other is a barren wasteland,
Waiting for the dam to break although not believing in the possibility, 
Remembering patiently the paradise that once flowed around it,
Trying hard not to forget that this hell is not all there is.

Has the ground become so dry that the touch of water sickens it?
Has the parched earth become so thirsty as to not remember being satisfied?
Do the darkened grasses so love their suffering as to not wish it all away?
To what, if anything, would the crazed blades do to become themselves again?

Again the valley does hold in it the key but not the reality.
It longs for the water being held from it but craves the dryness it now is.
It does not seem to wish what was to become what is,
It wishes what is to become what was in something new, something new, something new.

So off I go as a bird fleeing the burning bush,
No longer wanted to be what is or what was…but what will be.
Perhaps this valley does not want me anymore, perhaps I not it,
Perhaps the revulsion I cause of the ground around me sickens me as well.

I have died, more than once,
I have seen the world through tears and through smiling eyes,
I have tasted the salt of my heart and the fear of my mind,
Enough to know that one cannot live on dry bread alone.

So what to quench my thirst on this barren plain around me?
I look to the dam and simply say “fuck it”,
I look to the wasteland and say “fuck you too”,
I look to the sky and know that is the answer.

So begins the struggle to climb to my life’s highest peak,
Weathered feet and leathered hands long for something to hold,
Tired eyes see nothing as tired ears hear echoes from the past,
Calling out yet causing no pause in the ascension.

Alone I stand on one mountaintop overlooking that which is below,
I see across the vastness of what is yet another summit calling out to me,
I reach out to the promise of what could be but fall back again,
Such is the expanse, never seen as so vast until now as I try to bridge it.

I have seen the promised land but know in my heart I shall never kiss it.
Gone is the chance to live it, to die upon it, to become one with it for eternity.
For it plays me as surely as I play it, a game of hide and seek to which there is no winner,
Until the end when both are called the champion.

“He was such a good man” the valley will say,
“He did all he could to sew good seeds” the mountain will say,
“He always tried to be the best he could be” the sky will proclaim,
“Too late for him” say the worms on their feast, “Too late for him.”

©2010 Thomas P. Grasso All Rights Reserved ☮ ℓﻉﻻ٥ ツ


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