Sunday, February 29, 2004

Youthful Poem

This is continuing my search to find images of my 16 year-old self, as described in my Friday entry. I was essentially influenced by a number of brave souls (including our friend, Dr. Omed), as I mention. Anyway, not being able to find a photo of myself at 16 (I think such as existed were lost in one move or another), I thought I'd post a poem that was written when I was 16 or 17:
the prisoner
i am the prisoner who holds his own key,
the lock i have to bear is kept within my soul;
the chains which surround my body are very old,
but i have worn them just a few years;
the rust collects along the links
which could be the path to my mind;
if you should find where i hed the key,
could you return it to me?
i am the priest with no psalms to sing,
no prayers or offerings to give to you;
i grasp our little cross and
preach from the burnéd bible
even while the flames of Hades
consume my temple;
is there no saviour among [you]
who will save this sinner from his self-made Hell?
i am the mighty businessman who throws his money away,
giving it to the poor whom i will never hire,
using it to pay for the flowers at some unknown
   faithful servants grave, or
to pay for advertising to save the world (though
i will never buy pollution controls); but
this work and toil is killing me,
i must get out, i must get out, please
   help me get out.
are we all then not prisoners of our own
longings, needs, hungers, and greed?
we ask: who holds the key to the chains?
a voice, distant, answers: we do.
Yep, preachy as only a 16 year-old can be. Let's try a sonnet, written 2 – 3 years later, shall we?
Fantasy in Corners of a Sandcastle
The ancient tides will flow across the sand
as my love and i sit upon the beach,
a warm and tender hand in hopeful hand
when faith and dreams seem to be well in reach,
and our castles will be built in the air.

We hear the waves upon the open sea
as my quiv’ring hand flows through here sweet hair
and all of the pretty castles we see
belong to no other lord and lady
than ourselves in our cloth of illusion.

I will visit my mistress fair daily,
and my passion will be no delusion —
which i will know when we lay down our heads
and all of our fleeting false dreams are dead.
I know there's a number of problems with this sonnet, but I've generally been inclined to let these old poems stand, unedited, so there can be measure of growth & improvement. For example, how does this juvenile poem compare with the free verse which appears immediately below?

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