As I slowly emerged from my “dark ages”, poetry was a medium that I used to express much of what was happening in my life. The free-flowing poem below represents a kind of summary of my downward spiral, followed by my first attempt to “come back to life”. It reminds me of how I desperately gasped for air during my near drowning experience at age nine.
In search of life and love I boldly ventured forth,
Or so I thought; I wanted all and wanting took in greed,
Each sensation grasping with both hands
To then remain dissatisfied for wanting more.
This world to me must yield its very soul
Its every palpitating breath,
That I might live each passion to the core
And drink the cup of happiness that I deserved.
Come vaporous vine!
Take me into your sun-drenched arms,
Enfold me in your warm embrace.
What ethereal Utopia is your gift
Of deep oblivion.
No pain can touch me, nor bitterness
Taint my chalice of perfection,
With you beside me as my constant friend.
But what is this that you demand?
You crave attention more than I.
Indeed, not mere attention – this is total slavery!
Where are your magic powers and promised reverie
For those who sip your nectar so divine?
I asked not for this mad confusion
Nor this tormented soul!
Dear God, I feel abandoned and alone.
This kaleidoscope of colors many hued
By children of innocence is perhaps enjoyed,
But my tired eyes and heavy head
Crave not such gaudiness.
Where are my jewels, my crown and scepter gold?
Where is the kingdom that I rule
With all prostrate beneath my very feet?
Why does my head pound to the rhythm
Of a thousand dervish drums from hell?
To me was promised heaven - paradise!
Merciful night comes down upon this nightmare,
But I find not solace in my sleep
As bitter yellow bile rebels within my guts.
Cool hand of death that you were near
To relieve my tortured and tormented soul.
No! No! I do not want to die,
To pass unnoticed into the spirit world.
And yet this is not living –
This agonized confusion in my heart.
Can this be the grandiose person that I was,
Who craved so much for life and living?
Who now grovels at the feet of Bacchus,
Leering god of ultimate rejection.
Dear God where are you in my hour of need?
Dare I call upon you whom I have long ignored?
Your once proud child in new humility
Beseeches your assistance, your support.
I am not strength personified as I believed,
But rather like a motherless new-born babe.
Be my Mother, be my Father too
For this death wish is just another fallacy,
Another road to take, to run, to hide, to flee
From life that I so truly long for.
Lift this veil of visions from my eyes,
And let love flood my soul,
For I would drink no more of Bacchus’ opiate,
But of the cup of life.
And if to gain my freedom I must burn,
Then I am ready to accept the flame
Of your immense and deeply cleansing love.
Knowing that you hold the healing balm
Will give me strength to suffer what I must.
For now I see your hand stretched out toward me
That for so long has waited patiently,
You never did abandon my lost soul,
I chose to wander losing sight of thee.
My life till now has been an emptiness
Of barren spaces void of any truth,
Honest feelings always have escaped me;
Yet no, if truth is what I search, let truth prevail,
‘Twas I escaping everything.
Now I must learn to take my steps again,
To fall, then rise to fall once more
And ever rise again –
But not lose heart.
For you my Father, Mother, and my Friend
Will walk with me if I but meekly ask.
And in your love so infinite and wise
Will I find strength to seek reality.
© 20 September 1980