Dave's Mental Meanderings
Poem - "In Prison or Dead"
I heard a song today and the singer said,
“Everyone I used to know is in prison or dead.”
My thoughts turned to you, on your front porch in June,
Sitting there softly strumming a tune.
A sage at first glance, but looks can deceive,
Things are not always the way you perceive,
How clean are your hands from never having to crawl,
How fake are your eyes that appear to see all,
Your experience lies only in fooling yourself
And ignoring that dusty old soul on your shelf.
You made up a story that you set out to prove
And there’s no one to challenge it way down in your groove.
You know the ride can be rocky at times,
But only from pages, pictures and rhymes,
How can you withdraw when you never took part?
How can you mend an unbroken heart?
You swear by seclusion but you’ve never known love,
You hide in your hole when push comes to shove,
You condemn your companions who seem quite content,
You foresee their demise when their hopes have been spent,
Although it is they who determine their fate,
You dream of their misery as you sit back and wait,
You say to yourself, “They’re foolish indeed,
For leaving me here while they go plant their seed.”
You convince yourself that they’ll come crawling back
When they realize they’re trapped in a one-room shack,
And maybe they will, then won’t you feel smart
For never having taken a hit to the heart.
I’ve been there before and I asked you the way,
From the look on my face you knew that I’d stay,
And I did for a while until I found out
Desolation isn’t what life is about,
Hope isn’t a prison, it’s the knife in your cake,
The chisel you use when nobody’s awake.
You might seem serene but you’re so far from free,
How could you know what it’s like to be me?
How could you feel what she ignites in my soul
When you don’t play the game just to keep in control?
No longer subjecting myself to the pain
Doesn’t mean that I’m running away from the rain,
Doesn’t mean I’m locking myself in a cage,
Deluding my head to stifle my rage.
You wouldn’t know freedom if it leaped from your pants,
You’ve suppressed the desire to stir from your trance.
I once followed your path and accepted my death,
Drowning my sorrows and wasting my breath,
When I questioned this creed one cold lonely night,
My heart skipped a beat and I trembled with fright,
I realized she’d been there waiting so long,
Had I stalled for much longer, all would have gone wrong,
But I pulled myself out of the rut that we shared,
Now I’m out in the open with no need to be scared,
Scared of being locked in a dimly lit cell
Where your world outside reminds me of hell.
This place is no prison, nor any other word,
Where you see two options, I’ve chosen a third,
I feel no confinement, no cold bars of steel,
She holds and protects me when the pain gets too real,
Yet she knows I’m a drifter nobody can own,
I can walk by myself without being alone,
Simply because she’s forever beside me
Doesn’t mean she intends to kidnap and hide me.
You claim so much wisdom, but still you are green,
I’ve traveled to places that you’ve never seen.
Where once there was pain that cut like a knife,
I’m free and alive for once in my life.