Dave's Mental Meanderings
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Poem - "About Face"
Hundreds of nights spent alone ‘neath the lights
Of a handful of hopeless old haunts,
A thousand some days of wandering a maze
And suffering the silence’s taunts.
Vows of reform washed away in the storm,
The burden, it grows like a cancer.
The up-and-down seasons and the best of my reasons
Fail to give rise to an answer.
As our days in the valley slowly escaped
And serenely we sat in the shade,
How could I turn my back on my brothers?
How could I let it all fade?
The Ace and the Joker and this lonely old smoker
Were kings of all we surveyed,
But our once-witty rhymes lose luster with time
And the pages of our poems are frayed.
As we walk all the while the feet become miles
And the hours are drawn into years,
The echoes of laughter ring in the rafters
But no one’s beneath them to hear.
We’ve all moved along and done as we must
And often I can’t help but wonder,
Do the Joker and Ace lie awake in the night
On these Sunday nights without slumber?
Have they come to terms faster and managed to master
The art of graceful surrender,
Or do they too strive to one day revive
That lively emotional bender?
With these questions in mind I look back to find
In my archived annals of verse
The same old answers again and again,
Driving it home like a hearse.
At first my face is joined by a frown
Then my spine by needles and pins,
A journey in time through haunting old rhymes,
A refresher course on my sins.
The wisdom I seek is spelled out within
And I desperately need its advice,
I won’t have to squint for it’s right there in print
But it can only be mine for a price.
I must first confront the demons of old
That won’t let me rest for a bit,
Stare dead in the eyes the betrayal and lies,
An about face into the shit.
For almost a year I’ve been slave to the fear
That salvation might never find me,
And now I’m certain as I peer through the curtains
At the smoldering wreckage behind me.
The acrid smoke and the promises broken
Like ethereal ghosts in the gloom,
Pangs of regret that I’ve failed to forget
And the stench of death fill the room.
I’ve hidden and run in an effort to shun
The demons’ unflinching pursuit,
I’ve trudged through the snow but all the while I know
They’ve followed the tracks of my boots.
Though masked in denial I’ve known all the while
That my path is carved out before me,
A showdown is coming and the stakes are no less
Than the right to write out my own story.
To do so I’ll need to steadfastly heed
The advice that I couldn’t have missed
On this gray afternoon while dredging the gloom
For what gems may lie in the midst.
How foolish I’ve been as I’ve learned once again
That salvation never comes knocking,
But I shall be free so I’ll bring it to me
And get back to the business of rocking.