I have heard it deep within!
‘Tis my soul, I am certain!

Listen! Can you hear the humble whistling,
Falling in-between the notes that silence found?
Like when the sun sifts through the silt of a pond upon the ground?
Do any of you hear this sound?

Or is it just the echo of my mind?
Do Darkness speak solely to me?
Am I prophetic in my dumbfounded sleep?
Is life the dream I thought sleep would bring?

I must be an old man fearing my farmland territory.
For death seems sewn into the landscape,
Seeded into the soil, slithering with snakes –
There’re rotten raisins where once were grapes.

And this bloated bladder and this tired brain,
This weakened heart and failing liver,
All serve the purpose to remind me again
Of how much pain my mind delivers.

Yet, I am unnoticed.
My words are writ in vain.
I did not compose this poem.
It was stolen from sunny Spain,

Where there is no future for those
Who sing to themselves at night.
Damned soulless spectres who chose
The isolation of poetic might.

And I who chose them am an acolyte too.
I am their scarecrow of spite who
Would fall to hay if crows had better sight.
I have simply given up on the war ‘tween wrong and right.

And so my soul stirs within my chest
Like a shark within a holding tank:
Always tense; Never at rest;
For I am rotten and my mind is rank.

I shall find the nearby foothills
To watch my family and farm fall to waste
And to listen to my soul’s poisonous ills
And bite off my tongue for want of taste.

For speech is as sland’rous as simony
And my mind will not let off speaking
It needs no tongue to converse with me
O! The damage it has been wreaking!

And how that poison seeps upon sound
Upon the breath of this plaguèd poet.
How thoughts of evil may abound
When breath and body do allow it.

Temperance! I will inoculate thee
From the horrors of sorrow,
If you would only see
How poetry dies every morrow

To be reborn upon the death of day,
For it feeds off fear and fading light.
And if I be wrong, then you may say,
“I am made of love and know not spite.”

And I will call you a liar and call it a poem
And sew seeds of doubt where orchards did lay.
For I heard from a child the words of this omen
And I felt my faith die when I knelt down to pray.

by Michael Cody Clarke
All Rights Reserved