Thursday, November 22, 2012

When Votaries Turn Into Pyres

Did you put down the cup of pleasing pain
in a moment of mild digress
only to find you'd traded the good for the best,
and picked up the cup of cold gain?
And when you drank it all in, did you find
that nothing can unhinge a mind,
like one moment, just one moment, insane?

Did we capture the phantoms we sought?
Or did they dissolve in the dark of the glass,
and melt in the darkness just past,        
leaving us, in the end, with nothing we'd sought:
and only the torturous regret of our oughts?
In the morning did we still fill[1] desire
when our votaries turned into pyres,
and the bitter dregs poisoned our thoughts?

Amidst the safe and the sound we had dwelt
for so long we'd forgot how it felt
to live lost in a world of pleasure-less gain,
and hold fast to hand that could not refrain.
It could never, we said, fall to us
to pray for dry clothes in the rain,
or seek joy in the paces of pain.
But our bright burning boasts waned to rust;
when we suffered at last our own dust,
and sung all the songs we'd disdained.

[1] This is not a typo. The natural word here is ‘feel,’ but I have something else in mind: the tendency to try and ‘fill up’ unquenched desires even when they should not and will not be filled. 

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