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VERSE-A-TILITY by Gene Myers





VERSE-A-TILITY by
Article Posted: 11/26/2010
Article Views: 2135
Articles Written: 209
Word Count: 1638
Article Votes: 6
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VERSE-A-TILITY


 
Writing poetic verse does not come naturally to me. Yet when I want to express myself with a little extra portion of passion, but slightly in the abstract, nothing gives me more satisfaction.

Story-telling, on the other hand, is easy. When I recall a memory or have an idea, words fly off the keyboard as if by magic. With verse...well, not so much. First, I have to feel "something", which I cannot explain to anyone, including myself. The feeling is rare.

I led off "LeaderTrip" with a poem about (of all things) a factory. See, I had an experience that was so transforming that the rest of my life has been a search to find it again. In "Songs from Lattys Grove", I included a poem in a chapter to help explain the untimely demise of a character. Other unpublished verses include viewing my daughter through a father's eyes as she grew into adulthood; and the winsome smile of the prettiest, peppiest cheerleader in high school after seeing a photo of her decades later.

The verse in this article was inspired by some extremely unhappy people; the kind you cross the street to avoid; the kind who have bumper stickers that read, LIFE'S A BITCH, AND THEN YOU DIE! Being a joyful person who is appreciative of the rare gift of our relatively short span of life, I avoid those downers like the plague--if I see them coming. One I did not avoid was a classmate I knew in former days who changed from balanced and optimistic to miserable and crabby in 30 years. He approached me with a half-sneer and pessimistic tone, "You probably don't remember me. (I DIDN'T) Hell, nobody does..." then proceeded to hold me captive for 45 minutes as he railed on-and-on about his wretched life. (I bought him a cocktail--figured he could use extra depressant to keep the mood going.)

Being a writer, and a nosy one at that, I tend to watch and listen always hyperaware of what's going on with people around me. I try to capture another facet of the human experience for my own selfish use. And so, when I left my former schoolmate I tried to understand what makes people like him so depressed, so negative, so unappreciative about the gift of life; a gift that must be given back.

With that in mind, I attempted to channel those unfortunate souls and put myself in a state of self-hypnosis to tell their story. The verse that follows is dedicated to all those people who hate life. Submitted for your perusal...

THE ABSURDITY OF EDMUND DROOD

Dank, bleak darkness fills my empty soul whilst a church bell peals a funeral's toll. / On this frightening, restless eve I toss and turn wondering of my final fate-- / Then when nodding off almost sleeping, I thought I saw a phantom peeking. / As someone eagerly seeking--seeking one whose life was late. / "Begone, ebony wraith," I pleaded, "we have not a meeting date-- / "Go darken someone else's gate."

That night I'll always remember was a thunderous September, / And each flashing, crashing trembler filled my chamber with imagined hate. / Prayerfully I rued my fate, knowing my petition was too little and too late-- / To save my wretched, wicked soul from being cast into Sheol / Among other unworthy souls--souls who spend endless days untold-- / Cast into a demon's mold.

The dreadful apparition's power grew stronger each passing hour. / My imagination (was it?) ran wild; filled me with terror and dread, / So to keep some hold on sanity in hopeless faith I pled, / "Dear Lord, don't let it (who or what) take me into the place of living dead." / But no answer forthcoming the spector grew bolder and said, / "Mortal man, come away with me." / "Never; not ever!" I said.

Long ago one glorious morning, a bright and shining day was forming. / A warm summer day gave birth to laughter and happy sounds came forth. / A mother her infant to bear, a boy who would receive special care. / His engaging visage she thought quite fair, one the world would see had worth. / The little boy was me; I was coddled and loved with tender warmth, / And around me spun the earth.

Years passed and brought confusion with new directives in profusion. / Maybe life is merely illusion; perhaps a temporary state. / They said pursue (with vigor) education, and find greater purpose through meditation. / Bow to a Holy One in supplication--supplication (it's said) will bring appreciation, / And shelter from worldly hate.

While in that state of mind one year, the unwelcome presence did first appear. / Undefined was its form yet (I sensed) filled with evil intention for my fate. / Why must life take such an unwelcomed turn? Why this intruder? / I willed the spector to leave, remove from my sight its aura of hate. / "I am LeMonde," it said. "I will wait."

Thence I saw each new day clearly, though I became guarded and wary. / I sensed a new change taking place within me, felt intolerance abound. / Energized, I swore and cursed; wished my fellowman the worst. / With each new profane outburst, I suspected those all around / Of conspiring against me and with my foes together bound. / LeMonde a mortal host had found.

Patience with others became tiring because I knew they were conspiring / To condescend and mock my efforts; all that and so much more. / So pretending not to care, I withdrew into my lair, / And cursed the favored persons LeMonde seemed to adore, / Then accepted my position among those called profane and obscure.

Bestowed to me upon my birth, a gift to render untrue worth. / Blessed with a special talent, an endowment for others to perceive, / A flair to sound glib when speaking, so they came to me when seeking / Knowledge of a certain needing, a leader to believe. / But silver tongue and half-truths imparted false wisdom to receive, / From one who meant not (completely) to deceive.

Without a plan to misinform, nor mislead, betray and do harm, / Smooth oration led followers, peers, and superiors to deem / I was a true, able leader, a prophet, seer, and world beater. / But time uncovered the ruse by which I spun my selfish dream. / Alas, I am rarely what I seem.

Along the way I found a wife, a sweet helpmate to share my life. / But t'was mere folly; for she easily discovered truth concealed-- / That all my gay, cheerful glitter was submerged in envy bitter. / And that my essence shared with her would not fit her living zeal. / In horror my bride hastened to escape my bizarre world surreal, / And left behind a wound time can never heal.

Ah, but just to have a chance, to have a life with some romance. / At least for once I took a stance though LeMonde took my love away. / That rogue phantom left me burning with a painful, bitter yearning / Of a young life before learning--learning that the screw was turning / To scatter fond dreams astray.

Memories of pain still at hand, with stealth I fled to a distant land, / Where strange people and customs allowed me to start anew. / The shadow of my soul has taken its leave, but always searching / My old, bitter foe (who or what) relentless and diligent / Already knows my hearts intent.

Soon, yet again, I am found; for to my nature I am bound. / For one can scarcely change his essence without giving up control--/ Of ones own desire to master destiny sans doctor or pastor, / Which can only court disaster, lest one bares his troubled woes. / But me--I need no spiritual intruder to make me whole-- / I am the only skipper of my soul!

Caught; snared in self-deception, a noose of my own invention. / Alas, my bitter foe has found me! There is no escape from fact. / Despair that (who or what) portends will surely work to cause my end / For I can no longer pretend my good sense is intact. / Reality is an illusion; alternate shades attract--/ Now, there is no going back.

LeMonde shadows me relentless, knowing now I am defenseless / To shelter my soul from falseness, a struggle in best of times. / Glibness and style is the mask; truth and substance left in the past / When innocence aside was cast--cast among honor and veritas. / Epitaph etches veiled lines.

And now precious time has flown; it's time for me to sleep alone / With neither sight nor sound nor senses to comprehend my corruption. / Too late I rued a life so squandered; too late in years I pondered / The penalty for witting blunders (of my complete intention). / Awaiting me is eternal damnation!

The final visit from my foe. There is nowhere to go. / Acceptance. LeMonde has come to collect, "Where is your soul?" / A form lies still and lifeless with vacant stare. Unattached, I see! / A final gesture; my pointed finger to where I once stood, / "In the fallen body of Edmund Drood."

Copyright 2010 by Gene Myers

www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/AfterHours.mtml

Author of AFTER HOURS:ADVENTURES OF AN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESSMAN (2009), AEG Publishing Group, New York, NY.

Author of SONGS FROM LATTYS GROVE (2010), PublishAmerica, Baltimore, MD.

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