There Was A Time
February 15, 2005
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20050215                         Death                         Soul

There Was A Time
written six months after I was released from six months in jail and six in prison.
There was a time,
     Ah, yes, there were many times,
     When light was upon the land.

But now it seems night
     Has descended from the heavens
     And quenched the remaining light.

Will day came again?
     Or is the final night a long descent
     To that eternal darkness,
     That deeper than deep abyss?

Night's arrow stings my soul
     And seems to come from every
     Shade of fading dusk --

Family, community, justice
     Economics, politics, career --

All sneer as the arrow speeds
     From its bow and
     Plunges to my depths, laughing
     As it sinks ever deeper,

Reminding me of good decisions gone awry,
     Of good intentions lost to
     Vicissitudes of careless time. or
     As Camus put it,
     "the benign indifference of the universe"

So life for another ebb's away,
     Soon to pass into forgotten oblivion.

But isn't it the living of life
     Rather than its eternal image
     That defines its import?

Isn't it whether the
     "Self-perpetuating chemical reaction"
     Occurred at all in self-recognizing form
     The majesty to be had?

Not the recognition of a name,
     After its material host
     Passes from the stage?

Then, why do I write this,
     If not to attempt to cause
     My name to survive my death?

It seems I seek immutability of my image
     Rather than pleasure of my reality,
     Or perhaps in addition to it.

But the former does not matter,
     Except perhaps a gift to my progeny --
     Biological and instructional.

So will the darkness pass -- or
     Is it merely another illusion I can dispel
     By simply opening my eyes?