Oh The Road Familiar Known

Oh the road familiar known,
I glance in recollection.
A wanderer strides alone,
Intent in his reflection.
I ask in haste, “Are you the one?”
He nods in affirmation.
My shoulders sink in bitter relief,
At odds with each sensation.
“Oh the road familiar known.”
I cry to my companion.
With half a smile, he nods again,
Suggesting his compassion.
I wait with longing for a word,
Some response to trepidation,
He simply stands in front of me,
Not changing his expression.
“What will you?” I ask, with irritation,
To break his piercing gaze,
“Let go,” he says with forlorn caution,
Then points the opposite way.
“But, oh the road familiar known,”
I cry again in earnest.
“Tis the past, the seeds are sown,
Before you lies your interests.
For if you tarry any longer,
You will not be fit to see,
The difference between what’s behind you,
And what you’re meant to seek.”
“But oh, the road familiar known.”
I meekly say in sorrow.
He shakes his head and turns away,
Heading for the morrow.
I’m left alone, now knowing truth,
Confined and pertinacious,
Hoping for some validation,
So vainly efficacious.

The Constant Shadow

Ascending from the cave,
I spy a shadow of former self.
A marionette without a sound,
Of hope and peace bereft.
And thus begins the shadow’s rise,
Engulfing my firm-footed base.
“Do not look back”, my sullen heart cries,
“And be doomed a pillar of waste.”
And so I shut my eyes,
Letting memory thus replace,
And dare not to dwell upon the past,
That these encounters be met with haste.
But I did see one thing I cannot put away,
A chip upon my shoulder,
That I noticed still remains.
It seems beyond position,
Or stature socially,
I have always felt subject,
And hindered by frailty.
In youth, I feared authority
As authority, I was intense,
As employee, I feared the manager
As manager, I feared impotence.
And thus the cycle continues,
I am constantly afraid.
Over, under, forward, behind,
Unsettled and dismayed.
I must attempt to break,
And shatter this illusion,
That my circumstances decide,
My attitude, is a delusion.

Broken Jack

Broken Jack, an unknown man,
Sits at the tavern table.
A weathered sage of former tale,
With memory unstable.

The revelers who drink and play,
About the tavern’s locus,
Know not our seasoned broken Jack,
Quite undeterred in focus.

Broken Jack has no intention,
To make a friend or foe.
His mind is caught in recollection,
Of an unforgivable woe.

He cannot recall his father’s name,
Nor the dwelling of his youth.
He remembers not the catechisms,
Or how many he once knew.

And yet one thing permeates,
And recycles o’er again.
‘Tis a choice he made with Clara Belle,
His love, his life, his friend.

It occurred too many years before,
No way to be exact,
Moot details by comparison,
With how he chose to act.

It came down to him or her,
Built on bricks of good intent.
His ambition, her attention,
Two forces incongruent.

He lost her to malady,
Faint heart succumbed to fever.
Yet in his heart he knew it.
T’was a broken spirit that killed her.

In her last breath it was later told him,
She spoke his name intently.
Upon report he buckled and fell,
Ne’er to recover sanity.

Thus now he stammers from place to place,
Heart toiling in bitter strife,
Recalling the fateful precipice,
Of choice that took her life.