I’ve laid before you, darkness all I’ve mapped, all alone,
Those little taps, and the enlightenment of voice from birth
Intrigue the remembrance of once I had,
And all I held, and all I’ve left and sought,
And loved, I’ve loved! The cruelty of son,
Told that the son branched take on this,
(And dun are the days that I’ve feared,
And this time, I would have never won).
All buried for now I reside in Mictlan
For I am as dead as white palms and geraniums*
Knowing not better, callow, led to my heart’s grief.
No man resides here,
But I know I won’t have that again.
As the world shall not stop,
And the rest climb the committed sites,
And some roll over in the graves,
On which one leaves a precious flower behind,
Recall the outward leaf’s cry,
Sullen as the boots upon sidewalk,
But know as well as I, this is not life;
Sheer, what is there out there?
I cannot surrender, I cannot behold my own blood,
The founding of remembrance upon some weak hold
Through the force of ill and paled hell as a deathly emcee.
No, do not hear my cries, for you cannot,
And do not reach a longing world within ember eyes.
Saw the glaze of sky, and the ground fragments,
My own blood of fleece encompassing the early birth,
And start, thus weary; all that is death, and their longing cries,
That curdled within my ears as colorless rocks,
That reached for a world, swelt in ember eyes.
But, I’ll never see it again. I’ll never again,
Within myself, I branch on thoughts past,
All distant, but the present is never quelled or stemmed
From a little auspice, therefore my fate in a dream–
A dream that plagued me, and I can tell between those.
I am as still forever as a stave in the Allegheny mountains,
As the Winter overtime, seasons fall, and asunder I’ve watched
To know I’ll never experience life again,
That in forever I reside, but no one knows, and no one knows;
And as though I’ve hurt, and I’ve loved,
I am only to soon be forgotten, and laid dead by the soft hands of mourners,
Hear my cries, and those condemned! I’ve cried and I’ve pleaded,
But know this, no one has that delicate stance,
For I am as hollow as the wrath of man.
Words, some say, and I know them,
But I’ve counted time through not spectral shadow, nor sound
Of someone’s lips to percolate the expression of life,
Nor through the wills of hope to sour themselves, drenched,
But rather worried;
I am nothing and that,
But know that this is never life,
And I’ll never have a chance.
I am nothing just like that,
But know that this was never life,
And I’ll never have it again.
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A/N: This poem is through the perspective of Joe Bonham from the novel, “Johnny Got his Gun” by Dalton Trumbo. It’s a great novel about…
(Spoilers…) a soldier who had lost his arms, legs, sense of smell, sight, hearing, and mouth. I’ve referenced this throughout the poem that this is not his life–just as he did with the value and worth of life within the novel, but through his thoughts. This story is fictional, but it is loosely speculated to be based on a true event.
I was pretty moved by this quote in particular: “You take the words. Give me back my life. I’m not asking for a happy life now. I’m not asking for a decent life or an honorable life or a free life. I’m beyond that. I’m dead so I’m simply asking for life. To live. To feel. To be something that moves over the ground and isn’t dead.”
Very thought provoking, and very emotional.
Moving on, *as well, another reference to T.S. Eliot here with the geranium line inspired by this: