25 January, 2010


Such a dark and common
moment of purely human
triumph: to forget

a section of your life,
tell yourself in its place
a lie you can live with,

a lie you then come to believe
with all your heart,
one from which you take

your impetus to action,
a lie growing proud as a demon
to set you aflame

with a fading sense of its falsehood
and subsequent absolute conviction –
a lie like that is as good as Scripture,

a Gospel rock on which to build
a fortress, a slaughterhouse,
a beautiful tomb.

In the forest of your life,
you fell a tree and block your ears.
This clearing has always been here,

you tell everyone.  Always a barren spot.
See how the light glares here.
Maybe there was a fire here long ago –

in fact, you are sure of it.  You insist you were there.
Show off your burns. Use the scars
to chart your course out of the woods.

End up somewhere you never expected
as someone you aren’t, feeling
the gray rain on your ashen skin.

~ ~  Tony Brown