Saturday, 9 April 2016

The Hollow Men (My version of T.S.Eliot's poem of 1925)

We are the hollow men.
I know T.S.Eliot said it first,
but it bears repeating.

We are the stuffed men,
seemingly resplendent on the outside
in all our social finery,
but lost and broken inside
hoping no one will glimpse
our shame.

We are the hollow men
born without hearts
for feeling,
without minds
for thinking,
without souls
for touching one another.

So we voice our shallow platitudes
and we hope no one will ask us
a truly difficult question,
such as what does love look like
in this battered and bruised life.

We smile and nod
hoping no one will
notice our faces
flushed from crying
in the desolate wilderness
of our own untidy sanctuary.

Those who have broken through
to the other life
do not understand our downcast faces,
the despair of unknowing
and being unknown.

Faces I cannot meet again
of those in the future kingdom
look with kindness
and cheer us on to this better place,
where pain is left
as doorstep shoes
for the rain to dampen
and thieves to reject.

This is the dying land in which we live
as we look for the living One
to come and turn this death kingdom on it's head,
and flood resuscitating life into every soul
that accepts the new breath.

Here we go around the same garden path
that our first parents so carelessly wandered in.

Can it be the same
in the future
present and past,
of a world between
it's beginning and end,
surely nearer the end
although it's inhabitants
do not behave as if it were so.

We gather on the shore of this decision
to go forward
or to turn again to our personal Egypt,
that place of pleasure and pain
so muddled we cannot divide them.

Between the commencement
and the finale
comes the awkward
moment of silence
when the audience
is unsure of the
timing of their applause.

Between the passion                               For yours is the kingdom
and the regret
is something far
more confusing
and impossible
to quantify.

Between the creation                                the power and the glory
and the judgement
there is salvation
if we will have it.
A freely given gift
scorned by so many
in this darkness hungry life.

This is the way each one's world ends.       forever and ever. Amen
This is the way your world ends.
There is an end.
May it be with the power of a prayer
and not with a whimper.

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