© 1998 Christian Thomas
The Sad Old House
sad old house sits idle in the woods crumbling,
to a futility of splintering wood,
rust, and disorder.
leaves rot and bleak marigolds blear down
haunt brigade. Windows once hung with blinds
now blind windows, gaping maws devouring
emptiness around them.
is the collapse of pride, the ruin of joy.
crawl on webs that dark hallways enclose,
ghosts wander aimlessly in dusty cracked mirrors
once ate the moment alive, but now only give
like lightning once struck this house
raced through it in rapture and abandon,
privilege and harm, in absence and regret.
all that remains is loneliness seeping from
rack and ruin like blood from an open wound.
past recalled in mist, no house shall stand again
when the eye first glimpsed that once golden moment
sudden flash of light in which each thing in lusty
might towers to its height, yet imperceptibly
to its own decline
slow at first the rot within cannot be seen and its
point known only as the fate of other things
come the ravishings of time
cracks, glory fades and soon the weathered house
into squalor and decay, a drear and dream-ashen
Occasionally the wind whips and whistles
the ruin. No one's listening, though,
the noise is not a betrayal
a once hard-won trust. Other small noises:
the low groan of warping wood,
faintly echo the thrum of passed living.
scattered about everywhere in disarray
the torn banishments of a former glory,
time of prosper and private thoughts
still linger in muster old letters
hidden beneath the floorboards.
that someone someday
or may not find. Nothing here
protected, just as the small marble angels
upon remnants of the fireplace
longer guard the hearth.
daunted, haunted, crumbling to dust
window unbroken, no nail without rust
rubble cries out against time's unkind dismissal
creaking boards, the moans and groans
the rafters, are all prayers gone unanswered,
desperate pleas for permanence...
back, those moments of pride and stately
that once beckoned a friendly welcome
now no more than a cruel joke
the angels embossed upon their marble
fallen graceless and unobserved
soundless in squandered sunlight
Long ago sunlight streaming through the windows
hypnotized these walls into rooms
with memories: the first child was born here;
second child was married here.
one by one the children left, their belongings
detained, abandoned. Long hours passed,
grew old, and time like a searing wind
the garden's stone statues,
everything that happened here
a vast dark sea of things unremembered.
all the laughter and tears, hopes and dreams
former times lie scattered among the debris,
and timeless, pale witnesses in the fading light
this last and darkest night of standing
the sad old house
was and is
house holds fast in certain notion
a garner of worth measured in events
of the clock
the motion is swift and sure
something far beyond what is known
the struggle to stop the sunset begins
last all things are vanquished by ignoble age
in the end collapse as final shadows
for sleep slumber endlessly
soon it is all sorrowed
soon it is all neglected,
diminished, gone forever, lost in obscurity
© 2003 SubtleTea Productions All Rights Reserved