For it too will end

Can there be so much in life
that bounds about as a playful puppy,
unknowing of consequences, tongue licks?
There was a time when forever
seemed so distant that time could not,
would not approach its threshold.
But, forever is not, it is approached.
It passes so quickly that, what was
so far down life’s road, becomes the
knowable present, and the past.
So much that could have been said,
was so much tossed in the ditch of life.
Father, why did you not listen?
I the fruit of your loins only
wanted to be heard, to find truth
in myself, the unknown of tomorrow.
You were unwilling, uncomprehending,
unassailable in your world of complacency.
What one word of recognition, of encouragement
would have been the spark to ignite
this unrealized tinder with in?
The silo I burned was not out of vengence.
Poised as a rocket to pierce the heavens,
I chose to see if a silo could fly,
chose to see if trailing sparks
it could reach far beyond my dreams.
It collapsed into cinders, glowing
embers to which no one would confess.
That act of joyous elation cleansed what
I did not want to share with the world.
What was lost father? Was it the crime
of being a child seeking the moon’s attention?
The night has closed around two lives
unfulfilled, ungratified, blameless.
Passing to go unnoticed as dying grass
at the edge of winter , lost to the dust
from which we are and to which you returned.
So goes life whispering a plaintive ‘why’.
The sum of a newborns first gasp of air,
the silo’s imprint no longer visable, unanswered.
We are as grass that grows eternal in spring,
each a single blade among the many, silos
consumed beneath the moon by winters chill.

Copyright: 2010, Donald Harbour

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15 thoughts on “For it too will end

  1. So much sadness and loss in this poem, but it was lovely and lyrical nonetheless:

    “What was lost father? Was it the crime
    of being a child seeking the moon’s attention?
    The night has closed around two lives
    unfulfilled, ungratified, blameless.”

    Beautiful, heartfelt work.

    Like

  2. Hi Donald,

    I’m sure many of us are guilty of tossing in the ditch things that ought better be said. Such is life. A good poem. I love the last three lines.

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  3. Hi Donald:

    Your volta in this piece is seamless. You make the transition well from the first portion to the scene of the burnt silo, making no excuses for it, and also using some good metaphor an imagery in the scene as well (the fiery rocket). I also like how you contrast the lack of attention (and perhaps by extension love) with the emptiness of the sky minus silo in the last few lines.

    How many years I wanted my own father’s attention. I jest a little, but I think you beat me in that contest with the burning silo. I primarily stuck to sulking and curling up in corners to read.

    But seriously, thank you for sharing this. Evocative and honest.

    -Nicole

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  4. What a statement to have made! The dust and renewal of grass doesn’t have a place for such desperate acts. Must be what humanity is for.

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  5. The silo I burned was not out of vengence.
    Poised as a rocket to pierce the heavens,
    I chose to see if a silo could fly,
    chose to see if trailing sparks
    it could reach far beyond my dreams.

    Yet we must always begin again don’t we?

    You hold a fine pen Donald.

    Like

  6. A child would choose to see if a silo could fly. How sad we carry such burdens. Incredibly beautiful and poignant poem.

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  7. Moving, Donald. The grass can’t help but bring Whitman to mind. The child says what is the grass? And the Bible… But the image that won’t leave me is the burning silo, which for those of us who grew up in the Cold War has another set of unavoidable allusions and complications. I love this sequence:

    Poised as a rocket to pierce the heavens,
    I chose to see if a silo could fly,
    chose to see if trailing sparks
    it could reach far beyond my dreams.
    It collapsed into cinders, glowing
    embers to which no one would confess.

    Beautiful and painful in its inability to reach its intended destination…

    Like

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