Who are you, today

So, you seek duality,
Compatibility in opposites.
You are armed with preconception
Filled with determinant knowledge.
Cultural tenets pull you into it,
You know, that cesspool of conformity.
The constant blather about equilibrium,
The vogue of the day, your crowd,
Maintaining balance, harmony,
But your duality is shallow, seen.
Watching you walk down the street,
Passing the less fortunate shows,
That slight side step, hip outward,
Compassion is your hypocrisy, and
That…..is your grievous duality.
A disease permeates your life,
Your body language the diagnosis.
Actually, you are the less fortunate,
Those that live on the street,
They are in touch with reality,
You, only hubris and counterfeit charity.

© 2011, Donald Harbour

Live, reborn Chatterton

I have always been fascinated with many of the lesser known poets of the 17th and 18th centuries. Thomas Chatterton lived from 1752 to 1770. At his age 17 year old death he was held as just another miserable poverty stricken poet. Much has been written about him and his consideration as a forger of pseudo-medieval poetry. He did write under the pseudonym Thomas Rowley. Both Chatterton and his pen name Rowley stirred controversy after his death.

This is a homage to Thomas Chatterton and the inscription upon his grave stone: “To the memory of Thomas Chatterton. Reader! judge not. If thou art a Christian, believe that he shall be judged by a Superior Power. To that Power only is he now answerable.”


He sat in the dark gloom lighted
With only the glow of one sputtering
Candle. The quiet of the night
Momentarily interrupted by the scratch
Of a single feather quill and,
A gentle jab at an ink well.
His hair fell down about his
Stubbled and lined face
Accentuating its hawkish wanness.
Though he was so much younger,
He showed the poverty of years.
Scribbling upon the parchment,
His gauntness was softened by genius
in his eyes. He mumbled the words,
Syllables, patches of words that
Rhymed, words that carried music
In their meaning. These words would live,
Take on the symbols of love, of soul,
Of godliness, though the oppression
Of his moment was an ache,
Upon his talent. There was resignation
In his calm, a romantic yearning
For cleverness, that one exquisite
Verse that would phrase the meaning
Of all that was beautiful. Sipping
The arsenic of despondency, he wagered
His gifts for tomorrow, to the decades,
To the unborn. At the nights morning,
When light burst through the shattered
window pane of his hovel, he convulsed
With the drought of anonymity, dying
In the dust of yesteryear, only to live
In resurrection, reborn in the pages of today.

Copyright: 2009, Donald Harbour