Why Must I Forget Your Face?

Why must I forget your face?
When tomorrow comes,
Your eyes will be but memory
Your smile, some sunken sun.
And curse the fear that held my voice
— And scorn the scales of chance
That had us meet for moments then
And only then, and once.
The gods must play some cruel jest
The fates some wicked scheme
That we may now meet nevermore
— Yet, a man may dream.

***

Have you ever met a stranger for an inkling of a moment whom you wished you’d known forever and then been filled with regret for failing to act?

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Before Her

Before her I am Thespis – unflinching, playing my part,
Ignoring every laden ache metered on my heart.
Before her I am Hector – yet Heaven tips the fates
And I am found here languishing – and she, beyond my gates.
Before her I am Caesar, and she the Rubicon
But I shall drown beneath her might while she rushes on.
Before her I am Vulcan – ugly, monstrous – lame
Twisting words and praise for her sweet and splendid name.

But now I am a poor man, bloodied, robbed and vile
And to mourn the truth of it – unseated by a smile.

I Would Not

NOT A PERSONAL POEM. READ NOTE BELOW.


Slit my veins in sleep one night,
I would pass in peace.
That I endure these darkening tides
Is pain that will not cease.
Many eyes have seen me,
But their sight averts mine own
And upon this wretched rock,
This dirt which I call home
They flog me and inflict me
Their words like whips and thorns
So please do slit my veins this night,
I would not see the morn.

Drown me in that lake one day,
I would gargle green
And watch her slowly slip away,
And leave this world unseen.
I have watched in silence
This thing they say is love
And whimpered at the God who made it
For unanswered prayers above.
Whose hands then made me monstrous?
Whose words then slurred my speech?
So drown me in that lake this day
The night is grave and bleak.

Throw me off a cliff one morn
I would meet the stones
Which moan amid the rolling waves
And have them break my bones.
What worldly works could hurt me?
What ill fate twist the heart?
This dead cold space has had its place
For many years now past.
Wailing winter whipped me
And spring still lingers grey
So throw me off that cliff this morn
I would not see the day.

S.S. Bartlett

Note : I must stress that this poem was not written for me, but for people (friends mostly) whom I know deal with bouts of depression and self destruction. I am grateful many took the time to contact me once this poem was published, but it was an exercise and a tribute to my friends.