If there were a tomb to hold my thoughts alone
where only those who seek it, meditate,
guffaws would echo on the heavenly green;
ideas will not live beyond their youth
unless they catch the glint of steel beneath
the torch of battle. So
let now be the arena for my wars,
my intellect, my flooding heart to charge
at enemies who rise today
but cannot raise the dust of my posterity.
This very hour I choose to fight
amid the phalanx of the white-robed clan.
It is a field of bloodless strife
where victors search beside themselves
for ripening flaws to extricate,
for keys to open doors
that never should have closed,
and for regrets that festered, unexposed.
Then as a spirit leaves its body to embrace
an unknown paradise,
down at the end of that long corridor
a dying candle flame blinks twice
and gives its rising smoke
to cense the larks above.