Being A Better Man - Revised
Do plans take stock of what you’d give to be a better man,
and somehow you have trust it’s true that human dream’s a gift,
that life’s a blessing on bad days? The world sees Grace (or lack thereof) in ripples fading in stern’s wake when no waves greet
your bow, best efforts labeled “Author’s Name Is Lost To Time.”
Is ‘Love’ not worth some sacrifice? Does ‘Cost’ own final vote?
Are there no values wise men might hold dearer than dear life?
Will cracking stone, untended plot, be how you mark your place?
I grokked, as new lines of this poem filled their space, that it
might brook no rhyme, no meter’s flow stems speed or path.
Emotion looks more to free verse and lack of discipline,
time spent on ‘balance’ fool’s errand - a Shepherd herding clouds,
an Eliot whose affectations look like pumping air
to Mars to hide the lofty vapors of his chamber’s pot,
freeze-drying, I think’s far less work and, also, ends pot’s stench.
Who needs to Roto-Route effete when ‘Ex-Lax’ primes so well.
But hear the truth, some rhymes exist that are well worth your time,
and music that can break a cynic’s heart, make glaciers boil.
At least, I’d sacrifice my life if I thought it would save
the Mahler 9th for future generations on this earth,
to serve composer much akin to landing on the moon.
Might such a gift survive man’s role on superficial grounds
and porpoise culture give the planet purpose, plunge its depths?
Sound carries well for friends with fins that asteroids can’t kill.
Oh, let me join with Steppenwolf in wailing at the moon
and hear God’s smile not just in sound but space between His words,
a play the Magic Playhouse hosts, theatrics of absurd.
Let me observe through telescope as Nietzsche builds his home
on ash, on lava flows Vesuvius so freely gives.
Count me twice burned by poetry that bridges soul to soul,
the writing and the reading both, a fearful symmetry.
There’s so much music, verse to live for, those with heart can feel,
but Love that means that life’s worth living has no ax to grind.
Love welcomes Love like ‘naked lady’ gracing forest trail,
buds transient and longer-lasting, all God’s gift to man.
Let beauty’s poets ply their trade till men with ears all drown,
thirst quenched like glowing steel in living water of God’s song.
Let fire take all, blank-verse like mine, recycled for its pulp
and merit found in innocence, each question child asks God
who knows his Father always answers, loves His Child’s aplomb.
Watch angels smile, record (for later study) what is said.
Lord, let that be one thing that all in Heaven’s Name desire.
October 18th, 2015
Revised May 10th in 2021
Copyright © Brian Johnston | Year Posted 2021
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