April 22: Optimistic/pessimistic

The traveler

 

The traveler

I landed with a sense of wonder,
watching the Sun rise over the crescent of home,
the dome just a shimmer between myself and
that harsh, life-giving light – the hisses and
odd noises washed over me, so barren this place,
yet so filled with hope: I am watching history,
the constructions going on in shipyards in a vacuum,
great journeys begun not long ago, and humanity
showing no sign of slowing…

But what was the price paid to get this outcome?
the tick of the grand clockwork is pushing me on,
and the dice fall out in a scheme of vast complexity,
random chance meeting an intelligence…

Shift – and I am home again, but not home
as I know it: this place has death permeating,
a tangible force that swallows me bodily; something is
shivering inside of me, cringing away unsuccessfully;
I can see there was great valor shown on this battlefield,
yet dignity is a casualty of the opening blows of war—
nothing exists here that hasn’t tipped the balance
to a point where the fabric of existence would rather
shred itself than continue as we are…

I watch the stars with sorrow in my eyes, that place
the only thing unmarred where I stand, and I wish
the hands would move faster, to take me away: I refuse
to be an observer to such a place…

But I am a traveler, answering a compulsion deep
within my soul that carries the burden of needing to see—
I go again, and visit a place that settles uncomfortably,
but not quite so jarring; we have changed yet again,
and nothing is really different – we have tried and
failed often, but we did not succumb, we have not
slipped under and met the harbinger of our destruction,
but I know that there is a price for continuing on—
whatever we achieve here, it is never fast enough…

I am moved by familiarity, but I am disappointed,
for I have seen what we could be, and the dangers waiting…
there is much that could shove us over the edge
with a single breath: and I am so helpless – only a witness…

The grand clockwork balances with a cold
impartiality, and I am but a passenger, caught
in a current that takes me through sequences of
great achievements and great disasters alike;
in all of my travels, what seizes my mind the most
is the game of chance we dance to so blithely—
we can struggle and strive, but at the end
only the clockwork knows which path is chosen,
and we are all variables of an unidentifiable quantity…

My hands are feverish over sculptures of possibility,
and my wish for a guiding hand is fervent; I know not
what must come to pass to reach where I want, but I
cannot help but withhold trust: I feel it, yet it is not enough.

Flicker – I am in a place in between now, trying
to divine the proper chain, yet limited by my mortal mind,
and consumed by a war waging inside: a calm river
of surety that what must be will be, a hope that I’ve seen
the answer to our fate’s question – and the other,
a raging storm of sure knowledge, that we were composed
as an epic of failure after failure; what hope is there
in such a truth? I wish I could believe, but I’m sure
it will only take one catalyst – one, that could be anything…

A traveler is a soothsayer at the end of the journey, yet one that
no one will ever believe: knowledge was the gain, but a kind of
insanity was the price paid; now I hover in a delicate balance:
for all my vaunted knowledge answers not a single question.

 

April 22, 2014

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