Thursday, October 22, 2020

Invocation To A Muse

After the despair of View From The Window comes the resilience, the determination, and the sometime impotent rage of Invocation To A Muse. Still at university, though composing this poem several years later, I am enduring what mystics the world over know as the Dark Night of the Soul when God, or Love as I prefer to call Her, seemingly deserts the sufferer as they are forced by Her to walk through the valley of the shadow of Death. I paste the poem below - it is long, so I shall analyse it in sections over the next few days...


Regale me with your woes,

Bequeath to me your pain,

Weigh me down a hundredfold,

Please.

You know it fouls me up, so go ahead,

Wreck me with your needs, your wants, your wretched self,

Which swells, like all your kind, way inward, outward,

Looking after one, one only.

Hell to those others who bear the same world of hardship,

Taking burden from your like,

It is our wont, let us pay.

 

I am ill, remember that, sick with the cold of the world,

Reality’s bite, the jab of the devil punching holes in my heart,

And whilst I filch whatever drops of joy I may, those others,

The ones who’ll never understand,

Declare that all feel as I do.

Nay, but a few.

If you saw as I do the darkness which lies beyond the grave,

Itching, scratching at Death’s door to drag us each and every one

Away to Hell, I think you’d understand my mind,

So don’t, don’t burden me with earthly problems

When I contemplate the world below, day in, day out,

Unceasing, one foot there, trying to save you, your friends, our race

From falling under that bloody influence of nothing.

 

I spit on materialism, religion of empty souls,

Animals, led along a path of tedium, blinkered,

Self-blinding their periphery,

Why don’t you face up, rip the mockers off your eyes,

And glory in God’s realm, His kingdom, Earth Heaven?

Oh, what am I saying? Preaching, pontificating, slandering those I love,

Unbelievers, the most holy, better by far than fools of the cloth.

No! Blasphemy He will not tolerate.

Nor degradation of the secular.

You are a sinner poet, turning on existence,

Retract your miserable view and give another.

 

Fine. I will say this. I love humanity. I love people.

And so it is I fret. Two sides. Two sides to everything.

Two worlds. Both within us. Secular. Spiritual.

As much as one as two.

Please, don’t ignore the last.

Look, see what happens when we do.

Enmity. Hostility. War.

True it is that battles of religion are fought,

But belief in the divine is just one interpretation of the spiritual.

Wait, poet, confusion reigns, this reads like an essay,

Move on.

Right.

Body. Soul. Conscious. Unconscious.

World. Other world. Life. Death.

Yes, that’s the one.

We live, and then we die.

Wrong.

We die and then we live.

Do you see?

In our end is our beginning,

Isn’t that what he wrote? Or meant,

East Cokering our passage from Norton to Gidding.

You were right, Stearns, you knew you were,

And I, your student, my mind stretched beyond measure by your genius,

Leapt into another world of understanding,

Knowing there is no close, that immortality holds us one and all the same.

I live in the next life. Constantly. Always.

There must be others.

But not you, concerned with yourself, your aims, your goals,

Fulfilment of your selfish ends,

Not caring who you wreck along the way.

Can’t you understand we’re nothing,

In a double century we neither one will be remembered?

So let’s prepare for death, give ourselves up to love, light, truth, God,

And beg Her use us for Her own.

Please, come with me, quit your frame,

Meld your soul to mine,

We will go-a-wandering, soar above this plane,

Dwell next door to life, and contemplate the mysteries of our race.

Then ignorance, misunderstanding, confusion will strife us no more,

And we shall…

 

Enough! Poet, your words are empty, hollow, lacking wit,

No wonder you are mocked, scorned, unrewarded for you art.

Dare you emulate those who worked their lives in pain?

You are an impostor, a fake, a mimic,

Foully copying that which you read.

Innovation scalds your skin,

Its touch the hottest pain,

Stop your trade until it soothes, embalms.

I will go, fly, find other talent,

Returning when self, narcissism, belief in immortality are shed.

You may live in the next world, poet, but it lives not in you.

Farewell.

 

Muse, please, I feel as a boat in some subterranean passage,

Stalagmites rising, stalactites falling,

Spearing me up and down,

Your doing, wench, your doing,

Tearing me in two, laughing, fooling, toying with my heart, my mind,

Like all your kind,

Even you, whore, even you, selling your wares to bidders, poets,

Flattering them with praise, seduced, won over by your beauty.

Well not me.

You laugh at mankind, promising creative minds your choicest gifts,

Offered under veil of deception.

You drain, muse, that is all you do,

So go, fly, and I will do without,

I will call on Mother, Father, He, She

My earthly, godly parent, and let Her guide my pen.

What need I you, destroyer,

Why wait for your descent?

I will write without corruption, painting worldly life in lightened shades.

We are human, muse, we live for good,

Tell your poets that, our nature base alone is in your eyes.

We live, we love, and whilst we do we join us hand in hand.

Only you, not of our ilk, encourage darkened thoughts.

 

What, now, trying to trammel my ink?

Begone, hag, take your woes, your pain,

Inflict them all on someone else.

You try and tame a spirit here who reaches out beyond your grasp,

I will write, write, until the day appointed ends my breath,

So choose – help or hinder.

But bear in mind, whichever way, I will charge on regardless,

My output bringing hope to all who struggle as I do in this test, this puzzle, life.

God, our guide, will show Herself upon this planet’s plane,

And we will go-a-wondering,

Gazing into other worlds, their systems quite unlike our own.

Then, and only then, shall we know truth,

That both our kinds are one,

Split atom-like before, oh way before, the birth of earth,

Our task to salvage, aid, augment and raise ourselves to pitch of unity,

Holding tight together, now, then, at all times,

Seeing oneness in our minds, our souls, though torn and rent apart

For reason why we simply will not know until we pass beyond the gate.

But howsoe’er we make it there, ignorant or learned,

We will be taught, muse, taught the reasons for our distance,

And you, you will be stopped, stopped from tearing us apart,

Guiding your employees scribe their art against the world

How cruel the place, how sad, gross lie I know, that Fate dictates

Our destiny sublime or dull.

Now, my juncture sought, reached, passed, I bid you off,

Off to trouble other souls who hope I that they guard against your wiles,

Whilst I, with Her, will forge ahead,

Composing other forms,

Proving soon how fickle, frail, false you are,

How we will do without,

And if my fault lies dormant, soon to be unearthed,

Then ye shall never hear my voice again.

Ay, there’s the deal.