Life’s SongOn 2020 May 15th by monty
I sat one day, outside my home,
Quite laissez faire and all alone,
When all-a-sudden, something here
Inevitable did appear:
A figure of impressive height,
Within a cape be-weaved of night,
Who wore a cap of stark, thin, hair
And locked me in its soulless stare.
“I dare”, they wheezed through cracking teeth,
“I dare”, repeated low beneath
Their glare that also uttered there
No other thing but this, “I dare”.
“I dare thee, low, shambolic thing,
To wage thy life, thy mortal cling,
Against my own, that I’ve lived long,
In besting me but with a song.
If thee sing well, as I shall judge,
Then I’ll retire and hold no grudge.
But if ye fail, as rule requires,
Then, by my hand, your life expires.”
At that, their arm, all bone and shade,
Drew out a long and sorrowed blade.
The stranger grinned, which tore the skin
That what remained was rictus grin,
And such a fear it struck in me,
That lost was my ability
To even breath, less think to sing
Before this deathly, wicked thing.
But from somewhere, as to condemn,
My desperate plea was heard by them.
They must have plucked words from my thought,
For from my lips I uttered naught.
My quiet prayer, my hushed despair,
No louder still than a nightmare,
Beseeched their hallowed eminence
To pity me through my laments
And choose to task some other thing,
For I – forgive me – cannot sing.
Their laugh was dry and joyless. “Thence,
Thy death draws with expedience.”
And in a manner well-rehearsed,
In bloody, maleficent thirst,
They raised the cursèd final blade
To punish for this game unplayed.
It fell and cut a lethal arc,
But halted, not to meet its mark,
As from my lungs did so expel
A shout with all the might of hell;
My soul so near its sudden death
Became my bellowed endless breath,
And carried from my pounding chest
My answer to their wicked test,
“I sing, foul wretch, for I shall live!
My soul to take, I shall not give.
I sing not with a dulcet tongue,
Nor with a note a second rung,
I sing no tune or melody,
But my response is all of me.
I sing not with my voice, though true
I sing for life in what I do.
I greet each day and celebrate
The circumstances of my fate.
I’ve cried for sunsets, sighed for dawns,
I’ve plunged through oceans, lay in thorns,
I’ve battled fear and rolled with beasts,
I’ve nuzzled babes, and guzzled feasts,
I’ve loved with passion far exceeding
Any flame or angel bleeding
Throng, and lived each moment long,
And what I’ve done, that is my song.”
The stranger did not move a sleeve,
Until the verdict they did breathe,
“Thy answer spares thee. Yet I’ll pass,
But sands fall through my hourglass,
And time will age thee before long.
I shall return to judge thy song.”
Then all was hush, and they were gone.
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