Poetry Winner

A night brisk and bitter
A day heavenly and sweet
A sun that sank with the mood
So that one man could retreat

A walk for his life
Through the heaviest woods
Where he had once come
And where she had once stood

Away from the world
And the pain they had known
Like a haven for love
Before their danger had grown

One day the calm, cool glass
Of their palette, their lake
Began to wrinkle with pain
As her soul, death did take

Spinning and turning
In nights spent so furious
There was no cause to rejoice
Nothing left that was glorious

Thoughts dragged him down
And he sank with the sun
That had slowly descended
With his life that was done

A broken man retreats
Once again to his deepest wounds
To search and to wander
For reasons, if he could

But time stared him down
Ripping his flesh and bones
In the densest of forests
In a world of his own

Taking his tremulous hands
He grasps his throbbing head
And flashes of light
Appear before his eyes, crimson red

Spinning and churning
Moving and changing
Aching and moaning
Screaming and dying

Shaken and broken to the ground
His lips tasting merciless soil
The caring leaves rolled over him
As love's wrinkled lake began to boil

Laying and conscious of darkness
Slowly his madness faded within
As he awoke and took several steps
He saw life's dying love as a cabin

Moving in a drunken state
He drags his gaunt, decrepit feet
Through the sticks and the brush
To that simple door, so weak

He enters without fear
And is moved with a scene
Of a shameless young woman
Painting the entirety of her dreams

He walks forward in caution
Yet she's as if unaware
Just painting in darkness
In a lifeless, pained stare

The man sits down beside her
And observes her dark colors
Of garments so bleek
Of skin even duller

She finally takes a turn
And gazes with crazed eyes
At his own that were too
In a temporary disguise

But there was no need for pretense
He began to slowly conclude
As she stared, wide-eyed still
Looking so painfully shrewd

Bloodshot and shaking
She asked him to stay a distance
To paint and create
But never to kiss

She turned back away
And stared with her madness
And his chaos grew in too
With his internal sadness

Both their bodies shaking
And vibrating in understood pain
They mixed their life's colors
And painted each tear drop of rain

He began to paint himself too
And the one he had loved
Together in a field of such beauty
Apart from all badness done

She turned back towards what he had made
And wept so sincerely and deep
He sank and wept too
And then she rose to her feet

Eyes adorned with pain
Compassion soaring like holy doves
She showed him through another door
To show him the other beloved

He was almost too overtaken
By the chilling sight he did see
His nerves shook so insanely
And then she turned around to see

Tears still spinning in the storms of her eyes
That he well knew would never cease
She told him that they were not alone
And that this room was his peace

There were myriads of broken ones
Painting within this great room
He could not have imaged this from outside
The cabin was so small, he presumed

Slowly his beloved, female friend
Mixed with the storm, this new crowd
Like another stalk in an endless field
In which obscurity is endowed

He nestled within his artistic arena
Except now he would always know
That he was not the only painter
In a pain-stricken world...
Alan Rauh
New Jersey, USA
© 1998

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