There is a Father

There is a boy who in pleasure plays

and friends adores and of folly knows not,

only that now is now and never to be reconciled

with anything greater, anything further

from this, which is a tingle and a tickle

and a laugh keenly shrill, rising rising

only one way to go, like the bell at the end of school

the opening whistle on the court, and he, with no thought

beyond this, grasping at the ball for one more shot

 

Such is innocence

 

There is a youth who in pleasure desires

far more than he has ever known beyond illusion,

beyond fantasy, which is the realm of the idiot

a place he knows so well, having girded himself

sultan of a domain that exists only in his own mind

while any world outside of this has length and breadth

on paper alone, scribbled, printed, typed in tiny strokes

belying an arrogance that only the young may enjoy

without the blush of shame that ascends with age

 

Such is ague

 

There is a man who in pleasure obsesses

demanding surely more than he ought

greedily touching more than he should

and never knowing where the end must come,

dumbfounded is he by the endlessness of

sensual striving, peak after peak after peak

as if it were only in that, in each trembling yes,

in each pulsing heart, in each throbbing prick

that he could ever be more than he is

 

Such is ambition

 

There is a father who in purpose thrives

awed by his own inescapable mortality,

cowed by his unbreakable bonds to the very earth

he fancied to rise above, embracing at last

the resilient limits of his here and now redefined

as the rotting borders of a sullied earthen bed

at the core of which is she – this seed, this blossom,

this mighty tree whose roots and limbs pierce his flesh

with pleasure beyond anything he has ever known

 

Such is eternity

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