Imitation of Matthew Arnold

There Are Worse Plagues on Earth Than Tears

Oh, brother, it is an awful feeling when disjointed voices,
past and present yell, take away our choices,
and give us just one guidebook on how to be-
an arcane tome of torn pages that looks dirty,
disheveled, dog eared in all the pages
where the words are twisted and filled with rage at
some invisible enemy. It asks us to arm
ourselves, be swayed by the ever-present charm
of a call to action, and the words then speak:
put away childish things, forget to weep,
and toughen up. Oh, you were meant to fight!
You are a warrior. The futureís not too bright
but youíll go down in a blaze of glory.

I call bullshit at that old story.

My brother, we have no enemies. The sky
stretches onwards. The soil, the sea, the sand,
it is all ours, and if that beauty touches you: cry.
Itís okay. Itís okay if I take your hand
and sit here while you empty all your tears
because somebody doesnít love you anymore,
and your heart hurts like a burn, or if you fear
youíre not good enough, or if you just feel sore
for a thousand different reasons. Itís fine.
We can sit and cry. I do it all the time.

Poetry by Sameen
Read 54 times
Written on 2022-08-24 at 16:49

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Uncle Meridian The PoetBay support member heart!
Well crafted, fluent, authentic, and admirable in toto.

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
I am not a fan of Arnold, but you've written a fine imitation of his work. I really enjoyed the clever near-rhymes.