Aftermath

The impassioned moment’s passed,
The fight’s gone out of me;
tolerance and hope set in
with a sigh
and by-and-by
this latest violence,
outrage, assault 
against the heart and soul
will pass–
and leave me living 
still 
and still possessed 
of most of what I had;

Life goes on 
sublime,
absurd,
expects the future still
makes plans 
invests
and wanders 
down the middle course 
again somewhere between 
the hopeless and the glad.

Disappointment 
gnaws away at faith.

Perhaps, 
because our planet turns
and we are used to nights and days,
Hope returns 
relentlessly
and carelessly extreme,
and sets us up 
for disappointment
once again.  
So–faith in disappointment
becomes the order of the day.

When we are gone,
our hopes and fears 
dispelled into the sky
that wavers still between 
the darkness and the light,
all argument and action, 
come to naught
but fleeting windblown moan 
and faded thought.
Our remains–
our captive images, 
our poetry engraved
beside the columns of the Greeks,
the remnant walls of Babylon,
mysterious great figures in the plains–
will testify 
to inspiration,
passion,
and the folly of our age.

Thus our entire legacy
not Wisdom is, 
but Art. 

CL Redding 1991

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