Ballad Of A Young Man

And no monuments shall look up at the sun,
Should even Fortune’s undergarments come undone.
I’ve the fruits that risk may bear, spoiled and sweet;
Swigged the single-malt, played the screeching harp.
Many a time have gotten a win from Her defeat.
Oh, to count these things! To wonder and remember.
Mayhap not all, I lack the will and time for all.
But an effort well placed for you, my dear;
To grain my memory into sand before The Fall.

What grand veil youth can make, though blind
And thoughtless, it is not without truthy-sight.
Much of this, much to beget, but none in plight.
As was mine, veil and venture sans fright.
Joyous times of blue and mud, of curiosity
Untamed, and innocent romantic tenacity.
My times of play with neighbor-friends
Of cocky attitudes and vigor that need no mends.
Foot races on asphalt and electric screen alike,
All done without philosophy or moral prowl;
Not once did I foresee a furrow on my brow.

Time froze and jumped, the veil half drawn.
Dirty white light now cast upon the ground,
I was dragged from sleep into early dawn.
Daily doses of brand name wisdom and truth;
Structured time was tied into a hang-man’s noose.
Still, there were minutes left for freedom’s youth –
Sweethearts and fisticuffs past the timely bell.
To each his scene, his stage, and his villain,
Enwrapped in the day-to-day of jejune hell.
And amidst the play of valor and foul,
Not once did I expect a furrow on my brow.

No sooner than a drag, the smoky curtain rose.
I burst onto the sultry midnight boulevard,
Where I bounced and swayed and froze.
Dixie cups and charm with weak-kneed broads;
In witted waltz, I followed step-to-step,
Till their knees grew weaker behind the parapet.
And in cafe-scene and early-AM-party alike,
With their littered sleaze and smut,
My pocket always held a pack of Lucky Strike.
And as I grew so wise within my starry shroud,
I grew ever more naive of a furrow on my brow.

And tell me before my qualms with midnight ventures;
Before I’m left to fall below my age.
What am I to take when I’m huddled off the stage?
To stumbled into riches and later rise up to defeat,
To love to be forgotten, perhaps forget how to love;
Will it all amount to that?

My youth flickers as I’m sprawled upon my back…
I’ve been bitter and sincere, I’ve been free and tough
And refuse to wait for my last whimper of a cough.
Let me be no lesser than I am now!
Let me never know a furrow on my brow!

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