The Anthem of Decay – Parts 2 and 3

Continuing my personal journey

(Part 2)


Death speeds across life’s startling plain

Wrapped in my Father’s cast-off anger;

It stalks through the bare winds

Which once claimed to sustain

And comes to lie at the door.


Why does it sit beyond the eye

Feeding on my youth’s abortions?

Do I need to ask;

It comes in answer to my cry,

My futile whimper raging


At the age which has ceased

And kept me a male Niobe

Even though my limbs have moved

To clothe my featurelessness

In the fashions of the day.


Deaf and dumb I

Have remained a black statement

Ignorant of the verb

That leads to the horrific clouds,

The gothic complications

To stand noosed about my neck.


I will surely die.

My memory lamed rests in grey

And the tortured alter wails,

Stands on its one stilted leg

And wills me to unbar the door,

Have my father buy my eyes,

Close them, even though they cry

That I am guilty

Of nothing but of being a man.


(Part 3)


Time’s clock splinters.

The world is made of sand,

Crumbles at my touch,

Falls brittle a shirt

Shattered from my back,

And lies deaf at my feet,

Its grains mocking my meagre arms.


Will a letter rewind its spring?

Will a dynasty of words suffice

To push the seasons’ calendar

Beyond my myopic winter’s end?


A pale valedictory hand lifts,

Would have me shake my shoulders,

Wash the grains from my flesh

And board the worn-out temporal boat.


There is no coldness in the oars;

The stars open in its wake –

My soul is silent, unastounded!

Could the crossing be so expressionless?

Let it go, let it go.

I trespass stupidly.



© PilgermannBM 2023
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Thanks P. The progression from part one is remarkable, I appreciated the imagery, and the language -‘my memory lamed rests in grey’, as an example. It certainly requires more than a cursory read. Only one very minor query, ‘To stand noosed about my nexk’ – a typo?


There are some exquisite lines in these parts: the opening lines –
“Death speeds across life’s startling plain
Wrapped in my Father’s cast-off anger” – set the thematic tone, which resonates and is reinforced throughout the rest of the poem.

Death is a theme that I have been delving into recently and I am curious as to how this will end.

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