Diffuse the outpourings of the spiritual coward,
The rambling lies invented for the sick.
O see the fate of him whose guard was lowered!—
A single misstep and we leave the quick.

Flesh behind steel and glass is unprotected
From enemies that whisper to the blood;
The scratch forgotten is the scratch infected;
The ruminant, reason, chews a poisoned cud.

Platitudes garnished beyond a fool’s gainsaying;
The scheme without purpose; pride in a furnished room;
The mediocre busy at betraying Themselves, their parlours musty as a funeral home.

Though the devouring mother cry, “ ‘Escape me? Never—’ ”
And the honeymoon be spoiled by a father’s ghost,
Chill depths of the spirit are flushed to a fever,
The nightmare silence is broken. We are not lost.

by Theodore Roethke

Read other poems here.


Author: Muhamad Aarif

A notorious book addict by night and an oil and gas executive by day. As Mark Twain said, "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." So, read, read, and read some more.

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