Arts & Culture / The Reading Room / Vol. 1 No. 2

At Shakespeare’s Bed

Image Credit: Nanette Carter, The Weight #16, 2015, oils on Mylar and paper, 8.5″ x 2′. Courtesy of the artist.

Among the rubble of our wounded nation
the vibrant image of a lyric warrior
haunts my fragile solitude, the canopy
above his sleep after long years’ scribbling
blank as silent centuries since departed.

Plays and poems do not heal politics.
A writer’s skyward reach, earthly guesswork’s
intuition, gathers straw and winter leavings
making what small comfort rest demands
against shrill wind, life’s constant surge.

The memory of the bard’s small bed left empty
haunts what’s left of me . . . so much hope
come to nothing, his bitter irony in advance,
its squandered purpose drained away
as life’s sudden spark flees severed limbs.

This agony surrounds my tortured sight.
I feel it day and night waking me at dawn
to ask, now that rising is no more
the joy it once was, where I can plant
my heart’s frail need in soil that always blooms.

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