Seclusion

A maelstrom rages at the centre of my being,
And the mausoleums of the vanquished quake;
The reign of chaos sends my better angels fleeing
As forgotten devils in their tombs awake.
Some hellish sorcery avails, the seal is broken:
There is nothing left to stem the dreaded flood;
Whatever I once was, I now retain no token:
Doubtless, all is lost amid the tide of blood.
The Sorrow whispers to the wounded, its seduction
Apt to still the voice of any who decry;
My own relentless soul assents to self-destruction,
And the world hears nothing but a midnight sigh.

My dearest allies fall from favour, some delusion
Preys upon the virtues nature made my own;
A spectral vestige left to wither in seclusion,
I descend into adversity alone.
As pain and beauty pass beyond distinction, whether
By a mind’s emancipation or decline,
No longer may I claim the strength of will to tether
Thrashing horrors none would recognise as mine.
Upon a vacant throne there sits a crown surrendered,
Thus to exile is a broken king resigned;
Bereft of honour, stripped of sovereignty, and rendered
Low: adrift upon the waters of his mind.

Assailed by cherished hopes of old – the now fragmented
Flourishes of bitter memory that ache
As only all-consuming love – a long lamented
Innocence that life has smothered in its wake.
The gossamer conceit of self descends in splinters,
Raining doubt on all I struggle to appear;
I faded with the warm caress of tears in winter,
Even now I hold you on the windswept pier.
And still I see and feel and taste your hallowed essence;
Still I bask in your resplendence as the dawn;
And still I mourn your loving smile in evanescence;
Still I cry for us – both you and I are gone.

Perhaps too perfectly for truth I yet remember
How your jaded eyes outshone a falling star
The night we buried deep our one remaining ember
In that lonesome corner of the reservoir.
Where memory affects the colours of illusion,
There I labour under frail humanity;
But nothing seems more real to me than this collusion
Of an ailing mind with its insanity.
Depression harbours more of me than my reflection,
Wanders freely through the gardens of my soul,
And casts its shadow on my every recollection,
Daily waging war against my self-control.

Repugnant snarls of savagery are echoed loudly
To the farthest reaches of the battlefield,
To call upon the one whose scars are carried proudly
In defiance of the foe that bid him kneel.
The Samurai will meet his own annihilation
With a headlong surge into the hands of fate;
And as The Sorrow seeks to bind him in damnation,
Still he quickens: retribution cannot wait.
And so he charges into battle unencumbered
By dismay, for there is honour in his plight;
Whatever comes to pass, we all shall one day slumber
In the shade of leaves – until that day, we fight.

Alas, we forge our futures in the fire of anguish,
Better knowing who we are in times of peace;
And in such horrid days as these, if we should languish,
This eclipse of all we love shall never cease.
Therefore we take up arms to prove ourselves defiant
When the soundness of our strength is most unsure;
Upon resolve alone is destiny reliant:
Though perdition burns within us, we endure.
Although our lives are given to the whims of madness,
I will not believe we suffer it in vain;
In rising from the depths of such abysmal sadness,
We are stronger for the measure of our pain.

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