Lash

by ianblackpoet

I wish for all that I deserve –
For nothing more and nothing less;
If passion idled in reserve,
I’ve sown a life of emptiness.

But let it not be said of me,
Not I who fought the rising tide
When all about were glad to flee –
Not I who bore my scars with pride;
No, let it not be said of me
That mine was such a timid heart –
I sought and strove to wander free
And sacrifice my life to art;
I cast aside a cynic’s fear
Believing love would save us all,
And thanked a fabled god to hear
The voice that mocked me as I crawled;
For I was faithful as I bled,
My promise true until the end
When all that’s good in me was dead –
But I would die for love again.

And I would struggle on in vain
To clamber from a lake of mud,
In sheer defiance of the pain
Though battle-worn and smeared with blood;
Believing that a fist of fire
Is stronger than a wall of steel –
Conviction, passion, and desire
Will seldom fail and never yield.

So measure not my worth in what
I have, but that which I deserve –
Consider what my words have wrought,
And test the limit of my nerve;
When all my lesser deeds are shown
In every hue of fear and hate,
Regard these sins by shame atoned
And only then decide my fate;
To be a ghost that lingers in
The splendour of your gilded frame,
Or roam the paradise within
And light my soul upon your flame.

I ask for nothing more or less –
To sow my worth, and reap in kind;
Thus never say my life was blessed,
But rather say my life was mine.

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