A Curse or Blessing?

“Your young men will see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”
—Joel 2:28

Past lives haunt me in old age.
Last night I woke up smelling blood,
Combat and agon riddling my head.
Dark days of war, the clash of steel.
Mead halls full of brash young men,
Bitter words and strong drink,
Hands clasped in friendship and valor;
Eyes crossing old foes and elders.

For years I slept like the dead: dreamless.
But now in fits and starts, awakenings,
Horrors grasp my mind, violent days,
Nights hollowed out, ancestral curses,
Unfinished business, bones rattling
Darkened lairs of shadows and murmurs;
Unbidden rituals of murderous intent,
Where men are broken in anguish and misery.
I sometimes wonder who and what I am;
Such worlds returning now to curse or bless.

©2021 S.C. Hickman

2 thoughts on “A Curse or Blessing?

  1. Opening this page, finding this deciding to stick with it not sure what this bible quote means searching it then coming back to read.Thank you whoever you are and be well.


    • Even though I’m not a religious man, I was raised up with it. Reading the Bible from the time I was little till now ( more now for its literary power and influence on Shakespeare, Milton, Romantics, etc.). The Book of Joel is part of the prophetic tradition and he’s prophesying of a time to come in a later age when men, both old and young, would see visions and dream dreams of a prophetic kind again even if they did not comprehend such things. At my age (68) I’ve begun dreaming again; or, at least I’ve begun remembering my dreams more clearly than I did for most of my adult life. I’m sure there is a reason for it having to do more with the slow decay of my body than to some religious reason. Being a skeptic about such things I used the quote from remembrance and more as a humorous aside (or inside joke). What it means? I’m the worst critic of my own poetry so I’ll abstain from venturing on meaning… 🙂


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