The Betrayal of the Ephemeral

To have seen the golden spray of leaves,
Sun dashed gleams upon the morning grass,
The shadowed play of snowcapped mountains
Rise above the darkened growth of forest;
The natural in its ephemeral silence, absolved
Of human want or need, a world without us
Seeking nothing more than its secret abysses.
One has no right to speak before this betrayal.

©2021 S.C. Hickman

Love’s Runes Cast, Flesh Entrapped

Love runes cast, flesh entrapped,
Measured years of pride and lust;
Moving as it moves toward unknown ends,
A cycle of pain and desire: love’s curse.

You saw it all, the curse and dance,
The eyes enchant, fevered looks abounding;
And now the legend sinks, oblivion’s tryst,
As once it fled through forest hauntings.

She held the mirror, the broken truce,
her smile’s yield cutting threads of hate and love;
She could do no other, it was her tryst,
A secret lover’s bounded chains unyielding.

You left this in the hand of her who is gone:
The trinket less than nothing now, but all
You were knotted in its locked locket —
Love’s runes cast, flesh entrapped.

©2021 S.C. Hickman


Backward we traveled to reclaim the day
Before we fell, like Icarus, undone;
All we find are altars in decay
And profane words scrawled black across the sun.
—Sylvia Plath

He dreamed of air, the emptiness of blue.
So much temptation to flight, to wings blazing in the sun.
He was grounded from that world, a shadow of its realities.
Flesh of my flesh, stubborn father of this harsh weather,
Your anger bled among the delicate shoals of stars;
Casting pain among the frightful children of time.

Memory is a half-shadow, a hammer coming down on all we were,
And like a son who would honor a father we flew, flew free
Of the earth and gathered clouds in our wake till flames engulfed us.
The myth of childhood innocence, a paradise without memory,
Where each day sounds its feathered dreams of hawks and eagles.
Watching the fiery spectacle you stood there helpless as a stone,
Mind shaped to the broken body of a thought become real;
And now memory is a burden past measure, a dark shadow falling…

©2021 S.C. Hickman

King Lear’s Mad Song

“As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods.
They kill us for their sport.”
― William Shakespeare, King Lear

I am not what I seem, this seeming that undoes me,
Unbinds me in my mind from that love’s dark seeming life.
Cordelia, poor Cordelia, my child, my heart, my life…
A Father defrocked of his dream, his existence,
The mocking throng that unhinged me leads me into this brokenness..
Where am I, who am I, questions I no longer even believe in
Much less believe have answers worth all meaning; the mind cleft,
Torn among its waking and sleeping dreams, 
No longer trusts the moorings of this untamed wilderness of lies and men.

How lost among those stones, waters of another age, 
The shifting currents like my mind wander…
What was I thinking? Ah, yes, the sweet girl lost in love?
No, no, she is here, isn’t she? I am forgetful, her face, her face…
I cannot see her, remember her, my dearest love, my child.
How she wept, oh the tears in my old age still bring her back, but changed…
I sought the path of reason’s peace, found none,
And now these bones crawl among the silent roots,
Snorting the blood and flesh of dead things…
The flesh is its own doom. I, mine to go, dust into dust, forgotten…

©2021 S.C. Hickman

Untamed Limits of Vision

“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer

We never were a nation fit for Kings,
Absolved of ancient lineage we spawned the dammed;
A broken testament to the pain of dark times
We brokered the licentious demons of the untamed mind.

Sometimes you sought the favored hand of muses,
All that is finished now; we live, we die, we compensate
For the new that will not be new; we know,
But what we know will not save us, not now, not ever.

We accept the defeats of little worlds, and yet our triumph
Is to have seen the dream beyond this moment’s dark tremors:
Our eyes are not fire, but stones; the dead see through their coins,
And what they see is an evasion as of a lover’s rendezvous.

Maybe that is all we can do is the undoing of the old tasks,
Unmaking the worlds that have for too long swirled among the galaxies;
Memories only will pass on in this night where night dies, too.
You were there in the beginning to see, but not to know the end.

©2021 S.C. Hickman