Something I roughed out while my students took their Ethics tests.
Abyss and Sea
The thunder shatters air and will, the rain is cold, the lightning fierce.
The world is battered, broken, upside-down; its heart is pierced;
and all our hope beneath the wave is sinking now, beyond our reach.
Not wealth nor strength nor lore can move the lands to rise; they, shattered each,
are crushed beneath the heavy sea, and nevermore will they return.
Yet I recall the shining streets, the lamps that seemed like stars to burn,
and I remember meadows, fields, and mountains like a summer dream
surrounding cities bright with lights that like the snow in sunlight gleamed.
On sandy shores we once would walk and feel the salty, sea-sent breeze,
but nevermore shall footsteps grace that sand; the roaring, angry seas
have seized it all in chilling grasp and nothing now remains
save fragments made of memories, their razor edges trimmed with pain.
And I recall the winter snows on little houses, trim and neat,
where children played with shouting voices, endless games, and nimble feet,
but where are they? They too are gone. The earth and sea will spare no soul.
They spared not me, for what is left to sigh and grieve is not the whole.
The storm is pounding; not a sound can break its rumbling wall,
but still inside I hear the songs that honeyed voices softly called
beneath the dewy apple trees in autumn days, cool, crisp, and clear.
The trees are driftwood-dead and lost; the songs are lost in yesteryear,
but I can feel the ache inside, I can feel that they once grew,
and I can feel the loss that only comes with glories one once knew.
But harsher still the tearing pain, suspended doubting, cold as stone,
not knowing where you are: Are you alive? And am I now alone?