As if eternity lay before them
Francis Pedraza
21

Poem: 76
Sunday, 16 April 2016

Labyrinthine

Will I ever get out
Will I ever get out
I would ask you to 
Let me out
Let me out!!
Let!!! me!!! out!!!
But that would be cheating
I know I have to do this on my own
This is my test, my penance, my purgatory to ascend
Having dreamed a dream of heaven
Journeyed through hell
And escaped down dragon’s back.
But now trapped in this maze between
In sight of prize tantalizing
Onwards called
Reaching out to grasp
In that instant
That very instant 
Ecstasy approaches
Beatific vision looms; I’m 
Yanked back to reality,
Snapped to attention, 
Slapped for daring, 
Slammed for mistaking,
I never seem to arrive.
Of all punishments, surely, 
I oughtn’t complain,
It’s a gilded cage,
A golden coast,
Urban fetters,
Endless sea of suburban purgatory,
Prison of coffee, croissants, shiny objects and screens,
Nice, nice friends, ice cream, postcard views,
But there’s something wrong with this picture
I am not happy, years pass, more years, 
Has anything changed, other than my life passing me by?
Happy sounds so trite to my ears now, 
I don’t believe the concept, it sounds constructed, 
More a marketing gimic
Than a pure human emotion, than a direct felt experience,
It has been so long since I was, 
I have forgotten what joy tastes like,
I just have the faintest sense memory,
And I hold on to it,
Faintest hope against hope,
Which even with my rational mind,
I don’t believe
That there is a way out 
And that when I get out
It will be everything I hope
Instead of just 
Slightly better
I am not impressed
I am bored, grey, serious, sad and cynical
Garden in spring sunlight blooming with colors
And I can barely see it, just
A shell of a man
I’m not really here
I’m really there
In the labyrinth you can’t see
But I can’t see past
Walls closing in
Light getting farther
Another turn, another turn, 
Stop selling me stops, I want to arrive 
At my destination
It is not horrible
Quite comfortable, actually but
Liveable is not living
I’m dying in this sea of cute
Okay is not okay for the soul
Nightmarish niceness, 
Suffocating sweetness
It just seems to go on and on
Every turn somehow seems to come back around
Deja vu, deja vu, I’ve been here before
I’m going in circles
It’s maddening
Am I going mad
Or am I seeing a pattern in this 
Labyrinthine maze
In my twisted landscape
There is a whispered voice 
An inner knowing
Strong guidance
An anger
A love
Like a promise it promises me
L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.
Plato invites you to his garden of solids
Solid colors, solid objects, solid people
Condemn these shades to purgatory
Welcome, at long last to 
Beyond
Someday someday
I will escape this 
My own way out, my own way out
And time will heal the wounds
Of every shadow minute
With a reality so blissful 
I could only know it
By comparison
Oh I’m still stuck 
Still yuck
What good’s the thought of heaven
When I don’t live there
Another year passes
Another year
Another
Anon…
“In this there is no measuring with time,
a year doesn’t matter, and ten years are nothing.
Who’m I t’say? There’s a 
Time that’s allotted
This storm is not the end. 
This is just a spring storm. 
I am…
“Not afraid that afterward summer may not come.
Just
Another sigh
Another pain
Another mistake
Another struggle
Another day in purgatory
Is another precious lesson that
“Comes only to those who are patient.
“I learn it every day of my life, 
learn it with pain I am grateful for”
Destiny has the final say
I am the experiencer
The role player
But nothing can stop me from
The ultimate outcome 
Of my urgent yearnings
Spread out over years and years
My heart is a battering ram
A ladder, a torch
And nothing still stop me from
“Ripening like a tree
So I’ll relax a little
I’ll laugh at the nightmare
I’ll laugh at it until it is embarassed
I’ll attack it with a violence
But also with a calm
So serene it will be terrible
And these prison walls will see 
Eyes of patience and passion
“So unconcernedly silent and vast.
What is it to struggle
As if every struggle is my first and my last?
Resolving paradoxes of joyous innocence and full knowledge of pain,
Wisdom of weary age, freshness of talented youth,
Again, again! Come at me again.
Fighting every battle as if it is 
A first test of character, a final contest.
Purgatory is not as dramatic as I like.
It requires imagination to see its villains as monsters. 
Its dangers as mortal. Its toils as mountains. 
But they are.
The hero receives this noble quest as a gift,
for they perform
“As if eternity lay before them.
Because it does.
3am. 
Night turns to morning. 
Sunday. Eastern Sunday. 
Friday grief. Saturday hollow. Sunday glory.
On the first day Hell. 
On the second day Purgatory. 
On the third day…
No labyrinthe prison in Hell or Purgatory
Can hold back Heaven’s triump
The Triumph Of The Immaculate.
Love is fighting, love breaks every prison
Love wins in the end.