Regular readers will know that I suffer from regular bouts of depression although I usually manage to avoid plunging into The Abyss if only just...
When depression strikes, I am inclined to wallow in misery and self-pity until a natural optimism and love for life (in spite of its erratic ups and downs) brings me to my senses, and once again I feel free to embrace the world as I invariably see it from the shimmering summit of Mount Parnassus.
Inspiration comes from all aspects of nature, including human nature, fickle though these can be until (eventually) I start to make sense of who I am; my social, sexual, cultural and spiritual identity...all the parts that comprise a person's whole. It is, after all, the whole that counts, with all of us need to come to terms, each in our own way, and take pride.
Oh, and, yes, I find the task of hitting on an appropriate title to a poem as challenging an art form as the poem itself; yet another positive step in the survival business.
EXTRACTS FROM A POET’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY or NOTES ON THE DARK SIDE OF IMAGINATION
Now among friends, now left alone,
wandering a gloomy, scary by-way,
thorns like vampires in fields of stone
under a jaundiced sky turning grey
No one in sight, man, woman or child,
gargoyles on Heaven’s outer walls
perpetuating my horror yet beguiled
by such hideousness while it appalls
Tearing at cloth ears, misery and pain
for the end of a world still enduring
Man’s rape for the sake of Power’s gain,
now at Earth Mother’s final reckoning
How many poets, I dare wonder aloud,
have permitted demons to spawn here,
this fine company of gargoyles, allowed
but a grimace, neither voice nor tear?
Oh for just one kiss of sun on the face,
or garden smells after downpours,
to empathize with a lark’s winged grace,
speak out against the world’s eyesores
Suddenly, the ghastly mirage is gone,
I am back on track, among friends
whose loyalty and love I shall lean upon
where it’s said the track (finally?) ends
Copyright R. N. Taber 2007
[Note: This poem has been slightly revised from an earlier version that appears in first editions of Accomplice to Illusion by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2007; revised ed. in e-format in preparation.]