record of defeat

against these bonds it is not hard to chafe

not knowing what or who will keep us safe

nor where each danger lies there’s the true rub

a deadly serpent hiding under shrub

or bolt of lightning out of cloudy sky

truth hurts enough we cling to comfy lie

in hope that when the pain we feel abates

there won’t be monsters howling at our gates

no certainty was given us at birth

today we’ve plenty and tomorrow dearth

those are our choices all the while we scorn

the hard decisions made by those who torn

between the injuries of times long past

and those of futures into which we cast

not only hope but all the goods of chance

have chosen wrongly now we take the pain

not out of reason but since you abstain

from complete judgment there’s no better path

between the harvest and the aftermath

out of the vision that which we desire

is not the only evil to acquire

darkness is all the best path to forget

we are in chains because we lost the bet

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Poem or Doggerel?

I can observe the voices rise and swell
defining verse, and what is doggerel;
while others, with hardly time for pause,
proclaim that art is subject to some laws
not stated in plain, ordinary terms.
But what can I (and other suchlike worms)
declare anent a subject of such heft?
With all the force that in me has been left
I’ll take no cudgels up, nor seek to hide
the fact that here I will not take a side.
Some find the haiku and the sonnet terse,
and think heroic couplets rather worse
than limericks. But, for my humble part,
I’d say that all craft has its art.
(Did I say humble?) Also, every craft
requires a skill not shown by dull and daft.
It’s New Year’s Eve, I’ll head off to my bottle
and leave in peace the ghost of Aristotle.