THE TENEBROUS STAIR
Long past that time when the sun is put away,
and the final longed-for refuge of bed and pillow absorbs the unrest of the day.
Behind closed eyes, I see all that I should
and should not have done as the day catches me up and folds its regrets into tomorrow's sun.
Submerged regrets, the errors of my ways, and those of others secretly sting my conscience from forgotten days.
Minutes like hours pass at the edge of sleep, where no justice or rational reason can undo the irrational fury of thought the waking mind pursues
"Heavenly Father"...my prayer begins and fades as I drift down that tenebrous stair to the murky world that waits between now and the light of day.
Where dark and silent corners heaped with doubt and fear like insidious tentacles of past and future years confuse and disorient
A tenuous flicker of the surreal; a death-like world; visions of days past and days future mix until those things, born of mind and heart, become entangled.
Worlds collide as ethereal images like whispers of light appear in hazy pools. Specters with voices oddly familiar, sensed rather than heard, unrecognized but familiar...
A breath of spring across a mound of death, out of control, careening Quixote-like toward some unseen windmill in halting desperation.
The sensation of flight; falling from unfathomable heights, halting, waiting, or simply wandering within those insipid mists of enigmatic figures and sounds
Threatening and fearful encounters, I run with weighted legs as the clamor of death and pain near the back of my neck.
Within the deep, long night, the lacuna is bridged, personifying a twisted eurhythmy of pain, and need, and torments, and guilt, and pleasure,
The irrational becomes commonplace, and the cadence of the heart subsides, and all things of substance dissolve.
The fading rhythm of heart and breath keeps time with my descent until I hear silence and drift through sleep on the sea of long-forgotten memories.
(James Eichenlaub – 2021)