The Withering

The Withering elegy

Uploaded by John Marks

Dried up, shrivelled, exposed, weather-beaten,

This wasting away of the body afflicts with decay

The hey-ho day of the day-to-day. Friends desert us quite,

And no quenching ever pleases.

What was is rubbed away, like stains that dry

Wither, languish, and decay. Time pines away.

In this quagmire, this swamp of guilt, regret

Spilt water, wine; I forget.

No transubstantiation this, no divine release

Into immortal bliss: yoked, ploughed,

Dragged, inchoate; the process has begun.

A work of resistance, an inception in art

Of all the heart-wrung soul that is left in me.,

A back-formation, if you like, a lamenting,

Of the passing of the light. Quite. .

Welcome now obscurity, shadow,

Winters tree stripped,

Bent in these winds of time.

A modulation of a voice, a volte-face:

A variation in rhyme. Surely, no man

Has such bad intent as to awaken from sleep

Those legions of demons that laugh at us as we weep?

Stripped down, declining back to the exoskeleton,

That shadow behind the sun,

And yet we take such passing grace in diminutives – ducklings,

Sweeties, babies – these auras, passing summer breezes,

Whisper of what we were, and could become.

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John Marks

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A father of five I work for the Open University in the UK. I have had two collections of poems published: 'Sound Bites' by Envoy in 1992 and 'Lifting the Veil' by NHS in 1997.
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Withering short poem

I’ve a companion in despair my nails dig into the skin of it Leave me be, I’ve earned this fate My existence is fading fast like a drop of dew after morn I do not deserve your memory waste not