Keith Johnson

Silver Star - 3,129 Points (9th June 1944 / Cheshire, England)

Do Not Heed That Darkness - Poem by Keith Johnson

I once stood at the very brink of a singularity
And felt its impending darkness draw down
The light from my life inexorably -
That I behaved badly and unreasonably
I can never doubt but then I was at the brim
And the poor girl with whom I half-lived
Knew that things were amiss when the dogs came home alone -
She struggled then to drag me back
And later cleaned the steps of
Bits and pieces brought in from the sea’s edge.

As the stars wheeled and the surface began to close
I somehow saw a fleck of light
That had escaped the dark banal
And I was buoyed to the pier’s end
Where I was found
By my unfortunate companion
Who I had not meant to so negate:
Thence condemned as we both were -
Exhausted at the safer shores of the commonplace -
To stand apart to better contemplate
In dreadful care that rimmed-jet intensity
Where photons fade (complexity become invisible)
And from which there is no ultimate escape.

As Socrates who was so much wiser than I observed
We should not fear what we cannot know
And his more noble death, face-shrouded
In the Agora, with the bitter cup lipped,
Gives testimony that true knowledge
Is the recognition that there is nothing to know
Except that one cannot discern in the darkness.
So if at all my light and my speaking out offend you
Simply remember that I once stepped back from obscurity
- for the time being.

Topic(s) of this poem: reflection, sadness


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, November 26, 2015



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