Ben Paynter

Veteran Poet - 1,430 Points (Midwest)

The Laboratory - Poem by Ben Paynter

i've been to the boneyard
with it's cold air and wintry breath
all wrapped in frost and held
the hand of a dead man cold

there were other bones crying
out for other bones and i just
sat there like an old man
in a rocking chair watching

the sun set, it's a beautiful thing
but there are old songs playing
in the back of the eyes and the
head is thinking old thoughts

the bones are growing weary
friend what will happen when
they care not to sing or dance
but only slumber, the wind is

cold outside, inside the air
is the back of my neck the
look in a dead man's eye
as he stairs into the nothingness

old bones rattle new bones
a voice speaks behind the table
a man moves his new bones
to explain the old bones

i follow with an old look
the long fingers carressing long
gone skin, there is a feeling
of deep dark lonliness when

it all gets like this and the
lights seem to flicker with madness
you are going mad but only
at the pace of the bones

and the breath keeps up with
the sighs and steps and the heart
plays jukebox tunes that no one
knows the words to, it's all gone

just like that the old man
took his life with that last breath
of his, what little choice there is

in all of this, a woman smiles
outside this room, a pair of feet
are going somewhere far away

i am blinking but the eyes are dark
and dry and the air is dark and dry
and the room is dark and dry
and the old bones are wet with formaldehyde

what hands have held the nothingness
more than now? there is a whisper
on my lips that says that life is walking
out the door the world is walking by

the door, i have wondered about
how it all works sometimes you
hold so little so much then it's all
dry dust in hands that grasp at air

and she's gone and wouldn't you know
the world's just a beach ball caught
in a current and it spins madly, laughing
madly, always madly, these bones

are tired and want some sleep
the woman is not smiling now
this man died of a heart attack
and lung cancer and the slow cloak

of age. where will the woman go
without that smile there is a coffee shop
down the street
a beggar on the corner of third

but she's never read my poetry
and i doubt she ever will

Comments about The Laboratory by Ben Paynter

  • (5/4/2008 11:28:00 PM)

    This was a really interesting read -
    it conjured some unique visuals & I liked the repetition of 'bone' imagery
    Left me with a strong sense of a dar k& coldness.

    Something that stood out for me:
    you are going mad but only
    at the pace of the bones
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Poem Edited: Wednesday, April 30, 2008

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