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Fate Delights to Thwart Us

By Robert Russell


A year and half a million gone

the past drifting into the darkening distance:


            Waking to the pealing of bells,

            seeping sunlight and laughter,

            beams, beatitude, beauty


            standing before a shore of possibility

            tasting the sweet promise of better days,

            prospects sparkling in the sand,

            in each grain a glimpse

                        of health

                        of wealth

                        of love

                        of life


but Fate delights to thwart us


A year and half a million gone

the present floating into a faithless future:   


            Waking to the tolling of bells,

            rolling clouds and weeping,

            darkness, depression, death


            kneeling before an ocean of devastation

            drowning in the deluge,

            droplets drained from dried ducts,

            grains washed away

                        aspirations aborted

                        savings spent

                        families fractured

                        relationships ruined

                                    a nation’s apathy on display


white sheets, shadows of the sanguine,

eyes grayed by anguish and tilted towards vacancy

hearts hardened by deafening silence

            silence amplified by the abrupt cessation of sound

            will it ever dwindle? or will it ring through the decades,

                        an immortal echo of senselessness and shame?

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