Ode to Failure?

Superlative, anxious falter, how you grace me:
You, the irons in my ambitious fire, thrust deeper
than sorrow into the furious embers;
You, the undetectable fracture in love;
You, the tidal moaning over the graves
of causes deferred.

The silence elongates you, unfurls you
into a shivering frailty. How heavy
your notes. How seizing
your melody.

When the whole world opens wide, I
close my eyes. How alone.
However, your immediate chasm
does not swallow, only invites a root.

I am not a tree, a fist from one plot.
I’ll hide from the sun when I need a reprieve,
but the horizon is still mine to bend.

Copyright 2011 by Michael Marsters.
All rights reserved.

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8 thoughts on “Ode to Failure?

  1. This is very beautiful and finely crafted. Very original imagery; I very much like the ‘chasm does not swallow, only invites a root’; and the description of the tree as ‘a fist from one plot’. Some of it is very delicate too, as if you are stepping carefully and finding your way through the difficulties and contradictions. I also like that your title is a question, because, of course, your fine writing undermines the premise. The last line is wonderful, and very powerful.

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  2. Like Becoming herself, I enjoyed those same lines especially, not to mention all of this well-crafted poem. Also, I was heart-pierced by this: “You, the tidal moaning over the graves of causes deferred.” and had to reflect back on my own meditations on Veterans’ Day, among other occasions. Thank you so very, very, much for sharing.

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