Thursday, 28 January 2016

Once I Knew A Thing Called Happiness

Once I knew a thing called happiness
For an hour and a few days
It fluttered green-winged, a moth trapped
In the glowing flame of my burning heart.

Once I knew a thing called happiness.
Born, nurtured, kept alive day by day
With nectar-drops of words and smiles
And the touch of a hand on my cheek
The feel of a living arm around me
Living, loving, all there.

And the arm went away.
The nectar dried, the moth starved
Dry-winged beating still in the walls of my
Prisoned heart.

Now I know the bitter nectar of pain
Squeezed drop by drop out of my blood
And then held like hemlock in a cup
To my lips to drink again.
That is pain that I sip every day
The thing in the shadows with the empty sockets and grinning teeth
That whispers and promises
It will not go away.

I walked the streets of an unknown city
With sunglasses over my tear-red eyes
And Google Maps in my hand.
I gave a bottle to a ragpicker
And thought I saw her smile.
A dog jumped on me and licked me a while
And it was not enough.
It was not enough.

Once I knew a thing called happiness
And it went away.

I do not think
I want to live on like this.


  1. Deep grief. A poem of sorrow and loss.

  2. This reminds me how I felt after Sherie died in January of 1999. Totally at a loss and I could see nearly zero reason to keep going. Well, I still had three cats to care for, they kept me going. I was responsible for them after all.
    When we lose those we love deeply, we feel the loss intensely. I still miss her and our daughter both. Memories are like starlight Bill, they go on forever.

  3. Beautifully written... I loved reading it from the first to the last word. Hope it's fiction, only!


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