Institution

 

I sit alone now in this grand institution

A sudden September chill in the air, the sky so fair.

Underneath this panorama blue

Workmen scurry about, long before the arrival of the multitudes

Undertaking their menial tasks beneath the green tilt of trees

Gathering those leaves that've fallen before the autumn breeze

Has had a chance to make them whisper my sweet, ponderous reveries.

 

I look around now. Oh God! How beautiful it is

To see the fruits of knowledge blossoming so brightly

As the amber sun makes its stand in the blue sky

      above the land.

Hither and thither, people wander aimed.

A distant goal within their grasps, fortunes behind it untold.

Some of these blossoms may wither in life's long, cold trek,

But for the moment, any success is reborn in due respect.

 

Ah! I feel, tearing at my essence, the biting cold!

Yet I ask for no support. I shall brave the venture alone and bold.

I do sit, but only to rest. I am still going

      or at least I am trying.

But there, beside me, I see a blossom dying.

The cruel fates have done it in; the hand of Man strikes again.

Poor soul! I would weep for you, were it not so cold.

But my tears will freeze in this sudden breeze

      And who would weep for me?

 

I attempt to stand now. My legs are like rubber.

These sudden winds stir all warmth from my chest.

How strange a feeling! Perhaps I should have worn a vest?

Anyway, the chill spreads through my viscera and bone;

My head and heart aren't left alone.

They, too, are crystal in frost, my senses lost.

 

My strides grow sluggish labored.

Many people pass me now, but keep on walkin'.

Foot past foot will secure my pace,

But it's so damned cold! Is old Jack Frost stalkin'?

Can't look back at things done gone by, though.

Nothing behind me that I don't already know.

I've seen it all time and time again....

'cept the yet to come and my Deathly friend.

 

SEPT. '84