Free Of Doubt

Back in their nests,
  birds chirping out loud
Retreated in bed,
  a boy dreams ‘what if now’
The moonlight not finished,
  what it started before
The church clothes all hanging,
  alone on the door
What once was thought ended,
  began then again
What never befriended,
   a new search to begin
The glass from the parlor,
  the long darkened hall
Reflections of squalor,
  distant riches to call
A bell starts to ring,
  signaling all bets are off
As a meadowlark sings,
  of eternity’s cost
The revelers revel,
  the sanguine proclaim
As the church starts to fill,
  and they’re calling his name
Any proof in the pudding,
  has now curdled and soured
As the chalice is filled,
  with a vision most dour
The mood is entranced,
  as time starts to drip
The minutes and hours,
   all scattered in bits
The reasons no matter,
  alone as before
And all sanity worships,
  death closing the door
Your collar goes on,
  white starched and unblessed
Your sermon made ready,
  for those still to behest
And what might you offer,
  where the prisoners hide
What salvation is proffered,
  when funded by lies
The eyes looking back,
  fixed distant and low
The eyes looking back,
  from the pews far below
Surrounded by elders,
 and deacons to scold
His eyes were then only,
  but thirteen years old
The distance seemed fatal,
  the distance seemed grim
But now looking down,
  it was all about him
To one then so young,
  and so new and so fresh
Still wanting to believe,
  in not leaving the nest
Surrounded by neighbors,
  deceivers and friends
Dressed all in his finest,
  his hair slicked on end
His eyes remained down,
 as his thoughts drifted up
His face never frowned.
  as your sermon erupts
“And what must this youth,
  think of me on this day”
Your collar getting tighter,
  praying mantis to prey
The height differential,
  the power sublime
The stairs leading up,
  for the blind to then climb
And once at the top,
  all so distant below
And once at the top,
  nothing there left to know
The birds dare not enter,
  the hawk or the dove
The cougar at center,
  devoid of all love
The peacocks outside,
  all withered and gray
The peacocks remembered,
  in colors portrayed
The hand bills were placed,
  at the end of the pews
A message designed,
  to riddle the stew
Caught up in the fable,
  caught up in the lie
To burn down the stable,
   horses scream as they fry
But the truth knows its teller,
  …that told in the end
Whose message is heaviest,
   where meaning transcends
Belonging to no-one,
  to you least of all
And to only itself,
  as the just heed its call
The blamer blasphemer,
  false prophet and whore
Silent screams from the pews,
  that they need something more
And in private you suffer,
  with a collar so tight
While in public you bombast,
  to portend and to fright
The law here unlettered,
  the reason unschooled
All souls once unfettered,
  no one left to rule
You know your time’s short now,
  all sins in the brine
That boy just below you,
   to always remind
You start at the beginning,
  you restart at the end
You start where you stopped,
  to get lost once again
As your powerful confusion,
  escapes you today
Using cryptic delusion,
  to parry and feign
Beget not the begotten,
  claiming all for yourself
All virtue forgotten,
  all feeling unfelt
If it mattered whenever,
  if it mattered at all
That meaning is hidden,
   as you struggle and fall
Accuse if you must,
  saying again to yourself
Betrayal acutely,
   is gifted unfelt
Benediction now burning,
  communion’s last host
All tides begin turning,
  more meaning to toast
The blend is left thickening,
  ruination sublime
Intention the most wicked,
  unfiltered unkind
The brave don’t get braver,
  as cowards rejoice
A knave in the shadows,
  to hide from his voice
The bend in the circumstance,
  the straightening lie
The clue that was missing,
  its poisoned reply
Walk down from your pulpit,
  those steps that won’t end
The pride and the fury,
  you stole to pretend
Looking out at the parishioners,
   his eyes are still down
And you know without asking,
  that his soul has left town
As you take your last breath,
  speaking then your last word
What once was a boy,
  separates from the herd
He gets up, turns and leaves,
  without once looking back
Your collar chokes fatally,
  his rejection attacks
The gathering outside,
  all merry and gay
The most devout neighing,
  like a horse in new hay
The church social breakfast,
    all slaps on the back
“Another great sermon, Parson,
  we had to hold our tears back”
A boy heads down the lane,
  head neither bowed nor erect
No breakfast for him,
  all celebration dissects
Knowing what he now feels,
  you will never beguile
Walking in through the back door,
  his elderly aunt smiles
Asking, “Is everything alright
  you’ve been gone quite a spell”
Her concern most maternal,
  in her thoughts he would dwell
He answers, “Everything’s fine,
  as his father distills
And closes the window,
  saying: “It’s starting to chill”
He walks up thirteen stairs,
  and lays down on the bed
Looking straight up above him,
  a floating image now dead
Asleep before noon,
  in his dream meets his peace
Knowing surrounded by doom,
  he must now leave this place
He is up before dawn,
  and back out on the lane
One sack over his shoulder,
  one orphan to claim
And the walk to the harbor,
  is rocky and steep
His trek ever steadfast,
 one promise to keep
Signing on to the first ship,
  that’s now setting sail
Setting a course that’s uncharted,
  in a sea of travail
The clouds ever darker,
  the waves though they fall
His soul is on fire,
  his spirit on call
With the ship disappearing,
  beyond sight of all land
His future now clear,
  his mission at hand
That first day on board,
  and first night below deck
Were the first that had ever,
  held him safe in their net
With dawn’s light he climbed,
  to the crow’s nest above
And said ‘Thank You” to no-one,
  his future ungloved
And he sat there for hours,
  till his name was called out
His past now a memory
  —his heart free of doubt

(Villanova Pennsylvania: May, 2014)
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Submitted by KurtPhilipBehm on May 20, 2019

Modified on March 05, 2023

5:14 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme Text too long
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 5,901
Words 1,048
Stanzas 2
Stanza Lengths 236, 1

Kurt Philip Behm

Longtime writer with twelve books in publication. Three of them Poetry. : The Death Of The Playground : The Sword Of Ichiban : Searching For Crazy Horse : Darkening Sun : An Anthology Of Perception-Vol's 1 & 2 : After Midnight : Sammy And Bumpers : The Fall City Mandate : Revenge Along The War Trail : Death from The Sky more…

All Kurt Philip Behm poems | Kurt Philip Behm Books

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