Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hateful Thing

HATEFUL THING

When life struck its first blow,
he retreated before it.
But blows never stop at one.
So he kept retreating
until his back found the wall.
Within himself he found
hammer and anvil,
turned the ore of pain
into plate metal and shield.

Gilded and girded,
he strode forth upon the field.
And the wounds he took showed
only as dents in his armor.
On the outside.
On the outside.

A hero holds his own in the face of many.
He does not wish battle but does not shirk it.
He “stands tall.” He “fights the good fight.”
His face may be bloodied, his body bruised.
But it’s only on the outside
because his spirit is burnished within.
Burnished within.

Only, in this world
there are so few face-to-face fights.
He seldom sees an enemy coming.
He can’t watch every shadow where a dagger
might lurk.
And not only enemies wield the blade.
Friends and loved ones always know
where the chinks lie in the armor
that has started to rust.

When does the hero become the villain?
Is it when he begins to return every blow
with the force of ten?
Or when he returns blows not yet given?
But expected.
Expected.

In time he came to enlightened rage.
When an insult was thrown at him,
he sharpened it with words,
poisoned it with his own blood
and hurled it back.
By then he was going armed
to every gathering.
Prepared for defense.
Or offense.
Or offense.

Finally the day came
when he looked in the mirror
and saw,
he had become his own enemy.
A hateful thing.
And for such a blow
there is no armor,
no retreat.
For such a blow must be the last
ever struck.


15 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And that can certainly happen when the anger and negative take over. Excellent poem, Charles.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Certainly reflects on our time.

Cloudia said...

What a deeply wise understanding of human nature such as a writer or psychologist might possess!

Shadow said...

Does life sharen the edge or our own ego? Yes. Stand tall. Say your say. Live what you believe. Fortunately it's not in my nature to harm, not anymore.......

sage said...

That's powerful--thankfully he realizes that he's his own enemy, many never have such an enlightment

Jenny Baranick said...

Returning the blows that he expected. That's really great.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Powerful stuff, Charles. I particularly liked the end.

Charles Gramlich said...

Alex, thanks. I appreciate it.

Patti, sadly true.

Cloudia, you always say the nicest things. :)

Shadow, I hope it is not in my nature but it's hard to be sure.

Sage, it isn't easy to admit, I imagine

Jenny, wrote this back a long time ago now but have never done anything with it.

Prashant, thanks, man

Erik Donald France said...

Excellent! I really dig the emphatic-hypnotic doubling of lines, too.

Charles Gramlich said...

Erik, thanks, man. That is often hard to get to work but I thought it came out ok here.

the walking man said...

Great read and a good telling of a hero, a person doing extraordinary actions as required in normal situations, growing into the thing he fought against. Aging and the acquisition of power looking back in the mirror.

kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

God bless your indelible soul.
trustNjesus ALWAYS.
So maaany distractions in
this finite existence of ours
when we should be focusing on
how best to serve
in this lifelong demise.

Tella youse a secret of Jesus, brudda,
one which is lost in today's culture
and one which I heard when
I was in Seventh-Heaven:

1. Do you love God?
2. Do you love everyone else?
3. Do you perish withose sentiments?

Then, you have a place
in the Great Beyond, bro.
trustNjesus ALWAYS.
No matter what.
God bless your indelible soul.

kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

Yay!
yoo RITE!!

Would U please help a plethora of King Size, wildchild, rawkuss poetry/wordz which are lookin 4 a home in thy novelty?? Thx. Whew. They're pretty insane. They're bereft of reason. Oi! Blimey! They're bloody PINK spiders!!

Gotta lotta gobba shrewd, surreal, supersonic, sardonic satires, sassy N savvy elixers N electronic elegance ( ...and palpable nuance) on our YOUTHwitheTRUTH blogs. Wannum? Have'm. N'joym. Gettm outta my hair!!!

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CAUTION: our 22ish, avant-guard, accurately-atrocious, offa-the-reservation-like-Jimmy-Hoffa, metal breadcrumms R sooo out-of-order, toots, they're an intimate wealth of bottomless sophistication. And dats da lethal fak, Jak. Go ahead. Sue me. Yawn. But, yet, here's the perennial KOO D'TAH: who else has actually SEEN the Great Beyond in spirit & lived to tella youse bout the bionic, bloated, brevity-like-earth we're living on?? Yes, earthling, I had an NDE, almost salivating4salvation. So gain altitude, never attitude: death has no intrinsick favorites.

If Mr. abSUREditty's an ultra-great-reward, and not everyone enters, Q: why is it an excruciating deluge of epic-.357-caliber where the quality's a limitless bulldozer plowin, pushin-your-power-cord with eternal goodies? A: the Prize-A+-TheEnd just gives U.S. moe-curley-graphix 2 VitSee: an explosion-of-extravagance which few R asking 4 anymore! Grrr. They're too concerned withe grotesque sanity of ambivilant piss-ants which swiftly crawl like lemmings to their scorecard, effusive destruction. C'est la guerre.

THANK GAWWWD!!! the Don has the ebullient BAWLS!!! to do the Manifest Destiny!!! To lead U.S. forward to the White House Upstairs with his SQUARES!!!

So, break-free, earthling; be like a contraversial outgrowth of incredibly-intoxicating-effusiveness in your zeitgeist to give the ultimate stunning, avant-guard, bareknuckle potency: Wiseabove. Wanna join this useFULL idiot Upstairs 4 the most zany, kooky, X-acto-knife antidotes? Extremely exquisite, explicit endorphins in abundance? Puh-lenty of pulverizingly-tantalizing psychopathic psychosomatics with eXtras? i2i-kick-velocity's-ass-ultra-maximum-rocket-fuel-party-hardy at my pad ya ever encountered without d'New Joisey accent 4 an eternal slew of precarious, magnanimous & primeval absurdities indelibly etched in the granite corridors of eternity with a total-barrage-of-melt-in-thy-mouth 'depth-of-undenial'???

Make Your Choice  -SAW
...cuzz nobody gitts outta here alive, earthling.

kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

Yay!
yoo RITE!!

Would U please help a plethora of King Size, wildchild, rawkuss poetry/wordz which are lookin 4 a home in thy novelty?? Thx. Whew. They're pretty insane. They're bereft of reason. Oi! Blimey! They're bloody PINK spiders!!

Gotta lotta gobba shrewd, surreal, supersonic, sardonic satires, sassy N savvy elixers N electronic elegance ( ...and palpable nuance) on our YOUTHwitheTRUTH blogs. Wannum? Have'm. N'joym. Gettm outta my hair!!!

How mucha wanna betcha our sugar-high-mojo, antioxident, hot-shot, full-throttle, pleasure-beyond-measure, fuse-blowin-exploits R a copious madhouse of one lavish bookay D.O.A.? Our proFUSE NRGod who leads U.S. to explosive fairy-tales in the 'one-stop-shop' symphony Upstairs? God's the BigDude, the Owner of ElysianFields, the Grand Prize, the Austere Overdrive, NoPurchaseNecessary: our bombastic tenaCITY on a Hill which'll plant the Seeds 4u2 grow-up to new N greater heights!! Mama mia! Thatsa good pasta!!

CAUTION: our 22ish, avant-guard, accurately-atrocious, offa-the-reservation-like-Jimmy-Hoffa, metal breadcrumms R sooo out-of-order, toots, they're an intimate wealth of bottomless sophistication. And dats da lethal fak, Jak. Go ahead. Sue me. Yawn. But, yet, here's the perennial KOO D'TAH: who else has actually SEEN the Great Beyond in spirit & lived to tella youse bout the bionic, bloated, brevity-like-earth we're living on?? Yes, earthling, I had an NDE, almost salivating4salvation. So gain altitude, never attitude: death has no intrinsick favorites.

If Mr. abSUREditty's an ultra-great-reward, and not everyone enters, Q: why is it an excruciating deluge of epic-.357-caliber where the quality's a limitless bulldozer plowin, pushin-your-power-cord with eternal goodies? A: the Prize-A+-TheEnd just gives U.S. moe-curley-graphix 2 VitSee: an explosion-of-extravagance which few R asking 4 anymore! Grrr. They're too concerned withe grotesque sanity of ambivilant piss-ants which swiftly crawl like lemmings to their scorecard, effusive destruction. C'est la guerre.

THANK GAWWWD!!! the Don has the ebullient BAWLS!!! to do the Manifest Destiny!!! To lead U.S. forward to the White House Upstairs with his SQUARES!!!

So, break-free, earthling; be like a contraversial outgrowth of incredibly-intoxicating-effusiveness in your zeitgeist to give the ultimate stunning, avant-guard, bareknuckle potency: Wiseabove. Wanna join this useFULL idiot Upstairs 4 the most zany, kooky, X-acto-knife antidotes? Extremely exquisite, explicit endorphins in abundance? Puh-lenty of pulverizingly-tantalizing psychopathic psychosomatics with eXtras? i2i-kick-velocity's-ass-ultra-maximum-rocket-fuel-party-hardy at my pad ya ever encountered without d'New Joisey accent 4 an eternal slew of precarious, magnanimous & primeval absurdities indelibly etched in the granite corridors of eternity with a total-barrage-of-melt-in-thy-mouth 'depth-of-undenial'???

Make Your Choice  -SAW
...cuzz nobody gitts outta here alive, earthling.

kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

God bless your indelible soul.
trustNjesus ALWAYS.
So maaany distractions in
this finite existence of ours
when we should be focusing on
how best to serve
in this lifelong demise.

Tella youse a secret of Jesus, brudda,
one which is lost in today's culture
and one which I heard when
I was in Seventh-Heaven:

1. Do you love God?
2. Do you love everyone else?
3. Do you perish withose sentiments?

Then, you have a place
in the Great Beyond, bro.
trustNjesus ALWAYS.
No matter what.
God bless your indelible soul.