“The Cul-de-sac”


“The Cul-de-sac”

The cul-de–sac within a maze does not wait
For introductions from the chair but bends the warp in time
To suit the labyrinth of audience, tempo and subtle rhyme
No greater than space required for one more trophy, a gilded plate
Or just another knickknack on the shelf; the current season’s wake
Allows so little time to plan for sudden guests whose line-up
At the door’s so crudely cumbersome and misaligned
That any gust of wind or shallow breeze contemplates
An exodus and the elevation of a queue to the rank of stampede.
No, we need no fire to raise alarms and no petrels to sing
The hourly anthem. Still it’s not so much what is, but what’s developing
That throws all order to the winds and what’s believed
Trumps what’s been gained upstaging all former rectitudes
And satisfaction, leaving grace disgraced and little left but platitudes.

… painting by Antonio Fontanesi…


One response to ““The Cul-de-sac”

  1. How fortunate the hawk who sees the obvious cul-de-sac, its futility. And how unfortunate for us that each new cul-de-sac allures with a promise of escape from each new labyrinth, only to spoil the orgasm of hope with more walls, more walls. I’ve heard that the secret of a maze is, upon entry, to place a hand on the first right or left wall and keep it there as one proceeds. Being the inner side of an out wall, it must then lead to the exit door. But alas, we enter each new labyrinth with a fool’s exuberance and neglect, in our waking sleep, to connect, sans all distraction, to that one real wall that leads to escape. I can feel this frustration in every line of your poem. The cul-de-sac. A nicely written contemplation on being lost in the puzzle.

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