This is a poem from the Random Acts of Poetry prompt on the High Calling Blogs network.  The nature of my own poetry means it always sounds better when heard so here’s a video recording of me reading it with the text below.  My own choice was Macbeth’s soliloquy from Act V that begins “She should have died hereafter.”

Before and behind
let me rewind
redefine
see the signs the first time
and perhaps survive to realize
the foolishness of this faithless phase.
Before today,
before yesterday
before the day, the year before
if I could see me
hear me
maybe
just maybe even free me
from the fateful claws
and jaws
now closing in around me
if only I could return
and turn
down a different road
carry a lighter load
and not be goaded
guarded
gained
or played
then maybe tomorrow would be a better day.
But no,
don’t kid yourself Mac.
Don’t act
play act
or react
as if
“woulda shoulda coulda”
can change
the stage
you’ve set around you.
Yesterday disappears
tomorrow’s not here
and you can guess,
prognosticate
ruminate
or forecast your foggy future from the
fabricated comfort of your fictitious fortress
from which you claim to reign;
you can say that all souls
go the way of death;
you can proclaim an empty shell
from your corner of hell
that “magically” fell on your shoulders.
You can strut and fret my friend
but you do it alone
in your heart of stone
from your throne
of bones
and blood and burnt out candles.
I’m not about
to hang out
while you weep and moan
and groan “oh poor me.”
Get up,
grow up,
don’t just throw up some empty words
some fateful chords
of loss and ruin.
Because I’ll tell you what I see:
a man can’t write history
a man can’t make his own way in the world
so weighed
down preyed
upon
tread upon
because if he tries on his own
he dies on his own.
But you know that
you see that
but what you don’t see
is a life in the Creator who created me.
A life where yesterday looks good
but today looks better
and tomorrow even better
but better still the day
that follows in the footsteps of my Father.
And in that final
last
and ultimate syllable of time
after recorded reason or rhyme
I’ll see Him shine.
Last chance Mac,
Last shot.
Forget the wolf and the dagger
forget the book and the bell
forget the prophecies psychics and spells.
I’m reaching out to you
He’s reaching out to you.
Step out of the cold.

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