denial of mortality ceases at undeniable news

we screamed against the coming of the night
our howls blending into a chorus of life
righteous beauty rained on and sparkling bright
in the failing light of waning afternoon
and then the gloaming the sunset the song
sung sad of day dead at night’s glorious
hand . . . sudden came the darkness though only
perhaps seeming sudden from the dying light

agog we stared as the distant stars took up
our song to sing night alive. fear assuaged
we took up the halting dance of one seeing
only vaguely and vaguely understanding
until jubilant faith replaced fear and we
came to accept transition as a gift.

david m pitchford
26 feb 2014


Rains of November Past

soft, the patter of rain on the skylight,
somnambulant song of slapping sog, sound
of autumn napping and the drear of gazing
backward toward quiet memory   .   .   .   somewhat
mesmerized, I sit at this desk pen in hand
and mind awash in rain that has fallen
from other november skies.     I was ten
that november they took mother away;
I remember early christmas, recall
having nothing but contempt for those gifts,
knowing they were meant as some pitiful
consolation  .  .  .  and I recall that for
three years I had prayed my young heart to tatters
that the madness of that house would end in fire.

David M Pitchford
3 Nov 2011

Stockholm Syndrome

Beloved Captor

From this solitude of sin, I long to
break through to the heart of you, but keep
getting stuck in your honey. The only way
to impose your will on the world is to
cease being willful. Surrender this, then:
at the point of trap the trapper is trapped,
ownership an inescapable
dichotomy of possession. False truth.

Free me to own me. Liberty a rein
from which none rebel. Trust me or leave me
to die of freedom. Having been caged here
so long, my heart cannot fly beyond fear,
beyond that love which safety taught; unchained,
we long for that hated security.

 David M Pitchford, 10Jun2011

Not sure this is finished, so please feel free to comment. Would quite enjoy some constructive feedback. Thanks.

The Foil-gilded Chain

Letting It All Fall Away

It’s a matter of living day by day:
embracing the now, dumping this baggage
salvaged from seasons past, exile’s luggage,
heavy loads—letting it all fall away
for the sake of living life day to day,
stowaway on Life’s ferry—no passage
but the willingness . . . no need for courage
or remorse. Letting it all fall away.

Encumbrance of the past weighs too heavy,
an anchor tied with a foil-gilded chain
to memory, fault, failures, guilts that go on,
and unrealized potential heavy
as lead and precious as gold—and as pain—
Let it all fall away now; life goes on.

David M Pitchford
24 November 2009

Too Late the Echo

When the Echoes Die

For months I clung to that hope: “No such thing
as too late . . .” Its echo the gravity
holding me close to that old orbit. Now
its echoes die away if not into
impossibility, then into slim
probability. Lost outside her light,
I listen for hints of hope, search shadows
within shadows without knowing not what
these distances hold outside love’s orbit.
“No such thing as too late . . .” echoes far
off, trailing into the past—such thing as
too late . . . these echoes die . . . and now spinning
into outer darkness, swallowed by these
shadows of my own making, I hear, “. . . too late . . .”

Daivd M Pitchford
18 November 2009

Swimming through Stone

Swimming Through Stone

“The drowned cannot swim” and yet drowning comes
harder than once thought. That whiskey river
flowed deep and fast—twenty years swimming drunk
through three marriages and more affairs than
any man should curse himself with, and you
were my rock, my respite buoy and lifeline—
I tried to drown to protect you from me,
but courage failed. Living that way—dead end—
thinking you’re drowned only to find yourself
swimming through stone, heart and mind in the grave
while your stubborn soul clings to earthly life . . .
longing for death, sinking in denial
and swimming against granite grain, we strain
toward life, striving to sober up and live. 

19 October 2009
David M Pitchford

A nod to Nietzsche

Nodding to Nietzsche

They say that god is love: yes, then, Nietzsche,
god is dead. Its bloated corpse is my heart—
my mouth and stomach fill with these buzzing,
stinking maggots and mind crawling, creeping,
lurching in broken swirls of worms and roaches
eating the carrion of my thoughts and
feasting on dead idealism and
corrupted vows—corpses of guardians
slain beside their dead god, angels dancing
no longer on the pin’s head, but rotting
in the fetid stench of human frailty
and failed faith. Yet death feeds life. It cycles
in apotheosis even stone dead.
As maggots become flies, so love’s death bears hope.

David M Pitchford
21 July 2009