A Poem By Karl
Castles of Sand
Castles made of sand
slip into the sea
Like the silent tick
of a sundial
age flows into age as the water of Time
erodes the sturdiest
And each life is but
one grain of sand
on the beach of eternity
basking in the Sun of Life
yet slowly slipping into the sea
pulled under by the relentless grasp
Yet, to catch the sparkle of the Sun
for a moment,
shining reflections of Divinity,
rainbows of color
dancing across the sand,
Shining tower domes
flowing into plains of humanity,
Each alike, as their time comes
to slip away,
And, so, castles made of Man
slip into the Spirit
The stark madness that sets in the mind may consume the soul, but the wild madness that consumes the soul will free the mind.
I sit here, robe in tatters, clinging to the cool worshipping wall of my cell, my penitent cell. A hard stone block serves as my bed ... but I am not there. Not in this penitentiary; and not during the fiery reign of the Sun, either. During these times I will always be found on my knees, in chains, set before the Alter, all that I am as the sacrifice for my sins.
The charcoal grey cross on my wall has had better days. The edges shine with a hint of what might have once been burgundy, or blood. The grime of the cell has consumed the cross, just as it has consumed me. I sit here for hours. I sit here for my life.
One might think that I sit here in agony, in some anguish of the soul, but not I. I have found the key to this grimy prison, black with the stains of thousands of men's souls, deep liquorice black with the sour souls of a hundred beaurocrats, the midnight altar for a hundred politicians: I alone have found escape.
I am on the cross. My eyes scan wildly, wildly looking for one; for one that had followed me, one that had looked for me, one friendly face in a crowd of death. I am transfixed by the stakes through my wrists and ankles. I have no hope for life. I have one hope left: for Love, for redemption, for the want of a touch of any heart left in the world ... may one, just one of those I loved, gaze upon me for an instant with adoration for a friend they had once cared for ... perhaps a bit of pity, even. I would be able to stand that.
What !? There ! Perhaps it is the traitorous one, even him I would forgive ... gladly. If he would just look up and I could see a bit of Love ... if I could ... look up ! Ahh, but no, it is not him.
I scan the crowd for faces, and I wish for nothing else. I thirst ... I thirst ... Perhaps I was mumbling because a guard rudely shoves a sponge of vinegar and something foul into my face, wetting my lips. Ah, this is their love ... this is all they can do !
Without Love ... Without Life ...
I shake within the grips of this powerful stillness, this sane madness, this mad sanity. I am that Love, that Love that is Not, that I Am. And within this prison of prisons the guard walks 'round, making sure each man is on his knees, praying, each day, all day ... and why do we pray ? Do we pray for release ? Do we pray with hope ? No. We pray because that is the best punishment they can imagine, to forever search for love, for life, for hope ... with nothing by grimy black despair. That is Hell. That is what you have made ... your Penitentiary.
Karl Chamberlain, Texas 1999