The Empty Spores

I had to write a poem based off of a mentor poem– using the same themes, structure, rhyme schemes, etc–  for a writing class. I chose TS Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” as my mentor poem, and came up with this. A huge thanks to my cousin Courtney for help with the ballet terms.

For T.S. Eliot and Courtney

“The Empty Spores”

I.

We are the empty spores

We are the barren spores

Floating incessantly

Seedless, impotent, wreathed in fruitless labor. Oh!

Our songs fall silent in the draft, when

The inheritances we have left

Are stillborn roots and phantom limbs

That like ballerinas caught in death’s dance

Fret upon a stage without song or chance

And pirouette eternally in the wind

 

Motion without direction, canvas without paint

Imprisoned nomads, cause without effect;

 

They who have tip-toed through

Their final bows behind death’s closed curtains

View us—if we can be seen—not as ghosts

Of Evergreens that could have been, but only

As the empty spores

The barren spores.

 

II.

Arabesques we dare not imitate

In death’s sky-lit auditorium

Burden our bodies not:

There, the spirals reveal

Tangled prisms scrawled upon infinite blue

There, are frail hands, pale upturned palms

Reaching for calcium in Heaven’s glow

Beggars pleading the stars for alms

Til they are fractured by Silent Disease

And their bones ground into snow.

 

Let us not be players

In death’s sky-lit auditorium

Let us keep

Our perfunctory shells

Sap-covered puffballs and flaking tumbleweeds

In the air

Always following the wind’s command

Never settling–

 

Not drifting unto the stage

In the cobalt auditorium

 

III.

This is the specter’s ballroom

This is the castle in the sky

Here the piano’s melodies

Are played, here they sing

A caveat that upon Apollo’s wings doth fly

Neath the glimmer of Heaven’s glow.

 

Is this our fate

In death’s lofty auditorium

Drifting, we two whom

Timelessly when at last the sands have fallen

Peer through clouds of stained glass

And see no reflection is left to pass

Realizing then we’ll never bloom.

 

IV.

We see no arabesques

There are no arabesques here

In this river of fading light

In this diminishing stream

This ceasing chasm of extinguished glow.

 

In this final act upon the stage

We do our waltz

And stay in motion

Treading currents of wind that pull us in

 

Drowned, unless

We manage an arabesque

With fathomless grace, tiny dancers

Hold fast in the undertow

Of death’s sky-lit auditorium

The pose only

Of infertile spores.

 

V.

Row, row, row your boat

Against the gravity

Mindlessly, mindlessly, mindlessly, mindlessly–

Life’s not what it seems.

 

Between the aspiration

And the result

Between inertia

And the end

Falls the process

For ours is the Light.

Between the demand

And the supply

Between the ingredient

And the product

Falls the process

The zephyr, it is forever.

Between the stimulus

And the reaction

Between the potential

And the actualization

Between the capacity

And the load

Falls the process

For ours is the Light.

For ours is,

The zephyr is,

Ours is the

 

This is how the ballet ends

This is how the ballet ends

This is how the ballet ends

Not with a curtsey but a fall.