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Joseph Sinclair Jul 2021
The shepherd is departed, and his flock
now wander on the fell,
or hide within the thickets
wherein the bleakest shadows dwell.

And when the black night fills the heart
with direst trepidation,
they know the purport of their loss;
the heartbreak of a nation.

So has it been, since time began
when leadership has vanished
and newcomers, that now adorn
the peaks, are simply planished.

Attend us shepherd from the grave,
we have need of your guidance
to keep us from a weaker hand
and ominous subsidence.
Joseph Sinclair Dec 2020
Success had made no mark on him.
He remained the self
I honoured and loved:
the dichotomy
of arrogance and modesty
that required no forgiveness
because he was defined
by his own tolerance
of others.

Now he is gone,
but what remains
is the part of his life that
will forever be a part of my own.
Joseph Sinclair Oct 2020
I am unrepentant.

Give me a sin to struggle with
I am one of the unconverted
who happily abjures all piety
and seeks no arbitrary grace.

Please do not express a fervent hope
That I be brought to shame
by my depravity.

I seek not salvation, nor do I wish
to control those heinous urges;
I shall fulfil my own distasteful destiny.

I seek not redemption but prefer
to remain one of the unregenerate.

I seek not forgiveness
For I have forgiven myself,
and remain unrepentant.
Joseph Sinclair Aug 2020
We have our exits and our entrances.
It has been said before.
But in the lifelong scheme of things
The next farewell will likely be our last.
The Earth itself will one day die
And return unto its frozen, lifeless state.
A finality that is perhaps not too far off.
Without a sigh, without a whimper
Even without an ultimate warning blast.
We made our entrance, enjoyed our stay,
Played our part in the performance.
And soon it will be time to say goodbye.
Farewell, adieu, exit left or right.
But leave the stage.  Just go!
Joseph Sinclair Aug 2020
I awoke this morning and thought that I was dead.
Not a sound could be heard; not a breath of air
Could be felt.  “So this is how it ends” I thought
“Not with a bang, not with a whimper,
But with a dreadful solemn silence;
With a ghastly breathless stillness”.

And then I replaced the devices in my ears,
And conducted my matutinal ablutions,
And was restored to life.  Prepared to face
Another dull, disturbing, Covid-driven day.
Joseph Sinclair Jul 2020
I held her hands.
I gazed into
her eyes
and willed her strength.
I smiled.

The merest flutter
of her tremulous
fingertips
suggested she had
understood.

Her eyes, though open,
were unseeing.
Yet I knew
we had a meeting
of the souls.

“Stay with us,” I willed.
“Stay with us;
we are not ready
to let you
go”.

Was there an echo
in response
from her fingers?
Or was it wish
fulfilment?

And did a smile
linger on those
frozen lips?
Unlikely. . .
She was gone.
Joseph Sinclair Feb 2020
There they lie;
spread around me
a myriad shining fragments
of the gift she had brought me.
Shards of glass
each a reflection of a broken promise;
a gift procured but withheld.

And all that I can do
is to survey those shattered remnants
of unrequited dreams,
and replay them on an endless
reel of soundless, aimless,
misbegotten promises
that ***** my heart
as those metaphorical shards
might have pricked my fingers.

What is left to me now
but to weep?
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