Steals over us when it's most
A familiar guest, it comes,
At its caprice,
At our inconvenience.
During the day, it slumbers,
Concealed in the dark corners of the mind.
We work,
Talk to our colleagues,
Engage in numerous distractions:
Cups of coffee,
Trips to the can,
Pausing to listen a little to that CD, and we are ALIVE!
Our minds red-faced, sweaty dwarves,
Hammers to the anvil,
Smithying our better mousetraps,
Or at rest like seers,
Taking in the prophecies of our world-view,
Wishing things were just so,
Exploring possibilities,
Conjuring visions,
Forging tentative plans,
But then...

When we go home, it calls,
Sullen devil of fatigue.
We eat our dinner, do our
House chores
And then, sitting at our ease,
We call out to our Muse,
Think maybe of finishing that story
Or dance
Or piece of music
Or maybe we'll
Study something we've been meaning to study,
Or take time out to think of ways
To better our lives,
But then...

We tire,
Grow bored,
Somehow dissatisfied.
The effort seems too great,
The gains too little.
It's as though each of us
Is like antique watch,
Winding down to nothing each day,
And at the peak of flaccidity we ask
What is the worth of it all?
While our better selves recognize
It's time for a new winding.
Oh how short our springs!
How dearly we toil for so little peace and pleasure.
Or I.
Am I the fool here?
Have I failed to learn something most my age have grasped?

I'm 27, for God's sake,
And still lost in the woods!
Somebody forgot to send me instructions for the game of life.
In a world where everybody has an opinion,
Has a satisfying answer to my situation.
Oh, the weariness!
The endless march,
The aimless drifting,
Purposeless striving,
The metaphysical darkness of it all!
No good or bad, right or wrong,
Just ignorant energy,
Infinite potential and possibility,
But unfocused,
Scattered or dormant,
Desirous of meaning
Where none can possibly exist.
We are strange folks,
We modern men.
Our powers have never been mightier,
Yet our spirits are ill.
The weariness,
Thing of shadows and mud,
Oppresses us even in our triumphs.

George Chadderdon © 1998