A Last Look at the Moon


A Last Look at the Moon

The walls of the train were hard wood--too hard to break free.
But harder still were the guards that would have pursued, and beaten,
And brought back would-be escapers to the fate that soon would be.
The bitterness was too deep for religious hope to sweeten;
Skating on the raven rim of strange eternity.
Those hard wooden walls--knotted and chipped--one might brush a hand
Across the surface, just to feel for a moment that reality was still real;
Perhaps a splinter would pierce the tender flesh of a finger, as a reprimand--
And the little drop of blood that would ooze, the sharp sting of pain would appeal,
And say to the dark forces: I am!  Now, in the grip of fear,
The pain would be a proof of life--as real as the feel of life's fleet sand.
The train stopped--all off.
Then there came the slow march in a dense line of harried humans,
Compelled to enter an unknown end--
Walking, worlds within worlds, upon cold ground, beneath a sky star-strewn;
The slow shuffle, 
With demon-like guards pushing and pounding, barking and frowning--
Then the overhang of stone
Above the door that opened like a pitch-black mouth that would swallow foe and friend:
How suddenly the heart felt all alone.
Then the old professor lost his intellectual skeptic peace,
And to his still-loved and still-feared God his mouth made moan.
The walls of stone on either side of the door were cold and hard;
And God was still silent. 
Then only absolute abject helplessness,
Which the old professor felt futilely in every pulse-beat of his living heart,
Fastened upon the long-unbelieved hope, like a disappearing mist.
The sweet night air felt cool and full of love and life;
It seemed impossible that it should harbor such a hell--
That this end for life could ever have been meant.
The stone was hard and cold: it could break bones;
And striking it would bloody the knuckles of any frail fleshly fist--
Oh, God!  God!--You are needed!  "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want."
The old words come back to trembling mortal lips like a last-hope chant--
The desperate praying of a man who long ago had ceased to believe in God--
And long ago had ceased even to hope.  First, he had suffered the loss of his faith;
Finally, he had suffered even the loss of all hope--long ago--and, yet, only yesterday--
His once bright hope for a caring cosmic Power that might save from the grave.
But he must hold on to hope now, for death in the Nazi gas chamber is coming soon.
If the glorious soul of human life must perish utterly,
Then what can anyone claim that anyone ultimately wins or owns?  Spiritless sod.
The guards like ghouls are watching: he must go in now, and suffer death;
In mere minutes, the poison gas will begin to fill his nostrils,
And choke off his now-living gift of breath.
He has no choice but to go; pleasure is pain; the world like a shadow spins.
He must go down the stone steps toward the terrible open door,
From whence, living, he knows he will return no more.
His special spirit, his unique self--no one else just like him in all the universe--
Will be regarded as just another sand-grain of life dropped in the desert of death--
Just one more to add to the statistics, among the millions who were likewise gassed.
Just one more among the many millions who die or are killed by any cause--
From those relatively fortunate ones who die of old age, to those who die of cancer--
Or in some other way, even before our brief life-spans can be fulfilled, are killed--
Lost and forgotten among many millions whose heart-beats have been stilled.
He feels valuable and irreplaceable, special and wonderful, of infinite worth,
As he begins the walk toward losing his future and present to the primordial past.
But, suddenly, he stops; he pirouettes for a moment,
And glances backward and upward--before the final horror begins--
For a last loving look at the bright dark-edged circle of the full silver sphere of the moon.

Written by Michael LP, aka MLP
aka PoetWithCancer, aka PWC, aka Mr. Poet
Written on Wednesday, November 13, 1991  4:25 pm
Copyright (C) 2011 by Michael LP.  Al rights reserved

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Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.

Robert Frost (1875-1963) American Poet.

PoetWithCancer’s Poems (224)

Title Comments
Title Comments
Happy Winter Solstice 1
Seasonal Ring 1
My Thanksgiving 0
God's Word 1
Under the Date Tree 1
A Few More Times 1
Divine and Diabolical World 0
Summer-Brief 2
Seasonal Ring 0
Shakespeare's Birthday and Death 0
Special Brian 0
I Remember Brian 0
Light of Life 0
Pain Has Defeated Me Today 1
The Old, Old Words 0
Home Is Where the Heart Is 0
A Sad Contemplative Christmas Today 0
Moments of Memory; In Memory of Moments 0
Sun and Rain, Joy and Pain: I Miss My Friend Brian 0
Dehumanized and Clinicized--N
Not Full 0
Love, Loss, and Lennon 0
Dying Dream 0
Brian's Pure Love for His Lady 0
Two Loved Ladies Undergoing Surgery Now 0
The Masks Fall Off at Midnight 1
Prime of Life 1
Low Energy and Less Time: And Too Many Things to Do 1
Happy Veterans Day, Brian 0
Happy Veterans Day, Brian 0
Thanksgiving 0
Autumn of Year; Autumn of Life 0
Brian's Birthday and New Year's Eve 0
Under a Constant Star (9/11) 0
Deep Time 0
Is There Anything Out There 2
Classics in the Closet 0
Nobody 0
Feeling the Wind 0
The Wild Doe and the Hunter 0
Happy Birthday, Brian 0
The End of the World: Saturday, May 21, 2011, 6 pm PDT 1
Brian's Special Smile 0
Broken Birth 0
Missing Brian 0
Focus: Today, Happy 0
I Love You, Brian 0
The Ways and the Words of You 1
Stone Cry 0
Amore Immortale 0
Reality and Unreality 1
Lyrical Life 1
Easter 0
Shakespeare's Birthday 0
Friends During Need 1
Death--A Play--or the Final Act 0
Moods 0
I Was Worried About You 0
Song of Life 2
Me 1
Oh Mother of My Life, My Mind, My Heart--Happy Birthday (Sunday, April 3, 2011) 0
Your Money or Your Life 1
Poesis 0
A Last Look at the Moon 0
Tears for Brian: My Tears Spring Suddenly 0
Seventeen in the Past 1
Clusters 1
Suffering and Dying Where Love Is Least 1
Looking at People in a Restaurant, Talking to Brian 1
Brian Cannot Come Back to Me 3
Seven for Heaven: Human Haiku/Senryu, On Two Straight Guys Who Loved Each Other 3
Five Human Haiku (Senryu): Faithful to the Perfect Form 0
The Scream 3
Life Is 8
Following My Friend 3
Small Moments (Written by Patricia, for Brian) 1
For Precious Michael (Written by Patricia, for me) 4
Dream of Life, Dream of Friendship, Dream of Love 4
The Power to Create 4
A Single Fortune Cookie 6
The Meaning of Life 2
Dreamless 3
Prayers 3
Lost Love 2
I Thank My Mother for My Birthday and for Her Wonderful Mother Love 3
Lennon Lost His Life: And Now, So Has Teena Marie 2
All the Way with Part Way 2
Loving, Living, and Dying 6
Dreaming and Seeming 3
Poem Prayer 2
Science, Poetry, Philosophy, and More 2
Super A, Abuelita1--Th
ank You for Your Support, Caring Love, and Understanding
Wonderful Connie 1
Someday-Dying 2
Between Yes and No 3
Love of Life 1
Zappa the Magnificent 1
In the Midst of Life 2
Only One Death 1
Real Illusion 1
The Unknown 1
My Apparently Known Possible Fates in This World 1
No More Me 2
Someone 2
Leaving Life 1
Precious Jade 2
Fear and Grief and Going: Unguilty of the Grave 1
Using and Losing Time 1
Loveless Life 2
Good Life, Good Grief 1
Dreamless 1
Ontology versus Oncology 1
Now Time 2
No Present, No Future: All Past 3
Hippocratic Hell 1
First Light 2
Almost At the Limit [--A Sonnet] 1
Death-Trap 0
Broken 1
Birthday Termination 1
Moments 1
First and Last Cry 1
Love 2
Final Fragility 1
End of the World 1
Tripping 1
Seasonal Ring 1
Gifts that Go and Still Stay 1
Sidney Says: Advice to Poets and All Writers 3
Enthusiasm: God Within 3
Send Me Your Good Will, or Pray For Me--Please 1
Feeling Each Other's Pain 1
Snow Man for a Low Man 0
Explanation of My Poem "As If the Last" 2
New Year, No Love 2
Poetic Form 0
Guilty Pleasures: Not Guilty 2
About Me 1
Live, Laugh, and Love 4
Nothing Special 2
Why a Writer Writes 2
To Sarah Y and Her Beloved Little Boy Who Cries Out: Again! 1
I and You: Unique and the Same 1
Where's the Compasssion in Our Health Care System? 0
Lonely Girl, I'm Feeling the Way You're Feeling: But We Can Both Make It Through 3
Health-Care Reform and Hell on Earth 3
Psyche 3
My Bucket List (For Now) 4
My Most SCARED Moments 2
Children of the Stars 2
Passing Life's Test 1
Why More Now? 1
Remembering My Grandma on Thanksgiving Eve 3
Another Thursday, Another Hammer 4
Thursday's Hammer 1
New Birthday 2
Let Love of Life Light Up the Psyche of Fawn 1
To Angel Eyes: The Wonders of Your Life 1
Regarding the Lack of Fall in Texas 2
Light for the Fight 2
All That I Have 3
Shine 2
As If the Last 2
Here Now 1
All in Time 2
The Exile 2
Incurable and Terminal 4
Tripping 2
One More Tomorrow 1
My Dash 4
One of Two Is Stronger 1
No More Romeo; No More Juliet 1
Friendship and Life 1
Snow and Life 3
Live Spelled Backwards 1
Sarah Y 2
To Fly 2
My Cry 1
Moment of Madness 2
Fall From a Great Height 1
A Memory 1
Less Life; No Loving 2
A Loser, True 2
Time Stop 1
Final Sleep 1
Entre Enfer 1
Flying Life 1
One Would Have Been Enough to Make Life Worth Living 5
Once 3
The Haiku Form 2
Bridge to a Comet--Your Visits and Comments to Me 4
Get Well Soon, Luna Marie 2
Winging It (a human haiku, or senryu) 3
Light Locomotive 2
Skite, Where Were You Today? Where Are You Tonight? 2
Angel's Wings, Angel's Voice 4
Shy, but Not Too Shy 2
High Coo 4
From Night to Night 3
Life's Journey's End--Cut Short by Cancer 4
Love, Light, Life, and Night 2
Fear and Courage 1
Death in Life 3
Unknown Final Fate 3
To Right a Poem 4
Crab-Like Concealed 4
Soon 2
All in the Mind 3
Ebony Shine 3
On My Nephew Naming His First-Born Son After Me 5
Love, Loss, and Lennon 3
Eqinox 4
Feeling My Heart 5
The Best Person I Ever Knew: My Best Friend--Brian 2
In Memoriam, George Difficult 3
Lovers 7
Art 5
Things to Do 4
Plane on Fire 3
Ameliorator 5
Thanksgiving 7
Worlds of Light 24
Failure's Fortress 13
Song of Life (Original Version) 13