Journal Entry: Envy

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The poet closes a page of Dante
and reaches across the centuries
to a kindred soul in another wood
that offers forth its beasts.

Oh, for a modern Virgil!
He writes in his journal
of spirit somehow lost
of affection never risked.

The poet rests his head
as if the ink would bring salvation
or a friend like Dante found
a guide through hell and back.

You will travel hell in Dreams.

A sudden voice in his mind
unbidden, unwelcome news
some stranger announcing
        himself in verse.

The poet lifts his head, “Who’s there!”
He stares first at the page
and then around, yet sees
neither Virgil nor God.

You will find no help down there
your spirit and will, your only guide.
A gallery of sinners awaits
lost souls that Dante missed
or had not yet arrived.

“But why me!” the poet asks of air
“What have I done for this!”

It’s what you haven’t done
chances left untaken
wishes, dreams and might-have-beens
like Dante sought his Beatrice
a solo romance in his head.
“But who are you!” the poet asks.

It matters not the lens or pen
concern yourself with message.
Prepare for nightmares
        and macabre milieus.
Yet know this: Your salvation,
        a one word key…
find yourself and write that word
        at journey’s end
then see again the stars.

The poet yields
to the crush of night
and rests his head
on the ink-scribed log.


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