All things are wearisome,
                                              more than one can express:
                                  the eye is not satisfied with seeing
                                     nor the ear filled with hearing...
                                                          the more the words
                                                     the more the emptiness.
                                                        --Qoheleth 1:8, 6:11

I want to sing of joy:
of babies grasping distant splendor,
the fullness of a friendly fight
enmeshing minds in common question,
to greet each day the new-born light
as letter from a loving sender,
my work relieved of all oppression
and taken as a toy.

But I have had too much:
too many stars have missed my reaching,
discussions left me in disgust
with words that lack enough precision 
to introduce a lasting trust 
in me or you or any teaching.
I greet the dawn with indecision
and I am out of touch.

So let me give you pain
and boredom as my one belief,
a melody that slips too slow,
from a tongue softly dying,
a life I have come to call 'De Trop'
to find in death relief,
in silence the success of crying
in losing all, my gain.

                                                                     -- Mahlon H. Smith 

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* Note: This poem is a revised edition
of an entry in the author's journal 
dated 23 November 1967
and is published here for the first time.

Collected Poems
Mahlon H Smith

copyright 2005
all rights reserved