The Play

And one was dead, to their dismay –
the players cast about in disarray –
Atlas had shrugged and split the stage –
leaving them floating in rivers of rage.
The painted faces were twisted awry –
mouths groped for words, but came up dry –
the broken body lay within sight of them all –
its spirit crushed, but long before the fall.

Don’t take a seat, don’t stare at the keys,
forget the music and dancing, if you please,
it’s not the same, not like before,
these dream pipes won’t play no more.

Countless nods and shaken hands pass –
mumblings and grumblings lost in the mass –
wardrums demand the feet move ahead –
drowning the silent song for the dead.
With proper motion and concrete face –
the scene has changed to an evil place –
dark fiends at each bend, with a glistening knife –
more than happy to leave your soul, but steal your life.

Don’t sing the song, don’t hum the tune,
the sun stopped shining and forgot the moon,
nothing’s the same, not like before,
these dream pipes just won’t play no more.

The wind whipped hard, cold and wet –
as the players waited to pay their debt –
not monies owed or payment due –
but salty tears, and none too few.
They strained their hearts, with the weight of stone –
as each stood afraid, but mostly alone –
solemn in black, but with accusing eyes –
splitting peace and sorrow with hateful cries.

Don’t search the hall, don’t look around,
the musician’s dead and gone to ground,
the melody’s lost, he’s closed the door,
these dream pipes can’t play no more.

The words on the script, guiding this play –
are worn and fuzzy, mostly faded away –
the players have all but forgotten their parts –
but worse than that, they’ve forgotten their hearts.
Wisdom was purchased at a price so dear –
but cruelly cryptic and hardly clear –
and each day that passes, with each dawn –
it seems, for now, this play must go on.

– Eric W. Hinton
01/27/95

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Poetry and writings