You, Wystan Auden – Vijay Nambisan

Now six feet beneath the air
The Nordic shape of skull is bare
And behind the august frown
Worms have gorged on verb and noun…

The baffling lines that seemed to trace
Maps of care upon his face,
Now nothing between brow and chin
But maggots have tunnelled in…

And the hands whose fingers’ ends
Once held the keys to common sense
And the truly careless wrist
Which cherubs have often kissed

Lie open now without prefence
That they enclose arguments
To shatter prison doors or shake
The steps of wisdom on the make…

The compassionate eyes which hate
Could not face and grew desperate,
Now bony voids where worlds once turned
In agony at being burned…

The heart that could some pity find
For every shape of human fiend
now less than dust, because from thence
No spring of friendship does commence…

Of all those works of lust and pain
No human fragment and remain
And all that foolishness is past
Yet our lives are still so vast…

And in that vastness since we speak
Strong words of love though we are weak
He cannot know something survives
The carrion bleaching of our lives.

∼ Vijay Nambisan

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