TH (August 25,1945 / Plainwell, Michigan)

Portrait Of The Artist Richard Juhrden As A Young Man

reflections in the shattered
looking glass
many faceted multi talented multi dimensional
like a diamond cut jewel
a teardropp prism
splintered and fragmented
reflected and refracted through successive
translucent exposures
each a different surface a different image
a different face
of the Hall of Mirrors
each containing a veritable portrait of the
mask and masquerade
of the real person
flashing windows of a stereopticon
like a deck of cards the faces wedded to each other
opening like accordianesque
cubistic paper dolls
like the many cubistic images he draws
images of a deeper interior and truer identity
of the person portrayed in the
cracked and fractured
shattered glass
of crushed opal designs

why must he continue to shatter the glass that
destroys his image and continues to annihilate
his identity like a crashed windshield
in unrecognizable
shards of anterotic broken glass
that remains on the floor?

Eros was never so inhumane to Psyche
when he said do not cast your glance upon me for then you will know my name.
the identity is only known in the finding
and can only be found when it is
dispersed to the winds
marooned on the sands of time
awaiting death on the crags of
the mountain cliff.
deserted. alone.
or in the maniacal throes of
self destruction
the careening cries of self deluding
self abasement
and the sufferings of hell that
raze the walls and bash the hydra – heads of serpents
against the anguish of
the megalomanic night…

Oh, awash are the bonds
the blood, the brutalities, the self abnegation, the debauches, the perversions, the sorceries,
the humiliations, the slashed wrists,
the cigaret butts put out on burning coals of
human flesh.
How much do you have to torment yourself
to prove that you have an immortal soul? That you
feel the pain of your afflictions?

When the looking glass is shattered
and the shrieks of hell have come out,
when the demonic hordes have marched forth and all but
devoured you in your flesh,
when you have given yourself up to every violation
and defloration, every succubus and incubus,
like a concubine in the temple
rife with the cohabitation of deities
when astaroth and asmoday
have defiled and plundered you to their fill
and still you have not been consumed
in your eternal search for truth
when you have tried every deceit
and betrayal as a new suit of clothes to trash
and then discard
when you have ridden the dragon to
the very edge of the abyss and the threshold of
then will come the upraising of the spiritual man
like the erecting of the apex of a triangle
from the radices
of the base.

do not be surprised
brave pioneer
if you recognize the image that you countenance
there as your own.

do not feel alone if you find
another tired soul there
tried but not destroyed
unexhausted and unconsumed
upon whom the wages of defeat no longer
have power,
still recognizable in the light
that glimmers faintly
secure in the knowledge that
the earthly body may wear away
but the human spirit will remain

Do not be surprised if I call you then
by name
and greet you as my friend.

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Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

Comments (1)

I enjoyed this poem and feel for the artist who seems to have lead a totured existence.