My Suicide

I've often wondered why
Old chaps who choose to die
In evil passes,
Before themselves they slay,
Invariably they
Take off their glasses?

As I strolled by the Castle cliff
An oldish chap I set my eyes on,
Who stood so singularly stiff
And stark against the blue horizon;
A poet fashioning a sonnet,
I thought - how rapt he labours on it!

And then I blinked and stood astare,
And questioned at my sight condition,
For I was seeing empty air -
He must have been an apparition.
Amazed I gazed . . . no one was there:
My sanity roused my suspicion.

I strode to where I saw him stand
So solitary in the sun -
Nothing! just empty sew and land,
no smallest sign of anyone.
While down below I heard the roar
Of waves, five hundred feet or more.

I had been drinking, I confess;
There was confusion in my brain,
And I was feeling more or less
The fumes of overnight champagne.
So standing on that dizzy shelf:
"You saw no one," I told myself.

"No need to call the local law,
For after all its not your business.
You just imagined what you saw . . ."
Then I was seized with sudden dizziness:
For at my feet, beyond denying,
A pair of spectacles were lying.

And so I simply let them lie,
And sped from that accursed spot.
No lover of the police am I,
And sooner would be drunk than not.
"I'll scram," said I, "and leave the locals
To find and trace them dam bi-focals."

by Robert William Service

Comments (5)

So entrenched in so many different directions, yet worded quite masterfully.... When I saw the word 'Thermoregulation' in the title I thought this might be some heady- brainy sort of writing that would require deep thought - scientific jargon to softly emasculate away my softer tones - my inner desire to envision beauty through poetry - finding that certain 'something' through emotion, not thought, that intense feeling of love and peace that our hearts desire intrinsically. Yet by the end of this poem I found only my heart touched, so incredibly and wonderfully so..... Very serene, and perfect choice for Poem of the day. Thank you poet, and poemhunter...
This is amazing. I'm glad I get to rid some of your stuff here. This is not soon to be forgotten.
This poem strikes deeply. It captures well that sense of distance between us and so many others who we come in contact with every day. We cannot warm ourselves by standing on the other side of a one way mirror, studying our neighbor, figuring them out; that academic distance keeps us cold and safe, but out of the warmth and shudder of intimacy. That nurse new that distance, wanted to break that distance, but knew that it would mean breaking herself. We crawl into the arms of another when we are freed from the burden of independence, and we are understood and understand others only when we enter into their own heaven and hell and allow the mystery of their being to speak to our open hearts. Thank you B.H. Fairchild for this incredible poem!
I am left quietly stunned by this. The way it is constructed, leading the reader on to the awful, soft climax. superb.
This poem takes my breath away.