FLASH

by larry paul brown
Should this be my last earthly breath, would I pass peacefully?
Or when my life flashes by, as many people say it does, will I cringe
seeing the pain, the sorrow, the sadness my days have wrought?

The experience of my years tells me no lies about the essence of my past.
It speaks of a foolish young man given to chasing self-serving dreams,
stumbling through life leaving behind heartache and chaos.

The eyes of my soul speak of the deceit that harbored in my heart.
They see the trust of loved ones and lovers betrayed in an instant
by a blind pursuit of forbidden pleasures and fantasies.

The sanity of sobriety reels in the memories of drunken insanity.
It staggers across one night romances, broken promises and surrendered
innocence in chase of the bitter embraces of scotch and water.

The heartbreaks of a lifetime reaffirm life’s lessons learned late.
They remember the advice of elders and ancestral teachers which
were carelessly discarded in favor of ideas not so “old-fashioned”.

But, should this be my last earthly breath, would I pass peacefully?
Or when my life flashes by, as people say it does, will I grimace
feeling the pain, the sorrow the sadness my days have wrought?

The loves of my youth recount how they were wronged.
they desired only truth, warmth, and sincerity, but received
the lies of a hard heart filled with anger and consumed in self obsession.

The energy of early manhood shudders in remembering its deception.
Wanting nothing more than normalcy and community acceptance
its faithfulness and virility were castrated to appease forbidden gods.

A blossoming mind cannot forgive the mundane existence forced upon it.
Born to soar with eagles, alas tethered by the chains and straps
of multiple addictions, it dystrophied in an ambitionless, wandering path.

A rural heritage grieves over its losses to pseudo-sophistication.
Dominated early in life by the glitz and glamour of city life
it didn’t recover its authority over the soul’s resources till late in life.

When I at last breathe the final breath of this life my past will flash by.
My final prayer shall be one of thanksgiving and joy to my Lord
for then my soul shall know the end of loneliness.

The Beatles
“Eleanor Rigby”

Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people

Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

Father McKenzie writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear
No one comes near
Look at him working, darning his socks in the night when there’s nobody there
What does he care?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people

Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name
Nobody came
Father McKenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
No one was saved

All the lonely people (Ah, look at all the lonely people)
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people (Ah, look at all the lonely people)
Where do they all belong?

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