seeds of failure

“I feel my failure intensely
as if it were a vital organ”

Jim Harrison

Where does conscience reside?
my mind tells me it is there
in the attic box of old clothes
I put them on, dressing up as child’s game
but masochism is adults only
and memory the last refuge of guilt

by the pricking of my thumbs, toes tingle
and blood runs, runs cold
and sour and salty into wounds
flushed with failure, warm with shame
– I have been found wanting

failing is falling
it is there in the skipped pulse
the hoary hand on heart
held in a breath – a vital organ in word and deed
it does not desist but may pass at the last
or like some foul pest, does it reside
in each and every residual soul?

Joining Jilly and her inspirational quotes from Jim Harrison for Day 3 of 28 Days of Unreason ~ and uniting with some lovely poets in the Poetry Pantry

35 thoughts on “seeds of failure

  1. I wonder as well where conscience resides. Often I think it is so deep within some people that it is a rarity when it appears.

    1. “Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
      And thus the native hue of resolution
      Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,”
      – Hamlet

  2. If examined, I think we would all be found wanting….and since the soul can not be located, the question has not be answered. But I loved your inquiry.

    1. bit of a soft spot for that line if I am allowed to say so – so thank you for picking it

  3. “failing is falling it is there in the skipped pulse the hoary hand on heart held in a breath – a vital organ in word and deed”.. this is so poignant! 💜

  4. Conscience, mind, failure, souls…these are all intangible, non-physical things. Yet they have such volume in our lives. This poem was beautiful!

    1. metaphysics meets existential I think here so thank you for seeing beauty in it Sherri

  5. “found wanting’ – that has always been sobering and I admire how you wove all of this together. Splendid writing!

    1. many thanks for your lovely words – glad you enjoyed the readings!

  6. Your wonderfully rendered piece gives pause … particularly in such times as these, where conscience, it seems, is falling victim to ‘alternative facts’. It has become harder and harder to believe that conscience is a human trait we all share, when many of us – including leaders – speak to the truth with words such as ‘fake news’.

    1. thank you for your comments Wendy – all we can do is mind our own consciences!

    1. those two words so closely associated in form and function! I try not to visit the attic box too often

    1. in all consciousness can’t do conscience without a Macbeth!- thank you for your kind words Merril

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