The Four Horsemen

Posted: March 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

I haven’t put a new poem up here in a while. The reason this one has taken so long is that I had in mind to slam it, and I prefer debuting stuff live rather than here.

In the end, I found I didn’t have the motivation to memorize this. It is really dense. I think it is a good piece, but not something that delivers anything… whatever.

CONTEXT: May, 2011

Wow, I am WAAAAAY behind.

This poem comes out of something that was bugging me around then. I don’t generally write about religious stuff because I don’t want to offend anyone. I have very good friends who are believers and I often can’t figure out how to say what I want to say without being someone I am not.

This poem is about NOT believing. That isn’t the POINT of the poem, but it is the undertone.

I have performed it once only, at my Urban Legends feature in September, to a tepid response.

I think (hope) it works better written than performed.

    The Four Horsemen

“Before me was a pale horse.
It’s rider was named death,
And hell followed with him.”

Four riders on the brainstorm
In a pre-apocalyptic struggle
Between brain and mind
Where any anti-myth buster
Can offer excuse over reason
And answers defined by faith
In fear of misunderstanding
Or missed understanding
Instead of self-discovery,
Mistaking teleportation
For a journey.
The four horsemen
Do bring the apocalypse
Every single day –
Galloping through a shifting
Mindscape of fears and regrets.
The white horse with banner
Waving is conquest only over
The unknown as it is the
Quest that is the destination
And answers come in no
Owner’s manual for the soul
As finding yourself
Means finding your question,
Mark it, and look for the next one
But red Follows,
The horseman of war –
But not locked and loaded,
Sights lined and targets acquired
Fighting for border shifts,
Dollar shifts, or
‘My mythical personification
Is bigger than yours’
But rather the Guerra in you
Fighting your back brain
Flooding the mind with
Self-doubt and loathing.
Balance ejected and spinning
Chaotically in an inability
To pry open all three eyes
To find a reflection
Uncoloured by what was
Done to you or around you.
Dropping the tin-can telephone
To breathe in the salty air
Of a crystal clear ocean of being.
But the scratches are still there,
Gouged deep by every cut,
Every hurt, every trust broken
Until you can’t see yourself
Without seeing the darkness of
The world laid over you –
And then comes the black horse,
Ridden by famine.
Not famine of the body
But of the self.
Emaciation of the mind
As colour washes away in a
Flood of grey,
Leaving a deadened gnawing
Like garbage rats acting on
Instinct, distinct thoughts and
Feelings giving way to a
Lack of purpose or being
As the search for a question
Stops without ending
And the thought of another
Day seems as daunting as
Starting the quest in the first place.
And then comes the pale rider
And nothingness follows with him.
Death opens no gates of
Horn or ivory – it closes them.
Death is the empty glass –
All meaning denied.

It is in life we have
Meaning. It is in love
We have meaning.
Art – Beauty – Joy –
Ideas that carry the
Weight of everything from
Micron to atom bomb,
From universe to
Poetic verse.
It is a battle of mind over myth,
Strength of spirit over
The blackest pits.
Do not despair
Because every atom of your being
Is perfect –
Mind and body,
Stardust and memory,
Looking for a connection
Between you and the infinite
And discovering you ARE it
With no theological middle man
Or mystical hand waving.
You need no universal purpose
For you are the universe
And the universe is beautiful.

  1. with some editing this reminds me of the stuff Johnny Cash was doing on his last four discs before he died. not as long obviously but something of the same tone and idea. not on all songs, but like the mercy seat, i see a darkness and others — the other guy from your versefest post

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