Edward Hemstreet

The surging dirge of time
plays not in striking ways —
it will not foster tears
or wrench a grieving gut;
it will not shake the soul
with deep, discordant drums
or pierce a well-tuned ear
with shrill and shrieking strings

The surging dirge of time
rings out in subtle tones —
light touches on the bars
that hum in horrid timbre,
a choir of the conscience
reminding of your worth,
the woodwinds unrescinding
to whisper great regret

& when you feel it drag
through the membrane of your ears,
& rest inside the brain,
it will be a world too late —
the instruments will blare
& you will know two sorry things:
Your life has drifted by
& the dirge was penned for you

Edward Hemstreet

Between a blush and a crush,
some dreams have been banished
to the much lower quarters
where the downtrodden go
And their vivid aspirations
now gasp into greyscales,
with no hopes to inhale
the hues they will lose

Yet down in those cellars,
there are weeping whispers,
“I wish” out in echoes
and ascending through vents
So I am the tenant
and in light lulls of night,
those longings are aired
and haunt me through waking

Author's Commentary: Both poems are vignettes set in great states of disconnection. In the case of "The Tenant", it is a disconnect of emotions and desires. Rather than experience security in feeling, it describes an aloof life inside of wanting. "Two Sorry Things", however, is a disconnect with life itself. The concept of an uncontrollable passing of time is something I reflect on often; pessimism prods at the idea that one can carry on believing life is adequate yet realize that, at its end, there was a world forgotten.

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Edward Hemstreet is a surfacing writer from the confines of central New Jersey. His main influences include Morrissey, Seamus Heaney, and Oscar Wilde among others. In other realms of literature, he has been refining the manuscript of his first novel, The Model, over the course of the last two years. When not writing, he may be found enjoying music, engaging in leftist dialectics, or drinking uncomfortable amounts of tea.