His pensions parceled out Amongst his pelican progenies Perched on a spare divan Meant for disposable stores And overnight guests His cravings childishly wanton But his sway circumscribed The divestment now the pensioner repents How by degrees his scepter slips From his palsied grips The fool under his prominent ribs Pricks him all the time What a manifold fool has this old man been.
Time for him hangs heavy and lone The lengthening shadows of dying day And owl-watched wakeful nights But time to others so fast and fleeting Busy in conquests and scheming With no time to spare for him And its changes are so breathtaking What he thought was right is wrong And what was wrong right In his judgments he is ever so erring The whirlwinds in changing landscapes Raise a storm in his tempestuous breast Holding his ground with all his grit He feels he will get pushed over the brink.
Yet what a wonderful thing it was To sprout into fresh being To grow into full bloom To love and be loved To pollinate to fruition and fulfillment And nursing a new life ---- But what portion is this Now doled out to him In his doting old age? Does it not become an ungrateful bastard Is it legitimately filial? This stale piece of unleavened bread And that late cup of lukewarm tea? Did he ripen for this? Or is rottenness all?
Yes, here everything rots – The falling fruits and shedding leaves, Neither regenerating nor manuring life A poisonous putrefaction, No purgatory but a wheel of fire; Nor are they acts of wanton gods But sin begetting sin When the cycle turns full circle It is one’s turn to suffer more than one has sinned. This old fool in his youthful fooling Forgot in utter neglect The shriveled loins from which he sprang. His father shouted the same curse Which he shouts now. Blinded by arrogance He rewarded those who bore false witness But overthrew innocents in judgement. All these unmerited sufferings Now find eloquence In their perpetrator’s elemental cries.
This eternal pageant Chiseled not out of legend but life itself Is played on a perennial stage And reason failing him in sanity Insanity gives him a clear vision To view things in their nakedness. The tragedy is this It happens not before Cordelia is dead.