Steadfast by Robert Garnham

Imagine a prison

Impossible to break from

Yet without physical form.

Invisible walls

Built not of brick but of pain,

Notions, expectations,

Life ruined by the abstract.


There are others of your kind

Unseen in their struggle

But the very nature of your

Unique and sublime imprisonment

Blinds you to them.

Rather than fight, they line

Or else ignore the obvious,

Faces sweating behind bitter masks.


Those who are fortunate

Fill you with anger.

Their love is nought but luck,

And how lucky they love,

Another bead of sweat rolls

Beneath your jaded caricature.

They’re so immature!


You dance in your mind,

Rhythms so sensual,

Pounding party silly rhythms,

Inexplicable sun shining smiling

Fresh faced rhythms incomprehensible

That fact should swamp denial.

Go on, dance, close your eyes and

Dance and let yourself go in a

Way that shouldn’t be disco lights

Flashing almost unbelievable as you

Submit to the bounty of freedom

Sugar flip heart thump moving

Fingers across the forbidden and

Not one ounce of tired regret.

Just don’t. Open. Your. Eyes.


Steadfast in your culture,

Grey tomb of the senses,

Flesh unblemished to the whip crack

Absolute devotion to the ether

Shouting loudest through sheer pride

You’ve got to do what’s right

You’ve got to do what’s right

You’ve got to do what’s right.


Imagine a prison

Impossible to break from,

Not one, but many,

As many prisons as there are poets

And in some places more than others

From which

Only a lucky few have ever escaped

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