The available data says that this effort dates from March 2017, but it seems longer ago than that.


I've just now, sitting here over coffee, changed and expanded the ending.

To Myself 20 Years Ago

What warped you,
what closed your heart,
what snuffed out the dim wick
of your charity?
What soured your soul,
made you a partisan, a rigorist ---
what poisoned your affections?

You tried to make yourself
impervious to hurt.

You wanted to be left alone,
a diabolic eremite
in a cold cloister of self.

You wanted to be perfect,
with a quick and definite answer
slamming the door on every holy doubt,
with a ready-made label for everyone
who didn't see things as you did,
with a handful of thorns as a bouquet of gratitude
for every kindness that came your way.

You thought you had it all sorted.
You thought you had your act together.

You listened to harsh noises, shrill voices,
assassins of serenity.
You embodied the ugliness of always being right.

Your ruthless logic

cut through friends, made enemies;
your buoyancy and lightness of spirit
lay dead at the side of the road.

There must have been

some trace amount of human warmth

or else you would not have survived,

retained those few loyal friends

through all the insanity.


Thank Heaven, thank Mercy, thank Love,

that you will someday learn to listen,

learn to receive life on life's terms

and people on people's terms.


Thank the Light

which overthrows the darkness

and brings a new day

to a sweet and painful birth.

Poetry by Thomas DeFreitas The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 169 times
Written on 2019-02-02 at 07:56

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Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Unless you are being too hard on your younger self (as I suspect), you truly have been reborn

Kathy Lockhart The PoetBay support member heart!
Even in the harsh darkness you saw hope, by the 8th stanza,
"There must have been...," is where I see the light of hope shining through. And after that, all the beautiful gratitude comes pouring through.

As I read this again, it reminds me of the Psalms where David so often starts out lamenting about his circumstances or asking God where or why or when God was going to help him. As the psalm goes on, David comes to realize that God is ever-present and always benevolent, so he praises Him, worships Him, thanks Him.

Your last stanza says everything:

"Thank the Light
which overthrows the darkness
and brings a new day
to a sweet and painful birth."

jim The PoetBay support member heart!
The ending does have a different tone, redemptive. The "you" that wrote this in 2017, or earlier, and the "you" that revisits it today, seem like strangers to one another.

The longing to be an eremite, then, contrasts with finding peace through love, now.

This is self awareness finely written.