Mirrors spoke to me only of reflected joy
My reflection's smile denied
Or defined, it seemed, only by others

But gradually that vaguely defined
Reflection of joy
Faded into the whole of what I saw
Until the meaning seen
Was defined by my role in the lives of others

The meaning I see in this reflection now
Hangs by strings I have woven
And it is no longer my life I see reflected
But rather the lives of others
And how they rise or fall

My own joy is so far away from my hands
That I don't even see it in this reflection anymore

Chained and cast into the darkness
Far away from my grasp
Buried somewhere deep inside my heart

Sometimes it glimmers briefly

I have thrust my soul's light away
And so live in this world of crimson sunlight
Submerged and desperate for air
Probably lost somewhere deep in the veins of humanity
Trying to siphon out something better
From the polluted, slowly clogging blood vessels of mankind

That my hands, so desperately seeking the sun,
Should be so deeply steeped in the blood and suffering
Of my fellow man instead of my own
And only found in dark places

My mouth is dry and suffers a bitter taste
My words so devoid of my own joy
Encourage others to finds theirs

My soul sings
Or I wish it did sing
Something, at least,
Other than this tired, old
Dying song of sorrow

A despairing, dark, plaintive melody ringed in light
Only heard as clearly as it is listened to

Something was lost along the way
My mistakes rose up against me
Defined and consumed me
An emptiness opening up within me

And in those failings my shame sought me out
And cast me out of heaven
Into silent, dark places of concealed tears

So my personal war has been waged
Upon humanity's collective battlefield
In the trenches of my corner of the world
Bloody and torn apart by struggle, yet less lined with bodies
And more lined with wasted time it seems

Introspection clicks on
And I have hit a wall

Finally I can no longer pretend
Your struggle


Be mine

Your noose cannot be tied around my neck as well
For my willingness to die is bound to worthy causes
Not blind, self-serving self-destruction

It seems I must bring the battlefield of the self back home
I must fight my way to the light locked away inside
And liberate my soul from its own chains
Chains that I have forged
Which only my hands can unfasten

For this is my first, last, and most important struggle
And I will not ignore it for the sake of those
Unwilling to fight it for themselves