What Could Have Been (2013)

1
Some amongst us sinning monsters
sometimes wish that we were younger,
just so we could see:
Hell through a quiet angel scene;
and cherish best what’s meaningless,
as sacred hours–all.
Every game that we still play,
Is hangman and the word is faith;
the wrong word makes it fall.
Boring days when seen this way,
are as sacred as all,
And memories, fragmented scenes,
is all that’s hanging on,
a pale leaf in the Autumn bleak,
by Winter long is gone.
2
Of those we’ve lost who lit our face,
who warmed our hands and heart,
whose prism in it’s brilliance
was the match that struck the spark,
that wavered in the prison wind
then left us in the dark.
In this hole we’ve made we know,
that this brief life, this time, and space,
what we have made our home–
is nothing but an endless march
to a silent world alone.
That hourglass, the Lord of Lies,
is an illusion we call life,
It is the image we are given,
to paint those passing by.
3
It has been said, life said to death,
‘Why do they hate you so?
when to me they cling and cry?
Tell me, I must know.’
In hurried breath thus whispered death:
‘For I’m a painful truth,
you are a beautiful lie.
You’re where they’re from,
I’m where they go.
There is no reason why,
a brief life, it happens that,
it but a dance of choice and chance,
that’s how it will be played;
You’ll feel no pain, you’ll have no name.
faith is the botfly in your brain.’
4
That king of death, the clock itself,
Has never been defeated yet;
that shadow cast, that silhouette,
the only thumbprint of us left.
Life isn’t free; the Rich Man’s King,
will come and then collect,
The interest rate they calculate,
is found between the dash and dates.
Don’t hide the scar, when burned,
when marred;
Don’t drown the pain,
but you are warned:
Get too close and you will burn.
But when you burn is when you learn.
5
When you burn is when you learn;
that nothing lasts forever;
the earth, that sky, will idle by,
It’s stops for no one, never.
Death never has arrived on time;
And we these frightened fireflies
in our confusion wonder why–
that one of us that lit the night,
had to leave without goodbye.
Who lived so brief, and died so soon,
and sleeps under a paper moon.
When all our sin is added up,
karma will pull up in a truck
and we must get inside.
To then be taken
to the place whence
Ben has made it,
an unfinished portrait signed.
6
So this will be goodbye for me,
I miss you Ben, I hope to see,
a part of you, and get to meet
if but a portion in some corner
in this manic world of wonder,
But just in case you may be there,
I hope that you can read.
That all this town, from main-street down,
came to cry and stand around;
to pinch your cheek and weep and weep.
We loved you kid, don’t steal a base
‘No running,
you’re sliding
in the dirt
Cause you’re safe.’
7
You were loved by old and young,
and your vigil I will keep.
And if by chance you catch a glance,
of Mama in her sleep.
Give her a hug and all your love,
and tell her not to weep.
We all made the deal at birth,
to the last man from the first,
To live we pay the highest price;
and death’s the way we pay for life.
8
If there are questions left unanswered.
trivia for Zoroaster.
It isn’t like it is on camera:
because there is no Necromancer.
Death started with the first man,
and the last man hasn’t learned,
where we go, or where we’re from,
only that no one returns;
and why we’re given brief a peek
at such a universe unique
to pull the rug beneath our feet,
when dressed our very best
In that tuxedo asleep.
9
The funeral, the road, the show,
The silent cars in somber rows.
The people too are dressed in suits,
Like all parades they too will fade,
at least we got to see:
that young child, his final ride
before they lowered him inside,
that soundless cave so dark,
he’s gone–
and time itself must carry on.
10
I guess it must be stated that–
we know of good because of bad.
and as beings who can reason,
we should embrace the empty space,
where once he sat with mom and ate.
These memories in lowercase,
that when we talk, we don’t relate;
The mirth died as they walked beside,
that casket green with him inside,
and hopeless we all cried and cried.
We still are bleeding now.
To bring him back I’d call old scratch
and hammer out an old contract,
I’d go to hell to bring him back.
11
This tragedy is wolfish sheep,
it’s not what it appears to be,
although his passing was quite sad and
torture is what he won’t have, then
No computer, favorite games,
no girlfriends later in his teens–
All those songs he’ll never sing
or bob his head and laugh or smile
nor grow into a man with child
his own child to kiss;
this is what true torture is,
all the things he never did.
The things that he loved best,
I see him with his catcher’s mitt
and all the things that could have been;
all the weird things he would do,
laid to rest, to gather dust,
The memory is kissing us.
12
What could have Ben,
that is the rub,
to think he’ll never own a car
or know the pain of love,
or go to school and play the fool
What would have Ben, if when we wrote
we kept alive a hope, a note,
that by some magic we could have him
return to our arms:
the falling dream a false alarm
We’ll sing this tune for you.
That by some witchcraft you might come back,
And then crawl out the pen, and laugh;
He’s living in the future,
of our world already passed.
This is a seance,
I pay homage:
to all the people lost, forgotten
I’ll light the candles, chant the tune.
Mom, can you hear?
Can daddy too?
I’ve possessed this man to speak to you.
13
Mama I was always proud
although we fought and often loud
I knew what you must do;
say hello to all my friends;
Hello to daddy too.
Now I guess I’ll say goodbye,
I love you mama, Max, you guys;
think you for a wonderful life.
It won’t be easy for you now,
to get used to me not around
But know that anytime you’d like
you can take a bath, at night
Dream that we upon a stage
Are king and queen of our domain;
I miss the smiles, I miss the face;
the beauty in the eyes, the grace;
I’m in your mind, a better place,
and I live on, I’m home, I’m safe.
14
For some life might be a ride,
a carousel of colors wild,
their neon ghosts that fill the sky,
there are those who still compose
lamentations for a rose,
to see such beauty die.
Some people give off fire bright,
make sure you cover up your eyes–
the beautiful things we see in our dreams
Give off heat, they give off warmth
but get too close and you will burn;
for when you burn is when you learn.
15
When you burn is when you learn;
that nothing lasts forever;
the earth, that sky will idle by,
It’s stops for no one, never.
Death never has arrived on time;
And we these frightened fireflies
in our confusion wonder why–
that one of us that lit the night,
had to leave without goodbye.
16
Who lived so brief, and died so soon,
and sleeps under a paper moon.
When all our sin is added up,
karma pulls up in a truck
and we must get inside.
To then be taken
to the place whence
Ben has made it,
an unfinished portrait signed.
Yours truly uncle Brandon,
crazy man with dirty hair.
I’ll never try to reassign
any aspect of my mind
to blind the time I stood in line
to simply kiss your cheek.
It’s bedtime, buddy.
Sweet, sweet boy;
I love you,
and sweet dreams.
You are the reason, every season,
new Mockingbirds must sing.
As all that falls to winter’s thaw,
is reborn again in Spring.

In Memory of Benett Dalton
September 18th, 2004 – September 23rd, 2013
♠ ♠ ♠
I have published previous drafts of this before, on this very site; I am reposting today because I have, after much deliberation and revision, a final, definitive draft. I hope you enjoy it. This is the consummation of my love and grief. He is survived by his younger brother Max, his mother Brandi, and his father Scott. My family, all my love.

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