Monday, May 2, 2022

Guest Post: Embers, by Richard Hartley

Note from Amelia: An early part of the apparitions project involved collecting the poetry and photography of other talented writers and artists to share as part of a greater anthology. This component of the project didn't quite come together for many reasons, but I wanted to share the finest work Jonathan and I received as part of our celebration of the book's publication and this incredible year of poetry. I'm sharing this spring and summer series alphabetically by last name. Today's deeply thought-provoking poem, "Embers," comes to us from UK poet Richard Hartley:

Was there really any point to it all?
What useful purpose have I served
While living out my bleak and lonely life?

Searching for answers, many men
Gaze into the dying embers of a fire
And measure their life’s worth therein.
So too have I been gazing –
Into the dying embers of my life
And taking the measure of my worth.

There will be no statue to celebrate my life.
No awards to mark some great achievement.
No learnèd books to argue and explain
A great contribution made to help mankind.

Like an early evening shadow, dancing
Across the choppy waters of the bay,
I too have crept silently through life
Un-noticed, un-seen and un-remarked.

And just as that shadow will vanish
Un-remembered with the setting sun,
So too will my life fade from view
And leave no passing mark upon the earth.

"Embers," copyright 2022 Richard Hartley (previously published in An Early Spring Day, 2019)

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