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by Claude Jones

Is this the edge, have I come around the bend?
Am I closing fast, nearing the very end?

Am I reaching the point, who am I to tell?
Would there be concern if I stumbled and fell?

There is a brink, a pinnacle, a craggy crest;
Can past that point be peace and a moment of rest?

Do I find the satisfaction, the ultimate the quest?
Or am I confined to another challenge and another test?

I have pushed and struggled, seeking a believed-in goal,
A birth in salvation, a renewing of my soul;

Am I denied, forbidden a forward glance?
I thought it no risk, I thought it taking no chance.

My worthiness I doubt, as life in memory unfolds,
As life’s layers rise, as life’s truth upholds.

Is this twilight the forerunner, brightness now dim?
Am I at somebody else’s mercy, someone else’s whim?

Have my sacrifices earned me gain?
Are there rewards for unshared pain?

My understanding has slowed by self-induced reduction of wit,
Seeking that edge, that notch, in which only I will fit.

Now I toil with infinity, no absolute in sight;
Man continually struggles to know, his ever-troubled plight.

    Claude explains:

    I have always looked for (expected), just round the bend, just over the hill or soon, very soon, the whole happening called life, and/or living, would brighten into a Utopia, a plane above the mundane, the pitiful existence we endure, to soar into a lighted, brightened and contented place of peace, a time without conflict and without unattainable demands, rather an ease of dealing with and communicating openly with satisfying results of encounters with fellow beings, fully basing reactions and conclusions on our likeness instead of our differences, demanding that love from within ourselves direct our tongue instead of our mistrust, fear or jealousy, leaving our thought patterns open, inclusive, and longing to associate warmly with one another so that we might be forgiving, non-judgmental and receptive. Longing for that barrier to become visible, attainable and commonplace, I wrote "Edge."

    Arguably, my striving for the "Edge" may be for self-satisfaction rather than for the good of humankind. I admit selfishness as a trait. I long for the BEST for my sons and my grandchildren; I long to find a contentment that does not require sore muscles, depravity of sleep and sacrificing my precious time so graciously given to me, in my feeble attempts to be a good citizen of Planet Earth by helping my fellow human travelers.

    I will admit I often think I am the only one that gives a flying damn, realizing I am not on top of the world but rather hanging on the side of Earth stranded above the center and held down by phenomena I can neither see, hear or touch. Gravity is my friend, but gravity needs to turn loose of my skin and my skeleton. My chest is challenging my gut; gas once expelled with a quiet burp now scares me with its unexpected expulsion far below where my hand cannot cover and often carries the truth of its power though I clinch and squeeze to control its might. Sometimes the offense exceeds the fear of olfactory perception and secretly deposits stains in secret places causing the necessity of a caustic chemical called chlorine to be handy and available.

    And gravity is now pushing sideways at times as I stand; a quick step sideways is necessary, and often, though I carefully point directly toward the place I wish to traverse, I go left, then right, on my trail. Where will it end?

    COME "EDGE" -- relieve my strain.


    BIO: Claude Jones
    "I write poetry for the pleasure of writing. Writing is my escape, often my very best friend. I read and love free verse poetry but for me to write I seemingly must write in meter and rhyme."

    "I was born, raised and lived all my life in Pontotoc, Mississippi. I was raised on a farm where we milked cows, raised cotton, corn, and had a peach orchard. I have worked for Pontototc Electric Power for 31 years. My wife Ann and I have two sons, both are pharmacists, and we have two grandchildren."

    Want to read more of Claude’s writing at USADEEPSOUTH? Click these links:
    Who Has The Edge?
    Two Poems
    Two Poems - II
    Mule's Gold
    Young Dreams and Old Realities


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