The Curse of Permanence

The wind howled through the tall trees,
As the rain lashed the sea;
The lighthouse stood guard, watching silently,
The smooth rocks, the watery sand
That in the veiled moonlight,
Shone murkily, like forgotten debris

The Stranger had walked a twenty miles,
He stopped by the grave stones to rest;
No sign of life, the dead grass could tell,
Fading memories, of a place so fell

As the Stranger lit his last cigarette,
A murmur rose from far;
He wiped his face, and strained his eyes
For in the distance, he’d caught a flicker

He approached warily,
For a mirage, he thought he’d seen;
The shadow grew larger as he approached,
It was an old bar, shone dim lights within

Four men were seated at the table,
Quiet they were, almost motionless;
Nearby, a drunkard slouched over,
And a couple locked in embrace

The Barman looked up and smiled
His face unclear, his eyes a swimming black;
The lights swung gently with the wind
And the shadows moved back and forth;
The smoke twirled around the frosty glasses
Teasing, into the night’s cold darkness

“A whiskey, please” said the Stranger,
As the Barman walked towards him;
“Bad night, eh? Never been a storm before,
It’s almost, like a dream”

The Stranger sat up straight,
For the voice sounded eerily familiar;
He looked hard, he looked long
“Where have I seen your face?” he said,
Trying hard, to remember

“Old boy, we haven’t met,” smiled the Barman
“The time, my friend, hasn’t come yet,
There’s no real reason to fret.”

“Who are you? I have to know,
Who are all these people?”
The Stranger grabbed the Barman’s collar,
Dragged him closer, by the neck

“Look around yourself, old friend”
The barman smiled and said,
“The friends, they look familiar, don’t they?”
The Stranger let go of the Barman,
And rushed to the table
Where the four men quietly lay

“I know these faces! They are my friends.”
He screamed, as he went over them, one by one
“Wait. This doesn’t seem right,” as he stopped suddenly
“This man,” he whispered, “He looks, just like me.”

“What about that man then?” the Barman asked
Pointing to the drunk, slouched very, very still
“I bet you know him too, although, he is yet to settle his bill.”
A coldness crept into his heart, as he turned the man around
His own face he saw, a few years younger,
The creased eyes, the darkened lips, of health most unsound

“It cannot be!” the Stranger screamed,
“What is this place? What is this sorcery?”
The barman set down a glass and poured,
A magnificent offering of whiskey
“And that lovely couple? What do you reckon,
Of those two that you see?”

He felt his heart pound, his hand shivered,
He drew closer to the table, and he touched her face
He caressed her hair, her lifeless eyes
Frozen in time, her smile, as she kissed
His face, an image of the magnificence of youth
Captured forever, like bygone memories

“Who are you? Why am I here?”
The Stranger asked, his trembling hands
Held the whiskey, cold
“Don’t you understand? You are dead, as is all of this
This is your memory, fading away
Into the waves and oblivion, as you decay”
The Barman smiled, “I am you
Caught in permanence, these moments repeat forever.
Moments ago you sat on your grave, if you remember.”


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