Inexorably I can feel myself falling
Into the darkness that always lurks, sinister
And out of sight, there at the corner of my mind,
A place of demons and unnameable horrors,
Where my worst nightmares wait, eager to claim my soul.
Like a condemned man on the way to the scaffold,
I see the leering faces of the mocking crowd
Calling on me to save myself, their jeering taunts
The accompaniment to my headlong descent
Into madness, the fate I so richly deserve,
The just reward of a faithless friend, betrayer
Of the one who so willingly gave me her trust,
Only to see me turn away in the moment
Of her greatest need, too weak to share her burden.
But even as I fall, I see a ray of light
Shining brightly in the distance, constant and strong,
A beacon calling me back out of the darkness
Into the warmth and sunshine of her eternal love.
Though I may have abandoned her, she remained true
To the promises she made to me long ago,
To be my eternal companion on the path
From our first meeting until our lives end in death.
As I plunge ever deeper into the morass,
The light grows stronger, reaching down into the dark
To pluck me from the hands of the laughing demons
Who so sure of their prey, are uncomprehending
Of the fierce strength of her unstinted devotion,
A love given freely even in her distress.
Then, with dramatic suddenness, my mood changes,
Swinging with wild abandon from darkest despair
To the opposite pole of utter elation.
A sensation of such incredible lightness
Pervades my whole being, so that like Icarus
I believe that I can fly up into the sun,
Blazing a trail of bright splendour across the sky.
In this exalted state of wild euphoria,
Like a man in a hallucinogenic dream,
Visions of kaleidoscopic intensity
Describe incandescent patterns across my mind,
And alive with almost superhuman power
Ideas flow faster than thought onto the page
In a stream of effortless creativity.
But the mystical visions soon begin to fade,
And as suddenly as I rose out of the mire
Of self-loathing and despair, I crash back to earth.
The twin demons of jealousy and doubt renew
Their assault on my fractured personality,
Feeding my paranoia with their spiteful urgings,
The harsh clamour of their voices convincing me
That I am alone, abandoned in the battle,
For my sanity, unworthy of love, my fate
To be forever condemned to a lonely death.
But she who is my only shield against my foes,
The dark enemies lurking in my diseased mind,
Is too determined ever to accept defeat,
Her only weapon the simple strength of her love.
At last, after a long struggle, the storm abates,
And the ship of my soul enters calmer waters,
Soon to find a safe haven in her loving arms.
But, without the lifeline of her selfless courage
I would have certainly been shipwrecked on the reefs
Of self-loathing, sucked down into the maelstrom
To drown in self-pity, lost forever in the deep.
In time I will find a measure of inner peace,
And the raw lacerations that yet scar my mind
Will be healed by the sweet balm of her tender love.
Whatever future happiness and joy I find
Will be entirely because of her refusal
To let me fall forever into the darkness,
Her unselfish adoration my salvation.
Despite my boasted intellect and skill with words,
The product of many years of bookish study,
I can find no phrases sufficient to describe
Those modest inner qualities of mind and heart,
And unfailing generosity of spirit
That are the mark of her nobility of soul,
So willingly given for me without restraint.
The simple truth that I now humbly recognise
Is that my cleverness, of which I am so proud,
Is of little worth, and that true love and constancy,
Attributes she possesses in such abundance,
Are the only virtues to which I should aspire,
And her abiding love, which I do not deserve,
Makes of me a better man, and so I am content.