Reminiscent of a palm tree placed involuntarily on a faraway, tropical island,
I live a life saddled with melancholy and self-doubt and loneliness.
I am a palm which has been slowly, consistently bent over by recurring wind,
I can lose time rehearsing in my mind the opportunities I have missed.
Like a vampire sees blood, a habit of seeing things darkly colors my worldview.
I may be figuratively wearing unnoticed spectacles with lenses of a smoky color.
The realization struck me that it probably biased everything I’ve done or knew.
This fact assumedly may indeed alter my every thought and feeling like no other.
This globally potent predisposition to view and attribute in a consistent fashion
Might well account for all my quirks, pains, melancholy, anxiety, and fears.
The tempestuous edge that plagues me, my temperament oft’ devoid of passion
Are more remarkable, but not more debilitating, than my solitary tears.
Albeit mind-boggling, I must ask myself honestly if I unfairly blame my mother
For a curse placed on my head not by her wrongs, but rather by God or genetics.
I shudder to think that on which I’ve based my self-concept may be torn asunder;
That fact strikes me as oddly comforting, while simultaneously darkly prophetic.
Like waking from an endless nightmare in which I’ve been victim to the unseen,
I wretch as I imagine that my entire being, my whole orientation, is slanted.
I regret that there’s a melancholy core to who I am, will become, and have been;
I sigh deeply at such a bittersweet gift which I’ve been cursed or granted.
Though I do take comfort knowing that I have great company in others similar:
Beethoven, Peart, Petrarch, Camus, Sartre, Hopkins, Sachs, and Voltaire.
Their lives, although rich and meaningful to mankind, were also inured;
Noble men from the past and the present and I have this heavy burden to share.
This poem about self-doubt and loneliness, named “Like a Palm on a Tropical Island,” was written in about 1999. I have made improvements in my mental health since, FYI. It is kind of sad to look back on and think of the suffering I endured. Well, if you would like to view another poem, one a bit brighter, click here.
© Jason Merchey 1999-2017