The Damned (1)

They live, who never in their life

ate wholesome food, or lived in peace

with neighbour nation or with wife;

whose time was always one of sorrow.

If God should some great sight release,

no camera could they find or borrow.


Some have their hope built up too fair

till it becomes a glowing coal,

quenched in a flow of dark despair.

What they believed was never true.

When they have taken all the roll

they find the film has not gone through.


Life strikes us in the deaths of friends,

that bring our vision to a blur.

Sinless, wanting to make amends,

we have our being slashed and flogged.

We find, when lifetime snaps occur,

our elbow accidentally jogged.


Driving, living, we will not wait,

our greed and haste bring crashes gory.

We our own chances dissipate;

as when a sunset on the wane,

just photographed, rebursts in glory,

and no more frames of film remain.


All, all must pass, the mountains fall,

the seas will shift, and widows wail;

where stood the mighty cities' walls

the tattered ivy vine now winds.

Exposure meter cells will fail,

and fungus jam the shutter blinds.


The starving, sick and persecuted,

those who fail and those who grieve,

if they have kept their sorrow muted,

and Trust in God remains their creed,

will see what mind cannot conceive,

always; and never camera need.