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Timeless Quote:
"Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood." - Helen Keller

Obligatory Linkage:
Without his site, my site would never have existed.

The Single Candle
On the darkest night of winter, clouds of chilling fog grew thicker

As I huddled near a candle to try to capture its lost warmth

My room it seemed to grow much smaller, yet the ceiling grew much taller

And all the heat was lost to my huddled body on the floor

In my twilight's mind of waking, soon I found myself forsaking

Everyone and everything that left me huddled on the floor

As the fog was shrilly sleeking, and my room was slowly leaking

Then I felt again the warmth from just beyond my oaken door


Still half asleep and half awake, I took to choosing dreams to take

Leaving half a blind eye open to the light beyond the door

And then with my vision blurring, while my thoughts and mind were slurring

I nodded down my head to dreams I've never seen before

Half in waking, half in dreaming, my blinded eyes beheld a demon

And it brought me to a start from my spot upon the floor

In blackened robe and bearing scythe, I scarcely could believe my eyes

For death stood before me and blocked my passage to the door


Unafraid, I know not why, it seemed so certain I would die

As the spectre stood before me, his hallowed hollow eyes burnt me to the core

In his blackened shroud of death, his fleshless palm caressed my neck

And sent shivers up my spine like I've never felt before

Still huddled down but wide awake, my thoughtless mind about to break

As I watched the candle dance enchantingly on the floor

Though I knew not what to say, hardly could I turn away

From the light, or the spectre, or the warmth from just beyond my oaken door


The spectre stood there silently, with eyeless sockets watching me

Yet, he spoke not a word, only blocked my passage to the door

My mind becoming more aware, I still knew not why he was there

Until at last I asked "What hath thee come to call me for?

"I come here for it seems that you must have called for me

With your frozen body lying there upon the floor

It seems to me it's your request to take your heart from out your chest

Lest you would go to feel the warmth from just beyond your oaken door"


"Then tell me why that I would choose, from this flame I have to use

To go to feel the so-called warmth from just beyond that oaken door

For this flame is all I know, and the warmth is mine alone

And beyond that oaken door lie things I do not know"

"But just beyond that oaken door, there is so much heat in store

As a frozen man, I'd think you'd wish for nothing more

Why do you sit here all alone, huddled on these frozen stones

Your only warmth a single candle on the floor?"


"The way I see it, in my eyes, the single candle holds my life

Not the light or warmth from just beyond that oaken door

If frost should form upon my hands I could burn my candle at both ends

And thereby I could double the flame and heat and warmth

But, if that I choose to try, I'd have twice the heat for half the time

After which I'd truly freeze upon the floor

And though I do not know just why, I'm sure that I don't want to die

So I will huddle near this candle to try to capture its lost warmth"


"Perhaps you're right, my foolish friend, perhaps your life tonight shan't end

From the freezing cold and frozen stones upon the floor

But, with just that single candle light, on this darkest, coldest night

How could thee turn away the thousand lights beyond that oaken door?"

"The answer seems so simple, friend, one thousand flames, two-thousand ends

Perhaps they do put out two-thousand times the warmth

But as my candle is just half spent, their two-thousand will reach an end

And the light will die from just beyond that oaken door"


"For even now I see it fade, another candle's burnt away

And the light it grows much fainter just beyond that oaken door

One thousand men, two thousand lights, only one sustained their life

Every other one was wasted to create the sense of their false warmth"

"Now, my friend, I see you're right, with your single candle light

How you huddle so close around so little warmth

On this darkest, coldest night, I'll leave you with your candle light

For I have much to attend to just beyond that oaken door.."


Another night the darkness came, it bore a chill without a name

Still I remained as one with the candle on the floor

Several days had come to pass, yet, it seems, the darkness lasts

And I beg for light within, with no light beyond the door

A dready mind it tends to wander, and all these things I tend to ponder

Of hell and hate and life and what's in store

So many times I did regret, this life I live means nothing yet

And purpose for my life is what I'm searching for


A dozen days and nights I queried, now my mind and soul are weary

Still I find no answers to the questions that I'm searching for

At the height of my frustration, while so deep in cogitation

The spectre appeared again, just beside my oaken door

"Please do not speak, my friend, refrain, from without I felt your pain

I am here to speak to you of life and nothing more

So content you seem to be, just writhing in your misery

I come to offer you my help and nothing more"


"So it seems we meet again, but I'm not sure you are my friend

Do you bring kind words for me, or pain and nothing more

Do you wish to speak these words to me to end my pain and misery

Or do you taunt and tempt and tease and hope for more

Can you aid my ailing soul, reveal these answers so unknown

Or can you only wait for me to die upon the floor

Now, do you wish to aid my life, or do you hope to be the knife

To bind my heart and soul to hell forevermore?!"


Then the spectre turned quite grim, I seemed to have offended him

As his eyes burnt straight into my heart and bosom's core

While once I felt he wished my death, I only now can feel regret

For it seemed he wished to speak the truth and nothing more

I had no doubt to whom I spoke, for he was death, to pain invoke

Yet, so sincere he seemed, my mind it did implore

And as he turned his head to speak, I felt my will was growing weak

Then the spectre took a seat beside me on the floor


"In your life" he said to me, "You've lived through things that should not be

A thousand raging plagues and the pains beyond the door

I see a man without respite, I see now that your heart has died

And yet you choose to lie alone upon the floor

I've seen men with twice your strength, with a noose, from rafters hang

Choosing death over life and a pain they can't endure

Your will has made a mark on me, your life is one I wish to see

Please tell what you see within, what dreams you may adjure"


"If just one wish I had to make, a single wish for dreaming's sake

To answer just a single question, one and nothing more

Perhaps I'd wish for earthly things, wealth beyond my wildest dreams

A gilded gown, a ruby crown, a king forevermore

Perhaps I'd wish to change my fate, to know my death and change its date

To be immortal, omnipotent, like the lord

To know the end to every day, to never have to be afraid

To know of each disease, and for each to have the cure"


"Or perhaps I'd wish for fame, for all the world to know my name

To be idolized by all, be they rich or poor

To live my life in luxury, in a mansion by the sea

To live beneath the sun and bask in all its warmth

Yet, each mistake would bear my name, a single slip, a public shame

No time to bask alone in all the warmth

So I would wish no earthly thing, I need not live my golden dream

I would ask but a single question, frozen here upon the floor"


"If one dream I wished came true, while I'm sitting here with you

A single wish to grand upon this floor

Tell me now about my fear, the one which brings such bitter tears

Will I ever lose my fear of life beyond that oaken door?

For my candle burned so bright, brighter than their thousand lights

The ones that burnt away just beyone that oaken door

Yet the light, it seems so cold, while my body grows so old

Is it true that I shall die alone, frozen here upon the floor?"


"So sincere you seem to be, in ending all this misery

To overcome your fear of what lies beyond the door

But I can't tell you of your fate, for your life's not written yet

Only you can face your fear of life beyond that oaken door

Nothing more or less I know, for your fate is yours alone

To weigh and judge your fear, and this pain you can't endure

But, you're not chained to this room, lest you make it be your tomb

And never take a step beyond the oaken door"


"You speak in words I understand, yet I still can't comprehend

Why do you choose to sit with me upon the floor

If you do not know my fate, if my death has no date

Still you'd speak to me for hours about the oaken door

So what purpose does it serve, prodding at my fraying nerves

Tempting me with death, as you try to do, I'm sure

Do you enjoy to see my pain, when the fear it comes again

Do you enjoy to see me writhing here upon the floor?"


"Without an answer I shall go, I'll leave you once again alone

To ponder all the things beyond the oaken door

I will say this, hear me now, the frozen stone seems worse somehow

Than to take my hand in warm embrace forevermore

Nothing there would be the same, and I can't swear there is no pain

But, I can say you wouldn't fear the oaken door

I'll come to visit once again, when you blow out your single flame

I shall appear once again beside your oaken door"


Then the spectre left me be, writhing deep in misery

His promised salvation echoes through the stone cold floor

His tempting words to test my will, the air a permeating chill

And the candle, a dancing flame I so adore

His words they played within my mind, blow out the flame to solace find

To finally end my fear of what lies beyond the door

Far too weak to struggle on, knowing now, my will is gone

And I can't face my fear of life beyond the door


Awaiting death, I sat alone, a frozen man on frozen stones

The single candle a fading hope, dead upon the floor

An icy chill, the chill of death, took from me my gasping breaths

I dreamed and wished and hoped I'd breathe no more

Yet the chill passed, and in its wake, it left the being I forsake

The spectre, once again, beside my oaken door

His stoic face looked ghastly grim, something was upsetting him

Something, it seemed, of the candle, stones, and door


No light broke his darkened stare, no sound broke the silent air

Until he turned to lean his scythe upon the door

He held his hand up in the air, and as he stood with it there

Suddenly, from his hand, a greenish flame burst forth

My candle roared, again, to life, I stared and him and wondered why

Why the candle burnt again upon the floor

Still no sound touched my ears, to help to ease my growing fears

Of why the spectre gave me back my candle's warmth


He held his robe out, flowing free, and took a seat down next to me

He motioned me to hold my hands within the warmth

The candle's flame brought hot relief, from the cold, but not the grief

Nor a mind wondering at the candle's source

If an answer, the spectre had, he showed it not, but took my hands

And held them where the flame burned me intensely with its warmth

He saw my pain, but did not stop, he held them still, the flame was hot

And from my throat a scream bellowed forth


"A final thought", he said to me, "You know not of misery!

Nor of pain and a heat you can't endure

I tell you this that you might know One choice only, for your soul

Which would hurt you more? The heat, or stone cold floor?">

The spectre left, and took his flame, but leaving my candle lit again

Alone and cold, trapped behind the oaken door

If his words were meant to scare, it did not work, I do not care

I can't live alone, frozen on the floor


And as I pen these final lines, I know now, it is my time

And my single tear puts out the candle on the floor

I dream not of pearly gates, for I know it's not my fate

To live an immortal life with god forevermore

But, finally now to be peace, the misery to finally cease

Yet, perhaps, to burn in hell forevermore

If a fiery pit my fate should be, still it ends the misery

And all the hate and pain from beyond that Oaken door...

This particular poem was written as three different poems. I do not remember exactly where the first one broke and the second started, but as I was adding it here I did seem to think that the quality of it was declining incrementally from the start. Perhaps I should have just left it at one rather short poem and not had the redundancy of word rhyming and the such. The fact is that I wrote it all, so I may as well post it, whether you have it or like it.

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