Ansel Matthews – A Poem

Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter, Poet

Usually things build up within my quiet inner self until its effluence finds an outlet, which for me is usually words and music, though sometimes as in this case, just words. The departure of so many people and things in such a short time, has left so many of us without a North Star or familiar landmark to discern our direction home. This poem came out of that loss of reference, out of the post from an old High School friend caring for her mother-in-law with severe dementia, out of empathy for a college friend who just lost her father, and for the many New York businesses and jobs that have disappeared and will not return because of this virus. I remember a comedic movie I watched as a kid called, “Which Way Is Up?” As an adult, I realize the answer is neither easy nor clear.

What We Knew

I’m no stranger of the comings and goings
and have borne witness to the passing through
but when this is over and the dust has settled
What will be left of what we knew?

I’m no stranger to the worshiping and clinging
to the many things in life we hold true
But as time ticks away at our many falsehoods
What will be left of what we knew?

In life we are all subject to so many changes
but only fools battle its impermanence
Because what lifts and emboldens us and in finery clothes us
eventually strips us down to our bare essence

No, I’m no stranger to the photographs faded
nor the constantly traded old for new
So with a loving embracement and the fondest remembrance
I hold this vigil for what we knew

© 2020 words by Ansel Matthews