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Stained Glass Ceiling
       By Tarl N. Telford

A thousand painful bloodied cracks -
Mirror’d ceiling and ribbon’d back.
A life of effort, bruised and stained
Forged of laughter, spite and pain,
Pressing down; each movement brings
       From fractured tapestry lashing stings.

Angel dreams I hold inside
Where pain and sadness oft preside.
Marble heart adamantine sewn,
Tatter’d wings graft heartache to bone;
These my tokens left to cry
       To mumbling silent dreaming sky.

Voices echo – chill winds absurd
To think they reach me – not a word.
This monument to nothingness
My futile struggles nary bless.
If this is life, then let me dream –
       To nightly die, O let me dream.

Roads forgotten led me here,
Where shadow’d stalks do hunch in fear.
My history is a crooked furrow – 
A faithless hope for fruit tomorrow.
Tho’ planted still with half-sown grain
       I am barren in this fruited plain.

Rising King in yonder East,
Reminds the harvest to increase.
Thus broken soil, tho’ tilled in pain
Receives the soothing summer rain.
Forgiving sun doth bless the fields
       And harvest brings a bount’eous yield.

My own wings I did numbly hack – 
Earth-stranded angel clothed in sack.
Mortal mirror stained with prayers,
Above me carved my life of cares.
But the ceiling heights I’ll ever try - 
       For self-ruin keeps me from the sky.

I will not grieve for dreams not mine
I’ll rise to seek the Heavn’ly sign.
Soul’s candle feels a waking spark
Alone I’ll leave the crushing dark.
Arise, once broken, take thy wings.
       Ascend to where all anthems ring.

A thousand million bloody lines -
The ceiling stained by life all mine.
My aching, bruis’ed back contorts
“It is useless”, a shadow wind retorts.
Yet one more try … all strength I gather.
       Upward I race – the ceiling shatters!

Beneath my feet the heirloom glistens – 
Blood-glass tapestry for all who listen.
Each crack a line from failed tries
To grasp eternal summer skies.
If this is life, do not forsake.
       Then let me wake, O let me wake!

Yet upward still my struggle reaching
Creates a masterwork beseeching
All who look to see within
Past mortal faults and thoughts of sin.
The pattern wrought, when years are told,
       This life a wonder – forever bold.

The scars we gain as ceiling cracks;
‘Twould unblemished be, but for our acts.
The canvas of the life we paint
Will bind us should we show restraint.
A life unlived, devoid of feeling;
       Above it waits – uncracked glass ceiling.