By Fronz von Stuck

… the sun rolls up
then down out of sight
only to make rounds again

waves rise and fall
rise and fall
across curves on Neptune’s face

to the top
to the top of the hill
rolls the immense boulder

and pushed
and cursed
eternal effort caged in visual echo

to the bottom
to the bottom of the hill
rolls back
strength’s sweat in vain

flying thunder taunts and laughs

to the sky
back to the sea
to the summit
back to the valley

again, again, again
up and down
rise and fall
push and cry

again, again, again, again, again
never ends
never ends

a bleeding tongue that never mends

toil and fail
toil and fail
forever and forever cries the wail of Sisyphus
along my deep rutted fate

fruit of betrayal

the alarm cries dawn
my boulder waits

the sun rolls up …


28 thoughts on “Regret

  1. he’s such an intriguing figure and you captured the wail of Sisyphus, reaching into today’s world and state of mind so perfectly…and i think the repetition works really well here…gives the poem a haunting quality…the bleeding tongue..ouch…well done mr. clemmons…well done

  2. *sigh* — that vicious circle!!! Life is nothing but a rolling turn of events…waiting to happen, and happen again…isn’t it?
    An excellent portrayal here, Henry! And the repetitions absolutely add to the effect! A real neat touch, that!

  3. I was just recently making a comparison between this story and the laundry that is my life. : )

    These are my favorite lines:
    “across curves on Neptune’s face”
    “eternal effort caged in visual echo”
    “a bleeding tongue that never mends”

  4. Good morning Henry =)
    painfully inspired, beautifully written… I do so enjoy reading and learning from your artistry.

    eternal effort caged in visual echo


  5. you capture well the monotony of pushing that rock back to the top of the hill only to find you are once more at the bottom…and captures an eeire reality we often find ourselves in…

  6. love how this is so deeply mythological but then you tie it in to the contemporary and the personal there at then end. makes me deeply curious about that “fruit of betrayal” and what it signifies to you the writer. very nice write.

    • The burden of betrayal, from the point of view of the betrayee in a mythology that offers no forgiveness.. Thank you for asking, and for your comment. Sisyphus betrayed Zeus. There are hearts of people void of forgiveness who have no idea the hell they place the person who betrayed them, the unforgiven. The piece does not excuse betrayal. But maybe open an eye to the harsh kingdom of unforgiveness. This can also play mirrored. The burden of the one with unforgiveness can be just as brutal. The fruit of betrayal is hell from any point of view void of forgiveness. You’ll probably never read this, but I thought the question was a good one pertaining to this piece. I maybe should have dealt with it more instead of leaving it to interpretation. But I do like the question was raised.

      • Forgiveness is something that is hard for me– a “harsh kingdom” indeed! I can’t help feeling that, once someone has betrayed you, they have fallen from a place in your heart that has to deal with trust, and they have to work to earn it back, so that forgiveness has an aspect of merit to it on the part of the betrayer. No doubt the Dalai Lama would disagree with me. But I do agree that the burden of being unforgiven can be quite brutal. Thanks for sharing.

  7. hedgewitch says:

    You take a hideous, heavy repetition and grind it so small it becomes an almost magical dust, invading the mind with its image of what a soul-trying task life can be. Yet there’s also something of perseverance here, of bleeding through till the fault is expiated, the answers learned, I think, because like Arron, I also am borne up rather than down by the feel of it. Good stuff, Henry.

  8. Yes, the toil may take it’s toll, but occasionally we are provided the pause to regard another in their struggle. If my hands are free, you can bet I’m going to help you roll that rock! I think, sometimes, it’s nice to come upon a piece that is so very easy to relate to…your writing is like that…the favorite blanket you wrap yourself up in after a long day of pushing those boulders…loved it, Sir…as always!

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