The Maze: a poem


200 dpi 4 col. x 10.75″/219 x 273mm Rick Nease color illustration of man covering face with hands in frustration, his head is a circular labyrinth. Originally created to depict “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes. Detroit Free Press 2000

(Rick Nease Detroit Free Press 2000)

Expressions Editor
Deep in the prisons of mind, reigns a pending hole.
Devouring all in its path, a plunging fire fed with coal.
A deceitful maze compromises one’s sanity,
Lost in a riddle of wits as helplessness sacrifices humanity
Tranquility shatters and is kept behind bars of confusion.
Desperate cries succumb to this puzzling illusion.
There is no lit path to pursue in such a darkening of ebony,
But what follows the perishing of victims whom give way to their malevolent destiny?
Always stuck in an aura of selfishness, no matter how far you lope.
More than once mankind is lured into this relentless hole, conquered by artificial hope.
Frantically searching for a means of escape,
You soon come to terms that this horror acquires your fate.
Reality shatters desperate longings for purity, for there is no way out.
Still, hope of freedom ignites motivation lingers within the realm of your doubt.
Panic arises as one’s vision is fogged by relentless ignorance,
For these are the beasts that drown your world with indifference
These are the beasts that disregard integrity.
And these are the beasts that instinctively slaughter honesty.
An era of cavemen blanket the centuries,
Setting fires to one another, depleting their once epitomized legacies.
This maze engulfs all light left in eternity.
A once rumored legend quickly shifts to a deprived reality.
The hunger for power fuels jealousy between friends.
The lingering perverse cruelty leaves races condemned.
When will the beasts beat the game; or are we mere players forever?
When will the day come when compassion becomes mankind’s endeavor?
Will the thirst for glory forever stain the canvas, once pure?
Or will we someday rise above this poisoned society, demolishing the maze once lured?
The choice reigns paradoxical: indifference or a step towards change?
The answer remains hidden, seemingly palpable yet far from our range.
How can a maze so weakly built devour so many lives?
How can a world so advanced and prospering, still be built by lies?