5 Vanities – 4

so many stories lost in ugly things.
the common world we choose to think beneath —
and so, we hear not what each echo brings:
remembered songs their lives to us bequeath.

a moment for reflection – just a turn –
it’s all we really need, it’s all it takes —
we have to know the tales, so we can learn
and not just substitute some new mistakes —

we should not venerate, nor should we scorn,
the lessons of the many come before;
and though new problems every day are born,
we didn’t invent hate, or love, or war —

  for time will the turn pages of the book,
  the chapters we will miss, if we don’t look.

The Hindsight Warehouse

Within this room, with its fluorescent buzz,
Are all the ghosts of what has come and gone;
The hindsight warehouse: "should've", and "because" --
Those words that empty failure tends to spawn,
From which few real conclusions can be drawn
Other than that we will do what we do,
And stand in empty rooms when all is through.

I hear an echo, from a different day,
And see the room alive with industry,
The work we did to find a better way,
And give with caring, and with honesty,
Before the wreckage of our vanity
Exploded like a thousand fading stars
In bitterness, and chapters of memoirs.

We mop the floors that nobody will see,
And touch the dead, who can no longer feel,
We say we'll stay, then make our plans to flee,
Reneging on each sworn and sacred deal:
From others our dead promises conceal --

Because we hoped, we ventured for the heights,
But it's okay, now
                      turn out
                              the lights