Sine Labhore Nihil

These mortal shackles keep us bound, and firmly in one place,
hope is fleeting, slipping aquiline through open fingers.
I dreamt that freedom called upon my door and kissed my face,
happiness surpassed the guilt that often stays and lingers.

The victors in their suits of blue and papers marked in red,
served their dutiful dismissive justice on my conscience,
the streets, which welcomed me with open arms returned, no bed
cold and hard the ground, a stand to test my weak resilience
no comprehension how this came to be, what could be said?
Words fell mute on deafened ears, appeals ripped at my constance

The winds that winter whipped my furrowed brow with discontent
frigid stagnancy I loathed to breathe a minute longer.
My only crime was being far too poor to pay the rent
Systems fail the weak who only dream of getting stronger.

Submitted into One Shot Wednesday at One stop poetry


30 responses to “Sine Labhore Nihil

  1. Shan! This is a statement made that goes well beyond borders. Once the system is accepted, relied upon, it becomes so very hard to get out of their trap. Giving just enough to keep you locked in, but still starving. Not sure what it’s like in your neck of the woods, but I’ve known a few gals who are pumping out babies left and right to keep the mortgage paid…more babes, more government money…but still more month than money. A sad state of affairs, indeed, that needs some serious fixing. And so the have~not goes without, while the have-too-much keeps hording. Sorry…longwinded!

  2. systems do fail the week over the men in suits any day…dont know what it will take to fix and dare we scrap and start over? the last two lines o fht efirst verse set up the rest very well…nicely done shan…

  3. Fantastic sonnet…you are so good at form poetry (green with envy!) …but also you write with a serious message behind it…I hate the system at the moment, with all the cuts aimed at the very people who need the help. There are murmurs of discontent, but generally the population remains apathetic…I guess it’s always better the devil you know.. and that attitude will always keep the establishment in power..lets go and start a revolution!! 🙂

  4. yes – it’s such a horrible circle once you’re in..the same over here…one brick comes to the next and before you look around a wall is built and you can’t escape poorness or homelessness any more..

  5. Hmm powerful Shan and way too close for comfort for many of us…

    yes we are glad you are back – hugs

  6. Profound and haunting reality in this…as moon said, way too close for comfort for far too many out there…

    “My only crime was being far too poor to pay the rent
    Systems fail the weak who only dream of getting stronger.”
    That ending note packs one hell of a note, Shan. To make a crime of that beyond our power…horrid. Potently constructed piece.

  7. Oh Shan…so full of sorrow and longing…this line is exquisite “I dreamt that freedom called upon my door and kissed my face, happiness surpassed the guilt that often stays and lingers.”

  8. “…the streets, which welcomed me with open arms, returned
    no bed cold and hard the ground…
    “Systems fail the weak who only dream of getting stronger.” How true these words.
    Agree with Natasha, this piece is borderless. It really makes quite a statement about the current state of our economy and our society. Amazing piece, Shan. Thanks for sharing this.

  9. Yes the system is broken and needs a fix
    With no more greed ridden tricks
    Although will it ever occur
    Or will the lines continues to blur
    Always room for some hope
    That the current system will hang from a rope
    Intriguing words you state
    One day someone could open this gate

  10. Every word true, and telling. So many misfortunes of life are an accident of birth, a run of bad luck for the poor is the difference between home and homelessness, while the sums in question are gambled away by the suits on their little playpen stock market games, lost and gained, without a breath of consequence, while others pay for it with everything. Don’t get me started–but excellent poetry like this always does. ;_)

  11. Love it Shan, from the title (wow!) to the final heartbreaking line. Hell of a pace in this piece. This is one of Luke’s stressed matrix pieces – yes? The best one I’ve read if it is.

    Two days a week I teach on one of the poorest areas of our county and a lot of my students are caught in this trap so this really hit home for me. Bravo honey!

  12. We must always bear in mind that the circumtances of life can always turn for better or worse…and that we are all but a step away from sleeping outside the confides of a warm and comforting shelter….thank you Shan..bkm

  13. So true. I discovered recently that if you have no fixed abode my local council will not allow you onto their housing list! You should be at the top! A brilliant write here portraying the cruel truth of society.

  14. Excellent work, Shan. Content packed, great form, sustained to the end. Powerful rhymes with a powerful message. Each poem of yours is stronger than the last. Your work is becoming so substantial and important. Excellent! Gay

  15. Shan, I always love the endings of your poems. This one is no different. Brilliannt, potent, delivered with vigor and honesty like usual.

  16. Systems fail the weak who only dream of getting stronger..
    very true last line Shan!

    You either need to break the pattern or become immuned to the system. I survived because I did both!

    A very intense n powerful write.. very well captured!
    hugs xoxox

  17. Brilliant. And you not only work within the confines of an extremely technically demanding form with great ease, you actually strengthen the content with – for instance with teh power good end-rhyme can have, the thrust/impetus solid meter can lend a line etc. Bravo. One of the best Stress Checkerboard Sonnets yet written. I’m proud 😀

    (Not happy about what’s happening to you though… love and strength your way, sister)

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