Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing



by Steve Persaud

And the bloodletting never stops, cast
in some form of mathematical anomaly.
When I add, I find myself subtracting, and
my thoughts are divided when I multiply,
leaving me with an unsure quotient
and a grim remainder
of myself.

Then I am placed in a square
that thinks It’s a rectangle and try
to do battle with a triangle for equal rights-
all ending in a pyrrhic victory.

And I, like a captive sun, look on
with stellar consternation at
this maelstrom of discontent-Sisyphean
ideals caught in the crosshairs of a crazed,
colossal creature.

The overture continues with a malady
encapsulated in a melody of diminished
intervals with a harmony of diminishing returns.

Footnotes: There are none; keep marching though – left right, left right. The answer is found in the beat of one’s drum – a declaration of war, a declaration of peace or simply, one’s own declaration.

About the Author

Steve Persaud is a Music and English Teacher. His work has appeared in several Caribbean and American Anthologies. He is the winner of the audio company QSC writing competition and has done several radio programs where he provided background music to his poetry. He was selected to stay in one of the legendary cottages frequented by Ernest Hemingway and Martin Luther King based on his work being included in a Writers in Residence Program sponsored by the Big Game Club Resort and Marina, Bimini, Bahamas.

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18 thoughts on “Sisyphean”

  1. Great relatable metaphors in this work. Thanks for sharing this thought-provoking poetry!

  2. Mary Moncur Grey says:

    This poem is brilliant and it stirs the emotions – a lyrical masterpiece!

  3. Antonio Smith says:

    Beautifully visual and inspiring language.

  4. Antonio Smith says:

    Beautiful and visual language. Tank you for this.

  5. Marina Gottlieb Sarles says:

    A beautifully crafted, well-written and thought provoking poem. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Diane Allen WEST says:

    Oh what a beautiful composition! It is so vivid, a little existential the sisyphean narrative denoting the absurd journey to nowhere, but I really like the movement in the state of mind it portrays. You can feel every step of a confused mind. And the paradoxical outcomes of focusing on one thought process but alas, arriving quite involuntarily at another.

    The captive sun….. says a lot. Great pun. The speaker is both limited and human yet celestial and brilliant, yet restrained, again adding to the anguish.

    One can even imagine a most ominous overture that plays out the scene and what a gem are the footnotes (), how cleverly they continue in the rhythm of the overture, again bringing movement to sounds and thought.

    I think this is a delightful and such a well-crafted poem! One could do absolutely nothing to improve it!

  7. Lloyd Marshall says:

    Deep and profound thoughts originating from an incisive mind.

  8. Harry Baptiste says:

    The poet utilizes a rare capacity of wit, intellect and lexicon gymnastics to peel back and manipulate every human sensation we subsume in pursuit of our ideas, ideals and too often, sinister ambitions. He postulates and tortures the prejudices and contradictions that combine to challenge reason and logic for a fleeting dominance in chasms of despair presided by the powerful and mighty.
    Sisyphean is indeed a trek through a quagmire of emotions, deeds, frustrations, disappointments and hope, wading through the highs and lows of good and evil in an endless journey of futility by way of poetic mastery that could only come from the pen of a genius.

  9. Samuel Mann says:

    The conflicting mathematical metaphors suggest the poet is attempting to measure and define contemporary political commentators who are critical of the mainstream establishment narrative. Everything is contrary or counter to what they see, a giant rocky world that keeps rolling backwards and accelerating with time (a melody of diminished intervals/with a harmony of diminishing returns) despite their triangular battle for equal rights. The “bloodletting” sacrifices are profusely determined. Victory can only be pyrrhic in this Sisyphean landscape because nothing changes but gets worse instead like the mutant virus whose goalpost recedes further with each new upward step.
    “And I, like a captive sun, look on
    with stellar consternation at
    this maelstrom of discontent-Sisyphean
    ideals caught in the crosshairs of a crazed,
    colossal creature.”
    Somehow this puzzled image reminds one of the crazed scientist Einstein who for once seems resigned and is unable to imaginatively make that quantum leap to bridge the immediate “maelstrom of discontent.” Tragically, he is but “a grim remainder” of himself about to flicker out in the darkness that is rapidly overwhelming him in the shadows.
    A craftily put together somewhat fatalistic commentary on the dire state of the world today and the progressive forces that are fighting to push back. The artistry is superb. The message is arguably despairing.

  10. Roosevelt Rolle Jr. says:

    What a piece. Thank you for sharing this creative peace of work.

  11. Timothy Newbold says:

    Creative piece of literature! It evokes thoughts and emotions!! One can imagine the mathematical anomalies and sisyphean nightmares that people are facing during these difficult times.

  12. Godfrey Holder says:

    Solipsism shines—emanations of a sun-seeker reaching for the light that is beyond the tyranny of duality. Victory and defeat, peace and war, love and hate, praise and insult, with their strangle-hold on the mind, play their game of tug-of-war, making the soul a stranger to composure.
    In his struggle to break free from the intrinsically strong grip the aforesaid has humanity, the poet tries to make sense of the equally opposing forces that that militate against high hopes. Under blue dome of erudition, his mastery of metaphor brings him close to the sphere that brilliantly gives new meaning to the word spatial; here is where I hope despair does not finds a way to dim the perpetual glow that is true to the blue expanse of magical possibilities. In conclusion I have say the singer is the song; the choreographer is the dance; the maestro is the music. Contextually, Steve Persaud is the perpetual glow that is juxtapose to the light I have found in this literary gem.

  13. Derek Archer says:

    The imagery is fantastic and seems to flow so smoothly and naturally. It is obvious that the poet is a musician of standing. A really lovely piece of work.

  14. Alan Pena says:

    Looking down from above, the music man searches for love,
    as he gazes around this old world of ours, noting the damage
    That has been done. Where is the love? is a song already sung.
    It is an uphill struggle. Well done Mr Persuad.

  15. Cynthia Pearson says:

    I read and re-read your piece and it is successful in conveying the hopelessness of even trying to make a change because existence is absolutely pointless. The speaker’s attempts at problem solving goes to naught, he/she never fits in anywhere, the losses are more than the gains and there is no point in hoping or dreaming as life is an endless prison of madness, a mind tormented by terror. You were successful in conveying the message of the absurdity of life through alliteration, contrasts, oxymoron, metaphors, and the juxtaposition of the ridiculous to enhance life’s futility.

  16. Leighton W Spalding says:

    The mathematical metaphors depicting one calculating every move, but ending up nowhere; no substantive answer to life’s questions. The imageries flow with beautiful rhythms and movements. Very emotive and thought-provoking … a masterfully crafted piece of poetry.

  17. Robert says:

    Steven Persaud,

    A beautiful questioning poem which moves elegantly from one cardinal position to another with sublime accuracy, precision and elegancy. Thought provoking and inspiring!



    Robert Lalljie
    R. Ferdinand-Lalljie Publishers

  18. Earl John says:

    Dear Steve,

    Once again I must bow to the intellectual prowess with which your thoughts are intricated in a most articulate (mathematical) construct.
    Thanks so much for the opportunity to savour.

    Earl John

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