La Tristesse (The Sadness)

by Mike (Binary Rhyme) Heffernan, 1998

Download La Tristesse.mp3


A rare thing,
an easily shared road.
No second guesses…
Fun, pure and solid.

Something we’d bet on
if it ever came up.
It doesn’t,
and we do.


Slippery slope that –
slid down a silver hill,
landed in roses,
drowned in petals.

Not the best idea…
now the only one.
Borne in stoic silence


Damn fool tongue this,
still for years.
Another slip
makes a tearing sound.

A gambler’s loss
with nothing to double down.
Just a wounded space
for us both.


Hunt a predator…
an insensitive to blame.
Loss demands justice.
Rage is a protective blanket.

Death and madness on the walls!
Rally to the defense!
No-one to fight
but phantoms.


so tired.
so empty.

No blame in tragedy.
No conspiracy of injury.
Innocents and
an ill-fated passing.

“For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, ‘It might have been’.” – John Greenleaf Whittier

This poem has a companion instrumental piece in five sections (download provided). Each section of the piece matches a pair of stanzas in the poem. The concept is loosely based (exceptionally loosley) on the symphonic poem. It tells the story of a friendship that became an ill-fated, unrequited love.

Photo: Shades of Ozmandias