Heading into January 

Heading into January loaded up with memory,

coming out of 2020, the worst year,

holding onto yesterday,

tomorrow still unclear.

Heading into January, the first month of the new year,

this endless, playing loop of memory and burden of grief still all too clear. 

I was angry before and now feel lost.

I have paid the price and only now have I started ro.count the cost.

Heading into January, dark and dreary,

heading into January, deep seeded grief and misery.

I see January coming across a canvas of the widest sky and I already know what will be painted there.

These days are so long and the nights never really seem to end. 

(I wonder when this act ends? Haven’t we been listening long enough?)

In January I see angels and God and then there are the devils who are much to silent in their presence. 

(When.does this begin to make sense?)

I remember the days in April and May and then the rain that set in on Sunday afternoon and the sadness that grew – I remembered the hawk sitting on the sign post at the end of the road – that day began so sunny. 

Then, later on, nostalgia set in and took over my thoughts, held my hand and brought me back to better days and times. 

(Now comes January with its windy days and floods of memories, dragging me.along this convoluted timeline and coming no closer to resolution.) 

The grief, becoming almost sqcramental, remaining a sacrificial reality, offering its invisible with of a very real reality. 

(Heading into January) 

I think of that empty house, so full for so many years, now sitting empty in the fading, almost non – existant light of winter, soon it will be sold and all our memories with it. 

(God willing I can remember enough of them to write them down and then tape them to.my pillow so they are close to my mind while I sleep, close to my mind especially when it begins to the wander.) 

Heading into January,

I can’t remember all of it, only what I have been able to.piece together from.dreams and what has been passed on to me by those who were there. 

I believe he was peaceful on that January day when it all ended, when it all finally ended, when it was over, all that was left sought resolution, nothing ventured, nothing gained, out there beyond the pale and up against the wall. 

In January the reality of life and death comes up close and personal and submits to emotional trade offs that resemble some attempt at cosmic bargaining,


the lights, even though they stay on all night, have never seemed as dim and pointless as they do during this dark time. 

(who am I now?)

Anne that anxiety tries to.dent the shiny container of faith you have come to rely on, the hard lesson here is acceptance and of making sense of how nothing added up and how you were to.close ro.truly understand what was happening and how I blew my chance to help.

(God remains and when I cry he still is and was and always will be.)

In January there are no.answers, pounding days of boredom and a million questiins. 

Deary is real and close and all you want is far, far away, close to ash filled urns that no longer contain his essence but rather an earthly reminder of the past all the while pointing to a heavenly promise. 

So, are the lessons still not learned?

Wow there something I have missed and not comprehended?

All I see is sadness and longing and constant looking. 

(I am the healer of the broken, he is the risen son of man, and when I cry he hears me…)

There is no resolution in January.

There is no guidance in January.

There is no sun in January.

There is only faith in January.

(January too shall pass.) 

T.S. Deary 



More sections of the “Conspiracy” poem are coming up! 

 “Sic Semper Tyrannus” has been added. 

Today, April 24, 2021 this poem was updated to include Powell’s attempted assassination of Seward and the plan to kill Johnson. 

The next section will detail the escape of Booth and Herold. 

Conspiracy – The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln



In those days the blame for the fracture of the nation was laid at the feet of one man.

There were many who.saw him as a tyrant worth the same conviction with which others saw him as a savior. 

Some would turn conspiratorial and dark, moving forward, with a sinister plan.

Especially one, burning with passion and to him, divine favor,

(according to his own mind) 

Especially after Richmond fell,

his eyes burned with ferocity,

he planned with great precocity,

that great Judas would hang,

the thespian would end his life with a bang.

Booth would be remembered as a scoundrel, a filthy, Hunter animal.

Lincoln would become a martyr, the Great Emancipator.

In the end he was proven human and fallible,

Lincoln would be remembered for saving his nation, through the turbulence, a.steady navigator.

In the end the stage was set,

the day was done,

the South laid the bet,

the Union won. 

 “Indeed Booth had not only committed murder, he had performed it fully staged, before a packed house. At Ford’s Theatre, Booth broke the fourth wall between artist and audience by creating a new, dark.art – performance assassination.”

 (Manhunt – The Twelve Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer, James.Swanson) 

II. Sic Semper Tyrannus

On the night of April 14, 1865, Booth gathered his conspirators at the Herndon House just around the corner from the theater. 

He had cash, his celebrity and his cause – they were his, loyal to no one but him – no dissent was spoken.

When this night as over, those fragile bonds that held the nation together would be even further broken.

To kill this tyrant would be the greatest act in the world.

Not just Lincoln and Johnson but Seward as well – all tyrants and traitors.

They were not murderers – Booth and his freinds would be remembered for.their cause, as crusaders. 

The South would have another chance, the Union would be crippled,

their legacy – all of them would be heroes- their glory tripled.

Lewis Powell was present at the table.

He was given the mission to murder Seward and to be accompanied by Herold.

When this.night was over the act would become a.bloody, slaughtering fable. 

Booth, meanwhile, talked and talked ,

Atzerrodt sat stunned – he had consented to kidnapping and ransom – at murder, he balked. 

Booth found Atzerodt’s behavior alarming,

he put the entire operation at risk.

If he were to go to the authorities then the targets would be warned and we will go down as losers!

To be remembered as heroes is our reward – if we fail then surely they will kill us all, that decision would be fast and brisk. 

 “Come with us George – Come with us – go and get your horse….” 

II. Corpus Delecti 

Legend has it that Boorhnwas waiting and watching in the shadows that night. 

Later, Clara Harris, would comment now the thought chilled her to the bone. 

There or not, Booth, was firm in his resolve, he was ready for a fight. 

Booth knew the play would run like a clock. 

He had memorized scenes, knew every line and how the crowd would react.

Every word, he would mentally tick and tock. 

He readied his horse with shawl and saddle.

He called a.stage hand, Spangler, to hold the mare, Spangler defered and handed them off to John Peanut.

If either man failed in his task, Booth would be up the creek, without a paddle. 

Then Booth went for a drink.

He wanted homestead his nerves and have a minute to think. 

When he returned to the lobby he knew this was it – now was the time to act.

He was fully engaged in this murderous pact. 

Up the stairs to the President’s box.

No one questioned why he was there – entry would be easy – no bars or locks.

At a precise moment, the peak of the laughter, Booth took his shot.

The President was.struck, his chin fell to his chest, it was done, this criminal plot. 

No one moved! 

The night, the stage, the President’s box, his companions were still – denial- would what seemed unreal be true – proved?

Major Rathbone would try to stop this feind, take him prisoner.

Booth shouted, raised his knife and slashed him – Rathbone was determined to stop this unwelcomed visitor. 

Booth.slashed with an actor’s flourish.

Rathbone, though wounded would not perish.

With no more time to.waste Booth made his escape.

Jumping from box to stage he caught the spur of his blog on the decorative crepe.

From.center stage he would about – “Sic Sepmer Tyrannus” he had done it, this was his magnum opus. 

Seward was lying the bed recovering from an accident.

Powell was waiting and ready to follow Booth’s bloody precedent.

He gained entry into Seward’s house by ruse,

once inside he completely blew his fuse. 

He slashed at Seward’s throat,

unable to see in the dark he did not always hit his target, still be wounded him badly with a few hits,

He was pleased with his work but did not stick around to.gloat. 

Fanny, Seward’s daughter, opened the door to the room and was horrified,

her brother was being beaten by a strong and determined man!

Who could this be and how did he get in? This house is completely fortified.

Powell, his work done, does the house and once outside he looked for Herold.

He was smart enough to know, he had to get away,

his life was now.seriously imperiled.

Johnson slept at Kirkwood House – and Atzerodt was tasked with visiting death to him that night,

after having to much time to.think,

he abandoned the mission out of a sense of fright. 

II. Effugium 

After the chaos Booth left behind him he made his way out of the city. 

His escape must be precise and quick, even with his broken leg, if caught, he would find no pity. 

He made his way to the Navy Yard Bridge which would lead to Maryland.

That night it was guarded by Sgt. Cobb, the sly thespian would charm Cobb and soon be on his way to promised land. 

To Surratsvile and in need of a doctor, now with Herrold, they rode on together.

A drink and a secret shares with the innkeeper they went off again, leg throbbing and tear in flesh and boot leather. 

At this point no one in Maryland knew that Lincoln was shot – except for the tavern keeper.

Now there was one final meeting in a chain of events that would forever link Booth and Dr. Samuel Mudd for eternity.

He approached the good doctor’s house in the early morning hours of April 15.

Mudd, no sympathizer to Lincoln or the Union cause,

a Confderate through and through he could be trusted to stay quiet. 

He would not turn Booth away into the darkness with his broken leg.