A beat skipped,
just one;
I didn’t notice,
didn’t feel a thing
but you,
a part of me,
alive inside me,
felt the change in rhythm
as a flutter
in your own chest.

You flow through me;
you dance through my veins
and give my heart its beat.
You live inside me;
you fill my lungs
and give me air to breathe.

You are the pulses
that fire my synapses,
that feed my logic.
You are the magic
that charmed my soul,
that feeds my love.

Evan struggled every day
to see the good in anything;
no matter where life took him to,
his mind would paint the shadows in.

Any seed of happiness
his fortune planted in his head,
his dark thoughts nurtured carefully
until the wonted demons hatched.

Day by day he spiraled down
into a hole he dug himself;
a pitch-black prison with no key;
a hell of his own construction.

Then, one day he realized
a key existed after all,
that it was he who’d locked the door
and only he could open it.

Evan found a blue balloon,
the brightest blue you ever saw,
like summer skies and mama’s pie,
and started blowing into it.

Every breath he breathed into
the great big blue balloon, it grew
and with each blow, he got rid of
another troubling thought as well.

Every time from that day on
that Evan had a negative
or dark disturbing thought in mind,
he blew it into his balloon.

Now, he saw the world anew,
a place to love and to enjoy.
Eventually the love and joy
crept in and shone a light inside.

Shadows faded, darkness fled
and Evan’s thoughts were changed for good.
He let go of that blue balloon
and watched his troubles float away.

The Spider, Pt. 2

June 15, 2011

You crept around me,
stayed out of sight,
laid your trap
and you waited.
You watched from afar
and sharpened your teeth
as you prepared for the day
you would meet me.
You clung to the shadows
and bided your time,
studied my movements
so that you wouldn’t make a mistake
and then
when I came too close,
when I stepped –
carelessly –
into your lair
you sprung;
You paralysed me
with your venom-laced kiss
and tied me up
in the web of your embrace;
you devoured me
and left me an empty shell,
my soul
completely contained within you.
I was your prey
and now I am trapped
in the confines of your love.

The Spider

June 15, 2011

I am the spider.
The watcher
the hunter.
I am the friend of the night
The bringer of fear
the layer of traps.
I am the waiter,
the catcher,
the killer.
I am the dispenser of poison
the silent stalker,
the loner.

Spiders

June 15, 2011

I’m not afraid of spiders.
Their many legs
long and hairy
don’t bother me.
In fact, they amaze me
with their hand-spun homes
and their formidable hunting techniques.

I’m not afraid of snakes.
Their fangs,
sharp and often venemous
do nothing to raise my pulse.
In fact, I’m in awe
at how long they can go without food,
how tightly they can squeeze their prey.

I’m not afraid of the dark.
The shadows,
that swallow everything,
can not overpower me.
On the contrary, I appreciate
the way darkness smothers light
the way it controls the world.

But you.
Your disarming smile,
that catches my breath,
brings me to my knees.
I’m terrified
by your piercing eyes,
your rough hands
and your charming lilt.

xx. Books (The Schmoth)

April 12, 2011

The people in the books you read
are all so much better than me.
There are smart science guys
and spies with keen dark eyes;
handsome jocks and
sports stars strong as oxen;
romantic Cassanova’s;
insatiable lovers;
wealthy royal heirs;
mysterious neighbours from upstairs;
actors who are actually worth their hype
and soft sensitive types.
So every time you put your glasses on
I worry that come morning, you’ll be gone;
gone to find the men that haunt the pages,
teasing women through the ages,
taunting guys like me
who are trapped in this reality.
I’d burn them all to ash
or trade them in for cash –
I’d throw every last one out
but still I doubt
that you’d forget
about the men you’d met
and dreamt of having for yourself
inside the books upon your shelf.

One time
I climbed right
up to the top, all the
way past that bit where
the branches’re all close
and it’s easy to reach out
for the next hand hold and
find the next step and then
push on up. Right on past the
bit where that old bird’s nest
sits, falling apart (there was
nothing in it, by the way)
and kept on going, all
the way to the top.
It was pretty
scary up
there
but I
made
it, one time.

 

 

Written for @TheUndeniables‘s Writer’s Workshop

xv. The Pier (Shakespeare)

January 20, 2011

The road, neglected, left to overgrow;
Reduced to tracks now, barely visible.
You’d never find it if you didn’t know.
To him, the road is unforgettable.

It’s not as though he hasn’t always tried,
To put out of his mind what happened there;
This place is why so much of him has died.
That he should have to come back feels unfair.

And yet, he came. He always comes, always.
Regardless of the pain, he keeps his word.
He tries to focus on the better days;
The days before, when laughter was still heard.

He walks along the path onto the pier.
The flowers placed, he leaves until next year.

xii. One

January 15, 2011

One night as I walked through the town, I came
Across a crossroads over which no light
Was cast, and squinting through the shadows that
I might decide my course, I saw something
Approach. The silhouette came closer ’til
I saw it was a man. But no man like
I’d seen before; This man seemed older than
The Sun – his clothes were torn, his hair was grey
And twisted into knots, his skin the hue
Of ancient rust with wrinkles carved like scars.

The old man fixed me with his gaze and with
A finger, beckoned me to close the gap,
His breathlessness had left between us. He
Looked straight into my eyes and gripped my arm
With his left hand. His nails were long and scraped
At me and for an instant I was scared,
But then I saw he’d grabbed at me so as
To stay up on his feet. Stability
regained, he took his hand away and waved
Me closer still. I bowed my head to hear
His whispered words – His breath was warm and bore
That musty smell of long forgotten rooms.

“All people on this Earth are come from one,”
He said, “and to one they shall all return.”
The shadows seemed to swallow him and in
A moment he was gone without a trace.

His words I pondered for a time. I could
Not see how that could be. I looked around
At all the people passing by on their
Own separate paths through life and could not think
Of them as any way a part of me.

“My life’s my own,” I spoke out loud as if
To confirm something I was scared I might
Forget. The crossroads gave a choice to me
And as I looked about myself I knew
That no mind which road I should choose, the choice
Was down to me. The choice was mine to make;
The trials I met along the road were mine
To face alone. “That’s just the way life is.”

I took the road out to the East and did
Not once look back. I kept a steady pace,
Thus sometimes I was passed and sometimes I
Would overtake. It did not matter in the least;
Eventually we each would reach the goals
Our roads were leading to. If some were slow
And some were fast it really was of no
Significance. But was that so? I thought
About my pace and wondered whether fast
Or slow might turn out better in the end.

“If I should go too slow,” I thought, “I might
Not make it to the end at all. I might
Be stranded partway there and never find
The purpose of the journey I am on
However, should I walk too fast,” I mused,
“I could miss something on the way that might
Turn out important come the journey’s end.”

I realised I did not know how far
Ahead this road stretched out and where, in fact,
The end might be. Were I to run along,
I could be running all my life and not
get anywhere. Also, I might not see
A turning here or there and end up lost,
Along the way. So off I set, this time
A little slower than before. It turned
Out I had been quite right to ease my pace
As shortly afterwards I noticed in
The road a subtle crack that surely I
Would not have seen if I had been at speed.
I stepped across and carried on but just
A moment and I heard a crashing sound.
I turned about to see a girl lay on
The ground. Of course, she’d fallen on the crack.

It struck me that if I had not just walked
On by but stopped a while and left a sign,
Or something of the sort, this girl might not
Have tripped. “Am I to blame for her bad luck?”
“Could I perhaps have curbed her misfortune?”
I thought about my choice before to walk
Not run, and guessed she must have faced the same,
Decision somewhere on the way. That’s when
I realised that when I’d chosen to
Slow down, I’d put myself in this girl’s path.

This made me think of that old man, whom I
Had met before. It made me think of what
He’d said about all people being one.
I still could not believe that that were true,
But for the first time I had seen how we
May not be quite as independent as
I’d thought back then. It seemed to me that just
Maybe my choices could affect those close
To me. I helped the girl back to her feet
And carried on my journey down the road.

A little later, as I journeyed on
It came to mind that if my choice had caused
That girl to fall; if my decisions could
Be intertwined with others’ lives, then I
Should be concerned with what decisions had
Been made that might get in my way. I then
Began to wonder: “How can I regain
Control?” For wasn’t that why I was here;
To prove that I alone was in control?

“All people on this Earth are come from one,”
He’d said, “and to one they shall all return.”

The more I thought about it now, the more
I thought he’d had a point. That maybe it
Was partly right. Or based on something right,
At least. For clearly there was some sort of
connection there between the people of,
This earth. Some thing that made our lives entwine.
“But ‘come from one’?” I shook my head, “No chance!”

A way on down the road, I came across,
A wooden bench and sitting there I saw,
A man in tears. He held a photograph.
I asked him what his trouble was, and he
Looked up at me, not quite able to speak.
I sat down next to him and gave him time.
After a while he turned to me and forced,
A smile. He said, “There was a time I walked
Along this road with someone by my side.”
He put the picture in my hand and once
Again began to cry. Through tears he told
Me how they’d found they’d wanted different things.
How somewhere on their journey they had grown
Apart and taken different roads. He said
“Since then I’ve met a few who’ve come and gone,
But always I remember her and how
She made the walk so bright.” I couldn’t help
My feeling sad for what this man had lost.
I let him tell his stories as we sat,
Until he felt like setting off again,
Still talking as we went. Eventually
We said goodbye and went our separate ways.

I found myself considering what he
Had said to me, about how times were bright
When he had walked with company. I thought
Of how it made me sad to think of him
Adapting to the road without her there.
It seemed a little odd that I should feel,
Such sorrow for a man I didn’t know.
I thought about connections made through shared
Misfortune and the burden one could shed
By talking to a friend, or even some
One whom you have just met. But why should we
Be so affected by what isn’t ours
To suffer or to celebrate? I thought
About the girl who fell, and others whom
I’d passed along the way; how some were sad,
And some were so content; and how I’d felt
Just walking by. What were these bonds that seemed
To lie between the people of this earth?

I also got to thinking about how
Much time had passed since I first hit the road.
How tired I was becoming now and how
My attitudes had changed. I thought of how
I’d walked alone and how that loneliness
Had made another feel so sad. I thought
About the things I’d seen and how it did
Not matter that I’d travelled on my own,
Because the walk had been so grand, the road
So beautiful, that that had been enough
To keep me satisfied. Oh, all the things
I’d seen along the way! The stories I
Could tell of where I’d been… But who was I,
to tell? I didn’t have a soul to share
It with. I mused upon the point of it.
Why bother with the road at all if I
Had no-one else to walk it with? What for?

“All people on this Earth are come from one,”
He’d said, “and to one they shall all return.”

If this were so; If truly all were come,
From one, then maybe that would help explain
The need we felt to share our journeys with
someone. Perhaps if we were all from one,
Then we weren’t meant to be alone, perhaps,
We had some ingrained pull to those we shared
The world with all because we were in some
Way part of something bigger than ourselves.

“All people on this Earth are come from one,”
He’d said, and finally I saw how this
Could be so after all. I saw how it
Seemed possible we were indeed all one.
But still, “and to one they shall all return”?
About that part, I wasn’t quite so sure.
I’d met a lot of people on the way
To where I was so far, and at some point
We’d all split up and taken different paths.
I couldn’t see how we could all have this
Shared destination when we all were on
Such distant trails. For, where were we to meet?
And how would we know when we’d reached the end?

It seemed, as time went on and as I found
More answers out, more questions formed for me
To think about. I tried to push them out
My mind and just enjoy the road. I thought
Perhaps I just might find someone to hold
My hand; Someone to share the journey with,
If I could just get out my head. I felt
So sure that others managed just to walk
Without devoting so much time to such,
Consuming questions as I was. And so
I vowed to lighten up; to let my mind
Run free, that I might find companionship.
And that I did, eventually; Oh yes,
I found someone. We talked, we laughed, we walked
together. Time passed by and brought us close.
We shared the sights and bore the trials that we
Encountered on the road and I began
To feel quite sure that I was headed the right way.
But happy as I was, in part I felt
Quite scared; I’d crossed so many paths before,
And worried that we might one day split up.

I asked why she was on the road, asked what
Her destination was. She looked at me,
And smiled so bright, “Why, I’m already there.”
She helped me realise the journey’s end
Was not a place at all, but was instead
A state of mind. We all were on the road
To find where we belonged, to seek what made
Us feel content. I thought of everyone
I’d met and what we’d talked about. Not one
of them had seemed to know where he or she
Was headed for, they simply walked along,
The road and took in what they saw. At last
I understood that wherever the road
Took us was not really the point. The road
Itself might never end, the point was how
We handled it, how each of us took to
The challenges we faced along the way.
How every choice we made would change the road
Ahead; would give us different trials to face,
And could, as I had seen, also affect
The journeys of the people that we met.
In fact, we never could control the things,
That were in store for us, for our road was,
Laid down by choices other people made.
The good was something to be thankful for,
A reason to appreciate the way,
All things occurred just so to bring us luck.
The bad was something not to fear or to
be dwelled upon, for it was out of our,
Control, a series of events that we
could not foresee. The only thing to do

Was take it in our stride And carry on
Along the road. So good or bad, it all
Was part of something more complex than we
Could ever hope to understand; A chain
That we could not escape, but of which we
Were each a part; A ripple that passed through
Us all, with every choice we made.

And when I realised all this, I felt
A sudden calm. I felt at one with all
The world like what I had was not just mine,
But something that I shared; And anything
I suffered would be only briefly lived,
Because the next good thing would soon be on
It’s way to me across the ripple of
Mankind. Now I was smiling too. I smiled
Until my smile became a grin. My grin,
Grew brighter, wider still, and turned into,
A laugh. She asked me, “What’s so funny love?”

I knew that all these things I learned could be,
Laid down so easily, with words I’d heard,
So long ago. Words that I had questioned once,
But now believed with all my soul. I spoke:

“All people on this Earth are come from one,”
I said, “and to one we shall all return.”