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.

vii. Darkness Deep

July 14, 2011

Soft moonlight skips across her face,
sets shadows dancing, giving chase
to darkness deep within her eyes.

A single look can give no clue
to what exactly she’s been through;
such darkness deep within her eyes.

Late night, no other passenger
but him and her, a prisoner
of darkness deep within her eyes.

He casts a smile across the breach
to see if he can’t somehow reach
through darkness deep within her eyes.

Her face shows not the faintest sign
of recognition, rendered blind
by darkness deep within her eyes.

It looks as though she has been wrenched
from consciousness, her mind entrenched
in darkness deep within her eyes.

As he steps off, a final look
tells him without a doubt, she’s stuck
with darkness deep within her eyes.

Her happiness has been enslaved
he knows that she will not be saved
from darkness deep within her eyes.

xvi. What if?

April 1, 2011

Squinting out the sun
as it invades your sleep
Zero flicks to one;
deafening: beep beep beep.
As the volume grows
you beg the night to stay
wishing for the shadows
to keep the day away.
Curtains drawn but light
creeps rudely through;
screw your eyes up tight
but morning claws at you.
But if the Sun could hear your pleas
that it should lose its battle with the moon,
If it turned back just to appease,
refusing to bring dawn or noon,
Would you be content,
to see night reign
Or in such an event,
beg for sun again?

 

 

Inspired by the following poem (a gogyohka) from Brigid Briton, found over at her poets’ forum, Poetry Here and Now:

what if day decided
like a groundhog
to turn around and sleep
a while
longer?

ii. Summer Sun

March 5, 2011

Summer Sun
lights up the sky;
lights up the corners
and the cracks;
rubs the shadows out.

Summer Sun
chases off the cold
and scares away
the apathy
that winter left.

Summer Sun
casts new life
across the land;
casts a smile
across my face.

 

 

Inspired by One Stop Poetry’s ‘Poetically Friday‘.

i. Rain City

March 4, 2011

Above them glowed a golden sun,
The first they’d seen of it in years.

The people gazed up at the sky,
At something they had long forgot;

For so long, rain was all they’d known;
The rain defined their lives; The rain,
Had been the only thing they could,
Depend upon. From morning right,
Through every day, the rain came down.

There were a few among them who,
Had been around before the rain,
But none remembered how it felt,
The rain had washed those days away.

For all the rest, the sun was new,
An alien come from the grey;
That soft grey safety blanket they,
Had been wrapped up in right from birth.
And now that blanket had been snatched!

Exposed, they stared up at the sun;
It stung their eyes and burned their skin;

They soon all ran for cover from,
This stranger in the sky. And this,
This scramble for the shade was what,
Sparked memories for that small few,
The few that had survived this long.

They suddenly remembered how,
They too had run for shelter when,
The rain began to fall. There was,
A time when they had hidden from,
The rain; A time when they had missed,
The sun… And now it had returned,
To grant them warmth once more.

But how were they to tell the rest,
Who loved the rain, and loved the dark,
The clouds it cast above, the grey,
It painted in their sky, the cold,
It’s blanket wrapped them in. How could,
They ever understand that this,

This brightness, boldness, heat, was good?
A thing for them to bask in, not,
A thing to fear; A thing to set,
Them free from dreary servitude;
A thing to light their way; A source
Of vibrant joy. The light it cast,
Could rid them of the apathy,
The rain had filled them with; Could help,
Them live again, if only they,
Could see the truth. But fear of change,
Impeded them – Their fear, it made,
Them yearn for rain, for what they knew,
And when the sun persisted, they,
Rose up as one and put up walls,
To block its light; To keep its heat,
At bay, to claw their blanket back.

Eventually, the elders passed,
’til none remained from days before,
The rain. No, none were left to teach,
The rest to leave the shade and trust,
The sun. And thus, they stayed inside,
For good and raised their young the same.

The sun burned on, up in the sky,
But none who lived there let its light,
Shine on their lives; they never felt,
It’s warmth upon their skin again.

They never knew the joy the sun,
Could bring; They never felt the sense,
Of freedom that it promised them.

 

 

Inspired by the title of the song, ‘Rain City‘, by Turin Brakes.

xxxv. Smile

February 27, 2011

Dragging out of that hole,
The shell of a man that never was;
Showing to the world,
A face that has never known truth;
Has never felt the breeze of reality.
Scars on scars on fettered skin,
All smoothed over with the lies,
Of a happiness forged in fire.
Where do we take ourselves to die,
When here in the shadows –
In the crevices of the world –
Is where we live?

xiii. Inside

January 16, 2011

He remembers the colour of happier times;
The feeling of joy and celebration.
He remembers when life was easier;
When his days were filled with laughter.

It’s been a long time since those days,
And now he is a broken man.
There’s not much left of who he was;
It faded into blackness long ago.

Now and then the light leaks in.
A smile might catch him off guard,
And he thinks of when he used to smile,
But there’s nothing for the light to shine on anymore.

All that’s left of him is an empty shell,
Encasing a bitter and a fragile world,
Home to years of stunted growth,
Where rust and slow decay reign.

It has been dark for far too long,
And nothing has survived of the man,
But a barren landscape starved of love –
Cold and dry; Dead and empty.

The people outside wouldn’t know.
He’s strong; he never let’s it show,
But if anybody cared to look into his eyes,
They’d see only emptiness.

No one ever gets close enough anyway.
It’s been so long since they have;
So long since he’s let anyone near,
And so long since he’s felt human.

Now, he doesn’t know what he is.
He knows what it means to be human.
He still remembers what it was like,
But he just can’t feel anything anymore.

In that way, he sometimes thinks he’s lucky.
The shadows stifled his laughter, yes,
But they also killed his sadness, his anger;
Everything he ever felt has long since gone.

So now he floats around this world,
Keeping the world inside him hidden.
The world of destruction that he carries,
This is the world where he really lives.

A vast landscape that stretches on forever,
With nothing on the horizon but a dark halo,
Where everything that once made him who he was,
Slowly crumbles and turns to dust.

Chilling winds whistle around the wastes of his soul,
And carry only more emptiness on their squall,
Seeking any last vestiges of lingering life,
And eroding anything they find in the desert they have left.

But still he walks among the rest of us,
His beating heart the only way in which he is alive;
The shadows across his face, a mere glimpse,
Of the endless darkness he has within.

v. Dreamer

January 5, 2011

Where do you go late at night, when the shadows fall?
What visions of dread do your sleeping eyes see?
What is the nightmare that violently beckons your call?

What is the horror that every night keeps you in thrall?
When the morning arrives, why won’t you tell me?
Where do you go late at night, when the shadows fall?

What is it you beseech in your fearful dreamer’s drawl?
Who is the object of your frenzied mumbled plea?
What is the nightmare that violently beckons your call?

How do you keep your eyes closed through it all?
How can you sleep when your screams waken me?
Where do you go late at night, when the shadows fall?

What evils stalk through your mind’s twisted hall?
What class of monster possesses the key?
What is the nightmare that violently beckons your call?

What are the demons that through your dreams crawl?
Where do they drag you, so unsavoury?
Where do you go late at night, when the shadows fall?
What is the nightmare that violently beckons your call?

ii. Come Mourning

January 2, 2011

The curtain cracked, the light blazed in;
At first his eyes screamed at the burn.
He closed them tight against the glare,
And took some time that they adjust.

He saw her now, all bathed in gold,
Her long legs crossed and one arm
Wrapped around her chest so that,
She might preserve some modesty.

It struck him odd that she would care,
With what they’d done just hours before
And yet he understood at once –
The girl last night had not been her.

He took her in, from feet to hair,
And it was clear that she’d transformed.
The dark had given her a veil,
A barrier between the two.

So radiant her beauty, now,
As morning light dispelled this shroud,
He felt guilt flare up deep inside,
For all the sin he’d dressed her with.

Her face showed not a single hint,
Of demons that she carried with,
Or of the animal inside –
Kept under heavy lock and key.

For last night that’s what he had seen,
Not the innocent before him here,
But wild, impassioned, brazen lust.
He did not recognise her now.

The flames of guilt enveloped him,
And he was forced to look away.
He searched the bed and then the floor,
To find the clothes that hours before,

He’d torn from her and cast aside.
He found a shirt, his own for now,
And gave it her to cover up.
She took it with a silent smile.

She looked at him and smiled again,
Their eyes now met, the first time since,
She’d looked up at him in the dark,
And pulled their naked bodies close.

His back was scratched; he felt the raw
Tracks that she’d carved into his skin.
Then as she turned to find more clothes,
He saw where he had marked her, too:

His brand was seared into her cheek.
The red teeth marks looked deep, he thought.
He wondered if his bite had hurt;
He wondered if she felt it still.

She pulled on jeans and it was gone,
The only telltale sign she bore,
That chastity and self-control,
Had been unbuttoned in the night.

She let the curtain fall once more
Across the window, blocking light;
The shadows rushed back to the room,
An echo of the night now gone.

He watched her pick her underwear
From off the floor and carry it
Into his en suite bathroom, where
He heard her cleanse herself of him.

She came back in the room, now clothed.
She gave another nervous smile,
This one directed at the floor.
She slid her feet into her shoes.

She stood now at his bedside, shy.
She did not look at him, stretched out,
Atop the sheets. A pause, a frown,
Her lips began to part, then no.

Without a word she turned from him,
And walked toward the bedroom door.
She left him lying there alone,
And though he’d known that she would go,

He felt an awful sense of loss.
Bereft not just because she’d left,
But for the innocence he felt,
He’d broken while she had been his.