Never a Dragon, a Lotus, a Hero

 

To watch someone you love, suffer

That is the worst pain

To have ever known.

 

I have lived through abuses of every kind.

Horrors little children should never know

Memories I’d sell for bubble gum houses

and storybook bedtimes.

Pain that sears through my heart and mind,

Memories in my muscles I cry for

Physical scars,

Emotional scars,

Scar tissue growing stronger

and stronger.

 

But watching someone I love…

These tears hurt worse, somehow.

Somehow they burn

and twist

Until I can hardly breathe

And I loathe watching you go

Knowing you need help

But not knowing how

or what I can do.

 

I know you are strong.

I know you are the

bravest soul I’ve met

I know you can slay your own Princes

and befriend the Dragons lurking

deep inside and all around.

I know you don’t need me

for these things.

But I wish.

 

I wish I could keep the pain from you

I wish I could swipe it away with my tears

or my arms or my words

I wish I could absorb everything

and make life,

fair.

For you.

 

All I can do is hurt with you

Try to help

Understand

Be a shoulder, an ear.

Lend a hand.

But I know I cannot brandish your sword

for you

Not that you need me to.

Not that you aren’t stronger than me anyway.

 

I still wish.

It still hurts worse, somehow.

And yet, I know.

 

I know my scars

Brighten my lips when I know joy,

More brilliantly than if my skin was smooth,

Memory free.

Peace is only found when I

know it is so slippery a prize

after it was ripped away

and I stole it back, one drop of blood

at a time, one struggle at a time.

But I know peace, is the point.

I know joy.

I feel it until I am bursting.

 

I see so many others

sleepwalking.

That’s what pain does

shakes you up

awakens you to your awful state

state of misery or confusion

state of contentedness or settling.

Once awake I knew how to fight

even though I didn’t.

The pain ended up helping me

in a sick sort of way.

It showed me how to fight.

How to stand.

 

I know the horrors of my past

and they know me.

We laugh in the face of the horrors

Climbing through my windows,

Edging into my room

at night, trying to frighten me

with their newness and unknown.

I laugh because this scar tissue

Sees them for what they are.

They are whispers in the dark

Compared to the hideous trumpeting

of my past, my forever scarred words,

lashing into my skin with the blade of no knife.

These new nightmares are cotton candy

and daydreams I spot in the clouds

Compared to the devilish landscapes

lurking in my then.

I know that all that I have suffered

All I have hurt

It lost.

To me.

Without these villains

I never would have

Become.

 

And I know

Your tears will spill and leave.

Your fears will charge and back down.

Playing chicken with you will not work.

I know you will grow scar tissue of your own,

Small battles counting down the time

until they help you slay your next villain.

You will shout in silence

Sob into your pillow

Scream at every smothering glance.

You will find the words to stand your ground

Disperse the hordes that challenge your might.

 

Yes, you will hurt.

And I will hate every moment of it.

I will help you however I can.

I will stand witness to all the snares and wounds

failures and confusion.

I will hurt with you. I promise.

But I know.

You will win, too.

I know you don’t need me to fight these battles

for you

But I will always, always

be here with you.

I will gladly accept these lashings

if it means to stand by your side

As you suffer into Becoming.

 

I still wish you didn’t have to suffer.

It still hurts worse, somehow.

Worse than anything I can remember

suffering inside my own skin.

And yet, I know.

There was never a dragon, never a lotus, never a hero

without suffering to overcome.

 

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by Daphne Shadows

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The Hollow Hearted Society

Weakness is masquerading as strength, walking among us with flashy muscles and a hollow heart.

What’s worse, is it rubs our noses in it.

What’s worse,

is some stay silent.

 

 

Weakness has slithered into our

Subconscious and rewired our sight

It has ripped from the corpses

Of its victims

And fashioned a strong looking Giant

It whispers

And we don’t turn away

We listen

We don’t fight back.

Is that why some join in?

For the lack of having to care

Exerting energy, compassion

The possibility of vulnerabilty

is it really

that terrifying

the a person would prefer

to burn another alive

so they never

have to learn what

a paper cut feels like?

 

Those who cry from the loss of a loved one

Or a life they thought was real

But found to be lies stitched together by the soul of one who

Pretends to have no heartbeat

-Them

They are eaten alive

By this instant gratifying, short lived pleasure dripping mask

This charade

That somehow

They are weak.

 

We are told the ones who are weak

Are those who fall down

More than once

And sometimes don’t tell

A soul

That theirs is slowly breaking down

And they don’t know what to do

 

We are told the weak ones

Are those who

Wake every day

With the knowledge

That their demons are still

Inside their blood, their skull,

In the marrow of their bones

And they have to fight them off

Again

and Again

And Evermore

Or cede one moment and

Never return to breathe

 

Those who feel

I mean Really Feel

And live like it all matters

Those who find life

Sacred

Worth fight for

Worth spilling would-be murderous blood

Worth dying for

Those who hurt

When another hurts

When a human is ripped away

From another soul

When a dog is

Tortured

A cat set on fire behind that building

Those who sob at home

When they see the pain

On the children’s faces

On tv

Those who ache

Because they can do nothing

For their love

Wrongly Accused

Wrongly Hated

Wrongly Treated

Battered and broken and treated

Like so much trash

Those who want life

But don’t know how to fight

 

 

Those who cry

Who hurt

Rage in their heart

Wish for some

Magical power

To make it all better

 

We are told that these people are the weak ones.

 

That the people who

Shoot for fun

Who hurt because they can

Rape like its a rite of passage

Lie to get what they want

Pretend they feel nothing

When inside

They are bleeding from every cell

That feeds into their

Battered heart

Hardly beating within a hollow

Cage made of bones and paper scraps

The people who give up on

Those who aren’t strong “like them”

The people who ressent those who

Hurt

Who can’t get back up right away

Like they pretend to

Who have to fight the same battle every day

Like they don’t bother to

Who keep getting hit with the same car

In their living room

Where there are no streets

No reason for someone

To drive through their home

And attack

Because they think it is fun

Because it feels good to hurt another

Because they no longer truly feel

Anything

But blood lust

And arrogance

An urge to strike

To force down

To hold mouths shut

and remove another’s power

 

We are told that these people are the strong ones.

Because they pretend they don’t feel

Until they don’t

Because they take what they want

By erasing another’s life

 

We are told that the people who are weak

Are the ones

Asking for help.

What scares me most, is when we believe their lies.

When we don’t stand up

We don’t cry

For people to see

We don’t step up to and beside those

Who have echoed what we know is truth

And speak truth with them

Even thought it is terror in our blood

And our bodies shake

And our hearts pound

But that’s the difference

We let the fear flow through us

as we stand for what we know

is hard

but right

What scares me is when

We don’t grab the hand

Of those who can’t find the words

Or the sense or the hope

And are seeking an anchor

A lighthouse

In another soul

So theirs doesn’t

Burn out

 

Like Gandhi once said,

“A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.”

 

We are all strong and we are all weak. Simply in different places and at different times.

To pretend apathy, hate, the cold heart… is strong, is to end any chance we have at a life worth living. At a world we can attempt to call humane. To pretend we are not who we are, is to put the gun in our own mouths, pull the trigger, and keep walking around, like we are somehow real.