Shadow Poetry

someday feels a long way away

you breathed life into me

promptly took it away

trapped in an animated

lights on, state of decay

i’m floundering here

struggling to be just okay

trying to breathe, to stand

but struggling i stay

 

you built choice into what i am

promptly took it away

the only decisions i still make

what scraps to wear, what to say

my tongue turns to lead nightly

sets on fire in the day

my soul is losing lighting

from trying to survive this way

 

i’m terrified you’ll take more

that’s your pattern: take away

i want the chance to breathe freely

to wake up and live one day

i gather up bits of hope

embers that made it anyway

and keep shambling along

desperate for the chance to live someday.

 

By Daphne Shadows

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Stream of Consciousness

behind the curtain

they weren’t really listening but they saw the truth anyway. it looked, for all its effort, like a lie. came wrapped up in a story they didn’t understand. but they only stuck to the surface, wanting a laugh, wanting a smile, wanting a fake face and a comfortable tale.

and so the truth slipped into the unknown, alone and lost and wondering why so many walked by, shrugging at its apparent sounds of struggle and pleas for help.

but then you happened upon us.

one silly smile and the world was alight with sun globes and sparkles and all those little pieces of confetti that were thrown away at the end of the parties. gathered up and stuffed in our pillows, because you happened upon us.

 

it’s not just that you sauntered on by. it’s that you stopped.

in the stopping, you breathed in, like a dragon with a belly full of fire, waiting to soak in every moment, notice every tiny detail in a world impermanent and ever-changing. a momentous shift in the state of things, nothing more than a spec of a second to you, the gem at the corner of your eyes.

a blink, and what’s what has changed for you.

yet you paused, a galaxy worth’s of memory, and you saw us. smiled, and reached a scaly hand down, down, down into the depths of what most ignored. their sideways glances bringing hurried steps quicker and quicker, further and further away. wouldn’t want to have to deal with it. wouldn’t want to have to change or help or stoop down to lend a hand.

but you dipped your claws into the muck and the hidden, pulling the truth from behind the curtain, and held us in your hands like the most precious of treasures.

 

we realized then. the truth isn’t what’s written or noticed. we didn’t need them to see in order to be. the truth is the truth, no matter the trappings. and you showed us the cost of accepting is brilliancy untold.

 

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Stream of Consciousness

i live inside a cemetery

i had given up. thrown in the last scrap of a soul i had and let myself die. no more embers to search for, no warmth regardless of where i searched.

i had written my name in the book of the dead, with a gun to my head. under extreme duress, i guess i had nowhere to turn.

you took it all away, piece by piece, bit by bit. you slithered into my body and broke everything down. until breathing became the only measurement of success. but that’s not a purpose, now is it? that’s not joy, no matter how you spin it.

you destroyed me and dropped me in the expanse of emptiness, left me to wipe away the waterfall of blood and submerged me til i couldn’t find the surface. it’s an inky little vibe, drowning for no one to see.

that’s the kicker, isn’t it?

that i can follow my own footsteps into a soft and cavernous valley. i can lay back in the water and let the ocean waves take me. but you won’t let me feel it, will you? i can’t have peace when i’m nothing more than a body on life support, living inside a cemetery.

i had given up but you wouldn’t let me have that either.

 

so i put one foot in front of the other and kept going until i found myself right here.

i think i hate superhero stories because they don’t exist. not for me anyway. no one and nothing is coming to help me, not even when i ask for it. not when i’m begging for something to get better, lying in the bath and wondering if i’m any cleaner.

the evil moved into my body and took over. it’s inside my blood, running my insides into the ground. i’m fighting a devil that lives inside my cells and no one can find the key to fixing me.

i’m not supposed to be bitter or struggling to survive. i’m not supposed to be lost behind fog and smoke and mirrors, not supposed to be crying on the floor and crawling on broken skin. these fingers lash at me, pointing out all my flaws and shoulds, like i chose this, picked this broken box up and jumped inside.

i didn’t. i’m running and running and fighting to break free. but i open my eyes in the morning to find i’ve woken up in yesterday, my body broken and my heart taking another hit.

i know this anger won’t serve me, so i stuff it in the closet and behind furniture. i don’t want it, plea with it to leave me be. but you always find it, don’t you? i can’t scream, i can’t find a moment, not a sliver, just for me.

i’m supposed to feel better. i’m supposed to be hopeful and bouncy and talk about how grateful i am to be alive.

but am i?

alive?

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dreams

i dreamt the sky broke

I could fly. The wind didn’t frighten me and the limitations that hold me back didn’t exist anymore. I was free. And strong. Invulnerable to harm, even.

Everything felt right, good. I smiled and meant it, joy sweeping through my entire body and lifting me through every moment like some absurdly sweet fairy tale come to life.

There was still pain and suffering in the world. Still villains and confused humans who thought they were helping as they heaped sand over the heads of those they claimed to love. The lost still roamed, the weather still changed with no regard to our desires.

But I could do something about it.

I collided with the ichor of the world, stopping the ugliness and taking its power away. I thrived on righting wrongs, protecting, and helping those in my scope of influence. It was a whirlwind romance with life.

 

Sitting beside friends at an event of massive proportions, there were others like me, among the crowd. We knew each other in the way no one else around us did. We were the ones who ran toward danger, put ourselves to the hazard. Not for glory. No one knew who we were (we had actual disguises, not a pair of glasses). But we knew. We did it to help, to ease some of the misery. Something inside us couldn’t rest, couldn’t be at one with who we were unless we did this. It drove us, electrified us, filled us with fire.

We smiled knowingly at each other and traded jokes that meant things beyond the surface. Our friends passed food and we chatted, passing yummy smells down the tables as we spent the time catching up and snacking, waiting for something. An excited tension built throughout the crowd of attendees, eager.

The sky darkened and a large, misshapen blue crystal became visible, just above the clouds, a thick and dark fog filling the sky, lower, lower, lower until we could hardly see. A massive crack in a decaying slice of agony and betrayal. Someone had broken it, sending shock-waves throughout the world, the implications of which, no one knew.

The crowd gasped as a collective, abandoning food and clustering together, trapped or hiding. My friends and I made our escape outside, into the day where the sun’s rays no longer penetrated the afternoon.

 

But once outside, I fell, an unseen force pushing me toward the ground, pressure against my body so tight I could hardly breathe, and something inside me cracked. In the middle there, just below my navel. I couldn’t lift my head to look down at my own body, couldn’t move a single limb.

Not only had my inhuman strength been stripped, but I couldn’t find the energy to do much more than blink.

My breathing slowed, a huge rush blocking out the sounds of the panicking crowd, the crackling in the sky, the mayhem all around me. I turned my head from where I lay on my back. The others like me suffered the same fate, I could feel them. But I couldn’t find anyone in the fog, just knew.

 

A scrawny twenty-something came out of the fog and knelt beside me, trying to help.

Painlessly, I felt my skin split, deep blue light that didn’t so much glow as it did emanate from within me, drawing our attention in hushed confusion. A tiny blue crystal hovered just above my navel, having lifted out from within my stomach. It just hung there, slowly losing light.

“What do I do?” The kid asked. He had his hands awkwardly out in front of him, one just above the crystal, like he was afraid it would float away and he was preparing to grab it.

 

The whole time, the only thing I could think, was to fix this so I could get out there and help the people trapped inside. Get back to being me. None of the airy joy bled from me, no doubt crept in. I just focused on the task, not a fear in sight.

I smiled at him, breathless, and said, “touch it”.

I knew if only he touched it, it would zap the life back into me, knew everything would be okay.

He hesitantly drew a finger closer, closer…

 

The moment he touched it, it absorbed into him. He jolted backward, frantically trying to find where it was. But it took effect, changing him, and he stood, stronger, filled with a radiance he hadn’t possessed before. More solidly him, as if every bit of untapped potential was now on tap, fired up, rewired, and ready to use.

He needed to change before I could take the crystal back, before it could be mine once again.

And I woke up.

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Stream of Consciousness

hope

(this is a pinned post. new posts appear below)

 

I’m not sure I have a voice.

You see, there’s a slumbering trembling that takes a step into something warm and inviting, like the sun, but with training wheels.

And every time the light of day hits it, someone comes along with a sledgehammer and takes it all away.

I keep lying there, catching my breath. Before sitting back up, playing with my fingers in the sand, writing maps no one understands but me.

It’s lonely.

But I can still feel the pulse of it in me, thrumming into a hurricane of neediness, ready to explode and take everything in its path with it. Down into this desert of warmth and cool breezes and nothing that really belongs in these flat lands.

Do you remember the first time you felt the sun’s heat on your flesh? I think I must’ve had a hand over my mouth, but it wasn’t mine. I think I must’ve had some words fall out, but they came from another tongue.

So I grab my shoes and shake the dust out and, what do you know?, I’m still entirely ready to get the wind knocked out of me by hope.

Stream of Consciousness

You Won’t Understand When You’re Older

We got ripped off.

As kids, everyone was telling us that we’d understand when we got older.

Sure, I understand some more delicate things that kid brains don’t, but life in general? It’s gotten fuzzier, more complicated.

More vague, less defined.

The older I get, the more I’m exposed to, the more I experience – the more confusion rolls in with fogs of doubt and shades of grey.

I thought we’d make sense of things. Make sense of ourselves.

I feel like it’s the opposite.

Now, I just feel lost.

In the world and when it comes to my sense of identity.

 

Is there a tipping point?

Do I simply need to get older?

More experience?

Or is it truly a lie?

 

I think I may have just sniffed out some naive hope. That that tipping point will hit, I’ll come out the other side with some sense of what’s what.

 

Or perhaps there is no defining moment. No quota of life lived to unlock an inner sense of stability and knowing.

Maybe I have to figure this out, define myself for myself. Scrape away all the dead skin cells of pain and brainwashing and unhealthy neural pathways – and keep rebuilding.

 

But when will I stop feeling lost?

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Stream of Consciousness

Break Room Boom #4

“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.” – Anne Frank

“Never lose hope. Storms make people stronger and never last forever.” – Roy T. Bennett

 

 

I hope that as the corona virus has turned your life upside down, that you are safe and loved. We will make it through these stressful times.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to search for joy today. Little things matter. Don’t let the world swallow you up with its hatred and isolation. We are in this together. We are strong and we care.

I think this is a perfect example of how the internet and social media is such a huge blessing. We are isolated physically. But we can still communicate and find companionship via the technology we have at our disposal.

I hope you have a fabulous day!

 

Me? I’m still going to work as of right now. The business I work for is considered an essential job so I’m pretty blessed. I only work part time and my health is being a jerk. The new medication I’ve been trying has made me worse and I’m having to get it out of my system. I’m struggling but I know I have to feel better eventually, at least emotionally (bipolar depression and anxiety are kicking my butt right now). I’m also not sleeping and dealing with a lot of pain.

But I know things will get better. They have to. Our struggles give us the opportunity to grow stronger. We can do this.

How are you?