Shadow Poetry

sore

caked about the edges
soft belly
so fragile
ever breakable

soaking in the
pitch
whispers dotted
in the silence

it’s tethered
to my soul
skin charred
fissures in it’s
bones

they warned me
not to lift my
gaze
never believe
in fairy tales

but i knew better
not in knights
no
shining armor
is a farce

pretty lies
packaged nice
a net waiting
to lure and drown

dragons though
i hear their wings
in the darkness
i’ve been buried
beneath

if dragons exist
perhaps
i can fly
too

Micro Stories · Shadow Poetry

I Am

Sunken into the fresh fallen cold, it cannot touch the soles of my feet, though they’ve been swallowed by now. Snowflakes dust eyelashes, a sullen caress in the barren of night. Every breath is a knife down my throat, a bite to my skin. But you touch me.

In this void, in this valley, no sounds to bring me back. The rushing of blood inside a body I can’t quite feel. Only slices of agony down my naked arms, my toe tag going numb at this point.

Forest hedging me in, looming in self-righteous magnitude, the only movement in this wasteland. Leaves dusted with crimson, everything smells of copper.

I can’t stay here or winter will take me, with its blue lips and frozen tears, sliding tendrils of false-heat inside, threading its fingers through my rib cage until the frost of rage ignites within an empty concert hall.

Moonlight slips through vast limbs, reaching for the heavens with scent of pine and flaking leaves. They cannot block her sway. But I cannot feel her. Only the cold touches me.

I am carved of the most sincere marble. I am stonework left from eons before, deserted by hands no one remembers. I am time worn and raw with pink, exposed newborn flesh. I am the decay intertwined within the rubble of war-ravaged homes. I am the empty pyre, filled to the brim with ashes of souls who knew better but could not outrun their own hearts. I am the first breath in the silence of night, soaked in salt and blood, a cry of conquering that never left fingertips. I am the empty bonfire, skulls stacked high in the center. I am the empty bed with a note carved in tears. I am the swelling within your chest when your eyes smile back at me.

I stand alone. Snow falling heavy in the dark cover of unknown. I am here. With empty hands and a swelling need. I am.

by Daphne Shadows

Shadow Poetry

behind the deadbolt

how can i speak? when my tongue is in the bedside table, where i left the salt and took the gun…

and every time i walk down the stairs in these heels, i feel your rules, cutting into my soul, stealing every inch of light i have left.
two ways in, two ways out.
i forgot to mention.

if i don’t like it, i can break it, re-shape it, re-make it.
you don’t have to be here.

with all your height, all your size, my monsters are towering over your head, watching you sleep and eat and breathe, chains dangling round their throats, begging me to let them go.
maybe i am
my own armor. but i left it under the bed, beside my skin, and i took the knife you wanted to put in my back.

when you hit my spine with your heel, my words came tumbling out.
the beside table burst and the boogeyman under my mattress rushed up and out and now i know why my shoes never fit right before.
its like the dust in me turned to stone, all those years of kneeling morphed to fire, my skin remembered it’s own savor and now

i’m not putting the barrel in my own mouth.
i am my own gatekeeper.
i forgot to mention.
the hinge swings when i say and once i’ve opened i’ve decided. are you the weapon or the meat?

your daggers i collect as roses in a vase made of bone-carved trophies, my darkness pacing in the background, holding all their tally marks until the rage spills into my sight and sometimes i let them off the chains, digging about in my own shadows, where they wait, just inside my gates.
i will wait you out. your grave will serve as my foundation, the length of rope about your neck a gift you spat in the face of, all the way to your feet dangling.

Shadow Poetry

magic peddler

if i could have any job, i’d be a magic peddler.

leave fairy dust behind in my barefooted trail, sprinkling madness into your lives, waking you up, slipping fire into your veins.
every time you’d walk the same ground i’d walked, heat would shoot through the soles of your feet, spreading chaos like a disease, giving you the choice to harness or fall to it.
i’d sell tinctures to open eyes and flush hearts of doubt. carry a deck of cards, read your past and extract the damages so you could find the slivers of silver left behind.

i’d unleash dragons and fashion lakes of healing for lepers.
charge you to swim with the mermaids (for a nominal fee) and sell second chances for pennies.
i’d brush my fingertips over lips to hush destruction and hand out re-purposed gags as bandages stitched together with bone dust of the long lost enemies of life.
i’d breathe karma into the lungs of the sadists parading about as saviors and poison the earth with regrowth and health.

expose truth and lies the same – break the world’s rib cage open and expose that soft, squishy, vulnerable heart beating in the dark, begging for help.

pull the sky down and sing it a lullaby. dust rain down the saddest souls, sweeping all the decay and dead skin cells out of the way. there’s no other way to prepare one for joy, not even for a magic peddler.

i’d bottle your tears and water my garden as payment. as the loveliest flowers grew, i’d place a vase on your pillow and help you pray with your heart, connecting to everything growing and thriving about you until breathing came easy.
gather many together and open their chests, sit everything that hurt in the middle and sob together. i’d whisper magic words as you slept. help you come to, pick it all up, and put yourself back together. help you stand with rose petal splints and laugh as one.

maybe i’d learn to heal me too.

by Daphne Shadows

Shadow Poetry

vicious cycle

i keep fighting forward
and just when i think i’ve got my feet under me
i realize i’m on my knees
bloodied and hazy

can you create castles out of sand?
a masterpiece from oils and fine brushes?
a whole, walking, talking person
out of a broken, beaten, wraith?
– only to have a sledgehammer taken to it?

again
and again
and again

do you choose to stand, crawl, scream
rage against the silence
chip away at the race you cannot win
and keep kind against the cruelty?

only to end up back here again
dazed
wondering who cried the tears on your cheeks
or left the spire of rage in your chest?
who took the wind from your sails
the breath from your lungs?
left your hands mere shards of bone
with your lips sewn shut?

i get tired of this place
i know you’ve been here too
how can we all feel so alone
when we tread the same footsteps
until the ground is more worn than our spirits

is this it?
an endless loop

a trudging march to the beat of whatever drum happens to hold our reins
a constant gasping above the surface
before we fight not to drown once more

i choose to believe it’s not so
even though…

Micro Stories

how many deaths?

Life flashes before your eyes before you die.
They say, whispers turning to smoke in the night’s chill.
Tightening the noose.
It’s a lie.
Every time
Every time I die, they erase a little more of me.
Disaster etched his lips, only the simplest of pains stitching his heart back together. They keep supplying the knives for him to cut it open.
Don’t rock the chair.
Their eyes closed, backs turned to the empty shoes and spilling sobs.

Life flashes before your eyes before you die.
It’s a lie.
Frozen clocks in their hearts, razors for tongues.
They knew all along. Steered him clear of me.
Drowning us both.
Better to leash a sheep than fear a wolf running free.
Right?

Don’t rock the chair.
Every time
Every time it breaks me a little more.
He’s running out of stitches.

Life flashes before your eyes before you die.
It’s a lie.
They stuffed their hands with paper mache, pockets with gold.
Didn’t know it would weigh them down, slow their hold.
Step by step, forgetting their fear, dragging their feet.
Someone whispered into the wrong ear, jewels wouldn’t be sold.
Caught up then, in their halls of majesty, they forgot.
They forgot about the slipping leash, their crooked crowns dulling the cuffs.
And he found me, sitting on the edge, feet dangling, holding their noose, rocking the chair.

Micro Stories · Shadow Poetry

hope

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 dessert 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.