Strength (You must crawl through the darkness to find the light)

Lately the words are trapped
Down below where the beasts lie
In wait and pace inside
We say, no more rhymes
But my mind is like stained glass
Segmented colors and shapes
Rolling thunder and earthquakes
Ghosts that never stopped screaming
If it’s quiet I’m far away
If it’s still they lie there dead
Just let it go they said
But the pain lives in them
The memories are alive and walking
Frozen in the shadows or
Fighting in the light but always
Wishing for the dark blanket
Of unconscious night

Haunting dreams of blood
Monsters and murderers come for us
We know there’s no rest
Not in this canyon
Sunrise or sunset it’s the same
Pill highs and cloudy days
Cold lingers and grips me
Like lifeless fingers bone white
Snow sears my skin and burns
Through nerves pain radiates
Lightning strikes the same place
Sounds too loud turn it down
Lowest volume too much for us
Longing to be underwater
Where light and noise are distant
Where life and earth are distant
People’s faces blur and words
Don’t reach us down here

Cracks in the stained glass
Colours bleed into one
Not a rainbow, but a mottled sun
Pigments fade to black
And gray and wash away
Violins crescendo frantically
Like voices in the deep
Like sleeping restlessly
You can’t dull this agony
Not enough whitewash
To lighten up and choke the screen
It’s black and falls
Funeral shroud, curtain call,
The night moved through us
One by one it drags us
From life to death over the line
And maybe on the outside
There are signs of life

But storms surround inside
Throwing us around
Too much and too little sound
Ragdoll torn and hollow
Swallow with a broken wing
Still sings but is forgotten
In the dust of dark corners
Punching everything and seeing red
Beasts fly at me and I cringe
Tears on the edge and burning
White knuckles and piano keys
Beautiful music and screams
Juxtaposed and dissonant
Melody like a haunting fog
Dancing and hitting the right notes
Air closed off in my throat
Dragging nails through the dirt
No don’t take me back there
Don’t you see it’s always been
Alive in our minds, torture time
We live in both places
We pace and writhe and try to smile

They say just let it go
Memories have lives of their own
Thoughts and feelings and
Fears and hopeless dreams
Hell bent on death they see
Only one way out from under the trees
They say we buried her there
They say the smoke filled the air
They say don’t go back to find her
But she always cries and shakes
And they always want to run
They want to finally see the sun
The fear freezes us in our tracks
Some huddled in a ball to escape
The blows of fists and feet
Some standing but can’t move
Some flying faster than birds
If only in their minds they’re free
Above the clouds somehow
Looking down on a bloody scene

They say just let it go
Because they’re not choking on smoke
Because they can still breathe
They don’t see the danger lurking
Below the surface and in the streets
At the window there are faces waiting
He’s there trying to unlock the door
As we ignore the bell and hide
It’s ok he’s gone now, he’s gone
But the tired ones don’t believe
He’s moved on, they don’t see
Half of us are ghosts without a home
Numb but hurting and wired
Haunting and walking through fire
So tired and beaten down
Begging for it to finally end
No more voices no more sounds
No more pain like fire
Just darkness, a quiet sleep,
No nightmares following me
No Furies in the daytime hours
Just nothingness for eternity

So we must find the ones who see
The glow on the floor and the light
Like a path through the canyon
Cutting a line through the sky
The direction to walk and fly
The way we can move when we’re tied
Carry us out of here
Carry the dead and frozen
Wrap their bodies in blankets and
Hold back the tears one last time
We ask you to be brave again
We ask you to find inhuman strength
There’s always a reason to die
Who are you to decide
There’s always another breaking point
Somewhere beyond the waves
Crashing into us like the ocean
Ripping us apart at the seams
Throwing rocks one by one
Piling up on us beneath the sun
Heavier than one can bear
Crushing our lungs and stealing our air
There’s always a reason to give in
To step into the river and forget to swim
Letting the current of cold water
Take us in and numb the pain
Floating on the edge, transcending
The melancholy hollow bodies
That we were given

Because loneliness isn’t being alone
There are people with good intentions
Who know nothing of my reality
Who know nothing of this agony
I wouldn’t want them to
I would ask to be misunderstood
Rather than to share the knowing
Of torture and loss like this
Loneliness surrounded by others
Isolation in a sea of kindness
Muted and chaotic underneath
But connections sometimes stay
Working hard to keep them here
Hurting when I see their eyes
Stopping ourselves from looking away
Holding the line on the worst days
Even though we’re faded
And sinking like a stone
There is light in our lives
People on the edge of the darkness
Comfort when we come up for air
Fighting for the world outside
Holding on when I see them smile

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