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A Sense of Time StillFracture a moment
Spread out the pieces
Examine its insides
Let it all crash together.
Push the first domino
Flip the coin into the air
Set the metronome's pace
Wind up the pocket watch.
A miniscule momentum
A flicker of a force
An inkling of an impulse
And time orchestrates its grand symphony,
And it will, unnoticed,
Proceed and multiply, grow
And end and start again,
Until time stops
In a moment of quiet.
Poetry of the ProcessI ponder for a moment:
What has inspired me this time?
Something rather mundane? Not surprising.
My mind, a lens; refracting reality
Into some profound and abstract metaphor
If it's a poem I'm writing – and it often is –
It becomes rather exciting,
As I spit out a few nice lines
But then I'll spend an eternity looking for perfect rhymes.
(I'm a bit of a perfectionist, you see.)
If it happens to be a bit of prose
– Which is rare, as any frequent reader knows –
It's more than likely rather morbid,
Or funny, or conceited and self-absorbed.
Non-phonetic rhyming (like the rhyme above) – that is,
Words that look like they might rhyme, but don't
(When spoken aloud) – is among my favourite
Techniques to use; and when I write one, I savour it.
But getting back to prose, for a moment –
Often, I'll write a wonderful piece
And, out of nowhere, there comes a sentence
That I don't like at all.
And it ruins everything! All that hard work,
But the Stars Still ShineThe pools in your eyes are leaking their salty water
And your sorrow bleeds through your hands
As they clasp your still-beating heart
Your sadness rent from you, violent,
Cathartic, and debilitating, but wonderful.
Your life may be shattered,
But the stars still shine.
You'll tear your hair out,
And panic will set in,
You might collapse,
Under the sheer weight of your anxiety.
But something drives you on.
You will mourn for kindred souls
And the flames in your eyes
May sputter and go out,
Choked by pain and grief.
But some cosmic force will push you.
You will die here,
Likely in pain,
As will we all,
Perhaps this is cruel.
But life still rages on inside you.
Your body will continue on,
Without you, in other forms
And in other things,
For billions of years.
And you will shine among the stars.
Heresy is HearsayMalevolent whispers and vile intonations
Threaten the purity of innocent minds
Conspiring words and muttered rebellions
Strike deep into hearts of the fragile kind.
Drifting into the paranoid ears
Of powerful men and vain personas
Floating on the gentle winds
Like hastily confessed sins.
For the Folly of the FallenThe sunlight rains down upon the ragged wilderness
And the shadows dance as the breeze rustles the branches
Of the hallowed, gnarled trees, their bows heavy
With age, the weathered bark stoic, and as ever
Impenetrable to the harsh forces brought to bear.
Angels' feathers drift down from the pale sky
Lost from the torrid wings of the ones who fell.
Ash floats languidly to the earth, alighting softly
Upon the roots and soil of the ancient arboretum;
The tranquility of the forest remains undisturbed.
Blood drips from innocent hands; a morbid petrichor
Wafts up from the dry earth, a sickening odour
To compliment the horrid sight. The mind recoils
From this assault on the senses; the nose scrunches,
The eyes shut tight, and the hands cover the ears.
War is a game of chess
Where the pieces bleed
And the kings never die.
The rain falls into reddened rivers
That would elsewise be clear and cold
But for the Folly of the Fallen.
The Sky Ablaze with InnocenceTributaries of blood flow down the arm
Of a dying man, pooling into his hand.
Miniscule red waterfalls flow between
His inanimate fingers; draining away
What little semblance of life remains.
So returns the hot blood of the Earth
To the crucible from which it was forged
The carrier of the animating force; life
Seeping back into the soil of its genesis.
Biological clockwork, rent from its frame
With no regard for Nature's craftsmanship,
Nor for the evolutionary legacy written
Over the eons by the blind watchmaker.
The wyrd of too many an innocent
Snapped by the whims of the rich;
Tapestries spun by chance and intent
Torn from the halls of the living
By the greed of the powerful.
Rivers of red flow though the clouds
As the Sun sets on this vicious day
The blood of the innocent spilled
Across the sky; the soil stained.
The tough gets growingI'm knee-deep in mud,
grumbling and mumbling
about what I did
to deserve this mess
And my mother glares,
"When I planted you,
I put you deep in the dirt,
not to bury you alive,
but to teach you that
when the growing gets tough,
the tough gets growing."
pick up the slack and
pick up that slack-jawed shadow of yours
dragging on wet pavement under your soles
and hurry it along, we ain't got all day here
flex your white-boned fingers and
taut knuckles and pluck the soul from
its coffin in your slick throat
the sun has better places to be than in your sky.
Falling Back into Placei wait for wisdom
the sludge tells me
to come in
awaits, just beneath the tack
of its sticky skin
and i know
that what waits there
is more patient
eternal and hungry
but the peace
is only a skin
grow upyou say
i am weak
i have never
worked for anything
i am not sorry
i should take
the pills the doctor
i will never
know what it is to
hurt the way that you hurt,
plant me in the ground
listen to the way my nature sounds
when i turn from something black
to something luminous, proud
you turned me into a shadow, you prick
remember that? remember this?
yeah, the condom broke, you
piece of shit, at least i tried
to be careful, at least when
you cried, i kissed your
say what you want
about my judgment.
my immaturity, my general
lack of readiness for
anything. but i was good
to you, and i tried,
and i am sorry that
you hurt so much
that you can't
do it as elegantly
as i can.
you have never
learned to love
the grit: the place
where my spirit sags,
where my love
as if biology could have been any clearer,
cleaning your spit from my bedroom mirror-
i can smell your genes and
they smell fucking good to me,
but i keep telling myself,
Our destiny is determined
Reliving the past
Enduring the suffering
Visions of the future
Endeavours to come
Representing life as a whole
9 Countenances for the Curious1.
My limbs have become instruments,
but, unlike the piano of your memories,
I am still not anyone's to play.
I think I am finite,
that the limits of me are dictated
by flesh and numbers
on an inverted scale
but the dog on my lap
doesn't care what I weigh;
she wants only
to love me and be loved.
the pain that anchors you
strains your back,
the ship of your life
is hamstrung upon a reef
and you think you are watching
a dolphin at play
but siren songs deceive you.
my ship sank beneath the waters
years ago, this bubble of life
sustains me even as i drown:
there are storms in the depths
of me, and you see only
the ocean's calm.
At 7, I swallowed stories
like candy; didn't understand
that too much leaves you bloated.
At 17, I breakfasted on books
like pancakes; too caught up
to tell (some things should be special).
At 27, I feasted on fiction
like home-cooked meals; didn't know
some of it could poison you.
At 37, I hope I will be picking
at poetry; letting the flavours
of the words
the gardenersMy father is a good man.
His hands, dry and
callused, carry a case
of Corona Lite
to the gardeners in
Big-brimmed hats cast
shadows down their faces,
and a pile of thick,
gray gloves lies
on the glass table.
The beer looks like liquid
gold in those clear bottles,
and condensation clings
to the glass like the sweat
beading at their brows.
My father and the gardeners
drink, laughing like they’ve
known one another for years.
There is nothing
that brings men together
better than beer
on a hot day.
The Washed MindI have let the difficulties flood my body
From head, the worries slip to my heart
like children falling through the cracks
of some broken floor
under which is nothing besides me
My mind is melting from the inside
Swarmed by maggots and the meaningless questions:
Would my mind work better
without all these walls
stopping it from evolving?
Where did these obscene problems come from?
Surely my mind was born free
Surely my opinions exist somewhere...
Or is freedom nothing but a joke
to the true me?
So, I ate nails and needles to clear my mind
The bleeding and the pain
were both evil and refreshing
I have learned the lesson
fairy tales are the shadows on my eyes
Now my mind is clear as melting glass
running down my cold spine
washing away the sins,
violent thoughts and sorrowful memories
from the edge of my past
Hide YourselfDon't let the light touch
Your opened eyes
Sightless, there's never been such
Vibrant, open skies.
There's no one around.
You don't have to hide,
You won't be found.
In me you may confide.
Pull off that horrid mask
Imposed by our empty society
(It's an arduous, painful task;
Not often performed in sobriety.)
Let shine that inner fire
Of your whole being entire
Let yourself be truly known
(You might find you're not so alone.)
Break the chains of expectation,
Rise above your assigned station.
Free yourself from isolation.
Become your own creation.
Why hide yourself?
You Were Not An Aquarium BoySea-glass became your bones,
brine your blood, and seashells
melded into your skin.
You were not quite an ocean
when you said "This is your sign to love me."
My body was like a building;
tall, cold, almost unbreakable.
I was metallic and sharp,
towering over your waters.
I remember taking your hand in mine,
conch and coral shells scrubbing
my skyscraper wrists, and laughing
about how one day you would
submerge every last bit of me.
Your lips, riddled with argonauts,
found my cheek and I cringed
at the coarseness.
You asked if they bothered me
and I finally told you "I
think I love you."
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