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Catalyst

What is the greatest source of inspiration?
What can really make you contemplate
and urge you forward to complete something?

Well, if you’re happy and content
you might never see the point
of changing anything,
right?

You cannot know the light
if that is all you’ve ever seen –
you will not understand it
or appreciate it’s there
until you have lived through a night –

  And what a night. I don’t plan to moralize, but I do plan to speak my mind. I lived through a night like I hope you’ll never have to. And you probably won’t have to. Most people don’t. I was just the one out of thousands who drew the shortest straw. And then I was stuck in a nightmare that lasted 25 years. A long, drawn-out sleep that left me with nothing in store and everything to rebuild.

  But I did have one thing through that time. One thing that carried and supported me. And that was poetry. If I had lived a happy life, I don’t think I’d ever have started to write. I don’t think I would’ve seen the point, since I would’ve lacked nothing.

  As it was, I lacked – not only material things – I lacked a voice and words to express my thoughts. I lacked expression. And humans are social beings. We have an innate need for words and speech, but I had no words and weren’t heard when I tried to speak. So I wrote. Everything I couldn’t say out loud I wrote – poem after poem, essay after essay – and found a voice along the way that seeped out into my everyday existence and coloured what I’d do and say.

  It’s been an amazing journey, but if I’d never had problems, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to move along the way – I’d probably just have wanted to stay where I was at the beginning. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, right?

  I have no regrets – I chose a path that advanced me, however slowly, towards an understanding of my abilities, and what I truly wanted at heart. It just so happens, that at the end of the road, what I wanted was to continue writing, since I had not yet nearly told everything I had to tell. And since I had come to be able to write fairly well, there seemed to be no reason to stop at all.

What is this stupid construct
the world calls happiness?
A soothing balm
to keep you in your place.

I’d rather feel the pain,
the sadness and the cold
the world too has to offer
instead of growing old
to see that I learned nothing
because I was content –
who on this Earth would truly
want that to be their end?

  Whenever I was at my lowest, no matter the circumstances, I always felt the urge to write. Mostly because no other solution was in sight. But that was what kept me going, and it was a sure and reliable guide to have at hand throughout that long and lonely night that was the uncertain stumbling steps I took towards the light.

  And the worse I felt, the better I wrote. Paradoxically. That’s how it goes.

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Where Are My Sunsets?

Where are my sunrises?
Where are my sunsets?
Where are my days?
An endless night
has taken their place.

Where are my colours?
Where is the music?
Colourless it fades.
A blurry image of a world
now passes by – abates.

Where are my sunsets?
There’s no sun to make them.
A distant globe up high
whose light retreats
remains cold in the sky.

Where did you go?
Why did you go?
Now what of me?
What do I do?

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What Is the Value of Life If This Is All It Is Reduced To?

A quiet but merciless
centrifugal force
of inarticulate gibberish
burst from people’s lips
around me.
There is no respite
from the meaning
I fail to discern
in their murmurings.
There is no peace
to be had from moving lips
and flailing hands
that corner me.
There is no life
that doesn’t include
this meaningless
display.
Then what’s the value
of a life
if this is all
it is reduced to?

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I Shrink Down Next To You

Blanketed by darkness
that nestles itself
around my heart –
probing my brain
with foggy tentacles
for light left –

Leaden arms and legs
that feel unlike my own
and a voice that speaks
through my mouth
though I can’t hear the words
or stop the sound –

Did the world always
turn so slowly?
Was the light always
this dull?
How come you don’t see
the changes
while I shrink down
next to you?

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The Darkness Approaches

The darkness approaches,
I struggle to fight it –
it prods and it pushes –
deny it; deny it!
there’s part of my soul
that it clings onto tightly –
I cannot escape it –
release me; release me!

The sun brings its light with it
back in the Spring,
but it has no power
to scare off the night
that lurks still inside me –
fight it; fight it
with all of the cold
and the darkness of winter.

I may or I may not
be acting like others;
my strife may or may not
be easy to see –
I don’t have the energy
to bother hide it
with all of this turmoil
inside of me.

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The Cure

I am not depressed.
I am realistic.

Your idea of curing me
is to make me sick.

I would rather see the truth
than soak in fake happiness.

I would rather feel pain
than imagine fake joy.

I would rather live
whatever that entails –
I would rather know
than fake beliefs –
I would rather think
than fake agreement –

I am not depressed –
I just have sharper vision than you.

You can’t cure me
since you spread the disease.

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On the Nature of Faces

I am what I am
and nothing more
(yet nothing less) –

a faceless voice
praising a world
made out of faces –

always scorned
for things I can’t control,
alter or make undone

but never praised
for those things that I can –
not for a single righted wrong.

The faces of the world
never turn my way –
they do not heed my words.

But I praise myself to say
that I don’t turn from anyone
since I don’t have a face to turn away.

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Lightblinded

Light creeps in everywhere
to burn away
its detractors –
the shade runs for cover
and I with it –
the day struggles
with the night
and only reluctantly
allows it life –
the day recuperates
to resume the fight –

Too many colours,
too much light –
it drains one’s life
to sustain itself –

No, give me night!
Give me winter’s cold
so that my thoughts can clear –
this light muddles it
and hides the thoughts
that I must want to hear;
the fears, the doubt, the questions
that define me –
this light blinds me
and hides them from me –
Now who am I?

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Light Requires Darkness

I carry with me a darkness
that prevents me from taking flight,
a burden of thoughts that possess
and bars me from the light.

I thought that I should name it
to understand and will it away
but names tend to bind things
and so might make it stay…

Instead I tell myself
and the whole dispassionate world
that light requires darkness
in order to ever unfold.

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The Arrival of Spring

Spring arrived
or so I decided
today.

The dark fog
hovering in my head
I willed away.

At least for now
the sun shines
and the air is clear –

the cold awakens thoughts
and silences
the nightmares –

The snow of yesterday
already melted,
disappeared

it took with it all traces
of our movements there –

the sludge seeps through my shoes,
no longer waterproof.
It’s good,
it helps me stay awake –

I hung away my winter coat
this morning
since I choose
not to allow the winter to go on –

and if the winter disagrees
so be it –
I’d rather catch a cold
than stay inside

My feet are freezing
but it helps me breathe –
it helps maintaining focus,
not to feel

and I will walk today
and stay outside
and try to think

and I won’t sleep until
the thinking
has been done

Spring arrived today
because I need it now –
I cannot wait two weeks
for clarity of mind.

I’ll air out my brain
and will the darkness away
and see what I can find –

perhaps some energy
that I thought lost –

perhaps a way to will away
the nightmares of the past –

perhaps a flower sprouting
in a pool of half-thawed
ice-encrusted mud –

perhaps to catch a cold –
that would be something new to think about –
perhaps I could –

perhaps a beam of sun
that cannot yet be felt –

perhaps a stray thought
that could help me write a poem
again –

perhaps some lungfuls of the air
might help me sleep
a healthy sleep
with no nightmares –

My feet have led me
out into the park
where they sink
into the thawing soil –

the earth seemingly knows
that I need to feel grounded –

With feet like icicles
I proceed
ahead –

the Spring of my making,
right here and now,
a stuttering breath –

an interlude between darkness
and darkness –
light, cold and wet –

alive –

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Thoughts. Slipping.

Early.
Spring.
Fog.
Walking.
Sad.
Tired.
Drops.
Dripping.
Cold.
Thinking.
’bout what?
No knowing.

Tired.
Foggy.
Silhouettes.
Fading.
Distant.
Laughter.
What for?
No knowing.

Isolation.
Distant.
Yearning.
Mind.
Working.
Tired.
Still.
Thinking.
Changing.
Life.
Weather.
Season.
Planning.
What for?
No knowing.

Too early.
Thoughts.
Slipping.

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Early Morning – Fog

Heavy dampness in the air,
whiteness everywhere –
muffled sounds from far away
as morning wakes to day –

Tentative light that tries to poke
its fingers through the fog of sleep –
the war of Spring on Winter
leaves everything to soak
in clouds it dragged down deep –

The sun fights with the whiteness
and wafts it gently by –
yet something still remains
to cloud my mind and eye –