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Mar 2022 · 154
Anabasis VI
Jon Shierling Mar 2022
I’m so ****** tired of feeling compelled to suffer a penalty for you falling in love with me.

You knew I was a Jackal when you first tasted me.

I don’t owe you an apology for having survived nightmares, for loving you the best I could with what I had while horrible things were happening that I couldn’t tell you about.

I’m not an imposter, or a liar or less of a man than I presented as.

I fell in love with you and I didn’t want to.

We tried to staunch the blood still flowing from each other’s wounds…without knowing that we liked the taste.
Mar 2022 · 199
Meurte de la Amour Roja
Jon Shierling Mar 2022
Enough then
I don’t need your permission
    Or a final whisper from lips that raised all my dead

The cathedral in my heart that I lifted up for you
   And filled with all my lonely ghosts
     It burns tonight

And tomorrow
  The Beginning
    The Work
      The Empire
Mar 2022 · 101
Laundry at Midnight
Jon Shierling Mar 2022
When you caught me compulsively washing dishes at 3am

When we agreed to tell each other if there was anyone else

When you cried in your sleep and all I could do was hold you tight

When you were still there for me after flashbacks even though you didn’t know what was happening to me

When we were so shitglued that our accents came out and our friends had no idea what the hell we were saying

When you shattered your Chanel bottle all over your bathroom and I smelled like you for days after

When I tried to cook eggs drunk and you didn’t have butter or milk and had to save them from me

When a tiny version of you found my pirate wig from Halloween

When I moved heaven and earth for you at work

When you took me to the fanciest Italian place I’ve ever eaten at

When we entered a room together people stopped and noticed

When I caught you compulsively washing dishes at 3am

When you orchestrated Thanksgiving and taught me about family

When I bought you boot socks and moleskin to heal your outrageous blisters

When you took me along with you and your daughter to look at Christmas lights, and you didn’t know what I was fleeing from

When I found you folding my laundry at midnight, and I left my heart on the couch next to you
Title is a play on the book Freedom at Midnight. In a way this woman who once loved me helped to show me a different world, one I could belong in and be where I could be free from the past. Thus, Laundry at Midnight really means Freedom at Midnight.
Feb 2022 · 75
Anabasis IV
Jon Shierling Feb 2022
I accumulate ghosts the way other men collect trophies
Jan 2022 · 189
Anabasis III
Jon Shierling Jan 2022
I still find strands of your hair on my clothes
Feb 2019 · 174
How Long
Jon Shierling Feb 2019
I'm tired, so tired
They look into my eyes and some
turn away
some hold their gaze.

What do they see I wonder,
what would they say
if walls between crumbled?

I'm weary of the game,
weary of throwing up my soul
in dark alleys so that the yellow men
won't know that I'm considering their offer.

Cicero was right though, **** him
all is indeed vanity and it is my lot
my cursed blessing to be able to see
through the tides of ******* nearly
hitting the high water mark.

It's an old game we play,
I the Jackal, and they the fat takers
those peddlers of ease, the green frog skin men
the flimsy platters of slot machine tokens,
the pale promise of pleasures unending
if only I sign on the dotted line,
in triplicate and also a thumbprint
and also we'll need your social plus two pieces of mail.

Whenever I get a bit too far gone they're around,
pushing their world with far better skill than
the very many dealers I've bought release from,
and yet the ultimate deal remains the same:
give us your identity, your fire, and in return
you need not suffer any longer.

It's a decent offer I guess, but they push a bit
just a bit too hard to play it off,
they always show their hand too soon and I know
that for some reason they want me more than
I want the release they have on display.

Sorry boys, I'm not the guy you're looking for.
I do have my moments, I'm a deeply broken
scarred and horribly imperfect person
not above taking bribes or stealing to survive,
lustful, greedy and wroth.

For all that you misjudge me,
thinking perhaps hatred of those who've
cut me so deeply could be useful,
failing that, hatred of myself would
perhaps be more beneficial to your plan.

Go ahead then, cut me away, turn my love to ash,
pull my once bright courage down into
the slime that brought down my grandfathers.
Do what you will and I will indeed despair,
indeed I despair even now, loveless and alone
exiled or freed I know not which.

In the end it doesn't matter,
for you are just as berift as I my enemy,
and we'll meet face to face one day
upon the shore of a distant sea
or perhaps in the darkest heart of
the great river which helped birth us.

Do your worst,
but understand
that which you do unto me
you do unto yourself
poor beloved shadow of mine.
Sep 2018 · 190
Ten of Cups
Jon Shierling Sep 2018
Behold, my cup runneth over,
and I rejoice.

I was alone in the desert,
and now I have been brought home.

Those beautiful things I had thought
lost forever have been returned.

My shame hath been shown to be illusion, and my failures forgiven.

Faith I had not in the workings of
the One beyond my ken.

And yet faith I have been given,
and love, and hope, and a new life.

I rejoice in you Oh Lord, I give thanks
to you for the small things, the little proofs that you have not abandoned us.

I give thanks that You in your wisdom
have brought me to this place; that You have not despaired of me, though I have despaired much of myself and of You the Eternal.

Behold the garden I have always sought, and yet hath ever been my home; that which always liveth within me, yet I journeyed to find.
Aug 2018 · 1.0k
Seven Minutes
Jon Shierling Aug 2018
As if I only have that much time to type
a lifetime's worth of beauty.
Or it may have only been
that seven minutes of memory.

Seven minutes to scream out
the glory of a first kiss, and
the shuddering surrender of an ******,
sweat and fire and ecstasy.

They told me, when I was young,
that I had to find my love
and let it **** me.

Seven minutes of music
the world rolled back and Samsara
a mere smile in the lamplight,
just another of the gods' company.

I've found many loves,
and their knives tearing holes
and their beauty a weapon
and their innocence a torch
and their hatred a drug
and their pain abhorrent
and their abandonment a sin
and their touch heretical
and their eyes of jewels
and their words made of bullets
and their hope a sad Gypsy
theirs tears a lonely guitar
striking chords in me and
God forgive how good they feel.

I am undone, overthrown, emaciated,
torn out, weary, overcome, eviscerated,
redeemed, hallowed, sanctified,
all of this and more.

I love you.

I have yet to die.
Apr 2018 · 218
Brush Strokes
Jon Shierling Apr 2018
Shutter filtered moonlight bright and clear as a flashing sword
    my surest guide over the landscape of your body.

I cannot say whether it is my hand that pivots brush and ink,
    or they that carry me along across your back.

This then is what the sages meant by formlessness:
    I am the Brush and Ink and Moonlight.
Mar 2018 · 205
Jon Shierling Mar 2018
Your voice on the wind
A sigh in the night

Trailing fingers across my neck
The kiss of flowers

Folding into each other
The embrace of rainfall

I turn to your presence
The sound of water
Feb 2018 · 1.6k
In Situ Memento Vita
Jon Shierling Feb 2018
I think that enough time has passed
  enough rain fallen
  enough memories swallowed
  enough pottery shattered and remade.

I think it is time to write again.
Aug 2017 · 1.1k
Shadow Work
Jon Shierling Aug 2017
Eyes that speak without words
mute gestures out of the darklands
a pleading and a despair and a hunger
for who the **** knows what.

Walk across the red room of your soul
reach across the red memory of your loves
say yes
say no

I won't live the next ten years
as I lived the last
Pulled apart by the future
and the past.

It's taken me ten years
to wake and touch
ten years to fling all shame aside
and burn my many masks.

How does one learn to hope again?
How does one learn to trust again?
How does one be...simply be....again?

Lesson learned, lesson loved
when you do things to forget
you only forget the good
and the bad sticks around.

We live the life that has been given
all we can expect of ourselves
all we owe to our hearts
is fire.

The mighty men speak of power
and the low men speak of power
power to break and power to bind
as Mr. White explained it
a very long time ago,

Live as if you were dead
and were looking back
As if you had nothing to lose
As if you had everything to lose.
Jul 2017 · 254
The Histories V
Jon Shierling Jul 2017
I really hate the nothingness that we became. With confidence I can say that it was your doing and not mine, but that doesn't make it any less abhorrent. Your absence tastes like ash all the same. I'd like to think that your thoughts turn to me as often as mine turn to you, but more than likely you give hardly a brush of me. That's alright though, I'd be terrified if someone like me started digging around in my heart and asking questions, challenging every self deprecating statement I made too. The odd thing is, I know exactly how that feels. I lived it, ten years ago, and I ran the hell away, not knowing how to accept it.
Jul 2017 · 433
Jon Shierling Jul 2017
Wait for the drop.........
And go.

Just stop fighting it so hard,
the underwater after dark river
you love so much.

A part of you knew that
this is where you'd be carried
if even half-heartedly
those years ago
when you tempted fate first.

You're afraid to admit
afraid to accept
how much you love it
when you can let go.

How long have you been hunting
for an answer?
How long have you been hunted by
the answer you really want?

You must know by now
you'll never break the walls
of one you name equal;
you can't even break your own.

There is no way to walk the
road you chose without
becoming someone else;
you cannot traverse the abyss
between yourself and others
and yet remain inviolate;
you can't see without being seen.

You cannot touch,
without being touched.
You cannot love,
without being broken.

So then you can't go back
but you're afraid to go forward
staying in between is worse
since stagnation means death
what do you do?

You already know.
Jul 2017 · 245
Jon Shierling Jul 2017
Simon opens the door. Door to the same apartment in Lisbon. But it's somehow different when he walks through the threshold. Full of people, as it used to be on weekend nights. But these are strangers, men and women he no longer recognizes, or feels any kinship with. The bottles of wine and beer and liquor are as it used to be, along with the **** on the kitchen table and the hookah by the couch. But pistols and syringes lay open upon flat surfaces now alongside the old instruments of fun. Like a dream, people whose names he didn't know greet him like a hero as he creeps through his own kitchen. Someone hands him a joint, which he hits, tastes **** and something else which make things even more surreal, passes it back to the mass, and fights his way to a chair where the tv used to be. "Simon, Simon! Just the guy to end this stalemate! Tell us, how do you feel about this ******* they're feeding us now eh!?! More austerity measures! Let those pigs **** some more and leave less for us eh?" A magazine is casually tossed in his general direction. Simon catches it by the spine, and glances at it, trying too hard to remember the name that belongs to the face on the cover. In an attempt to not be argumentative, he vaguely agrees, "Of course there are changes to be made, we all recognize that, but it's a delicate thing. The EU charter has provisions for this, but it's not being followed here. Or anywhere else though, so we can't get ahead of ourselves. Pardon me senor, can I hit that right quick?" The hookah hose is handed, a bottle is passed, and Simon gets up out of the chair. Tara is nowhere in sight, possibly *******, possibly preaching, possibly shooting up, maybe all three. Clara is in the bathroom throwing up most likely, and I don't know why I'm here, he thinks it might be something to do with a feeble hope that what he'd been told was just exaggerated rumor. He wanders the apartment that was once so full of....something else,something he couldn't name, looking for the good that he used to feel in it. People talk at him and he responds, but he doesn't really pay much attention to their comments or his responses. He finds himself on the balcony, blessedly empty, lights a cigarette and let's his memory drift. Remembers the guitar, and the wine, and the feel of her hand when she took it from him to play. He hums the tune to himself, half as a mercy and half as a torture. He remembers the shape of her shoulder and the green of her sweater, and the sunset reflected in her eyes when she slapped him, the fire in her that he has loved since that day. The fire he has been watching die for months. "You can never love someone enough to make them love themselves, usually they end up resenting you for it anyway," says a voice from behind him. Simon, in the place his mind is now isn't even surprised, simply turns to the source of the voice, a man sitting in the far back left corner. "They may end up hating you for it even. People cling to their self-conceptions harder than anything, more so than politics or religion or love. Especially if it's good clean love. Damaging, nasty love is the kind people like her need, and will never be turned away from." It's hard to make out features in the glow cast by candles and distant city lights, but Simon can see the speaker's face is aquiline, high cheekbones and a very straight nose. Brownish short hair, light and thin body, built like a runner or a Bedouin. Simon almost asks who he his, almost responds with the usual surface garbage he's been saying to people all night. Instead, he asks the almost shadow what the **** he's talking about and, more importantly who the **** he thinks he is to presume to know that kind of crap about someone you've never met. "You know exactly what, and who I'm talking about Simon. As for presuming to know things about people I've never met, I have met Tara, and Clara, and a hundred other girls like them. And I know how those stories end." "And how do you know my name, who the hell are you and what the hell do want?" Simon responded. The almost shadow's cigarette flares as he inhales and for a second Simon can see the grey eyes of a Gael, is reminded of mists and mountains, ancient memory, understands that he's being hunted. "Lots of people know your name here. I've seen that look on your face many times, worn it myself many times, and I don't want anything from you. But you certainly want something from me, even though you don'y know it yet. It's good to finally meet you Simon. You can call me Ashenden." The voice leans forward into the light and extends his hand. As Simon takes it, he looks into the face of a predator.
Jul 2017 · 269
Jon Shierling Jul 2017
In my youth, I ran to the desert.
She welcomed me as one of her own,
taught me many things,
loved me in her own unforgiving way.

The years I spent in her arms
saved me from many deaths.
I learned patience, and harshness
learned to welcome all things
as gifts from a God I couldn't see...
so I thought....

I lied to myself, and was alone
though God and the desert and
it's spirits walked alongside me
my heart never grew.

And now that I have come back,
I don't know how to hold
everything in my heart.

I learned to live on ideas;
real love was an abstract memory,
something that cost blood
and horror and betrayal.

I told myself what love was
out there in the sands,
when in truth.....
I could barely open my heart
to the beauty of a sunset.

Nothing has prepared me for this,
walking out of the wastes
to find my own people
waiting for me.

I have seen terrible things,
and so have they;
I don't know how to open
my heart to so many.

Jellaludin said to write what
we are most afraid of
so I shall write that.
I hope Shams approves.

I always say that one day
things will be different,
that we can change the world
as if it was the world that needed changing,

In truth, I am the one that needs to change,
I am the one who must take the leap,
I must step out over the abyss and
believe that it's about something more.

I am not afraid of the dark within myself,
my shadow I have come to terms with.
I am afraid of hurting those that have
tried to love me, whom I haven't allowed.

But that day I always yearned for,
the day when the world rolled back,
and the fountain gave of itself,
the day I decide to let my love **** me
that day is today.
Jul 2017 · 273
Jon Shierling Jul 2017
See me.
Really see me.
As I see you.

I've heard of you woman,
I knew your eyes were oceans
and your heart was a sacrifice
long before I came burning out of the desert.

I know that you were beaten
and I know you had your soul ripped out
by the ones who ought to have cherished you.

But I....I am not those men.
I was not sent here to take
but to give.

I long for the lost gardens of Cordova,
for the glory that was love and light
along the banks of the Guadilqivir
that river still flowing through my heart.

Yes, by all means test my resolve,
I have witnessed too much horror
to let one more heart be wasted.

I want to love you,
I want to take your suffering heart
and pour all the love God has given me
into your many wounds.

But it isn't in my power to do that,
It isn't given to me to rewrite your
book of tears and sacrifice.

I have been sent here,
journeying so long and so far
that I had nearly forgotten what
a home felt like until I woke
with you in my arms.

You kissed me,
and I heard the music again.

You touched my soul,
and the rains came at last.

You open my heart,
and I remember.
Jun 2017 · 155
Canticle of the Sex Worker
Jon Shierling Jun 2017


"Here's to pretty girls with filthy thighs!"
So the time-honored toast goes; another festering monument
to the God of Ignorance upon his writhing throne.

I smile and drink and try to lie
attempt to pretend that I can simply laugh instead of cry,
but behind that smile there's no misunderstanding
of the results that mind-set implies.

And then there are eyes shouting blue nuances from a corner,
deep wells of liquid Band-Aid summoning me
to worship yet again at the altar of Hedone.

The usual small talk, no realization as yet
of who it really is speaking about flowers
and reaching casually for my ******, stricken hand.

She has no name, but she has a face
like carven ivory, she has no past but a tiny diary
which peaks out of her leather purse like a toddler.

She is in my closet of a room now, no pretenses
and all passion, arms around me as if there really
is no tomorrow, and I am all she has left to love.

Out of nowhere, holding my face in both hands and leaning close,
staring me down she whispers "Follow the music."


I found him in a bar I'd never been to,
and I wasn't looking for him, or anybody else that night.

Something about the way he grimaced
when his friend shouted a bunch of crap,
endeared me to him then and there I think.

I've met and slept with so many that I
can tell about things, I can read people too easily,
and he was haunted, like me.

I don't think he knew for sure exactly what I was,
but I have no doubt he guessed,
as he easily stated no other women were
as bold as I am.
Set to Johann Sebastian Bach's Mass in B minor. Widely considered the culmination of Bach's life and works, his last Mass is truly is a thing of beauty and wonder. I don't pretend to mimic the great man, but this particular form appealed to me for this piece, which I've wanted to write for a while but had no frame to place it in. Also, this is not based off of complete fiction for those of you who may feel inclined to think so. I have met and been friends with more than one *** worker in my life, two of whom I've known since high school. However, I do not claim to know the individual whose tumblr I've tagged.
Jun 2017 · 246
ابن آوى
Jon Shierling Jun 2017
As if the masks I wear for the world are anything
more than mere artifice.
Make no mistake I am no civilized intellectual,
I am no yuppie at a tech company living for machines.

My soul was old when Rome ruled the world
and beneath my person suit I am an utter
****** savage with the face of a starving jackal.

I am an uncivilized, spear-wielding force of
nature ruled by monstrous passions
born from years of torture and supplication.

Take my hand and follow me to the forest.
I'll teach you it's secrets and we'll dance
naked in the moonlight for a thousand years.
Jun 2017 · 355
Jon Shierling Jun 2017
I kissed her and tasted the blood of a wounded soul.

I felt her heartbeat and heard again the drums of my people.

I held her in my arms and remembered why I was sent.

I lay with her and the flame burned again.

I looked into her eyes and eternity gazed back.
Jun 2017 · 291
Something Finer
Jon Shierling Jun 2017
Maybe that was the first mistake I made
there at the very beginning.

I wanted all of it, everything I could glean
from whatever life had to offer.

Not only did I want the beauty of Hesse,
Dante, and all the glories of Old Florence,
I wanted someone like me to share it with.

I wanted to wake up in a room in Tangier
to the Muezzin calling the faithful to prayer
and have some unbelievable soul in bed with me
wipe the sleep from her eyes and kiss me.

They say that I'm a drunk and a dreamer
and they may in fact be right about that,
but they'll never know the absolute glory
that comes from pouring your bleeding guts
out onto paper at two in the morning with
Pavarotti blaring as loud as you can make him.

I'm almost thirty and I've almost given up,
almost accepted that the finer things in life
will only ever be a dream, a fleeting glimpse
into an improbable future that may cost too much.

And then I meet people like her, Artists and Lovers
that cut me in ways I didn't think I could be anymore.
I'll be doing alot of drugs with them, maybe have some
truly Protestant shaming *** with them, trying to
reach out across that ****** abyss and touch their soul.

But I'll never wake up in Tangier with them.
I'll fall asleep listening to Netflix and wondering
who gave her the scars I can feel pumping through her heart.
It'll probably fade away relatively quickly too,
that one real moment when the walls fell.

No matter, I always knew deep in my heart of hearts
that people like me don't get happy endings or to
live our dreams out unless we die for them.
We go our own way, suffering to be who we are,
creating beauty in ****** rooms with screaming
children that reek of cat **** and regrets.

But if it ever gets too much to bear, there's
always truly running, truly giving up on
having it all, walking the **** away
and being insane and drunk in Tangier alone.
Jun 2017 · 647
Jon Shierling Jun 2017
And at last I understood why they all hated me.
All at once I knew in my very bones
that even as a child they would look
into my eyes and couldn't see a person looking back.
They could read nothing in me, could not own me,
and I could see right through into their souls.
All the lies they had built for themselves,
all the powers of their plastic civilization
meant nothing when they looked at me.
I am a jackal of the desert, born of horrors
and raised with the spirits of the dead for guides.
When they look me in the eyes
they know fear.
Jun 2017 · 374
Broken Stuff
Jon Shierling Jun 2017
Some things need to be broken
before they can actually work right.

Hearts for example.

The more mine gets cut apart
the more fire I have to pour into hers.
Jun 2017 · 227
Jon Shierling Jun 2017
I woke up one day and found myself in a room
with walls covered in pieces of the soul of
the girl sleeping in my arms.

It was beautiful and terrible to behold,
just as is she, just as was the knowing
at that moment that I'm a Writer
that loves an Artist....
I'm a character in my own book
and I'm ******.
Jun 2017 · 215
Jon Shierling Jun 2017
I love your scars
all of them.
The obvious ones
the ones other people see
the year old wound across your middle
you showed off to me the night we met.
When I ran my hands over you
I could see the hidden ones
the deep cuts in your heart unhealed.
I tasted the passion and the copper in your kiss.
I knew even then that I'd never
get you out of my soul.
May 2017 · 307
Jon Shierling May 2017
Every now and again

we understand that we have a choice

between wearing the mask

or throwing it away.
Mar 2017 · 717
One Polaroid
Jon Shierling Mar 2017
There is one image that comes before all others, taken a long time ago and thousands of miles from here. And there is the memory tied to it, buried so deeply and so diligently as to have almost faded altogether until now. Should the entire construct of my world, my very soul, come crashing down in some unforseen horror, I will still be who I was in that image. I was given a blanket and a head dress handed down through generations, invited by people I'd never met, to be part of a sacred circle with Tlingit families in a language I didn't know, to a tune I had never heard. In a longhouse far away, I danced with them, and was alive. I was five years old.
Dec 2016 · 1.3k
(Late) Yuletide Message
Jon Shierling Dec 2016
I wish you all Happy Holidays, a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Festivus, Yule etc. Whichever tradition you follow, the heart of the celebration is the same. It's about rebirth (among the other good things like family and compassion and healing), the mystery of new things by some miracle born of old. We're told that we are supposed to be happy, that to not be cheerful this day is miserly and selfish, it's implied that if we aren't feeling perfect then we should fake it for people, that we should fake happiness so our loved ones can be genuinely happy by not seeing our sadness. But this is a hard, sad time for many of us, no matter how hard we try to be hopeful. I wish that I could really believe, rather than just hope, that the old world, the world of xenophobia and hatred, so many acts of violence and horror that I can't even keep track of them all...I wish that I could be sure that the world is being renewed by a higher power. In the face of so much, it may seem that you're just a small person, in a small place, with small problems and small gifts and a small heart, and this whole thing is a worthless gesture. Well, it isn't...this isn't just an accident, we're not just flotsam in a nameless, faceless mass of humanity with no real purpose and no value. Everything matters, and every day we have a chance to make a difference, every day we are given opportunities to be a part of miracles. All of us have the power to reach out and touch another person, to give hope instead of taking it away. There really is a better world out there, and every positive act, every genuine smile, every gentle word and every courageous stand against hatred brings us closer. And finally, a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night, and if I wake up tomorrow to find that all my appliances have come to life and burst into song and a gaggle of short bearded guys expecting food and talking about some kind of stolen gold and dragons and crap, I may just have to start taking things a little more seriously ;)
Dec 2016 · 522
Jon Shierling Dec 2016
Reclaim that which was never taken away.
Seek out that which you have hidden.
Take the spear and drive it deep.

As within
So without
As above
So below

Understand this before all else:
What is right for your soul
Bears little resemblance
To what you expect.

To know thyself is the call
And the paradox.
By seeking the truth of thyself,
You discover the truth of others.

One must ****** your Minotaur,
And kiss Mephistopheles in his rage,
In order to assume your Theseus,
And fill your Faust with purpose.

I'd continue in the same vein if I weren't drunk and tired and simply out of patience. Essentially what I'm saying in a poor imitation of alchemical allegory is that the worlds outside of ourselves are bound to the worlds within.
Sep 2016 · 617
Jon Shierling Sep 2016
(A message to my self when things get bad)

Arise boy, arise and remember this
   no one will remember your bravery

No one will remember your hope
    Or your sacrifices
Or the nights you spent hunting
     For whatever may fill the hole
      right through the middle of you.

You don't do it for the accolades,
   and you don't wrestle with your
   Minotaur for your parent's approval (as if you could ever gain it)

The chips fell as they did, because you can take it. You live under fire, because you can take it.

You give all you have....because they need it.
Aug 2016 · 340
Entre Acte
Jon Shierling Aug 2016
She said to me, that first night,
"You've been touched, deeply.
But in all the worst places."
Aug 2016 · 603
Good Memories
Jon Shierling Aug 2016
These supposedly small things,
Nights when the deep wrong
that we have been fed upon,
falls away and all is well.

These supposedly small things,
these lovely people,
this living for the moment.

I live for them.
Aug 2016 · 658
Forlorn Hope
Jon Shierling Aug 2016
What it must be like,
To cling to a hope so savagely
That all doubt is swept aside.

I begrudge the women I've loved,
This hope in ****** men,
This belief in miracles.

I wish that they'd believe in me
one day.
But then, I am indeed
Someone else's dying need.
Aug 2016 · 618
Self Talk
Jon Shierling Aug 2016
It's ok to let yourself just be a regular person tonight, with needs and wants and hopes and fears. Just let go, get drunk, be friendly, and be fierce with yourself tomorrow. You can afford to not think like a nomad for one night.
Jun 2016 · 301
The Night Train
Jon Shierling Jun 2016
Sometimes it doesn't matter where you're going.
All that that you are going somewhere.
Jun 2016 · 403
Autonomy Now
Jon Shierling Jun 2016
That's it. I'm done passively digesting all of this garbage. it's time to stand up and start doing. Stop whining, stop blaming the things you don't like about your life on other people (Muslims, Republicans, Liberals, Rich People, Young People etc). The world is not unchangeable, and instead of bemoaning how powerless you are to change it, take action. We all have the power to make this life more than it is, and it doesn't start in the halls of Congress, it doesn't begin with other groups conforming to fit your world view, it begins with YOU. Today, right here, right now, YOU have the power to influence the world around you in a positive, meaningful way. Even though it doesn't seem like it, real change starts with the individual, deep inside, an active decision to not accept things as they are and to take part in changing them for the better. The same old human frailties and insecurities are the REAL opposition. Not the people who want to come here and live better lives, not the people who want the violence to end, not the people who go to church on Sundays, not the people who just want a chance to see their children prosper and be left to live their lives. Many of you will say,"BUT that's exactly what WE want! It's those OTHERS that won't leave us be, so we have to be reactionary to DEFEND ourselves." That is complete ******* and you know it. It's bad logic and it's the kind of crap governments have been using to justify wars of aggression since the dawn of civilization. Hate, Greed, Fear, Jealousy, these are our real enemies, and all the actions we take that are based on them are invariably marred by their origin. With the whole country choosing sides, and trying to force me to choose one or the other, I refuse. I don't accept either party's world view, I will NEVER accept the xenophobia and horror that they propagate to further themselves. Their ONLY purpose is to make us believe that WE NEED THEM, but in fact it is we who should reflect on just how absolutely THEY NEED US. Now, I'm not asking any more of you than I do of myself. I don't expect people to drop everything and go start a revolution, or to become monks and attain Nirvana, or whatever highest attenuation of your belief system. What I do expect, is for all of us to remember that we have unimaginable power to affect those around us in our daily lives, just by simply giving hope and encouragement, by building each other up, instead of insecurely hoarding affection because we think there's not enough of it. Don't be discouraged, don't believe the lies that are fed you everyday about your fellow humans and their intentions, don't ever forget that WE MAKE THE WORLD AS WE SEE FIT, SO DON"T MAKE IT ******. Times are dark, but the odds aren't insurmountable by any means, there is real, positive action that can be taken, workable solutions that can be achieved. I hope to see you on the other side.
Apr 2016 · 317
Jon Shierling Apr 2016
When I'm lonely, I can't find any of them anywhere. When I'm sick of them, they're all over the place.
Apr 2016 · 301
Jon Shierling Apr 2016
The place I go where they play Led Zep and don't give a ****. Basically the place I go when I don't wanna pretend anymore.
Apr 2016 · 277
Seeing Through
Jon Shierling Apr 2016
When you finally stop accepting lies from the rest of the world, keep in mind that you won't be able to stand your own ******* anymore either.
Apr 2016 · 460
The Histories IV
Jon Shierling Apr 2016
Encounter II

You cried the first night we spent together, and the night after, and almost every night since. At first I feared it was something that I was doing, some piece of love you needed that I couldn't give. Hateful as it sounds, you weren't the first that I've loved like that. Hopefully I'll love none after you and won't have to worry about the last. Regardless, I've come to love myself enough though, with your help, to understand that it wasn't lack of love that caused you to sob into my shoulder. It wasn't some failing of mine that pushed you to seek out what comfort I could give. You cried in front of me because you trusted me enough to do so. You had no part to play, no face to wear other than your own. And now, deep in the wee hours when you fold yourself in to me, I don't question. I give all I have of myself, so that you can sleep peacefully.


Let the Christians call it the devil's work, but I call it love. Really, if we want to get outrageous about it, most of their practices are just as anthropologically based as all other human ritual. All lovers have little rituals, small things that only they know, quirks and nuances that are the real mortar that hold the walls of their relationship together. Herodotus became an inside joke, my cheap metal raven head became a symbol, we trail leaves over each other after ******* (if available), our foreplay includes brushes and india ink, etc. When we began rearing up what we are to each other though, that work began with blood, as all holy things do....

"Baby, c'mere. Please?"

"Honey what the **** happened, you're bleeding everywhere?!?"

Wrapped your wrist in the gauzz I keep beneath the sink for just such an occasion. Insisted we sleep on the couch so I could hold you and you could watch your favorite shows at the same time. Spent enough time sleeping on couches anyway. Sleeping on one with you, listening to Jude Law talk up Cameron Diaz or some **** was gorgeous.

Weeks later

"Darlin, I ****** this one up."

"Don't say **** like that babe, what happened?"

"You know how I've been ******* about my ear hurting?"

"Yeeeaaaahhhh?" as you walk down the hallway.

You see the amount of blood on the tissue

"******* Daniel! C'mon, we're going to the MediQuick right the **** now!"

You did your damndest not to touch my ears for weeks after that, and it took a month of me saying they didn't hurt for you to start biting them again.


I never want to give you up. But I'm not afraid of change. It's one of our favorite games, pretending we are elsewhere, loving like the world is different. Like we are different. Knowing that it's all transitory, knowing that these blue sky days will end. I always remember the Hospitaller in Kingdom of Heaven(played by David Thewlis), saying that even if something has only lived for a while, it still has lived. I try to keep that in mind on those occasions when we wander from each other. We will end, eventually, somehow, probably incredibly unwillingly....but that doesn't mean all that we are isn't beautiful.
Apr 2016 · 361
The Histories III
Jon Shierling Apr 2016

God in heaven how I hate Frank Lloyd Wright's creations. Not aesthetically mind you, just how his vision makes me feel. And deeper than that, how you act when you're in one of his buildings or stare at his work for too long. You lose a little vitality when you spend too much time staring at boxes arranged in different patterns. You start trying to arrange everything else into neat little lines and clearly defined delinations. Too long, and you start doing it to me, to us. You start acting how I did before we came together. And it scares me.


It's always strange watching people's reactions to death. Most of the time they get cold. They get analytical. The whole stages of grief thing I guess. Circumstances of the death play a part, as well as how close the dearly departed is/was to us. Leftover's from our Hellenistic roots maybe? A good death is one earned in pursuit of something. A death in battle, a death by drowning at sea, one earned in struggle. But deaths by freak accident seem too, Dickensian I suppose. A boy drowns in a pool while his dad is in the bathroom, a woman is crushed by a tree randomly falling on her kitchen in high winds, a man falls from a wooden ladder while cleaning a chimney, a church roof suddenly caves in on a whole congregation for no reason. Let's keep it all bottled up inside and pretend like there's some other option besides acceptance.
Apr 2016 · 933
The Histories II
Jon Shierling Apr 2016

It was afterward, in the light from a streetlamp
you sobbed and said that you wished we hadn't.
Anyone else and I'd have taken my cue, left, and drank till sunrise.
For some reason I stayed (having no choice really)
pulled you close and asked why, expecting an answer I'd already
heard many, many times before.
You looked into me, and said 'You smell like pine needles.
The next one won't smell like you, and I won't be able to pretend
that he or she is you.'
That was not the answer I had a defense for.
"You smell like cinnamon, and I want to run. But I won't leave,
unless you want me to."


"Let me tell you about winds," said I, trailing an apricot leaf across your left breast. Giggling, you tried to bite my nose. "Shut up you, I love that book too, and I know Herodotus better than you ever will."
"Ah yes, you were his lover at one time if I recall."
"Indeed I was, long before you and your sandy hair came on the scene. Your hair IS sandy."
"It is so totally NOT sandy, it's light brown. And all the grey is your fault."
Sauntering to the bathroom, you gave me the finger as you bent down to turn on the hot water. I waited till I saw steam, long enough for you to let your guard down, and hit you in the *** dead center with an apricot.
"Good shot you *******, but that's no way to treat a lady."
"Whoever said you were a lady cheri?"
Laughing, you tried to shove soap in my mouth as I slid into the scalding water. The tub was a bit cramped for two people, but we didn't mind. We never minded when we were forced together, at least here was privacy. (Although there are few things sweeter than a stolen kiss in a train full of singing Rajput schoolchildren, a story for another time)
Apr 2016 · 356
The Histories I
Jon Shierling Apr 2016
Even now, I think that perhaps we followed each other,
dogged each others' steps for many years
before stumbling upon the ocean our love became.
As people who seemed divorced from the world we live in
maybe Nature drew us together, or more likely it was Nurture.
No matter.
You touched me that first night, for the first time, in the first room,
whispering "hush" as you put your fingers to my lips. Always you are
embarrased of your hands, "Rough" hands, "Not at all like a
woman's" hands should be, and I never could fathom who gave you
that ****** up idea. When you touch me, when I remember the feel
of them, I always think of driftwood, and smile. Powerful and utterly
lacking in self-conciousness, your hands knew their origin,
remembered the glory and the majesty of making fire, of making a
meal, of making love, of bringing forth light and life out of the
depths. I hated it when you apologized for such wonderful things.
For it was with those hands you brought something back in me,
something lain dormant and whimpering the dark, dying of thirst in an
empty land long forsaken. Holding you in my arms brought strength
back into them, your teeth on my skin ripped a growl from my lungs,
just remembering your voice crying out in surrender and triumph
makes me want to tear off my clothes and dance naked around a
roaring bonfire, howl like a wolf into the night for the sheer joy of it.
After so long being dead, you kissed me, and I was again alive.
Mar 2016 · 584
Jon Shierling Mar 2016
I remembered a thought that I had many years ago and apparently buried down deep, tossed into the mind cellar along with all the other bits and ends, all the other odd might sound trite and hurly burly, but it struck me further in than I care to admit: Jewel married a racecar driver. And even then, in my eleven year old mind, I came to the conclusion that it couldn't have been for love, a poet couldn't do that except for something superficial like ***,(even though I hadn't had any yet) or money or security(all things I knew nothing of and yet wished I had). It strikes me now, that I didn't believe in love even before I knew what it felt like. So, having said that, this is my apology to you. You believed, deeply, and I....I only wanted to.
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