I told her reality is a lie
reality is a lie
there are cowboys and aliens
making music in the sky
robots and dinosaurs
dancing in the jungle
monsters and angels
playing checkers in the chimney
Don't bother them and their whimsy, she said
I'm what's real
like the illusory cold of steel
or the bellyful of a meal
I cook and I clean for you
I laugh and I sing for you
I hold and I cry for you
I feel no shame that I'd die for you
but you're far off in the aether
tempting ruin from fool's gold gods
and I ponder how long I should wait for you
to come down from the heights you have scaled
The heights scaled me, my darling, I uttered
they came creeping in the night
alighting me to the depths of hell
where the ****** weep with fright
they call out for mercy, I swear
and I do not lift a finger
for I am a mortal
only armed with prayer
It's best you leave me be
I will plan their great escape
for if anyone deserves no freedom
it is I
But she never left, did she
she clamored on for hope
that I'd be the man I was
that I'd not be tempted by the rope
I watched her smile grow dull
her eyes' glow became glassy
her encouragements lost pep
her savor for life lost flavor
and the gods grew quiet...
the fairies fluttered away
the aliens and monsters disappeared
guilt began to choke my spirit
Darling, I said, sweet thing
your smile wanes softer than the moon
what can I get for you,
a lilt? a tune?
She sighed and shook her head
"Your dreams await, my love."
I was shocked to hear the utterance
the defeat that marred her voice
I hugged her deeply, as if to stop her falling
lo, her spirit had ebbed into despair
frightfully, I told her, "I shant dream again."
But you always dream, she said, it wouldn't hurt to dream once more
Oh but it does hurt, I whispered, it hurts that you hurt for me
The ****** still call, do they not?
Your one voice drowns them out
What of the aliens and their schemes?
I will make plans for you, say the word
What of the cowboys and their adventures?
You are my adventure, my freedom, my home
I don't know, you'll be dreaming tomorrow, I must prepare the bed
I'll prepare it with you - you and I will make love tonight
After so long, will you have the stones?
I will be the mountain you're astride
stones enough for cobbled streets
stones enough for churches and keeps
I tell you darling, I am through
no dreaming, no sleeping, no games
I will lay you down tonight
until you say my name!
And the morrows were ever sweeter
the days skipped by with grace
no longer brooding over the dead
it was life that I laid claim to
my love, she held me tight like never before
cooing like a nested bird at the highest tree
she turns to me, says, "I have something to show you."
She leads me to the door and opens
but it was then that the doorway warped
a darkness suffused the entry
a darkness deeper than the cosmos beyond the sky
and in a that darkness, a gleam...
I reached out to touch, with my love grasping my hand
the gleam became a roaring light
and from it, the king of darkness himself
You were to be a hero, he claimed, a champion for them all
but here you stand at the threshold
here, you fight you last battle
I heard your cries to the hells
your pining for their salvation
I heard them cry for you
I heard them sing for freedom
it tickled me, their futility
until I realized, it had never been done before
for someone to light hell to a chorus
for them to weep no longer,
for them to hope
I've come to you with an offer
we shall see what you are made of
what can you offer for their freedom
what thing of value can replace my coveted ******?
I gulped, not sure what to say
was I dreaming again? Surely not!
But my darling was seeing this, too
this was not a dream at all!
All I ever had to offer, was myself, I said
And will you make that offer?
My grip on her hand loosened against my will
against my better judgment, I yearned to shake his hand
to make the deal
to save their souls
but I knew, or at least I was learning
things could never be that simple...
After me, I said, shall there be more souls to claim?
Always as the sun rises and sets
there is reaping, bills to collect
the debt of sin is final, and punishment is due
punishment for them
punishment for you
Can I have your assurance
that you will not take more souls after me?
I require your agreement
your acceptance of my plea
The king of darkness smiled a vast, soulless grin
Unless you make their decisions for them, you cannot change their fates
But you would give them a chance
a glimmer of opportunity to right their courses
Something else was nagging at me
Why, after all this time, was he here?
To make a simple offer?
My soul for the ******?
The offer made no sense
if I truly were ******, my soul would be worth less than any of theirs
I began to catch on to the ploy
I began to live the game
I don't believe my soul is worth the souls of hell...
Ah, a change of heart
No, I just don't believe the scale is balanced - my soul has the scale tipped
Don't tell me you can't afford my soul...
Wha- well how much then? I'd have to wait for new batches
I don't think you're up for bargaining
I can offer you a hundred years more worth of souls
You wouldn't come here for a soul worth so little - that's a sad offer
A thousand years more worth, it's a bargain!
I don't come so cheap, that's pathetic...
How much then, how much!
All the souls... of all time
Do you mean hell to be some kind of revolving door? No. Absolutely not. Actions have consequences, and the ultimate consequence is hell - that's fair.
Fair? Fair for billions of people to live lives of suffering, emptiness, and defeat, and sure, fail at it, cause catastrophe maybe, but ultimately all for the chance to live, only for all that striving, and all the weight of that suffering, to land them in a pit for eternity, experiencing a suffering unlike anything they'd ever imagined?
Fair? You have no idea what's fair and your bogus offers are indicative of that.
I felt her grip my hand tight. I held just as firm.
The king looked shocked, so... that's a no then.
Did you hear anything I said?
I heard, and if you have some means to change how the universe works, I suggest you start working, because I have work of my own to do.
That's it then?
With that, the king of darkness melted into the black, disappearing from sight, along with the dark portal. Suddenly, light burst from the now open doorway, revealing the green pastures beyond.
You saw all that?
She nodded. You dreams weren't for nothing, then?
I guess not. I breathed a sigh of relief. You had something to show me?
I absolutely forgot with everything that just happened. Are... are we dreaming?
I looked around, smiling. Everything is real, I said.
She smiled back, and let me out into the world where I had not ventured in years.
The first steps were trouble. My joints ached. The sky was too bright. But as we strode, it got easier. I began to enjoy it. She led me far, until I almost didn't recognize where we were. Up a steep hill with trees and shrubbery covering its expanse.
At the top, a small clearing, within which a tall tree stood. We rounded it, and she pointed at something, "Remember?"
I nodded, I can't believe we haven't been here since we were kids.
You're the one that brought me here the first time.
I forgot this place existed
This used to be your favorite spot
Things changed. We changed.
Change doesn't have to end life. It could be the beginning.
I hugged her. It could, I said.
What she'd pointed at was a carving of our faces I'd made in the trunk of the tree when I first began dreaming of the future. She was my dream. My first dream. Sad to see how I'd taken her for granted.
I want to help you, she said. I want to dream with you.
The dreams won't change anything anymore, I said, we have our answer. I want to start changing the world... will you help me with that?
I dreamed, I said, because I was suffering. I dreamed because I wanted an answer. Instead, the dreaming brought me into the darkness, and I couldn't escape. But with your help, I did.
Now, we take everyone else out of the darkness. We help them build a world where dreams are filled with love, not death.
I like that, she said.
We kissed. We climbed the tree to a good, thick branch and sat watching the sun sink into the horizon.
I thanked the heavens for my life, and, as I watched the sunset, sang to myself, at first in my head, then with my voice, and she joined in,
"Reality is alive,
reality is alive."
I honestly don't know where this poem came from but I love it, and how it turned more into prose by the end, in theme with the poem itself.
I've suffered a lot in life, mostly in my own head. And it's easy to forget how life's worth living when I step out of my fear and into love.
I hope this poem gave you something to think about or hold on to.