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Juju Jul 7
We built a home
made of lies,
A room
filled with secrets,
The walls
witnessed our highs,
And sighs
That silenced the crickets.

- Juju
Stygian Dec 2020
I have forgotten what skin feels like.
I have touched it many times but sometimes it feels like silk and other times it has felt like concrete.
It has felt like velvet but also felt like sandpaper.
I’ve avoided the texture of those around me for so long it has become an unfamiliar touch.
I have grown sick at the thought of melting into someone else’s epidermis.
The fact that just giving someone a delicate touch means I am vulnerable worries me that I have not built walls
I have built an entire castle
A fortress around me that no one can penetrate.
I sit on a throne that no one else is allowed to even look at
You can’t have what I’ve experienced
You can’t be a part of what I have built.
This is because of you. I have worked so hard to keep you out
I sit in the aftermath of your disappointment and remember the times you shattered me and I keep building.
And building.
And building.
Until finally I’ve built something sturdy enough to never be broken down again. Not even by you.
like a winter wind you whisper through
the smallest imperfections in the
brick and mortar walls i’ve built around my heart

i didn’t even build windows or doors this time around
thinking it would keep this fortress
secure
safe
secluded

even so you’ve somehow managed to infiltrate
erode my defenses
penetrate
the tiniest pores in the brick and split them open, exposing me to the elements again

i shiver, unprotected and afraid
the salt still streaks my face from the last hurricane
the sword still at my side
too heavy now to lift against you
and even if it wasn’t
would it pierce you, or would i simply hurt myself again?

at any rate, you move too quickly for me to anticipate

the wind is too strong
now that my cliffside fortress is in ruins
my eyes water and it is far too difficult to predict your next move when all i can see is your wild eyes and feral smile

i don’t want to fight you
even if it means i will be undone
because i would rather be broken
than break you
for mur
I am a fortress.
"Build," was the command; I did.
Need a ladder out.

wherever you go
you will find a family there
climb over yourself
August 2020
Sadie Grace May 2020
I sleep when the sun does
to hide from the dark in a fortress of sleep
But running doesn't make it go away
only more traumatic when you have to face it
I sleep when the sun does
missing the beauty of the stars
They speak a language I can’t understand
A language I might never learn
If I'm scared of the dark
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
Be That Rock
by Michael R. Burch

for my grandfather, George Edwin Hurt Sr.

When I was a child
I never considered man’s impermanence,
for you were a mountain of adamant stone:
a man steadfast, immense,
and your words rang.

And when you were gone,
I still heard your voice, which never betrayed,
"Be strong and of a good courage,
neither be afraid ..."
as the angels sang.

And, O!, I believed
for your words were my truth, and I tried to be brave
though the years slipped away
with so little to save
of that talk.

Now I'm a man—
a man ... and yet Grandpa ... I'm still the same child
who sat at your feet
and learned as you smiled.
Be that rock.

I don't remember when I wrote this poem, but I will guess around age 18 in 1976. The verse quoted is from an old, well-worn King James Bible my grandfather gave me after his only visit to the United States, as he prepared to return to England with my grandmother. I was around eight at the time and didn't know if I would ever see my grandparents again, so I was heartbroken—destitute, really. Keywords/Tags: Grandfather, Grandpa, rock, shelter, fortress, strength, courage, angels, years, time, age, loss, truth, voice
Michael R Burch Mar 2020
Pan
Pan
by Michael R. Burch

... Among the shadows of the groaning elms,
amid the darkening oaks, we fled ourselves ...

... Once there were paths that led to coracles
that clung to piers like loosening barnacles ...

... where we cannot return, because we lost
the pebbles and the playthings, and the moss ...

... hangs weeping gently downward, maidens’ hair
who never were enchanted, and the stairs ...

... that led up to the Fortress in the trees
will not support our weight, but on our knees ...

... we still might fit inside those splendid hours
of damsels in distress, of rustic towers ...

... of voices of the wolves’ tormented howls
that died, and live in dreams’ soft, windy vowels ...

Published by The Chariton Review

Keywords/Tags: Childhood, dreams, enchanted, stairs, fortress, trees, damsels, maidens, towers, wolves, howls, oaks, elms, paths, pebbles, playthings, toys, moss
my way
is this
boundless spirit
of sound
splashing and
wise that
keen to
law this
Prodigy and
express thier
existence here
in count
with drama
and material
is facto
and witness    
of nation
ritual of law
M Grant Teague Dec 2019
Breach
Breach
Breach
The walls have a breach
Breach
Breach
The walls have a breach
Breach
Breach

Walking in my own head
Feel safe from the attacks of old
Yet there you are breaching
With eyes of pure gold

I thought it was over
I thought it was done

Why does the cage have to exist?
Why does this prison have chains?

I’m lost again.
Lost in the depth of your soul.
**** the universe that collided
Together to make us stand in
The rain.

You are leaving
I wish you were gone
The pain you give me
Is far too strong
Amanda Francis Sep 2019
You are a mystery. A riddle without an answer.
A tounge twister I can't wrap my sense around.
I would never find the answers in between your lines.

If you were a library I could never read everybook.
Not even if I could live forever.
Not even if your library would let me in.

And yet, on the cold ground I wait. My body caves in on itself, shrinking under the shadow casts by your walls.

Your fortress. Your empire. Your kingdom.

You are everything that I love and yet I am exiled.

Your name would hang above the doors in gold, glittering like the ice crystals freezing my shattered heart together.

But here I wait. And here I'd still wait.
Even after I'd gone blind, or forgotten how to read.
Because if your library ever let me in, there is no sweeter smell than old books.
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