birth comes slowly
with slow peeling of caterpillar skin
tough and thick
butterfly waits beneath
with iridescent wings
ready for the get-away
this death sucks
but it has to happen
this is your awakening.
knowledge of this
the thrill of
back into the
there are things I want you to remember. you are a celestial spirit born among the stars. we may be souls having a human experience, but nothing is permanent. you will be reborn among the cosmos off into infinity. there is no birthstone or deathstone, so don't hold to yours like it is a monument, keeping you grounded to this place.
we collect memories and store them like faded photographs in golden lockets worn around our necks, hoping to stand the test of time. nothing is forever – we cannot even fathom it. keep your loved ones close, because the universe knows kindred spirits and places them within distance of contact through acts of synchronicity.
there are things we cannot document: things that surpass language, space, and time. feelings and emotions that we bottle as glory; showing the world our flasks as we either drink in excess, or keep the cork firmly in place.
as human language has limitations, the labeling on our bottles are wrong; and we are off key about the unnamed emotions and feelings we are ingesting in excess, or storing away as a collection to gaze upon throughout our lives, before we fade back to (star)dust.
Turn off the music,
stop that constant doing.
Look it in its bloodied teeth:
This broke us.
This was far too much.
We don't know how to be a person after this.
We can't even seem
to comb our hair.
All we have now
are all these pieces.
We kneel in the shards,
and feel the remnants cut,
and wail about our scarred images
and cancelled plans.
We don't know what to do
when we're shattered,
but maybe if we can just
feel this breaking,
without lusting for
the once-virgin whole,
we can grow quiet enough
to hear the laughter:
for the neighbor kids
have already begun
stringing our pieces
into bracelets that say Love.
An old man is scattering
our fragments in the park.
as the pigeons descend.
A salesman peddles our scraps
door to door, and makes enough
to finally pay the bill
that turns the lights back on.
A tailor makes a sweater
of our mistakes, while a baker
turns our heartbreaks into bread
for a different kind of breaking.
Come to the window,
these new friends call.
See what our brokenness has become.
Our pieces are raining from the sky
and quenching this parched earth.
People are dancing in the streets.
Close your eyes and listen
to the laughter and the rainfall
of what our pieces teach.
Two lines of cold grey cottages stand,
like decaying teeth in the mouth of Hades.
Grim acknowledgement to a long dead past,
monuments to the what if's and maybes.
A dark stain on the undergrowth of Nature,
the mud filled pond reeks of sick disease.
Brick and concrete tumble down slowly,
as She reclaims land in shallow degrees.
But peace and tranquility live here now,
under the pall of a decomposing host.
Trees grow, birds sing and flowers bloom,
perhaps to entertain the departing ghosts.
© Pagan Paul (2017)
In a cool autumn breeze,
Walking down an old street,
I came across a stranger,
And it made me lose my ease.
Memories, I tried to plow.
But my mind wouldn’t allow.
I knew I knew the man.
Just didn’t know how.
He was old and wrinkled.
But his eyes still twinkled.
“Hey there! Remember me?”
My heart, his voice tingled.
He smiled at me, bit amused.
I stared at him, lot confused.
“Sorry, but how do I know you?”
Said I to the man perused.
To which he said:
“I’m the wolf that wasn’t fed,
Surprised, I ain’t already dead.
Missing, marooned memories –
I’m what time hasn’t yet shred.”
Thinking him mad, I began to leave.
My quandary, he seemed to perceive,
For he spat, “Time, when one gifts,
Be humble, and their wisdom, receive.”
He went on:
“Friends were we; grew up together.
Our bond was to be our tether.
Keeping us safe, sane, spirited –
Storms, it would’ve helped us weather.”
The fog lifted at this mention.
I realized our deep connection.
Shocked, surprised, I almost cried,
At this ghost’s resurrection.
I inquired where he had gone.
Why return this beautiful dawn?
Why couldn’t I see him before?
Why did it have to take so long?
He answered with:
“Too busy to look or listen;
In a rush, you missed all the fun.
I was always ’round the corner;
You just… never made the turn.
But, for a breath, you stopped today.
So, here I am, plain as day.
Fate often looked you in the eye,
Only, this time, you didn’t look away.”
* * *
We meandered through a park.
Enthralled by the song of the lark,
I gaped at the colors of fall,
Wondering where had gone this spark.
As the old leaves fell,
I felt my heart swell –
A lightness long forgotten,
The lifting of a dark spell.
Finally, I understood this:
That feeling of something amiss,
Was just me not able to see,
A life blessed with beauty’s kiss.
So, at long last, I said to him:
“All your words are indeed true.
I’ve missed this place, this view,
Missed the laughter, the light,
Missed so much about you.
Last we talked, I was a child.
Living in a world less wild.
With a heart full of wonder,
Worried far less, much I smiled.
But somehow I lost that zen.
God only knows way back when.
Times changed, and so did I.
Never been the same again.
I so wish I could’ve seen,
The futures that could’ve been.
Life, blessed with your charisma,
Would be so much more serene.
I lost you once, and was lost.
But, thank God, our paths, at last, crossed.
Don’t leave my side till I close my eyes.
Not again can I suffer that cost.”
* * *
And so continues our story.
I just pray I never again see,
That deep, dark, death of a night when
That “stranger” is, once more, a stranger to me.
Give me something that hurts.
Write me a poem that burns a hole
through the very page it rests upon.
Tell me a story that makes my soul
fear the unholy retribution
it hasn't even begun to earn.
Establish a word that, when spoken,
defies the very forces permitting the world to turn.
Stab me with something sharp.
Kill me with something vile.
Fuck me with something evil.
Ruin me so that I may live.
Take me into a world where death is
welcomed. Not out of acceptance, but
of fear. Fear of the rope, the culling.
Lock me I'm a box and neglect me.
Can I kill you if you're dead walking?
Stupid question, who could entertain
the notion of ending your motion?
as if stopping the tide to spite the fucking moon.
Murder me. Satisfy your sadistic
belief that despite all logic,
I am the sole origin of all suffering.
Set me free.