Category Archives: Not that Kind of Poetry

Do You Ever…

Do you ever wake up and have something to say

– so adrenaline packed, like you’re about to run and jump off a cliff and dive into the water, down, down, way down below; your chest aflutter with this indescribable light and creativity, butterfly wings brushing your rib cage –

….but you don’t know what the words are?

 

Do you ever think you have the idea down, only to realize you weren’t even learning about the same experience you thought you were?

Stare at the ceiling, trying to scrape together some semblance of reasoning, trying desperately to grasp whatever it is that you’ve missed.

 

Do you ever wake up while sitting at the computer, never having closed your eyes or dozed off, and realize there is a wildfire in your head, barred only by the very skull keeping your squishy brain safe,

and if you could only figure out how to translate these zigzagging, maddening, sparks,

how to convince them to catch fire and breath out from between your lips

– you’d have tapped into genius?

 

Do you ever wonder what fear is squashing inside you? What magnificence lies waiting for you to brush back quiver of fright and bound forward into the darkness with a pen and notebook, taking notes as you go, but going nonetheless?

 

Do you ever sit around, in those moments where you must wait, and wonder. Entertain thoughts of what could be, if you were the person you wish you could be?

 

I hope you do.

I do too.

 

We are silly souls, sitting around, waiting for brilliance to strike.

For circumstance to permit.

Someone to give us permission.

Someone to bankroll the idea.

Push us forward, into the room, into the choice, into the lush corner office,

without all the unbalanced mess-ups, misfires, and questions having to go before us,

embedding into our skin, reminding us we are so, ever so fragile.

 

Are we so helpless?

No.

But we often choose to be.

Others try to bind us down with cords of hate, ridicule, and all the nasty little creations of their fear turned malice filled hearts. Wanting us to hurt, because they never woke up, never wondered, never picked up the feet attached to their dreams and forced their pulse back into the throat as they tried, failed, tried, failed, tried, failed.

Don’t let them.

 

We must try and fail and keep trying.

Keep dreaming.

Hoping

Believing.

Keep working toward the feather-light stirrings inside our head and heart.

Listening to the voice, whispering, “you can do this”, “do it again”, “ignore the embarrassment”.

A little secret? Everyone starts out clueless. Some of us are just better pretenders before we get our bearings.

 

Do you ever wake up and say to yourself, I am going to do this. While I’m exhausted. While I’m a newbie. While I’m so green the grass runs the other direction.

I am going to do this. Without a degree, without a genius telling me I’m the new Einstein, all the while throwing cash in my direction.

I am going to do this. While it scares me. When it isn’t easy.

 

Do you ever go to bed and tell yourself, “tomorrow, I will do it tomorrow.” Do you say this the next night, and the next, and the next?

This is death.

Death to the butterfly wings inside, growing from something small and squirmy into something with wings.

 

Do you ever wonder at all the dead things lying in the road, unseen by most, wished for by all?

They are the hopes. The dreams. The belief we chose to abandon.

They are the “what ifs” and the “maybe if I tried it this way”, the whispers of our soul, poking at us until we feel so much discomfort in our self-forced contentment, that we must do something, anything, to appease this urge for new, for betterment. For life.

 

Do you ever wonder what you’ve hidden from yourself?

Do you ever weep at the thought of the lives you could have helped with the fire now turned to ash, sitting banished but never alone alongside the miles of long forgotten?

Do you ever weep at the loss of your soul?

Weep and sob these ugly emotions out, out, out, until perhaps…

Perhaps there is room for a wildfire.

 

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Daphne Shadows

by Daphne Shadows

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Never a Dragon, a Lotus, a Hero

 

To watch someone you love, suffer

That is the worst pain

To have ever known.

 

I have lived through abuses of every kind.

Horrors little children should never know

Memories I’d sell for bubble gum houses

and storybook bedtimes.

Pain that sears through my heart and mind,

Memories in my muscles I cry for

Physical scars,

Emotional scars,

Scar tissue growing stronger

and stronger.

 

But watching someone I love…

These tears hurt worse, somehow.

Somehow they burn

and twist

Until I can hardly breathe

And I loathe watching you go

Knowing you need help

But not knowing how

or what I can do.

 

I know you are strong.

I know you are the

bravest soul I’ve met

I know you can slay your own Princes

and befriend the Dragons lurking

deep inside and all around.

I know you don’t need me

for these things.

But I wish.

 

I wish I could keep the pain from you

I wish I could swipe it away with my tears

or my arms or my words

I wish I could absorb everything

and make life,

fair.

For you.

 

All I can do is hurt with you

Try to help

Understand

Be a shoulder, an ear.

Lend a hand.

But I know I cannot brandish your sword

for you

Not that you need me to.

Not that you aren’t stronger than me anyway.

 

I still wish.

It still hurts worse, somehow.

And yet, I know.

 

I know my scars

Brighten my lips when I know joy,

More brilliantly than if my skin was smooth,

Memory free.

Peace is only found when I

know it is so slippery a prize

after it was ripped away

and I stole it back, one drop of blood

at a time, one struggle at a time.

But I know peace, is the point.

I know joy.

I feel it until I am bursting.

 

I see so many others

sleepwalking.

That’s what pain does

shakes you up

awakens you to your awful state

state of misery or confusion

state of contentedness or settling.

Once awake I knew how to fight

even though I didn’t.

The pain ended up helping me

in a sick sort of way.

It showed me how to fight.

How to stand.

 

I know the horrors of my past

and they know me.

We laugh in the face of the horrors

Climbing through my windows,

Edging into my room

at night, trying to frighten me

with their newness and unknown.

I laugh because this scar tissue

Sees them for what they are.

They are whispers in the dark

Compared to the hideous trumpeting

of my past, my forever scarred words,

lashing into my skin with the blade of no knife.

These new nightmares are cotton candy

and daydreams I spot in the clouds

Compared to the devilish landscapes

lurking in my then.

I know that all that I have suffered

All I have hurt

It lost.

To me.

Without these villains

I never would have

Become.

 

And I know

Your tears will spill and leave.

Your fears will charge and back down.

Playing chicken with you will not work.

I know you will grow scar tissue of your own,

Small battles counting down the time

until they help you slay your next villain.

You will shout in silence

Sob into your pillow

Scream at every smothering glance.

You will find the words to stand your ground

Disperse the hordes that challenge your might.

 

Yes, you will hurt.

And I will hate every moment of it.

I will help you however I can.

I will stand witness to all the snares and wounds

failures and confusion.

I will hurt with you. I promise.

But I know.

You will win, too.

I know you don’t need me to fight these battles

for you

But I will always, always

be here with you.

I will gladly accept these lashings

if it means to stand by your side

As you suffer into Becoming.

 

I still wish you didn’t have to suffer.

It still hurts worse, somehow.

Worse than anything I can remember

suffering inside my own skin.

And yet, I know.

There was never a dragon, never a lotus, never a hero

without suffering to overcome.

 

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by Daphne Shadows

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I Didn’t Lose You – Goodbye

I lost something this year.

Something I’ve never had before.

A friend.

I mean, I’ve had friends. Loads. I never had a problem making friends. But this was different. He didn’t want to have sex with me. He didn’t want to stay in an unhealthy phase of life. He did want to connect. To uplift. To be uplifted. Real friendship.

I typically only get along with people this way when they’re older than me by a decade or two. Been that way since I was a munchkin. I tried to fight it for a while in my teen years. But why? I mean, I believe we existed before this life. I could be substantially older than my mother. My younger brother could be eons older than me. *shrug*

Anywho, the amazing thing about this, is the relationship was healthy. The only healthy relationship this gal has ever had from start to finish.

I met him in the blogosphere when I began blogging, about 6 years ago. We had a lot in common. We critiqued each other’s novels. I learned a lot. He was honest. We called each other out. We consoled one another. We got each other… On the same wavelength, you know? He sent me a box of books. If that doesn’t scream friendship right there, I don’t know what does.

This relationship has been my rock. He, along with a book series and my family, are the reasons I got vulnerable enough to consider therapy. Which I chose to allow me to change my life for the better.

This relationship is what got me through a lot of my issues. Helped me remain humane with myself. Remember that I mattered, wasn’t a monster, and having issues didn’t make me unlovable. I learned to trust someone. I learned self-value in part because of this friendship. Someone else who saw all my damage could love me.

But, as I’ve recently learned, friendships don’t last forever. Not even the healthy ones. People change. We grow, evolve, move forward in different directions. This friendship died a healthy death.

That’s never happened before, and I, therefore, didn’t know how to deal with it. All my unhealthy coping mechanisms were gone, you know? I’d burned them alive and let them die the painful death we needed them to die. So I looked for a healthy one.

I chose to write about it.

I figured I’d share the resulting poem with you. I cried writing it. I cried reading it. I cried sending it. But I cannot say I have any regrets. I cannot say I regret anything with this relationship. I believe we all have people come into our lives for a reason. And I believe we come into others’ lives for a purpose.

Maybe the truth is that I did NOT lose something this year. I grew. He grew. We figured out how to create a real relationship where neither of us ended up hating one another, but instead parted in healthy ways for healthy reasons. We bettered each others’ lives. Ta da. Healthy relationship. I certainly learned a lot about myself (and my writing).

 

But I digress. Here are my blood and tears, encapsulated in ink and vocal chords.

 

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Pieces of Me

 

Perhaps this is part of becoming new
I am not so broken up
But I am

How can I be a phantom
Yet so brilliantly alive
In the same heart beats
Through my veins
All at once
Then not at all

These same tears
Are saying two different things

Goodbye

Perhaps this is part of becoming new
Shedding dead skins
And remembering them fondly

These dew drops of joy
I’ll store them in a jar
There will be so many more mornings
Dewdrops to collect

I’ll keep the safety
In this snapshot
Never having to worry
More was building
I never breathed so freely

I think maybe perhaps
I will buy some new jars
Open the lids

I cut my hair short
Put my old stories through the shredder
I sent out a letter
There’s a purple ruby on my desk
It’s from you

Perhaps this is part of becoming new
Final nail in the coffin
Of the phantom in me
Last crack in my shell
Something winged set free

Dying a natural death
In other words, change
Transmutation
Alchemy of the soul

We each need different chemicals
To destroy ourselves
Combust
So we can rebuild our bones
Trade fins for wings
Maturation into brilliancy

This is part of becoming new
You were a much-needed ingredient
So I could see the dead skin cells
I clung to
Wipe them away
Close my eyes
Clean up with all these tears
To break through
Reach in
And pull myself out
Vibrantly alive
And ever so new

It was is time

Please wake up
To something beautiful
Something new
In you

Goodbye

 

By Daphne Shadows

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Persephone Knows

This is a poem I wrote some time ago and published here in October of 2015. I’ve re-written it. I’d take the previous one down, but that feels ingenuine. I often take what I’ve made and rip it apart, before stitching it back together with different thread.

Since writing them, I’ve gone through many of poems and changed them. Without telling anyone. Just so you know. 😉

So without any further fuss
I give you –
Persephone Knows

 

My feet

They won’t walk right

My legs

They don’t shift light

My thoughts

So staggered

My sense

It’s shattered

No meter, no rhythm

Guess the lies never mattered


 

Beautiful how the truth can be.

Daringly sinister, you see.

The duality.

 

The beauty it can create.

Hearts it can incinerate.

 

Depending on the paintbrush

Using oils or lye

On which canvas

The why?

 

Even as the teardrops drip

And lips pout red

Something grows inside

As this truth is fed.

 

It’s really quite simple, darling.

Though that doesn’t make it easy.

It’s really not that hard.

Rather filled to empty.

 

Balances what’s inside me.

If I can’t be real

I can’t be free.

 

But now and then

I rummage and shuffle

Pretend I’m not me

Hide in this muzzle

 

Tips the scales and down I go

Falling until I hit bone and bow

 

When it comes to me,

Well, you see

Only hurt can smother the doubt

Always seem to take this route

 

So, I sit here and burn

Fight myself at every turn

Forget to breathe

Struggle and seethe

 

Scrape at the dead skin

Beg the truth not to win

Drowning in plastic again

 

I slam the windows

Barricade the door

But truth drags me by the feet

And I wash up on the shore

 

Drowning in flames

Dancing in the darkness

Shadows flickering

In duality’s likeness.

 

If only I’d remember

If only I’d learn

What always is salvaged.

Persephone knows

Death can be lovely

And flowers can be damaged.

 

If only I’d listen

I cannot hide pieces

And not be stricken.

 

The sun doesn’t always shine

The moon sometimes takes her time

I cannot smudge parts of my soul

And expect to live whole.

 

Truth cannot speak, only strike

Dormant matches in my chest

My beast never hides

Truth burns me best.

 

If only, if only

If only, I’d learn.

 

But always,

Always

I choose to burn.

 

by Daphne Shadows

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(this poem is disjointed instead of flowy, on purpose)

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Hi, My Toe Tag Says Daphne

 

When there is nothing to separate the night from the day

No borders in the ether

No fences about our cells

No boundaries for our skin

 

We are lost

No sun

No moon

Yes

No

They disappear

Only void

Emptiness

 

Everything the same

Words without meaning

Form without shape

 

When we only know the lack of walls

The terror of free falling

We don’t even wonder

Are those lipstick marks or bruises?

 

There is no distinction

Only blind attempts

Empty phrases

Hollow veins

 

We don’t realize

We are all in the morgue

Shuffling about

In dull hospital gowns

Bare feet and teeth unbrushed

Pretending to have a pulse

 

 

by Daphne Shadows

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Cinnamon Swirl

 

Sunlight Melts

Like lemon drops

And butterscotch lace

 

 

Kissing

Tick

An icy dam

Tock

 

Dripping down the side

Seeping through the cracks

Spilling over

 

Molten flame

Licking at the

Patchwork parts

 

The cold fights back

Tick

Like a broken flurry of

Plastic wrapped mints

Tock

 

Cutting deep

Frenzied

 

Heated satin

Cauterizes all breaches

Lapping up tiny

Peppermint tears

 

This house

Is a walk-in freezer

Tick

Burning exposed flesh

Tock

 

 

 

By Daphne Shadows

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Wretched

I wish

Truth

Wasn’t such an allergen.

 

That people didn’t shy from honesty

Like a flame edged sword.

 

I wish

Love

Was given in equal measure.

 

Not plucked from one

And doted on the favorite.

 

I wish

I wasn’t smiling

While my heart

My whole being

Cries

 

The most

Sorrowful

Sobs

Of loneliness

 

Of absolute

Mystified

Bewilderment

 

At how so much

Hate

Is slipped between

Our love

Like so much unimportance

 

We are killing each other

One apathetic gesture at a time.

 

I pray for something

More

Something

Real

 

And hope

With teeth clenched

Eyes squeezed shut

Hands of my heart, wringing

Like an innocent maiden

From long ago

Before everything was cheap

 

While I smile

A hollow smile

That we both know

Is fake.

 

 

By Daphne Shadows

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Filed under Not that Kind of Poetry