© 2019 – Alan Zaugg
© 2019 – Alan Zaugg
This was originally posted to Medium.
A single ladder, clearly forgotten;
Standing forever, firm and immovable.
A broken mirror, foreboding caution;
Once truly believed to be unbreakable.
Chains hang by the door with a lock and key.
Each link is enforced, eternally bound.
The chains witness to an eternal decree.
Once found now is lost, or lost now is found.
A Raven black, deep as the night
With crimson eyes, taken in flight.
Two statues of stone stand guard in this place.
Expressions of sorrow, filled with anguish;
A meadow of bones, a tenebrous space
Filled with foreboding, laden with languish.
Rain beats down upon heart and soul.
Lightning flashes and thunder rolls.
A dream, a reality, or in-between;
It all seems the same, it bleeds into one.
No way to separate the horrible scene.
Just let it play out until it is done.
© Alan “Jedi” Zaugg 2018
I can’t escape from my own mind
These thoughts, they are so unkind
Leaving me to my own vice
Continue to pay a heavy price
Please help me to escape this hell
I feel so very very unwell
I’m lost and feeling all alone
I don’t know which way to go
No, I really do know where to go
It’s getting there, oh I don’t know
The world travels ever on
And so I wait until I’m gone
I know this seems like tragedy
No, no, it’s mere mortality
Perhaps I’m stuck inside a rut
I need something, I don’t know what
Just let me be, for I can see
This feeling will forever be
I’ll crawl my way back to my hole
And hide within my darkened soul
Put on the headphones
To shut out the world
Grim rhythms and tones
A darkness unfurled
Back down and withdraw
Repress all the feelings
Beneath ugly flaws
Behind raging demons
The pain, how it grows
The wounds, how they fester
Cowering from pressure
Life must go on
A mundane reminder
No hope for a dawn
Each day a survivor
Care for some jokes?
Perhaps one or two
It’s all just a hoax
Not much to do
A smile and a laugh
To hide what’s inside
Just put on a mask
And simply abide
Words that sting like a bee
Thoughts that cinch like a noose
A rope, slithering and constricting life
He wriggles and writhes himself free
The rope follows patient and persistent
Every once in a while it circles his ankles
It draws him in, slowly wrapping itself around him
It squeezes and constricts
Its hold drains him of hopefulness
Again he escapes
He looks back to see his world, cold and blood-stained
He realizes the rope is forged from thorns and thistles
They’re briers of pitfalls and drudgery
Shards of glass and metal within twines
As it constricts and squeezes the abrasion rips at his hopes and dreams
It tears at his flesh
Opening old wounds and tearing new ones
Blood drips from fresh wounds
Pools of blood dot the trail underneath each slipknot
Where once he was trapped like a helpless creature
The rope travels with him like a hangman’s noose awaiting the hour of death
Its patience knows no bounds
Soon it will have its prisoner and fulfill its purpose
He’s captured, escapes and runs again
It’s a never ending vicious cycle of blood and pain
His scarred body aches and throbs
It’s a reminder of his plight
A rope, a noose, and a trail of blood
to scream, to cry, to laugh, to fly
to run, to hide, to fall, to rise
to fly, to soar, to dream, to roar
darkness commands, demons obey
his mind is his prison
his sanity, the prey
despair his lonely companion
his heart is his deliverance
trapped by one
unable to control the other
the pain grows and swells
if only he could fly, fly high and far away
if only to escape his reality and his mind
he laughs, but it’s laced with insanity
he cries, if only to wash away his regret
“Are you sure? Are you sure I’ll get through this? I don’t know where I am. I don’t know which way is up or down.” He pleads.
It’s tragedy. The place he should have been safest, wound up being his prison. Not of the physical kind. These prison walls aren’t tangible. They aren’t stone or steel. Nor are they pliable or movable. Their hold is as strong as Alcatraz and horrific as an unimaginable torture chamber.
He’s in a very real hell, a warped reality. His hell is a vivid portrayal of a hopeless prison, buried on a lonely island, in the darkest of night. It’s surrounded by pain, anguish and horrifying tales of life. A cold dark shroud hangs over him unlike any storm cloud known to man. He’s trapped, buried in his own mind. A mind that is both beautiful and demonic, brilliant and demoralizing. Its the perfect storm.
He’s lost and fallen, or rather falling. The fall is slow and exhilarating, yet lonesome and embracing. Two halves of a bittersweet whole. Yet, its hell in the very real, intense sense. A black fire burns and consumes the very essence of his hope.
He continues a free fall down a dark abyss of loneliness. The world around him watches his downward spiral unaware of the destiny that awaits him. Unaware of his plight. He hides the very deepest of his circumstances behind a mask of eccentricity. He loves, he cares, and he serves unconditionally, those around him. That is, when his own mind doesn’t swallow up his intent.
He reaches out for help, but ignorance leads the blind and soulless. Besides, his calls for help are not as recognizable to the human eye. One must see through his mask, recognize his pleas and reach out with a lifeline of love and understanding.
Alas they see him, but don’t see him. Dry and meaningless words of encouragement fall short of their destination. Where is that destination? Falling, failing, and trapped in a world of shear madness.
His prisoned mind drives insanity. He falls further, deeper. It swallows him whole and spits him out into the abyss only to scream at him again. Madness drips from the edges of his mind, deep into nothingness.
It’s a terrible never ending cycle, this falling. He falls, is swallowed up, spit out and falls again. Over and over this cycle he feels. He knows his hell. He realizes his plight and finds it easier to succumb, with reckless abandon, to the chains that pull him down rather than fight it. He’s tired, exhausted from fighting.
He begs the unseen gods to take his life, but is met with only silence and cold. No saving death, no rainbow to point to the welcome sun.
Then, he sees birds. Could it be they herald an inkling of hope? They flutter from below, up through the spiraling abyss. Their song is welcomed at first, however he notices how hollow it sounds. It isn’t a melody of hope, rather one of teasing. They mock and warble, mimicking the song of hope from the great beyond. Their song intensifies and strengthens the darkness instead of breaking its hold.
“What is this song they sing? Why must they mimic my plight?” He groans. “Leave me to my misery. Go away!”
They flit and flutter all around him, singing a song of beautiful death never to be realized. They mock and tease him in his face. His hell is now complete.
Then, out of the depths of his madness, a scream. The sound resonates with power and might. Its a terribly beautiful sound that rips the fabric of the dark abyss. It isn’t a song, nor is it pleasant, yet it exudes warmth and hope.
Out of the depths, he sees a black form emerge. It glides with power. It’s a blur at first, but takes form and shape as it rushes toward him. There is no grace to the way it moves, but it radiates with confidence and intelligence.
A raven, black as night, and terrible, brings an inkling of hope. The scream, he realizes, is a screeching caw. It’s brilliance and power shreds the mocking birds into a billion lifeless feathers that burn to instant ash.
She appears, for he sees into the depths of her eye that she is she, as an angel. An angel, but a raven. She carries hope on her wings, a glint of light in her eye, unconditional love in her wake. He looks into the depths of her midnight eyes and feels a comfort he hasn’t felt. He loses himself and slides into an alternate reality for a moment.
Her powerful talons reach for him, and grasp his flailing arms. She flings him onto her back and soars through the spiral. He looks around, suddenly aware of his surroundings.
Darkness prevails, the storm rages, but hope now replaces his desire for death. There is no end to the abyss, there is no rainbow. On the wings of hope, he sees that he must remain in the darkness. However, his madness is held at bay. He sees with a clear purpose.
On his raven he rages forward. On wings of power he relishes his plight. No more a prisoner to his hell, rather a captain of his ship. The prison walls crumble and fall. The tortuous prison gives way to an open sea of life. His escape is true.
He cannot leave the island of his mind. On the wings of his raven, his muse, he can navigate his madness and his hell with a black fiery fury in his hand.
He can create realities and worlds where he can escape. There will be moments where the madness will slap him silly and drop him into a rushing sea of despair. Mockingbirds will return to laugh and sing their ridiculous songs of teasing death. But, to conquer is to create. To create is to survive. To survive is to enlighten.
The world will continue its oblivious ignorance of his plight. He will live on, and he will pass on like ashes in the wind.
He, his raven, a touch of madness and a darkened abyss.