This Tunnel Has No Light at Its Ending

This Tunnel Has No Light at Its Ending

Black notes hang
in a barren equinox sky,
fade into a cry of
wonder that echoes
as though in a dark tunnel.

You balance the cup
of deep water before
a moment of stolen hope emerges
then abandon yourself
to pure gravity

before ripping apart the
warm core of your being.
Can you taste
the texture of wind,
that carries cries of forgiveness.

The memory of a crowing
cock haunts you
constantly, doesn’t it?
Life ebbs slowly when you
break your promises.
Doesn’t it?

Today, I am hosting for dVerse Meeting the Bar, Critique and Craft. We are playing with symbolism as used in poetry and literature. Can you identify the emotion I am attempting to express in this poem–a very old one that I rewrote?

Photo: racrapopulous” Free Usage

Driving Toward Town at 7:30 AM on Sunday Morning–dVerse Haibun Monday

Driving Toward Town at 7:30 AM on Sunday Morning
a Haibun

I ease through my neighborhood—streets soaked after a night of rain, awash in a blur of watercolor pastels. Turning east onto a main thoroughfare, the streets are deserted and sunshine backlights black clouds with bursts of silver. Trees bow beneath the weight of rains but shed tears, not the glory of their autumn wardrobe.

Further on, I turn onto West Fourth Street where trailers, weekly motels and liter replace beauty. The photographer has switched from color to a monochromatic vista of black, white and varying shades of gray. Here on the outskirts of Reno, images of drugs deals and prostitution are easy to imagine. I see a black jacket, soaked with rain, hanging over the guard rail that protects me from the gully and train tracks below. I consider pulling over, half-expecting to see its owner splayed in the ravine below. Fear restrains me.

autumn rains can’t cleanse
remnants of despair, poverty
song birds disappear
where trees can no longer thrive
where hope is bathed in darkness

This is a true story that happened yesterday morning. Bjorn invites us to write a contemporary haibun, focused on a cityscape, for dVerse Haibun Monday. Today we are given the option of tweaking the haiku portion of the poem. The pub opens soon, at 3:00 PM EDT. I hope you will join us.

This old photo is the actual portion of West Fourth Street I was driving. It used to be the main thoroughfare between Sacramento and Reno, through the Sierra Nevada, over Donner Pass. I was driving the opposite direction of the car in the photo, toward the city. You can see the ravine, the train tracks. On the opposite side of the street, it is as described in the haibun.



English: Betrayal of Christ

English: Betrayal of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Black notes hang
in a barren equinox sky,
fade into a cry of
coarse wonder that echoes
in a dark tunnel.

You balance the cup
of deep water before
a moment of stolen hope emerges
then abandon yourself
to pure gravity

before ripping apart the
warm apple.
Can you carve
wind into a blur of
textures or

sew rags for dappled
ghosts who fold them
in your tree-house?
The memory of a crowing
cock haunts you

constantly, doesn’t it?
Blood clots slowly
when you
break your promises.
Doesn’t it?

This is an impressionistic account of the biblical story of Jesus’ betrayal by Judas and his subsequent denial by Peter, considering Kelvin’s prompt for Saturday’s dVerse Poetics but linked to dVerse OLN. The stories illustrate human responses to failure. Overwhelmed by guilt, Judas despaired and hung himself, while Peter held on to hope and received forgiveness.



English: Beyond Coma and Despair

Image via Wikipedia

I wrote this poem for Open Link Night and decided to use it as a kickstart for Write2Day as well.

A Sestina

Alone, I settle in to nurse the night,
to venerate these saints I should despise.
Bow down before these gods who leach my spirit,
accept the chalice filled with certain death.
I hide the truth from those concerned I’m lost;
prevarication’s now my way of life.

Within my room, I hide, consuming life.
A shaft of light breaks through and rapes the night.
I tape the curtains shut, so sunshine’s lost,
for brightness violates all I despise.
My thoughts attend to naught but this pure death,
her promise tears apart my fragile spirit.

A new god I adore, not born of spirit,
who brings ecstatic joy now to my life.
No sacrament—communion with this death.
It promises to guide me into night,
to teach to me all others to despise,
to mingle now my life with all those lost.

I grasp the cup, hold tight to all I’ve lost,
deny all those who speak to me of spirit,
and wallow like the swine, to be despised,
embrace illusions that erase my life,
hold fast unto the wine I drink at night,
content to find my joy imbibing death.

Within my hands I hold the key to death,
I wander on this path, knowing I’m lost.
Each day becomes another endless night,
Each night consumes me like an evil spirit.
Without a hope of saving wretched life—
anomalous creation I despise.

Swallow the night—this moment I despise.
Let go of spirit, hugging hopes of death.
Are you, too, lost? Or will you cherish life?

At last, I’ve satisfied my poetry addiction. I’ve been experiencing withdrawal as different challenges have absorbed my time.

Poets and writers of all genres turn to angst-filled topics for inspiration. I would venture a guess that many of us have experienced addiction, either personally or second-hand, through the lives of those we’ve loved. As you most likely know, there are many types of addiction besides those like alcohol or drugs, the ones that immediately come to mind.  There are two types of addiction: substance and process. Examples of process-addiction include such things as shopping, work, sex, gambling and exercise. Drugs, alcohol, food, caffeine and smoking are samples of Substance addiction.

For today’ prompt, dip into an addiction or a few of your choice, or enter the mind of an addict, and see what happens. Don’t forget; we welcome prose as well as poetry.

If you are able to participate, here’s how:

  • Write your poem, short fiction or essay and post it on your personal blog.
  • Access Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.
  • Add your name and the direct URL to your post.
  • Come back and pay a visit to other addicts poets and comment on their work.
  • Have fun and enjoy the process.

I hope to see you back here, and above all at dVerse Poets’ Pub for Open Link Night where the company’s great, the drinks are abundant and the poetry, without equal.

Photo: License unknown (from Wikipedia)

The Dark Night–Jingle’s Poetry Potluck

the dark night of the soul

Submitted to Jingle’s Poetry Potluck:  for which the theme this week is Peace, Relaxation, Spirituality. I chose to focus on one of the more difficult aspects of the spiritual life, termed by the Spanish Carmelite mystic, St. John of the Cross, as the dark night of the soul. Though it seems counterintuitive, this phase of spirituality can bring about a deep sense of peace.

“Oh, night that guided me more surely than the light of noonday to the place where he (well I knew who!) was awaiting me–a place where none appeared. Oh, night that guided me, oh, night more lovely than the dawn, oh, night that joined Beloved with lover, lover transformed in the Beloved!”

St. John of the CrossDark Night of the Soul

The Dark Night

When night is bathed in ebony
and even stars are wont to pierce
through veils of clouds,
you stumble forward,
grasping crumbled walls
that close you in.

Bleak thoughts now pummel you
like angry fists that rage against
injustice. You breathe oppressive air,
musty, stagnant, born of rank suspicion
that your need shall never know
relief, that hunger rests un-sated.

Today there is no morrow—
only haunting memories of days
unfolding without joy, Your faith
betrayed, you open wide your hand
and watch hope slip out between your
fingers, free of empty promises.

Tonight you stand alone,
shrouded by the chill of winter,
without clear vision. Death stretches
out his hand; you reach to take it,
but not before the nightingale sings.