After the Surface

Tunnels bored deep through the Earth,

With their scarred edges,

And their crumbling domes.

Remnants from a time long since passed;

From a war-torn, ravaged, blood-soaked land.

The Tunnels… where else could one stand?

 

Exiled from what was inherently known.

Adjudicated to those lengths of darkness,

Eternally winding, waning, wailing…

Bringing tears to the strongest,

Cries of forgiveness from those who sinned.

For the Tunnels make all men mortal again.

 

In the towns that were made,

Steel latched to the stone, girders afloat.

Women glance from the windows, down towards the pits.

Where the men work, sweat and steam – ingrained.

Bones aching – the simple desire to live.

 

All whilst the ground above remains unseen;

People tell stories of the sky and the sea,

Slipping over into sleep, dreaming of colour vividly.

Where once there was red and blue,

Replaced by replications of grey and brown.

 

Complex in the way the mind works,

Trapped down there, formicary in the making.

No names – why should one be named?

In such darkness, individuality is cast aside.

Little distinction between the living, the dying, and the dead.

 

People driven to insanity by what might have been.

Life in the Tunnels, an all-consuming conviction.

Freedom a pipe-dream – jumbled dreams, blinding reality.

 

Some believe in what the Tellers tell;

A kingdom beyond the tunnels, beyond the boundary.

Lands of colour, love, and elated living.

But they are fables only, preached and sold,

To the weakest, the riddled, and the old…

 

The damned know that this is their world now;

Life lived in sullen, contemptuous, foreboding darkness.

Bitterness rushing through every beating heart.

Skin translucent after countless ages.

 

Most, they lay in wait for their yearned after Saviour.

An image, a spectre – hallucinatory at best.

Inaction in the hands of all those that mindlessly wander.

The Tunnels – they boast only two clear directions.

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