We walk, and we carry on walking across the lengths of this desolate world. Counting the stars and the steps taken, blistered feet and weathered minds. Something whispers in our ears during those cold, shivering nights; when the winds howl and the true wild sleeps. Bodies close, resting together, living as one like an ant colony. Needing the heat and needing to acknowledge those distinctive, most personal leads. There are days when the sun pours down, and days when the steaming rain beats silt and sand. Looking to the horizon and into the deep valleys – onwards towards an outpost, hope in hand of the life that might dutifully follow. For we live in desperate, yet revered hope.
Blasting through the desolate cosmos,
Destination, unseen – unheard.
Life on the edge – vanguard to the posturing elite.
Shrimps drifting through the black mass,
Unable to witness the gleam of stars,
Unable to sing, and to laugh – exiles;
Living amongst the ice,
And encased in the shields that
Fail to falter and blink.
Languid in eternal, light-less sleep.
Craving all we cannot have,
Free movement, and happiness, and love.
Under the hammer,
Pressure beating like that at the core of a star;
We cannot move.
We cannot hold;
Those nearest – simple acts overlooked.
Separated by countless light years,
Galaxies spanning the indeterminable void.
One day, maybe we will arrive,
Pioneers, starting over – another try.
A time when we can hold, touch,
And linger in the soothing heat of close bodies,
The promise of warmth and intimate pleasure;
Sleep, with dreams, and fleeting images of the past,
Ushering us along
Towards a mirage that shimmers
All along the boundary, eclipsed by only vision.
Some day we will exit this relentless purgatory.
Some day we will kiss, and make love,
And bathe in the beauty of re-kindled humanity;
As we sail, and as we drift,
Living – but just for the moment,
On the cusp.
Leaving behind home – some home, at least.
Backpack, scarf, and winter coat,
Alone and youthful
In the desolate Wilderness.
Bare feet on the bitter frost,
Not a moment passing, without glancing back,
Watchful of what might come running
From the ravenous purgatory of the far North,
In search of forgone humanity.
Crossed raging rivers, and traversed flats,
Into the distance, wanting – needing
To touch frail skin, and linger in the essence,
The sweetness, and the rare euphoria
Yet, my feet, they sink too deep.
So, maybe I don’t truly want to witness
What awaits beyond the decadent Wilderness.
Beyond the air of Death Roses,
And the scent of age-old ash in the choking breeze.
You wonder… why now,
And why here… why just me?
Staring into the bleak divide – the line,
Wondering if it is a sin to see;
If life might just get a chance to freely speak.
Across the mountains,
Along the coasts of seas’,
Where whale song once bellowed,
And where men were brought to their battered knees.
I tread the lines,
Paths not taken for untold millenia.
All for touch, and all for sense?
Driven to the ends of the land, through basic intent,
With the need to lay hand upon skin-
Hear a voice whisper beside me-
Share a bed that has always been for one.
Until then, the Clouded Sun can wait.
“There’s no light in the world, no salvation or remorse for our situation. We have carefully crafted this shit-filled biosphere we live in. We have built this stockade of mislead humanity through our evil and selfish actions. And now we are paying the price; or, at the very least, the people of Ashen are. And that is enough for me to see no hope. For hope to be a feeble concept, without a backbone, and without anything driving it forward.”
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.
Across The Dust
It’s been a very long time. My beard is long, my hair touches my shoulders in a tangled mess, and my body itches and stinks with retched uncleanliness.
But I do not care. I am beyond caring. That passed many months ago, as I realised what a shit-pit I now exist within.
Dawn breaks through the window. The early sun gleams and glints from the dust particles in the air, turning everything a deep shade of red. It is like this every morning – how long has it been now? Ten months? A year? More? It’s impossible to tell.
At the beginning I scratched the passing days onto the bare metal of the unit I live within, but soon, the days became lost, mingling with one another, until all I could measure time by, was the rising and the setting of the sun. Even that seems so inconsistent. A week seems like a day, and a day like a week. I have no point of reference, nothing to grasp hold of, nothing to direct me towards any type of goal.
I am a man, stuck in a metal box, on the surface of Mars – alone…
I pick up the radio transmitter on the desk in front of the window. I press it, and it beeps. “This is Nigel Warren of expedition Alpha 16. To anyone receiving, contact the European Space Agency, advising them that I am still alive within prototype habitat unit B3… Over and out…”
Him, and him alone.
Wandering the streets of long ago.
Stranded in this world which he calls home.
Everything regarded as a potential foe.
It is in this he sees no humanity.
Seeking friends on this lonely day.
Resisting against the pull of insanity.
Wondering if a star might guide his way.
The owls, they shriek at night.
The crows caw throughout the day.
He thinks, do they even feel fright?
What about the creatures they soullessly slay?
For he remembers, he has killed a man.
It was in self defence, he relentlessly insists.
From this, and his past, he ran;
To join the fight and enlist.
He saw no hope in those dear men.
Those that life tainted to the very core.
Should he remember this again and again?
Or wish that he, himself, was no more…