Under the Dark, Dreary Night

Night-light rains down in the field of wolves,

Their names called, summoned at once.

Crying and screaming, the masses run,

From the beasts – the savages.

 

Bottle in hand, legs afloat,

Climbing trees – falling into heavy arms –

Strangers arms, unwelcome by the recipient.

Heart breaking, secluded to the dark beside stone walls.

 

Ground-worms, the eerie winds of euphoric glass.

In the trailer, painfully few beside;

Outside, the golden world goes on,

Laughter, chaos, the hugs of youthful sentiment.

 

The Forgotten, the Shadows in no light,

Weaving like willow around stronger trunks;

In the chinks and the chimes-

Kissing, looked on upon with bleakness of vacuum.

 

So, the bottles are empty;

A world turned hazy with grim solitude.

Nothing before. Nothing after.

What had I been expecting, a change in base temperature?

 

Morning light, and lingered pride,

Loving all around, but honestly, nothing inside.

Taken home, forgotten thoughts-

Trying to forget.

 

Images of possibility,

Voices that could have been, and might have been,

If only it weren’t for battered sanity.

Some things are never.

Tiny Stories – Beside Broken Memories

Beside Broken Memories


It was a chilly day in the depths of winter, made even colder by the mist that rose from the banks of the nearby river. I liked mornings like this, the calmness of them, the even tone that seemed to ruminate through each breeze. Even here in the country, where this was an entirely average January day, there seemed to be something special about it. I saw it in the way the grass held itself, frost clinging to it. And in the way the birds swooped throughout the air, as if it wasn’t there at all. It was almost something you can touch. That elusive force that holds all things together, from the highest reaches of the sky, to the depths of our freezing river. I’m not talking about gravity, or dark matter – nothing like that. But, something less defined, something that doesn’t have numerical values, or written rules to abide by. A malleable effect, constantly changing to the shape of the world. It’s strange that, isn’t it?

“Frederich, here!” I shouted, as Frederich, my little Spaniel launched himself into the freezing water.

He ran over to me, soaking wet, muddy, and panting. “Yeah, yeah, I get it, you like water.”Read More »

To Unseen Lands we Run

Whilst the days moan and the fickle moon wanes,

All across the barren, wasted, sun-dried grasslands.

Dire need for water, and dire need for strength.

Clinging, grasping, relying until we touch our dream.

 

Hold me near, hand locked within hand.

And believe me, nothing comes close to you beneath the sun.

 

Our lips are cracked, and our minds clouded,

Yet, we persevere –

In search of rivers, and where the trees rise from the land.

 

From some distant kingdom, the fresh breeze blows,

Reminding, that youth and readiness both come and go.

For what of that smooth skin, and that relentless drive.

Manifesting, in private thoughts, passions alike;

Burning, and coming alive, with soulless strife.

 

Countless nights are challenged, moonlight raining down.

Body heat, it’s our lifeline.

Trying to keep eyes closed amidst the howls and the hoots.

Trying to remain civil where there is no room for error.

 

Though, through such adversity, pierces hope;

A hope we carry on every part of our thin bodies.

One we use as a brace,

Imbuing us with the effort to be driven on,

To take that next step onto the same dry grass.

For one day, we will witness green.

Tiny Stories – Revelations From the Depths

*A little later than promised, but hey, it’s here….

Revelations From the Depths


Across the lake, the sun was beginning to set. Slowly, the sky changed from a pale yellow to a deepening orange. It glinted from the very points of the ripples, casting rays in all directions, illuminating the water in exotic colours.

Across, towards the other bank, the land rose sharply, covered in a thick layer of deep-green fir trees. As I bobbed up and down in the tiny rowing boat, the distance between there and here seemed immense, unfathomable. It was as though the water stretched outwards almost indefinitely, as if its end – the sandy banks, were nothing more than an illusion that one could never dream of reaching.

The resistance of the water pushed back against my palms, as my hands did well-practiced semi-circles, grasping the oars, pushing the tiny craft onwards. I cut my way through the orange water, headed towards the far Eastern point of the lake where it thinned and morphed into the outgoing river. There, the waters became shallow. Reeds and numerous other aquatic plants burst through the surface. Above the faint sound of running of water, the beating of dragonflies’ wings could be heard – darting gracefully from one perch to the next.

I stopped rowing, and brought the oars to rest on the damp bottom of the boat. I let my mind wander, from the farthest bank, to the nearest water lily, all the way to the sun, and back to the rippling water. The boat slowly drifted towards the mouth of the river, though, the motion was almost imperceptible – like a slow rocking, cradling me, ushering me into relaxing pastures. I let it happen, as my body forgave its rigidity, as my breaths slowed, as all my worries seemed to evaporate and become caught in the gentle Autumn breeze; carried away to distant lands, to be noticed by nobody.

Read More »

Two Hands, Two Tools, Two Killers

Two Hands, Two Tools, Two Killers


It was cold. I couldn’t feel my legs beneath the mud, beneath the sludge, beneath the weight of the world bearing down on them.

In my right hand I held my rifle – I could just feel the inscription I’d made into the wood, ‘PeaceMaker,’ it said. The irony, the cold-hearted humour of it, it wasn’t something I cared about anymore, I felt nothing for it. It was just there, in the same way many things were. My other hand, wrapped in gauze, pushed in Isaac’s gut in an attempt to stop blood that flowed from a bullet-wound in waves. Whilst peering over the ridge of our foxhole, I attempted to stuff more gauze into his jacket, into the wound itself. But, even then, I knew it was useless, that it only served to satisfy a dying part of myself – for he was already dead.

Pulling my hand away in a mass of sticky blood, I grabbed the remainder of his ammunition, his two grenades, and stuffed them into any remaining pockets of my own. He needed them no longer. It was the last thing he could do for me.

As I wrapped the bloodied hand around the wood of my rifle, a deep sadness arose. Not the kind that you instantly feel, nor feel in any true sense at all, but one that you just notice in all its pain, acknowledge its harrowing existence. I wanted to feel more, but after a year of this, I was asking a little too much of myself. I had been hulled of feeling, on some days even of compassion.

I laid the back of my hand on the freezing mud, and steadied the rifle. Slowly I scanned the misty forest; or maybe it was smoke, I wasn’t sure anymore. Behind a towering sycamore, a hundred-feet-or-so away, something shifted, trembling like a spectre in my half-vision, twinkling like a tracer round darting through the night. I put my eye to the sight, lining up the tree, and the glinting. My finger slid from the wood, and onto the cold metal of the trigger. This, it was what I lived for, this was my sole purpose of existence; a soldier, a killing machine, a pawn for the elite. Everything else I once was had melted away, leaving the husk of something unrecognisable behind. The worst part… it no longer scared me.

I saw a flash of green and grey. I pulled the trigger. The stock threw my shoulder back. It deafened me. The shot echoed around the forest and the surrounding valley, amidst many others. Then, I heard a scream – a gurgling of sorts. It was a sound I had listened to many times before, the sound of a man dying, not quickly but slowly. It was something I had knowingly inflicted many times. Both when my own life was in imminent danger, and when it was not. Neither was easier to begin with. But the killing of men, of people, had turned into something of a reflex, and nothing more. There were no tears. No sympathy. Nothing. I was the perfect soldier.

I looked to my left, where Isaac’s body was slowly turning cold. I had known him only a few days, I suppose that helped. Nonetheless, the view had become part of my daily scenery. One soaked in mud and blood. One that was cacophonous, insane. The trouble was, after a while, insanity become normality. Beyond, it is the normality that takes on a different meaning, one that is not so easy to get used to.

Once again, I leaned my head down and sighted my rifle, scanning the woods for any movement – anything I could put a bullet through. I felt the cold, and the wind, and the chill of snow in the air. Yet, I felt nothing in the killing of men.

And so, the days went by, one after the next. Soon I lost count, both of the days, and of the men I brought to earth within those days. Time, it had no end, nor any beginning. Everything was immeasurable, uncountable. That world, it turned me into something not entirely human. Something that couldn’t be given a name.

A Month of Meditation

So… I’ve been meditating for a month, give or take a few days. I think I missed Christmas, but that’s allowed isn’t it? (Shhh, yes, it is!)

I didn’t know what to expect. And well… I still don’t. It would be silly to say I am a different person, it would be silly to say I’ve changed a noticeable amount at all. As with most things – for right, or wrong – I went into it without any expectations, without any preconceptions of what might happen, of what I might feel. Do I feel different, maybe not. Though, I have come to realise that is not the purpose of it anyway. Not to get fixated on the end-game, or the result – but to acknowledge the journey, and what the act of it in itself might one day achieve.

On some days I don’t feel like meditating. Maybe that’s because it has not yet become habit, entwined within my routine – maybe it is something else, a resistance to myself, a lingering servitude to some darker thought. Does it really matter? I tell myself to do it, to sit down for fifteen or twenty minutes, to walk along the path to finding a more in-touch version of myself. Because one day I know it will pay off.

One of my main motivations is, for those of you who don’t know, to overcome my fairly debilitating Social Anxiety. The one that caused me to run away from university after a week. Just remembering back to late September is painful. So, I await this year’s September for when I return. For when I integrate into society after being institutionalised within the catacombs of my own anxious, depressed mind.

I’ll take any help I can stumble upon – meditation being just one thing! Because I have realised it is not the time to live life in the gutter of self-hatred, in the lake of resignation, on the island of utter loneliness.

So, here’s to better times, and to better minds.

-Chris ❤

Noam Chomsky, Mince Pies, and Anne Frank

Noam Chomsky, Mince Pies, and Anne Frank


“What do you think the meaning of life is?” Emmy asks.

I stare at her, watching the cigarette stuck between her lips slowly burn down as she pondered this herself.

“I haven’t ever given it much thought,” I say.

“Do you not think it is the kind of question that demands significant thought?”

“Maybe so… though, even if we found an answer, do you really think it would make a difference to anything, to our daily lives?”

“I don’t know. Maybe then, all those little problems we have might seem less significant, they might take up less time than they currently do? What do you think?”

“I guess we can never know whichever way?”

“Why’s that?” She asks, taking a long drag on her cigarette.

“Because it would be foolish to think we are going to stumble on the meaning of life anytime soon. We don’t even know what we are looking for, nor what shape of form it comes in. And then, even if we did manage to find something, it would be impossible for all people to agree on that one thing.”

She tilts her head. “I suppose you are right…”

“Maybe it’s not all bad, though.”

“How come?”

“We could attempt to find a… more inclusive meaning, you know, for our own lives?”

“Alright then, what’s your reason, for living?”

I think about this, put on the spot, it is not as easy as it may first seem. “There are many things… you of course,” Emmy glances at me and smiles. “And, there are books, and happiness, love, coffee, mince pies, sex, Noam Chomsky, candles… and I would say death too.”

Emmy grunts, “death?”

“Why not?” I say. “We celebrate living, what about death? Sitting at the end of all things, I suppose it feels mightily lonely.”

She shrugs, and smiles a little more.

“So, how about you?” I ask.

“Well, of course there is you too,” this time I smile. “Beyond that… barbeques maybe, cereal bars, Anne Frank, The Walking Dead. Oh… and of course, the sex.”

“Can’t say it’s a terrible mix,” I laugh.

I head to the fridge, pull out two beers, and hand her one. She stubs out what remains of the cigarette and takes a long swig, inspecting the half-empty bottle afterwards.

“So, what do you want to do tomorrow?” She asks.

“I could make breakfast, then we could go for a stroll, and then the cinema later on?”

She shrugs. “Sure, why not?”

We both empty the beers, sit back, and stare at each other. The only things we feel and know for certain, are the smiles on our faces.