Looking back on the silence  

that defined the last ten years,  

the stillness that echoed,  

the lifeless status quo  

like the arthritic five fingers 

of the first line of a terrible  

haiku, I wonder how I endured 

the passage of time, day shifting  

into another day without  

anything significant happening 

except perhaps blades of anxiety  

cutting deeper. I’ve lived like a  

hermit or worse, like a demon  

society exorcised and then confined 

to a gloomy dungeon. My tears 

are dry, my penitence a hollow 

whisper, my purpose washed away  

by ashen rivers. Everything’s grey  

and though I tell myself things  

will get better, those words are  

empty like the promises people 

make, light as a feather, blown  

away by the weakest zephyr.  

They could throw me in solitary 

confinement and it wouldn’t be  

a change. I already have nothing  

except my dull apartment,  

my brokenness, my medication,  

and my cigarettes. I don’t know how 

they do it, how they get out there  

and create a life because living  

to me is merely existing in shattered places  

where the trumpets play off-key,  

atonal, shrieky cacophonies  

and the stars above look like 

off-white, minuscule, cardboard  

cutouts reminding me of ugly  

ribbons on a bleached Christmas  


Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

3 responses to “Ashen”

  1. Powerful! The images stick! 👏👏


  2. Great to have you back

    Liked by 1 person

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About Me

Ordinary Person is a guy who likes to write. He writes fiction, essays, poems and other stuff.


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