Charcoal

Every Saturday, her dad
Would grill in their backyard;
With charcoal hot on cinder blocks,
While she kept watch and guard.

And savory and sapid-sweet
Were those times without care;
Until the day the grill went cold,
And her dad wasn’t there.

See, no one lit those coals again,
Although she looked in vain;
In bars and underneath soft sheets
She sought that taste again.

She could not find her lost charcoal;
Her desperate search – no trace –
Till she woke in a small white room
With charcoal on her face

No Matter

(Trigger warning: attempted suicide. – Owen)



The lights in that apartment
Turned every night
Into a lonely night

There were also other lights:
Neon lights a block away,
Where drunken men and women
We’re getting together at the bars
Or on the dance floors

50 yards from them,
65 yards from the ocean,
I discovered:
No matter how much
Companies individually wrapped
Sleeping pills

I could still swallow all of them



(Those were dark times for me. – Owen)

Old Poem, Written Age 26

When I was just a little boy
A certain prayer I said;
To shield me from the scary things
Before I went to bed

I hear the words, but cannot find
What I felt with that prayer:
If I should die before I wake
I really
Just don’t
Care
 


 

(“Old Poem, Written Age 26” – 10-20-1988)

Nightscape

Some people say that where they are
Is where they’re meant to be;
For years, I never understood –
Those comments puzzled me

Sometimes, you’re down and desperate,
As I was, long ago:
I saw no reason at the time
Why it needs must be so

For almost thirty years ago
I tried to end my life;
I never would have known my kids
My grandchildren, my wife –

I never would have typed these words
That you are reading now;
I would have been a nobody,
A nothing. A no how —

I couldn’t find a reason,
Couldn’t generate a spark
To see me through the nightscape;
Through the hopeless, whirling dark

But somehow, day led on to day;
And I regained my voice.
Then I decided living
Was my only living choice

I do not know where you might be,
How your life’s filled with pain;
I do not know the grief you’ve felt,
And that, I will not feign —

But this I tell you, reading friend:
There is, most times, a light:
So you can climb the hill ahead,
And fear
No more
The night
 


 

(“Nightscape” – 7-1-2015)

That Day

The rare prose piece from back before this blog focused on poetry. – Owen

The rare prose piece from back before this blog focused on poetry. – Owen


I can still clearly picture the events of that day.

It was a little after lunch when they sent me home from work. It was April, beautiful and bright where I lived, just a hundred yards are so from the white sands of the northwest Florida beaches. I came in to the apartment and put some food and water down for my cat. The beautiful calico stood up on the edge of my dresser for me to pet her as I removed the keys and wallet from my pockets.

I went from there to the medicine cabinet, where I had filled two bottles with sleeping pills, each carefully removed from their individual wrappers for this day’s use. I left no note; I didn’t care. The world was only nothingness, and into nothingness I would go.

After swallowing as many as I could without throwing up, I lay down like Socrates waiting for the potion to work its magic. I put music on as my cat stood on my headboard looking down on me with pity:

The blinds were drawn: I lived alone, no one (except the landlord) had a key to the place. My parents lived twenty miles away and we often went weeks without calling. I had no girlfriend and all my close friends had moved away. I was sick: I’d been sick for years and I was tired of being alone.

I would say I was tired of feeling like I deserved to be alone, but the truth is, I felt nothing whatsoever. No anger, no regret, no … nothing. I felt nothing.

Like the singers in the choral music piece playing at the time, I asked God (who I didn’t believe in) to have mercy on my soul.

And the world went dark…

A Crystallized Memory

This is in answer to a question asked by another blogger. – Owen

(This is in answer to a question asked by another blogger. – Owen)

Strange Remembrance

I woke one night and thought I was at home.
The crack beneath the door let through the light –
A shadow then: my dad, perhaps my mom –
I lay there puzzled; something wasn’t right —

My eyes adjusted to the dim-lit gray,
I saw the other bed, the sleeping form;
I knew this wasn’t any home I’d known,
Nor was it college – this was not a dorm –

And in the dark, I realized that I
Had tried kill myself, and so was here;
The rooms weren’t padded, like they were at first,
This was the mental ward, first floor, third tier —

But through my drug-filled haze, I had a thought:
I ought to leave this place
I really ought

A Prayer For Purpose

Bedford Falls

I don’t live in Bedford Falls
And so I cannot see
How everything would be if there
Had never been a “me”

At times I’ve felt most keenly
I would like my life to end;
At other times, I felt nothing
Except, without a friend

In this, I find, I’m not alone
It is a common case
That we feel isolated in
Our time, and in our space

And wonder what our purpose is
And why we feel so sad
And why each brand new promise seems
To turn out very bad

And yet, I still feel underneath
Down deeply at my core
That there must be a something
That we each are striving for

So help me, please, to view
Beyond the daily, constant strife
That I might find my “why”, and see
It is
A wonderful
Life