A temporary state

Have you ever found yourself in a very dark place
I don't mean one outside the sphere of your influence
but one without the scant comfort of blamelessness
where what is happening is solely a consequence
of action or at least some inaction on your own part

Have you found yourself in such a place as this
where even the walls echo shouts of accusation
this is your own doing ... own doing ... own doing
and candlelight throws flickering shadows of doubt
upon the walls dripping slow tracks of aged tears

I wander among the stalagnites, the stalegtights
I can't remember the difference between these two
but the colours, the blues, the transulscent greens
the channels of deep despair written clear here
beneath the transience of my soft lingering touch

Some places touch you with a sense of such history
a knowledge of ancient damaged broken hearted souls
who wander aimlessly through these hallowed halls
of life's own creation, all those sacred memories
of a time before even the knowledge of time began

Gathering, piled like rustling leaves in a quiet corner
away from the blistering howling then whispering wind
useless is acknowledged knowledge of what should be done
against this self loathing, a raging fire burning bright
consuming will, demeaning any kind of resolution

This is what I mean when I say a very dark place
a desolate destination arrived at by my own hand
and so much the worse for that, for the blame, the shame
of knowing better but allowing this to get the better of me
of a dependance on an addiction unsolved as yet

Smoke and Mirrors

After all it's just smoke and mirrors
scattered thoughts shattered hopes
lost in the tangled twisted branches
found only in the depths of the forest
far from your eyes, from the open skies
almost out of sight of even my own seeing

Why do I wander off the path at all
knowing as I do the danger, the allure
the drawing in to the heart of the forest
where the dappled light has a dark tinge
and the path tapers off to nothingness
leaving me no sense of direction or time

And time is passing in ways not usual
dulled as the canopy hides the setting sun
or the rising moon for I can see neither
as I circle about in the deepening gloom
turning glass into bottle and then into two
with determination to obliterate thought

To run from an awareness of one's self
is a form of madness that takes practice
which is one thing I've had plenty of
arrogant pride in my ability to hide
and indulge again in this wasteful place
back amongst the deceptive lies of my heart

The branches here offer such strange comfort
a seeming embrace, a yielding roughness
a familiar feel of silent recrimination
a smell of rot that reminds me of myself
and returns me to some semblance of sense
seeing clearly despite the inky blackness

That the heart of the forest is heartless
a deep well in which to sink our own despair
thinking that we're leaving ourselves behind
only to catch sight of our own reflection
it seems smoke and mirrors only do so much
fleeing into this heart takes it's own toll

A gloom can seem even darker than it is
the entanglement of branches binding us
and yet this illusion is just more smoke
even reflections can be deceptive at best
this person in the mirror is the lost one
dark eyes speaking wetly into the silence

I have been a forest dweller for too long
wasted many days wandering in the depths
taking myself away from the person that I am
or could be if only I stay under open skies
not hidden away but seeing and being seen
sunrise comes to steal this darkness away


How does one find any kind of faith in the hour
of someone else's urgent deepest need
of what benefit are my faithless prayers
said in yearning hope rather than conviction

Is it the futility of hope against the inevitability of fate
or does earnest prayer tip the balance in any way
anyway, I have been re-learning the art of prayer
not hard you might think, after all it's just words

But prayer for me is essentially an act of faith
and faith is something I find I have in short supply
but in the absense of concrete ways to offer help
I resort to applying myself to this simple task

Ambivalent if only because of the deep injustice
of seeing one person bearing the burden of many
of seeing misfortune piling higher each day
eroding hope, despite heroic laughter after tears

Aware once more that lifetimes are so short
when measured against the yardstick of infinity
that my perception of injustice and unfairness
is also my ignorance in the face of omniscience

And so it is that faith flickers on in my soul
enabling entreaty, conferring grace and hope
asking only that the unendurable be lifted
that strength be given to bear what can't be borne

Healing, can I ask this if it's on behalf of another
if I only get one wish it would have to be this
if you can create does it mean you can re-create
actually I don't really mean can you, but will you

Will it be too much to ask that you are where I cannot be
holding her hand and the hands of those she loves
if I cannot be there to share in the fire walk
will you hold them up, provide courage in the flames

Safely guiding them through the darkest of times
binding them tightly to you and to each other
the faint flicker of faith is still alight here in me
so I hold her in my heart as I say another prayer

I could rail against a God who lets this happen
curse him or her all the way to hell and back
... and I have, far too many times to mention
but when I ask on anothers behalf it's different

I made a promise that I would pray every day, so I do
faithfully praying for more faith to pray for miracles
faithfully praying that miracles happen for these few
wishing it with all my might, with all my heart

Renee I love you too. xx Jos

Hope against hope

Sometimes I can't think what to say, what will help
even knowing the way it is when you're stuck there
under the dark clouds, feeling the lethargy, apathy
the hammering of self judgement knocking loudly
telling you repeatedly that you're useless worthless
and any small effort you make will never be enough

If I tell you positive things you might just raise a smile
but fundamentally the change comes from within
so anything I say can only ever have little effect
except to let you know that despite how this feels
despite the deep aloneness that comes with these clouds
you are not alone, I am with you, right beside you

And the reason you can't see me is no reason at all
I am here and you are there but I am also there
in that I have sat or lain under the same dark skies
feeling the hollowness that comes with the wind
numbing my mind, turning me inwards onto myself
blocking my view of the outer world altogether

Oh god and the tiredness, the bone aching exhaustion
of dragging yourself through the bare minimum tasks
of washing dressing eating walking talking ... doing
wading through the treacle of everyday existence
waiting for the chance to climb in under the duvet
hiding in slumber from the wastelands of my life

There will always be that temptation won't there
to take up again the medication that alters temporarily
these bottles with no prescription label, liquid oblivion
taking you away to a place removed from reality
rocking you gently in it's seemingly safe embrace
come the morning the mirror tells it's own tale

Come the morning comes also the terrible knowledge
of an addiction fed once more, the clouds descend
ever closer enveloping, swirling within our nausea
as the self loathing rears up to engulf us once more
the descent seems almost inevitable from this point
is there any spark of hope in this dark soulless place

And so it is that I come to write to you now my friend
to talk once again of the nature of hope against hope
the wisdom I share is not my own, although I own it now
but passed to me in a time of my own deep need
in the safe knowledge that although it might take time
I would should the opportunity arise return the favour

Perhaps hope seems elusive because it is too close to see
is it possible do you think that the answer lies within
if you consider even the remotest chance that I'm right
you might well stumble across a crumb barely recognised
for this crumb born of my distraction is a tiny kernel
from which I'm sure hope might be nurtured to grow

How is it that I know or suspect the answer lies within
do you not remember the day not so very long ago
when you told me that these things pass, always do
three words then two that I took inside and grew
from five words to this, my inadequate gift back to you
in the hope that you will at least find some comfort here

We talked some time ago about a sunny green hillside
a quiet place just beyond the outer edge of the storms
found by plodding face towards the gale force winds
finding strength on strengthless days for just one step
the next day two, my friend these things do pass
steps that might seem aimless lead somewhere else

Somewhere else doesn't sound all that safe does it
ah, but I can't promise a safe haven or sunny hillsides
but I can wish, I can hope, I can wait there for you
if I walk towards you how close will I have to be
before you see me, before you feel a spark of hope
shall we see, can you see me yet ... how about now?