Souls of Lament

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
One out of three poems I had to write for an English Literature assignment last year in year 11.

Souls of Lament, in traditional poetic prose fashion, comments on various issues in today’s society affecting people of all ages including the effects of depression, guilt, child abuse and intolerance towards homosexuality. As prose poetry is similar to free verse in the sense that it lacks a predetermined structure and rhyming scheme and instead trades it for a focus on dramatic and emotional narrative, I feel like I have achieved imitating the genre to a considerable extent. I’ve also used a small portion of repetition to keep the poem from wondering completely into only prose form. By comparing the stories of three lost souls on the verge of suicide and by using dark, sometimes violent and depressing language and vocabulary, I created an initial feeling of hopelessness that, by the end of poem, made way for conclusions that provided both relief and amazement at the potential in love to save human lives and end universal sadness.

Submitted: January 02, 2012

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Submitted: January 02, 2012




There’s a girl sitting in the alley behind her suburban home, her back against the wall and her feet square and drenched in a black puddle. It’s been raining all her life. She’s been lonely and unloved, destined for ridicule even in death for loving someone they say she shouldn’t. The razor of that final hope trembles in her hand, a key to freedom from the prison of her own mind. Or a one-way ticket to Satan’s righteous chambers. It’s been raining all her life and she’s drowning, so how much worse could it be?

There’s a boy in the bathroom of his local BP on Dead End Avenue, clawing at his wrists and crying out like never before. He scribbles a note on the wall, the writing steady but the words dripping through hidden cracks that no one ever bothered to look for. The blackening bruises of his eyes, like dark craters on a child’s mask, pulse like the anger fuelled trembling of his drunken father, cane in hand and hate in heart.

There’s a man on a ledge of a skyscraper in a bustling city for the blind and senseless – the human metropolis. He can’t see a way down now, he’s far too high. He’s far too dead for the friends who tore away into the buzzing blur of the streets as he fell into gutters. The streets – circus tracks of neon lights and stolen souls, too innocent to live and too unlucky to be alive now. A fateful night that rings like the echoing scream of its burning victims, Luke and Lucy Childs, pronounced dead at 8:42PM, the coldest night before. His own.

Three dwindling souls, wandering the abyss of a hopeless defeat. They are close to the beginning of their end, fading flowers in a field of thorns and weeds. Overlooked and unattended. Near colourless now. But -

The light in the alley flickers for generations. The security light that’s programmed to keep her safe from the intruders and evils of the outside world now beams into her core. “Cindy don’t. I love you”. The angel of her fantasies, of her throbbing heart and suffocation. It’s her. She loves her and flies forward and they melt into each other, like long lived Christmas candles. The light is on them and the puddle dries. Dries as the two girls kiss.

There’s a knock on the cubicle door. Slow and soft echoes that are nothing like ones in his nightmares. His helpless, shaking hand reaches for the handle. They’re brash and bloodied, a grimy mirror of the fathers. He pushes it open. His body, drained from blood and weak with pain, forces itself forward. His arms, powered by an inconceivable strength, embraces the nimble figure of his younger brother, the brightest lantern of the set. “I’m sorry, I’m here for you” – for him. The hurt and the anguish – for him.

Down below, the lights and sounds blur into one, like an ocean of screeching metal bodies and drums – loud and hollow drums.  He wants to fall, for a moment, a guiltless eagle through the wind. An airborne tiger, unreachable, unhunted and untamed. As said moment peaks, the clouds break in sudden draughts and scatter into blue skies. The warmth of the sun and the universe streaks above the backfire of the lower broken streets. And then, with the golden orb of all on his face and in his eyes and the glistening peaks of distant mountain tops, life is achieved for a little while longer - a brief eclipse of humanity casts over the fields. A heavenly hand reaches down to tend to its blooming children. 


By David Kavanagh

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