At first the quiet before the storm, the waiting, the hiding, biding their time, hidden behind the silence.
Until at last the storm comes, and in the blissful chaos, the unknown fate of the sleeping watchful hours appears.
Then like tendrils, come the silent shadows, searching slowly, time, so inconsequential to them, as they flow softly, smoothly, towards me.
The shadows reach for me, try to crowd me, im theirs, they claim me, embrace me in such solemn surrender.
Do I welcome such an undislosed fate, such an unknown end?
and yet, is it relief, a final pardon, from the crazed life I endure?
Or is the worse still to come, worse even than the dischordant battle that wages within my shattered soul, the fragmented pieces of my dying essence?
And so as the shadows enfold me further, I cry, oh how I cry for help,
but still, silence, for I alone must face this,
my call falls upon ears that are deaf, are heard by those who can do nothing.
those who care, watch in silent horror, helpless as I hopelessly struggle against those morbid bonds.
They are powerless as i am engulfed, for they cannot help me, not with this, for this is mine, and mine alone.
And still the unquiet tumult of my inner demons, as they fight tooth and claw,
desperate to gain the prize they have contested for so many dark years,
and I know that the price I must pay, is one that has been bruised and broken,
for the price is my soul, my very being.
Through the chaos one thing shines clear, emerging through the clouded remnants of my former self.
I cannot win, this war will claim me,
for how can i fight it, when i know not which is me, and which is but the ghastly manifestation,
of yet one more tempestuous demon, rising to the surface once more.
How can I resist, how can I contest for my soul, when I do not know whether my perception is of me, or of a mask?
For I have hidden, sheltered and imprisoned behind these walls of lies so long, that, I fear what nature of thing they may conceal.
So as these dark arms, the grasp of such an unknown stretch out towards me,
can I be blamed if I falter? caught between such abstract fear, and such joyous hope?
and yet what holds me back?
faith? the desperate anguish ridden faces of those few who care?
No, for it is of me in origin, it is the coward within, emerging in ghostly apparition.
And so fear overrides hope, I run, I run, Oh how I run. fleeing the clouds of death,
and yet, once more I stop, I hear the jeering, the mocking, scornful laughter of humanity.
The flow of spiteful hatred that runs deep within the veins of great monster that is humanity,
bleeding into them from life itself.
And yet among them is myself, and still the internal conflict wages,
the coward toppled, replaced first by dignity, then by shame, pride then self-loathing.
But which, which is me, none, all, some? I know not.
For I am the biggest hypocrite, betraying myself with thought, with word, forsaken by my own actions and inactions.
My life of true hypocrisy rings hollow, a void.
If my life is without substance now, what have I too lose?
What have I to fear from the majestic shroud, and what it may conceal?
The rippling veil that threatens to break my defences and encompass me.
So again, in wretched form, I stumble, inching closer,
then I see the poor wretched faces of the faithful watchers, streaked with tears, like blooded rivers.
The final charge, a desperate surge, not from me but from within, as once more I stop.
loved from the outside, loathed from within, I have no choice,
For as life throws me, once more, no favours then, no favours now,
I fall to my knees, crying softly to myself, as I whisper, pleading,
still whispering to the impenetrable mist, not knowing what I seek anymore.
And gently, slowly, gracefully, the struggle stops within me, the quiet once more,
as I dream once more, that most blissful dream, alone, looking to the night sky,
losing myself amongst the oh so free stars,
I smile, and step into the dark.
© Copyright 2016 Francis Berryman. All rights reserved.
Book / Science Fiction
Short Story / War and Military
Poem / Romance
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