“my before” Dark Poetry by Stephen House

i find the courage 
and go to the place of my before 

breathe deep 
as i cross industrial wastelands
as smoky grit envelopes me 
blizzards spew trauma in my mouth and eyes 
and speeding desperados calling mean 
hurl toxic glares in my anxious path

i pass naked seekers 
gathered at dark tunnels 
gesturing me back in to game the play 
ignore lurking leering ghosts 
who spin at me with dancing need 

i flee from where i dwelt in trap 
but now leave near behind

he is sitting in an empty shrine 
outside a shut-down city
on his garbage-strewn way 
footpath couch beside him
smoking magic 
and sipping on a warm can of lust 
in watching a scrawny creature 
picking through an overflowing bin 

i sit next to him
i came back to see you i whisper 
he offers me a puff of green 
i shake my head in no
i need to ask you 
why you never tried to show me 
why it was left to me 
to escape the nowhere hole
to see if any strength to run remained
to discover that absent willpower 
i could never gather up
to know if i was more than me 
and the chaos i sucked in daily 
i want to know why you didn’t show me 
what and who it was 

he stands and paces 
bangs his hand 
on burning prayer graffiti walls 

stop avoiding true and tell me why 
i shout in pleading cry

he ends his racket 
and slumps to ground 

we watch the creature rip apart 
a wasted dream 
it’s dragged from the bin 
eyes glazed 
as greedy mouth gulps perished now
slimy blood of once 
spilling over all that never bloomed  

he looks into my face 
and i sense a sadness so real
i see someone i have never seen before 

i don’t know why i didn’t give you 
when and why you were 
he mutters
as the creature skulks away 
with fear remains 
dribbling messy trail 

i stand and look up 
to a smiling just realised sky 

and stepping gently away 
from where i never began
i say goodbye to my before 
and float away

as he fades screaming 
into nothing now remains

Stephen House has won awards as a poet, playwright, and actor. He’s received international literature residencies from The Australia Council and Asialink. His chapbooks “real and unreal” poetry and “The Ajoona Guest House” monologue are published by ICOE Press. His next book drops soon. He performs his acclaimed monologues widely. http://apt.org.au/author/?authorinfoid=58 

If you would like to be part of The Chamber Magazine family, follow this link to the submissions guidelines. If you like more mainstream fiction and poetry with a rural setting and addressing rural themes, you may also want to check out Rural Fiction Magazine

One thought on ““my before” Dark Poetry by Stephen House

  1. Pingback: – The Chamber Magazine

Leave a Reply