BARE BONES REALITY
Hello. My name is ‘bare bones reality.’ You probably think of me as your worst enemy.
I travel the world and invade people's lives; sometimes when they least expect it.
My greatest enemies are happiness, comfort, and satisfaction. I have absolute power.
I can morph into various shapes and forms. I am like a chameleon on the prowl.
Most people see me as a ghastly ugly creature whose mission is to torture and destroy.
I can appear as death, illness, tragedy, and many other things...
Most people try to ignore that I even exist. They turn their heads and hope that I will not find them.
Yet, I am strong and relentless. I will eventually visit almost everyone in their life time.
Sometimes I will appear for only a brief visit and sometimes I will stay for a very long time.
I do not care if you are rich or poor, young or old, a sinner or a saint.
You are at my mercy. There is nothing you can do to evade me when I decide that you are my next prey.
However, despite being repugnant on the outside, I do have a mysterious inner beauty.
I will always dramatically change any life that I visit.
I will decimate all of your hope and comfort. I will strip away all of the armor that you have used to deal with life.
I will lay you as bare as a newborn baby. All of the power that you thought was yours will evaporate like water in the hot sun.
Yet, I will show you secrets beyond what you might have imagined.
The pain that I exact will both humble and resurrect you.
So, when I do come, please know that there is a meaning there that you must strive to see.
By so doing, you will be like a Phoenix arising from the ashes in a way that you never could have imagined.
(C. B. Buckner is a retired radiologist residing in Little Rock, Arkansas. Only recently has he begun to explore creative writing. He is currently working on a collection of poetry, prose, and short stories. He has two novels under development)
The night is full of terrors
faraway voices calling me to join them
in the lunatic dance of the ghosts
Thoughts of putting the blade to my wrist
Urges of immersing myself in the depths of narcotic trance and rough sex
I’m fighting them with all my power
But when the dawn comes I give in
The blade is cold against my skin
Shivers like maggots crawling down my spine
It will only take a moment
then it will be all over
I hear myself say
I’m lying there on the floor
no energy no smile no life inside
I cover my face with my hands
I don’t want anyone to see
dark thoughts drill through my mind
loneliness circles around me
I can hear the cruel laughter of my self-hatred
Suddenly the ray of light gets through
the haze of gloom
it’s so small almost invisible
but it’s there I know
I crawl on my knees to get closer to it
quietly so I wouldn’t scare it away
it’s bright and colorful
it warms up my cold bones
I look right through the light
it fills me with courage and strength
to fight against my demons
I’m not alone anymore
I slowly stand up
(Asper Blurry's stories and poems have been published in several Polish literary magazines including "Wyspa" and “Zupełnie inny świat”.)
The big mood
I wash the pots,
smiling my little head off
because my hearts being commanded
by the sky, so clean,
to sing like all the birds
it allows to soar across its body.
Is there anything more majestic
than the feeling of anxiety
exhaling out of yourself on a warm Spring day?
And don’t you feel wonderful about it,
until you wish you weren’t being happy
on your own?
It’s a reminder, isn’t it, that at some point
there’ll come a moment
where it’ll all crash into oblivion,
like a thousand clouds fallen to the earth,
and you inhale all of that anxiety back in,
look back up to the sky,
your cycle about to begin again.
All the doors are locked
You sit in a room dimly lit by a lamp on the table.
You decided an hour ago to just stay at home and chill tonight.
You've got a spliff going and are watching the TV after tea
when suddenly, out of some crevice of the mind,
there creeps an overwhelming sense of uneasiness,
and despite the drizzle dripping from a purple sky
you put out the spliff and put on a coat,
before going out to walk in the streets, no longer
with the fear of falling now that the snow has melted into the concrete.
So you see, everything is the same as it was before.
Snow is temporary, it all melts away in the end,
and as you walk through these nocturnal streets,
empty and silent, mysterious and keepers
of secrets from warm, well lit houses,
you feel reassured and reinvigorated by the
normality of rain fall, and your legs just keep going and going,
as if they alone are dictating your destination.
And before you know it, you're knocking on the door
of a mate at stupid o'clock in the morning,
curious to know how life is treating him these days,
and are welcomed with a laughter that echoes
long into a placid night, and all
of your troubles fade into a backdrop.
(Craig Snelgrove is a writer of poetry and short fiction from Manchester, UK. Craig has worked in mental health for over three years as a mental health support worker)
When gloves and masks
became our daily attires,
and aeroplanes were grounded
like birds with broken wings;
when love lost its sensuality,
and the frost of isolation
gnawed on our souls;
when no one prayed
in mosques and churches,
and no one attended
when death rode swiftly,
secretly, on the wings
of an invisible monster,
and danced in the crevices
of our, gasping, lungs;
when time, unlived, turned stale
like unused fruits in our fridges,
and no one noticed
a blooming spring;
when we spent our days
and nights, idling, talking
about angst and boredom,
about deaths and wills,
about the spread
of a contagion;
when we all clung to the straw of life
with hand washing,
and social distancing.
(Javed Alam is a physician and a poet based in the UK. His poems have been published (both print and online) in various literary journals and magazines as well as in anthologies in the U.K, the USA, India, Ireland and Canada. In poetry, He has found a medium to explore the philosophy of life, Kashmir, and three-pound universe called the brain. He writes in the language of common people, about their ordinary thoughts and about their ordinary insights. He is also a board member of a UK literary journal "The Beautiful Space-A Journal of Mind, Art and Poetry.")
The Beautiful Space-