On Home - a poem by William Bethea
On home and dusty objects:
Scatterings, prayers and junctions.
The wind, alone, restless persists,
Guiding sky water
Feeds emotional tricklings,
Flows from wounded height
To the vast, loyal, wanton ocean.
This is Your GiftAll that you love shall be taken from you.
As punishment, all your attachments will be destroyed.
You will be continually tempted with all that you want and that you cannot keep.
You will be given no actual choice; all your choices will be mere delusion.
You will torture your own mind and twist your own perceptions in an overwhelming effort to avert your attention from the simple truth that all existence is suffering.
You are expected to perpetually succor your tortured mind with images of illusionary happiness until the moment of your inevitable sacrifice.
This is consciousness; this is your gift; this is your punishment for daring to exist.
The Ruins - Part IThe Ruins - Poems of Loss
by William Bethea
Once, when I went to the Darkness;
I left behind my precious things.
When I arrived at Its door,
There was no answer.
Upon returning home,
I found It waiting. The Darkness
Held my precious secrets in its teeth,
Ground them into dust and spit them
In my face, laughing.
Once, there was no where to turn.
The Darkness pretended to be my friend.
It welcomed me into Its lair.
As It fed me, nurtured me,
Comforted me, loved me,
It siphoned away my soul.
As I wept in utter delusion,
The Darkness consoled my broken heart,
Smothered my face into Its bosom,
Offered Its orifices to slake my misery,
Suckled my pain and fed on my loss.
The Darkness would became engorged,
Eyes rolling back, head lolling,
Grinning gleefully, contented,
Collapsing, in unconscious satiation
Until my need arose again.
Returning lucidity repudiated the Darkness.
It fled from my shattered existence, dying.
Only then, did I recognize
The endless irreparable ruins remaining.
My GoddessI prayed to my Goddess
Through many a Moon's night
To be worthy of the inspiration that
One of Her priestesses might provide.
Instead, She blessed me not merely
With Her divine delegate,
But with the Adorable Manifestation
Of Her Pure, Lovely and Perfect Grace.
Bound forever in grateful service,
I devote my works to this rebirth.
This Test and Gift, both, presented,
My Goddess now doth walk the Earth.
Her SkinHer skin
By the back light
Glows with inner fire
The scent of twilight lingers
On her neck
Her shoulders her
stardust. (you're beautiful)he's
out of orbit -
dust in his
veins rise and
each word that
drips and pools
defined like the
ribcage of a
baby bird, his
were not made for
this earth but
for the stars.
some days he
fades in and
out of reality like
he never really
wanted to be there
on those days
i just think
my god, you really don't
realise how amazing you are.
Little GirlThere sits the girl with the things in her eyes
Monsters, destruction, and sweet butterflies
Hopscotch and daisies, surrounded by screams
Beautiful dresses now torn at the seams
Crayons and paintbrushes, villains and grins
Young, gladsome innocence, hatred and sins
Little red houses on roads left to fade
Gorgeous moonlight shining off of the blade
Blood pouring out as she cries her own name
Knowing she's forced to take each bit of blame
She could have stopped it and left it behind
All of these things in her troubled young mind
She could have saved them if she dared to try
Rather, though, she left herself there to die.
Now, others watch as she sits on the ground
Keeping their distance and letting her drown
In her own worries and things she won't tell
Waiting for her mind to kill her as well.
your poemyou tell me on a thursday that you can’t find
the god inside of yourself anymore, that
you think that you are finally
too much honeycomb and not enough human
because lately everything has been slipping
through your fingers, and you don’t know how you can
keep holding yourself together anymore.
if today is the day that you look
at the stars and you no longer
feel their burn beneath your bones,
i will show you the blanket i tried to make
when i was eight, and i will tell you all i know
about the string theory, which isn’t much, i admit,
but i do know the basics,
and that’s that everything in the universe
is composed of strings that somehow
loop onto each other infinitely.
so whenever you feel like you’re
walking a tightrope without a safety
net below you, know that you are
thousands of tightropes strung together,
and one fall will not kill you.
i have never told you about the way
i can feel my pulse skitter to a stop
in my wrists whenever i hear you laughing
Depression Isn't RealDepression isn’t true, my dear
Depression isn’t real.
It’s just a silly tragedy
You’ve forced yourself to feel.
Anxiety is fake, my friend
You wonder why it’s there.
But others have it worse than you!
Stop forming false despair.
Cutting is dramatic, love,
It’s ugly, and it’s dumb.
Why not just get over it?
Is the attention fun?
Suicide is stupid, dear,
And selfish, if I may.
Get over yourself, darling,
Can you hear these things I say?
Why aren’t you replying, love?
Oh, where could you have gone?
I never meant to hurt you, love,
Did I say something wrong?
Why aren’t you replying, dear?
Depression isn’t true!
Oh, but yes it was, “my dear”...
Just maybe not for you.
An Angel's Promise'Thou art mine,
And so thou shall remain.'
I will not let you have any other before me,
Nor can there be any after.
For it is your soul that I have shared
And it is your soul that I do take.
Your worship is the blood that flows through me.
Your praise is the heart that pumps life into my veins.
I have accepted that which is torn;
And if you are not whole before me,
Then by my will and word,
You shall be made whole.
So fear not this frigid world,
Though its cold bites deeply into your flesh.
I shall take that which has been torn from you
And weep life into it,
Until only warmth remains.
For thou art already mine,
And so thou shall remain.
For My PeopleAs far as I can recall:
I did not ask to be birthed
Into a cycle of stagnation.
I did not ask to be told,
That my dreams are achievable;
Only to see them limited by the scope of reality.
I did not ask for a failing system,
Passed unto me by half-dead corpses wearing suits.
Nodding eagerly at one another,
As they wait for an inevitable death.
This I did not ask for,
And I am certain that most of you did not either.
But it is for that reason,
And for that reason alone, I say:
That it is up to us,
We siblings bound by the chains of our forefathers,
To create a system that is better,
Than the bitter shackles of the past.
Justice is what I long for.
Justice for MY people.
it's okay to not be okaysometimes it’s okay
to sit on the floor of the bathroom stall
and let your feelings gather- it’s okay
to let them pool like a lachrymose lagoon
as the inside of your stomach does summersaults;
I know these emotions can’t be tenderly released,
they’re not soft waves kissing the expecting shore,
let them pour out of you like tidal waves-
release the tsunami from within you
and I know sometimes the tears will sodden your pillowcase,
they’ll be juggernauts- those brackish beads
cathartically-cartwheeling down your flushed cheeks;
but remember how even the clouds
may cry tempestuously today,
only to make room
for much brighter days
so I promise you, darling
it’s going to be okay.
a list of things colleges don't want to know1. i have a cactus named atticus that i bought
on the day i thought i was going to die,
and i never forget to water it, not
even when i forget how it feels
to breathe without my lungs rebelling
against my brain.
2. sometimes talking feels like walking on gravel
in a Georgian summer heat.
i try to keep talking anyway,
and hope that eventually
my voice will lose its softness and grow calluses.
3. once, a man whistled at me
outside of a grocery store from
the safety of his car.
four years later, i still haven’t stopped looking
over my shoulder.
4. i drive too fast and i take turns too sharply
and i never put enough sugar
in my tea and i could probably survive
on watermelon alone. i’m left handed
and once taught myself to write only in capital
letters to piss off my seventh grade english teacher.
5. i have never felt closer to my father
than when we stayed
outside till two a.m. in november and watched
a meteor shower.
6. there are some things
i don’t think i’ll ever
melismai have heard that every woman
is either ophelia or the queen,
either too much or not enough,
either drowning or swimming, either
dying from grief of living with guilt.
but i have run past enough finish
lines in my life to know that sometimes
you give up and sometimes you keep
going until your legs hurt and your
what i mean is that i used to forget
that there once was
a version of me that did not
know the twelve shades of blue in
your eyes or what words to use
to describe them.
what i mean is that i still catch myself
thinking about that time i saw
you singing in your kitchen with your
hair down, dancing around to the radio
in a shirt i thought i had lost months ago.
what i mean is that i’ve started
ignoring you in the hallways
because it’s less painful than looking
at you and not knowing what
our problem was always that we
had too much water, too many novels
written in the backs of our mouths,
too many bones for our skin, too many