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The Mortal Bright

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Grasping the mantle of Heaven's raw wound,
        Fear dripped as tears to the cavernous dark ...
            Swallowed my conscience and rational mind,
    Strength and resolve, but the food for its ire.

Breeding through torment when I, a wee lad,
        Knew in its object, the beast 'neath my bed ...
            Cold breath of reason pervading that gloom,
    Years as a sponge, sopping horror and awe.

Futile, that struggle to peer through its veil,
        Then in mid-age, thru no fault but my own ...
            Death bared its visage, my flesh in its teeth,
    Sputtered my face, lifeblood clotted as truth.

Yet, as I washed the red stain from my skin,
        Tender, its wings closed around me in care ...
            Filled me with quietude, whisp'ring my fates,
    I would, not once, dread the darkness again.

Not with that ocean of stars swimming high,
        Only revealed in the night's deepest black ...
            Just as the bright of the heavens is known,
    Solely 'midst death's dark eternal embrace.





Written and submitted on August 19, 2019
For the "Something I Am Not" Poetry Contest
Craig Cornish, Sponsor.

(For many years I was afraid of the dark, even as an adult, until I learned through trauma that the only REAL monsters wear faces like our own ... I now find much comfort and beauty in it, and one only has to look at the stars to understand why).

Copyright © | Year Posted 2019




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Date: 9/7/2019 8:21:00 AM
Congratulations for your win Gregory :)
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Date: 9/5/2019 11:26:00 PM
When I use to go down to the dark cellar to get something for my dad My heart would be racing so hard. Nobody could run up those stairs faster than me. I think Craig has excellent taste in poetry. Congrats on a fine win.
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Date: 9/3/2019 11:52:00 AM
The simile you have created - darkness in its appearance - as related to human feeling - in this piece is masterful in its presentation and word choice! I'm blown away. Congratulations on a well deserved win. Lonna
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Date: 9/2/2019 5:23:00 PM
Greg, this is brilliant and emotional and I can certainly relate: "My eyes straining to see into the black void ~ Phantom images dart around me slowly at first ~ Then multiple images spring from every direction ~ My heart racing, my breathing rapid and shallow ~ Byproducts of fear and imagination ~ Running amok in the dark." That's my worst memory of being in the dark. Congratulations to you on your first-place win! A Fav for me. ~Mark
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Date: 8/19/2019 9:00:00 PM
Can't say I relate but I appreciate the fine work put into this piece. I always enjoy what you do!
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 8/21/2019 7:10:00 AM
When I was little my great uncle once turned my night light off and said, "Can you see me, Lad?" I couldn't see anything, and told him so. "Well, then how can the monsters see YOU??" From then on I began training my eyes to see in the blackness, and I now walk around at night without lights all the time. It also helped me overcome that fear, as I saw it as MY advantage over the "monsters". He was a very wise, sweet man. ;o)
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 8/21/2019 7:07:00 AM
Thank you soi much for your kindness as always, My Good Friend ... you are one of my favorite "web" pals, that's for sure! And I'm very glad that you can NOT relate, for I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Then again, I am a far stronger person for having overcome it, so perhaps it was "meant" to be? A reason for EVERYthing, my friend - a plan, if you will ...
Date: 8/19/2019 2:40:00 PM
I used to fear the dark too because I have night terrors and wake up screaming. Lately I have been doing much better and can sleep in the dark. Can relate Greg. Well written to express that fear! I am happy for you conquering that fear. Blessings, Connie : ) xxoo
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 8/21/2019 7:02:00 AM
(3) I survived it all for some reason, Connie ... I like to think, if nothing else, to (maybe) reach people with my poetry, possibly those who have gone through similar hells and can relate. I believe strongly that NOTHING is by accident, even the most chaotic, and that we ALL have a purpose. Blessings, Dear Poet! :-) <3
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 8/21/2019 7:01:00 AM
(1) Thank you so much, my friend, and I'm so sorry you've had night terrors ... I have had them too, eyes partially open but unable to move, evil presence, and can't wake myself up - it is very disturbing. Apart from that I've had to see many doctors due to nightmares, where I, too, would wake up screaming and sobbing, and wouldn't be able to stop sobbing for a half-hour. (continued)
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 8/21/2019 7:01:00 AM
(2) It has improved a great deal. To be honest, the worst was during my heaviest opiate abuse, and, I believe, a sort of "message" from somewhere. It still happens a couple of times a year, but there was a period when it was almost nightly ... I was seriously terrified to go to sleep, and would force myself to stay awake, (which didn't help my mind, either). (continued)