It began with one.
But bolt by bolt and rail by rail,
Walls he could not scale.
Leaving was to no avail.
I didn’t mean it as a snare,
At first, it was not a jail.
He had his way, but didn’t care
And now I laugh, I sit and stare.
I watch as he wails and calls
Begging me, “Tear down the walls!”
I will not.
He will pay with dread and deal with pain.
The love I gave him not in vain.
The cage I built, his blood to stain.
He won’t make this mistake again.
Shiny, Pretty Things
Obediently loyal, begging of my affection. Shining vibrantly, fools each one. Seeking my notice among the many. They cling to the side, perfection in every space; none dare lag behind. Repugnant they are.
One does catch my eye, not the brightest, not the flawless; but the least refined. Standing in front, lacking shimmer; displaying the audacity to perch to the left, head skewed slightly off kilter. Perhaps one of these fools is deserving. What use have I of minions made perfect? Give me the challenge; I will break him to my ideal. Yes, this one may be indeed be worthy.
Joseph A. Pinto
I thought you would follow, but the willow reed swallowed me whole
At least that’s the excuse you sold…
I’d been too busy tightening bolts
Preparing for traffic that would never come.
On the opposite end of nothing now
I’ve teetered upon this sharp edge far too long
Waiting for that willow reed to part
A path once cut through it; I suppose now it’s gone
Should my bridge someday be crossed
Unlike that lost, forgotten route
I’ll keep to tightening bolts, even if my hands get torn
The willow reed once led the way, at least
So you’d sworn.
My vision blurs as if mocking the slur that hindered my tongue for the last hour. On the balcony, the cold aluminum railing burns my cheek, but serves to support me while I regain balance.
I’ve drowned out our honeymoon night, but she kept feeding me full glasses.
Agony hits and I collapse.
My new bride ignores me as she packs a suitcase on the bed.
“Help.” I moan. “It hurts!”
She steps out onto the terrace through the open sliding door and squeezes my face in her hands.
“Yeah, poison will do that, Dear. Thanks for the life insurance.”
Each day, when morning breaks, the gates unlock. Blue-eyed boys and blond-haired girls hop, skip and jump, crack silly jokes, kick chequered balls into an empty sky. A bell rings and they rush inside; Tom, Dan, Joe, Little Hunter drink juice, help themselves to biscuits, laughing, throwing punches, wiping crumbs from round their messy mouths.
After lunch the children play inside, read stories (Nina sings), fall fast asleep, and then, in that calm, soporific state begin to change. Skin shivers, splits revealing shells, long insect legs, click-clacking tongues; by night a horrid, hungry hive trapped inside this, their steel penal-nest.
Once Upon A Troll
This was once a peaceful place, the bridge above my home wooden and old. No one used it. Ah, except for the occasional foolish school child taking a short cut home. Tasty little creatures for a troll such as me.
Then they put in the steel girder bridge so the train could run over my home. No Damned peace now!
Tonight is a special run. The train will be filled with people.
The rivets are so easy for my strong fingers to turn and remove. Just perfect.
Falling into the middle of the river, the train will run no more.
All my living fears buried, banished, bolted
contained beneath earth’s seas.
Bound are the monsters was their promise to me.
My logic sneers, “Is the box today’s illusion?”
Placate and pacify where set in stone is a new dependence
and false security they can’t deny.
Their promises fit neatly in those little pill squares.
Now that the voices have gotten louder where do I run?
Their hot breath growing fouler.
Red eyes at morning taunt my blinds.
Does no one heed the warning?
Make room in the canvas sack, seal out the sounds.
Give my reason back!
The Greatest Fraud
I see a world that no longer is, one in which I cannot live. Just as today, and each before, my mind closes another door. But like a movie without an end, the fire takes me back again. Life and death whiz past my head, I hear a thousand screams of dread. I taste the blood upon my tongue, and smell the burning of the young. While blades of green replace hot sands, I watch my life pour through red hands. I now know it was a war of swine that caused me to cross this bridge in pine.
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