Into the Heart of My Own Darkness



Featured art by Markus A. Walter. Click title image to visit his studio.



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Anita Kelsey “Sway”





this is my chosen sanctuary
the one place i’m safe from the voices in my head
this isn’t to suggest they’re not vocal
indeed they’re screaming at me right this very moment
in a thousand wicked tongues laced with cyanide
wrapped in harsh barbed razor wire
flaying the channels wide open


but here i don’t feel quite so threatened
here they have the decency not to keep me guessing
as to what they have planned
how they propose
to force my hand
should i decline providing my blessing


sometimes it distresses me
as propositions are not necessarily expressing heaven sent intent to charm me
can feel their cold breath on the nape of my neck
as they assume their positions behind me
any commitments on my part can not be half baked and will need be made blindly


whispering their barbarous intent as they vent
no slur whatsoever to what they confer
absolute clarity a given
any efforts to defer
will only further imposition


could this be my extradition
should i switch allegiances
if so, who to approach
when i’m obliged to state my grievances


my only desire is to see what i’m facing
where i fit into the bigger picture
as suggestion seems to lead directly to the most unholiest of scriptures
should i choose the devils bidding
will i not then be permitting full eclipse
am i not then damned to hells below
by granting this one wish
and why is there fresh blood upon my lips


why do i find myself licking them
could i have acquired the taste
am I tainted
how deep within does this plague reside
have they always been inside
as i cannot shake the feeling
we have long since been acquainted


i can feel their icy fingertips beneath my bitter flesh
writhing mesh akin to liquid serpents
constricting every ventricle
restricting air flow
sentinel to each detestable desire beneath the curtain


could i be their sanctuary
after all, it is my call they answered
my request they regrettably accepted
thus any polite excuse on my part
would appear categorically rejected


now i do discern the host with most
barely visible through mist
yet undivisible and not the kind of prince one of frailty bids to host
it is He
of that there can be no doubting
He has visited in reverie
in many different guises
and indeed it is the light which He despises
that which bids to undermine authority
that which dares decline him the majority


leaps of faith i’m prepared for
but this one could well beg to differ
indeed the very mention of faith
makes his hateful gaze that much more bitter


he sips from the claret my heart bleeds
as i venture deeper into my own darkness
inebriating platelets framed within his devastating gaze
every heartbeat weeping his instruction
lava in the arteries
and He who courts eruption
howbeit, my hands are no longer so tied
for He tells of diabolical lies
this angel didn’t fall from grace
was simply cast aside


futile resistance aside
dare I have sympathy for such a devil
if at first He giveth
will He duly take away
and does it really matter either way


could this ancient tryst be binding
would this cloud bear silver lining
nine circles of hell
are known well for their hellish fine dining
dare i take this final step
into the heart of my own darkness
think i’ll leave it up to you deciding.






Richard Charles Stevens


Keeper of The Crimson Quill



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