The flames that bring warmth, also destroy


“In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, ‘Is it good, friend?’
It is bitter — bitter,’ he answered,
But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart.”
-Stephen Crane


Wither goes the sounds from within?
The moans, the cries, the agony,
Felt once, but betrayed forevermore,
Like the death of a dream
Once brought back to life,
But left more dead than alive in its wake.

The scars run deeper than the surface tells,
For they eat the will from the inside,
Tearing apart the flesh of the soul
Leaving a carcass behind for the vultures,
Always circling high above the desert sand,
Waiting for the faintest trace of decay.

It is bitter, these words hanging in the air,
Like wings cut off in dark despair,
For all false hopes are found out someday,
Strangling the ties that are thrown away,
No matter how hard the heart strives to speak,
Silence is all that the listener seeks.

Twisting in the sand like a wired mouse,
Dripping on the page, ink as black as coal,
The raven cries, far in the distance, a warning,
To save the pieces of a shattering heart,
But the warning is lost in translation,
And the heart is roasted over an open flame.

This bitterness seeps into the very flesh,
Like powdered tablets to numb the pain,
It is drunk down quickly, but the taste lingers,
Of this heart so beat and broken,
And this flavor has become an addiction,
So strong, it is all that keeps me alive.


15 thoughts on “Bitter”

  1. Oh, I love it … it was just what I needed to read! All words are favorite here! Can’t choose only one! Very, very, very great!

  2. Ouch! Lot of dark depths in this one, DP…
    The ” powdered tablets to numb the pain” bit was like super awesome! I think I can relate to that…
    We have this odd way of killing pain with pain! I wonder how and why we do it… but that’s just the way it is… don’t you think?

    Your poem is an eye opener of sorts!! Intense and powerful!

    1. You’re right Kavs, we have a strange way of killing pain with pain, I couldn’t have said it better myself. The mind is a strange place, and honestly I would say my mind has got a mind of it’s own. Thanks!

  3. dear DP,

    it seems that i share the same feeling as what your poem suggests. how could you write so well, that it translate the unspoken things of the heart? i do not know. maybe you are able to decipher the depth of a human soul aching inside and silence is the only thing that makes it visibly clear.

    “No matter how hard the heart strives to speak,
    Silence is all that the listener seeks.”

    “Dripping on the page, ink as black as coal,”

    this is what the pain felt like. and the words you have written flowed through the pages as black as the ink. what a perfect imagery!

    my congratulations to you for another masterpiece here.

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