Almost at the finish line, just one more after this.
This poem is quite old, around the same time as “Cocoon” and I’ve never been entirely happy with how it turned out, but some of the lines and imagery are good so it is going into the spotlight tonight.
I am human.
I am light and shadow thrown together
spiraling down into eternity.
Yin and Yang, Love and Hate, Peace and Violence,
Man and Beast.
I always keep that beast in mind.
I always picture it caged and chained,
imprisoned by the righteous side of my soul,
kept were it will do no harm.
But I am that beast,
chained in darkness with iron bonds,
watching the world with a predator’s eye.
What I could take?
What pain can I cause?
What destruction and havoc I could unleash.
I am Fire burning brightly,
consuming everything in my path.
Lighting the way for others traveling
through the darkness.
I am Water flowing,
a stream that meanders through time,
carving myself into this world.
Slow yet unstoppable
I am Stone,
strong and sturdy,
Carrying others upon my back,
shielding them from the storms
that sweep across the world.
I am the Wind,
Carefree and far from this world,
Seeing every sight I can.
darting through the world,
dying when not in motion.
My joy is infectious, my rage devastating
A beast of elemental fury.
A virtuous man of the world.
This man and beast fight within me,
clashing like gods, locked in mortal combat,
twisting and snarling,
striking each other with titanic blows
But they are one despite this war,
tethered together by unbreakable strands,
one merely the shadow reflection of the other.
This is who I am, what I am.
I am the struggle to overcome
I am the kindly hand that raises you up.
I am the rage that strikes you down.
I am lonely,
never showing that beast within,
ashamed of that darkness inside me.
That part of me I can barely control.
That part that might control me.
I know they must both exist.
I know suppressing one,
locking it away and ignoring its cries,
leads only to despair.
But is it right to let them roam as they please?
I am human, complex and multi-faceted,
a shower of diamond shards,
bending and twisting both light and shadow
til one is indistinguishable from the other.
Which one is truly in control?
Can you live as a man and a beast
or must one eventually consume the other?
To be so paradoxical
to be two things
which seem like they would never meet…
How does one explain this?
No Vote: Tomorrow will be “Sunset” as the finale of National Poetry month