Today in 1822 one of my favorite poets and playwrights died Percy Bysshe Shelley. (b. 1792)
An excerpt from “Prometheus Unbound”:
Death is the veil which those who live call life:
They sleep, and it is lifted: and meanwhile
In mild variety the seasons mild
With rainbow-skirted showers, and odorous winds,
And long blue meteors cleansing the dull night,
And the life-kindling shafts of the keen sun’s
All-piercing bow, and the dew-mingled rain
Of the calm moonbeams, a soft influence mild,
Shall clothe the forests and the fields, aye, even
The crag-built desarts of the barren deep,
With ever-living leaves, and fruits, and flowers.
I stare into the darkness of my room,
of my mind.
Thoughts and images penetrate my consciousness,
moments, images, memories of the night I just lived.
My skin burns,
as my heart races buried within my chest.
What is this sensation, this feeling,
which consumes me?
Sleep, I must sleep,
things will make sense in the morning.
A scent, a whisper, a touch,
attempt to devour me.
My mind has become flooded,
drowning in moments from the past,
the possibilities that lie before me.
I hear the vehicles pass my house,
why are they so loud tonight?
The cat cries in the next room,
why can’t silence be mine, peace be mine.
I awake in a cold sweat,
my mind hasn’t been quieted.
I scratch for a semblance of sanity,
as I futilely attempt to sleep.
Enough, I cry out,
my eyes clenched shut.
The visions of his hands around my throat,
permeate my mind.
The tender touch of her cheek brushing mine,
supersedes my immortal nightmare.
A sigh in the darkness of my room,
and I am back.
Self-imprisoned into this cell of orchestrated ignorance,
I eternally stare into the mirror upon the wall,
At the chance to see a reflection,
Of an isolated world from our preconceived notions.
All that forms the images before my eyes,
Is the deep, dark, backward memories of my life,
Carrying me back to the present moment,
Enabling me to analyze what I have evolved into.
My back braced cold against the table,
They place the ether mask across my face,
The fog carries itself into the corners of my mind,
Allowing me to be propelled among the world.
I follow the dark sky, by the slight moonlight,
Placing each foot in the trail I’ve created,
Careful not to touch too much emotion,
Careful not to experience too much.
Let us go past the deserted streets,
Fading memories long since fallen into dust,
Let us cross the fields of distant thoughts,
Releasing the manacles of time to manipulation.
Into our world’s forgotten souls I search,
Waiting cautiously for each moment of experience,
Tearing off the blindfolds of our innocence,
Tearing down the walls of our ignorance.
I return to rock,
From which I came,
My body covers,
The sleek, solid surfaces,
And returns to the soil,
Never to whisper,
Moments of being.
He traced the map of his life,
With grains of sand,
Pulling his pen and ink from the drawer,
The reduction of a life already lived,
An object hung on the wall.
I’ve lived my life in the margins, a life in the shadows,
Never have I looked up bathed in the sunlight,
It hasn’t been that bad it’s where I always belonged.
From the shadows the voices scream inside my head,
Voices nobody else can hear, voices tormenting me,
Cries of anguish, cries taunting me, echoing in my mind.
The shadow people cloaked in darkness, eyeless, faceless,
Pursuing me through my dreams, through my fractured reality,
They are sent to torment me, through the void to this moment.
striving to sleep.
…Our conversation a few hours old,
courses through my mind,
conjuring thoughts, memories.
Things I hold dear,
things I despise.
I open my eyes unable to sleep,
our conversation resurfaces,
my eyes close,
peace at last.