The Approaching

Thunder clouds roll
over this nighttime land—
above homey streets and sanctums
where all fear is foreign,
and the lights always burn.

Booming, as sky trumpeters,
an army is marching,
with such resonance
that rattles walls and
dislodges pictures
hung in all the little houses.

You fear storms,
with their cannon shot reach:
an unstoppable arm
that penetrates your
dark places—
your hidden chambers,
whose wall shelves overflow
with your secret things.

You fear the photograph flash
of cleansing blue lightning.
Without warning, it publicizes
the acts that you perpetrate
while the sunlight has fled.

……

From your bedroom window,
you see a barefoot man;
he sprints through
the roiling exterior.

Naked to the waist,
his over-white skin and underfed ribs
are covered in deep red welts
from a castigating hail;
his hair, sopping—
plastered to his furrowed brow
from a deluge of spite.

He has risked his only flesh
to bring you a warning,
because he has appraised
your safety as more valuable
than his own.

……

A heaving chest gives voice;
he pleads that you shutter
your windows, burn all
that is false from your
shadows, and shelter yourself.

He has offered himself to the
abuse of the elements,
deeply and often,
for a chance to place
in your hands this missive.

……

With ears, plugged
by wax and by hubris,
you cast him back into
the worsening weather,
because you believe the
walls of your lies
impermeable.

You fail to recognize that
all to which this being lays claim
are the tatters clung to
his knifelike bones
and the ferocious will that
is a burning coal at his core.
He owns nothing that
can be taken—
he doesn’t possess the desire
or the means to hold secrets—
while you stand to be shattered.

……

You watch as he walks,
shoulders squared and undaunted,
back into the wild and danger—
he does not doubt
his continued survival.
For the first time, you realize
a courage that you neither know
nor own, thrumming in his breast
like an uncovered beacon.

The man who devoted himself
to your protection resolves
to do so no longer.
He mourns for you—
come morning, every untruth
that you’ve hid
will have been blown into
the full force of daylight
for the knowing of all.

……

Now, this soul is chained
to a terrible sadness,
beyond comprehension.

You’ve always feared storms,
and you should fear this one.

4 thoughts on “The Approaching”

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Brian. I really do appreciate the encouragement. I think that I am rediscovering my voice and my purpose through writing.

      It’s an interesting concept to consider that an individual can “lose” his voice, but that is what happened. Thanks to you and everyone else who reads this blog, I am finding it again.

      -Nick

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I think when you encounter such obstacles, a temporary change of surroundings could be very beneficial. For instance, many of my poems came suddenly after I gazed at nature (i.e. footpaths, fog, flowers, trees, streams…). I find that listening to light music, a hot beverage in hand, with a copy of something beautiful to read, while alone in somewhere quiet/scenic/cosy to be very beneficial in letting that creative inner voice flow. I suggest that if you can, treat yourself to a one week trip to (not far away since logistics is stress) the nearest quiet spot you find suitably scenic, and just let the burdens fall and dream away.

    Liked by 1 person

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