The Shadow Man

Time… began in a
red brick house
on the edge of the Moor
she was trying to sell
because the rich
wanted more.
Riots in the streets
saw the working man
brought down
by the state’s hired goons,
the biggest gang in town,
a juggernaut
set in motion
to be no stopping
whatever the commotion.

Innocence escaped anger
upon returning
to the fields
fantasies short-lived
treading on eggshells
under waves of fire
a promising young boy
became a shield,
constant rebellion
and conflict
day after day,
despite knowing
the consequences
he’d throw it all away,
what if he
could have seen
the clouds
on the horizon?

One last punishment
saw his release,
a new freedom beckoned
no more school,
no more authority,
his face on a canvas
bore a reflection
of hopes and dreams,
now life could begin,
if only he could have seen
dark clouds
gathering within.

So young,
an eternity
away from
roads of sorrow,
dark constellations
penetrating deep into
your soul’s gravitation
at a time to really believe
after all the conflict
a life could begin
if only he could have seen
the clouds gathering within.

You can unbind
from all the hurt
once you understand
you must make peace
with yourself first
but too many of us
turn it inward
to become our
worst enemies
as we run
or worse, retreat
and down,
into shadows
do your legs
carry you,
as you gaze
in isolation
and you wish
if only you
could have seen
the clouds on its horizon.

It eats away
at aimless wanderings
through gaudy spaces
cloaked in faceless
drowning in false
endless streets of
in servitude
of greed’s psychopathy,
tracking, watching
all the while;
war and death,
and glamourised,
all for decadence
propped up by
and ignorance
in a place
every bit as juvenile
as institutions
you rebelled against
as a child,
its Doomsday clock
reaching midnight
to profit insanity
seeking mass suicide,
fleeting hopes we may
one day lift the veil
of hypocrisy
and glance through
the eyes of history
and when you see its
black heart
the mist envelopes
to tear you apart,
entering the underworld’s
maze in isolation
and you wish if only
you could have seen
the clouds on its horizon.

The terror,
the dread,
the weight
and heaviness
in your head
drawn into the orbit
of a black hole
you cannot see
takes its toll
on your ability
to think,
to believe,
to concentrate,
to visualise,
to get close,
to love
so you build walls
within walls
as a solution
while the clock ticks down
to your own unconscious

For years you run,
far and wide
further down
until you realise
from it you cannot hide.
Bereft of confidence,
strength and hope
you face the mountain
and you begin to climb
and it would take years
and you would slip
and you would fall
and you would climb
and you would slip
and you would fall
and you would climb
and you…
face within yourself
eternity and time
in a place so ugly
that it would sever
all connection
seconds to forever
and you would open your heart
and you would slip
and you would fall
and you would climb
as Love transforms
into the healer of time.

A square peg
in a round hole
in a world fate
repeatedly informs
‘In this shit-pile,
you do not belong’!
Is all the more reason
to paint your dreams,
is all the more reason
to believe what it sees
in the wisdom
to all that rebellion
and I do not care
about all that punishment
as I reach the summit
without looking back
I can feel
an unbearable lightness
leaving me,
and dark gravity
retreating, finally,
as clouds loom outside,
I imagine blue skies
will come
and the sun will rise
for a thousand mile
journey can begin
walking a road
from those within.

November 2021

© Percival Alexander