Between Two Worlds: the danger of writing

Writing isn’t safe.

It’s not that words are powerful (though they are). It’s not that everyone will end up thinking you insane (most generally do anyway).
It’s a deeper problem than a questionable mental state.

And it’s something I end up writing as a free verse poem around the end of last year because there was no other way to put it into words.

I lost myself

in the mazes of my mind.

I forgot the world around me

in the whisperings of my heart.

There was so much to hold me captive

in the realms no one could see.

Soft glowing windows;

laughter and song.

Cold moonless streets;

betrayal and fear.

Tattered parchments of legends old;

treason and sacrifice,

hope and despair.

Brothers and fathers

mentors and kings.

Flashing steel glints in the rain.

Hooves thunder through the storm.

Dawn hushes in breathless anticipation;

watchful eyes flit through the gloaming.

Fireflies glitter at dusk.

Blood spilt across the snow;

silent tears like morning dew;

laughter mingles with morning songs.

Wraiths and phantoms watched in array.

There were so many to care for,

breathing in a land of their own.

Trapped behind ink and dusty paper,

waiting to be set free.

I took a pen and unlocked their chains.

I watched and learned and wrote.

And somehow I forgot the world

was so much larger

than the echoes of my mind.

It slipped away so softly

I didn’t see it go,

Until I woke and saw the sun

glint through a wall of glass.

Life continued on the other side,

with a shadow of who I was.

But behind my laughter and smiles

I’d become ensnared

in chains of my own design.

I forgot so quickly,

the ones I’d set out to help.

I lost my focus,

for a realm I could control.

The world was so much larger

than the horizons of my mind.

It bled and wept and hurt

beyond the crystal truths I had built.

The words inside my head

held so much for me to say.

But unspoken they were only a key

waiting for deeds to set them free.

So I took them in my hand,

I spread the dreams out wide;

I took what I had stored

and sowed them with each breath.

One by one the shuttered windows,

slipped loose their protecting bars.

Whispers echoed in the wind

and the shadows let me in.

The world is so much bigger now

it grows every day.

Yet still I hear my own creations

murmur softly in my ears.

But now it’s part of something larger.

A single piece

in a game that two must play.

It is a blade to cut the lies,

a key to fit in a silver lock,

a mirror to show things as they really are.

The harmony of a song that echoes beyond the stars.

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  1. Corissa, Maiden of Praise

    Still love this!

  2. What a beautiful poem that captures an important pearl of truth.

  3. Love this! You’ve captured the writer’s struggle perfectly! I’m a fellow INTJ and can attest to the accuracy of this. Constant struggle to perfect the art and give attention to the stories in my head while not forgetting to actually live the life God has given me.

    • *high fives* Greetings, comrade. And thanks. It’s something that’s hard to explain to those who haven’t gone through it.

      Mom: are you… fine? Do you need mental help.


  4. This captivated me. You did a great job, and I personally think you should write more poems. 🙂

  5. Mhhhhhhhhh. Very much like this, I do. Especially in light of our conversation over on the SE forums.

  6. I love this!! I especially like the line, “But unspoken they were only a key waiting for deeds to set them free.” That really hit home for me. Thanks for sharing this, Hope. <3

  7. ..Wow.. ..I’m reading this after one of your newsletters linked back to it, and the thoughts you wrote both there and here about getting sucked into the stories we make are so accurate. You perfectly encapsulated the problem that almost cost me my writing forever. Especially with that line, “Life continued on the other side, with a shadow of who I was”. It’s easy to become kind of zombie-like in our daily routine when our minds are so deeply embedded in another world. Our overarching passion should be the advancement and strengthening of God’s kingdom, not our own literary empires. Nevertheless, the creative gifts God has given are certainly delightful tools to use; they can impact souls (ours included) in a way that nothing else can. We just have to wield them carefully. Well spoken/written!
    As an aside, do you have any advice for fledgling poets on how to choose a meter when beginning a new poem? I.e, how do I pour out my thoughts in style without spilling all over the paper? Thanks!

    • Yeah, it was a stage in my life too…realizing I was living more in my stories than in the real world.

      As for poetry; not really. I generally write free-verse now and go on instinct and how it sounds to my ear. I dabble in it, but I still don’t know that I actually know what I’m doing.

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