The Only Way

There is no direction
When every way is the only way
That leads back to where we began
A ghost, for most of our days
We walk alone
One cocoon, shed for another
Time, though linear in our hearts
Stands still for the mind to wrap around
There’s a fire up ahead
If lucky, it’ll consume the destination
Breaking away, in a new direction
Far from the here and now
We can see the flames on the horizon
The smoke already penetrates our lungs
Burns with each breath
Still, it’s the way we must go
The only way, for maybe
Something waits on the other side
Although cruel in its moment
Hope presents itself
As seared desperation melts away
In the eye of self-destruction

 

84 comments

  1. Word for word, line by line, I am awed.
    I want to highlight the splendid
    but I found myself highlighting every line.
    This is one of those poems that will outlive
    every one of us, and yet will always be new.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. This one’s outstanding, River. Chilling, intriguing, alluring and yet hopeful. How you create all these gloriously twisted emotions and crystalline imagery I’ll never know. I love “hope presents itself as seared desperation melts away”. I love all of it. You have an amazing mind. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hello River,
    It’s proving to be an impossible task trying to send out the invites. If
    you still like, you can request access to my blog. I will accept my
    regulars.
    Sorry for this hassle.
    – Jen

    Liked by 2 people

  4. River this is such a powerful piece. You can feel the intensity, in the midst of destruction, yet there is Hope. Closing lines “As seared desperation melts away
In the eye of self-destruction”
    Such vivid imagery…😊

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “…that leads back to where we began…” I think that can be a good thing. As I get older, I’m realizing that my younger unblemished self had better instincts about some things — not all things, as your previous post said about living fast and dying young — but a better idea of the directions to take, or at least try out. Back when I was fearless and had no baggage! Your line about fire also resonates. Fire can be cleansing, stripping everything away, forcing new growth. You are a very talented writer. I find myself reading your poems over and over to catch all the subtle nuances, and I suspect I still miss many of those nuances. Has anyone told you that you look like Bob Seger? At least your pic on this blog does! Have you ever considered song writing?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I only just recently started reading your poetry. I may only be turning 16 but these poems are some of the best I’ve seen. I must say, your work is inspiring. From what I have read, your poetry, from start to finish, gives me goosebumps. I feel like it drags me back to my younger days. I may not be qualified in some people’s eyes to say, “my younger days” but the way I grew up, let’s just say I had to grow up fast. I envy those who got to have a real childhood. Still, I try to remember that everything I went through helped to make me who I am today. I’ve almost always loved reading and I love to make up stories of my own as well. I want to become an author when I graduate. And I know it’s a far placed dream, but as Sergeant Aldridge once told me, “Don’t reach for the stars. Reach for the moon so that if you fall short, you’ll still be among the stars.” Your poems help me to remember (in some strange way) everything that happened. Everything that can still happen. And that there is always the smallest bit of hope even in the darkest places. Thank you so much for giving that even if you didn’t know it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment.
      It sounds to me like you already have a deep insight into your own experiences. It’s important to remember that the things that happen to us do indeed shape and make us what we are today, but they do not define us. Unless we let them. We can give control to the pain or we can take control of the pain. That’s a choice. And you are right, no matter how dark, how deep, at the base of everything is hope. It’s hard to see at times, but I believe it’s always there. Waiting. But hope too can be painful. Maybe that’s why so often we let go of it.
      All reality is based on dreams. There is absolutely no reason why you can’t be an author. Go for it. My opinion is to just write, and never compromise with your words. Write them the way they are meant to be said. If you remain genuine and true to yourself, people will recognize that. They will be drawn to that.
      Thanks again, take care, and I look forward to reading your work.

      Liked by 1 person

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