Smoke fills the lungs.
Warning signals run in desperation to alert the mind
in a race that’s become all too familiar.
Flames engulf my entrails
like dry twigs thrown on a campfire on an August night.
In frantic panic, eyes search for aid,
but people pass by as if nothing were amiss.
Surely someone must feel the heat…
Can’t anyone see the fire that burns bright in these eyes?
Doesn’t anyone know the smell of the human spirit
cooking in the oven of fear or hear it’s cry,
wailing when touched by the torch
like a colonial witch burned at the stake?
My mind is already alight,
pulsing in agony,
raging like a wounded animal hobbling through the forest,
flapping my wings like a madman trying to put out invisible flames.
I wait out the blaze until every drop of fuel
has been burnt up within me.
My mind is now only simmering instead of boiling.
My brain’s fire has had it’s excess oxygen removed and dwindles.
But the coals of Hell have taken their toll.
I have been branded,
internally marked as different from society –
part man, part beast,
forced to carry these hideous scars,
these burns that have been seared upon my soul,
feeling like a traveling circus on display for all to see.
The internal fire is felt,
but remains unseen.
Daily situations necessary for living in modern society
are tiny sparks that land upon the mind’s kindling,
never knowing when flames will roar up
and engulf my essence once again,
always burning with too much heat,
and I never have enough water.
-Poem Written by Justin Farley
Thank you again, for your honesty! I think that those of us who have a deep understanding of ourselves… have felt the same fire. But it is the sense of feeling so different from humanity, that tugs at my heart. Every person has a past, and sometimes a present that they don’t want anyone to see, even themselves. Your particular art, that beauty you give to the world… this is unique! And like nobody else’s gift. But the terror of abuse, of self-abuse, of shame and pain… these do not cheapen your life, or make you in some way less worth-while. If you had a window to see into every soul, you would see some kind of deep sadness or even a bit of “madness”. It is actually a much more difficult thing to be honest and live truthfully. This is true maturity. Thanks again. I love your poetry.
Thanks, Janella for all your comments and encouragement! It meant a lot to me. I apologize for not replying to you sooner; I haven’t been very active on here for awhile. Sometimes it’s easy to convince ourselves that our words don’t matter or that our gifts are a waste of time, but you’ve reminded me how words and beauty can validate or help someone in a sometimes deeper way than maybe even a family member or friend can because they help explain a feeling inside that feels alien and unable to be understood. When you read something that touches you, your soul shouts, “Yes! There is someone out there who feels like I do and understands,” Thank you for the time you spent commenting, and I wish you the best!