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Writer, Editor and Poet | Inner-life Advocate

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

From a Roaming Mind

I placed the soup on the stove to warm
I sat and dragged the pen
(my unwilling prisoner)
across the page

A long line appeared, trying to convince me
it’s all going nowhere

The day was washed out and cold
and I was hoping to warm us both
with a word or two

But as the words tried to surface
I began to wonder how we’re supposed to know
we’re thriving
without these cold and washed out days

I thought about the next century
with every convenience marching over the horizon
how we’ll still crave the grind
the weary hours
still cling to the…

Who are you?

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

Who are you, spirit within?

I’ve heard philosophers heckle
one another
over your size
your shape
your color

Theologians still crave to know
whether you are the very substance
of God
or a mere celestial signpost
a divine diplomat
an angelic ambassador
in the human heart

Do you move of your own accord
or are you a weather vane
perched atop the solar plexus
unerringly judging the winds
of a wider universe
and hoping I’ll follow?

Are you all that I need
or are you leading me
toward what I need?

Some say Atman is Brahman
and the entirety of the…

The Piano Teeth Bandit

Art by Stephen S. Gibson

Click here for Part I: The Black Canes

The winds were blowin’ hard and high when Pa and me first laid eyes on the city. And, though it was hidden far inside the desert wilderness of the Forgotten West, the state of affairs in the depths of this prison-land had almost kept right apace with the free world. This was probably owin’ to the steady influx of new arrivals on all sides of the half-mile. Wherever they go — carpenters, masons, murders, thieves — people bring their know-how along with ‘em.

Wherever they go — carpenters, masons, murders, thieves —…

A note to writers

Photo by Mitch Trotter on Unsplash

I am inspired by you if you hit publish twice a day
I am inspired by you if you hit publish three times a week
I am inspired by you if you hit publish once a month

I am inspired by you
when your favorite piece in a long time
goes unnoticed
and someone else’s verbal surplus
gets all the love

You inspire me if you’re too busy
or discouraged
or undone these days
for any of it

Even if you’ve only ever aspired
to share something
brow furrowed as you scrawl out
or plod through the words
every syllable remaining a secret to…

The Black Canes

Art by Stephen S. Gibson

The good, free world stopped at the black canes, jammed deep in the red dirt and spaced apart. We all knew there was big magic past the borderland, and some suppose the canes were markers set down by the witch-men of a gone age.

We all knew when someone crosses the half-mile past the canes, they’re gone forever. ‘Cause it’s impossible to walk back. It kills you. You disintegrate. You walk in, and you don’t walk out unless you’re desperate to die. That’s why the good, free world sends its rejects there, inside the prison-land called the Forgotten West.


A dialogue

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Muse: If not now, then when?

Doubtful Writer (DW): When I have something to say.

Muse: Don’t you?

DW: Maybe, but if so, then I want to say it well.

Muse: Can’t you?

DW: I think so… But I feel like I’ve hardly tried.

Muse: Then try.

DW: I think I’ll finish the last season of that show I’ve been watching…

Muse: Why?

DW: Because I’m afraid of failure, alright? Or worse, of just being of no consequence to anyone.

Muse: So you’re afraid of being heard… but also afraid of being unheard?

DW: Precisely.

Muse: Well, what do you…

I heard they did a study…

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

I heard they did a study once
where they grew a little world
inside of a protective dome

They discovered the trees
could not grow their heartwood
without the wind to press against
and challenge them
and so the trees sprouted up
then withered away

The Truth is like the wind
isn’t it?

And we are just like the trees

Sometimes it seems
we’d rather a world without Truth in it,
a windless world
inside a protective dome

But we do get bored
now and then

So we stir up a breeze
a half-truth
a drama
Switch on a fan or two to…

The Vampire Eater

Art by Stephen S. Gibson

The place was half full of card tossers and tab runners. You might have described a few of ‘em as smooth, but none as tender. The dry wooden walls were sorely lacking in windows, concealin’ the knowledge of whether it was day or night. And up ‘round the rafters swam a commingled haze of smoke and body heat, a graduated specter suspended above the stolid patrons.

Now, there was one fella among the lot of ’em with the features of a more or less idyllic westerner. Well-cut jaw, fine stubble, accented with a prim mustache. He had deep ocean eyes…

Darren T. Atherton

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