Creative Writing

Read Treasure Hunt on PoydrasReview.com

The Man I’ll Be

I’ve seen myself in old age. 

I wore shirts stitched with time and lives, 

A coat that had never been new, 

And boots that told stories far more rugged

than the places I’d been. 

The poetry in the fabric of my fashion, 

Fell out in epitaphs to things I’d seen, 

Through the cutting things I’d say. 

Every sentence meant something, 

in that same old joking way 

Or that serious despair that sometimes

Also came with laughter.   

I was a man with the piercing glare

Of blind troubadours, 

The eyes of wanderers, gypsies, 

And storytellers whose shoes

I could never quite fill.

I was a man who rebelled

Against the place he was born 

To find truer stories

and lives lived without anaesthesia, 

Or the numbing drugs that money buys. 

I was a man watched by the sun

Many days both as it rose and as it sank.

And wrinkles beneath my beard

Testified to the passage of time

And the way I moved through it

Like the quiet, uproarious presence

Of distant thunderstorms, 

Dark greys and bright flashes.

I swayed in open spaces, amongst mountains,

Between waves, between the boundaries

Of silent ruminations and shouts 

Of “that was fucking crazy!” 

There was no holding back

Because truth hit me in sharp and sudden

bursts both painful and wonderful.  

I was a man who knew he knew nothing. 

But I had felt that eternal and unending rush

that passed only for a brief moment. 

And I had called it divine

Despite the warnings of men 

And the conspiracy of the so-called level-headed

That told me to live a certain way.

I’ve seen myself in old age

And I avoided that melancholic march through time. 

So stop asking me who, or what, I want to be. 

I’ve seen myself in old age

And I know I won’t be you.   

A Stolen Car

 

I’d learned to ride time like a madman in a stolen car, not mine

were the eyes looking back in some reflection 

In a mirror or window, could’ve been me or someone else,
Painted between the efervescent dance of artificial light.

And when the eyes looked through reflective gradient
Things slowed down and people walked
As if the world turned more slowly in the past tense.
And I remembered the softer dance of natural light.

 

Mortality gently waking me on a Sunday morning, a memory

Of moments that almost never were, or so they seemed.
Anxiety shook me by the shoulders and flipped the bed, uncertainty
Loomed and gloomed to draw the days down in a rush.

So I jumped in a stolen car and did things I said I’d never.
I don’t remember if I drove or not, I’d like to think I looked out

The sunroof, as I drank the numbing drugs in all their forms.
Too fast, the way time passed, in technicolor screens. 

 

And the sun became another passing light on windows.
Rapid darkness, like closing blinds, another day, a month gone by.
The time I wasted waiting for time, leave nothing behind. 

Inaudible words flew by and none made it to paper. 

 

Could’ve been me or someone else, staring-back 

eyes through a glass that looked at people walking. 

That’s where I was going as a madman in a stolen car--

To the place of walking and writing and thinking.

But that slower place was not in front of me. 

And the stolen car crashed turning around.  

The Divine Right of Things

 

That was the thing with him. He spoke like he was never born and he would never die—Like he knew a thing about everything. 

How painfully arrogant, to think that he knew a thing about anything at all. 

And he kept a lot of things in his house, too many things. Like things would never change, and there’d always be room for all of his things. 

And, he went to church, mostly to ask for things—and the divine right of things. 

And they got old, but he wasn’t short in dynastic successions. 

He said a lot of things about everything, mostly empty things, as if the clock didn’t always win. 

But the watch on his wrist was expensive so he didn’t have to look at it if he didn’t want to. 

And he said he loved, and he said he lived, but he dealt words like nothing, like they meant anything. 

He prayed to things, hoping that they made him last forever. And he spread himself too thin to embrace all of his things—in that grand illusion that any thing mattered at all. 

He never realized that all the things meant nothing if he didn’t have the thing he needed most: 

To feel alive despite the things. 

A Home.

 

I am driftwood floating

In a sea of mystery 

A body with arms, 

That do not swim--

Though in vain they would swim, 

If they could swim—

And mouths 

Mouths that do not speak.

No, I will not fight 

As current goes where current goes 

Even if another wind blows. 

I move by playful waves 

And treacherous waves 

And rolling waves 

But the branches

from which I broke 

have blown away from me, 

taken by some other boat, 

or become the respite 

of some weary birds

or the shelter of radiant schools 

I am driftwood floating, 

The home of green hair 

And sharp scales 

I am driftwood that floats 

Until I sink 

I am driftwood that floats 

At the mercy of an empty sea 

I am driftwood that hopes 

To come ashore,

To be called beautiful 

I am driftwood that hopes 

To one day become a boat 

To one day become a home. 

Ofelia

 

Fight as hard as you can, one day you’ll just drift away

You’ll be the wind that messes our hair 

Or the leaves that skid beneath our feet. 

You’ll be the cool blue of the sky and the warmth of the sun 

That embraces us when we step outside. 

All of you trying to tell us that you love us, 

But we wont hear you. We’re too busy—

Too busy with our lives. 

That’s how it was at the end anyway. 

She didn’t say much, neither did we. 

At some point we all stop moving around, 

And the whole world keeps turning. 

The exhalations of youth were all around her, 

The little ones barely noticed but 

Her eyes were always following, carefully 

Watching—watching as old gave way to the new 

I love you all, she would’ve said, I love you all,

If only we would’ve listened a little closer 

I love you is all she would’ve said through that upside down smile 

That came from the wrinkles, that came from surviving. 

And she held on as long as she could, 

Just to taste a bit of what would come—

And even to partake of the laughter, 

Like that one time she danced, the one time I saw her dance.

We didn’t see what it meant back then, 

Now we know it was a longing for a fresh start, 

A hope that she would see us all grow up. 

Now she has one, and now she watches, 

And now she speaks. 

 

So when the wind tosses your hair, 

When the leaves blow beneath your feet, 

And when the sunlight kisses your cheeks, 

Just know what she’s trying to tell you.  

© 2023 by Christopher Vincent Bared.
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