Poetry has its darker side to say the least. After all, poetry is about emotion and we know our emotional house is a briar patch even Brer Rabbit would avoid. Still, as thorny as it may be, it is a rich inspiration to the poet. For it is upon the highest peaks or in the lowest valleys of emotion a poet’s best work pours out.
For me, I see the darkness of the valleys as a vital element in the value placed upon the brightness of the peaks. Without such contrast, would we hold the highs with such esteem? Moreover, poetry is the vehicle I use to excise the bitter malaise my mind retreats to now and then. Poetry keeps me yoked to normal; otherwise, I truly would be a madman.
For example, my mind does not rest when I sleep. It takes me to faraway lands and magical worlds but I have no control of any particular destination. Often, I awake with an overwhelming desire to express my experience. It is where a good bit of my poetry is born. When that place is dark, I write poems like this one:
My Nightly Prayer
It’s madding angst in the dark
that infuriates my soul
yellow eyes, light’s only spark
from demons beyond control
It’s no good to hear the lies
from these orbs my mind creates
against the truth each decries
as daybreak my soul awaits
I know the truth when awake
no power do orbs then keep
to steal my soul is their stake
Hell’s reason for them to creep
So each night I take this test
lead by ghouls that haunt me so
I pray for strength and some rest
but mostly for them to go
No more dark with yellow eyes
to destroy my solemn sleep
No more fear of nighttime lies
or reasons to wake and weep
To say expressing darker emotions helps me is not exactly right but it is on point. Expressing them is a relief valve, yoking me to normal. The real questions, for me, is not if I write them, but if I dare share them with the world. I mean who among us wishes to be so vulnerable? Answer, I must share them. I must cast them out, otherwise they never leave me and writing about them serves no point.
It is my hope that, for some, reading them does the same thing. It gives a release. Perhaps someone is helped knowing others have such feelings too. I wish I could say that was my motive and I was not so selfish but darker poems are, in the end, honest. It would not do to wrap them with dishonest motives.