your motives for doing

whatever good deed

you may have in mind will be

misinterpreted by somebody

then you will be misunderstood

by all those who always hold

their hopes under their hats

while circumstances being what they are

admitting failure would be of little benefit

yet many prefer that state


if I should ever lose my sight
one thing I should not have to study
I think I would remember light

having embraced you in a field of white
I will recall its folds around your body
if I should ever lose my sight

how to forget this frantic flight
should I ever learn to hold steady
I think I would remember light

as you refining day from night
with that promise held ready
if I should ever lose my sight

I might be given one dark night
a subtle glow from thoughts so pretty
I think I would remember light

yet small gods continue their spite
larger ones share a heartfelt pity
if I should ever lose my sight
I will always remember you as light



fear is a most contagious disease
it spreads with a will all its own
infecting innocent and guilty alike
poisoning oppressor and oppressed
those who instill fear are often afraid
the more they inflict fear on others
it becomes more and more certain
they will experience it themselves

battlefields: a sestina

For years I’ve been stymied by fear
there is so often a suffocating dread
following like a cloud at my heels
It’s all those little battlefields
I carry in spite of my aching back
agony burns my shoulders with a weight

I feel pain now controls my fate
every thought has now become drear
a once strong body now gone slack
waiting for each new doubt to spread
randomly across these bloody battlefields
hampered by mud beneath chariot wheels

this unknown enemy dogging my heels
bears down with ever increasing weight
I struggle over countless battlefields
eyes constantly rain tear after tear
not apt to lessen this feeling of dread
no way is found to hold emotions back

another wave of panic tortures my back
sends waves of despair down to my heels
shaking a spirit already crushed by dread
I feel lost beneath this black weight
will I ever be able to overcome this fear
that invades all my personal battlefields

that invades all worldwide battlefields
making it impossible to turn back
even were I able to face my fear
doubt would forever shadow my heels
even were I able to bear this weight
there would come another to dread

much like butter smeared on my bread
a necessary part of all battlefields
this foreboding, ever present weight
like a searing flame on my bloody back
what little courage I once had spills
away as I feel each new spasm of fear

should I dare turn back to face this fear
beneath this weight that keeps dread
on my heels across endless battlefields


An empty feeling lies in the pit of my stomach
so very like the tenderness of a bruise
that is left by the stabbing of a knife
I want to flee with nowhere to go
held in this dreadful place by the fear
that I am about to lose all that I love

I cannot be certain it was this shattered love
that left the fires of hell here in my stomach
while being slowly consumed by this fear
that brings so much pain. No trace of a bruise
can be seen yet it is there every time I go
inside my head to try and escape this bloody knife

that has pierced my soul in a way no real knife
can do. I don’t know what it takes to keep this love
from breaking me. I stay knowing I should go
but that is a choice I am not able to stomach
my insides are like a cauldron where bitterness brews
over a fire that is fueled by nothing more than fear

my life has been a constant battle with fear
an agonizing pain as intense as a twisting knife
that with each passing day leaves a new bruise
on my tattered spirit. A distorted love
has filled my life with a bitterness hard to stomach
all the signs are telling me I need to go

that is something I know I should do yet my ego
keeps me ever fighting back against this fear
that has built a home deep inside my stomach
it would be better if I could take that dreaded knife
and sever those strings that this hopeless love
has bound me with so a healing of that bruise

could come to this place where those sour brews
sap the strength I will need to make myself go
will not be easy to give up all semblance of love
more difficult still is always living with a fear
that one day soon I will reach for that knife
try to erase this pain that dwells in my stomach

I hold a knot of fear deep in my stomach
where this bitter love has left its violent bruise
it is plain to see that knife really needs to go

…..Jerry Marks 1999