A Crooked Stitch by Jonathan Douglas Dowdle

From room to room, and hall to hall, it beckons,
On the nights where sleep does not come,
Through corridors of memory, where the rain once fell,
Marking the streets, in a sudden, as translucent,
Yes, death cries and cries to life,
An abandoned lover, in the dark drab vestiges
That remain from a once silken garment,
But here, we do not tarry,
Nor, do we permit ourselves to answer.

On the old avenues, where empires were built
In the hearts of every dreamer, I once found you
And spoke the word: “Green”, meaning only
“Life thrives in all hours, even the darkest ones,
So do not fear the tolling of the bells,
Nor the breaking of the heart, for every story
Is a turn of a page from changing, and even
Bitterness must have its reckoning.”
Yet you feared the death of all life, and held fast
To the side of your mountain
Like a child
Who fears to learn how to swim.

I, too, have known those who worship
At the strange and weary altars,
Brandishing pain as an emblem
Against the future nightmare’s walk,
But there is no life in fear,
Be it fear of pain blossoming
Like a dark tumor in the heart, or
Fear of death
Which is the end of all pain.

So as it comes, restless as the rain
Thundering in upon my own skull, I give to
The darkness each word’s fresh blossom,
Rising up between the cracks. Waiting once more
For sleep, that cousin of night
To rest, and saying softly to the shadows
“Until it is your hour,
There is still time for one dream, or
Another.”


Jonathan Douglas Dowdle was born in Nashua, NH and has traveled throughout the US, he currently resides in South Carolina. Previous works have appeared or are appearing in: Hobo Camp Review, 322 Review, The Right Place At The Right Time, Blue Hour Review, Whimperbang, After The Pause, Midnight Lane Boutique, Visitant, and The Big Windows Review.

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