Poem: Light and Turpentine. 


Light and Turpentine. 

Sun comes through the old church window,
muted by shades designed to keep out the cold
and leave at least some of the light,

a dampening effect, like the small orange pill
you take each morning to push the demons
off their perch for another day, or at least

to leave you with enough strength
to do the pushing, to wield the sword
all snicker-snack, clearing the path

for another day.

You have grown accustomed to the blood
of demons and no longer question
your berserker approach to the mornings,

all Vikings and Templar for just long enough
to clear the field and pretend for the rest of the day
that you are normal. Clark Kent without a cape

or costume, slightly clumsy, slightly agape
at a world where morning bloodletting
is not the norm. No killing before coffee

for them. No sir. But no matter, the deed is done,
the bloody tendrils swept under the bed
where no one can see them,

and you are here, in your sunlit studio
that smells of paint thinner and light,
Mick Jagger strutting on the stereo,

foot-tapping like the younger person
you have slowly become again in your old age.

About this poem

I write a lot about my morning bouts of depression, mostly because I write in the mornings, when I fight it the hardest, almost always in victory, though not without doing the work. So it is often on my mind. By mid day, the battle is forgotten. There’s better things to do, like live.

Snicker-snack was blatantly stolen from Lewis Carol’s poem Jabberwocky, which is one of my faves.

The picture was taken this morning from the writing table in my studio. Mick Jagger is on the stereo. If there is better music than “Some Girls”, it’s hard to find.

Be well,


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