The Tides of Despair

The Tides of Despair …

tides of despair

Rough shards of tossed paper intrude in this halcyon dark

Down a dingy path upon the crude latticework, I rest

Withdrawn from society, my jeans torn with candor’s mark

I breathe deep the cancer smoke from a bartender’s chest

Believe… it raps in my skull, repetitive, hindering,

attacking my soul, I stare down a bottle, blithering


It’s grim, my time spent in dreamland while everyone works

Awakened by the electric hum of nearby lamplights

I once dreamed of mountain pastures, lakes, my dreams now hurt

Drinks poured for those who were encompassed by the night

Believe…like the potpourri of a smoldering fire,

Like my old man told me, son, believe not in a liar.


I stare into the gray above those scintillas of white

Gathering on the windowsill, the frost that pummels the glaze

I retrace my footfalls in the snowy path, at daylight

I resign back to my reclining chair clasping the blaze

Believe…that my old decanter of the finest whiskey

Will help finish off the evening at roughly fifty-fifty.


…So exile…the evening shapes, the tar worn tapestry of sight

Trapped within my many glooms, holding their daily summits

Mutinies that my nightmares impart, stage right my dreams abide,

with the closed curtain, everything sinks, my heartstrings plummet

Believe…this sepulcher of love once bore a tree with fruited boughs

Now, angry words burn my lips, tongue bites given, joy disavows.


Four bars like four walls, with three squares, I am an anchorite.

Entwined we lived with hope, then despair reared its ugly face

An empty pit that burns a void, a loss of appetite

The nighttime air laments as if its eyes were sprayed with mace

Believe… that the distance swallows all who pace and spell,

and into sadness I am bound, and forever there I may dwell


Torrents swallow everything, torments from this sinking ship

A hope, like a blazing lighthouse, into the distance

to where everything I love goes to disappear as quick

as a flame snuffed by despair, when two lovers are misfit.

Believe…in nothing when it comes to love, but despair…

It’s there, it’s always there in your head it rips and tears …it’s there…


For more works by this author see Paul Neglia on The Creative Exiles.

You can also see more great work by Paul Neglia on HubPages.

Paul Neglia
Latest posts by Paul Neglia (see all)

Paul Neglia

Proud father of 3. Part time writer of poetry and short stories. I want to paint the world in but a few words.

7 thoughts on “The Tides of Despair

    • January 14, 2023 at 9:29 AM

      Thanks Phyllis. I know its a little on the dark side. I know we’ve spoken about this before but I feel like I get a more emotional piece when I write about stuff like this. It is not reflective of my mood by any means but it feels like I can place myself in the situation and understand it. Thanks again Phyllis.

      • January 14, 2023 at 5:09 PM

        Paul, you have the deep sensitivity and soul that creates beautiful works. Yes, it may be a little dark, but I do see and feel the beauty of it. Never apologize or try to explain what comes from your soul for that is where the beauty abides.

  • January 16, 2023 at 7:26 AM

    Paul this is a thought provoking write on a topic that may seem dark but haunts many of us. On a different note I cannot give enough praise for your mastery of long line. Long line poetry is a special breed, that I prefer to be honest, and you seem to have control of every word. Amazing write thank you.


  • January 16, 2023 at 8:55 PM

    Thanks Jamie. I’m starting to really enjoy writing in long line. I really appreciate your kind words.

  • January 19, 2023 at 4:31 AM

    Such great imagery, Paul, which speaks of everything without actually uttering the words – that’s the art of excellent writing. Your verse flows and speaks of beautiful things, which makes the sorrow and despair even deep and darker. Brilliant!

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