Ode to the Darkness











Ode to the Darkness

I sit at the window and watch the growing darkness.

Gray-black rollers seem to linger over my home

Where already the light is dim and hope is lost.

Huge drops pound the dust in the untended flower beds and garden.

Move on, oh clouds of storm.

Take your dark magic, your winds, and water to another place

Where living souls will welcome you.

Leave behind the dying who grieve the dead.


I sit in the darkness with curtains drawn

While the rollers roll over me

In wave after suffocating wave.

Black rollers of grief roll over me, burying me in a lifeless pit.

Huge drops trickle down my dry, wrinkled face

And fall onto my wringing hands

With one finger still bearing the imprint of a covenant made

And seen to its ultimate end.


Through drawn curtains, the light shifts, darkness fades.

One bird sings and invites the world to sing along.

The sky answers in chromatic harmonies of light, vapor, and spectrum.

The sun shines again and the world is renewed.


Sun, shine into the darkness of my heart.

Pierce the murky corners where devils lie

And whisper lies that all is lost,

That hope is a myth,

That rollers roll on perpetually,

That huge drops will never cease to fall.

 Sun, bring your light and color into my darkness

And chase the devils away.


I stand in the darkness before the window.

Drawn curtains, not only of fabric

But of memories, regrets, loss, grief, and pain

Separate me from the magic of a new day,

From the magic of a rainbow

That might replace the gloom.

If I pull a simple cord, the curtain will open,

The light, color, and singing will pour in.


But where is the cord that will part this shroud of death?

Chris Mills
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Chris Mills

I was born and raised on an Indiana dairy farm, became a Michigander and now travel all over the US as a traveling laboratory tech. I write every day and cover as many genres as I can. Short fiction is my favorite, but I'm dabbling in a longer piece as well. One of my writing guidelines is to be as creative and original as I possibly can be. Sometimes that leads to some strange stuff. At the end of each of my stories there is a place to sign up to follow me on The Creative Exiles. I invite you to do this so you can be notified each time I post a new story. Thanks for visiting The Creative Exiles website.

14 thoughts on “Ode to the Darkness

  • March 24, 2018 at 4:23 PM

    Great phrasing in this verse, Chris. Darkness is often difficult to leave, even when the desire is there, the way out is not. I really like this poem. Well done, Chris. Take care.

    • March 24, 2018 at 7:22 PM

      Phyllis, I do enjoy putting the phrases together. That opens up a new place inside that is having an effect on my fiction writing which I really needed. It has to do with the showing rather than telling aspect of fiction. When I am writing poetry, it is much more natural to reach for the visuals. In fiction, I tend to gravitate toward explaining a scene. In my latest fantasy series on HP I am using this quite a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the poetry for its own sake, but welcome the impact on my other writing as well. Thanks for reading and for your comments.

      • March 24, 2018 at 8:42 PM

        That is really interesting, Chris. I have never really thought about how poetry influences, or affects, my fiction writing. Fiction came naturally to me when a child and poetry came much later. Thanks for sharing thoughts on the two genres.

  • March 24, 2018 at 5:50 PM

    A very dark piece Chris, with some great imagery and phrases to emote that sense of hopelessness. Nicely penned and enjoyed my friend. Cheers!

    • March 24, 2018 at 7:25 PM

      Tony, I really appreciate the encouragement regarding my poetry. I’d like you to take a look at my comment to Phyllis regarding how poetry is impacting my other writing. I think it is an interesting effect that might work well for others who struggle in fiction with using imagery to show their story rather than exposition.

  • March 24, 2018 at 7:30 PM

    Yes Chris, I agree, imagery in poetry is just as important as showing not telling in fiction writing. Being an artist, the imagery aspect of fiction writing always came naturally to me, which is a blessing. Having written for so long, imagery in writing becomes a woven part of expression and like anything that is practiced, it soon becomes neither thought about nor intentionally penned, it just happens. Cheers!

  • March 25, 2018 at 5:29 AM

    I enjoyed reading your piece Chris! I think of Sandy often. Even though I only was in her presence a couple of times I have felt that I had known here.

    • March 25, 2018 at 10:01 PM

      Miriam, thanks for coming here and reading my poem. I wish you had been able to spend more time with Sandy. My best to your family.

  • March 25, 2018 at 7:19 AM

    That darkness was so well explained here with fantastic imagery in every line. Phyllis is right that darkness is hard to overcome, it sits there and eats away at you. Excellent work Chris.

    • March 25, 2018 at 9:00 AM

      Paul, It is so much easier to write something like this when you’ve been there. I pulled the curtains closed for about a year. I’m glad to be back in the sunshine.Thanks for reading and for the kind words.

  • March 25, 2018 at 8:32 PM

    Chris, this is a beautiful poem, full of despair, real life gut-wrenching feelings. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years and you have written this with as much feeling as if it were yesterday. I love the curtain cord reference, I love the rolling clouds, I see the yard and the gardens and the flowers that were in your yard, getting pounded with rain as you were. Chris, this is good imagery and a great ode to your life with Sandy. Thank you for writing it. I hope you will be ok if I copy it for my own reading.

    • March 25, 2018 at 9:58 PM

      Cheryl, I’m glad you found this poem. Yes, of course, you can copy it. Be careful of posting it elsewhere online. That causes problems back here with Google called “duplicate content”. Emailing is fine though. You might also like the short story I wrote called “Crossing the Sands of Time.” It is pinned at the top of my FB page for freelance writers.

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