Dark Side of the Poet

The dark side of the poet, his bane of existence,

dark side

a blackness in his life that was inconceivable,
it grew from an inescapable loneliness since childhood
and he always sensed something wanting,
something unknown therefore unattainable,
it was a hunger within that ravaged his soul.

Abandoned early in life, his mother left him
in the care of a relative, to never return,
never did he hear from her,
nor did he know who his father was,
he grew up seeking for something,
anything to hold on to, to call his own.

He always lived on the edge,
between light and dark,
between safety and danger,
not knowing which way he would be pulled.
A dark depressive streak
in a divided soul plagued him.

His poetry reflected the dark side
broiling within him,
never quite reaching the brim
of the cauldron,
always ready to explode.

Even when he entered light and wrote
beautiful poetry of love deep and true,
one could sense the anguish underneath it all,
the beauty, the repressed passions
that had torn his soul apart
and left him impoverished,
unable to ever love for real.

He knew not what love was,
what it felt like to receive it
or even how to give it.
Nothing softened or even touched
his cold, lonely heart,
nothing stirred his soul except words.

Words that flowed from his pen
made him cry out for something
to fill the void within him.
He thought it sad that people
loved his dark and lonely poems,
poems that came from a tormented soul.

He sat by a creek one day,
under a giant oak that made him
feel so small and insignificant,
he listened to bubbling waters
running over rocks and fallen branches,
when he heard another sound.

A faint sound of fear and desperation
caught his attention.
He looked around for where the sound
came from, stood up and followed
a weak call for help up the creek
and found a small puppy trapped in a branch,
fighting the waters that would soon drown him.

“Poor little devil,” he said.
“That will teach you to stay out of creeks!”
The puppy looked up at him
with eyes of hope that begged for help.
The poet waded in water knee deep
and untangled the cold wet pup.

Back on the bank he sat the puppy down,
shooed it away then went back to his oak
to be alone and write another poem.
Before long the puppy came creeping
close to him, climbed in his lap
and curled up.

“Awww! Look, you got my journal all wet!
You little devil!”
He picked up the pup to send him away again,
but the pup licked his hand and turned
big grateful eyes up to the poet.
At that moment, something stirred within the poet.

And a tear rolled down his cheek.
He stared into the big brown eyes
and saw something unknown to him,
something that made his heart jump
and his soul to enfold the pup in
what he never felt before – love!

“Can this be? Were you sent to me to
open my heart and stir my soul?”
He held the pup close to his chest
and felt a wet tongue kiss his chin.
“Well, you found me so I could
find myself and know what love really is.”

“Sparky! Sparky! Come back!”
A frightened yet lovely voice reached him,
followed by the most beautiful young woman
he had ever seen come running out of the woods.
“Oh! Sparky! Sir, you found my puppy!”
She sat down and took the pup from him,
And his heart grew even more soft and loving.

Their eyes met,
and a dark void in his life
filled with beautiful light
as she smiled at him and cried with joy.
He saw how much she loved the pup.
Over the years, the pup grew
and so did the love they all found for each other.

dark side

© 2021 Phyllis Doyle Burns

For more works by this author see Phyllis Doyle Burns on The Creative Exiles

and Phyllis Doyle Burns on HubPages


Phyllis Doyle Burns
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Phyllis Doyle Burns

I have always liked to write. It is important to me that writing comes from my heart and soul. When writing poetry, if I do not feel a spiritual connection to what I am writing on, I will discard it and go on to something I can connect with on a spiritual level. I live in the moment, I write from the past or beyond the veil. When writing fiction I go with whatever inspires me at the moment - it could be funny, sorrowful, romantic or sometimes done with the use of colloquial language from mountain folk or other cultural regions. I began writing content online in 2007, starting with BellaOnline - A Voice For Women, where I was the Native American Editor, Folklore & Mythology Editor, and the Appalachian Editor. I also wrote articles for The Examiner, Daily Two Cents, and Yahoo. I am a freelance writer for Fiverr. I am currently an author on HubPages, a member/author of the Maven Coalition, and Senior Editor and an author for The Creative Exiles. Most of what I write takes a lot of research and I love it. Even if it is a fictional story, I will research for accuracy in whatever it takes to make my characters, their era, their location, etc. become realistic to the reader. I hope you enjoy my works. Thank you for visiting.

4 thoughts on “Dark Side of the Poet

  • August 15, 2021 at 6:24 AM

    What a touching story, Phyllis. Thank you for sharing. Funny, I have had people tell me that they prefer my darker poems. I guess, they can touch people in deeper and different ways.

    • September 22, 2021 at 8:33 PM

      Hi John. You are most welcome. Thank you for the kind words. I believe all poets have a dark side that must surface occasionally, and, yes, they do “touch people in deeper and different ways.”


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