Ashes and Oil


We wake in barren fields

that once grew the fullness

of our dreams.

Under a divided sky,

that yields no rain,

nor sunlight,

we struggle with mere existence.

Reality has faltered.

As if someone

has altered the contract

written since the days

of Creation.


Our fingers sink down

into the barren soil.

Roots seeking water,

seeking some purchase

in this unfamiliar nightmare,

but our fists come up empty,

only caked with black sludge

that smells of burning homes.

Plastic and wood.

Our field

is ashes and oil.


Eyes skyward,

desperately straining

for one ray of light

to pierce the dull firmament.

No sun, no moon, no stars,

only the strangely diffused light

of a somnambulist’s purgatory.

A life in the dream,

never to wake.

The staked prey

of the paralysis demon.


Our open mouths

cry out for water.

Cracked lips and parched throats

are soon coated with a thin layer

of greasy corruption,

sucked from the air

with every breath.

The voice submerged,

drowned out,

until the mind breaks,

for it no longer recognises

its situation

as any form of life.


Will the clouds part?

Will the rain come?

Will the dreamers

wake to find the morning light,

steaming through

clean, uncracked windows?

If so,

will their eyes still see?

Will their tongue still taste?

Will their minds still remember

living a nightmare?



HG – 2022

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