by John Ganshaw
Hate is not Welcomed Here So dark and cloudy outside, no brightness exists not even on the horizon is there a glimmer of light The pain is so heavy, the hurt is so deep. Should there be anger and hate to complement all these feelings that abound inside. The thievery resonates with all that was taken. The memories are now tainted with lies that were spoken. No truth was ever divulged, no words of remorse were heard by my ears. No sorrow has been shown for the actions that struck my soul. I peer into the darkness and there I see the image of you and the words you speak. The hate I should feel, the anger I should have just don’t breathe. Is it me who is wrong for the lack of these feelings or could it be you didn’t hurt me enough for these feelings to live. You planted these seeds yet they never grew. My heart was broken but never broke. All that was done I refused to water the seeds that were sown. I saw all the good when others preached the bad. I embraced the hope of what could have been had. I longed for the happiness the future could be. So much was living inside my heart, inside my soul, there was no room for anger and hate. The evil that was lurking at every turn had no room to be in. Even now, I refuse to let it thrive, l will not allow it to be anywhere near. I sit and wonder what will become of you now, knowing the destruction you sought, means nothing at all. The tears I shed are not of despair, they are tears of hope that the future for you is all you deserve. You will live knowing all that you’ve done, no need for my anger and hate as your own will be worse by far. Cold Begets Warmth Dark and cold when I awake, blankets and quilts pulled up tight, only my head is left uncovered. Wishing to stay in bed, why fall asleep and have the dreams come again? No chance of that, better to brave the cold of the room, get dressed, and head down to the kitchen, pouring your first cup of what will be multiple cups of coffee. The black miracle liquid warms you, and unfreezes your heart, enabling you to think of the day ahead. A day that will be like all other days, watching mindless shows on TV, question the past and all that happened. Sit and stare out the window and little by little it gets brighter. Perhaps this is a sign of your life, little by little it will get brighter. Time moves so slowly when you want it to go fast, waiting for the sun to begin to rise, pull on a pair of boots, run down the steps, and out the door to snap a photo of the rising sun on the horizon. The sun, casting a ray of warmth on the fresh glistening snow, so cold but yet so warm, a resemblance of life. Turn and take a selfie to share with friends, proof that you are still alive. They are happy to see a smile yet comment on how the sparkle in your eyes has yet to return. I see it myself when I look in the mirror, the eyes are yet void, and life has yet to return. There is a difference than months ago, it was hard to imagine what a year of pain and hurt can cause. It’s almost another month gone by, a couple more months, and the snow will begin to melt, the days will get longer, the sun will shine earlier, and the warmth will begin to embrace all in its path. Perhaps the sun will embrace you too, help to thaw the frozen heart, bring life back into your bones, and enable that sparkle to be seen again. Darkness After the darkest of days Lies the darkest of nights Not a star in the sky to light your way You look all around for a guiding flame Your eyes are wide open and none exist With closed eyes it is haunting If only there was a glimmer of light You cry out for someone to help No one hears your cries What is your plan, you can’t succumb Hold your breath and dig deep You squint and slowly open your eyes Could that be the light you see on the horizon Though not within reach it is still seen You dig deeper, reach with all your might Open your eyes a bit more and can it be The light is a bit brighter, a bit closer You give all you have Dig deeper than you ever have before Open your eyes wide as you can now There is light and it is closer now You reach out You can grab it now Feel it in your arms The heat of the light is warming The brightness illuminating You are alive
At the age of 53 and after 31 years in banking it was time for John to retire and follow his dream of owning a hotel in Southeast Asia. This led to many new experiences enabling John to see the world through a different lens, leading him to write his story through essays, poetry, and a yet unpublished memoir. John’s work has appeared in Native Skin, Runamok Books/Growerly, Post Roe Alternatives, Solstice, OMQ, and Open Door Magazine, among others. Nothing is as it seems, and experiences are meant to shape us not define us. There is hope, truth, and adventure in life, all leading to stories that need to be written and told.