Hate is not Welcomed Here

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.


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.