12 Oct

I stand alone,
but not quite secluded,
in a comfortable peace I never knew I could feel.

I consider.

All that I could be
if I just tried harder.

Everything I used to be,
something I now regret.

Who I am,
and who I’ve let down.

I stand at the window,
a different place than it ever used to be,
something so wrong, turned so right.

5 minutes past midnight
with tiny lights above my head.

A long-empty bottle to remind me,
and a cigarette,
as always.

Forgive me.

My thoughts turn to you.

To us.

And the things which always
meant more.

Tiny lanterns hang in the sky,
despite it all.



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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Poetry


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

16 responses to “Lanterns

  1. Morning

    October 12, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    beautiful poem.

    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      October 12, 2011 at 7:07 pm

      Thank you very much, I wrote it in 2008, and linked it for short story slam because I’ve been finding it difficult to write much poetry at the moment. It’s only reading it back that I can see how much it relates to my life in the present.

  2. manicddaily

    October 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Lovely close–you make even the cigarettes magical.

    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      October 12, 2011 at 7:09 pm

      Thanks! Cigarettes became a popular theme in my writing at one time; I used to stand by the window in my bedroom every night, chain-smoking, making up poems. It was a horrible time in my life, everything was going wrong… yet I got a lot of poetry out of it, so it’s a positive too.

  3. terri0729

    October 12, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Wow, I can so relate with the chain smoking while writing statement. I don’t exactly chain smoke but I do smoke more when I write :) But that’s beside the point, your poem is very, very good and very sad. Nicely done though!! Blessings, Terri

    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      October 12, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      I think smoking and writing go together. It just feels right! I haven’t been able to write without a cigarette in my hand for years, which doesn’t bode well for me if I ever decide to quit.

      Thanks for reading :)

  4. charlesmashburn

    October 13, 2011 at 3:29 am

    I have a philosophy that everything we’ve said and done up to this moment is the sum total of what we are. Good stuff, or bad stuff, it’s all in the past and can’t be undone. The key is to accept who we are right now and move forward. There are no do overs, but there are fresh starts. That’s another of my philosophies: every minute, every move, is–or can be–a new beginning. In fact, it IS a new beginning, whether we like it or not.
    I don’t know why I thought I needed to share all that with you. Pardon me, if I’m out of line in doing so.
    Your poem is wonderful, though tinged with sadness. But that’s okay, too. The best poems are the real ones–the ones that bare it all.

    My story for week 12:

  5. halfwaybetweenthegutter

    October 13, 2011 at 5:07 am

    Don’t worry about being out of line; I agree with your philosophies. I try not to regret, because everything which has happened has brought me to this point in my life. I’m a huge believer in fresh starts, I’ve reinvented my life many times. Not always the healthiest thing to do, but it allows a totally blank slate. Sometimes you really do need to start again, from scratch.

    I look forward to checking out your story.

  6. kshawnedgar

    October 13, 2011 at 5:52 am

    Inspired and complete — in a real This is a poem destined for the future kind of way. And the photo makes me very glad I don’t smoke :)

  7. Leonargo

    October 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Simply written making it even more meaningful as it resounds very well with my own heart… Cheers to your poem and empty bottles (a few won’t hurt)!

  8. zongrik

    October 13, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    this story is told every day, over and over one twelve step meeting after another, but you told it artistically.

  9. The Noiseless Cuckooclock

    October 13, 2011 at 7:52 pm


  10. Kay Salady

    October 16, 2011 at 9:07 am

    It would be so great if we could step into the past and rearrange our choices. However, we cannot do that. I like to think that I never make mistakes, only unwise choices. We always have the option to choose, and then to choose again. Life is filled with choices. Look at it as an adventure. Your poem is very good. Thank you for sharing it with me.

  11. A.B. Thomas

    October 16, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    a very seamless write into the cyclic breakdown – fantastic

  12. Vimal

    October 17, 2011 at 9:41 am

    you write well…
    nice to read

  13. Sarah Johnston

    October 18, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    amazing and so beautiful I love this prompt and reading all the entries they are so excellent


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