THE MAN BENEATH THE ROOTS

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copyright Erin LeFey 2011

All rights reserved

He knows what secrets you keep

Locked inside, buried deep

Shameful secrets long dead but unto their own

And still in deepest altars they are atoned

Beneath the roots of the heaviest trees

Under the dirt, wet with sticks and leaves

By some sad ragged and tortured soul

His face always hidden, reading that rigid scroll

Reciting your sins, one by one by one

His scratchy old voice you cannot outrun

So you listen and know, this is what you created

From all of the hatred and lying unabated

You could have looked to the light

And found that flame there glowing bright

But no, that wasn’t you then, it isn’t you now

This is what happens when you stop believing in consequence.

Tiny water droplets form on the roots above and fall

A chill of the wind reaches the tree tower and calls

The man coughs and spits into the fire

It drops into the dirt of an echoless cave

The creatures run from it

You want to run from it, but this is your creation.

A tiny woman dressed in rags hums a faint melody

Throws a log on the fire to make smoke in the damp air

The old man mutters how he thinks he’ll be home soon

She answers back that she doesn’t really care.

He begins to cry again, but he pushes on and on and on

Reading your sins from the rigid scroll

Reciting them one by one by one…the place is reeking now

It reeks of your present, you do avow.

You lay on the ground numb, contentedly so for now

Wanting to get up and simply walk away

But this is yours; you can’t keep these ghosts at bay

There was one way in, and now it’s locked and barred.

You will have to face yourself, your fears – they don’t care if it’s hard.

Stop hiding in the shadows, show yourself!

Commit yourself to one last stand and own up to your part

Darkness will come so very soon.

You are not the first one to be here.

You’re not even the only one right now.

Yet you, my love, are being given a chance. Find the keys,

Find the way back to you. You have everything you need.

Your mind will become stronger. Your body will grow stronger.

He will just stay cramped over that rigid scroll of your sorrows for as long as you listen.

There will be more. The visitors will come disguised as heroes, and you ‘have to ‘see through ‘

Through it all. Get out of the darkness, Get out of the dream world, it’s all an illusion.

Take yourself back. Take your life back. Take your strength back.

And fly far away from here.

Whatever brought you here was not that important. Let it go.

Find your horse again and ride out to your troops and your castle

Command your armies once more!

Lead the men, who look to you for strength and inspiration.

Take your rightful place.

Remember the past events only as a trial you had to go through in order to heal through.

Hell makes a rough passage

When you make it through and come out on the other side – special powers

Are bestowed upon you.

Take one last look at the man at the embers. Do you know why he is reciting the sins of your past? Do you know why he doesn’t want you to forget the horror? Do you know why he makes you feel impotent and like nothing? He wants your power. And in that state, you’ll do the easy thing and give it over freely, just to be left alone.

It’s your choice, but life is not meant to be merely lived through – it’s meant to be lived, one adventure after another, in full color, to where you go to bed at night dreaming of the next day or week.

Don’t let them take you.

See the man, see the roots, feel the smoke in this musty air

Decide if you’re going to stay

And move!

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Comments 12 comments

CMCastro profile image

CMCastro 5 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

It is so good to see another Fantastic poem here by you. It depicts the pit inside anyone who needs to be pulled up and out from any kind of depression. I see that there is a Light at the opening door for this fellow who has fallen into darkness. I am a real believer that the Darkness does exist, and sometimes it takes a visitation to that place then that will cause the desire for Light. Thanks for sharing. It is good to see you on Hubpages.


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland Author

Hi Christina! Of course, there's always a light! This place isn't real, its Depression, he's created it in his mind...like we all do. No one else can put us in a place as dark and lonely as that unless we are being tortured or a prisoner of war. We do horrible things to ourselves in depression - we just have to learn to want to reach out and really believe it's not real. Good to see you my friend. I think we're due for another lunch! Maybe after the holidays! love and hugs, Erin


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Your piece reminds me of the movie, ' Snakepit ' Starring Olivia de Havilland. She had to dig her way out of an insane asylum, forever reaching for a light above the snake pit where her depression had sent her. I loved this Erin. Brilliant and intriguing. How's college? Happy you took time out to write...Hugs.


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland Author

Hi Ruby! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, well, liked it! :) Its hard to say "enjoyed" in a poem about depression, huh? College is challenging, not quite a snakepit, because I still like it, but just wishing I had more time here. Looking forward to the holiday break. Love and hugs!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, Erin, very clever poem, it does seem exactly like that when you can't drag yourself back up and forget the horrible memories of the past, great stuff! and I am glad college is going well, take care nell


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

Oh Erin, once again, you are so Good in what you do Best, reveling your feelings in Poetry form...They may be dark, but there is always LIGHT at the end of the tunnel...and you know that, you are a survivor of your own inner strength, not ever to be forgotten, my friend...Excellent writings.


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland Author

Hi Nell, that is how it feels isn't it. Luckily, I wasn't really feeling this way when I wrote it!Thanks, Erin


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland Author

Hi b.

I do have the light at the end, I can't seem to write about depression without that light, I think its too ingrained in me, being bipolar, after all these years; I am so aware of the cycle. I'm so glad I'm not here now!

Hope you have a lovely holiday Snowbird!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Your poem is powerful, - and/but your choice is to write about the light you now know, Erin. . . if and when you're ready to. Hugs. . .


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 4 years ago from Maryland Author

Nellieanna,

you are so right, my friend. and I am not feeling depressed, this one just came to me. I promise I will write about the light as soon as this term is over which will be when I turn in both my last term papers on MONDAY!

love and hugs! Erin


poetvix profile image

poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

Erin, this is so beyond stellar. The poem is spot on with an excellent flow, the story intriguing, the message so needed now. Bravo!


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 4 years ago from Maryland Author

poetvix,

thanks so much for coming by...and you are so right. I think men are so undertreated for depression and are much less likely to get the right help when they need it.

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