25 Year Old Poetry Flashback

So, I bought a new desk and in the process of moving and reorganizing all my crap, I found several folders and binders full of poetry.  In some ways, it feels like another life ago that I wrote that much.  But it’s funny, because when I read some of the poetry, it takes me back to the moment.  Some of them, I can picture where I was when I wrote it.  I can remember the sights,the sounds, the smells.

Some of them are pretty dark.  I wasn’t in a great place at the time, but that’s probably not uncommon for being in your late teens or early twenties.

But, in an effort to completely embarrass myself, I’m going to include some here.  It’s funny, because some of the ones that were my favorites back then definitely didn’t stand the test of time.  But I think some did.  Maybe it’s nostalgia on my part…but who knows.  Maybe they all suck.  Or maybe there is something in here worth saving.


Sand Castles

Built with care by little hands
Stand little castles in the sands.
Tender hearts that build up dreams,
Under the brilliance of sun-beams.

Castles mighty, firm and strong
Standing watch over the ocean long.
All the day their hearts delight,
Then creeps in the solemn night.

In the night, the waters rise,
Unseen by little, sleeping eyes.
The waves work away castle walls
To sounds of distant sea-bird calls.

Built with care by little hands
Wash away castles in the sands.
Tender hearts that once held dreams
Swept to sea, under dark moon-beams.

(C) Tom Shiflet, 1992



Part 1

the moon behind a dark, dense cloud
shifting shapes of a veiling shroud
i closed my eyes, my head i bowed
the silence growing ever more loud
the moon was gone, black turned the night
i searched for some faint glimmer of light
but only dread and death came to my sight
the darkness had achieved complete might
around me blows a chilling wind
shivers down my spine it sends
in its breath my destiny bends
and to me, my life it lends
lost and alone, i run from the gloom
but all of my heart, the night did consume
weaving a death image on a star covered loom
a tapestry of a vine-tangled tomb
death would not catch, so i ran ahead
unknowing that all the time i was led
by fate and destruction, seeking me dead
stopping when, on a gravestone i read
her name through the dirt, mud and moss
feeling nothing but emptiness and loss
i was surrounded by only refuse and dross
so to the grave, my heart i tossed
i stood watching, from the grave’s rim
my burned crimson, but soon grew dim
it’s screams sounded an unholy hymn
that echoed inside me, from soul to limb
i turned, toward the sound of confusion
and saw her, but came to the conclusion
that the moon veiled image was a mere illusion
so i live my life in lonely seclusion
with my heart in that same dark veil
hearing at night her anguished wail
piercing my soul like a ghostly nail
and dragging my spirit a desolate hell.

(C) Tom Shiflet, 1992


As I Grow Older

As I grow older,
I find myself
holding tighter
to my baseball.
Trying to recapture
those carefree younger days,
I suppose.
Or maybe to help
me grow up.
I do not know
for sure.
But I think
that in reality,
baseball is simply
holder tighter
to me.

(C) Tom Shiflet, 1993.

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