The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®

 

Liam Baker

The Smoking Caterpillar's Advice

 

Once your
darling Angel Death
has laid her
black lace hand
upon you


once your mother
dressed in feathers
has laid her
shrunken breath
before you


once your
father's chariot
has laid
his golden egg
within you


once your lover's flames
have laid their
sunken names
around you


it is so very hard to break free
it is so very hard to breathe
it is impossible to think
so don't


my hands are tied and I am sinking!
you'll never save yourself by thinking

or smoking opium

or drinking


you cannot divorce yourself from the occupation
there is no salvation
there is only the digging in a dark tunnel
forever digging in a tunnel

the darkness is your home


in fear of darkness men build cities
and surround themselves in perpetual light
they seek light in religion
in war, in love, in knowledge


there is no knowledge


those who seek enlightenment
fail to see the darkness that is their home
those who seek enlightenment
fail to see the black flowers
that blossom in the darkness

 

 

 

LIAM BAKER  is a poet and singer-songwriter based in the UK. He is interested in how poetry can be combined with other art-forms; he has made theater using poetry, and has recently shot his first film-poem. In his struggle to maintain mental health, Liam has used music and poetry to give a platform to his inner-voices, and bring his inner-landscapes to life. This is his first published poem. liambaker.co.uk

 

 

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