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The Depths




An anthology of 48 poems by Sebastian Fletcher


Copyright


The Depths

By Sebastian Fletcher

Copyright 2018 Sebastian Fletcher


Chapter 1: Abyss

Autumn Town


Born and raised in Autumn Town

The air is quiet tonight.

Usually there is someone around

To take in the sights.


Remember when the town stunned and wowed

Crimson leaves draped across the glades

In ages past, once young and proud,

Its ambitions and colours fade.


So long have the markets rusted

Cogs brought to collapse

Halls and homes now dilapidated

Overhead the thunder claps.


The lucky birds leave their nest

Never to return

Pray for those that were left

To watch their home-town burn.


Born and raised in Autumn Town

Listen to the wind pass by the trees.

Perhaps there is nobody around

Because there’s nothing left to see.


Little Helpers


There was once a strange old man

Who went to any length

To escape his regrets, off he ran

And searched for forbidden strength.


He asked only to forget

To give his mind a rinse

To not forgive and hide away

He approached his own old sins.


The man said “I wish to change the past

To undo what is now real

An opportunity that I hope will last

I approach you with a deal.”


Wrath said “I can do that, the man adjures me!”

Sloth said “I can do that, the man rewards me!”

Envy said “I can do that, the man implores me!”

Gluttony said “I can do that, the man indulges me!”

Greed said “I can do that, the man affords me!”

Lust said “I can do that, the man allures me!”

Pride said “I can do that, the man adores me!”


The man replied “My dear, kind, charming friends

I beg you, hear my plea!

Carry the burden of my amends

If you’re surely as selfless as me!”


Wrath said “I can’t do that, the man endures me!”

Sloth said “I can’t do that, the man assures me!”

Envy said “I can’t do that, the man deplores me!”

Gluttony said “I can’t do that, the man denies me!”

Greed said “I can’t do that, the man retorts me!”

Lust said “I can’t do that, the man ignores me!”

Pride said “I can’t do that, the man abhors me!”


With even his own demons gone

The man’s panicked mind was frail

In desperate denial, he declared he won

As his blind old mind had failed.

Orbit


Above the atmosphere I lay to rest

Taken as punishment for my ignorant rage

Forever still, no one else to detest

Story stuck on the same old page.


Fitting fate for a soulless quitter

Stranded here in a sunless sky

Boiling anger now frozen and bitter

With no one to blame but I.


Baleful gaze has no effect

They continue to sleep, feed and sow

Separated with eternity to reflect and regret

Far away from the world below.


An exercise in frustration

Looking down on other’s joy and mirth

A journey without a destination

Falling endlessly towards the Earth.


Event Horizon


I’m somewhat concerned, almost annoyed

That I’m susceptible to nightmares gone viral

As I’m drawn closer to the dreamscape void

I find myself in a sleepless spiral.


Morbid obsession soon took its toll

Neither I nor light could escape

Inevitability drew me to this unfeeling blackhole

The abyssal maw shall feed and gape.


Frostbite


Winter’s here

It has really shown

It’s too cold outside

To spend it alone.


Trash Talk


Behold; trash island, reality of refuse.

Bit by bit, into the soggy waste pit

Endless metres and litres and vermin trash-eaters

Piles and piles, it goes on for miles

There is no garbage truck for this garbage muck.


An incredible stench like a corpse ridden trench

At its deepest crevice all swollen and rotten

A man that cannot see their own ailing apathy

There is no garbage bin for this garbage sin.


This place once green now sullied and bullied

Now hastened and hurried by the slothful unworried

Hateful heaps tremored and flurried, unlike he who lies buried

There is a garbage land for a garbage man.

Poisonous Diatribe


Down below a creature stirs and knocks

Under layers and layers of levers and locks

It laughs and jests; accuses and mocks

Echoing atrocities from its sorrow-skin box.


Maintaining Masks


Here’s a rushed out, random thought;

What if invisibility is self-taught

To make those close give up and disarm

As automatic as hitting your morning alarm.


You make your way through a familiar crowd

And pass right through like a pale cloud

Perhaps one asks if you’re still tired

Nod politely and say that’s how you’re wired.


Months go by without a word

Maybe some take note and are disturbed

They talk of fear and legitimate concern

Reflect their worries and let their gift burn.


Should their inquiries become select

You won’t even notice yourself deny and deflect

One by one give in, with each elimination

You hide your identity as a festering abomination.


Broken Bulb


Everyone has something to survive the long cold nights

Lightbulbs to dispel the dark, give clarity to think

In times of need they can flock to this light

Pay no heed to the bulbs that blink.


Day by day they change from room to room

Praising the bulbs for fighting the murk

Parts are soon worn and succumb to the gloom

Pointless are the bulbs that do not work.


Alibi


Behold! The gift to never be worried

By and through time’s trickling sands

Upon my claw-torn temple are buried

Feeble blood-stained hands.


Weather the onslaught of time, of clock,

From the black of night to the light of home

Maintain the visage of strength, of rock,

The truths one can hide with time alone.


Tumour


Late at night I tend to find

An abnormality upon my head

Whispering poison into my mind

Filling thoughts with death and dread.


It started off subtle and slow

Body and tumour developed with time

The vile vessel began to grow and grow

Tarnishing memories with its spiteful grime.


Disgust envelopes every thought

The spreading growth promising it will heal and mend

It stole cherished moments that I soon forgot

With no one else he’s my best friend.


Little tumour’s here to stay

His friends arrive in droves and flocks

Now they have locked me away

In this strange old shrinking box.


Nobody


You pray for a change

But you stay the same

You pray for an exit

But nobody came.


You made this hell

And here you’ll remain

So far you fell

A nobody again.



Haze


A new person walks when the day’s light dies

Another self gazes through the mind’s eye

I see my inner world laid out to bare

Wholesome hopes contrast with living nightmares.


One side is so kind it’s mocking me

Artificial ideas of love I have yet to see

The other is an evil, yet it’s so weak

So easily overcome If I were not so meek.


Fantasy and fears form by my side

Drown out all concern; they take me for a ride

Hope I don’t see the truth too far inside

To realise how blatantly they have lied.


In sleepless haze I can recall

Each part of my mind and see it all

Phantoms of joy and evil seem so vast

Taunting me with times that never passed.


A plan is made; decisions are met

To fight back and not ever forget

When I wake up from this restless zen

I discard it all and loop around again.


Dead Weight


At the edge of the water I pause and ponder

My face contorts to a quiet grin

‘Was there not a time when life was fonder?’

I close my eyes and soon jump in.


Barely alive in exiled disgrace

Destiny of obscurity and the present fuse

Being and future become one beneath the waves

Both soul and corpse bearing concrete shoes.


The Box


You find a box.

Just a regular box.

Sides all flawlessly square.

Corners at perfect 90-degree angles.

A box that really says, “This is a box.”

You open it up.

It opens soundlessly.

You take a peek inside.


Nothing.

There’s nothing in the box.

An endless well of nothing.

You tip the box upside-down.

Nothing after nothing comes pouring out.

It fills up the room.

It fills you.


Your corners are at perfect angles.

Sides flawlessly square.

A person that really says, “This is a person.”

You open yourself up.

You open effortlessly.

You take a peek inside.

Not that you needed to.

You already know what’s there.


A box.

Full of you.

Nothing.


Dear Diary


Dear Diary,

Today I burned alive

Crawled into a fuel-less flame

Hurt so bad but felt so right

For the fire to make sense again.


Dear Diary,

Today I found a knife

Sharp enough to hunt

It’s now got a nice new life

Against my broken bones it blunts.


Dear Diary,

Today I died

My body frightened blue.

To be honest, well, I lied

This noose I made helped too.

Chapter 2: Ascension

Something Else


Yesterday I found something else

That gave me quite a start

It was as deafening as church bells

As it tore the world apart.


Today I found something else

But this time I knew

I covered my ears and said my prayers

As it split the earth in two.


Tomorrow I’ll find something else

And bring my wrath to bear

No matter what I do or who I tell

The thing does not care.


Someday I’ll find something else

And I’ll put down the last book

I’ve read most everything now

Idly dawdling as the oceans cook.

Lighthouse


It pierces my body.

Exposed. Cold. Dark.

The hail would deafen the ears.

Now frozen off.


I can see it.

Shelter. Warmth. Light.

Protection form the elements.

An escape.


The old trail path.

Valley. Hill. Shelter.

Flesh struggles to obey.

Fatigue sets in.


I can see it.

Snow. Warmth. Light.

I finally lay down.

An escape.


Rotten Reincarnation


In the sewers there stirs a corpse

Which never found its final rest

Floating in the waterways, tissues twist and warp

Being clawed and chewed by putrid pests.


Invisible insects buzzing and swarming

Congeal together in a living mesh

Relentless rats feasting and filling

Body now more beast than man; pestilence made flesh.


Tar


A new feeling they’ve found, of bitter relief

A habit to help keep their demons beneath

They practice their footwork and impeccable dress

Performer now lighter with subdued stress.


It’s tempting, surely, with what troubles they’ve seen

To justify a dose of blissful nicotine

Yet like all things distracting and grossly indulging

Substances can become awfully addicting.


The performance’s complexity grows, as does the obsession

But stopping right now would put them in remission

So they continue as ever, to put on a good show

Almost anyone, bar one, could see just where this goes.


Lungs now sullied, with the texture of a trench

Clothes enveloped by that unmistakable stench

Existing only to light another; that’s another one less

Performer now a lighter, far from their best.


Through this drawn out dance with death

They stumble and fumble and try to catch breath

Losing their footing, no longer top dancer

Poisoned and crippled by that spreading cancer.



Iridescent Isolation


Colours coalescing confusion

Restrained ruinous refractions

Yelling for reunion

Speaking of sparkling seclusion

Talking of timid trepidation

All anxious of alienation

Left with lone illumination.


Regicide


King of comfort, lord of leisure

Master of mellow, prince of pleasure

Ruler of respite, mirth of no measure

Take care not to lose all that you treasure.


Crown of calm, lid of relaxation

Mind of miasma, and idle ideals

Country in chaos, each man missing meals

Royalty in splendour, ignore what is real.


Serene serendipity, an air of goodwill

The winds change direction now, great unrest abound

They’re at the gates – A flat crashing sound.

Run, your majesty, lest you be found.


Cheerful champion, gleeful grace

Voices. Echoes. Footsteps.

Lost in the trance of your own grinning face

Shouting. Shaking. Charging. Swinging.

Drip. Drip. Drip.


Thump


Nothingness.

Thump.

Feet and arms motionless by your side.

Thump.

An ambient light penetrates the darkness.

Thump.

The twisted outline of a building.

Thump.

A gargantuan structure, otherworldly yet familiar.

Thump.

Thousands of feet across.

Thump.

The stench of flesh.

Thump.

Rows of impossible bone stretch endlessly across the landscape.

Thump.

They pulsate in time with the structure.

Thump.

That impossible realisation.

Ba-thump Ba-thump Ba-thump Ba-thump-

Thump.

Ventricle walls glisten with moisture.

Thump.



Waiting


You’re shopping.

You’re queuing.

You look down for your wallet.

Everyone’s gone.


Ahhhhhh.

Look up. Slowly.

You hear rustling. Breathing.

But no-ones around.


Ahhhhhh.

The aisles are empty.

When you’re looking, at least.

Something darts past the edge of your vision.


Ahhhhhh.

It’s panting down your neck.

Don’t look. Don’t move.

It’s all you can hear.


The breathing becomes a sigh.

You twitch.

I told you not to move.

Ahhhhhh.


Cadavers & Concerts


Deep in the crypts a body stirs

Swaying in a distant trance

Music from above filters through the earth

But the dead can’t dance.


On the surface performers and musicians play

Crowds cheer and chant

The mutilated man shuffles away

But the dead can’t dance.


The bands play their last encore

Near a graveyard lacking relevance

Audience, sated, scream and roar

But the dead can’t dance.


Soiled Sanctuary


Rumours speak of a being, both sentinel and slave

Unbridled purpose contained within an empty husk

Watching over sacred ground and grave

Always awake through dawn and dusk.


Through dozens of battles and fights that were fierce

Only one man injured the defender that death reprieved

On his blade’s last blow its shell was pierced

Now the only trace of him is the sword its wound sheathed.


Unfortunate thing, time moves in haste

Polished plates become caked with dust

Crumbling tombstone slumped out of place

Embedded sword stained brown with rot and rust.


In time both sentry and stone had finally failed

To protect that which it cared for most

On this moat of mud, it lies, impaled

Forever guarding a long-gone ghost.


Lost & Found


A young kid mopped around all day

Asking for his sister

Ever since that foggy day

He had sorely missed her.


They were playing by the old well

By the edges of the field

During hide and seek he heard a yell

Saw nothing, not even her beloved toy seal.


Town firemen and police chiefs

Did an awfully thorough search

Found nothing in any well or past any leaf

Not even in the overgrown church.


Frustrated, the boy set out at night

While their parents were asleep

Bringing rope and a small flashlight

In case their sibling was somewhere deep.


Feeling cold and awfully winded

After an hour they questioned the hunt

However, this was quickly rescinded

After hearing a desperate grunt.


By the well a voice did scream and shout

‘Brother! It is me!

Please come down here, I can’t get out

And I can hardly see!’


Timidly, the boy edged up close

Shining light far down below

‘I still can’t see past my nose

Plus, I think I hurt my pinkie toe!’


Neither child could see past the black

The lad made up his mind

Throwing over the rope for a way back

Further and further down he climbed.


The journey down felt rather odd

It took more than quite a while

Stone walls moving by even if he stopped

And the flashlight turned off after half a mile.


Exhausted, the boy’s feet touched the ground

Reached down to turn on his light

It was nearly dead, but with a buzzing sound

Revealed a puzzling sight.


There was no sibling present here

Something’s wrong, the kid could feel

In the dirt, something caught their eye

A torn-up plush-toy seal.


Looking up, hairs stood on end,

Eyes met a toothy grin

Mounted upon the chasm’s walls

Made of malevolent human skin.


The walls were closing in

Oh, the secrets the mouths could tell

Now reunited with dear lost kin

All’s well that ends well.

Culinary Cremation


Here’s a quick lesson for those who are learning how to cook

You won’t find this in any videos or any book

If you want the best recipes there’s nowhere else to look

“This is going to be awful, we’re boring, there’s no hook.”


So, we’ll, uh, start off with the ingredients

It’s important to give your dish personality and radiance!

“Even you must feel undeniable ambivalence

The only conceivable audience are lunatics and deviants.”


I, well, I think it’s time for a break

“Run and hide, you cowardly snake!

Go and play at the bottom of a lake!

You hardly even know how to-“


Oven’s on

Arms are tired

It’s long gone

Found peace and quiet.


Progress


Persistent pain

Tore our world apart

Still stuck in Sheol

But it’s a start.


Verses & Curses


Witch doctor, witch doctor, voice of voodoo

Maker of monsters, tailor of taboo

In with the old, and out with the new

Of course the most ancient thing here is you.


Archaic dark magic, that was our cue

‘Get rid of the fiend and the evils they brew!’

They ripped out your heart, and as if on cue

We ran from the corpse that grew and grew.


Which doctor, which doctor, nobody knew

Memories of them were all thrown askew

One final curse rings unbearably true

Those who speak ill of them and live are few.


Guardian

From your perch up high all is seen and known

Of this village born from wood and stone

You sit upon its solitary hill, alone

Bulwark of the peak.


Your voice is kind and wise of tone

Those most vulnerable must be shown

Don't tarry with those who burn and bemoan

Bulwark of the meek.


Such a world is awfully prone

To create a land where devils roam

And commit rooted, ravenous harm you cannot atone

Bulwark of the weak.


Iron Will


A broken brain

With broken parts

Beat a steel soul

And a clockwork heart.


Chapter 3: Resurface

Neurosis & Neurons


Rebuild the brain, re-forge the fractures

Smash specific synapses together

Iron will, cast like molten metal

Fill in the crevices of past mental ruptures.


Reshape the sanctum, remake the mind

Wield a hot-headed hammer of passion

Crush together alloys of arduous anxiety

Make whole the mould that loathing left behind.


Projection & Projectile


Some time ago a child, a boy, made a friend out of vomit

They travelled together everywhere through sun, sleet and snow

Always adventuring together from the deepest trench to the highest summit

Leaving smiles and sick wherever they go.


Meanwhile bystanders witnessed both pile of bile and boy

Dreadfully disgusted by its sporadic supply of spew

Reluctantly admitting even compared to pets, people and toys

Bonds like these were far and few.


As he grew older, the boy became worn, tired and thin

The froth-friend had no want for play, only ever for his belly

Taking a stand, and a blade, against his counterpart kin

He slashed until nothing was left; save a small heap of jelly.


The friend gone, the child now sat in its bed alone

Having triumphed after his resolved had been tested

He took comfort in stopping the seeds he had sown

And slept peacefully now that his stomach had rested.


Terminal Velocity


Some days you can feel yourself tumbling

Like any moment you’re going to fall apart

You mind panics, tongue keeps on fumbling

To make it worse, the days at its start.


Thoughts are racing as you streak across the atmosphere

Feels like you’re burning up without any chance or any time

Breath for a second, be sure to take a break here

You’re not made of rock, stopping is just fine.


Correct your course as you streak across the sky

You’ll one day find your landing, brave meteorite

You’ve moved away from home so that you could fly

You can make one here too, and all will be alright.


Boiling Point


Time is ticking, servos whirring

Shoulders shaking, pipes leaking,

Furnace burning, engine churning

Head is filling, pressure’s killing.


Stay cool stay cool, stammering steam-bot

Take control and don’t look over the ledge

Chill out chill out, don’t take it so hot

There’s no reason to be so on edge.


Don’t let yourself fall through the cracks

Though there’ll be many stresses that you’ll meet

Sometimes you’ve got to know when to kick back and relax

Take a minute to cool down when you overheat.


Automaton


It’s an old defect

Some things aren’t right

Although it’s not perfect

It can still fight.


Core


Somewhere down

So far below

Deep underground

A new light glows


Monsters and devils

Freaks and things

On a new level

Listen to angels sing


Even those trapped

In their hell-box

Would have tapped

Against the lid in shock


And they’ll shout

With new strength

Claw their way out

At any length


Neither salt nor silver

Nor stream of tears

Could stop the river

Of beasts growing near


It was all they’d ask

Not one moved to fight

Join hands and bask.

To share the light


Content, but not gone

Those who held them dear

Remember them, kind and strong

Glad to have had them here.


Lining


Storms shall stop

Clouds will pass

Rain’s last drop

Will splash at last


On clear days

The sun assures

Turbulent tempests

Give way to colours.

Sprite


I cherish you, small furry friend

You ask only for a plate

In return you care and tend

And the nights illuminate.


My time with you must one day pass

It’ll be cut far too short

Until then, like a gymnast,

You’ll leap for joy you’ve sought.


Even though you cannot talk

I’m so sure you know

With every rest and every walk

You make each day glow.


Illiterate in the Language Of


Dear my ████,


Ever since I met you I found something that speaks to me

It’s so strange, for the first time ever I can feel my own heartbeat

It’s so strong, like a herd of a hundred elephants

I’m so happy you’re around it’s hard to make any sense.


It’s been awhile since I’ve been anything but alone

But you and I fit together like a warm winter glove

We’re like a piano that always hits the right tone

With you everything’s so perfect, I’m so sure that it’s ████.


Sincerely,


Tachycardia


Sack of crawling, bawling meat

Haggard hands, fatigued feet

Heart of ice, exposed to heat

Found someone that they can greet.


Shattered soul, face of flotsam

Tattered temple for a crooked kingdom.

Teeth scattered as if they had a tantrum

Discovered one that labels them handsome.


From year to month and month to week

Who dares tolerate that which reeks and creaks?

It is sanctuary that those two always did seek

And found it in each other, as forever flawed freaks.


Brimstone


Hellfire, hellfire,

You are my only desire!

Hellfire, hellfire,

Bound to you as sinner and liar!


I’ve never felt more alive than in death

And although down here things can be quite a bit tougher

Before I met you my existence was bereft

Time without you is time I cannot suffer.


We have an eternity to relax and revel

There’s so much, together, that we have learned

Stay with me, your kind loyal devil

Play with my fire, I promise that you won’t get burned.


Hellfire, hellfire,

I never knew our bond was so dire

Hellfire, hellfire,

My hunger for you will never tire!

Breeze


Be strong my dear, for though you may find

Your prohibitive pain is always paid in time

Confrontations amount, the psyche unwinds

Our life together; it mirrors your prime.


Where you stand tall, a weaker one flees

Where you go to battle, others would freeze

For you have a strength unknown to both rivals and thieves

A waning memory of a shared summer breeze.


Definitions


I know of spite.

Of loathing.

And the absence of these in a person.

But that is not love.


I know of dependence.

Of need.

And the demands of these from a person.

But that is not love.


I know of joy.

Of desire.

And the excitement of these in a person.

But that is not love.


I know of heart.

Of charity.

And the wholesomeness of these in a person.

But that is not love.


I know of success.

Of effort.

And the strength to push ever onwards in a person.

But that is not love.


I know of bonds.

Of respect.

And the nurtured connection between people.

But that’s only close.


I know of all of these in a person.

And that, is Love.


Sol


Far above

The world is wild

So full of love

My cherished child


We could run

Through flower fields

In the blazing sun

No longer sealed


‘That sounds great

But even so

Why tempt fate?

Why should I go?’


Rivers and hills

Leaves and trees

Celebrate life

In harmony


We shall climb

You and I

In due time

‘neath an emerald sky


And in that sky

See starlight

And you’ll know why,

Awed by their sight.


Although, my dear,

I’d rather be

Living here

With you and me.


They say home

Is in the heart

You won’t be alone

Even if we’re apart.


When the night’s

As dark as coal

You’ll see the light

Of your shining soul


When it shines so bright

That you start to cry

I’ll say “It’s alright”

until your eyes are dry.


Solstice


Like warmth from a fire people are drawn

To your unbridled laughter; the sound of day’s dawn

A wonderful gift to the world, suddenly torn

Your unprecedented departure gave us no time to mourn.


Young soul as tender as a feather,

When final goodbyes are said and done

Your brilliant light shall burn on forever

In the beating heart of the sun.


Sunset


Hello my little sunshine ray

I just wanted time to say

I yearn for you all night and day

To hold you close so you’re okay.


The soul knows no bounds my dear

Neither distance or dread nor awful fear

Could stop me wanting you to be near

My only regret is that you’re not here.


Heart torn out from its socket

Nothing can reach you, not writing nor rocket

I fumble around in my coat pocket

And fondly hold tight our dear locket.


Cold to the touch with light bronze hue

It can’t bring you back, that I knew

But it does reflect a piece of you

I find solace in the knowledge that I do, too.


For once I could not get my way

Locket in hand in bed I lay

At last I lock my dreams away

Goodbye, my little sunshine ray.

###


Special Thanks


William, without whom I would not be where I am today.


My good friend Nicholas, who gave feedback, friendship and support in equal measure.


My mother Celia and brother Ben, for always being there for me.


My Nan and Gran, for providing company and advice whenever I needed it.


My (Nan’s) cat Baba. You were as lovely as ever, right to the end.


My friends and family, who support me wherever life takes me.


To The Reader


Hello there.


I made this book to send a message. For those of you out there who feel lost.


Who feel alone.


Who feel nothing.


That you are not alone. That your thoughts, and troubles, and fears are not alien. That there are others out there who share in your pains.


That even during a state of despair and anguish you are still valued, even if it seems there may not be anyone around to value you.


That you would do a service to yourself and those around you to hold onto and cherish those who do value you.


That you have the strength and power to rebuild yourself from the ground up, no matter how much you think otherwise.


That, despite everything, it does get better.

Thank you for reading.


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