to melt the shackle

it wasn’t morning yet
but he woke up
to the sounds of cheering
and applause 

He looked around
and saw 
shadowy figures with
elongated faces
and bright, white eyes
staring at him

“Congratulations, they said. You
have awakened.” 

“What in the hell?” he 
said, looking around 
startled. “Who are you?” 

“The messengers,” replied 
the shadows. “We are very pleased
to announce that you 
may collect your prize 
whenever you are ready. You’ve 
earned it.” 

“What? What did 
I do?” 

“You awakened. In a world of 
sleepers
you woke up
and are therefore eligible for
ascension. You might follow
us through the hole 
in the ceiling whenever you
are ready. All that’s left
to do here is
to melt the shackle.” 

“What?” he said

Then one of the shadows
have him a small 
bottle that smelled strongly
of gasoline 
and a box of matches 

The other shadows
pointed to 
his desk, to all the papers
stacked on it
and under it 
and all around it

“Those are my poems,” he said

“Indeed. They represent 
everything that keeps you 
tied to this world. Your shackle.
Burn your shackle and melt it
away so you can ascend
and take flight. The time 
has come.” 

“I worked all my life
to write those 
poems,” he said

“Yes, you did. But now that you
are awake you see that
they’re all in vain. For 
nothing is real
on this plane. It’s all 
a dream, of course. You have 
designed it pretty nice. A simple
dream spent entirely in
the confines of a narrow room
with low ceiling. Drinking
and smoking and 
writing all day long 
and late into the night. It’s 
a beautiful dream. No family,
no friends, no communication with the 
outside world, and no desire
for any. You’ve thus taken 
a shortcut to awakening, but it’s by
no means illegal. You’re still
eligible for ascension. So,
whenever you’re ready, we are.” 

He watched the shadows

The shadows watched him

He reached out for the 
gasoline and matches, looked over
to the desk and the stacks
of paper

Looked for a long
time

Closed his eyes
and went back to sleep 

The shadows were gone
by the morning
but they left the gasoline and
matches 
behind

He got out of bed
went to the desk 
by the window
opened the blinds
and started writing
another poem

110 thoughts on “to melt the shackle

Add yours

    1. Hmm… I guess he would’ve ascended to a dimension where the consciousness understands that nothing in existence has any meaning save the one you give it. Therefore poetry and the very act of creation would’ve been just as meaningful as doing nothing.
      ༼ ºل͟º ༽

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Sounds like “the subject” is a level 3 in Dabrowski TPD and struggling to climb the narrower limbs at the top of the tree, waking in morning to find himself having slipped and fallen a rung or two. Regardless, powerful imagery Bogdan, as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

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