The Cave

His shaking whispers splashed around me, “I am strong, I can handle this.”

Deep in the belly of the Earth, we walked in darkness.  Yellow flames danced from our torches like ancient dancers.  Red embers jumped and glowed in brief arcs.  Angry eyes blinking into the darkness as they fell.  The wet stone hissed in discomfort.  Muffled silence offered a thick muted rocky scream all around us.  He never took his gaze off of the ground, for if he had, he would see the dried river of bones and screaming skulls lodged into the rock above our heads.  My companion turned to me, his face fitted firm with fear, “Do you suppose the devil is near?”

“I have been with you the whole time,” I whispered as I drank the fire from his torch, and ripped his soul from his warm bones.  A cloud of white smoke clawed at the walls… swirled, grew dark, and was drown in the forgotten void.  I filled my stomach with his flesh and placed his bones into ceiling with the others.  By then, I had already forgotten his name.

. . .

© 2018 Zachary W. Gilbert

Darkness vs. The Light

Flashlights do not have an inverse that spews shadow.

Darkness is only as powerful as imagination allows.

Darkness, has no energy.  Light must sacrifice energy to exist.

Darkness devours the eyes.  Light fuels a weary mind.

Light burns with passion.

Darkness hopes for inaction.

Darkness lies, behind its heavy cold shroud.  Light is warm, and silent.

. . .

Copyright © 2018 Zachary W. Gilbert


Pillared Ceremony

4 pillars hold up the delicate winner,

of life and happiness.

Food: Un-crafted by poison.

Exercise: Unobstructed by mediocrity.

Soul: Unyielding to the dark void of sorrow.

And last…  Sleep:  Where the mind dances with shadow,

and unravels thick demon fabric,

that false skin of the weary.

Emotions raw,

dreams slowly wash clean

with steady breath

the mind…

the fragile floor,

upon which

the pillars stand.

. . .

Copyright 2018 © Zachary W. Gilbert


A primitive hand held alter, my only companion in the lonely darkness.  I reopen the portal.  Biting white light invades my eyes.  Cold two a.m. coffee hammers my weary taste buds.   My fingers fumble over symbols beckoning  the portal to spit a soulless recorded voice into my dry ears.  The voice ends, a slow beep, my heart pounds.  I beg, I rant, I try to explain why I should get the thing I desire most.  If mistakes are explained well, people will let you fix them.  Right?  I don’t know.  Talking too much, more coffee.  It is flat, muted, and seemingly dead, like the world feels in the cool dark air.  I throw the portal across the room, my angry shouts slam into concrete and are reduced to silence.  I have forgotten most of what I said, and I am still pacing.  Awake in the deep night and the complication of regret feeling like a stone fist stuck forever in my belly.  I offer fantasy dreams of redemption before the dead alter, with its glow holding my gaze.  In the next moment I am dislodged.  Sunlight licks my cheek.  Shadowy demons swim away from the warm yellow light as it crawls forth from distant horizons.

. . .

Copyright © 2018 Zachary W. Gilbert


Pain shall astonish you, when it reveals that it is the sister of success.

. . .

I divorced pizza.  Pain.

I tried to do 3 push-ups. Pain.

10 years later, mom is still gone. Pain.

. . .

Pain on,  eating broccoli.  Weight loss, Pay’n off.

Pain on, 30 push-ups gone.  Effort, Pay’n off.

Pain on, Mom’s silence.  How she raised me, Pay’n off.

. . .

Copyright © 2018 Zachary W. Gilbert