Doubt slices through inspiration
like a well oiled blade separates
flesh in a scarlet spray,
leaving wet marks on the wall
in indiscernible patterns.

I burn my hands in an attempt
to catch sparks, hold them
close, nurture them to flame,
but flesh in not fuel for fire —

vision and direction hold sway
while passion and imagination
are trimmed like shoots
of unwanted growth —
feathery wisps of smoke escape
from my clenched fists.

Aspiration is taken deep
into the forest of necessity,
to be buried and forgotten
in an unmarked hole.

In the inky dark
of negotiations between
yesterday and tomorrow,
I lost today.



a late entry for the Sunday Whirl
Shared at the Imaginary Garden
and the dVerse pub


Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

13 responses to “Negotiations

  1. Mark, this is power-packed. That final line rings all too true, at times.

  2. I must tell you I think this is the best of your poetry /I’ve read thus far. There is a sureness of responsibility to its laying out and conclusion. We always lose today, and yesterday we should want to lose. The future we can’t have ever so we can’t lose it. MY favorite line in here was “but flesh in not fuel for fire –” breathtaking.

  3. Damn the ramifications of doubt. Someone once told me that if you’re not confident, fake it, and it will eventually come to you. This is a strong write, Mark. Your images are shocking, which works well here. I love the final stanza.

  4. good write, the conclusion leaves one making promises to stay focussed

    much love…

  5. Oh, that closing stanza is a zinger. Well done! Loved it.

  6. Very clever poem- the phrase inky negotiations is so apt. I can lose the moment even without the ink but it is certainly a contributing factor. The fists also work super well. K. (Manicddaily)

  7. “Aspiration is taken deep
    into the forest of necessity,
    to be buried and forgotten
    in an unmarked hole.”

    Mark this is a great line! Negotiations can be tricky. Great write!

  8. aspiration taken deep is def my fav couple lines there mark….the opening is so vivid on doubt and the evisceration, def makes it hard to look away….well played sir…

  9. Last stanza packs a punch. How many times isn’t today lost because we are so busy thinking about yesterday or today???

  10. There is always hope for IT to come back…

  11. Powerful and beautifully written, I love the blood splatter and the burning hands.

  12. Drawn to the fire as we all are is usually a way to get burned – and so is not living in the moment. Great metaphor for an absolute truth!

  13. Dark and twisted take on the cruelty of doubt– dark and twisted, I say, but no less true the consequences. Although, if this is the outcome of that negotionation, I believe it that you did NOT lose today 🙂 ~peace, Jason

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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