my words

Month: March, 2014

Somnambulist City


Welcome, child, to Somnambulist City,
join the sleepwalkers and the dead.
Everything’s fine in Somnambulist City
everybody’s locked up in their own little heads…

The alarm goes off at the right time;
The people move from one dream to the next.
They seem to talk and interact
As they tweet and they post and they text.

They drive and they ride to the office
Making work and then just making more.
They are all so clean and productive;
Each one rushing, each one keeping score.

And they don’t ask questions.
And they don’t ask why.
They don’t really see each other.
They don’t ever see the sky.

Welcome, child, to Somnambulist City,
join the sleepwalkers and the dead.
Everything’s fine in Somnambulist City
everybody’s locked up in their own little heads…

In a dark, little room in the east
Sits a man with a book and a pen
And he writes of the things in his heart,
And he writes down the thoughts in his head.

He must ask the questions,
And he must know why.
And he cries for the people.
And he stares at the sky.

And he knows they are coming to take him.
And he knows that he must get away.
So he gathers his books and his papers
And he walks out into the day.

He climbs the last, living mountain
And he leaves the city behind.
One day he wakes to the fire and screams.
And the bitter tears fill his eyes.

The survivors come up from the valley
And some others come down from the peak.
Now they live on the side of the mountain
Of the city, they never do speak.

And they ask the questions.
And they watch the sky.
And they carved a warning
On the mountainside:

Say goodbye to Somnambulist City
Where nothing remains but the dead.
Now silence reigns in Somnambulist City
Where the beasts of order and safety were fed.

(c) Shawn D. Allen


Gods: a meditation

We are all Michael, like gods. We have the power to create and destroy.
Look into the eyes of another, then simply look away – dismiss them, negate them. Without words, you are able to wipe away their existence. Close your heart, and you remove their own divinity from them.
Hold their gaze and, with words alone, you can destroy them. You can crush their soul and steal from them hours they will spend in self-loathing or grief. Point your finger and you will drive them to their knees, to the ground.
With other words, you can enrage them. By knowing their fears and failings, you can control this person’s days, should you wish. Close you fist, and you can make them into beasts.
Or you can raise their downcast eyes to the heavens. You can speak words of comfort, words of hope, or simple words of understanding.
You can open your hands and your heart, and show them there is another world hidden within the one they had been inhabiting.
Hold out your hand in welcome, hold out your heart in recognition of the other’s own god-nature, and you have created a new universe!
Yes we – you and I and all you meet – are Michael; like unto gods.
What manner of god will you be?


(c) Shawn D. Allen

Will I find that soul again?

Will I find that soul again?
The one that already knows mine,
The one with questions
To my answers?
I don’t know if I’m eager
Or scared to death.
Like two rose vines on a trellis
Growing upward and expanding together,
Twisted into one another . . .
Is that still possible;
Or is this soul too scarred,
Too filled with memories and wounds
To take that risk again?
Will there ever be another name
That everyone joins with mine?
One that defines us,
Combines us?
I can’t hear it, can’t imagine
How it will sound . . .
Can there be another face
To add to, and not replace,
The faces I already hold
In my hands, in my heart,
And not be jealous?
Are there eyes in the world
I can ever look into that way?
Is there love anywhere anymore?
Is there another soul
That is safe enough
Dangerous enough
Small enough
Large enough
Innocent and hurt enough
Daring and scared enough
To match mine and
Will I find it?
Will I ever find
That soul again?


(c) Shawn D. Allen

The Pledge of the Horizon Seekers

If you take me as I am – the darknesses and shadows, the blinding lights – you are my treasure; my friend.
With you I will walk to the end of the world: I will not follow you, and I will not lead.
I will walk by your side and no thing will stand against us.

(c) Shawn Allen


Burn it all down, this flesh, these bones
Burn it all down, the real and the illusions
Burn it all down, the clouds and the stars
Burn it all down, these hells and the heavens
Dig down
farther than you’ve ever gone before
beyond the comforting lies
Dig down
until your hands are raw and bleeding
you won’t need them anymore
for at the deepest level
the bottom of the hole

(c) Shawn D. Allen



An Illusion

It appears there are two of us
our hours and atmospheres are separate,
removed from one another.
Then it happens, again;
you speak the words
I’ve been thinking all day, all my life,
and I am awake and hear them
as they fall from your lips.
I am excited, and scared, and overjoyed.
I do not know this magic,
this instantaneous passing of fire
from one to another outside of place
or time or touch.
Where all that is rational says,
“Be afraid. This is not real,”
my unrational soul knows better
and I hold no fear of this reality.
It feels familiar and I simply surrender.
It appears that we are two,
unique and removed from each other:
then the illusion shatters again.

(c) Shawn D. Allen.

Dinosaurs, most having primitive and underdeveloped digestive systems, often swallowed rocks to aid in their processing of food. The stones would help the creature by grinding the food in their stomachs. 
Quite inefficient, this process also contributed to another of the dinosaurs’ gastric problems: flatulence. After all, they aren’t known as ‘‘thunder lizards’ for nothing . . .

from: The Book of Fragments
(c) Shawn D. Allen.

In a beautiful white and sky blue sun dress, hair tied neatly in pigtails, the little girl stands at the window watching the rain.
She holds a bunch of balloons by their stings. They pull at her hand, seeking to float away. 
In the parlor downstairs, the remains of a birthday smugly linger. Half-burned candles, pieces of cake and party favors mock the celebration with their joyful colors. Wrapping paper, empty of presents, lie scattered through the room like outgrown fairy-tales. The other children have long since gone, rushing from doorway to vehicle to avoid getting wet.
In the door to the bedroom, her father looks in on her. “This is no way for the day to treat my daughter,” he thinks.
So he puts on his overcoat and, turning up the collar, goes out to have words with the clouds.
At first, the storm pays him no heed. Then, for some reason moved by the father’s pleas, the dark and wet ceiling parts, allowing the sun and many rainbows to take hold of the remaining day. 
And father and daughter play with the brightly colored ball he gave her this day.

from: The Book of Fragments
(c) Shawn D. Allen.

The second season is upon us; everything is green and breaking free from rich earth. In our homes, spiders make webs, eager for the first meal. Our rooms are made with special corners for the spiders to live in.

from: The Book of Fragments
(c) Shawn D. Allen.

The Gun Weighed Heavily In His Hand

“I’m sorry,” she said, not knowing what else to say.

Embarrassed and abruptly sad, she rose from the table, gathered up her things and vanished into the afternoon rain outside the diner.

Staring at the empty table, he realized that their meals had not been served yet,. He looked at the tightly wrapped silverware and the single rose in the cheap glass vase, but did not see them.

He suddenly knew that this morning had been the last time she would serve him breakfast. It had become a ritual: a seat at the counter, the ‘usual,’ bursts of conversation when she wasn’t taking care of other customers.

Then, the gun was in his hand. It was cold and heavy and somehow familiar; like a lover.

Thunder shook the rain-splattered window glass.

A lonely petal fell from the rose, to the floor.


(c) Shawn D. Allen