The Valley of Desolation

“We need time to move through the pain of loss. We need to step into it, really to get to know it, in order to learn”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

parched land

Every year I watch families come together
for the festive season,
and each time it becomes more excruciating
than the last.
Maybe a series of bad choices
has brought me to this valley
of desolation,
a place where scarecrows
come to
feast on my bones!

I step into the black tar
of bitterness
and ask why?
Why should I be dealt such a bad hand as this?
Like a wave consuming me
I’m taken into the depths,
by the stench of my own pity.

Peering up through a distorted lens,
through the murky layers
of water,
in sightless trance,
I’m mesmerised.

I can’t see the sun,
or the crescent moon.
I’m concealed in the depths
and darkness has trapped me,
beneath the bright light
of awareness.

I long to be comforted,
but how,
when I am so lost,
so far from home,
and ruin stands outside my door!

In this unwelcome habitat,
I want to hide from all truth,
and just taste the
sweet nectar of heaven.

If I come to the surface too suddenly,
and see reality for what it is,
I may just evaporate
into a million particles
and disappear
into a timeless void.

I may become suffocated by this dreadful wound,
and it may bleed out into oceans of despair.

So for now
I will let docile waters
of unknowing comfort me,
and lull me into sweet oblivion.
I will let fragrant moments,
and lilies of the valley
be my sun
and my moon.
I won’t look too hard into
the place
where pain debilitates me,
until I’m ready.

Instead, I will let waters of silence wash over me,
with the promise of eternity
in my eyes,
and tender zephyrs of abiding love
will touch my weakened form.

I do not belong to a world
where there is no pain,
so what hope is there for me?
Should I starve myself of life
and become a nonentity,
a vagabond,
on waterless wastelands?

This wound will heal,
I know,
but I must protect myself from harm,
until the pain is not longer agonizing to the touch,
until fields of joy entice me back.

I must immerse myself
in the present moment.
and face this grief with tenderness,
so that I can gently rise
into acceptance
and understanding!

I must rest in the knowledge
that I can belong again
to this race called human!


4 thoughts on “The Valley of Desolation

  1. Ally, I believe that one day you will be ready and have the courage to face the pain and see it in a different light. Take all the time you need to grief and then begin the healing. Love and hugs to you 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wrote this about another pain but it bumps into other pains that we experience … I am so sorry about the loss of Steve. For me this piece points to a spiritual pain, a dreadful sense of loss both physical and emotional

    Raw-red bone of memory


    He called out in a distress forged in the tangle-metal of an accident. Only the songbird-needle of morphine could ever so briefly-fleetingly extinguish the misery of the wide-open unhealed wound, gaping with flesh and blood.

    I lay in the next bed to him in the hospital, having been admitted in the morning, doubled over with my own pale version of pain. An emergency had whipped out a fetid appendix (yes, I know, I am being dramatic) and my only experience then was of post-anaesthesia dullness and the odd stomach muscle smarting slightly in a sudden movement.

    Summoned, the nurse was unable to ease his pain. He half-shouted out that he didn’t care about being addicted to that songbird in a vial. He simply needed the sweet relief, even if it only glanced him, took the edge off.

    Until today, I had completely forgotten about those midnight hours lying in a hospital bed listening to a man who sobbed in his pain, and who cursed and swore at the world. I had been remembering my own pain, gliding in on a songbird of hope, blowing away the awful what-have-beens that sometimes fester in the raw-red bone of memory when, startled, I thought of that hospital ward thirty four years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

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