Light Gathers Around a Low Place – a poem

Hi there,

I was moved to write a poem today; not about Twin Peaks this time but something more real. We all know the spectre of depression sometimes. We all go to dark places in our minds.  Those halls are all too real; labyrinthine places from which sometimes it seems hard to believe we will ever escape, However, there are always people willing to hand you a ball of string that you can use to find your way out. However we make connections with people in our lives, it doesn’t really matter. It only matters that we connect with the world. Those we connect with can be our salvation when we need it most.  I woke up this morning to a demonstration of how social media and the Internet, which we can all denigrate from time to time for robbing us of meaningful relationships and interactions, can be a beautiful source of healing and love. I’ve been processing this all day and finally decided to write a poem about it.  I’ve not edited it or spent much time checking it.  I just decided to let it fly as it is.  Hope you like it.

Light Gathers Around a Low Place

Every ounce of courage keeps you living on this night

Everything you whisper takes you further from all right

The fraying threads and fingernails and paths your mind retreads

Remind you of existing woes and stir up brand new dreads


Every time you catch yourself in thoughts of something good

Your guilt-self castigates anew and creates a thicker hood

To blind you from the chances and the light of help that’s there

Convincing you no relief exists; that this life is so unfair


You are a  greater enemy than all those you skilfully conjure

Your own blows far more hurtful and more like to badly injure

In a prison of self-loathing you can spend every waking hour

A life of watching those so free from a cage within a tower


An unlocked cage, bars rusted thin, for which you hold a key

From which you could at any time decide to wander free

But it’s so good to hate oneself, to be the weary judge

And all good deeds writ on your slate, with a withered finger smudge


From this low place you gain a new perspective on what’s right

So simple, it’s all been hidden from you, locked up out of sight

Leaving only darkness and your persistent fog of doubt

Impossible to breach with your most desperate, sickened shout


So what hope is there, you ask, in all this terror and this gloom?

How can one be rescued from a doorless, darkened room?

Somewhere in your seclusion, you will have written clear

A message to be broadcast to the ones you know will hear


In your life you’ve made connections that stretch out far and wide

Which make it nigh impossible for you to truly hide.

You’ve engaged in conversation, shown your worth it’s true

And in the world of cyberspace are those who cherish you


They’ll hear the call you made; the one you know was right

And to your aid they’ll fight their way to bring a shaft of light

A statement without guile; from a place so warm and pure

That you can begin to heal yourself, you can find a cure


Though all your sorrows live with you and your quiet places fill

By your side are friends who haven’t left and never will

The walk through life is barefoot and oft crosses stony ground

But others are on the journey and will see you homeward bound


by Richard Austin



Image credit to Tim Easley and Kristine Weilert via Unsplash




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