Toby F. Coley, PhD

Criticism can appear in two forms: constructive and destructive. The difference is what you make of it.

Her promiscuous writing rots away on long dead trees.

Lacking grace, her awkward drippings of novice knowledge

drained from memory's heartwood dilute her intended meaning.

Thoughts ooze out of cracks like sap from a wounded tree,

Words trickle, her sacrifices to past gods: unsure.

The hinges of her thoughts creak as her mind's gate swings wide,

Rusty hinges bear too much weight, younger once, she no longer shines;

Air flows through steel bars, free to roam, not like her innocence,

Virgin expressions taken prisoner to a warden's rules, no place for trial.

Words captive, her bail to careless gods: priceless.

Elbows bend to direct calloused hands over an oily map,

The living effigy of her insecure prose weighs down her tired, aging fingers.

Like tusks torn from a breathing carcass, she wrenches words from ivory keys;

Scattered script haunts her wrinkled joints, but light peeks through, she squints.

Words cower,

         her offering to current gods: timid.

While Time    sc   a   t   t   e r   s   like dead leaves on dry pavement in a dust storm,

Language like a newborn sapling bows to the ground, cautious.

Their careless pruning cuts her deep: too deep. She is more timid now,

Emotion covers her words like peeling bark, each layer revealing something pure,

Hoping to please, she flowers multicolored petals of poetry,

Each vein, outward moving, feeds the contours of her jagged, leafy edges.

Critics can't touch her here, in the inside of her photosynthesized pulp;

She rises again, a Phoenix-like core too hot to approach, she burns inward.

Words soar, her potential to become a god: inspiring.

Her atmospheric inspirations float, hovering millimeters above the page,

Pausing, midflight, like an osprey she dives through her insecurities;

Into the water of words that bring life, anticipating release, she conquers them

Seizing an escaping breath, lungs now boiling, she holds,

Words mount, her own ransom, no intervening god: anxious.

The golden thread of her perception disappears, gone now,

Theseus follows Ariadne's gift, but it falls, censored by pens and pain,

Darkness overcome by heart's fire, she swears to herself she will go on,

Hands throb, craving more but movement expires, she cries.

Words stop

her tears exchanged, gifts pleading to parchment gods: deafening.

Copyright 2012 All rights reserved.

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