go gentle

I lay down beside the monster
and closed my eyes.
I can’t remember if I raged
against the dying light or
simply slipped away.
I can’t remember when I
stopped fighting the darkness,
But my lungs are full of
smoke,
and the shadows have
teeth.
I’ve been asleep for so long
that I’ve forgotten what sunlight
tastes like.
I’ve been numb
for so long that I’ve
forgotten how to
feel.
I went gently
into the night
and
the monster held me close.
And perhaps
I didn’t want it to
let go.

By Ellen Vigus

A tribute to Dylan Thomas

the world rewound

i fall asleep / and in my dream / we are all walking backwards / towards a forgotten beginning / the earth inhales darkness / and exhales light / the shore crashes against the ocean / and time spins in reverse / we watch the axe yield / to a regrown forest / extinction is swallowed / by the rebirth of creatures long vanished / broken fissures fuse and smooth over/ the wounded earth knits together / leaving no scar / graveyards give birth to a second chance / smoke is sucked back into stuttering fires / plastic islands break apart / and life is poured back into the ocean / ice caps crystallise / the dusty sky clears / and the earth remembers her youth / those days when we treated her like home / those days before she stopped forgiving us / for apologies we never offered / in my dream / the world is rewound / and we start afresh /

but i wake up / and we are all marching forwards / into a burning future

-By Ellen Vigus

ode to the dreamers

find the words scrawled in ink
tucked into the cracks of the pavement
a story written between one step and the next
chapters of my life
waiting to be read
by those who
bother to
look

i whispered my secrets to the sky
and the wind swept them away
carried them in gentle arms
to waiting ears
i don’t know who you are
but here,
i’ll give you this sliver of
my soul

i scattered poetry across the city
fragments of verses and memories
waiting to be picked up
and read
i told my story
in pieces
hoping someday
someone would find them
and put them back together
again

this poem
is a letter
to the dreamers:

do not remain silent
raise your voice like a banner
pick up a pen
and create something beautiful
something meaningful

paint the town with starlight
bottle happiness and call it music
write until your fingers stain with ink;
the world is waiting for you
so go out and
tell your story
because you are
the only one
who can

– by Ellen Vigus

ten things that remind me of you

the bitter taste of coffee on my tongue.

leaves turned golden-brown in the afternoon light.

rosy cheeks, warm from the fire. cracked wide open. grinning.

the tightness in my chest- the one that threatens to undo itself. reminding me that i’m limited even in this. and that’s okay, because i’m here and i’m living and i’m human. overwhelmingly human.

the road rolling open before us like a red carpet. a river of grey carrying us anywhere.

i wish you were here, but don’t tell anyone

the unread pages of a novel. a promise

sometimes i think you were the story, and i was the pen

i exhale and let go

and we begin

By Ellen Vigus

a plea

i want to be alive when i see you again
again?
life and reality blur
i can no longer tell which way is up
which road i am on
which world i am living in

i slam
my hand against the box
wood splinters under my fingernails
but the lock, a clenched fist
and every time i try without you
another nail
another nail

i’ve always been afraid of the ocean
it should be blue, but it’s black
an inky abyss of shadows
the taste of sugar on my tongue, wrong
my feet on the sand, the crowd

the sky told me i would win
but right now everything is black
the ocean could not wash my bleached hands
my throat cracks from too many restless nights
i ask the sky
‘please’
‘please’

the answer?
it cascades through me like an avalanche
the sun splits the darkness
and for a single moment
everything sharpens into reality
your eyes are twin flames
telling me
“don’t be afraid.”

the rain pours down

and i let it wash away
everything that i’ve
become

and she healed again

we are the kids who are not afraid of the dark,
sitting in our cities, self-medicating on dreams,
the silence tore us apart, so we blasted the music
until it brought us back to life
until it shocked us out of flat-line
when i looked in your eyes
i saw every night you spent wishing
for the moon to keep you company
i saw the same baggage i keep under my own eyes
no, i don’t know these streets like you do
i can’t walk them with you
but i know how it feels to get lost in your own home
how the roads twist back on themselves
how the compass swings restlessly
how the spinning top refuses to fall
our demons may wear different skins
but they have the same bite
leave the same scars
but,
you and i know scars are just lessons learned
and dark is just the absence of light
so we’ll swallow matches and burn the shadows away
the whole city’s screaming so we’ll whisper instead
we’ll learn to befriend the quiet
learn to be still
on the darkest nights the sky bursts open
with the light of a million stars
a canopy of diamonds sheltering you
alone, but no longer lonely
learning to be your own company
we’ll put down our baggage and burn it into ashes
we’ll keep walking until the knotted maze unwinds itself
until the needle points east to where the dawn exhales across the horizon
until the spinning top falls on its side

i remember i held onto you
at the end of it all
i remember we whispered
‘we made it
we made it
we made it’
over and over and over
until the words stained our lips
until it was no longer a question- but a statement
until we believed it

By Ellen Vigus

self

i can’t get the dirt out from under my fingernails,
can’t tell if i’m sweating or crying.
the gaping jaws of the question split the earth in front of me
but i keep digging,
keep spiraling down
down
down
into a labyrinth of ugly truths
where there’s no one to sand down the edges into a smooth lie.
it’s so easy to get lost in the grit of it all
and i’m beginning to realise that the only thing i like about myself
is you.
because i dig
and i dig
and i dig
and i find you
right here with me in the mess.
it’s always you.

-By Ellen Vigus

City

you let the city take you
let the smoke and shadows
sweep you into an embrace

see how the streets can feel so busy
when you’re the only one walking them
see how the moon can feel like
perfect company on a dark night like this

here, eclipsed by the shadows of shattered skyscrapers
tucked between the asphalt and the stars
you allow yourself to unfold

you are a cracked hourglass
with sand spilling from your rib-cage
you are all bones and inky secrets
you lost yourself to these streets
long ago

so tonight
climb to the top of the tallest building
and look out
take in the wasteland of darkness you call your own
and remember

you are the Queen of this city
and even though some days
your crown feels more like a noose
you are here for a reason

hear me?
you have to stay

Ellen Vigus

maybe

a tank full of gas
a sky full of stars
and i want to tell you to get behind the wheel
and just drive
drive
drive

this is how i imagined freedom tasted:
wind streaming through my hair
your hand in mine
a playlist full of songs
that still make me feel something
the world waiting anxiously to meet us

just you
& me
& a sky full of possibilities

and maybe i will convince myself
that this is love

maybe

-By Ellen Vigus