Phoenix

Gray walls surround me, desolate and empty.
No pictures hang here, no art, no color.
So barren and void of all feeling, all emotion.
Water seeps down from one corner,
Inspiring cracks in the paint to form around it.
In one place, the paint has chipped off entirely,
Revealing a single orange fleck
Of immunity to this depression.
I begin chipping the paint with my fingernails,
Desperately needing to know
What lies dormant beneath its cold surface.
The chips flutter to the ground, catching the light,
Like snow against the dreary, gray background.
They collect at my feet, sticking to my socks,
Gathering in a pile on the floor around them,
A cluster of ashes, dust, and decay.
I stare at the pile as it grows, my fingers still picking,
Gray chips floating down like smoke billowing up
As the pile of ashes stretches higher.
The cracking of chipping paint like the crackling of a fire,
Leaving disintegrated residue beneath its brilliant flame.
It is alive.
The chipped away paint reveals a vibrant mosaic,
Color stretching from the pile of ashes upward,
Like fiery wings erupting from nothingness,
Illuminating the room with newfound glory,
Creating summer from a wintry wasteland.
A shame it was ever hidden,
But how extraordinary to uncover,
Born from the ashes,
Inspiration.

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A Wall and Lilacs

There stands a wall,
red bricks and all
cemented and tall
right in front of me.
What could lie on the other side?
An endless imagination
could not begin to know
or even believe if it did,
because how does one ever believe
that all ideas may be blocked
or contained by simply a wall?
Well, it is certainly a strong wall at that.
And though incredible,
it stands true that each and every
inspiration of mine
lies beyond stone, red borders,
untouchable.
If I could burn it, I would,
but the stones that hold them in
are much too adept
at keeping me out.
Perhaps if I climbed it,
but for how long
would I be climbing?
There must be a door here somewhere.
It seems I’ve walked miles,
tracking the damn thing,
searching only for a way in.
In frustration with the matter,
I kick one of the bricks,
and to my surprise,
it crumbles at my touch.
Hastily, I get to my hands
and knees and peer inside.
One glimpse into this haven
has provided me with all I need.
The smell of lilacs
floats out to me,
wrapping me up,
cradling me the same way
its tree’s branches used to
when I was young.
Comforted and feeling
fresh as the petals, themselves,
I turn my back to the wall,
sliding down to sit
in a clump of thick, fresh grass
that has grown there,
and seeing for the first time,
a lilac tree a few feet away.