By Joseph Hesch

Too long, I’ve worn delusion as a hood
covering my better judgment, when,
time and again, I tortured myself
with chains of baseless obsessions.
Sense of duty, senseless mooning,
all cloaked in claustrophobic darkness
where, if some small ray of truth leaked in,
I willingly closed my eyes to accept
my next bruising lesson in Life.
I wish I could find that hand,
the one I could trust to lift this hood,
leading me to daylight, instead of
coming down upon it again and again,
beating the emotional daylights out of me.
I’m willing to crack open my eyes
and extend to you my hand in something more
than its defensive or aggressive attitude,
but only if you promise never to use yours
upon me while my back is turned.
Or are you another of my delusions?

Another study of the lonely, those fearful of the light of truth or so deep in the well of depression that all they think they have to comfort them wrapping themselves in more darkness. Heliophobia is my post this week for dVerse Poets Pub’s Open Mike Night. Check it out and see what all the joyous noise is about.

26 thoughts on “Heliophobia

  1. The revealing light you've shown in this poem is brilliant, Joe. I've had experiences with loved ones who suffer from deep depression.. hardest thing is doing your best to try & help them, but it just doesn't work…

  2. what spoke to me were esp. those last lines with the not using it while the back is turned – always have difficulties to trust..but it's getting better…it's a process..

  3. bruising lessons… trust, especially when in a weakened emotional state is a rare commodity. The desire is there but each time it fails to live up to expectations, the reach gets a little further away. Trust yourself. If you can be true to yourself, you will find happiness eventually. Wonderful poetry, Joe. I love poetry that I can discuss for hours. This is one of those poems.

  4. "Too long I've worn delusion as a hood" ugh, straight at it with that line, Joe. It's so easy to do. Sometimes our delusions become an unexpected comfort. They can almost seem like friends. Learning not to fear the light is always a turning point 🙂

  5. "I willingly closed my eyes to accept my next bruising lesson in Life."Sometimes even come to expect it. The older I get, the more cynical I feel myself becoming, the harder it is to open up my trust to others. Yeah, I can relate to this.

  6. I think the key is willing to be beaten while your back is turned. Therein lies the strength of knowing that in and of yourself, and the deity you pray to…it is enough. Every person you know will at one point or another let you down. It is not necessarily intentional. It is often irrational. But we are human. The same grace we expect, is the grace we should extend. Oh…but I understand your words, and the nut of their wanting.

  7. I wrote something very similar once–something about having a soul dustcover, and it's very true, depression and lack of a grounded self will blind us in its all-enveloping fabric, waiting for the next blow, or imagining it. As always, you never mince words, just cook them to a perfect turn.

  8. So few poets are able to arrow in to the reader's heart in abstract language that isn't really abstract… I am inspired in that regard by Rilke, Rumi, others contemplative, meditative and direct– and now you, with this stunner. I especially love I wish I could find that hand,the one I could trust to lift this hood,leading me to daylight, instead ofcoming down upon it again and again,beating the emotional daylights out of me.Yes, I too was once open, and have a very bad case of heliophobia, a mistrust of the daylight, its long and stale hours. xxxj

  9. I think both of us have lived under that hood too long..struggling to deal with the 'next bruising lesson in life' …trust is such a difficult thing when we've been hurt time and again. But it's possible I've learnt…reaching out that hand is a rewarding, joyful thing sometimes *smiles* Straight, arrow to the heart poetry as always from you. Wonderfully written, Joe.

  10. I've been reading about mazes and labyrinths – the first drawings of them date back to about 1,500 BC — fascinated with the concept of blind wandering when you're in the thick of one, become something obvious or a-ha when you can pull back (or above) and see the thing for what it is. Each poem I think is both a descent into the labyrinth and a return via that "perfect turn" Hedgewitch mentions, when we step back to see what we've cooked ourselves in and recognize the pattern we may one day successfully avoid. Fine poem. – Brendan (p.s., I suggest there's something in us that loves our darkness, echoing what Keith Richards of the Stones meant when he said, "Nothing interesting happens where the light is too bright" and perhaps explaining why Dante's Inferno is by far the most compelling reading of his Commedia: the "doomy" stuff's more fun. (That's how Black Sabbath's lead guitarist once put it.)

  11. My life has been one huge bruising fortunately I must be below average intelligence as till now just seem to ride through it except for one episode which was the darkest one could ever get …but c'est la vie …loved this write and hope I have some empathy for people who suffer so ! Thank you x

  12. I do the same thing and think those things, never thought to try to articulate it. You did it so well here. Love Brendan's comment about mazes. There are mazes in the soul and psyche. Those obstacles society, parents, teachers, texts have set around us that we quit seeing as relevant but can't help but run into. Fine write here Joe.

  13. Opens and ends in 'delusion', such a great closing. You really carried this thoughtfully ~ RoseFinally~I have nominated you for the Versatile Bloggers Award. Your site always inspires me in poetry and I believe you deserve this recognition. Please claim your award and follow the three requirements for this award. It is my honor to nominate you for this award. Thank you.http://wp.me/p1lGBx-qO

  14. positively brilliant. I fit the darkness tooth and nail every day. "but only if you promise never to use yours / upon me while my back is turned."waiting for this could keep one buried in the dark forever especially when you couple depression with fear and paranoia.I really enjoyed this piece.

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