Writing as catharsis

In a land of some other order

Posted in Poetry, Prose, Ranting and rambling by Lachlan R. Dale on June 13, 2014

Habana Vieja (Old Havana, Cuba) by Pablo Cholka http://cholkafotos.blogspot.mx/

In a land of some other order
Rum soothes the soul while
The heat of the day drains away
Both motion and motivation.

Beasts of iron rumble by as,
Breathless and bleary-eyed,
I walk through streets of stone.

Strain as I might, I see only surface light.

Oblivious to pulse and warmth,
And weightless in my sense of self,
The vacuum of language encloses
Like a shawl.

I drift through the city.

As stray dogs scavenge and
Street hustlers hiss, I hear
Only noise and non-sense.

No one pronounces my name.



Posted in Poetry, Prose by Lachlan R. Dale on December 18, 2013


When our friends turned to enemies
We walked the earth in despair,
Followed by a black spectre
That shaded us from the heat of the sun.
Still, we walked and we thirsted,
And never could satisfy our urge
To shape gods with the faces of men,
And offer up our hopes before them.

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An unpleasant condition

Posted in Poetry, Prose by Lachlan R. Dale on July 19, 2013
Flooded forest near Bucharest.

Flooded forest near Bucharest.

This state is defined by a hollowness and a distance.
I feel as if a shell; lacking substance; my consciousness
Registering little but a faint, weak pulse of light.
The internal void sucks me inward; I lurch from
It’s gravity. From all angles it pulls toward the centre
To devour; a vacuum constant and unrelenting.
Externally, things seem to be at a distance – I cannot quite touch them.
I seem to float through space; I cannot be sure of my grounding
Nor of my centre. Dizziness strikes me often.
Try as I might I find it impossible to connect with
Other human beings. Their glares piece through me.
The thought of another’s thought paralyses me.
Few things can reach me. People speak to me but
I simply am not there. Occasionally I might have some brief
Pass through the silence – but the breach is quickly repaired
Leaving my isolation complete once more.

My essence is ash to be blown away by a
Light autumn breeze. The immense density of void
that was once my centre is impossibly cold.
When I search myself I find nothing that has not been
Obliterated. Memories evaporate. I am transitory.
I am without worth or mass or substance. I am a process,
A transition of atoms whose state will soon pass.
I feel little but weakness as the sheer expanse of the
Void. Exhaustion crushes me. Indifference paralyses me.
At times I feel physically ill – as if some poison were
Coarsing through my veins; some manner of toxin
Weakening my bones, attacking my mind, plaguing
My thoughts. Each morning I awaken from a silent,
Dreamless sleep – but I am not rested. A cruel
Hoax. I yearn for respite, for solace, but am not
Sure where to look for them. When I play music
More emotion seems to pour from me than ever.
I am a point of collapse by the end of each song.
The effect is cleansing, but soon fades. I will try
To sleep once more to hope to arise in a warmer
Morning’s light. I will watch my thoughts. I will
Be patient and wait and hope for this to pass.

Dreaming, souls ablaze

Posted in Poetry, Prose by Lachlan R. Dale on June 15, 2013
Lomo by Salvador Dali

Lomo by Salvador Dali

We live and writhe inside our own minds,
Dreaming, souls ablaze, our eyes dilute and blur.
We awaken to find ourselves gazing inward;
Searching the structure of cells, at our chemical essence
Charged with electric light,
Hoping to uncover some secret that
Would grant us a spark to burn beyond time;
To carry our heat forever onward
Through the void and into eternity;
To some knowledge that we are not
Abandoned and left to wither away
With the dust and the ash,
To be reduced and swallowed by
The grinding machinery of the earth;
That we are more than our raw material;
More than a chance assemblage of
Atomic particles, that our transitory
Forms live on, somewhere, somehow.
But who are we to challenge the slumber
Of our silent gods? Who are we to
Escape the pull of gravity, to demand
The birth of a star so that we might feed
From it’s light?
Of these things we dream in our deepest sleep;
In the nights in which we can perceive
The resonance within us; the echoes
Of the ancients, the secrets of our
Animal lineage; the voices of trees and stone
That even now pulse within the depthless ravines
Of the spirit, whispering in our ears
Our shared past and inevitable end.
With all our being we seek resolution,
Our yearning enough to disassemble our form.
We must recognise our true nature and
Allow it to burn within our souls.
We must feed our lives with celestial fire;
Surrender to the oblivion of the eternal vibration
Which envelopes us; that can tear us apart
So effortlessly.
To know this, and love this;
To share this with another,
To spend each night basking in the light of stars,
Enraptured, blissful, intoxicated with life; –
This is all that fills my waking heart;
This is the true orientation of my soul;
This wish fills my nights; both those of sleeplessness,
And those of peace.

Aflame; dividing night

Posted in Poetry, Prose by Lachlan R. Dale on June 15, 2013

That evening magenta burnt up the blacks and blues of the mountain;
Thin sheets softened the stark skyline
And flames struck across the earth to divide
The night from the day.

I was there with you, huddled for warmth
And laid up against the trunk of some ancient tree,
Searching the skies for secrets in shadow cast
And wondering why, in the moments before the blackest hours
The world seemed to sheen and shine as if
Suspended in the dying light of day;
Like the sun was giving one final howl before the haze
Ran a chill to our souls.

We dug in a pit and clasped the cold earth,
Gathering clay to lay beside our heads.
Now the sky is shrieking, howling, aflame.
The birds join in; a screeching cacophony
Which reaches an almost unbearable peak.
All seems about
But, instead; a slow fade;
A hastened retreat.

The earth cools;
The lights dim.
And we shudder.

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Under waves

Posted in Poetry by Lachlan R. Dale on June 10, 2013
Lac Rose, Sénégal

Lac Rose, Sénégal

We stumble, we fall,

We chew on remains,

And we do what we can to obscurify our souls.

These silent desolations we wreak

While we hide behind chivalry,

And we bury our hate with our song.

For here we are courteous

Though a courtesy was never paid

And your brutal indifference

Left me under waves.

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A midnight musing

Posted in Poetry, Prose, psychology, Ranting and rambling by Lachlan R. Dale on April 4, 2013
Mia Taniaka

By Mia Taniaka

Some days I am blessed with warmth; my soul radiates hues of magenta and burnt orange. I walk along rows of jasmine with the sun on my skin. My heart might flutter across sweet peaks or soar upon gusts of cool, crisp air. These are moments in which all the universe resolves itself; in which I am elated by the pure contentment of being.

If these days could only be captured, I would be forever enraptured.

But other days the expanse of the sky overhead seems to close in; my skin feels no warmth, and no scent can wake me from my misery. Inside I feel a dull ache, tormented by unattainable joy. This absence becomes all-consuming; my vision turns to grey. Life is now discord; an aberration. My misery becomes a mire, and if I am not mindful I can slip deeper still into the dark fire.

I watch my breath and still my mind. Inwardly I speak; let these days pass. Let another dawn come.

A well-spring of positivity

Posted in Poetry, Prose by Lachlan R. Dale on March 27, 2013

My mouth is bitter with the salt of all human things.
I taste our failings; our broken dreams; our yearning and our falls.
We fail more than we know.
We destroy more than we ever show.
We are miserable, grasping, spluttering for air,
And we choke on the poisons we ourselves have let free.
Consumed with contempt, my mind screams.
Banality surrounds me.
Civilisation swallows me.
Let it take me whole.
Let it be done.
But this waiting, it torments me,
Kicking at my heart, mocking my soul.
It cuts me down with ocean breeze;
Batters me with rays of the sun;
Allows me to think that for a minute I have won,
That I will rise up and face the day,
And manage too, to live through the night
– Then the long fall to the dirt;
Humiliation at the hands of the mocking earth.
Let it take me whole.
Let it be over and done.
Give me my final defeat
And let me stifled voice rest free.

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Posted in Poetry, Prose by Lachlan R. Dale on March 11, 2013

Ascetic BuddhaNo, friends,
I wish you misery.
I wish you a hard death.
I hope when your time comes to die
You die with a sneer and a smile;
Hating the stones, the trees, the dirt, the earth;
Your mouth bitter with the salt of all human things;
Burnt by the sun, frayed by the winds,
Gaunt with starvation,
Hollow-eyed with renunciation,
Hailing curses to the sky for the vultures circling above;
A thin, solitary jackal,
A ragged specter,
A cruel joke,
Misshapen, broken,
Fighting the pull of the void with your last breath,
And failing, finally, falling in.

Drinking starlight

Posted in Poetry, Prose, Ranting and rambling by Lachlan R. Dale on March 10, 2013
The Sower by Van Gogh

The Sower by Van Gogh

At night we rest in open air
Drinking from the light of distant stars,
We cleanse our souls in giants glow
Burning still from eons past.
We listen, perfectly still,
To the forest carry every sound,
Gathering with it warmth of wood,
Damped by the underground,
Silenced, finally, by the
Canopy and heavy air overhead,
We stare into the skies.

As a thin veil moves across
The face of the moon,
My mind begins to wander.
I retreat deeper into myself,
Venturing with the clouds,
Moving inwards with the waves,
I find an illuminated pool
Streaked silver with starlight.
I form an insignificant stream
And draw from the monolith.

In moods likes these we open up
And let the winds ring inside of us;
We drive ourselves into the earth
To feel the resonance of the soil
And be intoxicated by the bloom.
In other times, in nights of the frozen earth,
We fear still the distant cry of wild jaws
And the pitiless freeze of the winter months.
We sing to warm ourselves
So the cold snap might spare our hearts.

I awaken from this vision
With smoke and ash in my lungs.
Returning from the void, silently
We walk from the forest.
Magenta streaks the sky.
We drive on, fearful of the blaze.