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.

Tagged with: ,

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.

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.

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.


Posted in Poetry, Prose by Lachlan R. Dale on March 3, 2013

We split the earth and reach toward our god,
Feeding from it’s light.

We drink from underground streams,
Or else we beg for drops of rain.

We are ancient, though refuse speech
In time the wind will move us little.

When ablaze we are reduced
And our dust will feed the soil.

Tagged with: , , , ,

My center, unearthed

Posted in Poetry, Prose by Lachlan R. Dale on February 26, 2013

Ash fieldA dark wind sweeps across the plain.
My center, unearthed,
Lays bare the compass of my soul.
Both desert and oasis; mountain and fields of ash,
We oscillate between these poles
Until your field tears me from
My orientation.
Careening wildly, cast from orbit,
Drifting freely within the ether,
Great plates begin to shift.
Beneath the crust an inner flame is born; promising both
Creation and desolation.

Bring me highest Heaven and deepest Hell

Posted in Philosophy, Prose, Ranting and rambling by Lachlan R. Dale on December 31, 2012
William Blake's The Lovers' Whirlwind

William Blake’s The Lovers’ Whirlwind

Bring me highest Heaven and deepest Hell; I will wolf down both ravenously.

Plunge me to the very depths of human misery; elate me – beyond light, beyond form, beyond time. I regard it as nothing more than what is owed.

There is no happiness without misery, nor sadness without ecstasy  this cold truth bothers me not in the slightest. Rather, opened, I confront all with the same unbending gratitude, for this is what it means to be alive.

An eternity as dust is as much mine as my first cries as a newborn; through peaks and pits none will stir in me deepest fear.

Through this I take and claim what is mine; and though on surface level I may struggle and fight and cry and pray and beg, at the depths I know that things are as they should be, that to have had fate change its course would be an abomination; a cheat; and a reduction of the innate brilliance of the whole.

I accept all, embrace all, and recognise that in-all lies my whole.

Of this I am not afraid.

A banshee wail inside my mind

Posted in Prose, Ranting and rambling by Lachlan R. Dale on September 10, 2012
Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) from Darren Aronofsky's "surrealist psychological thriller" Pi.

Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) from Darren Aronofsky’s “surrealist psychological thriller” Pi.

I’ve begun to notice a noise inside my mind; a drone pulsating from a foundation deep within my consciousness

At first it seemed a very distant ache – quite easy to ignore. With the smallest of efforts I can bypass it’s shrill cry.

But each day the volume builds. As it  increases, the wail bores further into my psyche, and it’s shrill cry becomes harder to ignore.

Writing today, it’s purpose seems clear. It is a persistent reminder that there is much I am ignoring.

I’ve been busying myself, and at times I have successfully drowned it out.

I run around with haste; taking on bigger projects; progressing to larger achievements. It is as if I must continue to build; I must continue to rise; there must be constant construction.

But now, as the stories pile higher I look down to notice the base to notice that the core is beginning to rot.

The floor is eroding underneath me.

The top shifts precariously in the wind.

This form of cognitive dissonance is not unknown to me. In my previous employment at a particularly consumer electronics company, that banshee wail caused me pain on an exponential scale with every passing day.

The noise calls for change. Back then it implored me to end my employment at what I considered an unethical company – a waste of time, effort and energy that I could not justify.

Now it calls for attention to be paid to the moral and philosophical questions I am failing to answer.

And I am unsure how much longer I can ignore it.

A writing experiment

Posted in Prose, Ranting and rambling by Lachlan R. Dale on August 25, 2012
Illustration by Harry Clarke.

Illustration by Harry Clarke.

Sheets of hail cascade, punctuating the silence on the tin roof.

I know that muted pounding. It is the drone of the electric hornet; savage creatures of steel, sharp with violence.

Their effect on my consciouisness is profound. The air of menace, severe.

My mind has misfired. The focus of my contempt has moved from the external to the internal. The dialog in my mind has taken a turn for the worst.

My stomach is sour with the taste of dust and concrete. I picture it; severely discoloured by now, spotted black with bile and hate.

I taste the bitter remnants of adrenaline; putrid off-green flavour. I gag a little.

I reflect on the days events. I sense evil mockery from all angles. All are ready to burst forth with pitying, manic laughter. Their pity is false. Their hatred of my essence runs far deeper.

The void is unbreachable. Malevolence and humiliation haunt my every secret action. Escape? But how. Wherever I run, they will be the same. Their faces might change, but they never will.

I reach for the pillbox. Try and deaden my nerves. If I take enough, I will become numb – and numbness indicates freedom from pain.

My choice is rational.

A mental lurch. My brain slurs. Groggy now. The nauesa worsens. The drone gets angier; louder; now the pitch of a dentist’s drill.

I vomit.

I fall.

Silence. Nothingness. Solace.