Silent Shadow


He sits in stark rigidity
As if by inflexibility alone
He could halt the march
Of his insanity
His eyes unfocused
As the last remaining cirrus strands
Of connected thought
In glorious sunset set
And madness casts
Its long cold shadow
Across his tortured soul
Stretched tight
Bound on angst ridden rack
Held captive to insanities malignant delight
His mind, frayed as creeping insubstantialities
Ghouls of other worlds appear
And into his reality rise
He invokes their names as deities
And chanting incoherent prayers
Words began
And then are lost
Before these phantoms of his mind
I sit real shadow
Ignored, unseen
A link to this world
Invisible, imperceptible
I sit in reverent silence
Mute witness to his pain
He speaks in languages distorted
Yet it is the tone of suffering
I hear and understand
A mind
Unhinged, lost and wandering
Uncertain, unsure and insecure
A mind that sees in technicolour
What words stuttered to convey
And in the silence
I wait
While time ticks its metronomic beat
Drumming to his monotonous pleas
Then in-between some ghostly apparition of his mind
He turns
Surprised to find
My shadow sitting in his reality
An eclipse of a shy boyish grin appears
And in that look
His chanting paused
And in that space
Something clicked into place
And gradually he began the
Slow unsteady ascent
From the rack of tortured mind
Into some uncertain space
I smiled in simple recognition
Of this man’s humanity
I honoured with my silence
His mind’s titan struggle
For that is all I can do
As I sit, a silent shadow
In his reality

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