He Who Fights Monsters

I won’t survive this dark night’s lunacy.
Waves smash against the fortress of my mind
with an endless ebb and flow of misery—
I’m drowning in a Labyrinth I designed.

No compass, satnav, Valium can save
me here, where even stars are scared to shine.
To a shifting siren’s song I am enslaved,
drawn down beyond the high-tide line.

Battered by winds strong as Minotaurs
my hull is breached beyond my skill to caulk.
I drift on wings of wax, then on all fours
crash land where none but monsters walk.

Light glints on broken glass, at last I see!
There’s no abyss but this one in me.

first published at Poetry Nook, September 2019

Adrift

The last leaves are golden,
most have already flown. Branches
hang bare beneath ashen skies.
Not so different from when you climbed,
hand over slow hand, waging a war
inside your young mind. One leaf
breaks free, hangs on a moment,
before leaping into the maelstrom.
I imagine a short fall,
sharp jerk and silence;
but it’s only a leaf and spirals away,
no note to mark its passing.

– Ryan Stone

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Queen of Nothing

I barely remember how the hues of December
cast sepia waves through her hair. Those words
she first uttered: out here there be monsters,
seemed a plea, not a thing to beware.

A quick realisation: she sailed a maelstrom
mainlining a vein named despair. Lost
within dreams of heroine queens,
I drew heart-shaped clouds in thin air.

It felt like I’d woken when she said yes, you’re broken
but I’ll show you real broke, if you dare.
As our ship
ran aground, frayed dreams dragged us down;
to the depths of her fell monster’s lair.

Ryan Stone

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