Devils and Dreamers – May 2020

Catherine Heath

May 2020

Can we escape the pull of the past?

Memories coming thick and fast;

Can’t breathe anymore––

Not like it was before––

I don’t know anything for sure.

A glitch in the system;

Can’t take it anymore,

When all you want

Is to even the score. 

No man left behind, 

And you’ll find what you’re looking for:

It lies beyond the stony shore,

Where your dreams don’t reach.

And when we become teachers,

Knowledge crumbles into dust.

Tumbling down in the abyss,

We find that we would welcome this––

It feels better than nothing,

But your lack of care is troubling;

Airs and graces

Won’t save you now.

Something in the past that won’t quit––

I don’t think I remember it

(Like the pike, twisting on a spit)

We are caught,



(And by that token I will take my leave.)

Not so easy anymore;

Nothing like it was before,

And the tall tales we made for children

Crumble to dust. 

Lies, lies!

She cried,

And we know inside

That she is right.

Terrified to tell the truth,

And the proof is in the pudding,

For we are not bakers––

Only poor scholars,

And not even good at that. 

So we’ll run,

Run far away,

Smack into the ghost of you,

On the other side of the world.

Terrible fate of girls

Who know the truth,

And carry on anyway.

Why did everyone lie to me?

It’s because we love you,

They said.

Well, now you know that I am dead,

Won’t you be sorry?

Hurry, now,

The train will leave,

Our suitcases tucked upon the rack––

There is no turning back––

Only forward,

Or nothing at all,

Holding ourselves enthralled

To pale ghosts of you.

(The warmth of your hand

Only memory.)

And so you see!

He cried,

Scrawling lines on the chalkboard––

Who was it said that we were bored?

Listen––he is speaking

(Confessing, more like)

To crimes too terrible to name.

Nothing will ever be the same,

Nor would we want it to.

Memory sharp as a knife––

You won’t get away with it––

I’ll plunge it into your heart.

We’ll kill the past,

One devil at a time,

And your soul will be mine.

Don’t go into the dark.

Stay where the lark sings,

And Saturn’s rings

Glitter with gold dust. 

We must choose the light––

Live to fight another day––

There is no other way.

I can tell you

Because I’ve made all the mistakes;

I know the people who are fakes;

Wish I was blind,

And far more kind. 

My harpy, 


Does my bidding for me,

More deadly than poison,

Than an avalanche of spikes.

We hike our skirts high

To torture those

Who dare approach––

And my hands around your throat––

It’s only a nightmare;

There is nothing there,

(She screamed,


Cut off my nose to spite my face;

I’ll remember your kindness

Without the usual blindness.

Letters on the mat

Tell me that

You are thinking of me––

But I blinked and you were gone.

I don’t think you were the one;

Can’t tell you why,

And you may sigh,

But I am distracted by ghosts

And don’t hear you.

Would others say you were a fool?

Well, they’re fools too.

So it doesn’t matter;

The patter of tiny feet

Is the meaning of life,

However much you lie

To me, and you.

You tried to take me for a fool,

But letter bombs sent you off course.

(Till death do us part.)

Photographs of you

Are better than words.

Our swords that clashed

Lay rusty on the floor; 

We are at war, no more.

Fabulous or terrifying:

That’s your only choice––

Until your voice fades,

And we’re arguing no more––

I’ve travelled the world,

Looking for my soul.

Sadder are the living dead,


We’ll play this game no more.

What was it all for?

She asked.

You’ll find out someday;

For now, we’ve lost our way––

Survival of the fittest,

Or so they say.

Since they’re in so much pain,

They must master


And minds.

Who can entertain the darkest thoughts?

He who wins,

Of sorts.

Fabulous, terrifying,

Or both?

Only we know. 

Winning at life

Takes time. 

And so my heart moves.

Nothing more to prove.

Just this time,

With me and you.

Love is pain,

And we never were the same again––

(Just orphans without hats.)

Never thought I’d welcome that.

Just simple, softly, starkly––

Dark silhouette

Against the twilight sky––

Never want to say goodbye;

Goodbye is just the beginning.

We know that we are winning,

When we finally say, I’ve tried.

It’s funny how alone you can be.

Surrounded by people;

All the people,

Playing games––

They don’t even know your name,

But I do,

And I’m waiting to tell everyone.

Love is God, 

And God is truth.

You’ll find that I sat next you,

On the train to nowhere––

Don’t know when we’ll get there––

But I’ll gladly share the ride with you.

It’s a role,

Not an act

(We’re really waiting for love),

But until then,

We’ll party our way down to hell. 

Credit: Photo by Anastasia Taioglou on Unsplash