06 April 2010


I used to be so big and strong

Yeah that's me alright
Straight backed beside the trail
Where hardly anyone notices
Me anymore, because I'm not pretty

I used to know my right from wrong

People pass me by swinging sticks
Or riding bikes, treading on the roots
I used to have (and that still ache)
The original phantom limbs

I used to never be afraid

They hurt, the ache ferocious
Cold steel hammers on my bones
Fucking hikers and bikers, man,
Don't care because I don't scream

(I used to be somebody!)

Silent counsel I keep, because really?
My mouth has gone missing
Fallen away, ruined by the Challenger Deep
pressure of time on the carcass

I used to have something inside

Pressure: eventually will collapse me
External shell, fissured, baked by sun,
Cracked by cold and wind, illusions
That the core is warm and molten

Now its just this hole that's open wide

Void opening up inside, ignorant eyes can't see it
Rot setting in because death creeps quietly
Causing the pocked face you can see
And I would try to hide but for lack of hands

I used to want it all

Wanting it all is a foreign country
A former cradle that made my limbs
Swell fat and strong and near perfect
Until I fell, insect-hollowed, lightning-beaten

I used to be somebody

I was.

Photo credit: Irish Gumbo
Italicized phrases: Lyrics used without permission, from "Down In It" by Nine Inch Nails


  1. We all used to be big and strong my friend, we all did. I never used to be a worrier either.

  2. Well, that's sort of Rodney Dangerfield, don't you think? No respect no more... poor stump.

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  3. *sigh* I wish I could write like this...


  4. The roots are still there, friend, and they run deep.

  5. yes they do run deep, and perhaps this tree was chopped down, not due to rot, but to make chairs for a family to sit on, or a table for loved ones to gather at for time immemorial...and even if it was just firewood in the end...at least it brought the gift of warmth to someone??

  6. Two things:

    NIN is one of my favorite bands, and that is a song full of awesome.

    This reminds me of one of my favorite books of all time, The Giving Tree. It still after all these years, has the power to make me tear up.


  7. a new twist on creative mixed media in writing. Very very nice.

  8. Brilliant play with words, music and your own photo Irish.
    'Pressure: eventually will collapse me'.
    And NiN? I knew it!

    I won't tell anyone!...

  9. I disagree. YOU ARE.





    ...and above all, a great friend.

  10. Sad old tree standing so tall only to be cut down before its time. Maybe there is a part of the core from which a new shoot will grow.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...