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Shadow

I used to know a girl called Shadow. She was a child when we first met, with eyes the colour of deep sea ice, and black hair so long it would collect fallen leaves in the autumn, and tickle the back of her ankles when she walked.  Her skin was pale, but her heart was warm, a deep well of passion that when ignited could make her appear translucent. She needed to feel the earth, with all its seeds and stones and soft leafy things, between her toes; she wanted to know it was there, to know that there were still things growing, and that there always would be.  Her favourite was the rough touch of the bark as it peeled and fell away from her climbing feet; she loved to climb trees, and she was the best at it.

In the time that I knew her Shadow took on many different forms; she could travel through time, space, dimensions, she could reincarnate into a witch, a vampire, a shape shifter. I could meet her in a marketplace a full grown woman, and come the next day I would find in her in a forest as childlike as the day we met. I would follow her through worlds, worlds we made up together, and worlds that already existed.
Her favourite place, and my favourite Shadow, was the one that lived in Middle Earth. This Shadow would climb up through the high bows of the ancient woods to watch for wizards. She could stalk stray orcs and take them out with a slingshot that she had made herself.
Shadow was smaller than most, and because she was a girl, she would have to stow away if she wanted to go on any of the really big adventures. When found, she would have to prove herself, but that was fine because even though she was young, her orphaned, urchin life had bestowed on her the ability to not take any shit for her size, her appearance or her gender.
Sometimes she would get herself into trouble, and once she was kidnapped by a great host of evil, but she was never the damsel in distress. By the time her rescuers arrived, detoured slightly from a very important quest of their own, she would have dispatched all but one of her attackers. She would, however, be grateful nonetheless. And from then on, they all came to respect and to love her, and she became the only female member of their company.
I saw all of these things happen through Shadows eyes; I would find a quiet place where I could sit on my own and indulge in her adventures. I would sit there for hours, my mind completely out of my body, and gluttonous for detail. Sometimes they made me jealous, the stories, and sad. I wanted to journey, to have adventures, to fight and love and be useful and have magic. I wanted, more than anything, for it all to be real.

Shadow was my first real best friend. I liked her better than myself, I felt like I knew every inch of her. She was the all the parts of a character I longed to possess, that I thought I could possess, if only I were a little quicker, or stronger, or lived in a parallel universe.
But as I grew older I came to accept that it was all just fantasy; she was the meat of my imagination. The development of a muscle that is now just as full, and wild and vital as my heart.

I don’t see Shadow anymore; I haven’t seen her for years. She moved like her namesake across a part of my childhood, enveloping it not in a sinister darkness, but a comforting one. I don’t think about her often, but when I do, I miss her.  And I wonder if she lives still, a reincarnated vision in another young girls head, feeding her ravenous imagination, keeping it alive until she knows how to control it. Until she knows how to put it down on paper.

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shadow puppets

you may control me from somewhere so deep i’m afraid to go

                                                      and you  may appear where light projects

                                                      like someone, hands to window, peering in

to this lit world

but i control how you slide on the light and that is a relief

 

we used to be best-friends you know

                                                  before you got to be so needy

and seriously,

do you have to copy everything i do?  what would people think?

i can’t have you spilling all my secrets, so i’ve erased your face

                                                              all tell-tale signs are gone

                                                              thank god

don’t worry

                i can speak for you, i know pretty much everything you want to say

and i don’t care what anyone says, censorship isn’t all bad

one day you’ll understand, it’s for your own good you see

oh why do i argue? you just give me that blank look

                                                                                 well i see right through it missy

 

but i am sorry

really i am

it’s just i had no choice but to banish you to the wall

to ground you (pun not intended)

                                                    (okay, okay, you know me too well, it was intended…)

 

if you promise to be good i’ll let you out sometime

in the dark maybe, where you can’t get into (cause) too much trouble

besides it gets lonely there

in the dark

 

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Alyssa’s Week 8: Shadow

 

Bright and white, she illuminates my way.

Luring me gently to rise to the day.

 

She kisses my front, so soft and so warm,

But there she stops, leaving me torn.

 

 Back there behind me it lurks in the dark,

Pulling me back, ripping me apart.

 

The half that she lights can never be whole,

Because of the shadow that eats at my soul.

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Shadow of Myself

I feel like a shadow of myself
the real me is in here somewhere
afraid, alone, anxious
So my shadow dances on walls
finishes assignments
and endures the grind
all while I’m in here
somewhere
seeking out light.

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Lost Shadows

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Shadow remembers
Tall and long
In the sinking sun
Cross the frozen lake
Crunch a path to the
Small island of evergreens
Hug me
Feel me
The tree always hugs back

Shadow surrenders
With a swaying song
Midnight windy storm
On the Whiffen Spit
Waves flood the walk
As drowning crickets chirp
See me
Free me
The eagle always comes back

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Shadow Self

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I made this playlist at the beginning of the week.  Shadow makes me think of my dark side, my Shadow Self.  I think all my friends would laugh at me and say I have no dark side, but it’s like MAdM says, everyone has a dark side.  I don’t speak much, but what I say tends to have a sharp jab of truth.  I am blunt.  My mother calls it “brutal honesty”.  I blame her.  She always told me not to lie, so I don’t.  I remember watching Harriet the Spy when I was twelve and Golly was explaining when it was appropriate to tell little white lies and I thought man, I really need to figure this out.  But I still haven’t. 

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Animus II

“Men can be dangerous, like in the song ’Datura’ about how sometimes they can bring you gold and sometimes they can be the bearer of poison. The plant Datura is a hallucinogen and it’s like men. If you get the right amount you’ll walk into the garden and become a woman, but if too much seeps in in the wrong way and at the wrong time – it’ll kill you.” – Tori Amos (Attitude Magazine, November 1999)

he knew what he liked
and what he liked was me

he was lightning, sardine lip at my neck
and bursting cherry at the knees
all of him locked tight, teeth clenched

he was hot bread, boy sank so smooth
in my throat, he took me hard
beneath the willow tree and never spoke

he was earth, traced whatever was
left of my body in mud, in patterns
that recalled hieroglyphs and runes

his fingers were cold and his belly was hard
his lips were blue and his name was sour
his hunger was old and his breath was bruised

oh, he was a seedy prince, a carnivorous
ghost, and i’d wrench my way past his tongue

to get some of that magic
to be his, his all over again.

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