Growth

I am trying
to focus more on what
I do have in my life
than what
I think I’m
missing;

to identify the challenges I
can overcome
by myself, those that
require the help
of others, and
being able to
discern between the two;

to really
hear the beauty in the music
I love, see the splendor in art
that speaks to me, and
spend my time
more meaningfully
away from
screens and social media.

I am trying
to move past this
unrealistic ideal of a partner
I have created
in my mind;

to know that I am enough, and
that my path isn’t necessarily
one that converges with,
or even runs parallel to,
yours.

I am trying
to take pleasure in the
lessons I have learned and
be willing
to leave the
past where it is;

to be more accepting
of those who are not like me,
and those who
disagree with me on
a fundamental level;

to gain patience, to temper
my aggression, and
to respect those
around me.

I know that this is something that
will never be
complete until my
life ends.
But, still,

I am trying.

by Erik Shinker

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Manifesting Destiny

We want to
believe so badly
that there are
guiding hands in the world.

Even if they are
malevolent, at least
it isn’t random,
chaotic chance
dictating our day-to-day.

Looming, silhouetted shoulders
dwelling in the shadows,
coercing the cogwheels of
the universe to
Their ends.

Terrors that
slink beneath the
surface which become the
monsters we choose,
rather than face
the immutability of
the truth.

There is no sense to life
but what we force upon it,
projecting our intention on the
patterns we perceive,
regardless of the truth.

by Erik Shinker

Red Hands

Drenched in the
evidence of our crime,
we became defiled.
Your palms no more dark
than mine.

Crusting scabs ran along in a
watered-down attempt to
clean what was wrought. I
remember
that of which I am guilty.
I cannot help but
wonder if you even
remember me.

But I have learned not to
trust any beautiful thing.
Would you warn your own child
against people like you?

by Erik Shinker

S.S.D.D.

Finding fulfillment shouldn’t be
this difficult.
Perhaps looking for it
within would be
time better spent

Exhausted from trying, I
rebel at the prospect of
continuing; and yet
still I strive.

Am I just stuck
in a rut?
Arrested in my development and
seeking only other than
what I truly need.

Expression is nice, but the
sentiment soon seems
forced and insincere.
No truth comes from
these so-called revelations;
only confusion.

I am I, but that is not enough.
Purpose eludes with as
much vehemence as sleep.
My eyelids grow heavy as
the betrayal of my body manifests.
Though I may sleep, I will not rest.

And so goes another day.

by Erik Shinker

Conviction

The other side
must
be wrong;
if not, then
how could we
be right?

Such sure, strong support
must be testament to
our correctness.

Their passion is
hypocritical,
not noticing the
paradoxes and double standards
in their own beliefs.

Our opposition tries to
bend facts to their aims,
in a bastardization of
the truths we hold to be
self-evident.

Two sides to
the same, divisive coin
with minuscule differences.
But that is not what
they
would have us believe.

When did empathy,
humanity, and
compassion
become weakness?

Have we become so
self-centered to believe that
what we want is
all that matters?

There are few things more
volatile
than a person of
blind conviction with
blessed belief
in their cause.

by Erik Shinker

Crush(ed)

Each day I sit and
beg with silent plea as
she passes by my desk.

Speak to me, or
let me speak to her.
But I lack the
courage, the
will, the
want.
More afraid that
she’ll say yes
than no.

Each morning I look
forward to those stolen glances, the
shy smiles that could be chalked
up to simple manners.

I would like something,
more, but this is all
I deserve.

She deserves better than
to be hit on at work.
Besides, she would
rather speak to
another.

By Erik Shinker

Downpour

Do not turn to me for
I can give no healing balm;
no soothing salve to your heartache.
Nor would I ask the same of you.

My words,
turned to gibberish by swollen tongue.
My ears,
stoppered by piercing plugs.
My eyes,
blinded by an unattainable visage.
My feelings,
filtered through apathy.

Skin thickened, though
not tough enough to keep
from fraying.

And yet here we lie; with
one another, to
one another, about
one another.

by Erik Shinker