DAMAGED by Jeffrey Littrell

she can’t even meet their stare
from too many nights of helpless despair
broken, yet expected to please
in filthy rooms, down on her knees

the ends of her sanity frayed
the last of her blind faith betrayed
she’s damaged beyond all repair
lost in the misery, unable to care

she has no sense of direction
with a clouded perspective, it’s one more injection
nodding out on the bathroom floor
a walking ghost, a helpless whore


Thunder And Lightning ( when I saw you ) by Jeffrey Littrell

it was Thunder Over Louisville
the smoke hung in the night
there were thousands down on 4th Street
under the fireworks so bright

I was trying to get a taxi
at 6th Street and West Main
when she rushed under the canopy
it had just begun to rain

some might deem it happenstance
or perhaps, the hand of fate
that brought us both together
at that time and on that date

the wind came off the river
deftly lifting her skirt high
her umbrella was turned inside out
we laughed until we cried

she pulled out a pack of Dunhills
and I set one ablaze
we agreed to share the taxi
and I tried to turn a phrase

there was lightning in the skies above
and magic in the night
and for the first time in a long time
I knew I’d be alright


Black Ribbon, White Flag by Jeffrey Littrell

no one stands beside me
but my shadow on the wall
even in my dreams, I walk alone
my loneliness is painted grey
and hidden deep inside me
only to the mirror is it shown

I wish that I could take a knife
and cut the pain away
extract it like a tumor black with death
lest, this grief I carry
shall curse my remaining days
freed only when I reach my final breath

you don’t know what you have
until it’s gone, is what they say
I must convey I find this statement true
for the only time I felt alive
was when I held you by my side
the only one I’ll ever love is you


WHERE YOU AND I WILL GO by Jeffrey Littrell

 

there is a place where you and I will go

of golden-hued meadows, where clear, blue oceans flow

where sunlight quickly dries the gentle rain

absolving us of all our sins and pain

 

with laughing children singing nursery rhymes

families remember cherished times

a million miles above, there shines a bright, majestic star

and everything between is just the miracle we are

 

I’ll take your hand when we finally reach this place

that doesn’t know addiction, poverty, or disgrace

and with each beat from our hearts we will derive

the answer to the mystery of why we were alive

 

to love each other is our only task

to help raise the fallen and not wait for them to ask

along the path of righteous truth we’ll go

to this wondrous place where you and I will go

 

This poem is written for my friend, currently serving a 3 year sentence at the Indiana Women’s Prison at the IDC. What is life without timeless love, the dream of a better place, and redemption through the remarkable strength of the human spirit ?

 

“At the end of every hard-earned day, people find some reason to believe. “

– Bruce Springsteen

 

 


SPIRIT, FEATHER, AND BONE by Jeffrey Littrell

maple leaves spin down to the earth
like ghosts adrift on the wind
touched by the hand of the Medicine Man
the mystical tempest begins

flames flicker in response on the altar
The Great Spirit has come to dance
chanting and casting a circle of salt
sends destiny merging with chance

the blood of the stag is offered, bringing
the distant cry of a wolf, all alone
an alchemist and a shapeshifter
becomes spirit, feather, and bone

the power of good medicine conquers,
Evil is commanded to fall
The Great Spirit dwells deep within us
She opens her arms out to all


BROKEN TATTOOED ANGEL by Jeffrey Littrell

there’s a motel outside Winslow
that they call the Desert Rose
where I met up with a maid named Cheryl Lynn
we were hell and gone from there
a disturbed and damaged pair
when I realized the trouble I was in

they said she was bipolar
but who am I to judge
I ignored her gold band and her loaded gun
with a gap between her teeth like Anna Paquin
and her hair a pretty bronze
shining bright like copper in the sun

we were taking down a liquor store
outside Tucumcari
when the cops came swarming in without a sound
Cheryl tried to take them
but she never stood a chance
I wish I’d died beside her on that ground

sometimes I swear I almost feel her body next to me
I hear her sweet voice
whisper in my mind
one day I’ll leave this prison cell
to fly free once again
and Cheryl, in that great beyond, I’ll find.


BENEATH THE SPANISH MOSS by Jeffrey Littrell

storms sound different when you travel alone
when you’ve been running your entire life
in search of where you’re meant to be

perhaps that place
where Spanish moss hung from the trees in sympathy

does the love we hold inside of us
have an expiration date
if not given away,
does it eventually rust
or crumble to dust

as the words in a classic novel
stand ignored on the shelf,
my love lies dormant.
while the grinning demon
at my side
sheds another layer of skin

memories
become polaroids in an old shoe box
regrets of love lost
cast shadows on the promise of a new day

with the coming of dusk, left hoping
that the comfort from her breast
might return me to the place I was before

beneath the Spanish moss


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