Poem: Desert of the Soul

I wrote this poem for a poetry class I took at the university where I was working about 12 years ago.  I worked it over three revisions before arriving at this final version.  It is a villanelle.  Prior to taking that poetry class, I had been doing a lot of free verse stuff, but I’ve found that using a form sometimes kick starts the creative process by making my brian try to wrap my random thoughts around a formal structure.

Desert of the Soul

Living twisted metaphors from some dire poem
a ghost of a man is hooked on death’s reel.
The desert of the soul he’s destined to roam.
Nightly he wakes in a sheen like gleaming chrome
from nightmarish omens of lives that he’ll steal.
He lives twisted metaphors from some dire poem.
Battered and tossed, gulping mouthfuls of foam,
Like a ship in a storm with a broken keel,
The sea of the soul he’s destined to roam.
Society’s sewer he’ll anxiously comb;
an outcast hunting for a love he can feel.
He lives twisted metaphors from some dire poem.
Existing in shadows, he hides like a gnome
and wonders if and when he’ll find a next meal.
The caverns of the soul he’s destined to roam.
Desolation–the only place he’ll call home
as he flees from his demons with waning zeal.
Living twisted metaphors from some dire poem,
the desert of the soul he’s destined to roam.
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