Upside Down

Writing in the dark today

Migraines make me think this dying
Jagged gravel scrapes through brain
Alone, afraid, yet keep on fighting

Black silhouettes of chosen loss
Not scripting lines believing crossed
When shadows formed by infected trees
Paradise flipped symmetrically
Hence, my chosen fallacy—
Walk through water mentally
And the irony: returning leaves
With art projecting endlessly

No mirage exists herein
Now glowing mists, forest glistening
Trying squirms from lifeless shows
Knocks—thud sounds within cranial bones
Under throes of melted snow
Whereto walking I don’t know
Pressure changed so long ago

Spring lost, beginning—this ache feels true
Again faunal stages pan
As returning voices echo through
Golden bows and Puck’s woodland
Fergus, Shallot, Arthur’s clan
Crowning floral thorns on bloom
Myths may flow through afternoons

So what’s found above…
God in sky?
Kamikaze doves?
Love proclaimed without a hug?
Unable to recall
The entirety
From my birth
Or last night’s dream
Illusions of duality
Flip side from lost gravity
Ripple blotted sanity
Shallow fathom
Stretching reach
Still entrance made
One born through breech

My best guess is that time will end
Finding when our sleep amends
A race to space evolved from beasts
While lucid yearning pines for peace
I’m upside down
Where clouds should be
Breakthrough prayers
To find relief

Care for a poetry reading?

*The above prompt for this poem (which is actually upside down here) was shot by the incredibly talented photographer, James Rainsford. He was just featured on One Shoot Sunday (which was our most popular One Shoot to date!) …Please check out this interview and surf the links to Mr. Rainsford’s work.

*The poem is my offering for Week 38 of One Shot Wednesday
Thank You

67 Responses to “Upside Down”

  1. Anita Wakeham Says:

    The picture inspired such an excellent write Adam. I really enjoyed the journey your words took me on.


  2. yeah… prayers may do…perhaps the only way to keep one’s mind in different issues and yet how much can a mind get rid of thoughts?

  3. I’m not sure one can rid themselves of thoughts entirely (not considering amnesia victims)… one never knows when things supposedly forgotten may again surface. Thanks, sweet friend.

  4. moondustwriter Says:

    Love the literal upside down but also the upside down of emotions and the mind that you deal with.

    This would be a good piece for people to read who feel at the end of their rope; not for clarity per-se but to establish that “upside down” is part of life.
    Thanks Adam

  5. Brillant Dustus…Just love it…the images of woodland, Puck to Arthur’s Clan…you had me all the way….a lover of forest I am and here a lovely ride through it….may your prayers be heard and any pain be quick to subside….blessings…bkm

  6. Life takes us upside down inside out journeys that make us feel like a churned roller coaster rider from time to time. What’s up in the sky? Clouds, Lithosphere, maybe if we look hard enough, answers? Who knows, follow your feet Adam, and your metaphor 😉 Really enjoyed your emotional read of this quite philosophical write.

  7. this is a breath taking poem Adam! quite speechless here…

  8. sometimes upside down is the only way to see what is really present.

  9. Great Pic….
    And yes, I’ve been kamikazied by a few doves once or twice.
    Great One Shot…G

  10. I also really liked this pic and thought it would make an excellent prompt when I saw it Sunday–but I don’t think I could have done anything this solid with it. “…Whereto walking I don’t know/Pressure changed so long ago..” one among many lines that really bit deep. The ending resolves the symmetrical flip and keeps the poem’s circular sense of being turned upside down and having always to deal with it. (Also neat you flipped the picture.) Good one, adam…really good.

  11. Very engaging piece Dustus, and I like the touch added by the inverted image…

    Image & Verse

  12. Sometimes hard to tell which is upside down and right way up. Great words.

  13. Enjoyed reading this very much – and what a superb image

  14. excellent adam…love the rhyme…the description of the migrane hurt and then you close it tight in the upside down imagery…

  15. What a journey you have taken me on this week, Adam! The migraine, the topsy-turvy world of questioning what really matters, the perspective of being ‘upside down, where clouds should be’…the ‘knocks—thud sounds within cranial bones…’

    yes, so well spoken and yet, a wonderful journey i would wish on no one! sorry you had to go there, but thanks for the chronicle, a written roadmap.

  16. Excellent description of a migraine and the upside down adds to the impact of your words. Love the rhyming.


  17. The phtotograph sets the mystical tone of the poem…just love that photo my friend.

  18. Quite a linguistic dance here! With a lot of great description.

  19. A guy could get disoriented reading this, but it sure grabs you. I’ve read it three times now….wonderfully layered requiring my full attention. Very nice work. Vb

  20. What a wonderful poem for the picture. I love the emotional appeal of the piece.

  21. Very precious and well crafted. Congrats. I have me a headache tonite as I read. If my yearning could be but lucid now, I would “pine for peace”.

    Thanks for this poignant poem.


  22. This poem helped me see through the eyes of my little girl, her two-day migraine trampled emotions and thoughts seemed to be like this for her. Your words spoke for her too. Thank you.

  23. is this contagious , by any chance ?


    while lucid yearning pines for peace….
    i am upside down
    to find relief

    how enigmatically beautifully worded dustus.

    *i’d go with more roughage in my diet…:))

  24. I love how the rhythm and pace builds in this piece. A good read. A good write.

  25. I love it, love it all but best how you wrap it all up in the last stanza! Thanks, Adam!

  26. Dear Adam

    Its beautiful vivid and powerful. I enjoyed your last lines where you have brought the whole of the thought into a high point where the clouds should be …. A great one shot…

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    At Twitter @VerseEveryDay

  27. I never imagined as I waited patiently to capture this shot that it would one day be inverted to such great effect. Thank you for prompting me to see this image with fresh eyes. I enjoyed this poem and I’m truly gratified that my photo played some small part in its creation. This is a moving and skilfully executed piece, which demonstrates a fine ear for the nuances and possibilities of the English language.
    Thanks also for your link.
    Kind regards, James.

    • James, thank you. Your photograph “Reflections” can be turned upside down and the moving figure (along with surroundings) still looks incredibly clear! Your work and skill are truly inspiring.

  28. Very vivid and atmospheric, especially with the photograph.

  29. a fine example of taking a base theme and writing, yes writing, in a unique and vivid fashion…you know Adam, I like this fro several reasons, but originality ranks on top

    Peace, hp

  30. “While lucid yearning pines for peace”… LOL, my pine forest was all but peaceful as the winds made them bow low. Life’s journey can be a puzzle most of the time. Nice job of expression…

  31. This is really cool!

  32. When I read this, I realized what true poetry is. While reading the words you chose, their rythm and their depth I felt like I was inside a great work of art. I suppose I was upside down.

    The photo is also magnificent.

  33. one of the things i love about your writing is the depth of meaning. i feel something different with each reading. this is especially classier than my thoughts regarding migraines ~ they f**king hurt! a wonderful photograph, whichever side up.

  34. Ouch. The world of a migraine is upside down, inside out, and often spiraled downward into the murky world of pain. I really like the images you’ve painted with your words. You take us there to look around and see the sights, but but replacing pain with pleasure. I’ve often wondered how many works of art (of all kinds) are born in a world distorted by pain.

  35. As a fellow migraineur, what you said. Words for migraines world are almost Otherworldly: “Flip side from lost gravity/ Ripple blotted sanity. But strangely, for me, migraines occasion the most creative spurts of writing — something about that burst of energy up from the lower brainstem, hooves hammering out pieces of brain in which curious waters fill. I used to have seizures; now I have migraines, three or so a week for the past 10 years. It’s a road; all we can do is write it.

  36. Your photo accents your poem perfectly!

  37. Adam, I can’t tell you how fantastic it was to put on the earphones and listen to your voice with my eyes closed. I love the faint echo effect, and I could visualize all you spoke of.
    My fave line: Myths may flow through afternoons. Your poem brought unreality to reality. Splendid work.

  38. We live through pain, physical, emotional, upside down or rightside up, but we have to choose to live through it. I think this is a fantastic piece, a testament for those seeking a reason to carry on…and again, your language, your use of vibrant vocabulary, never ceases to amaze me. Always a most appreaciated pleasure…thank you 🙂

  39. Dustus you took me on this journey and left me wandering in that wilderness. uhh… the pic. hehe It must be a continuation…. find me! Great one shot

  40. The upside down photo introduces this piece well. You’ve done a great job of expressing how disorienting times of pain can be. Having had migraines myself, I can relate to:

    “Jagged gravel scrapes through brain…Knocks—thud sounds within cranial bones…Spring lost, beginning—this ache feels true”

    Hope that nasty migraine has passed, and that now well-being “feels true.”

  41. Beautiful. I’ve been to this place. You descibed it perfectly.

  42. I’ve read many times, the depth changes each time with different lines calling out..the complexity is both intriguing and refreshing, as is James’s picture. love that you upended the photo…

  43. -thud sounds with cranial bones – – excellent write – -from a fellow migraine sufferer.

    ღ ஆεlεɳa ~.^

  44. Your poem needs to be read again and again to reap the multiple layers of meaning, Adam. It is as though you, nations, creation, the Universe are all in tumult and yet somehow you inject a grain of beauty and hope. I recently discover James’ poetry and now I’m taken by his photography as well. So much talent in this community.

  45. Your language is quite descriptive, even fantastical, and the rhythmic, almost chanting nature adds to the dream-like quality. I love the kamikaze doves!

  46. betweenhearts75 Says:

    always amazes me the depth in words from the short writings to those with a bit more length….so much reflection in this that seems to speak almost hauntingly…like a thousand tears… (perhaps the reason for a migraine, lol ) but seriously so well thought and the photo is amazing by James 🙂

  47. Adam, I love the deep emotional feel when I read this. The imagery is sheer genius….loved it.

  48. Wow! I would NEVER have been able to think of something so unique as your poem on looking at this amazing picture! I probably would have just kept staring at it anyway 🙂
    Whheeww… a migraine?!?!? Yup, I suppose it does deserve some attention after all… the upside down state it can put us in, is so PERFECTLY described here, Adam.. KUDOS!!
    And I sincerely hope you didn’t have to experience one to write this poem so well!! (fingers crossed)

  49. The image is sometimes clearer than the reality. Great poetry.

  50. ” ripple blotted sanity “..loved that line..

  51. Love that you flipped the picture for this !
    Your words ,as always , are remarkable !
    Great one shot !

  52. Oh Adam. What a beautiful piece full of seeking and questioning. I, too, would love a view of paradise right-side-up but this perma-migraine from reading the news may be my punishment for chasing a sneak peak.

  53. I’ve not had a migraine in a couple weeks. I’d say on average I get one a month. They SUCK. And this poem makes me want to declare migraines illegal, immoral and just plain not nice — forever.

    Love the whole Puck’s woodland / Arthur’s clan ideas — swept me away, as your words do.

    Enjoy your bupkis for dinner, as per your words on Galen’s 55 a few minutes ago. 🙂 Are they bibby-bupkis??

    Bupkis and beer — fine fine foodage indeed. 🙂


  54. i came looking for bupkis….smiles. see you in a couple days buddy…

  55. I frequently feel like I’m upside down and all over the place. Maybe it’s because I live down under. Have a great weekend.

  56. What an incredible poem, Adam! The rhyme and cadence drive the reader into those dark spaces. What I really love is the relentless imagery (which is one of your strengths), suggesting the aching-head madness of history and culture. Fine writing, as usual!

  57. What a journey that can be taken upside down. It kind of reminded me of when we would hand upside down from the playground bars. The world is different seen from upside down and you captured this magnificently in your musical rhythm of poetry. Thank you for sharing!

  58. I loved your topsy turvy photo which sparked your words – lots to think about. Thanks 🙂

  59. wow, now that is one mindbending journey.
    Great poem Adam.
    The picture is also incredible

  60. The inverted image is really engaging… quite a journey!

  61. What a powerful poem! And I especially liked the sound and image of the phrase “Kamikaze doves” and this “I’m upside down
    Where clouds should be.”

  62. This is a really great poem Adam. Love it 🙂

    Have a great weekend ahead

  63. […] “Upside Down“   by   dustus "Reflections" by James Rainsford […]

  64. […] “Upside Down“   by   dustus "Reflections" by James Rainsford […]

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