A Torrent of Black Pearls – A Poem

I couldn’t keep1509909_726801987354008_248704030_n

all of myself

inside of me.

There was too

much of it,

too much shadow

and darkness, grief

and self-doubt and

it consumed me,

filling me with

a tar-like substance

that would slip

through my skin,

staining my clothes.

A smell came

from my clothes

and there was

a look about me

of quiet desperation.

I could barely

walk at that point

and was like

the third part

of the Sphinxes

riddle. I was

cold in even

in the heat

of the sun.

I was lost

within myself no

longer able to

hold myself together.

I was breaking

like glass streaked

with smoke. I

sat in the sun,

its fierce brightness

shining down on

me and I felt

nothing. I closed

my eyes and

drifted on a

dark turbulent sea

that threw its waves

against the inside

of me. Tears

slipped out of

my eyes like

black pearls. They

landed in my

lap and I

tried to catch

them. It was

then that she

spoke to me:

“Now why would you want to hold on to that shit for?”

I opened my

eyes and saw

a woman sitting

beside me. She

had kind eyes,

deep golden brown.

The sun shone

around her like

a halo. She

was motioning

at the pearls

of my despair.

“They are all I have left.”

I told her.

The words were

thick coming out

of my mouth.

“They are all I know now.”

She gave me a

kind look of

such understanding, of

knowing that more

black pearls began

to slide, slide

down my cheeks.

“You can’t heal with all of that inside you if you don’t let all of that go, how do you expect to fill the empty spaces with something else?”

I looked at

her and couldn’t

tell what age

she was. She

could be twenty

or thirty-five. She

reached out and

took my hands

in hers. The

pearls in my

palms fell to

the ground. Her

hands were as

warm as the sun.

I shook my head,

uttering words that

I had kept close,

inside the shadows.

“I don’t know what to do now. I’m so afraid all the time. I can’t live like this. I’ve been thinking of ending it, just calling it quits. Of giving up.”

She gave me

another look of

understanding, as if

she had been

exactly where I

was before, as

if she knew.

She nodded and

didn’t have to say

anything but

then she did,

in the softest,

kindest of voices.

“You are not a quitter. It’s not in you. Let the darkness go. It will be okay.”

She squeezed my

hand and I knew

that it would

be. I nodded

and even that

small movement of

agreement was like

a knife blade

severing that which

had been holding

me back. The broken

shadows began to

fall away from

me, a slow

trickle of pearls

that plunked and

plinked and clicked

on the grass

and the bench.

The trickle soon

increased, real tears,

stained black by

the smoke shadows

inside of me

flowing from my

eyes. I tried

to cover my

eyes to stem

the flow of

the tears. She

pulled my hands

back down into

my lap. I

looked at her.

“When the darkness is gone, what do I fill the emptiness with?  I’ve lived with these shadows for so long. I don’t know who I am anymore.”

She interlaced her

fingers in mine

and the heat

from her hands

increased, filling me

with such warmth.

“You can fill the emptiness with new things. Let the past go. Only then can you discover who you are meant to be.”

I nodded again,

the motion another

swipe at the

web of smoke

and shadow that

I wore around

myself. The tears

came then, a

flood of black

tears that soaked

my shirt, my

clothes, the grass.

They stopped for

a moment, as

if taking a

breath or pause.

Then more tears

came, but they

were not filled

with smoke. These

were real tears,

clear and pure.

They became

a torrent that

lifted the black

pearls and slid

them along through

the grass, away

from me. Once

the last black

pearl vanished, the

tears stopped, I

sat there, wet

with spent emotion

and looked at

the woman again.

She had not

let go, had

held my hands

the entire time.

“Do you feel better?”

She asked me.


I said. I

felt empty but

I didn’t feel

heavy anymore. I

wasn’t weighed down

by my past.

I had let

it all go.


She said, her

voice kind, soft.

“Now the healing can begin.”

“What will happen?”

“You’ll let your true self shine. That’s all you have to do.”

The sun framing

her head like

a halo grew

brighter and I

had to look

away, close my

eyes. When the

sun dimmed, I

looked back. The

woman was gone,

but I still

felt her hands

grasping mine and

I realized I

no longer felt


3 Comments on “A Torrent of Black Pearls – A Poem

    • Thanks! This one surprised me, I saw the quote on Facebook and immediately had the idea for the poem about the darkest point in my life.

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