In His Image

Across the table, where there stands no mirror
I see myself—sitting and staring through my own body
Feel the beams of vision pierce through my sternum
Pressing into matter that pumps blood through my beating heart
Meandering around bones and fibers that carry my being
Shooting out of my back, into an unknown corner of this room
Continue reading In His Image

June 6th, 1944 – D-Day Remembrance

I think of the water—crashing and reaming against the sides of their boats, rocking the steel platforms that they had their feet planted on. A frothy, foamy excursion through wailing winds and raging ocean waters. The spray would plume up and over the sides of the boats, misting them with a salty shower that seeped into their cuts and sores, chapped their dried, burned lips, and singed their swollen tongues. The unforgiving water would cling to their jackets, soaking through into their shirts, chilling their cores to a shivering edge. It would bleed into their boots, coating their socks in the freezing ocean rain until their feet were frozen and wrinkled, covered in blistering wounds that ached with every step. Continue reading June 6th, 1944 – D-Day Remembrance

Hurriers Wall

What’s the hurry? If we always hurried to the next moment our lives, would we ever actually stand to experience the moment we are in? Or would every passing second slip through our fingers, losing it’s meaning because of our rush to prepare for this unreachable future, ever eluding us, ever being chased over fences to greener pastures, ever dangling just out of grasp. To fully live the present in service to the future is to live both pieces half-heartedly. Continue reading Hurriers Wall

On Strawberry Muffins

I ate a strawberry muffin
That was so dense
It seemed to fill my shoes
With every teething bite
Thick and grainy
As if to chew on memory foam
Chomping and mulling
Into paste between my gums

I ate a strawberry muffin
Plastered with leaves of crimson
Skin curled up round edges
Slashing the bread in berry red
Blood—sweet and tart, dripping
Oozing across rose petal pockets
Flecks of orange zest squirm
Cheeks to bitter-sweet

I ate a strawberry muffin
A fusion I hadn’t tried
I found I much prefer them
As strawberries
And muffins
Than blended in a baker’s tie

How much longer?

Prose Poem Written By Christian J. Ashliman

If I had known that day would follow the track that it was destined to, I might have curled up in a tight, little ball, hiding under the thick, woolen blankets that draped my bed—for it was a day lived in the clouds, floated through as I scraped for solid ground, trying to make sense of a change that felt too sudden. We were together now, motoring down the highway towards a preschool where it was doomed to crash, bound to deteriorate into a child-like match of show-and-tell, featuring all of my infinite shortcomings, breaking way to a wave of wrenching realizations of losing the one. Tears, anger, frustration and guilt—emotions swirling around in a boiling chemical cocktail, using my imploding skull as a chalice. In the classroom of a dark, dingy schoolhouse, the jet-fueled spiral broke, dragging me kicking and screaming into a new reality, no matter how intensely I wished to wake up.

The River

Poem Written By Christian J. Ashliman

Familiar waters gushing between rocks
Crashing around every boulder
A sound growing in volume
To encapsulate a waking nightmare
A time when he stalked her
Watching her every move
A slip, an error
The world comes caving in
Beneath knuckled fists
To live in fear
Is to not live at all
A guilt, a sadness, a creeping smile
She was glad she had done it
Stone after stone, tied with thick, raspy twine
Cast into an abyss of cold, wet darkness
Dragging the evil away with it
He couldn’t hurt her anymore
Not down there

Unknown

Short Story Written By Christian J. Ashliman

The dense, thick smell of Christmas pines wafted like a swirling blanket over the crowds, filling the air with a cheerful spring of holiday season. Bells could be heard ringing, jingling in delight as the little ones ran up and down the overly populated sidewalks, with a light pitter patter scattered against the heavy thumping of moving foot traffic. In the distance, caroling was picking up, growing in number and volume as the gleeful singers gained more traction. Dusk must have been on the western horizon, felt by the warmth of sunlight cracking through the cold clouds, bathing his face in a tingling radiance. Continue reading Unknown

Futility

Poem Written By Christian J. Ashliman

A warm, dawning glow reflected off my cold, pale skin
The morning air stands frigid; frozen to the influence of surrounding life
Something stirs within; an opposite of the outside world, warm to the touch
It is both familiar, and yet, foreign; wanted, but forbidden
It has poisoned my thoughts; seeping into every corner of my mind
This place is dark, filled with the torment and anguish of regret
Here, where life’s episodes are replayed endlessly
There is no consolation, leaving me with the thought of what could have been

Never again, I take the vow
Searching for some way to forget
It’s nagging, gnawing presence fails to cease
Ignoring my command, giving way to one final affliction
Useless in solving my own mystery
Futile is my quandary, as there is no meaningful end
To which I can say, I am satisfied