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Dark Skies and Lullabies

by UrbanCastle


The Dark suffocates me.
Literally, comes alive.
Shadows peel off the wall,
fingers Bent like branches,
Legion like leaves,
Stealing my breath,
until there’s Nothing.

I’m somewhere Foreign,
somewhere far away.
nowhere to Run,
nowhere to Hide,
not in this Stillness,
not in this Void,
not with this Proximity.

My eyes Blind,
but I can Hear them.
I can Feel them.
Wet on my ears,
Statues on my back,
Lumps in my brain,
Incessant Leeches.

I try to Fight,
stay Strong,
but my arms,
their Weak,
my mind,
even weaker.
I’m Theirs.

Then, somehow I’m back,
to the Light,
to Normality,
to Life.
Until, I notice,
there in the corner,
My Shadow’s Not Mine.

Inception.
Dream buried under Dream,
Six feet under,
arms left over right,
trapped under pressure,
coffin nailed shut,
screaming silence.

Body Rotting,
the Mind Lingers,
a Box in a Box,
a second Prison,
waves on Alcatraz,
deep as the sea,
is there no Escape?

My lids grow Heavy,
hope fades,
and then I’m Gone,
left the shore,
to face cold stone,
from crypt to cave,
One is One.

Deep inside,
here is where they Dwell.
the Last level,
the Last circle.
My Limbo.
My Hell.
My Sins.

None dare make a move.
Yellow slits for eyes,
teeth gleam like Ice.
Pressure builds,
Suddenly their upon me,
pushing me inside myself,
into the pit that lies within.

Empty.
Barren.
Lifeless.

And it is there,
in the darkness,
that I see myself.
but different,
a relic of a union,
plucked,
and destroyed.

a little piece of me.
gone forever.

Dark skies and lullabies,
peace Forget Me tonight.
The Bed I make,
those who Come,
I welcome.
Suffocation is Liberation,
oh the dreams yet to come.


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Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:06 pm
Morrigan wrote a review...



Hi there, UrbanCastle.

Hmm. An interesting idea. I like some of your images, and I definitely dig your ideas.

However, you have a serious issue with meandering around and not getting to the point. The point is in the last stanza, and it's a good stanza. But much of the rest of the poem is gunk that needs to be cleaned out of the oven before your cake can really bake.

Here are the parts you should keep (I'll be critiquing these parts, too):

The Dark suffocates me.
Literally, comes alive.
Shadows peel off the wall,
fingers Bent like branches,
Legion like leaves,
Stealing my breath,
until there’s Nothing.

This is good exposition, and pretty good images, too. I like your "legion like leaves" but I think you can change it to "legion of leaves" to make the image even stronger. The one line that really irks me here is the second. It's totally unnecessary, and "literally" bugs me. Because the shadows aren't "literally" coming off the wall to strangle you. It's figurative no matter how you look at it. You can take out that line without hurting the rest of your stanza.

My eyes Blind,
but I can Hear them.
I can Feel them.
Wet on my ears,
Statues on my back,
Lumps in my brain,
Incessant Leeches.

I like the idea of these leeches. I think, though, that you should say in the first line "the darkness blinds me" or "the shadows blind me" instead of simply saying you are blind. It would connect this stanza more clearly to the others.

Inception.
Dream buried under Dream,
Six feet under,
arms left over right,
trapped under pressure,
coffin nailed shut,
screaming silence.

Okay, this stanza has a nice rhythm and images. But DO NOT mention Inception. It only brings up images of Leonardo DiCaprio and revolving hallways that don't belong in your poem.

My lids grow Heavy,
hope fades,
and then I’m Gone,
left the shore,
to face cold stone,
from crypt to cave,
One is One.

this stanza is needed because it chronicles your descent into this terrible place. So leave that in.

None dare make a move.
Yellow slits for eyes,
teeth gleam like Ice.
Pressure builds,
Suddenly their upon me,
pushing me inside myself,
into the pit that lies within.

Okay, "their" should be "they're." Otherwise, not bad.

And it is there,
in the darkness,
that I see myself.
but different,
a relic of a union,
plucked,
and destroyed.

a little piece of me.
gone forever.

Dark skies and lullabies,
peace Forget Me tonight.
The Bed I make,
those who Come,
I welcome.
Suffocation is Liberation,
oh the dreams yet to come.

This is the part where all your ideas come together. It's good. "a relic of a union" has a lovely sound to it. It's my favorite line.

But really, the only things you absolutely need in your poem are the stanzas I spoke about above. the rest are fluff. And you don't want fluff in poems.

I know it's been addressed, but the weird, random capitalization should go. In fact, for this poem, I suggest no capitals at all, not even I. It would give an interesting look to the poem (but that's your choice; you're the poet).

This has potential. I hope this review was helpful to you. Happy poeting!




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Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:09 am
niteowl wrote a review...



Hi UrbanCastle! Firstly, I'd like to point out that you haven't done reviews yet, so get out there and leave some feedback! There's some good tips on this in the Knowledge Base.

Now, on to the piece. You have some good images in here, like this:

Six feet under,
arms left over right,
trapped under pressure,
coffin nailed shut,
screaming silence.


This has a strong image and rhythm.

Now some critiques. Why do you Have words capitalized Randomly? I assume it's for emphasis, but there's so many I can't even focus on the words. Also, if the words aren't strong enough, slapping on a capital letter isn't going to change that. I generally recommend capitalizing as you would in prose unless there's a darn good reason.

My second issue is that the piece seems too long. It rambles and I have no clue what you're talking about. Dreams? Death? Hell? Obviously poems can have some mystery, but too much and you lose the reader. There's also a lot of repetition, which can work but I don't feel it does here.

I’m somewhere Foreign,
somewhere far away.
nowhere to Run,
nowhere to Hide,
not in this Stillness,
not in this Void,
not with this Proximity.


I feel like this whole stanza can be summarized thusly: "I'm trapped". This has cliches (nowhere to run/hide) and words that mean the same thing (stillness/void). Every word needs to pack a punch in poetry, so slash the extra words.

Then, somehow I’m back,
to the Light,
to Normality,
to Life.
Until, I notice,
there in the corner,
My Shadow’s Not Mine.


Same as above, except I like "my shadow's not mine". This could be expanded. What does the shadow look like instead.

Suddenly their upon me


Nitpick: This should be "they're"

This piece has potential. I like the idea of "dark skies and lullabies", but this is currently drowning in boring words and weird capitalization leaving me confused. Still, you give some good images. Keep writing! :)




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Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:01 am
dogs wrote a review...



Hello Castle! Welcome to YWS, I'm Dogs and I'm here for your review. Ok very interesting piece you wrote here. I like the topic, it's not quite overused and you still put a new spin on it. Undoubtedly the best part of the piece is your last stanza. That is quite marvelous, specifically the last two lines. I greatly approve. Lets dive in shall we?

Okey dokey, so firstly you do some really weird capitalizing at really weird places. I'm not sure why and you do it far too much. If you only use it for a couple words then it draws the readers eyes and we understand the underline importance you make it out to be. However, you do it on so many words that it's just overload and it makes your writing look sloppy. With a longer poem like this you do have a little more leniency to have more capital words in the middle of a sentence... but no more then three. MAAYYBBEE four if you realllyyy want to push buttons.

"literately, comes alive"

"Literately" really throws off your rhythm early in the piece. Definitely replace that word, and if you as the writer as saying that it comes alive then we as the reader trust that that's what happening, unless you hint that your narrator is unreliable, for which we get no such hints from this piece. So therefore take out "literately."

"Shadows peel off the wall"

I can tell right away that I'm going to like your writing style. Great imagery here, I like the dark scene your setting up right off the bat.

"not with this Proximity"

Sounds very weird with "proximity" in that line, definitely change it out.

Ok third stanza is a little odd because it doesn't have the great imagery that you already set up in the previous stanzas. Describe more of what you can feel from "them" and what you hear from "them" do you hear the creaking and scraping of fingernails on the crumbling walls? What do you feel? You need to clarify these things a little more and create a better picture in the readers head.

Ok then you go on about trying to fight them yada yada and how they overcome you. Ok, odd and never explained. Also you say you see that you don't have a shadow except your established before that you were blind. Contradictions...

Ok in stanza 7 things just take an odd turn. Not sure where that all came from and it still remains unexplained. Same underlining issue for the rest of your poem

So this is a great piece with an excellent ending may I add... the imagery is great but it lacks some plot line and leaves too many unexplained answers. It might be quite impressive if you made the "them" the conformity of society. I would find that interesting to read and it would be not too hard to hide the clues to that fact. Great topic and it with a little polishing it can be excellent. Let me know if you ever need a review, keep up the good work!

TuckEr EllsworTh :smt032




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Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:52 am
Hannah wrote a review...



Hey there, welcome to YWS~ Hope I get this done in time to be your first reviewer, and that after you soak up all the help you can stand, you get out there and help out some of your fellow writers by giving them a review or two or three or a hundred of your own. Anyway, let's start.

First, nitpicky things.

1. their = they possessive. they're = they are. You misuse "their" when you mean "they're" at least twice in this poem.

2. Why all the random capitalization? I feel like I understand the intent: to bring attention to words you think are important. But what is stopping them from being important on their own? If your other words are lessening the impact of the words you want to hit, rather than using an out-dated technique, why not trim down the less important words?

As for the material of this poem, you hit off fireworks when you went into the last stanza:

Dark skies and lullabies,
peace Forget Me tonight.
The Bed I make,
those who Come,
I welcome.
Suffocation is Liberation,
oh the dreams yet to come.


This is the meat of your poem. This is the best part, and almost nothing needs to be changed. That said, it can't stand alone. It needs the idea of being suffocated, woken up, and struggling against what pulls you out of your dreams, your normal life. BUT your narrative in this poem before it is far too long. You talk about going up and down and up and back down, and I don't think we need all this whiplash. I like your description of leeches on your back. I'd like to see a fight, so we don't think you just accept this darkness right away, but that doesn't mean you have to think you're completely in control again.

Also, please don't ruin the tone of your poem with a pop-culture reference. o_o You were doing well, and then suddenly the image of Leonardo DiCaprio popped into my mind and I was out of your narrative and in my own thoughts.

I would recommend keeping the image of waking up and suddenly being assaulted, some of the tension around fighting to try to get away, and then a gentle decent where you see the vestiges of hell around you before falling into the darkness of the final stanza.

Before I go, I want to say: You know why you put those three words on their own in a stanza? 'Cause they're the strong ones, and your weaker, wandering, repetitive stanzas would choke them. In rewrites, I think they'd do better in actual lines, but with lean meat around them instead of cloudy fat.

PM me if you have any questions about this review, please.

Good luck and keep writing!





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