castles of sands.

I knelt down of dreams, of seas
for reaping digits against the tree-bark
in absence of the moon’s tongue
of Janus—sprawled out to the
wails of shyness; father of bones,
do not come back for me.

yet I hide from my dead ghosts as they abandon me to the stream
blood-relenting to the tides,
idled upon the roots

of a shyness bare, hibernating
white lies, slaughting as blue
and black lilies; show me

what you want,
what is this dance?
Neither hands or arms
will hold me

like you do,

in castles of sands
that sink, lifting
the dust off my feet,

I will be
in the abyss, nigh death
to be the ice over your hands
if you’ll have me;

I have no weary or why to feel this way;
paired in one body,
lonely lying to ourselves

(but you are me)

in child-like spire
crushing the sea-stead
the moon-eye
is an apparition—bright

narrowing the reddening sandstone
upon our fossils,

in castles of sands

where are our ancient leaves
and limbs? You want to me to
leave my mind;

of oceans rushing,
the blue frost waiting in
ghosts’ sire, sailing
against the sun-moon.

© 2020 All Rights Reserved.

Written for the dVerse prompt: For today’s Poetics, I would like you to write a Gothic poem and explore the question: “Which according to you are the deepest, darkest and most concealed of human emotions?”

I explored what I think is the darkest and most concealed of human emotions: depression and isolation, being in one’s own head for far too long.

For some reason, I wrote this piece with Kingdom by Dave Gahan playing in the background.

I hope you could enjoy this piece. I love gothic poetry.

Categories: Prose

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

63 replies

  1. I couldn’t wait to read yours… this was brilliant, and I can see you are comfortable… that loneliness and isolation has to be even darker being left in the company of one.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Aww, thank you Bjorn! Some would probably expect me to say that “Prompts like this are a piece of cake” then smirk and pat myself on the shoulder. 😄 Truly, this was a hard poem to mold; I was not happy with some parts. I tweaked it a little, then tweaked it again. I have another version that I consider a final draft, but I’m sitting on it for now.

      And oh dear, I am rambling. Oops. Isolation and loneliness–a terrible place to be and yet growing common with lockdowns and quarantine. Being in one’s own head can be terrifying, especially with it being an echo chamber of yourself. Thank you again for the lovely, insightful comment. Much appreciated. ❤ ❤


  2. This prompt seems like it was right up your alley, Lucy! It probably wasn’t too hard for you. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hahaha, thanks! Quite the contrary, it was a bit hard for me. The irony in that I can write poems like this most of the time, and then the one prompt that asks us to write gothically, it was hard to conjure the right words from my muse.

      Ah. Such is life…


  3. You handle these prompts so well, well done! 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I like the repetition of ‘castles of sands’, Lucy, reminders of the impermanence of things, and the idea of split personality in the lines:
    ‘I have no weary or why
    to feel this way; paired
    in one body, lonely
    lying to ourselves

    (but you are me)’.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you so, so much Kim. You really hit the nail on the head. With those lines, I initially conceived them as depression, isolating within the self, but when penning “(but you are me)”, I immediately saw the similarity to DID.

      I like to keep it vague, for the most part. With this poem, I think it can be seen either way or both.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is incredibly evocative, Lucy! 💝 Yes. The darkest and most concealed of all human emotions is undoubtedly depression and isolation .. I resonate with being in one’s head for too long. Especially like; “show me what you want, what is this dance, darling? Neither hands or arms will hold me like you do.” Thank you so much for writing to the prompt! 💝

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so very much, Sanaa. It can be a damaging place to be in one’s own head, especially for far too long. I can only deal with myself in small doses, you know!

      Though truly, I thank you so much for your feedback and support. You’re very kind. Thank you for hosting the prompt! It was a joy to write for it.


  6. Depression and isolation–I feel like the narrator is holding the mind-ghosts close, finding comfort in the darkness because it is familiar.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. your poem makes me think of the flickering images of an old time movie reel, flipping from inner to outer. part of it but also an observer. Very interesting poem.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. This has layers of depth and meaning and so many beautiful, sighing sounds. It’s a haunting lament of an isolated soul and deliciously Gothic with it!

    Liked by 5 people

  9. You write dark so very well, Lucy. I am always amazed at your ability to do so.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Oh, this prompt is definitely up yer alley, Lucy. I came here FIRST!
    “I will be
    in the abyss, nigh death
    to be the ice over your hands
    if you’ll have me;”


    Liked by 4 people

  11. The music that played in my head while reading this was Jimi Hendrix, “Castles made of sand”. You nailed depression, and I wrote of Hope; both ends of the emotional spectrum. When asked to write “darkly” was like asking you to keep breathing. You are our “Dark Lady” in the group. Oddly, I got a strong Sylvia Path vibe as I read. I like,”narrowing the reddening sandstone upon our fossils in castles of sand.” As Hendrix sang “castles made of sand slip into the sea, eventually.”

    Liked by 5 people

    • I did not see the connection to Jimi Hendrix, but how awesome that is! And yes, I noticed that too about our poems. I admit when I read your poem, I was thinking how dark it all was then wondering, “Where is the hope?” As I continued reading, that hope is near the end. Truly, that is symbolic with the light at the end of the tunnel. Hope may come last, but it’s worth it.

      I love Sylvia Plath, so I may have subconsciously been inspired by her.

      Thank you so much for your lovely comments. I have a lot to learn of course, but I am very appreciative for your thoughts and feedback. Thank you. ❤ ❤


  12. Well this prompt is perfectly made for you Lucy. I love the slow scream of lonely dying of oneself, the first person narration (but you are me) and gripping verses:

    yet I hide from my dead ghosts as they abandon me to the stream
    blood-relenting to the tides,
    idled upon the roots

    Always a treat to read you Lucy! Thank you for being part of our dVerse community!

    Liked by 4 people

  13. I love these lines the most:

    “wails of shyness; father of bones,”

    “ghosts sire, sailing
    against the sun-moon
    and orange groves that crack
    against my hands, divided”

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I just knew your poem would be spectacular Lucy. This line grabbed me by the throat
    “sprawled out to the
    wails of shyness; father of bones,
    do not come back for me”
    A masterpiece my friend ☺️

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I read this to be the self-talk of a schizophrenic soul. It was a lush feast of images Lucy. Your work is always just at the edge of mt comprehension, but so delicious to consume and ponder, and wonder — and smile…

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I like your repetition of “castles of sand”, in keeping with the gothic but reminding us that all is shifting and changing. You describe that sense of isolation most are struggling with this year in a sensitive and haunting manner.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. a lot of wonderful language and imagery here. I especially like the first stanza. a lot.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Okay, the whole thing is just amazingly clever.

    Janus—sprawled out

    You know, I’d never thought of this before, but if Janus were sprawled out, one of his faces would still be staring upwards!


    Liked by 1 person

  19. For me this felt like I was reading something from Shakespeare. Wonderful job, Lucy! 🌷

    Liked by 1 person

  20. There’s something about the phrase “sprawled out to the wails of shyness; father of bones” that sticks in my head. This is a completely unique piece of writing, Lucy.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. What a great gothic poem! From the title, “Castle of Sands,” to lines like ““sprawled out to the wails of shyness” I feel your vulnerability as you sink into your own mind with the shifting sands and “blood-relenting to the tides.” I do sense the dichotomy of the mind almost like “sailing against the sun-moon.” You have so much talent and style it is a joy to read your work with your unique voice, smiles despite the darkness 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  22. There is so much darkness and depth to your words Lucy. It’s brilliant!

    Liked by 2 people

  23. I am so jealous! I wish I could write like you. Your poetry reminds me of Edgar Alan Poe, especially Raven. How do you find such phrases which don’t make sense but are evocative of some generality that words cannot reach by themselves? Like for example, ‘reaping digits against the tree bark’, ‘blood-relenting’ or ‘child-like spire’. These phrases in themselves have no meaning, which is frustrating to me, because it sounds like poetry, but I can’t write things like this because my mind is like ‘what the hell does that even mean’ so basically the flow of my unconscious is curated by the rational part of me, before it even becomes conscious. Does that ever happen to you? Any advice would be really, really appreciated. I’m basically asking, how do I write like you? How does your subconscious flow so richly and graphically onto the page?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, Mara, how awfully kind of you to say! Truly, I am flattered.

      I find something comforting in the abstract, the freedom in imagination. Any phrase of itself can have a meaning, but its meaning is not concrete, no. It’s more based on an emotional color-wheel, I think.

      I believe my style is a sort of stream of consciousness writing; it doesn’t necessarily have all the pieces to the puzzle, but there are different ways to reach a conclusion, just as with any poem, really. I rather am guided and persuaded by my emotions in writing, constructing imageries that feel like they float into the air.

      What you describe has happened to me. I’ve learned and tweaked my style throughout the years and I have a lot of time ahead to keep reaching where I want to be in poetry. I am not an expert. The rational side of me is quelled and I think in terms of memories, fleeting instances, a passing thing someone once said, dreams, and illusions that I may or may not hold myself to (ex: Who I am versus who I would like to be).

      How do you write like me? Everyone has their own unique style. I’m flattered that you would want to write like how I do, but I can’t say I have an answer on how to do that. I write the way I do most likely because of literary influences, such as Sylvia Plath. I love her work very much.

      Some writers and poets on WP have helped me shape my writing style as well, such as João-Maria (, a.d.matthias (, TheFeatheredSleep (, and Marysa Writes ( among many other lovely and wonderful creatives.

      I am not saying this is how you can write like me, but what I think you can do is to start experimenting with your style, really get comfortable with it, read some work that inspires you and stirs that creative spark; and it can even help with ideas. Phrases I even picked up were inspired by some of the writers I recommended, while other lexicon I picked up or liked to mix around as a soundboard were inspired by modernist, post-modernist, and confessional poetry that I have read.

      I once more thank you for your kind words and for reading my poem. That means a lot to me. Thank you. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you SO MUCH Lucy ❤️❤️❤️ you’ve got a beautiful soul and your acknowledgement that you’ve come such a long way and that you’re still evolving is so humble of you because so many writers see themselves as finished products… also thank you for the resources, I’ll definitely check them out!

        Liked by 2 people

  24. It’s outstanding writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Thank you for sharing!



  1. Lifestyle: castles of sands. — Lucy’s Works – The Urban Fishing Pole: Cigar Blogger, Lifestyle

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