friends freeway fun street
Photo courtesy of Cassoday Harder

These days feel as if they are always.

Since that year, I feel I have seen everything

As if through the diligent eyes of God,

Dilated with diabolical dissent,

Callous in the knowing that

Half my friends are criminals,

And the rest are vapid souls,

Mellow, dramatic, decaffeinated or high,

Anarchist academics,

Dreaming of new colours, new canvases,

And of mixing every paint in the box,

Artisan by design, but not by divinity,

Helpless, gaunt and haunting,

Shallow in their political correctness and sexual confusion,

Desperate for the present to end.

They are not who they are;

Theatrical, casual, or epic,

Boundless if not for

The weight of society’s suspicions,

And their hidden hurt, tucked away neatly

In a cardboard box beneath the bed,

Filled with self-esteem, fresh at sixteen,

And vices devised when they were nine.

I know I must see them as they are,

Cautioned to silence by the premier of status,

Longing wistfully to release their ghosts

Out, and away and into the sky,

Forever detached from the hostility,

And the brutality, and the fear.

The fear that they are wrong, and that they are unloved.

The fear that eager laughter will be deemed a publicity stunt.

The fear that everybody noticed when they couldn’t strike a lighter,

Procured with prestige from a school blazer pocket

In a field frozen solid, two Novembers before.

And yet, astoundingly, they aspire to go on,

To denounce each dawn their dreadful ways,

The petty thieves and enlightened social warriors,

The parentally rejected and rejoiced alike,

Cover their scars and brush off their bruises,

They smile and stagger towards their ends,

Accepting, enclosed, the desire to be free,

Totally, entirely, wholly, forever.





Isabella LewisIsabella Lewis is an aspiring writer and poet currently living in Wokingham, where she attends a local Sixth Form. She is an avid reader and is inspired primarily by abnormal and absurd literature. She has been writing for many years but only recently began composing poetry. She mostly writes free verse or prose poetry, and the majority of her work reflects mental stability and the defying of social and political conventions.

Cassoday Harder 
is a twenty-something-year-old photographer inspired by youth, femininity, and summer. View more of her work on Flickr or visit her website.

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