by Jonathan Dowdle


In the rebound, resound,
Where all thoughts go to drown,
And we sleep beneath the sea,
That buries us in echoes bleed;
How are we to sleep or dream
Between the stitch and the seam,
Plucking grief from the bleed,
Where nothing is ever released.
Our sorrows sigh, they sigh for us,
As the fist is wrapped up in the cuff,
While we are still speaking dust,
From the graveyard of each blush,
As mistakes collapse in on our heads,
That we have not overcome,
Spinning the cycle now,
Pounding down like rain on drum,
And how should we dare to fight,
The things that we don’t know how
To escape in the night,
Or escape within the day,
Bend our broken knees and pray
To the deaf things in the sky,
Or the things still in the way,
Or the ones that pass us by?
In the rebound, resound,
Where all thoughts go to drown,
Perhaps the surface needs a kick,
Perhaps we need another sound.


What wealth might some shared smile give,
Against the weight, the rising tide,
And where does the fire live,
Outside the chains of pride,
What might we still forgive,
As the soldiers still march on,
Never truly here, my love,
So they cannot be gone.
And who with heart, with pulse in hand,
Speaks their secret beat,
To spell out God’s only psalm,
To march, soft, down the street?
What wealth might each kindness give,
A match struck in the dark,
And who, true, learns to live,
Gathered in that spark?


In the beat of the heart,
In the beat of the street,
We lose something,
In defeat to defeat,
Weighed in the judgment,
Executioner’s psalm,
I supposed we knew it,
All along.

Don’t measure the measure,
Return to yourself,
The same old paragraph,
From the same old mouth.
The mirror reflection,
Is all that matters in the mean,
You’ll say you know better,
But you haven’t seen.

The gaze in your eyes
When you cut through the throat,
The ending of the song,
In the sudden, stark note.
All that matters
Is the self-sanctified view,
There is nothing that matters
On the edge of the truth.

So silence your grace,
And silence the psalm,
And we’ll learn to play,
Just play along.
In the beat of the street,
In the beat of the heart,
Though all this is silent,
As we’re reduced to a part.

Broken Fibers And Strands

Let the wind whisper through
Your catalog of thought, absently
Lifting a page of heart,
Written in fire or water, yet,
The highest grace, the lowest regret,
Still, on my tongue your name remains
Among the prayer of prayers
A graceful recollection of
Dancing down the stairs,
While you beat the tide of what
Sisyphus did not dare,
Burning through your worry
While casting off your care.
Let the harbinger dare to speak
What runs deep beneath,
Waiting to be born from this
Moment of apocalypse,
And rise yet beyond the time,
The hands that held you in place,
As the secret slips and dances
From underneath your face.

Blood-Stained Elegy

In time, you become a prisoner of yourself,
Thoughts swing which take the neck, pointing,
Like painted fingers, bone white and jabbing
Into the skull. A thousand other worlds
Still wait to unfold, like a heart, like wings,
Like legs, welcoming, into the mystery;
Still, there are few stories to be built
Between bodies, minds, or hearts,
We learn to fill with fractions
All that has passed, or all that will,
We are books written with the blood of the past,
Passed, from hand to hand,
We are the graveyards read,
Living elegies to the dead.

In dark hours, I believe, there are no true streets,
Our journeys turn us inward, we live the lives of cowards,
Building, brick by brick the familiar tick of the internal clock,
Spelling out the time of our lives, moment by moment
Eroding between – all revenge and atonement,
And I step out of this,
Into the silent, dark abyss, leave the moment
That shall not exist to kiss
This path of such resistance.

There are hours I believe
I am no more than the sum of my mistakes,
Still trying to do right by all that might awake
If the right word can be stitched, If the right ear might still hear it,
Fool of reflection drowning in the lighter dream,
Where we might become
All that we might seem.

But there is no harmony in such doubt,
Between all we might say, or seem,
I merely want to build the moment
I say: “fuck you” to the dream,
Between all that may have a beat,
Between all that might still breathe,
All love is only finding the body
We create between you and me,
And only in that moment

Are we ever free.

About the Author:

Jonathan Douglas Dowdle was born in Nashua, NH and has traveled throughout the US, he currently resides in South Carolina. Previous works have appeared or are appearing in: Hobo Camp Review, 322 Review, The Right Place At The Right Time, Blue Hour Review, Whimperbang, After The Pause, Midnight Lane Boutique, Visitant, and The Big Windows Review.