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Swords Are Less Scary In Storybooks

By Ben Jenkins

· Identity
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We like to share with you the stories, writings, and art of the men and women who are a part of RealLife. This is a poem written by Ben Jenkins, a recent Real Life graduate from West Campus.

Swords are Less Scary in Storybooks

A Breeze like a barefoot child

passes my bedside wordless rustling

my sleepy body consults its instruments

intrigued by incongruous calculations

some halfdozen dubious explanations

muscling itself up to investigate

Everything here is amutter

coffeemaker sputters from the kitchen

dying leaves twitch and scuttle across the floor

the front door swings heavy defeated

creaking hinges send the walls cringing

the central heating grumbles in indignation

powerless to regulate the obtrusive autumn

Two Men are sitting on my sofa

smoking pipes

and riddling with their eyes

a Third laughs from behind with the carafe

and all four of my blue mugs


yes of course it is time to flesh out

this sweetest frame time to divide

shame from desire time to drive out

these ghosts from my machine

I never saw so honest a beard

never heard a voice so keen

scalpeling out such Words:

All the locks are gone.

And the doors no longer close.

And the night no longer comes.

And this is how the world goes on.

This is the mystery we’ll live and know.

Rest is incomprehensible reparation

oxygen joy with nitrogen dread

invisible things I count as nothings

and a galaxy of sunlit particles

compose an apt atmosphere

sharp enough to pierce

with each breath seeming to express

some reality about the capacity

of the secret cavities inside my chest.

I will grow to welcome this Guest.