Soul Theft

It happened early Tuesday morning. It has taken me this many days to verbalized it. Describing violent images is not an easy task. You see, the heart beats faster and faster. The head gets heavy. Hands shake. You close your eyes into short meditative moments, breathing and counting.

Inhale. 1. 2. 3. 4.

Exhale. 1. 2. 3. 4.

With each breath I center. This is not reality. This is violent imagery, seeping the emotions hiding inside my body’s cells.

The dream.

I am in the third perspective, observing. I have floated to the ceiling, and I am looking down upon the scene.

I am on a bed. I have on black pants and a white, short sleeve t-shirt. I am flat on my back. My arms are beside my body, which is completely straight. I cannot see my feet.
The bed is surrounded by people standing shoulder to shoulder. They are not moving. They are silently looking at me as if assessing their handiwork. They are gray forms. I cannot see them clearly. They look almost like carved out statues except for their left hands. Each one is holding a large knife in their hand. It is dripping with bright red blood.

From my unnoticed perch I’m the ceiling I am quizzically observing my own stomach and chest area. I feel no emotion as I look. It is hacked into so many pieces it mimics brutally tenderized meat. Blood is soaked into the white sheet all around me.

My gaze moves to my face. I believe I am still alive. My eyes are black. My facial expression looks peaceful. There is no scream to my mouth or contortion.

“How odd.” I think.

I awaken with a start, my muscles jerking, my heartbeat rapid, and I look at the clock. It is 7 am. I have chills in my skin. I curl beneath the covers, turn on a movie and make my mind try and forget. The images invade my day, drifting in and out. I know this will fade. I have been here so many times now, in the aftermath of violent night travel into the subconscious.

I bring out the emotion there. I hold it in my hands. It is the ghost wounds of countless stabs cast into the center of my spirit. I let it fade until I can be here now, scribing it without tears.
Digital Art ©VennieKocsis.com

Hourglass

There’s a faded line
Between reality and time I
Catch myself remembering rejection
Straddling a log fence watching
Them play and laugh and shout
Odd girl out
Too loud

I used to be an expert at stilts
Stride the mud like a queen
I could do anything
If I just believed but
I never prayed hard enough to
Make God real and
It would be a version of
Drop Dead Fred who
Emerged the memories in my head

Do you know the flashes
That leave gashes behind your eyelids
Ask a soldier if he can forget
The blood of war then
Ask me if I can erase
The horror of flailing bodies
And belt straps stripping skin

No
We don’t forget

We learn to live occasionally laughing and
We hide the burning in our throat
The angst that never goes away
We become quiet
Learn to fake it
To not ruin moments
Become awkward
We pass the bread and wine
Close our eyes to the sighs
As we lose track of time

We hope we don’t carry on
The aftermath of our dysfunction
Watch our children struggle
As we cry in silence

To do it over, take the pain
Would I endure it again
The lashes and shunning
The fear and repentance for
Deeds confused and undone
Would I die again just to be here
Take the scourging of my flesh
To understand the depth
That loneliness can sink a soul
I don’t know

I am back walking paths
Running to escape shadows
Hiding behind trees and
The demons who will enter me
So they preach and I
Reach my arms to the moon

Take me home
I want to leave this place where
The babies cry and fathers weep as
Mothers scrape together meals
Where humans have forgotten to feel

Take me back
I want out of this mission
I am missing starlight and quiet
The soft green beneath my
Weeping willow tree
You promised me

I am watching sand fall slowly
Motion reversed I am poised
Rehearsed for the scene
But if I told you that
My ears can’t take the screams
And my heart can’t take the weight
Would you hold me

Would you softly kiss the spot
Above my heart and
Understand the sadness without
Judgement or coldness
Would you encase my face and
Tell me I’m safe

Because you see I am just
A little girl lost and
Sometimes I am tired, weak
Battle torn and worn
Longing for touch

So I sit beneath the pines
Write poetry lines and
Breathe in the rain because
Water washes pain and
I am an hourglass waiting it out
Until the last drop
Turns me on my end and
I restart this life again.

©VennieKocsis

The Boy In The Wall

I am in the kitchen of a house. I am standing at the sink watching out of the window above it, enjoying observing some teenagers hanging out in the front yard; if dust and gravel can be considered a yard. There are two teen boys sitting in chairs talking together. A couple more are doing something at what appears to be a garden bed. Maybe they have built it and are continuing to work on their project.

Suddenly, vehicles are pulling up into the yard so quickly that dust begins to swirl like mini storms, causing the teens to start jumping out of the way. There are at least three SUV’s and another two to three black, four door sedans. They all have tinted windows. The inhabitants of the vehicles are getting out fast, as if they have a hostage situation on their hands or are about to enact a raid. They appear to be state officials, a mixture of FBI, Child Protective Services or similar institutions.

“What the hell is going on?” I think.

I turn to look behind me. A family lives in this house. It is not a fancy house. It is poor and as clean as a person can make a home with such shabby provisions. Even with the sparse accommodations, the appreciation and neatness given to this small residence shows that this house is loved.

I do not live here. I don’t know how I’ve come to be here or why. I am inside the house with a woman who is a stranger to me. She is the mother of these teenagers.

I look back out of the kitchen window. Time has turned into compartmentalizations as if the rest of the dream is frozen for a moment, and I stand watching a new scene that is progressing almost in slow motion.

There is a clothesline to the left of the dusty yard. it is set above lush and emerald green grass. Beautiful sheets in a vast array of differing colors are hanging from it, secured with equally colorful clothespins. There are rows and rows of them; purples, blues, reds and pastels of soft lemon and cotton candy shades.

A couple of the woman’s pre-teen daughters are laughing and dancing inside of the blowing sheets. The girls are unaware of the invasion in progress on the other side of the clotheslines. The many pieces of material keep softly moving in the breeze. For a moment I am mesmerized by the beauty of this colorful scene, the dancing girls and the sound of their free spirited giggling.

The panicked desperation of the mother’s voice snaps me back to reality and time begins to speed up again.

“They are here for my baby! Please, please hurry! Please, please help me!”

I don’t know what to do. I process quickly that these people have come here to take one of her children. Okay. Where is the child? I jump into action.

“Why do they want him?” I frantically ask her as I move towards the living room.

“I don’t know! I don’t know! But they are here for him!”

She is frozen in front of me, and her eyes hold the deepest fear I can imagine. She is small and frail with worn skin on her face; worn skin that comes from long hours of labor, suffering, sacrifice and a life of work. I am filled with compassion, absorbing her weariness and fright.

I see the child playing on the floor with an array of small little cars, toys and blocks. He is around four or five. He has dark hair, and he is built small for his age. He has on blue jeans, a light blue shirt and tennis shoes with Velcro closures. He is completely oblivious to what is going on around him right now. I rush over and softly take his hand.

“Hey! Come with me!” I sing in a happy voice. “We’re gonna play hide and seek!”

He takes my hand and jumps right up. I feel his elation at getting to play with me. I look down, and he is looking back at me with the sweetest smile. He doesn’t make a sound. I am enthralled by his presence. His energy consumes me. There is an acceptance exuding from this child that I have never felt in any human before. He is perfectly calm and unaware of the danger he is in. I sense that even if he was aware, he would still exist inside this ability of intensely calm acceptance. His eyes reflect more wisdom then I have ever witnessed in my life. He is pure love and knowledge.

The boy and I walk quickly to the back bedroom. The authorities are banging on the front door. The mother is biding time.

“I’m coming!” She calls loudly. “Hold on! I’m getting dressed!”

Her voice is shaking, and I know that I must move very swiftly now. Time is of crucial essence. This mother won’t be able to hold them off for long before they kick the door in.

I scan the bedroom for hiding places. There are none. The closet. No hidden compartments. There is just a mattress and box spring set on the floor. We are trapped in this room. My heart is thumping. I have to figure out how to hide this child.

My eyes come to rest on the back left corner where the walls meet. I see a patterning as if I can peel the paint off.

“Come!” I urge the little boy.

The authorities do not waste time. A boom indicates the door has just been crashed in. I can hear the mother screaming. I am racing as fast as I can. I pull the paint back from the corner of the walls. It comes right off, a thick layer of paint that stays in one large piece, almost as if it is a purposeful flap. I glance behind it and see the wooden framing of the house.

“Get in! Hurry!” I urge, helping the boy slip behind the paint flap.

He jumps right in and turns, standing straight between the wooden two by fours of the wall. His arms are relaxed by his sides. He is still silent, looking me directly in my eyes as if to say he is alright to stay in here for a while.

“Don’t make one sound until I let you out, okay?” I instruct firmly.

He continues to silently smile, and his eyes wordlessly tell me he understands everything. He understands all of life. This is why they want him.

They are coming down the hall. I hear their footsteps. Running. I throw the layer of paint back on the wall, pressing it into place as best I can. I am hoping the peeling paint will simply fit into the run down condition of the house.

As they open the bedroom door, I pick up a piece of clothing, pretending that I am merely cleaning up the room. I focus on my breathing as not to give away any knowledge of who they are. I look up and see a woman in a black suit, she has dark hair, parted in the middle and pulled straight back into a tight bun at the base of her head. Her features are so inconsequential to me I cannot describe her. She feels robotic, a clone of every female operative character ever portrayed in an espionage movie. I even expect her to have one of their accents. I suddenly fight an urge to laugh.

She is flanked from behind with authorities wearing black covert operation apparel; gun belts laden with multiple bullet filled clips, thick black pants tucked into boots and matching long sleeved under-armor shirts. Their bullet proof vests are their final layer, along with goggles and shrapnel helmets. I think how ridiculously extreme all of this force is, just to find a child, but I act startled when they come in, jumping back, dropping the shirt I’ve picked up back down to the floor, acting afraid as if I had no idea they were in the house.

My heart is thumping a bit, but I feel more calm and fearless than I had expected I would feel. I am thinking each step through. Do not give indication or look behind me, not even with my eyes. Give no clue that I know where the boy is.

I focus on my thoughts and stay silent.

“Don’t make a sound.” My mind urges him. Somehow I know he can telepathically hear me. “Don’t move an inch. Don’t cough.”

I do feel worry that they will discover him in the wall. I worry that this woman will ask what is behind that large paint patch in the corner, but I am able to focus completely on masking my worry.

“Where is he?” The woman demands.

“Who?” I ask innocently.

She says the boy’s name.

“Oh! I think he went to [so and so’s] house for a play date. What is wrong? Did you talk to his mother? Is he okay?” I feign worry as if I believe they are here to protect him.

The woman is looking at me intensely, and I know she doesn’t believe me. She is trying to read my mind. I feel amused by this. I sarcastically think ‘good luck, lady.’ I am ready for her questions.

“Who are you?” She demands.

“I’m here just helping doing some cleaning.” I cryptically reply not giving up my name.

I do not plan to answer any questions she might ask me next. Fuck her. I do not feel afraid of her. She thinks her mind is stronger than mine. She doesn’t realize that it is not. She does not know the depth of my abilities. I feel confident in myself. I feel protective worry for the child. I know without a doubt that I will fight, even die, to protect him.

My mind focuses back towards the pattern on the walls where the paint has been peeled. I block the woman’s existence in front of me as I focus.

“Do not let them see it.” My mind says. “They will not see it. There are no lines. The lines are invisible.”

The woman heads to the closet rummaging through piles of clothes. I stand still in my spot, compliant.

“I know he’s here somewhere. I know he is.” She is saying.

She surveys the room, and I stay standing quietly, wearing a perplexed look on my face as to reflect my confusion of why they’re here for the boy. She rummages through more of the clothes piles on the floor, poking at them with her heeled foot as if she will discover the boy under one of them.

“I know.” I say, sighing. “There is a LOT to fold in here”.

She is unamused by my attempt at distracting her with humor. Finally she realizes there is no place else in the room to look for him. She stares directly into my eyes. I gaze right back, blocking her attempt to dive into me.

“We will find him.” She firmly informs me.

I fight the urge to play with her. I fight my sarcasm. I am calm inside as I look directly back into her eyes feeling no fear or intimidation.

There is no smirk on my lips, no taunting expression. I too, feel an acceptance of what is and what my own abilities are. I am also aware of the soldiers. I will not be reckless, but even with them, I don’t fear their bullets or the supposed intimidating gear they’ve donned. They feel so insignificant and a waste of space in my current existence.

“Okay.” I agreeably reply to her. “If I see him, I’ll surely let you know.”

I have to get in at least one cryptic moment of sarcasm. We both know I will not tell her. We both know that playing the mind game with me doesn’t work. We have a moment of eye contact dueling, and I let my smile lines soften. I can gaze into her eyes all day. Of course she breaks away first. Naturally. All minions do. Even in her dedication to the dark forces she seemingly serves, she will always cower in the power existing in light. My confidence intimidates her.

They all turn, heading back down the hall to search the rest of the house. I pick up more clothes and continue folding in case they decide to turn around and come back in. I will wait until they leave the premises before we get the boy out of the wall. Then we will figure out what to do with him next.

As I am folding the clothes, I position my body slightly toward the wall. I see there are no paint lines. The wall is perfectly painted into one sheer dried layer.

Relief washes over my body that the paint lines and peeling edges really went invisible. I have a moment of musing how unfortunate it is that we’ll have to ruin the wall by using a sledgehammer to get the boy back out. That will make for some shitty cleanup. I chuckle to myself.

And so ends my dream.

The Three Black Hats

I am on an air mattress.  It is covered in a cotton sheet.  I am stretched out on my back beneath a soft fleece blanket. I am in the end room of a double wide trailer.  The trailer is nestled in a quiet neighborhood which is dense with trees.  There are no traffic sounds.  I am falling into sleep slowly.  

I may have passed time, into the REM and back out again because all I know is that I am lucidly awake.  I feel a prickling energy all over my body.  There is no pain.  It is electric.  Every hair on my skin is moving.  I can feel each folical.  There is a source pull.  It is coming from the large window on my left.  

I wanted to cover that window when I first arrived here, telling my nephew that it made me uncomfortable because it had only a sheer shell of a curtain. 

“Someone could stand out there and see me.”  I felt vulnerable. 

He assured me, attempting to comfort my cognition.

“It’s cool, Auntie.  No one around here will do that. Just don’t dance around nekkid.”
He did a hillbilly skip and we laughed, but I decided that this weekend I’m going to buy some thick curtains to cover this window. 

Now, on the same evening, I am here on this mattress feeling frozen with fear, having awakened in what seems to be the morning hours, two or three am.  I am wishing Inhad not waited.  I should have gone right then and bought curtains. 

 I know that I need to look at the window to be sure that I’m not just imagining things, but I am terrified to turn my head.  I am still, focused on my breathing.  I know someone is there.  I know it without a doubt.  Still, I have to see to be sure.  I finally move my head very, very slowly and just slightly enough to the left to give me an adequate view to see the window.  If there is someone there they shouldn’t be able to see through the darkness if I move slowly and just enough. 

Through the sheer of the curtains I see them.  Three men.  Side by side.  They are no more than five feet tall, each the exact same height.  They are dressed identical in dark suits and matching dark overcoats.  They have on button up shirts with maroon ties.  They wear black hats, like Hollisters, with maroon ribbons that match their ties.

Their hands are behind their backs.  I do not move. It crosses my mind that they may notice I am awake, but it seems insignificant.  They know already.  I slowly move my head back to the middle of the pillow. They are soulless.  They were not looking at me directly  but rather into the room as if awaiting orders from someone.  My heart is pounding rapidly, and I am dissociating.

I tell myself I am silly, but I am too terrified to glance again.  This will only confirm that I am not imagining all of this.  I am focused on going back to sleep.  I cannot be awake for what is going to happen next. 

“Go back to sleep.”  I urge myself. 

“Go back to sleep.” I say it over and over. 

I close my eyes. I think that I must go back to sleep so that I won’t feel what they are going to do to me.  I make myself laugh inside my head.  What a silly notion.  This shit’s not real.  Yet, beneath my attempts to convince myself, I know they have the ability to take one step and walk through that wall.  Then there will be no escaping.  They’ll be in the house.  

I tell myself that is also a ridiculous notion.  Because they’re reading my thoughts and know all of my plans.  So the best I can do for myself is to go back to sleep and get through it.  So I drift back down into the chasm of REM.

In the morning I will wonder if my memory was real or if it was really a dream.  I will wonder still. 

(Dreamt in 2010, Olympia, Wa)

Seeping

Vennie tells it the best, our story and pain, seeping it out through a poetic song.

When this poem was first written every time I would try and speak it, it came out musically. It just felt right. So that is how it is

Seeping