Darkest Hour

I wake every night in the darkest hour.
I hear him pray in wicked tones and strange tongues.
Raging wind sweeps through the house bursting open the doors and shaking all the windows. The wind swarms harder with each new prayer and lamentation.

Meditation has become my strongest ally, but still a fear arises in me that is beyond my comprehension. A fear not based on the idea of death, but Death itself. Not a mood, but a meaning.

His cries also cause a temptation to arise in me. Earthly pleasures have been removed from my appetites yet I feel a subtle desire for pain. To experience pain, to draw my own blood out of its flowing chambers and uncover its hidden wisdom.

I am haunted by sounds of horror until the first rays of sunlight caress the trees. Then, as the morning begins, its as if the darkness was only a nightmare. The fear and horror only phantoms conjured up in a fevered dream.

Mysteries of Self

Where is my self?
In my head or in my chest
In my voice or in my breath
Do I move around in jest or in seriousness?

Feeling this with my heart
Feeling that with my brain
Do I think myself into existence
Exalting my being with fancy phrases
And articulate prose?

Or is my self deep within my soul?
Revealing itself through my dreams.
Or is my self in my deeds
Acting out this internal dilemma
With frustration and rage?

Is my heart the earth and my mind the sun?
Spinning in their firm embrace.
A glad but stubborn pulling of moods and emotions.
Another fire in the void

Poem by Ryan Hughes

Mind Align

Shape the sun with your eyes
Observe how your view is a sifting censor
Change your mind to align with the flowing light
That is both particle and wave
Can our spirit ride the tide?

Poem and Photo by Ryan Hughes


We each have our own room. These rooms come in many forms.
No matter where we go in life our room is always with us.

Some rooms are vast, encompassing multitudes of cosmic scenes.

Some rooms are detrimental to thought and shape our breath with whispers and keep or eyes shaded from any light.

Its possible to move from room to room. Ideas change, minds bend with new events and circumstance.

Sometimes we find the need to create a new room for ourselves. We construct a space meant just for us, with our own rules and boundaries. Room to grow and become something new. A form unencumbered by space.

Poem and Drawing by Ryan Hughes


The depressed man is lying on his very own bed of nails. He chooses to lay there; shifting, turning, breathing heavy, trying to get comfortable.

He thinks its the only place that can keep him safe; remind him of the pain that he’s always held so close.

Like the rusty nails, he never sleeps.

He looks at you, cold eyes. His look doesn’t offer any welcome so you say nothing as you walk out the door, just like the day before.

You came home one evening and he had spent all day banging nails into a long plank that he cut into the shape of a cross. You thought he had left, but was only out back working. He brought the new bed in, partly proud of his work, but also sad that he was done. It was the last time he went outside.

Since then, he’s either purging himself on those damn nails or he’s sitting in darkness, occasionally looking out the window to appease his constant growing paranoia.

You wonder how he can focus so much on pain and not on the fact that he is actually alive. He hides in his pain so he can deny that he is a living, breathing entity.

His love is fractured; hidden away. His demons are ever close and keep him burdened to his cross-shaped bed of nails.

He doesn’t say much any more and neither do you. All you see are his scars. All he sees is that he’s being watched. Watched not only with helplessness, but with a venomous hate.

Faces that once held love are now contorted with fear and each day brings a cycle of maddening thoughts that lead to entrapment and anguish.

Any sympathy once felt on either side has now been washed away by insomniac nights and gruff moans that somehow find pleasure in the painful presence of rusty nails.





His pain and discomfort
Were so routine and constant
That he welcomed them with open arms
And in their embrace he purged his body and spirit
Of all that was unholy and unjust

Poem by Ryan Hughes. Photo by Charlotte Blom

Spirit Breath

Breathing is a physical and mental representation of the spirit.
The unknown and unknowable,
The magical nothingness beyond all we see, feel and dream
Is encapsulated in the act of breathing.

Poem and Drawing by Ryan Hughes