Today for National Poetry Month I welcome Miranda Crites! Miranda is a reader, book reviewer, photographer, writer, and lover of horror from the ghostly woods of rural West Virginia. I met MJ virtually sometime last year in her role as a book reviewer, but I came to be friends with her as well with our mutual interest in writing, photography, nature, and raising our kids. She’s so very creative and a bundle of energy that makes my days online so much better each time I see her beautiful photos or stories or hear from her. She’s also been a great supporter of indie authors as well as my own prose and poetry, so when she told me she’d like to try her hand at sending me a poetry piece, I was thrilled because I love supporting writers who want to come of their shell with their work.
It was a complete joy to work with her on this piece and she took my editing advice and ran with it, quickly turning this work into a refined piece of beauty that captures so much emotion, and for me, made me feel like I was floating. And maybe a little less alone. The photo is also one of her own. Thanks so much, Miranda!
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
by Miranda Crites
I sink into sludgy, blackness
The iciness of the lake seeps into my bones, slowing my movements
I trudge along the muddy bottom; it pulls at me
I push toward the barely visible light above
Only my eyes break into the bleak day
Ancient pines dance in the brisk breeze
Snow-capped mountains beckon to me in the distance
But I can rise no further
My lungs plead for a breath of raw, pine-scented air
Blood races through my veins, pounding forcefully in my ears
The darkness below gently tugs
The oxygen I crave is merely an inch away
I swim harder, reaching the water’s edge
Vengeful blades of grass slice through my fingers
I rip them out by their roots as I try to save myself
I claw through dirt and rocks
I am restrained, a tethered dog
Bubbles tease my cheeks as I scream away my last breath
Deeply in my chest, a torch is lit
A voice within the darkness whispers: “forgive”
A rope of fiery vines bites at my ankle
My fingernails rip off as I try to break free
“Forgive,” repeats the inky blackness
I don’t have that ability
My world explodes
Shooting stars burst behind my eyes
The torch expands its flame
Fireworks light the dimness above, the blackness below
No more pain, only ephemeral sadness
I float to the surface, finally unconfined
Lightning rips open the gray cloth above
The darkness below feeds on my light, my aura
A single crow lands on my chest, pecking at my eyes
Fish and unknown creatures nibble the remaining soggy meat of my fingers
Wolves sprint to the water’s edge
They drag my body onto the shore
Their pack devours most of my flesh and bones
Vultures clean up the last remaining pieces of me
Miranda Crites, Biography –
Miranda Crites is a reader, book reviewer, photographer, writer, and lover of horror from the ghostly woods of rural West Virginia.
Miranda has always enjoyed reading, photography, and writing. She received her first camera as a gift when she was nine years old.
The writing bug bit her at a very early age too, when she won the young writers’ contest in first grade and never stopped writing.
Find Miranda Online –
Her photography can be found on her dedicated Facebook page at MJ Creations.