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Eyes Always open

Inspired by personally enjoyed literary masterpieces from authors new and old

By Andrew C McDonaldPublished 6 months ago Updated 6 months ago 4 min read
Eyes Always open
Photo by Matt Benson on Unsplash

Through a deluge of blood, sweat, and fears

I drove myself from beginning to end

Frantic to know what is foreshadowed

With my eyes always open

Every plot line racing to inevitability

O’er Twists, turns, deadfalls, treachery

Illicit love an occasional cooling oasis

Balm to the heroes tattered will

With my eyes always open


Each moment viscerally imaged

Neath quivering, gummed, recessed eyelids

Wishing only ability to close

Yet … Still… With my eyes always open


Each twist and turn a hammer blow

A powerful swing of Hephaestus

Forging a denouement for this tale

Upon a steaming, bleeding, molten anvil

Still… with my eyes always open


Each illicitly stolen princesses kiss

Felt as a gossamer touch of a feather

Stroking across my feverish brow, tickling

Angst, longing, satisfaction, whimsy

All driven, hammered - an emotional spike

Piercing readers imagination

With my eyes always open


When boy betrayed by lover

Were banished to a miserable dungeon

There to rot in lice-ridden, urine-soaked straw

I quivered with rage... not wanting to see

His angst, trauma, pain, fading willpower

Born anew, invigorated each morn

By thin shaft of sunlight illuminating hope

Shot by deathly skilled archer

Targeted thru narrow slit window

Set high above in moldy weeping stone

Yet still.. with my eyes always open


When didst steal from erstwhile drunken guardian

Taking from a hot, crimson, bleeding corpse

A key.. THE key to air open, free, flowing

With my eyes refusing to be naught but open


When renounced, spiteful, betrayed hero

Returned from whence he came

An army of vengeful acolytes at his side

Each driven by a simmering desire

To see justice once spurned, stomped

Delivered on sharp point of double edged blade

Heroes own tiny life renewed, invigorated

Justified … ancestral heritage to reclaim

My frantic dry eyes refuse to close

Perched awkwardly upon edge of furrowed brow

Adamantly, vehemently… still open


My heart thudding within a bony cage

Pulse a beating tempestuously staccato tempo

Wondering.. Is it possible? Shall it be?

Or will my Hearts Desire wither on vine

Like neglected grapes, wine not born

As I listen to its fading pulse

With my eyes always open


As the villainous usurper

Betrayer of faith, hearth, family

Finally lay eviscerated; sliced, lacerated… cold

I sat back.. quivering, wracked soul recovering

Tired, red rimmed… Yet still, eyes remain open


From a journey rough, raw, exhausting

Trod, feet unshod, over sharp-edged stones

Across freezing streams, rivers, oceans of pain

Levels risen by accepted wept salty offerings

With my streaming eyes always open


A winding trail meandering

Over weed strewn paths

From heights of glory, success

To depths of depravity, depression, torment

Till finally a gossamer sliver of hope

Shines through storm tossed clouds

My eyes utterly incapable of physically closing

Yet.. still… Only open


Until hero gains his princess

Returning victorious to hearths throne

Day won, monster vanquished

Banished in turn to brimstone lined sulfur pits

Depravity, greed, lust.. repaid in a dish served cold

Hard journey ended … Denouement achieved…

Mine eyes still.. as ever open


Emotionally exhausted lids begin inevitably to slide down

To cover, block away miasmic thinning tendrils of smoke

Rising wistfully from stinking bubbling cauldron

Scraped clean from rusted sides cast-iron Dutch oven

Wherein resides burnt, crusted, ashen remains

Of a literary masterpiece

Quill Scratched onto bone scraped pulp

With my faltering, dry eyes, still open


As my psyche breaths a relieved sigh

Having felt every step in my very marrow

Every stab in heroes ripped, rent skin a fileting of me

Every hard won victory an accolade I did cheer


Finally, last page turned, final word read

My eyes yet still open … I roll over

Final journey Now to the author’s page where…

Virtual Parchment - tattered, dripping

With ink-damp visionary masterpieces

Lay scattered as literary pearls

Strewn amongst illiterate swine

Still with my eyes partially open


Shaking fingertip taps a message as I fade

A message of awestruck wonder

At the skill of the writer

Who took me on a fascinating journey

Of love, loss, trial, hardship, and victory

With my eyes always open


Now I lay me down to sleep

My days arduous journey ended

My eyes finally

Drift peacefully closed


This began as a little 4 line ode in a comment to fellow Vocal Media poet Brenton F and his poem Eyes Screwed Closed.

Yet.. the potential of ‘Eyes Always Open’ knocked upon my door… begging to be released from banishment. To abandon the nether regions of anonymity.

Now… this above. A testament to the authors of my youth who took me upon journeys through every conceivable realm. Here’s to all of you here and elsewhere who write their stories… who pour their hearts blood onto a page.. And then allow others a peek into their chaotic mire.

Thanks for reading.

vintagesurreal poetryslam poetryperformance poetryinspirationalheartbreak

About the Creator

Andrew C McDonald

Andrew McDonald is a 911 dispatcher of 30 yrs with a B.S. in Math (1985). He served as an Army officer 1985 to 1992, honorably exiting a captain.


Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  4. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  5. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (2)

Sign in to comment
  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran6 months ago

    Oh wow, from a 4 liner to a full fledged poem! This was so relatable! Some stories are so hard to put down! This was so brilliant!

  • Brenton F6 months ago

    Above and beyond Andrew - this is simply brilliant! You didn't just let it out, this is some rocket powered good!

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