telling it on the mountain

RC deWinter


it gets damn cold up here
on this mountain
some nights when wood is scarce
i wonder why the hell
i ever climbed up here

did I really think
that standing closer to the stars
would make my wish come true?

being cold and lonely
brings out the cynic in me
she walks out of a dark closet
dressed like a pirate
and unstoppable

and when i stand up
and raise my arms to heaven
and shout i believe!
she stands in the shadows
licking bitter chocolate
and laughing

go on kid
you’ve been
watching too many movies
reading too many fairytales
singing too many love songs

i turn around
and tell her to shut up
but she doesn’t listen
she pulls out her cutlass
and mimes cutting her own throat
and points at me and laughs again

and when she does
all the soft fragile
hidden-in-my-pocket hope
i’ve labored to sustain
begins to shrink
reticulating into a brittle tangle
of incoherent unrelated

if i’m still and quiet
she disappears
but i know she’s always waiting
for another opportunity to mock me

the shameless romantic
with a head full of hollywood
eyes full of stars
and a heart full of…
i’m not sure what lives there

i wish i had a gun so
i could turn around and blow her away
with one sure shot

because her laugh is fatal
it makes me question my faith

do I really believe
or do I just want to believe?
and if it’s simply wanting
is wanting to believe enough?

that wouldn’t be enough
to keep that small creature
hiding in my pocket viable

so i stand again
clapping loudly
shouting i believe! i believe!

until those words
echoing in the dark valley below
rise up
rolling through my body
a tsunami
drowning the doubt
that bitch has planted in my soul

and i forget the dark and the cold
and the fact that i’m terrified of heights
and the tsunami is spilling
out of my eyes and down my face

because this is my mountain
my temple of faith
atheists are not welcome here

and at last i grow a set
and manifesting hammer and nails
(because believers can do that)
wall that marauder behind that door
forever and ever




RC deWinter’s poetry is anthologized in Uno: A Poetry Anthology (Verian Thomas, 2002), New York City Haiku (NY Times, 2017), Cowboys & Cocktails: Poetry from the True Grit Saloon (Brick Street Poetry, April 2019), Havik (Las Positas College, May 2019), Castabout Literature (Dantoin/Hilgart, June 2019), The Flickering Light (Scars Publications, June 2019), Nature In The Now (Tiny Seed Press, August 2019), in print in 2River View, Down in the Dirt, Genre Urban Arts, Meat For Tea: The Valley Review, Pilcrow & Dagger, Pink Panther Magazine, Scarlet Leaf Review, The New York Times and in numerous online literary journals.