Walking Barefoot Through Hell – By Mark Masserant


sometimes i see medusa

wearing my face,

with my dreams dangling

like an ominous crown of complex and

cunning serpents.

the horizon,


and riddled with salt-sculptured icons,

is emblazoned with the history

of mega-apocalypse.


sometimes i see a chained prometheus,

wildly waving a strangled eagle,


taunting the gods.

his mountainside looms

in the northernmost regions

of my mind.


sometimes i see the ferryman,

but he is a cautious one,

wary of the stowaway.

sneering harpies flank his approach.


sometimes i see bosch,

painting infinite murals

in unison

with my narratives

wrought with melancholy.


sometimes i see dante,

and hand-in-hand i guide him,

walking barefoot through hell,

the devil’s winds whistling our bones.


hell is a time in a place in my mind.


yet in a suddenly shimmering distance,

Jonah brushes himself off,

liberated at the edge of the

foul and festering morass.

he prayed himself out of a whale

of trouble.


i sense new direction

and plan my escape.

Mark Masserant

About Mark Masserant

I’ve been continuously clean and sober since March 14th, 1987, and active in my recovery. I hope I never forget to be grateful. I began writing poetry in high school after a tragic accident deeply affected me—it let some of the pain seep out, although I didn’t understand it at the time. I walked away from my writing when partying took over my life a few years later and rarely returned until after I got sober. Soon poetry became instrumental again, as I wrote to express how I felt when I couldn’t say it out loud. Many poems have been published in literary magazines and other publications. After meeting Ernest Kurtz a few months before he passed away and being inspired again, I began writing articles for recovery magazines at the onset of 2016. My work has appeared regularly in Step 12 Magazine, InRecovery Magazine and Recovery illustrated, as well as other websites. I also am a stained glass artist, working primarily with lamp shades. I attend meetings regularly, am married and live near Ann Arbor, Michigan. I’m thankful to have been given a second chance at life.
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