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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