The art of the written word.

I have been writing poetry as long as I can remember, and posting it online since 2006. I will be adding more and more. All written work © David Bettger. All rights reserved.

Preserved In Naught : 01/09/2012

Wherein soundless majesty that void becomes the sole color of all we know to exist,
through those stretched shadows,
whispered in reverse,
whose ripples snare respite
in tears of restraint.
To sleep in the softness of pools most grim
and dim thy light
in that verboten longing to breathe...
Unrestricted passages of nothing
render not a comfort whole
bar emptiness to see three-fold
into that alone which is barren.

There, in the gleam of eyes but one, the dead speak and fallen rise,
to for nil engage thy legions upon
the infracted melodies of night.
Enraptured and unwrapped
in the cover of quiet
promises shed as blood like dew
from those wings of evermore.
That never made whole,
instead kept together in pieces
which pour in sorrow's perfected overcast,
to enrich the earth that grievance etched into the landscape of the living departed.
So kept in breaths beneath the spirit of winter's lost angel views pulse.

And for that wind which carries dark into the screams of midnight stars,
a fortress to the fallen
beyond an empty radius of waste.
The shadow's shadow crawls in hourglass sand dunes dropped from heaven's dream.
Pleading for more yet left to bleed...
Safe and alone.
Preserved in naught.

© 2012 - DKB

Still : 01/08/2012

Thick in the maze of wretched ambitions,
a spring of death feeds the floating gardens
of beautiful agony.
Enchanted, elusive lures of graceful waters gleaming with light
that sing to desiccate travelers,
inducing ceaseless journeys
to this shore of promise.

Through dense terrain they would press on,
fearing the failure of that which lies
just beyond reach.
Those maimed and scrambling along the way
lost to the overgrowth,
somehow not buried
beneath the moss of hollowness.
Yet still that sconce radiates
for those who weather the distress
and extend faith
as they sight the waters edge.

The instants wasted away unknowingly...
Another moon sheds skin without notice
as seconds echo
through surrealistic daydreams of times
that were less actuality than aspiration.
Unreadable, a face and hands
withered in darkness,
as time thought still vanished in flocks,
and blind determination became all.

Till crouched on shredded hands and knees
a weary wanderer finds themself
upon that arrant shore.
Where naked and breathless
they teeter on edge
unable to see to the endless floor.
A quest at end gives breath of life
where none existed.
To inhale, and bound
into those alluring depths...
And for a heartbeat, time regains that unimaginable standstill.

Yet as the water hits the flesh
it births no comfort.
Worse still the lovely anguish
it instills just under the outer layer,
below the skin and inaccessible.
The drowning drawn deeper
attempts a scream
to charge frail lungs with frozen winds
of liquid torment, solidifying that final breath
and cementing their core
to this downward path.
Encompassed in pain throughout,
a journey dismissed in terminal flashes
of endless sorrow the goal became.
And the stillness of silence...

© 2012 - DKB

The Wishes Three : 01/05/2012

There stood no lamp of magic most ancient,
nor cursed limb of a moldering savage
to marvel in that fractured sight
and utter the wishes three.
Successive, repressing desires... incessant,
this constant discomfort of grants unaccepted.
Sufferance is less strength than necessity once surrounding inhabitants forget the promise.
The untainted rapture of such amnesia...
would serve a most consummate gift.

Abstracted somewhere
amidst faults left by nothing
rest moments unearned, chanted as pawns to reassure the master.
Between obstacles stumbled about and inhumed are the oaths of the pieces
lost before them.
The true hopes of tomorrow
never sensed in the flesh-eating era
of pretty assassins and viral lips.
Whose stealthy heels missed never a stab,
and exacted only from fragile prey.
Secluded wants of disremembered hereafters clearly outlive the reign of lies,
to softly brush away the dust of false seasons.
Without notice, the slight of heart forgotten.

In remembrance of the one,
the dream, and the savior.
Persistent wishes not faded with flesh,
carry the weight of loss
as those empty reflections gleam brighter
than the disconsolate mist of the theater.
Within that single moment of clarity when the masquerade loses all glamour...
Hope aches to breathe anew.

© 2012 - DKB

Bestow : 01/03/2012

Scintillating retentions slice through the hue
of a distracted consciousness.
Precious holdings locked away from the vengeful hammer of repentance and pain.
Bantam priceless treasures
kept deep between the cells.
Safely moved
and forgotten in haste for replicas...
yet remaining long after the tarnish devours
any value once handed to all that glitters.

The perfect ghost... who somehow breathes within each dying memory and only stalks when summoned. In a silent tremble... and the motionless hum of winter's forbidden song.
Encircled by the dead,
the phantom's kiss intones passion...
Lust and rage besieged,
for that which was beyond it's understanding.
Held still, for none living to lay sight upon.
Omit one promised
that sacred property so long ago,
In whom you tried to trust as successor.
If duty should call,
would those lands still exist?

For that ill replaced by the dust which followed
subsists within the broken vision
of a fallen spirit.
Lest nameless faces and faceless names
falter apiece in time they shall;
that memory kept unknown to all
stays forever hallowed within,
and waits quietly for the hand of
the only anticipated proprietor.

© 2012 - DKB

Unmarked : 01/02/2012

Unsettling, the dream from which it wakes.
The beast enkindled
as unrest itches beyond the flesh
and rustles the demons
of more cryptic chasms.
Disturbing residuals of the imagery induced
in night's cold and tormenting grip...
Where solace ignores the scarlet doorway
and phantoms invade
the momentary stillness.

Chained to the darkened corners of this cavern,
a tomb with marker removed as punishment,
it bounds through the black
to scratch tiny memories
in blood soaked dirt wrought with parasites.
Microscopic vampires
that feed between the lines
yet never seem to fill the depressions carved.
Ever calling to the voices within
when the fires untended yield ashes of rue.

The eyes of truth...
Tempered and stained by those long dead.
Only see in the ring
of the sleepwalker's whisper.

For in the utter essence of the midnight choir
lies the secret to that which none simply hear
and a silence that begs to find peace.

Still the keeper tends this endless ember
whose dance casts the shadow's waltz
within those moments carved upon the crust
of a decomposing burial chamber.
Where creatures house
their shattered dreams...

© 2012 - DKB

Frostbite : 01/01/2012

It took but a moment to feel the chill in the air tonight. Enshrouded save flailing onsets, lined with glistening blades, and launched from a broken and frigid center... Memories of it's familiar touch
stir and agitate the ghosts within.
Actuating another haunted midnight.

The blade remembered... quiet in each slice. Stealing sections despite their offering.
Secret pieces unnecessarily cut apart.
Hidden truths, treacherous denials, and the transparent tears of a masked princess
to silently wash away the evidence before staining the ground in it's stead.
That which shows no blemish to common eye.
A sunlit afternoon
which could only be summer,
cautiously hiding the hypothermic poison
under a shade tree.

How it fooled them all...
to cut between the prints of each finger
and bleed them dry unnoticed.
With a smile, and a flawless gesture of aide...
Found dead long after your departure.

And alas the winter winds which chill the eyes of the master, know there is no hope for the weak and unguided as they shift through the landscape. Burning the glacial wastelands
left in their wake.

Though as I die searing, with skin shed by the cold. Black and rotten,
frost-bitten away in tiny shards.
I take pleasure in knowing that even in serial fashion, no future flesh destroyed shall feed
your core as that you consumed in arrogance and sought forever after in vain.
For even winter takes not pride
in yet another frozen kill,
but never forgets the single warrior rose who welcomed the onslaught.

© 2012 - DKB


Into Dust : 12/25/2011

A pale light ventures quietly, through the aging dust of some lost and forgotten attic... drawn upon a faded mirror where memories cling with hooks and chains to sterile flesh inside a soul. Locked within the reflection's stare... decayed remains that have molded over time to comprise a statue of something human, this broken sculpture, attempting to shed blood through stained eyes. Praying the burn will blind its gaze to the incessant disgust it finds staring back. Unable to move or look away, and begging for an end.

The storm outside continues an onslaught against the weathered roof of this dying estate. Once home to laughter and tears... Sorrow... and emptiness. Still housed within its walls are the ghosts of these things. Funny, how “nothing” begins to take up the most space. Ironic. The manner in which it attaches itself to everything, and every memory. Emptiness should not manage to overcrowd so much. One can find themself buried in it through the years, climbing over and among it only to reach new spaces somehow already filled
with the endlessness of it.
Until that which is less than something,
becomes everything.

Atop the piles of lost moments and broken dreams; but a ladder with desolate rungs, cold and twisted, haphazardly balanced against an entrance to this haunted tomb where still our sculpture waits... gathering dust in preparation of his own demise. This masterpiece carved from the empty promises of hollow phantoms and words without depth to flow through the valleys left. Those veins devoid of blood once strong and pure... loyal and true, a warrior's heart, expecting... endlessly. No longer beating, but beaten into some shape of pseudo-perfection necessary to fit the decor. With pieces shaved away and left forever unrecognizable. Another stale trinket of a passing fad in a world that knows not forever.

Ancient artistry,
misplaced and left as its only witness... Locked away from the eyes of both judge and betrayer,
To be saved by the silence once fatally feared and free from the hammer
of the next decorator.
This frozen stone finds peace gathering dust before a reflection that will not sculpt further,
and a storm that can no longer erode
the base on which it stands.

© DKB - 2011


Mannequin : 12/20/2011

Sketch a picture perfect face
upon any hardened item...
empty and cold, a plastic shell.
To captivate those weak and weary, taunted by some concealing misrepresentation.
Layered lifeless decorations atop skin deep glamour shrouded from the gaze of existence.
Offered by chance the gift of breath, while moments passed clinging to the storefront.
A fractured expression no eyes behold, quietly crawling below this false facade,
and protecting the world from the rotten core just beneath the frozen surface.
Where lies are truth and secrets are the power of forever... love shall not tread.

May the counterfeit face in your display be your only discovery. The pride of a heart forever empty and dead, alone and cold.
May the fading mask of your conceit become the curse you cannot control, until all of the world sees through your hollow frame,
and the soul you shunned haunts your artificial dreams forevermore.

Memories of sorrow and treachery... that overwhelm beauty's lure. The destruction of all that could be astounding, draped in accessory.
Behind the false, and unworthy, and deserving of trivial tomorrows, are the regrets of another jaded customer looking for value in vanity.

The lie that you are shall consume you,
betray you, and remind you... For all of time.
A forgotten mannequin,
whose shallow soul could never contain reality.

© 2011 - DKB


Sufffer the Mist : 04/04/2010

Quietly you have followed his path... This trail of crimson and tears, distressingly deposited from distant desires long dead.
Hiding amongst the fog of ruin you watch, with baited breaths clearing just enough to conceive sight. Unknown... unheard in the stillness of nothing. You pursue this broken dream upon his endless path to nowhere.
In silence and screams
the song of this shattered has fallen into
the blood of the earth.
In mountains unmoved and the flow of the wind as the veils wear thin you will feel him.
See his flawless shadow...

The wraith of winter's lost sorrow, Hunted and haunted and hiding in anguish...
Still tall and alone and drawing the fire of nightmares and hatred of all that could save us.
The cloaked in clipped wings and draped in the black dust of oblivion.

Balanced upon the edge of desire, a fragment of alchemy embellished in flesh...
To rip and tear in search of his secret forgotten to the eyes of mankind.
The gift within, this treasure sought as tombs up heaved and tattered through bare naught but splinters of the whole.
Spirits in unrest between the walls scavenged with no one left to possess.
And nothing left to be found... save those precious doors once witnessed.

If you are still, and can suffer the mist... Patient eyes find one who's not dead but dreaming,
in pools of wounds fed by an ancient invocation. Never to be bled dry.
Where within each subtle beat, A quiet breath... of heaven released.

And the dead whisper again.

© 2010 - DKB


Dissever : 03/20/2010

Lost in the fragments of a whispered dream, Memories settle like dust, lifted in winds of truth divine. The sudden torment of reality alighting the remnants scattered. Slowly they fall into sorrow-etched footprints...
Filling the gaps and erasing the way
to where you have been.

Forward the only direction but down, we travel or fall. As the ashes quietly drift into place, and smooth the variations left in our imaginings.
The path behind but a ghost of a memory banished in an instant of devastating clarity.

Never to be forgotten...
The broken voice of sorrow's ambassador angel leads you to that inevitable branch...
Where choice is the touch
of both heaven and hell.

You can stand at these crossroads, for all of time... And listen upon the shattered, dying breath of a lost current for the choking whisper of your fallen forgotten... Shunned from your ears to suffocate in the blood of betrayal.

Wander or wallow in wonder, it matters not.

The heart once shattered,
is no less broken either way.

© 2010 - DKB


In Exitium : 02/22/2010

Pray for the haunted who followed that fate. Carving the chronicles...
a septic blade sharpened
on those wounded in training.
Call to lost angels betrayed before bloodstained gates of razor and pearl... As purity lies in wait.
Paint a pretty memory upon some fractured tomb with colors drained
from the accursed bled naught...
the failing forgotten whose name
parts cold lips in a deadly whisper.
Where sorrow doth tread... and shadows bear the mark of wretched wounds. Pray for the broken who worshiped your name... for the fallen adorned in crimson memory.
Souls worn to rot building abandoned temples they refuse to part for fear of admitting their life was a waste. Hear their lost song in the walls that buried them forever.
Their selfish wish... to not die alone.
Blank pages in a divine arcana... never to find those eyes meant to read them.
Moments... tip the scales from that void.

Pray for the sands that have seeped into the eyes of the seer... a shattered hourglass
whose gradual torment works beneath the skin and within the ducts
that play the slide show of a life
upon rotten clay formed where visions lay
dead and trapped inside.
And from that chiseled remnant...
gates built to solemn catacombs.
Where tears and time become
the endless maze of walls...
cold and cracked with his imageries.
A blind waltz through the jagged ruins of a reality whose dream seemed less infected...
ending only when that graceful whirl tears the last fragment of flesh from his frame.
And the dance of the damned... leaves another tattered and broken.

As the age of mourning expands in endless circles, consuming that flickering light
in a season's death.
Pray for the memories
that swim in your veins...
it is their pain that nourishes you.
Pray for that journey never-ending... from the place within we cannot escape.

© 2010 - DKB


Currents : 02/12/2010

Ask a dreamer... “how do you catch the tail of a star?” And they will simply tell you to reach.
Ask one who has caught a star, and they will show you the places their flesh was burned,
While they remember the ride.
Ask an angel... “how can I fly into heaven?” And they will simply tell you to have faith.
Ask one who has fallen, and they will show you a trail of their shattered pieces,
While their soul honors gift of the journey. I have lived somewhere between a dream and reality, struck from the sky so long ago into a place known and unknown. Left to die alone upon the edge of a serrated drop. Where I waited for time to wither away my memories. It has never been my wish to perish in such a fashion. I cannot die drowning in the sorrow of secret spectres. Nor can I crawl back from where I began...

I stand upon the edge of tomorrow, scared of the staggering height as I look at the razor-filled fields of yesterday surrounding me. I see the storms on every horizon... and I fear them.
I see the torment beneath me, baiting me...
ever at the ready to drag me under.
Then somewhere in the sorrow I see it... My light, my direction, my last destination. And I know that there is only one way to reach it. To forsake all else in the face of fear and fly...
knowing the fall will leave nothing behind.

Today... I leap from this tired perch of the dead. I will catch the tail of a shooting star, to ride the currents of these storms. Above and beyond the ages of grief and regret
into the light of a new day...
A new tomorrow.
I will find my way to that flame. I will risk whatever is left of me to find the path... to you.
You are all I know at this moment... and all I can discover in the chaos...
As I watch the currents move, I can only see you. As I fight away the terror,
I can only hear you.
As I take this last breath... I can only feel you... You are the gravity... and the wind beneath me.
You are my every dream...
and my missing pieces.
You are the light of hope
that shadows the demons of times left behind.
You are the hand that I reach for as I bound from these borrowed chains.
You are the current that nothing can stop...
carry me where you will, my love.

Ti Amo... Sempre

© 2010 - DKB


Art takes many forms, and means different things to everyone it touches. Still it is ancient, and drives us all to imagine, inspire, and create.

All written work © David Bettger.
All rights reserved. Thumbnail images comprised of photos from various known as well as unknown sources.