The Poetry of  D.W. Peterson



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At the River's Edge Roses Isolation
The Gift of Life Subterfuge Four Walls
Seperate Roads The Monsters of my Mind Faceless
Trials The Path I Walk Distance
Sorrow The Vanity of Man Sister
Fear My Dove Apathy
Loneliness Sunrise The Hangover
Darkness Test of Fire Troubled
Reflections The Calm Thorns
The Lie When Love Dies Words That Kill
My Wall Pride





At the River's Edge


At the river's edge, to dream another day.
Voices in the distance, listen to what they say.
My chariot in the gateway of a path upon the hill.
Fireflies glitter in the distant night, as the river lies still.
My ship upon the glassy lip of this river that I call time.
The ripples and waves, reflections all haze as the fireflies twinkle in time.
Yet still the voices go on, listen to what they say.
The stars in the skies, the breeze on the rise and the random sounds of the night.
The whispering trees and the stars seem at ease as the river gives depth to their height.
Dreaming at the river's edge. Breathing another day.
The waters go by as I search my mind's eye, gazing at the shadows within,
Laden with wounds of memories of things, things I've done and been.
The pain wells up as I cast it away, purging myself once more.
I feel at ease with the whispering trees, and the river flows on as ever before.

© D.W. Peterson 1990

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The Gift of Life


Silence is bliss, but my eyes still see.
There's too much pain in the world for me.
The ugly blistered disheveled world,
Where man's perversity's been long unfurled.
All the destruction war and hate,
Seems like man has sealed his fate.
See the sunrise, see it set,
And when it's over don't regret,
You've seen a beautiful thing.
See the moon in the starry night,
Shining out its pale cool light,
As if it were a dream.
See the bird in the windy sky,
If only I could fly so high,
But alas I'm just a man,
Feel my heart, feel my pain,
Then you'll see I'm not insane,
Just madly overwhelmed.
There's sometimes I want to flee,
Sometimes I want to run from me,
But you can't escape yourself.
So here I sit and ponder life,
Surrounded by this bitter strife,
As I sit upon my shelf.
So here I sit, alone and bruised,
Broken body spirit used,
But still I have my life.

© D.W. Peterson 1997

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Separate Roads


I prick my finger, which tells me I'm still alive.
My best friend gone, a victim of suicide.
I remember the times we had, the laughter and the pain,
And now I know my brother's gone,
The teardrops fall like rain.
He was very close to me, more brother than a friend.
Raisin' hell and livin' fast,
brothers till the end.
Now fate has taken him away,
And I'm still hangin' round'.
Except for in my memory, all his laughter's drowned.
One day I hope to see him,
High up in the sky,
Warm sunlight shinin' on his face
And white clouds passin' by.
But only in my memory,
Till I part from this place.
Only in my memory
Will I see my best friend's face.

© D.W. Peterson 1988

Dedicated to Cory Woodson.
Hope you see the sunshine bro.

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Trials


When I lie awake in pain, all my sorrows laid bare.
Who is the one who lays them there?
There is but one.
When I lie awake in vain, all my thoughts that be of pain,
Who is the one who lays them there?
There is but one.
When my feelings of cheer, take me away, take me away where I feel no despair,
Who is the one who takes me there?
There is but one.
When I ponder my life, what is my life?
Merely a vessel to take me there.
But who is it who takes it there.
There is but one.
When I ponder my life, when it's in despair,
When I'm at my wit's end and I don't even care,
Who is the one to comfort me then?
There is but one.
When I hide all my fears and all of my tears,
So no one knows,
So no one leers,
Who is there to comfort me then?
There is but one.

© D.W. Peterson 1994

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Sorrow


As the river flows through time and space,
I sit and ponder with a mournful face.
The butterflies scatter on the empty ground,
As the river flows on without a sound.
And yet I sit alone in my world,
Feeling the seeds of sadness unfurl.
I'm a stranger in a strange place trapped in time,
Lost in emotions I can't seem to find.
As I sit here alone in my empty gloom,
I ponder the thought of death in the womb.
So lucky is he who should leave this place,
Luckier still not to have shown his face.
And as the birds fly free above the trees,
The butterflies glide through the soft summer breeze,
And the river flows through time and space,
I sit and ponder with a tear on my face.

© D.W. Peterson 1989

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Fear


You watch the shadows grow, and soon they're out of control.
The icy talons of fear are clutching at your soul.
But the fear is in yourself, creates a living hell,
And little do you know the demons in this spell,
Belong to you.
You can't run from what's inside.
There's just nowhere to hide,
And you know that you'll be damned for committing suicide.
So suffocate in vain, give your suffering a name,
Anxiety, paranoia, to you it's all the same.
They're all just simply words,
They all come in herds.
To think that they mean anything,
To you it sounds absurd.
It's too much for your brain.
It's driving you insane.
Is there nothing we can do,
But live our lives in vain?

© D.W. Peterson 1988

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Loneliness


Loneliness,
The echoes of your own voice falling off the walls,
Spilling into the murky nothingness, pooling up in the halls.
Fleeting laughter echoing as if trapped in a shoebox on a shelf,
Hardly reflecting the soulful emotions from whence it came.
The constant struggles of indifference, to be apart,
Separate.
Fleeting sanity of one's feelings gone awry,
Plunged into wave after wave of constant submission to the world's utter chaos.
Where is the light at the end of the tunnel?
Where is this cloud's silver lining?
Does it go on,
Endless days, endless nights,
Drifting in the limbo of a constant reality?
The things which brought such comfort have become such a chore,
Chores such burdens.
Is it but vanity?
This foolish insanity,
To search for what cannot be found?
This vain attempt to live ones life to the fullest,
But to what alternative?
To lie in submission to this world's constant drudgery?
One must have hope,
To smile another day,
To breathe the air,
To smell the flowers.
Let the sun shine warmly upon your face.
Let your tears fall free without a trace.
Let them bleed away the pain,
Like the dust washed away by the soft summer rain.
Set your yearning heart free upon the world,
To discover the unknown,
To know the breeze upon which it's blown,
To at last know the seeds it's sown.
Together we're all alone.

© D.W. Peterson 1995

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Darkness


On a windy night, when the moon is right, and the fireflies twinkle in the misty light.
There's an eerie madness, a sort of distant sadness, as nature continues her plight.
An evil has entered the world.
Blown on the wings of darkness, it spreads its stench throughout the land.
A seething blackness swallowing up everything in its path,
Perverting, destroying, leaving disease and devastation in its wake.
Can there be no escape?
Our world is sinking into the depths of darkness and despair.

© D.W. Peterson 1992

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Reflections


The vastness of this world, much too extreme.
It more than encompasses my small and insignificant life.
The footstool of this house,
Much too shabby to merit repair, yet too useful to cast aside.
Never chastised are the dogs that tear at its upholstery.
Praised are the usurpers of this foolish game!
Now as the sun sets low on this dreary day,
The clouds hang still in the sky,
With sorrowful faces and tears in their eyes.
Hanging lifeless in the boundless depth of their emotion,
They seem to sigh.
Moving slowly now,
They travel across the stretch of this infinite emptiness.
The last crimson glow of the dying sun bleeds across the horizon,
As the city lights twinkle against the darkness.
The wind blows strong and cold,
The trees clutching for what cannot be grasped.
As I sit high upon the hilltop,
I ponder this quizzical universe.
It stretches farther than the eye can see.
Insulated from the chaos, I see a new light.
As the busy streets flow with tiny specks of light,
Like blood cells moving through veins,
The life of the city moves on.
More and more it awakens, as the sun dies,
Leaving glittering jewels across the land.
Yet high in the sky, the clouds move with indifference.
On their way to destinations unknown, they diligently wander on.
And as the sun sinks slowly, only to illuminate the farthest reaches of the sky,
And darkness settles upon the land,
The city lights wake to a new evening.

© D.W. Peterson 1991

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The Lie


She saw the look within my eyes.
The one I tried so hard to hide,
I even fooled myself.
The painful deadly bitter lie,
That wrenched my soul, of a love denied.
Such a losing hand was dealt.
And now this empty barren trench,
Inside my heart I've felt.
Such joys of tender kisses sweet,
Of two hearts within a single beat,
A faded memory.
As if it were, but just a dream,
Eternal love, or so it seemed,
This love that once flowed free.
And now I find that in the end,
It was just not meant to be.
Now the truth that lies in these four walls,
That lingers in these murky halls,
What a vengeful life thou art.
You send the wicked tempest's din,
Against my soul against my sin,
Which shatters my poor heart.
Come thou winds and blow away this empty withered shell.
Come thou rain and wash away this empty prison cell.
Wash away without a trace, without a tear upon my face,
This foolish blasphemy,
Against my heart, against my soul, which turned my love as black as coal.
Is this all there is to be?
Locked up in this prison cage, my hands are clenched in fists of rage,
But the object is myself.
No matter how I can't deny, it was I, who spoke the lie,
Within a single word,
A single breath.
Reaching out so desperately, for that which was not meant to be,
Have I doomed my love to death?

© D.W. Peterson 1998

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My Wall


Time keeps creeping 'round the clock.
As I sit here like a rock.
Heart and head all full of stone,
As the radio plays its monotonous drone.
As I sit here upon my shelf, I ponder life all by myself.
What it is why am I here?
I can't find a reason, nothing's clear.
Drifting,
Wandering,
Pacing the floors,
Trying to smile and quell my fear.
But still no answer comes to me.
Blindness and confusion, all I see.
Looking for answers, trying in vain.
Trying to keep from going insane.
What to do, where to go,
To find the things I need to know.
Who to question, who could know.
I can't just let my feelings show.
Walking 'round with it on my sleeve,
For all to know, for all to see.
Not I, not me,
Not how I want them all to see.
My family, my friends, my confidants,
Don't want them to know how this feeling haunts.
This bitter confusion that wrenches my soul,
This ugly abyss as black as coal.
Can't see through this impenetrable wall,
Cannot scale it,
Again I fall.
Trying so hard, I try in vain.
Try to keep from going insane.

© D.W. Peterson 1998

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Roses


As we walk through life hand in hand,
The glass of time sheds its sand.
The roses of love with time shall grow,
Our hearts as one this we will know.
I was made for you; you were made for me.
From the dawn of time we were meant to be.
With special smiles we share the years,
Laughter, joy and sometimes tears.
I shouldn't worry but sometimes I still do.
Don't worry 'bout me 'cause I'll always be true.
My love for you shall never die.
Don't ask me for I know not why.
It's a feeling deep within my heart.
By only death from you I'll part.

© D.W. Peterson 1986

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Subterfuge


As I sit in a cloud of smoke,
Desperately trying to return to my shell.
Trying to evade the chaos.
This dissonant ugly clamor I wish to quell.
My blues are lurking round the corner.
With madness looking on.
This ever-changing permanence,
The finish of its endlessness certainly shan't be long.
So I shuffle off to a corner, hiding in my mind.
Like an ostrich with its head in the sand,
Not too hard to find.
Such little effort it takes, to take yourelf away,
From all the ugly strife and pain,
But there's a price to pay.
For what goes up, must come down,
It's clearly plain to see.
But for even a short lived moment,
It's worth the price to me.

© D.W. Peterson 1998

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The Monsters of my Mind


The monsters of my mind around me.
The monsters of my mind surround me.
Insulated from the horde, I face another sleepless night in hell.
Insulated to the point, I've made a prison cell.
As I lay quietly down,
In the madness that surrounds,
Clutching to my soul
And hoping not to drown.
But the eyes of vengeance are upon me.
I feel them all around.
Blinking,
Darting,
Whispering,
Without a single sound.
So as I lie awake in hell,
A hell this has to be.
I patiently await,
For you to rescue me.

© D.W. Peterson 1997

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The Path I Walk


You don't live inside me.
You don't see through my eyes.
You can't feel my heart,
Through all the bitter painful lies.
You don't walk the path I walk.
You don't see the footsteps that lead through the forest dark,
So deep even the brightest sunlight turns to dusk.
The work of my hands turns to dust, before me.
Drowning in an endless sea,
Of sorrow.
You say "Up! Go with you! It can't be that bad",
But you'll never know the sadness that I've had.
You've never seen the bitter strife,
That consumes all I see, that consumes my life.
The emptiness fills me, as I try to deny,
But I'm not a bird, I cannot reach the sky.
As I try and try,
My wings are broken
I simply cannot fly.

© D.W. Peterson 1997

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The Vanity of Man


We have eyes to see, but we don't look.
We have ears to hear, but we don't listen.
We have mouths to speak but all we do is talk.
So how are we to know the truth?
Do we live our lives in vain?
When will we ever learn?
This foolish plight is so inane.
Wandering but never looking.
Lost but never found.
Trying to breathe but only choking.
Dying without a sound.

© D.W. Peterson 1996

 TOP

My Dove


Sitting in a spinning room, as I slowly lose my mind.
Sitting in this prison cell, life so hard to find.
Try to find something to do, to try and pass the time.
Dying from the loneliness that poisons to my spine.
Lost in bitter emptiness, sorrow and my gloom,
As I stare in contemplation at the walls of this cold room.
While away the hours with not that much to do.
As the princess in her ivory tower sweetly calls to you.
I stand here on the outside, as I look upon such love.
The emptiness it burns me as I search for my sweet dove.
Amidst a flock of pigeons, gleaming white as snow.
So shall she stand out from her peers, in but a glance I'll kow.
For from the dawn of time, we were meant to be as one.
This feeling burns within my heart, as brightly as the sun.
But until that day I see her, so graceful in the sky,
I'll sit here in this prison cell as time drifts slowly by.

© D.W. Peterson 1998

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Sunrise


I sit in awe, as I see the sunrise of my grandfather's death.
A long and weary way have I come, to pay my last respects.
Like a bird he flies away from me, oh so far away.
Into the first bright dawning rays, of a new and shining day.
I am not sad, for away he goes, into the world of life.
Far far away, away from all this sorrowful strife.
As I watch him cold and dead, shocks my soul to the core.
I know that in this life, I'll see him nevermore.
So tears come like the tide, like a sea spray of my pain,
And fall upon the empty ground, like a stormy winter rain.
In my heart I know I'll see him, another day in time.
And happiness and laughter shall flow as free as wine.
But till that day arrives, so distant, yet so near,
I have my trials and tasks, to attend to here.
So patiently I wait, to join him in that land.
Where again I'll see him as a child,
And he'll take me by the hand.

© D.W. Peterson 1998

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Test of Fire


An overwhelming sting of sadness,
Brought on by the deliberate isolation I inflict upon myself.
As I sit upon this shelf,
I ponder,
As my mind begins to wander.
I think of where I've been and where I've got to go.
I think of how long I've traveled this road,
How much longer we don't know.
I have been through the wringer,
Didn't come out soft and clean.
But I wouldn't trade the world,
For what I've done and seen.

© D.W. Peterson 1998

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The Calm


Languishing in a pool of stillness
The waters gently lap the shore.
Wish I could stay here always,
Always forevermore.
But I know as quickly as this calm descended,
So shall approach the storm.
And as my soul has finally mended,
It shall again be torn.
But no pity, no quarter no sympathy,
I'll ask you none of these.
For I am a man and not a child,
I've learned a lesson from the trees.
Though lightning strike your soul,
And tear your heart in two.
As you lie shattered on the ground,
You slowly grow anew.

© D.W. Peterson 1998

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When Love Dies


Perpetual motion, riding the rising ocean, of endless misery.
Dying to set myself free. Living simply 'cause I must be.
As this stagnant reality drags me under once again.
Will it ever end? My thoughts are in a haze,
As I travel through this senseless maze.
Living a fantasy while my reality crushes me under its thumb.
What have I become?
How can I save my restless dying soul?
Reality comes flooding in,
Here I am again.
Sitting here with a hunger, starving, sinking deeper.
Could it all have been just a dream?
Thoughts are cold, start to spin,
Here I go again.
Feeling grief envelop me in a bitter embrace,
Dried tears don't show on your face.
Wishing I could leave this place,
But it's not my time to go.
Shoulda never let my feelings show.
Overcome with sorrow, once again tomorrow doesn't seem too happy today.
With an empty song in my empty heart, feelings tearing self apart.
One doesn't have too much to say.
New beginnings seem like endings,
All the while my feelings rending,
My poor soul! I feel I'm going to cry!
New tears, new faces, same void replaces.
Sometimes I simply wish to die.
No more pain from within my eyes
No more pain for me to disguise.
No more restless silent screams of anguish.
To feel no pain is my one and only wish.
No more tears from within my eyes
No more deadly bitter lies.
No more restless lonely nights alone.
To feel no pain in my restless empty bones

© D.W. Peterson 1992

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Pride

Infringing, impinging, on imminent doom
My life’s blood and my enemy trapped in their tomb
Perchance this insanity, not so insane
To think of one’s life as merely a game
So wander these roads, we do as we must
And conform to our customs, condemning our lust
When life stretches out by the palm of its hand
Grasp it thee now! Or miss thee time’s sand
For life passes by in the blink of an eye
So dwelleth thee not on the time that you die
Yet live for today, with only a smile
Walking along the road’s dusty mile
To live one’s life with such grief and such spite
Thy very own soul, this do you smite
So walk past the miles of broken dead grass
Pass on and past these things which are crass
So what say you now, of comfort and gloom?
Which shall you choose as you walk toward your tomb?
As you smite all thy enemies, smacked in the face
To wander in darkness, in vengeful disgrace
Too proud of ourselves, too bold and unkempt
We polish our pride, with a soul to lament

© D.W. Peterson 1998

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Isolation

Siting here in my empty gloom
Staring at the walls of my room
Feeling alone, feeling tense
I sit here and stare in deafening silence
My ears ring a din, my mind all a buzz
My thoughts full of emptiness
A cluttering fuzz
Reaching out for what cannot be grasped
Got to escape, I know I won't last
In this hell I've created, too many seeds sown
And now I'm so lost, I feel so alone
Got to escape this feeling inside
Trying to run but there's nowhere to hide
Shattered mind and shattered health
Nowhere to hide, can't run from yourself
So as I sit and wallow in self-abasement
Bang my head on the wall as I suffer in torment
Wallowing, wandering, slipping, drowning
Someone please help me this feeling's surrounding
 

© D.W. Peterson 1998

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Four Walls

These four walls are driving me mad
These same four walls I’ve always had
Looking back, recollect all my intentions
Paving the road with excuses of some interventions
So here I sit alone and blue
Such is my life, sad but true
These four walls seem to suffocate
Will these same four walls become my fate?
No one to comfort when I lie awake
No one to embrace, with a shudder I quake
So alone, so alone, the emptiness lurks
Does anyone know how badly I hurt?
Brutally scarred and torn inside
Can run from yourself, but I’m trying to hide
The bitter cold truth of this uncaring world
From birth into madness our souls have been hurled
So here I sit breathing life’s breath
Looking around at emptiness and waiting for death
So here on my shelf, I stare at these walls
Patiently waiting for the day destiny calls

© D.W. Peterson 1998

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Faceless

I don’t want my life to be so cliché
That I wallow in wonder at the end of the day
Floundering around in so much self doubt
You don’t even know what your life is about
The needless chaos, pities and shame
Will beat you down till you don’t know your name
But what is it, which we call a name
Merely a label, one in the same
We’re all brothers and sisters in life
So why all this violence, hatred and strife?
It’s a dead end road, this hatred insane
Prejudice abnormal feeding on pain
Hatred drives on, men try to erase
The blood on their hands
And their victims tortured face

©D.W. Peterson 1998

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Distance

Ah, the purring of a cat
'Tis a beautiful thing
Such a creature in such comfort
He does not feel a thing
He does not know the world I live
The distresses, bitter pain
His only pain is hunger
He does not know this life insane
So distant I do stumble
From the golden waving grain
So sad to be such a part of me
To be amidst the flames
Now thoughts do stray to my dearest one
On her crossroads far from me
But alas our roads shall come to pass
And together we shall be
But until this day, in sadness
I lay in misery
Until that day, in madness
My anger takes control of me
I charge the walls, I shout in vain
This torture drowning me
The torture of my sweetest love
Who's oh so far from me
My dearest sweetest love
If only I could say
The words which crossed my heart
This very bitter day
So far from you
But yet so near
The nearest to my heart
From you my love
The saddest day
Would be the day we part

© D.W.Peterson 1999

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Sister

You’ve made me laugh
You’ve made me cry
You’re so far away
I breathe a sigh
My sweet beloved Jacqueline
I long to see you once again
The sunlight shines through the window bright
Memories of happiness dance in the light
So young and so free
Days filled with glee
I can’t wait for the day
To share more with thee

© D.W. Peterson 1999

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Apathy

My life is awash with grief
Like the wind that tumbles the leaf
Blown on the breeze of confusion
My quest has drawn no solution
I want for what I cannot have
For something that I once did have
It's gone from me, this I do feel
But maybe not, my senses reel
Confusion gets the best of one so far away
The misery of life's drudgery is weighing on my soul
It seems as if my whole existence, has turned as black as coal
Trapped within this madness I don't know what to do
I've got to flee from myself, but where shall I fly to
I feel I'm stuck in a rotting corpse that doesn't seem to die
I want to leave but I'm still here I just can't fathom why
Happiness a world forgotten
It has been so long
Since I've had such a feeling
Everything feels so wrong

© D.W. Peterson 1990

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The Hangover


My alarm clock growled at me this morning
Just before it went off
My brain was throbbing my head was pounding
As I got up with a strangled cough
Three cups of coffee, but it didn’t help
The swirling in my head
Whirling like a ceiling fan
Wishing I was dead
Lost in confusion
I only remember
Half of the night before
Reeling in nausea
I make my way
Through the bathroom door
This elusive thing that we call fun
Is it really worth the pain?

© D.W. Peterson 1998

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Troubled


Burdened is the mind of sorrow
The trenches dug so deep
The demon’s harrowing torture
Which pervades my dreamless sleep
My thoughts begin to wander
As my mind begins to stray
The pleasures of tomorrow
Seem so unreal today
Like a pressure of rock upon me
A weighty sinking stone
To the bottom drops my soul
Hear the echo of my groan

© D.W.Peterson 1999

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Thorns


Floating in a pool of discontent
As I lay in bleeding pain
Cut to the bone, this wound I bear
I’ll never be the same
You coax me with your words
You stifle me in shame
Your bitter poison, drink it down
I’ll never be the same
Is unconditional love such a useless wasted term?
All I feel is hate, resentment
It makes my stomach burn
Did you ever stop to think
You might be killing me?
This innocent soul so tender
Only wanted to be free
Guess freedom has its price
Such a long and bitter road
But through all the pain and bitterness
We all must learn to grow
Let the choking vines encompass you
You slowly wither and die
To live a life so futile
I have to ask you why
Life is too short to plot so deep
It’s gone before you know
Just a distant memory
A gusty wind which once did blow
So carefully plan what you do today
And wisely choose your path
Tomorrow depends on yesterday
Live today as it was your last

© D.W. Peterson 1999

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Words that Kill


Nothing cuts deeper than the fangs of one we love.
Wide open I lay bleeding on the floor.
My heart torn open, by the vicious sound.
Clinging to reality like the shell of the Cicada to a tree.
Split and empty.
A mere husk of what once was.
It hangs lifeless, frozen in time.
Waiting for endless rains to wash it away.
Bitter vengeful words.
They summon the poison bile,
Which burns me to my spine.
Bitter vengeful words.
The kind that tear your mind.
Bitter poison.
Drink it down.
As my teeth begin to grind.
What could ever I have done.
You feast as I eat rind.
Bitter painful anger.
With madness I go blind.
Hollow accusations.
Your lies are so entwined.
Like the web of the Arachnid.
Ensnared I try to fly.
But even more entangled.
With your bite,
I slowly die.

© D.W. Peterson 1997

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