Dancing in the Sunlight // Sample Chapter

Dancing in the Sunlight by Ashlee Craft


suddenly it all seems so clear
how to face the things I’ve feared
how to understand that life
is about happiness
not misery & strife
& any of us can live in the light
if it is the sky we seek to kiss
suddenly it all makes sense
how to break down the binding fence
climbing it is a street we must cross
how to understand that freedom
is not something that has a cost
but without it, we’re lost
free is something you must become
suddenly I see & understand
the shooting stars of dreams in my hand
free yourself if you’re confined
learn to break the iron bars
& I’ll always be here to remind
you that nothing can ever define you
you must soar among the stars


Epiphany / Sudden Understanding

eleven thirty one & nine fourteen / night time & darkness & the familiar comforts of music caressing of a soft hand in my own & looking around at the darkened room with the purple glow surrounding all of it / looking looking looking around & suddenly the understanding I’ve sought for years hits me right then & there

I had stood with my back to the wind & my face to the sun, basked in the light on decks of ships & hid amongst paperwork in the office / I’d painted the silver canvases & played the golden harps & stood & tried to make friends (not succeeding yet but still trying, there just doesn’t seem to be many opportunities in this field) & tried to find love & realizing a variety of things & discovering what I truly needed / I thought I needed certain people for certain things but when I looked around I didn’t see any that fit / I thought I needed a job / but then I looked around at the metaphorical hamster wheels with rat-race runners dancing upon them & gazed into their monotonous monotonous monosyllabic eyes & watched them numbly completing their work with their dead dreams & wasted wasted time & I knew I could never be happy there / I thought I needed transportation to find these people & these monotones but I soon realized that wasn’t for me either / I tried all the glory & everything but no matter how far I ran, it seemed like I was always standing in the same place

but suddenly it occurred to me what I needed
what I truly wanted
I wanted to be big
I wanted to do something big
something above & beyond what everyone else I knew was doing
in their daily monotone routines
in their simplistic boundaries
I wanted to do something amazing
above & beyond that
above & beyond what others expected I’d do
above & beyond my own expectations for myself
I wanted to prove to the world
& to myself
just what I could do if I tried


Simple / Dance on the Triangle

maniacal magistrates striking midnight beneath the mottled cover of mistaken streetlamps & the forbidden alleyways & itching for the plastic click clack keyboards & gesturing towards the aisles of seaweed wrought with the irons of tomorrow / the speaker stands on the beat box podium & speaks into the opinionated ministrations & the clocks going backwards in shock & showing me the darkness & the lightness of the past & looking into the yarn stories of old apartment tenements & the tenants of new & different illustrations embossed in gold ink with the silver suppleness of the sparkling cloth mango & peach & lime tree slips of paper & plastic numbers blinking & flashing / the car street lights reflecting on greasy pavement & photos in newspapers protesting the use of copy written sonatas & serenading the text box smiles & the flimsy paper masks & marks of pride worn deep upon their breasts bearing the sign signifying that they too have fallen into monochromatic tones & they’ve been absorbed by airplane annoyances & angry flashes of fire & flames meeting & illuminated by the conference calling the trespassers that will soon be arrested for carrying gallon jugs of water of pastures of gold & the fastest & the obsessive points fraternizing with the dancers upon the floor & being thrown into the cold snow false realities & machine marginal camera stand photocopies of stereographic lexicon metropolis palindrome metamorphosis of the metaphorical butterflies golden & yellow & shining landing on top of the majestic purple mountains & rows of sunflower tents, arrowhead dancers drinking up the silver silence & returning returning returning safely home


You’ll Never Change the Way I Feel

for so long I hid away & never said all the things I wanted to say / things would come to my mind but I’d fear if I let them out thru the iron gates you’d only say something that would make me regret it / I just feared that you’d disagree or say something that would embarrass me, like asking how could I like such a thing or how you always disliked it / & I’d feel bad about it / my instant reaction to any opinion formed in my mind was thick scrutiny of what others would think / what would everyone I know think about it / what would the world think / what would I think / & I just couldn’t accept the fact that I liked what I liked & believed what I believed / so I lived a lie & tried to convince myself that I thought otherwise

you’ll like it once you try it, you claim / once you learn, once you get out there & start doing it / but I knew otherwise / it’ll be fun / you said / I wanted to say no but instead I kept to myself & just agreed with you & pretended that I wanted to & that I agreed with their disillusions of reality they’d planned for me

but one day it occurred to me that I didn’t want all those things / I just wanted to like what I liked & feel how I felt & believe what I believed / I didn’t want to worry about what you’d think / no / I wasn’t going to worry about what you thought or what another person thought or they or them or anyone else / why should I let other’s opinions define my own?

& with that sudden burst of freedom it occurred to me that I was my own person & I would no longer be defined by others / I would define myself


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