A Thousand Cranes, Volume 8 // Sample Chapter

A Thousand Cranes, Volume 8 by Ashlee Craft

An Actualization

it’s funny how after she made the big announcement
the announcement that she wasn’t happy where she was
& was so much more than the lame gullible & naive person
completely lacking in personality, the person everyone else thought she was
fake & complacently pretending that she was one of them
… how much respect they gained for her
because by finally having the guts to speak up
& stand up for herself
& ceasing to let others push her around & tell her who she should be
she showed them that she was much more than a puppet
much more than an actress in the drama they were writing
& that she wasn’t going to stand for being disrespected
because she was human
she was vulnerable & had likes & dislikes
she sometimes fell & sometimes flew
& that she wasn’t going to stay where she was, she was going to win
she proved that she was real
& stopped lying to herself & the world around her

Reasons Being

have you ever been so caught up in the rain as you looked out into the world with empty broken eyes that you could not see what was floating by or that there were raindrops at all? / stopping by puddles drinking fountains & brooks looking for water & yet being so focused on finding it you do not see the abundance of raindrops that surround you & fall from the sky soaking your skin, clothing sticking to your skin you’re wet & cold but you cannot believe in the water just because it didn’t appear to you the way you thought it would? / or quiet apparitions of imagination caught in candlelight

those glimpses of sunlight are so precious & fleeting & fragile / you must be gentle with them / when confidence is suddenly found & it is glorious & you finally feel like you can do something, you must keep that safe / you must catch it in your hands & let it live in your heart so that you might believe it before it is too late / before it fades away forever, an illusion balanced on the edge of a knife blade & if you do not relight the embers within a set period of time then their magic power of being able to create fire & light will be gone forever, or at least a long time, & if it does come back it won’t be the same & it’ll take so long to heal / I lost what I needed in that critical period & it took me so long & so much hard work to get it back, & even when I found the cure it took me so long before I could actually believe in it

Friend Revelation

I sat there thinking before I took my shower one night
about why I was failing & flailing my arms around
feeling I was doing everything wrong

sure, some of the people I really cared about I showed it openly to
complimenting them & talking with them
& just taking the time to make them know that I cared

but I found myself at fault with the way I am so often :
after looking at those photos of texts you’d gotten
texts which all denoted how you were always there for them

texts that made me know you made people feel special
I suddenly had a revolution :
the revelation of what my problem was

sure, I was good at making friends & good at making people
feel important; & I loved so many of them deeply
& found it easy to let them into my heart
but I went towards it all too quickly & more importantly, unprepared

for while I was good at continually bringing to your attention
your failure to sign the paper signifying that we’d always be together
I never stopped to take the time & make you feel
like you actually should sign it

I never stood there & just listened to you talk about your life
actually listen & not just wait to talk about myself
I never asked you what the best thing that had happened to you recently was
I never stopped to take the time & actually get to know you

I was just too caught up in reaching this quota, this certain level of knowing
but when I got close I had no idea what to say
& could do nothing but slowly watch you back away
& while I could tell you over & over again
my desire to be close with you
I never proved it
I never proved it at all
I never made you feel like you were special to me
even though inside I felt that so deeply

I failed at showing it to you
& instead bothered you trying to reach an invisible ideal
that as I’ve learned means nothing in the scheme of things
isn’t being there for someone more important
than a piece of paper?

& now I know what I need to do to change
I need to listen to you, I need to inspire you
I need to be there for you in the way I always wished people would be there for me


I know the way the roses glimmer
when the first drops of sun-dew land upon
the fragile petals
proving to the flowers that it’s okay
to bloom

& I know the way you look at me
as if I am the sun & you are that flower
as if the whole universe is spread out in front of it
& is within your reach at last
& in this expression
I know love

Always Thinking of You

oh, you’re always on my mind
you cloud my vision & paint my thoughts
like a veneer laid over everything I look at
& the feeling of you is overwritten upon
everything I feel
your signature mark is everywhere
& I cannot escape from thoughts of you
nor would I want to

you’re the first thing I think about when I wake up
& the last thing I think about before I fall asleep
you have become my mind & heart
& I’m intoxicated by the idea of you

you are my mind
you are the beat of my heart
all I see is you
& your beautiful presence

An Aching Heart in Love

lying here in darkness
enshrouded by a cold blanket
sleepless night; I try to shut my eyes
but all I see is you
sleep doesn’t come easy
to an aching heart in love

I’m agonizing about you
& whether those glances you cast upon me all day
mean anything at all; whether you too
are lying there in the darkness
agonizing over whether I like you too
& sleep doesn’t come easy
to an aching heart in love
filled with questions that have no answers


blank canvas lying empty on the floor no on is around no one sees anything
& it’s all just a blurred dream
caught up in time, things which were never meant to see the light
feelings never meant to be felt
pain never meant to be experienced
& yet it’s all there right in front of you
as real as the ground beneath your back
too tired to move at all contemplation is your hobby
your thoughts become reality

you live vicariously thru the hopes dreams & stories
of those brave enough to be alive
but you are not one of them
alive, but not living
surviving, but not thriving
existing, but never knowing
what it’s like to be one of them

A Moment of Suspense

it’s all a blur to me :
the words somehow found themselves onto paper
& after much agonization they have arranged themselves
in a way most likely to portray how I think I feel
& in a moment they are sent
the stone thrown cannot be retrieved
I cannot turn back now

Kindle Edition