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My Krakatoa

Krakatoa is a volcano that erupted in 1883. It was the loudest sound humans have ever documented. The sound was heard thousands of miles away. It caused tsunamis up to 150' (30m) tall. If it happened today, the death toll would be horrifying.

In July 2022, I erupted full of sound and fury--signifying something? And my eruption caused pain and hurt to those in my life. And so this evening as I was told that the mention of my name was forbidden at a celebration of love with people I used to know, I sort of lost it. I'm not saying it isn't deserved, but it hurt nonetheless. And I started writing.

my shoulders ache

and the tension

i feel starts in my head

and through my teeth

i am tired

so achingly tired

i don’t think i haven’t been tired

in months

or years

or ever

while the weight of myself

is no longer weighing on me

its imprint and carved canyons remain

i remember the moment that all i knew

or believed

was shaken to its core

by the violence of the unshackling

of my own self denial

the earthquake within my soul

is something i don’t think even richter could measure

how do you measure emotional subduction?

the long manic eruption

of my soul

has taken its toll

and tonight i feel like a mountain made low

by things i struggle still to understand

and the shame and doubt and denial well within me

once again trying to goad me into submission

the depth of the toll that has been extracted

from those i vowed to love and protect

my wife

my children

friends i thought i had

but we’re only there

for the previous version of me

seemingly solid ground they flourished on

the bedrock that everyone thought i was

yet i was never solid ground

neither was i sinking sand

imitation bedrock is more apropos

so much so that i believed it myself

but i was

unbeknownst to me


erupting in such force that the only sound

that could be heard in my vicinity

was a sound so loud that no one could speak

or even form words

because of the violence caused

by the loudest sound ever heard

and the force of my transformation

drowned out their cries and crying

during an eruption

you can either stay and die

or run as fast and far away as you can

because it’s the suffocation that kills you

you cannot breath the burning ash


on what once was solid ground

the ground shook and trembled

and the things that seemed sure footed

were thrown about by the unleashed violence

sabotaged by the very ground

that they relied on for all of natural memory

and their pain did not even register

because a volcano cannot concern itself with anything but itself

and then silence.

and after shocks.

and more silence.

and it takes a while to stop holding your breath

wondering if another shock or eruption is coming

so now

after months and months of violent public eruption

i feel the earth around me begin to solidify

and I know that I am now safe again

but as i look upon the burnt embers

of the green forests of love that surrounded me

ash covered shadows of what they once were

i feel remorse for the devastation that i caused

was there another way?

logic says yes but how can you gracefully

blow off fifty years of pressure

that you did not even know was there?

a volcano can’t control itself

with forces within it that are more powerful

than we can imagine

churning in secret below the ground

and out of sight

it is after the cataclysm that we can piece together the clues in the landscape

sulfurous cracks we ignored

because a reliable geyser doesn’t seem erratic

tremors we grew to get used to

not realizing what they portended

and in secret places no one could see

steam released in shameful spurts

forestalling the inevitable

they were all glimpses

signs of the natural


to come

and as the magma cools

and new mantle formed,

new solid ground emerges

still warm and spiky not worn by time

tender to walk on yet new ground for sure

i wonder how long it will take

for the verdant fields and forests around me

to grow back again

and for the deer and wildlife to return

no longer in the shadow of a mountain

rather green rolling hills

teeming with life and and purified streams

from the mineral springs now flowing

where disaster used to hide

and how long will they look over their shoulder

waiting for the solid ground that they tread upon

to possibly erupt again

because once bedrock fails you

can you really ever trust it again?

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