BOOK TITLE: The Australia Times - Unearthed Fiction magazine. Volume 3, issue 4

Vol. 3 No. 4 July 2015
Beyond the
The Unbearable
Light-ness of Shadow
Journey to Kailin
Beyond the ordinary
By Unsplash on Pixabay
Tristyn Harrison
Elijah Lake
Boris Glikman
Terrence Reed
Lux C. Gyrus
We are always on the look out for new
submissions to TAT Unearthed Fiction.
Send us your submissions and we will
assess them for inclusion in the magazine.
Stories can be sent directly to the editor at
We offer both veteran and undiscovered writers the opportunity to get published.
Have something to
COMMUNICATE, or an OPINION to state, we are your voice!
Want to
join a like-minded community in a great project?
This July, follow us beyond
the ordinary to see the
hidden worlds in the mind,
marvel at the shadows that
free us, journey with us to
follow a dream, and struggle
through a messy rebirth into
Happy reading!
Editor's Note
Welcome 05
Letters to the editor
Dear Duchess... 10
MonthLy Writing exercise
Beyond the Ordinary 15
What's on in August... 21
Arrogance 24
The Unbearable Light-ness of Shadow 29
Journey to Kailin 32
Chrysalis 40
People who are just beginning to write are
often described as “emerging”. The word calls to
mind the first leggy creatures crawling out of the
primordial ooze. And maybe that’s apt, because our
first attempts at writing can often feel awkward,
clumsy, weird-looking or gross.
At Unearthed we want to welcome your
primordial ooze animals. We’d like to be a safe
place where new writers can read each other’s
work, talk about their own, and pitch their stories
for publication without fear, knowing that they’ll
receive detailed feedback.
We hope that you enjoy this edition, and
encourage you to send us your work!
From the TAT Unearthed Fiction Team
Tristyn Harrison is an
emerging writer and
amateur blogger with
an interest in all things
fantastical. She writes
for herself rst, shaping
the raw mass of creation
and inspiration into
stories that reach in and
pluck the heart-strings.
Amongst the daily hustle
and bustle of life, she
alternates between
nding time to work on
her rst novel, perfect her
cra, and revisit the work
of authors who have
shaped her life's journey.
Tristyn is based in
Sydney’s Inner West, and
founded the Emerging
Fantasy Writer's Group
as a way to help other
local emerging writers
nd the magic in their
Meg Hellyer is a
freelance writer and
editor living in Melbourne.
She has sub-edited for a
range of publications that
include ArtsHub, Ferntree
Gully News, and The Pun,
and is also the author of
several short stories.
Growing up surrounded
by books, Meg has
always had a love of
literature. When she
is not editing for The
Australia Times, she
oen nds herself writing
about the people she
sees on trains.
You can nd out
more about Meg at
her website, www.
Alexia Derbas studied
Writing and Cultural
Studies at the University
of Technology, Sydney.
She writes all sorts of
things and doesn't do
much else, though a
great deal of her time is
spent bush walking. This
occurs under the guise
of scouting out perfect
writing locations. Her
work has appeared, or is
forthcoming in various
publications including
Seizure, Voiceworks and
the Spineless Wonders
Writing to the Edge
anthology. She tweets
with regret @lexderbas .
Editor's Bio's
James Noonan is a
Melbourne-based writer
and editor who has held
a number of publishing
roles locally as well as
in New York. He was the
recipient of the Victorian
Young Writers' Award
in 2014. His ction has
appeared in Grith
University's creative
writing anthology,
Talent Implied, and is
upcoming in this year's
edition of Award Winning
Australian Writing.
James is currently
working on his rst novel,
and at this rate will have
it nished by the year
2030. By then he also
hopes to have gotten a
match on Tinder.
By Tristyn Harrison
© Image
Leers to the Editor
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Intrducing Duche as e
auity  a ings ing. Send
in yr quess and a Duche
prde er ldly sd.
Dear Duche...
Dear Duchess,
I’ve recently been through a rough patch in my life, and I’d like to retell
it in a fantasy setting. I’m not sure how to bring it across or what to focus
on. I am basing the main characters on myself, my friends and a few
close family members, but I’m worried that anyone who knows me will
recognise traits of the people I’ve brought in. What do I do?
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Dear Peter,
Focusing on people and the traits that make them up is a great way of
bringing the tension in, although this can be a tricky thing to finesse. Certain
people will take offense, while others won’t mind and some might even
enjoy it. If you’re truly worried, trying swapping certain traits between
characters to make them less recognisable, or even ask them straight out if
they would be happy with it. It does also depend on how you portray them.
If you’re going to show your characters in a bad light, make sure there are
no defining qualities that immediately bring to mind someone you know
well. And if you do add in traits that are easily recognisable, try not to
couple them with unflattering images.
Tabitha still won’t speak to me after I wrote her into one of my stories.
Who was I to know that she would take offense at the mere suggestion that
she was addicted to catnip. Honestly. Some cats! Now where was I? Oh yes.
Steer clear of drawing comparisons between the people you care about
and traits or action you know they will be upset about. Otherwise, go
bonkers with it and see what they think. You will almost always be more
aware of it than they will.
You can also draw the focus back to the situations involved. Heighten the
tension between characters by showing the reactions of all involved. Using
your experience can help you build depth and draw the reader in, while
your memory of the basis of the events being portrayed can allow you to
better describe the situation to the reader.
The Duchess.
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Writing Exercise
By Tristyn Harrison
© Jinho Jung on Flickr
or this month’s exercise you might
need to go just a little crazy. Leave
your judgement at the door and let
go. You might be surprised at how it
turns out. This exercise is designed to engage
the right side of your brain and get the creative
crazy flowing. Go with it, and don’t be afraid to
do it badly. The more you engage the creative
brain, without the restrictive influence of the
logic brain, the easier it is to slip into story-
telling mode.
Sit down with a blank piece of paper and a pencil. If
you can, try and find a piece that’s lined on one side and
blank on the other. Starting with the blank side, take
the pencil in your off-hand (if you’re right-handed, use
your left hand and vice-versa) and use your dominant
hand to hold the paper steady. Put the tip in the middle
of the page and close your eyes.
… What, still reading through closed eyes? Impressive! …
With your eyes closed and your off-hand wielding
your trusty pencil, start drawing the first thing that
comes to your mind. Keep adding things as they occur
to you, building up a picture in your mind of what
you’re trying to draw. Once you think you’re done, open
your eyes to look at it.
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Odds are, what you’ve drawn won’t look anything like
the image in your head. So chuck out the image you
used to create your masterpiece. Look past the obvious
and try seeing the shape inside the scribble. What does
it suggest to you? What story is hiding in the mess?
Once you have a better idea, turn over the page
and try and describe it without looking back at the
scribble. Pull details out of your memory that suggest
other characteristics of your image. Make up details to
spice up the picture. Try adding a couple details from
the image you held in your head as you drew. Pull in
anything you can think of to build up the description.
Time to transfer over to your favoured writing
medium. Take the description you wrote as a base for a
story. Keep writing and adding bits as you go, but don’t
stop to edit. Ignore your mistakes and just keep playing
with your words until you're ready to stop.
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© Jinho Jung on Flickr
Check out the
issue of Gourmet,
where we chat
with talented Head
Chef from ARTUSI
Italian Restaurant:
Festivals, Events
and Competitions
Some of the stuff happening around Australia in the next month.
If you have an
event, deadline or
competition that
you would like to
advertise, please
email tristyn.harrison@
28-29 28-29 29-30 29-30
21-6 22-28 25-27
Salisbury Writers’ Festival,
Salisbury, SA. General lit.
Queensland Poetry Festival,
Brisbane, QLD. Poetry.
Anywhere Festival, Frankston,
VIC. Spoken word, poetry,
performance, theatre.
Australian Medical
Writers Association
Conference, Brisbane,
QLD. Medical.
Book Week, national
school-based events hosted
by Childrens Book Council
of Australia.
First Nations Australia
Writers Network National
Workshop, Melbourne, VIC.
First Nations, industry.
Queensland Business
Writers’ Conference,
Brisbane, QLD. Corporate.
Sugar City Con, Mackay,
QLD. Pop culture.
Ashgrove LitFestival,
Ashgrove, QLD. Gen. lit,
Sydney Jewish Writers
Festival, Sydney, NSW.
General lit.
August - September
August August
21-2320-30 21-23
1-31 1-31 7-9
7-9 8-98
Monash WordFest,
Melbourne, VIC. Gen. lit.
series of events.
Corrugated Lines,
Broome, WA. Gen. lit.
National Reading Hour,
nationwide, 6-7pm. Events to
celebrate reading.
Imagine August, all Logan
libraries, QLD. Series of
events, speculative ction.
National Bookshop
Day. Events around the
country to encourage
book buying.
Melbourne Writers
Festival, Melbourne,
VIC. General lit.
Words in Winter, Daylesford
and surrounding towns, VIC.
Series of general lit events.
Mudgee Readers
Festival, Mudgee,
NSW. General lit.
Romance Writers of
Australia conference,
Melbourne, VIC. Romance.
Bendigo Writers
Festival, Bendigo, VIC.
General lit.
Perth Poetry Festival,
Perth, WA. Poetry.
Zine and Comic
Symposium, Brisbane,
QLD. Zines and comics.
Byron Bay Writers Festival,
Byron Bay, NSW. Gen. lit.
Warm Winter Words,
Apollo Bay, VIC. Gen. lit.
August August
© Bonnybbx on Pixabay
By Elijah Lake
wish to show you a world, readers. A world created in mockery of our own,
where everything beautiful is hideous and things of kind nature express
deep violence. Our world is as vast as this world, and to explain our world
in simple terms can paint simple yet beautiful pictures - but to this world,
simplicity is equivalent to desolation.
Where to start? Perhaps the shape. A sphere is perfect, and though our Earth
is not - this world is a perfect sphere. Nothing outside of mathematical intrigue
is curious about a sphere - it’s a simple shape; a desolate curve. Surrounding
this perfect sphere is an atmosphere compounded of complex gases, constantly
in violent flux. The reactions taking place are seemingly sporadic, but rich
chemistry drives their nature, though this richness lies far out of reach of
this world’s population. To them, the sky is a blend of colours and climate acts
without rhyme or reason.
Water is essential to life, it’s a simple molecule with imperative utility on our
Earth. Water on this world I speak of is dense, confusing. It’s not the gentle
Mother of all life - it’s the weird Aunt who’s always grating to interact with.
Water on this world is lifeless, though it is not simple. Science has enacted on
this substance - it is saturated and at war with itself: inhospitable and thus
simple despite its complexity.
If a God exists, It has dreamed only of this world in nightmares. It has
summoned a range of inhabitants for this world. To begin to explain, well
need to start with the soil. On this world, it is filler content. It exists simply for
something to exist there, there is no rich ecology at play – think of it as just a
structure from which grass grows. Grass in this world is akin to thorns from
ours, aggressively defensive. It houses little creatures who seek and destroy
what life they can find. Few creatures Created are able to stomach these plants,
and their nature resembles their food: prickly and impossible to endear.
Trees in our world are simple forms of life, unmoving and steady. On this
world, they flee their posts eager to find something better to do than stand and
exist. They’re constantly demanding something to do, something to fill their
time with. They exist in societies that do not benefit each other, and deeper in
this structure are smaller units of support that have spawned from the niceties
of obligations. They trade their efforts for what they objectify as enjoyment
and are content living detached from the world. To us, they do not make sense,
but we are the idiots to them. There is no room for mutual understanding in
their society; all that exists must be polarising.
Birds do not fly as their biological mechanisms failed to survive the gap
between this world and our world: maintaining flight simply does not make
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sense here. Their beaks are more like discs surrounding their heads and they’re
incredibly territorial. Not even I have seen what birds on this world sustain
themselves with.
Canids have more canines - their muzzles barely capable of containing them.
Loyalty is confusing and often senseless, how could something so confounding
exist in a world such as this? They snarl because nothing they know is worthy
of a full bark. Those that work in packs quickly find their lives traded for the
alpha’s dinner.
Cats are surprisingly unchanged. Perhaps the God of this world had a lull in
Its nightmares and cats came first to mind. I cannot say, for my subconscious
doesn’t keep a diary that it permits my conscious mind to read.
Humans in this world are marvellous. They have rich isolated communities
with no incident or violence. Their goal is to survive, not expand or conquer.
They have no ambitions other than enjoying the coming day, which they often
achieve by playing games with family and friends. Stress is a complex emotion,
so on this world stress is barren - empty; replaced with joy and happiness,
which to us are emotions reduced by how often we take them for granted; aren’t
the least stressful times of our lives often the happiest? We seem to remember
the misery of our lives and not the mirth.
Technology is the tool we have invented to replace the ever-growing hole
in our psyche that the absence of evolution left. It truly is all-consuming, for
if every human on Earth focused their evolutionary potential into cultivating
technology, it still surpasses what we power it with. On this world, technology
does not exist. No human has ever picked up a rock and thought more of it than
a rock - it would be arrogant to assume the world an item or tool.
In this world, a person is imagining (for writing is a beautiful and complex
thing) this very same story from his own perspective. In his mind, the opening
statement is identical, and he is currently perfectly describing our world, his
face transfixed with what we would recognise as horror.
Now readers, this world I have described is made of my whim - the barriers
between complexity and simplicity have been drawn as I choose, defining each
obstacle arbitrarily. The constructs of religion, society and science are context in
which we choose to partake, but also impossible to escape from. If we could opt
out of these, we would be left with a canvas painted in excruciating simplicity:
things are just because they are. Causation and causality do not matter - an
interaction happens because it occurred and will inevitably do so again.
If, for brief instants, we can look at our Earth and see a simple canvas from a
distance that fills us with that unique glee that only fine arts can produce, then
I think perhaps our world has hope yet.
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Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ ǡ
Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ 
Ȉ 
To book an appointment visit our website
or call Caitlin on:
0433 319 609
Mobile Service
We come to you!
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
The Unbearable
of Shadow
© Original image created by Agnes
Boris Glikman
nce upon a time there was a shellfish, dwelling, together with
all the other coastal creatures, in the intertidal zone between the
ocean and the shore. Its world being a tiny area of wet sand that
it could claim as its own, the shellfish did not have lofty goals and
was resigned to its lot in life.
One morning the Sun was shining brightly and the mollusc prepared itself for
another ordinary day in its ordinary existence, stuck on the beach and nowhere
to go. It was directing its gaze downward, for everything of importance
happened on the ground. The only thing bothering the shellfish, as usual, was
its own shadow, for the blackness obscured a clear view of the sand.
It was then the mollusc noticed something that had never occurred to it
before; the shape of its left shell combined with the left shell's shadow was
the spitting image of a wing. Exactly the same was true for the right shell.
The shellfish thought, 'What if, instead of being exasperated with my shadow
as an ungainly encumbrance which has always hindered my perspective, I
could use it instead to my own advantage? For if I were to merge my body with
it, I would then turn into a butterfly and soar up to the heavens, breaking free
from the grounded existence which has imprisoned me for so long now! I could
taste the mysteries of the sky for the very first time!'
This thought both frightened and excited the mollusc. It would be such a
risky and uncertain change from the normal way of life that it had grown
comfortable with over the years. For even though its existence was dreary
and tedious, there was safety and security in the predictability of the daily
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routine. Yet the pull of exciting adventures, the lure of experiencing a
world it and its fellow coastal creatures had no inkling of, the temptation
of leaving its old life behind and starting completely anew were irresistible
to the mollusc.
And so, with a decisiveness it had never displayed before, the shellfish
fastened itself to its shadow and soared up to the sky, beholding the world,
in all of its glory and splendour, from an entirely new vantage point.
The other shellfish could only look on with envious astonishment as the
mollusc-butterfly flitted effortlessly across the heavens in ecstatic rapture.
A new existence of wonder awaited it.
I think there is a lesson to be learned by all of us from this story, for which one
of us is not weighed down by their shadow self ? Which one of us does not try to
heal, hide or eradicate their doubts, insecurities, fears, delusions and anxieties?
But rather than seeking remedies for psychological "disorders" from therapists,
gurus and self-help books, take a look at your "problems" from above and you
might see that they are actually wings attached to your body!
I challenge you to recognise and embrace your shadow self as a vital
element of your identity, for only then will you become whole, reach your
full potential and acquire powers which could enable you to achieve the
impossible. Let your darkness be the light that lightens the burden of your
being! Harness your shadow to your shoulder blades and soar up to the sky,
above all the other oyster-people stuck in the mud of life - a new existence
of wonder awaits you!
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
© Stone arch on Unsplash
to Kailin
Terrence Reed
em perched in his large chair atop the brontosaurus, scouting the way
as the creature lumbered through the plains. Holt was a great beast
with vivid red markings up his sides and all the way up his neck leading
into a lake of colour on the top of his head.
Riding the bronto had always been one of Rem’s favourite things. He had felt
as though he was one with the creature, that nothing could stop the two of
them. They understood each other. Now, underneath the skies that stretched
endlessly above him, he felt small. Waiting to be eaten by the world.
The plains which were usually filled with life seemed barren and empty.
The battles that had taken place in the surrounding areas seemed to have
driven off all manner of life. His mind was similarly bleak, turning over the
events of the past few weeks. Surely they were heading towards safety now.
A horn blew from behind him, shaking him from his reverie. He hastily leapt
up, holding the support on the back of his chair, looking toward the back of
the convoy to see dust in the distance. Something was coming up. Fast.
Another horn blew, followed closely by a third and within moments the
convoy was a mess as creatures and people started to flee. Rem signalled the
nearby archers mounted on gallimimus and they quickly rushed back to the
rear of the convoy. He pulled his bow out from the bag next to him and drew
an arrow, ready for what was to come next.
The incoming dust cloud began to take form. Raiders from the south. They
must have spotted the convoy as they passed through the valley yesterday. It
was only a matter of time before they came.
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The rear guards had formed a line between the raiders and the rest of
the convoy as the civilians rushed away from the threat. With swords
drawn, the triceratops riders charged forward, screaming their war cries.
The crash was thunderous, even at this distance. Dinosaur collided with
dinosaur and weapons clashed on armour. Screams of pain, horror and
death came quickly afterwards.
From his vantage point, Rem could see that several of the raiders had
managed to slip past the line of guards and were headed for the convoy. With
the guards occupied in the fight and the archers distracted, there were very
few left to defend.
Rem took off, running down the spine of his bronto, firing arrows at the
raiders. He hit one of them in the side of the chest, knocking him to the ground
with a thump while his steed continued forward. The rest came up the side and
began attacking the civilians. Rem jumped off the end of the tail, tucking into a
ball to take the impact, before letting off three more arrows in quick succession.
Two of the arrows found their targets in one of the enemy’s raptors and it
collapsed, sending its rider flying before he was crushed by Holt’s giant feet.
The other raider rode up and took a swing at Rem who attempted to block the
strike with his bow only to have it splinter in his hands.
He grabbed an arrow from the quiver on his waist and waited. His opponent
circled round and came back for another attack and Rem jumped up, twisting
in the air as he stabbed his arrow into the man’s neck before landing lightly
on the balls of his feet. The man collapsed to the ground and his raptor ran off
towards the remnants of the battle.
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It seemed like only seconds had passed as most of the guards trotted back to
report of victory. Some had stayed to scavenge what useful items they could
find and to bring back any of their fallen comrades.
Another horn blew, sounding that everything was safe. The convoy began
to form up again, and Rem swarmed up the rope ladder at Holt’s shoulder,
back to his platform to survey the damage.
Whispers and talk could be heard, even from this height. He knew what it
was about. They questioned him. Questioned his rule. Maybe it was time to
step down. He shoved the thought from his head for later. All that mattered
right now was keeping them safe.
The remaining guards returned and the convoy began again moving, slowly
enough to allow everyone to keep up. All seemed quiet, barely a sign to show
the struggle. He wondered if the raiders often came this close to Kailin. Surely
they had their own ways of discouraging such things.
The thought of Kailin brought his worries back. What would happen when
they arrived? With their own village destroyed they needed help from their
allies. But would they help? Or would they try to take over? Maybe his people
would rather join them instead.
The lady of Kailin, Lena, was said to be a generous ruler who had led her
people to prosperity. Rumour said she was the most beautiful woman alive.
He had dreamt about meeting her once, a strange vivid dream that seemed
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too real to be mere imagination. He wondered if her beauty would match the
woman he had seen in his dream. If so, then maybe the rumours were true.
Ahead, a glint of light flashed in the sky. Small dots quickly grew into
recognisable shapes. He knew that pterodactyls inhabited the eastern
coastlines but he had never seen one. He counted about nine of the creatures
soaring just off the horizon. The convoy began to talk and the guards moved
to spread themselves among the outskirts, ready for their next engagement.
It wasn’t long before he saw what he was both hoping for and dreading. The
riders – crouched between the wings of the oncoming flyers. He only knew
of one group that had managed to ride them. The Sky Knights of Kailin. They
quickly reached the convoy and began to circle them with screeches cutting
through the air like daggers.
One pterodactyl broke off from the flock and swooped towards Holt. The
rider jumped off and landed in a crouch on the neck just metres from Rem. Like
the others, the knight wore sleek, form-fitting leather and a helmet adorned
with a small metal circlet. She removed her helmet, releasing a waterfall of
blonde hair that cascaded down her back, glowing in the sunlight.
He felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up. It was the woman from
his dream. Her green eyes pierced his and she smiled mischievously as she
stalked down Holt’s neck. A female voice spoke in his head.
It’s nice to see you again Rem.
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Lux C. Gyrus
© Inside the Lock by Mona on Flickr
…I rage, I fight, I struggle
My hands scrabble against skin
Against membrane and muscle
Again and again I fight
To reach the light
Just out of my grasp
So close and yet so far
The futile struggle
The intermittent bursts of life
And the ever-increasing bouts of self-doubt
Will I ever escape
Will I ever feel
Light upon my face
The safety and warmth
Of coming home?
Years pass as I fight on
Rage gone
Desperation set in
Hopeless, I stop
I succumb to the knowledge that I cannot win
And light flares
A chink in the armour
A keyhole
Hope rising, I tear at it
And the light disappears
Too disappointed to continue
I retreat
I am defeat
And sorrow
Fear and pain and loss
And the light once again shines in the dark
I have the inkling of an idea
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A possible solution
So more cautiously now
I insert two fingernails
And try to pull it open
It snaps shut
But my thought has borne fruit
I surrender entirely the idea of force
I sit and consider
My wish, my dearest hope
The keyhole opens
The light glints
But no further than a keyhole
I can choose despair
Having my heart’s desire so close
And yet even further from me
But I choose differently
Hope may be denied me
But I can appreciate the light
It is beautiful
It is divine
It warms a place inside me
I thought long gone
And I sit
Gathering strength
Simply to stay here
I am at peace
Fragile though it is
Broken now and then
When despair takes over
Rears its ugly head
And one day
The gap widens
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
And I rise
With no hurry
Content that it is more
I approach the light
I step through
Still not daring to believe
At the last moment
Fear seeps in
But I hold fast
And slip gently through
To the other side
Like a newborn foal
Swaddled in the birth sac
Now is my time to rip and tear
I push away the beliefs that shroud me
And they go
They fragment
Faster and faster
I emerge
Blinking into the sunlight
Like a butterfly
Emerging from the chrysalis
To a whole new world
Covered in tatters
Ruins of my misconceptions
I am freed
To see the world anew
As it really is
I begin to see what I have done
I have made a mistake
Too easily done
When you know not what you do
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
In ignorance
I have struggled so hard to be born
Little realising that I was already
Born into the world of men
Living in the world I sought
I have re-entered myself
Pushing with the single-minded
Determination of the naïve
Back into my own womb
The secret dark places
We leave only once
Wailing and crying as we are
Taken from security
And delivered to a new reality
That which we call life
But here there is a difference
I have returned willingly
Drawn by the light
Which shines from my heart
It is according to plan
The source of divinity
Within me
Within each of us
And now I am aware
Now I learn
I grow
And when I am ready
I will be born again
Once more into the world
To strive and struggle and learn
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
For each of us is a part
Of something larger
Our individual experience
A part of the collective
Apart no longer
There is no separation
No you and me
And everyone else
There is only me
There has only ever been me
I am you and you are me
And we learn as one
This is the great gift of the divine
That which is hidden from us
While we live
And while we die
And during everything in between
This is the great grand cycle of life
It is all a game
Until we find ourselves
And realise
I am alone
I am one
But I am all
I am divine
And in that divinity
All of creation is contained
All this and more I learn
Before once again
I am born
To learn it all over again…
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
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