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Daly & Jones – February 2021

Gard Jones and Tony Daly traded art and words. Gard shared this piece, titled “Extension,” with Tony:

In response, Tony wrote this poem:

Self-Repression

tied to images of the past 
like a boulder of emotion 
weighing down every thought
tarnishing every deed
blinded and deafened by self-restraints
blocking the here and now
leaving reaction as exaggerated panic
constant fight or flight 

unable to dive inside self-psyche
opaque wall of compressed sediment
brittle wartime defense
rough against gentle touch 
of home-front skin

neck cracks against restraint
cervical spine compressed by misdeeds 
by severed shadows of compatriots 
by better-halves stripped away
struck by blades of remembered terror 
slicing weak points 
between armor and bone

screaming into the void 
radiating resistance 
crying for help
straining against binding twine
a disconnected extension of self 
swallowed and sunk 
tethered eternally to loss
eternally to trauma 
locked inside a limestone cage  

* * * * *

Tony shared this poem with Gard:

Losing Balance

We all walk a razor’s edge of Pride:
to the right – despair, regret, fear
stalking a pit where light refuses to tread
waiting with talons, claws, teeth
to sever emotion from corporeal form;
to the left – overconfidence boldly strides,
holding poison tipped blades,
anticipating the thrusts and slices
of battle eternally tipped in his favor.

Balance is the key,
finding one’s center,
which has eluded most.
We wobble side to side,
falling to fight inner demons,
clawing our way out
only to fall again,
feeling the bite of infected steel,
scrambling out once again,
tending to our scars
as we balance precariously,
not moving, not progressing,
of our own free will.

Then choosing again which path to take:
some forever fall to the numbing darkness,
some choose the ecstasy of self inflicted scars,
some seek balance, repeating the process infinitely,
falling and rising, beating the darkness back,
falling and rising, evading the poisonous blades,
falling and rising, with strength they never knew they had.

In response, Gard made this image, titled “Styx & Stone”:

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