Setting Sun

   This was inspired by watching the damage caused by hard drugs. The rise of drug use in my area has stolen many young lives recently. Perhaps you also  have witnessed this on your local news. Without insurance of their own or parents, kids are being lost.  There are little to no recourses for these kids when they do cry for help. Everyone cannot afford Betty Ford or Malibu in U.S.A.  Prison might be their only survival, but then, prisons are over-filled,  full of nasty drugs as well.


Each morning’s painful breath you took,
your body screamed –
addiction gleamed.
Sharp points and rusty spoons; you cook.
To rid the touch of crawling skin,
hot needle prick –
perhaps get sick.
Warm rush cements the deadly sin.
A long exhale – all worries drain;
erase torment,
without lament.
Your precious scars walk deep in vein.
As pain subsides from tender soul,
the prophets cry –
to watch you fly.
The needle swept you in a hole.
First glimpse of sun ignites the crave,
as pain returns –
the stomach churns.
Ignoring death’s note etched on grave.
Collapsing veins of rivers gone,
in search for new –
within eye’s view.
Dead lines depict a lifestyle drawn.
Sad eyes with black holes blindly stray,
to be so lost –
at such a cost.
Their struggle sickens by the day.
The needle and the damage done,
Neil Young once wrote –
a famous quote:
“A junkie’s like a setting sun.”
_TheMsLvh   © 2011
Image source: The Grantham Journal

Creative Commons License
California Ink In Motion by TheMsLvh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

  1. August 8, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    I haven’t had the focus to read much lately (bad excuse, I know), but this one drew me in. Exceptionally strong and I liked the whatever-you-called-it meter. Strong, strong, strong and very well done! *hugs*

    • August 8, 2011 at 7:35 pm

      CC, you have had your hands full with what is going on across the water. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Take care!

  2. anjum wasim dar
    August 8, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Powerful lines leave a strong impression. Great work.

  3. August 8, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    It reads very well. Great cadence throughout. I think you’ve done another fantastic job on a sensitive subject. Without experience of that particular subject myself, your words provoke vicarious stimulation for me. Some great lines: “Your precious scars walk deep in vein”, “The needle swept you in a hole”, “Collapsing veins of rivers gone” Excellent piece! :-)

    • August 8, 2011 at 7:33 pm

      Thank you for noticing some of my lines. As with you, I have no personal experience with this, just what I have seen and heard. I seem to be on a roll about sensitive subjects. Thank you for taking the time to read.

      • August 8, 2011 at 8:20 pm

        Oops… didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy all the lines, as I did ;-) Keep on the roll. Look forward to more.

  4. August 8, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Somewhat inappropriately, I clicked the like button, but it was in admiration at your control of the chosen form. The form was most effective in dealing with the emotions of the theme – and your descriptive powers are amazing. Although you say this is not based on first hand knowledge, you have depicted powerfully the harrowing aspects of drug addiction.

    • August 9, 2011 at 8:47 am

      Thank you Viv, your comment means a lot to me. I guess I have watched too many movies on this subject over the years, and have seen some of the youth in my area struggle with this issue. A strong dose recently took several lives, which compelled me to write what was on my mind from their point of view. Thank you for commenting on the form, was not quite sure about it.

  5. August 9, 2011 at 4:19 am

    This is very powerful. All off it. i do agree with Pervagus on those particular lines being great. They seem to cement the rest of the poem. WOW.

    • August 9, 2011 at 8:51 am

      Jo, happy to read your comment. It is a disturbing issue here.

  6. August 9, 2011 at 5:52 am

    Sometimes we must walk in another’s shoes to bring tragedy to the world’s attention. Well done. (I wouldn’t know iambic from a hole in the ground!)

  7. August 9, 2011 at 7:28 am

    I love Neil Young, despise the impact of drug abuse, and appreciate your poem. It is an important issue. Drug abuse impacts students at my middle school (I teach) in Montana. It’s good to draw attention to the issue.

    • August 9, 2011 at 8:50 am

      So sorry you are having to deal (as a teacher) with this. The impact I am seeing is more profound than what happened in the 60’s. Very scary!

  8. August 9, 2011 at 8:29 am

    love the word flow, what a beautiful word painting.


    Happy Potluck!

  9. August 9, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Really poignant one. You created the image of a drug addict really well.

    • August 11, 2011 at 7:37 pm

      Thank you for your comment. Sad state of affairs in my little coastal town.

  10. August 9, 2011 at 9:07 am

    A very powerful piece and a great read.
    A clever use of the words from Sunday Whirl.
    Glad I found your blog.
    Off to read some more of your posts.

    • August 9, 2011 at 9:18 am

      Thank you for your comment and welcome. I hope you enjoy your visit Mike

  11. August 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    This is gripping and emotional. My last Free Write Friday was focused on addiction. People close to me, and the area I live in has become a melting pot for drugs. Its a sensitive matter and important especially if you have children. Lack of money, lack of recreation and programs I believe gives this plague steam. You know what they say about idle hands. Great thought provoking piece. Nicely penned.

    • August 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I agree, especially if you have children.

  12. August 9, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    An excellent write on a sensitive subject. I don’t have experience in the matter but I imagine that you’ve covered it very well in this piece. Very well done.

    • August 9, 2011 at 7:22 pm

      Ps. I like the form too :)

      • August 11, 2011 at 7:38 pm

        Thank you for reading. Just trying to bring awarness.

  13. August 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    First, the form: I don’t know if there is a name for it or not, but it’s effective, makes for a powerful rhyme scheme.

    As for the subject, you handled it well. For years, it seemed like the injection of drugs was on a downward trajectory. All of a sudden, they are back with a vengeance. Most of the old-time addicts were pretty nice people to talk to–even if during an arrest. The new breed are using stuff that is causing paranoia. They are scary, striking out at innocent bystanders, perceived as enemies. These homemade compounds are often lethal to anyone who hasn’t built up a tolerance. Often it’s the first time users who die after being administered a shot by an addict with years of tolerance built up. Sad.

    • August 11, 2011 at 7:39 pm

      Boy Mike you said it! It is scarey out there now.

  14. August 11, 2011 at 6:08 am

    Brilliantly written, and the cadence and pace are lovely. Funny, such intense subject matter wrapped in a poetic bow…
    I, too, have written of such…

  15. Leo
    August 13, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Drugs seem to be raising its ugly head everywhere.. Here too, it is there, but perhaps not public as much.. Maybe its secretive nature is what makes it thrive..

    Your poem says it well, the picture of an addict…

    • August 13, 2011 at 10:49 am

      It becomes public when lives are being taken. The sadness abounds my little town. Thank you Leo for reading and commenting.

  16. August 15, 2011 at 7:44 am

    A really difficult subject, but you addressed it with honesty and compassion. I could hear your heart in these lines. Well wordled.

  17. August 16, 2011 at 12:16 am

    sorry sad truth…powerful….

  18. August 23, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I’ve seen youth in small towns get mixed up with heroin, as well as X and meth. The sad truth? Their education is so lacking that they wouldn’t think of picking up a book or a paintbrush; plus, the guys are often adrenaline junkies from high-speed video games that depict women as “a rack” in Dazzy Dukes and guns as power.

    I used in my day, 35 years ago, but this whole new generation is whacked. They huff from spray-painting while they tag buildings. It’s sad, and kids in my own family have fallen down, down. Thank you for a powerful, realistic depiction of what’s really going on in America. It’s all about hopelessness… Amy

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