The Shadow World

**Inspired by Plato's Republic

A desert wanderer, 
with a great big thirst.
Sand and sun,
I journey through,
and shadows cast,
is all I knew.

The shadows speak,
dance and entrance.
Sunshine or moonlight,
I only see,
that which they show,
is all that can be.

They comfort and protect.
Guide and lead.
In hunger and thirst,
they show the way,
yet its many years later,
and what can I say?

Is this world broken,
with this as the best?
Shadows upon shadows
there on the ground,
with temporary comfort,
and no peace to be found.

Who casts these shadows,
and where are they from?
I think and ponder,
for they never save,
and here I am writing,
feeling more like a slave.

I stare at their shapes.
Where are they hiding?
They’re dark without presence,
yet I cannot outrun,
for as I try and turn around,
I’m blinded by the sun.

I’ve seen this before,
and that one too.
Keep dancing shadows,
because I’m beginning to see,
that which you’re doing,
while I never run free.

I seek acceptance,
you show me control.
But I’m forever working,
worried and afraid.
Never at peace,
only plans to be made.

I seek contentment,
you show me power.
Yet here I am,
in one great big ploy
owning all the world,
without much joy.

I seek fulfillment,
you show me want.
More and more you say,
though never enough.
No matter how bigger or better,
life's still quite tough.

I seek relaxation,
you show me stimulation.
Forever distracted,
my eyes on a screen.
But very cold and desperate,
it all does seem. 

I seek the present,
you show me the future.
Plans and better things,
which I never see,
while I’m forever grasping,
and can never just be.

I seek love,
you show me fame.
Worshipping stares,
and chased at the mall.
But behind closed doors,
I feel nothing at all.

I seek patience,
you show me complaint.
Forever self-centered,
it's all I can see.
But still just wish,
I could let it all be. 

I seek awareness,
you show me distraction.
Powerful and loud,
they all seem quite real.
Yet I keep coming back,
and seem unable to heal.  

I seek wisdom,
you show me dogma.
Words to repeat,
but why even pretend?
For it’s not all that scary,
and all the same in the end.

I seek imagination,
you show me fear.
"Look down and worry.
The future, death and more."
Yet there’s only this moment,
and this is what I live for?

You see, I'm forever thirsty,
with no knowledge of water. 
Perpetually attached,
to these shadows I think.
Yet there's never fulfillment,
with nothing to drink.

My world's upside down,
and all seems broken. 
Distracted and numb,
life's lessons don't teach,
because here I am desperate,
forever in reach. 

Yes shadows you do comfort,
and forever distract.
But what is it exactly,
you give to me,
if I'm forever returning,
and never feel free?

No need to go on,
I see it quite clear.
It's not shadow nor sun,
it's always been me.
For in life’s many layers,
it can be hard to see.

I feel naked without you,
confused and unsure.
These struggles and hardships,
seeming quite real.
Still how amazing,
to finally feel.

At times it's more work,
a true odyssey indeed. 
With unchartered territories,
that move me to think,
these emotions give flow,
to the waters I drink. 

The sun continues to blind,
and shadows come back.
But I just shut my eyes,
so that I may see,
all of life’s beautiful wonders,
are right there inside of me.

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