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 P a i n    A s    T i m e

1 9 7 4 - 1 9 7 6

* * *

 three thousand ideas

 walking on my mind

 but till separated

 I live with the roar

 of their pain

* * *

 Force... Pressure...

 sharp arrow of fear

 melting the dam of resistance

 leaving behind

 quivering and mindless

 Describe... Impossible...

 a circular volume, empty

 enclosed by thought

 impenetrable to others

 no reason... anyway

* * *

Feeling Defeat

lost in a gray

no reason to wander

no place to wander to

the gray dissolves you...


* * *

life is a colorwheel

to my eyes

* * *

I describe the effect

you are the cause

I am the result

you are the reason

I wait for you in the past

because our time

or the only time I will live

is in the future with you

you do not exist, I know

and the pain is good

* * *






* * *



slow to move, to think


who? what? where am...


I can't, you must... must


blurs, soft and gray



face... not

gun... not

pain... not

peace... not

* * *


an unspeakable word

no meaning actually

no way to describe adequately

but its there

useless term, free me from

the only destiny anybody has

DEATH/NOTHING for an eternity

* * *

I scream at nothing

it screams back at me

I fight for guidance

it guides unseen

to a dark path

ominous, treacherous trail

winding upwards

it taunts and I fail

tricked by my own fear

and overcome with weakness

too late to start over

I feel its caress

* * *





* * *


behind my colors

in front my eyes

there, but not real

take, use, waste, discard

sewage of the mindstream

in charge

* * *


turn to the hidden nature's glory

rise to the call of shadows morbid

beg the presence of all evil


and shatter to dust your chains

* * *


and it rose

ageless splendor

bringer of a new day

worshipped, hated and cursed

but necessary for life

all life

it dispels the darkness

as it dispels fear

the absence of it scares me

the presence of it awes me

the sun


man's salvation

and ultimately...

man's destruction

* * *


next time, look at me

deeper than before

this time, know me

better than before

through time, be mine

always more than before

* * *






* * *

gentle were the days before

that were lost by the passing time

till left with an impossible task

find what's called the never known

so through the darkness lost and weary

groping for that unknown quality

bleeding hands for my trouble

jagged memories reach for me

search the mindpaths for the answer

futile is my agony

till lost upon that day like others

panic for all eternity

* * *

I scream the answers to the heavens

I reach to free my soul from hell

I lose this life so tenacious

and sink into a death free spell

* * *

and when a thought breaks down

while just breaking through

then who is to blame

created and destroyed

more to come

which is more to forget

* * *

to share

is to love

a gift

that has no measure

to share

whether be thoughts

or physical intimacy

are equal to me

to share

is all I have

is all

that has me

* * *


your hidden smile...

ready to rise like the sun after night

ready to light up your features

in the orange energy of dawn

give me the joy of your smile

so that I may own you

* * *


I lay on tomorrow's leaves

future rustles tickle my ears

reach out

touch the yet to come

look back

smiling at this present

can you escape the confines of time

and with your mind

be the gentle breeze

that rustles my tomorrow's leaves

* * *


found the darkside

cold and wanting


upon that sea of green

test to life's

greatest values

to behold...

is my dream

* * *


a letter never sent

always, the memory of you remains

love, the way we were

and the person you were to me

think lightly if you look back

refreshing yourself in what once was

remembering the day we had each other

it was on a windswept hilltop

holding hands, we pledged never to stop

feeling the way we felt together

and united we were, or so we thought

later I forgot what I had promised

and broke it because I pitied me

soon to realize how I failed you

missed you more each passing day

no one I found could replace you

then I knew what I had to say

back together

you wearing strawberries

I feeling the pain

of what I had done

so we planned

the future dark with my leaving

many other things too

this time you made a decision

and left me

two lives were made different then

two stubborn people

who could have succeeded

if they would have understood


by the lakeside, blue and gleaming

partying there so long ago

discovered and told a girl I loved her

and of that memory

I always will

* * *



reflections in a crystal pool of memories

surrounded by stately willows

the air hangs heavy with no movement


caused by a skipping stone of thought

brings to the surface that which was hidden

and a breeze puts to end all stillness


the old gradually fades from thinking

the new presents its magic spell

reach out and turn to face it

while hearing what the wind has to tell


is what you feel

disappeared is the worry of belonging

it’s torn apart as yesterdays fog

you exist in the shouting gale

* * *

to a dark end

all must fail you

but that is in everyone

and must be

hurricane force

you the master

ride this beast of life...

be free

* * *


pain is time

time is pain

to feel the restriction of time is pain


I know the pain of having to be

I have found one escape

and for now

it is sufficient

but for tomorrow I search

and the many morrows to come

you may plead with the unknown

but all that time

I walk

the rainbow landscapes

of my mind

* * *


when the present

is the death of the past

the future

is the unborn result of now

* * *


sands of your thoughts

warmed by the sun

desert emptiness

bring forth your light


a gentle plea


was the force that pursued them

seemingly weak beings

lost before starting

prayed to their gods

unanswered, forgotten

left on the shallows of their despair

last rally of strength

taken from the depths

of their alien being

faced an unknown enemy

strong with great hope

cruelly crushed

not comprehending their fate

but lived while they did

and died not knowing

* * *


The Lookout


submarine surface watch 

Devils triangle, 1975 

waiting, knowing what is to be

but it has been so long a time

and I have missed the beauty

of greeting the fading of night

to see

stars still blurred in their multitude

dark, infrequent shapes hide the heaven's glory

and rim the horizon in haze

the water, simply dark and lifeless

to hear

the strongest sense is that of hearing

the power churned into this boat's wake

along with the breaking ocean upon the bow

white water, frothing, streaming,

and piling upon itself against the sail

to feel 

the brisk breeze

carrying a host of summer night memories

talks just to me

all of this while I am the lookout

to taste

the scent of the ocean

and the salt on the wind

add a new dimension to observing

and becomes another factor

in the breaking of day


stars say farewell

in their own winking way

shadows turn to clouds

and on the separation between

the ocean and darkness

a faint pink tinge appears

a cancer of light

spreading, turning darker

erasing the night sky

and in turn

coloring the above in blue


a glaring red orb above the water

the ocean's water becomes a refracting

playground of light

I am borne on dunes laced with silver and gold

that dance to the inner music of my mind

changing, no pattern

whim of the wind

transfixed I can only stare

all the colors of morning

are known to me now

permanently painted on my mind

I feel

the peace of having witnessed

through all my senses

the transition

and knowing

of the dawn 

* * *


of the way

the way it ought to be


the desolation of

the absence of natural rhythm

in your life


how it should be

makes the pain of knowing

it never will be

that much more intense


the torrent of chaos

in your life's sphere


the discordant pulses

of living

and know the beauty

the beauty in each of us

* * *


entered upon

discovered by searching

I have felt the biting storm of loneliness

the cruel whims of existing

rising above

I have reached the second level now

detached and above

all that seeks me for harm

* * *



 granite heaviness

 trapped inside

 the ring of its containment

 void of change

 empty of color and wind

 frozen from time's wheel

 not lost nor found

 not death nor life

 not anything at all

 my glacier of apathy does call

* * *


think of yourself as surrounded

with the feelings I remember you by


insulated from the cold of loneliness

do not fear the dark of night

and life's shadows

pacing the walls around you

* * *


to words unsaid,

and never done

to places unseen,

so unknown

to reality,

and its perfect escape

to you,


its imperfections are desired

and known to me

it says those unsaid words

it sees that which is unseen

it is reality, and my escape

your story if so discovered

these things that never were

(painting, 1974)

* * *

see the glory that exists

worship the sun's glitter

on high cliff's edge

as free as the clouds

that crown it in colors

shaped by oceans

that listen only to themselves

touch this earth

you have come from

for this is beauty

and my god

* * *


if the day dawns bright

think of me...

for a moment

if the day is with rain and gloom

think of me...

for a moment

if the day dawns not at all

you are with me...

for a moment

* * *


lightly you cross

the path of my life

a mist of pleasure

is your smile

to hold

to want

to love

I am the slave

of your presence

* * *


whispered thoughts

break the calm

say those words

I've known before

binding the promises

of summer days

and breezes

in the nights of tomorrow

one of two

two as one


face the way time flows

and live

in that meadow's song

* * *


enter the thoughts of wonderment

cascading through chasms in the mind

swirling purity enhanced by colors

lose the final touch to now

and continue...

into pleasure

 (from a painting)

* * *


follow this path

it starts where it ends

it begins when its over

imparts nothing

asks nothing

is nothing

when you walk alone with many

and see it's the way

you've always imagined

lose just one feeling

and become what you have wanted

 (from a drawing)

* * *


sing a soft song as I depart

it is over, and all that I know follows:

I am abandoned on loneliness

each breath reminds me

of the thousand more I must take

to continue this

some would search for hope

I search for a non-existent eternity

terror owns me, panic controls me

and this thing screams inside of me

it screams to be in command

I am strong now, but it grows

and I am slowly withering

so it is I screaming this time

remove me

before my human feelings are lost

care for me

away from the pain of seeing

away from seeing the pain

but the people turn away

a million blank stares

looking the other way now

a million empty minds

considering a million useless thoughts

die people, die as the sun turns red above you

your death is as senseless as your life

crumbled ashes are your remains

just as your dreams and hopes before you

it laughs...

and I laugh for the last time

because the echo follows me

as I am no more

* * *


worlds that beckon

be wary of such places

seduced already by your needs

fools make themselves

with traps that need no spinning

fools react to the shimmering shell

and ignore the consuming fire

fools never see themselves

until the end

when their game

becomes their mirror

* * *


I have found words

without meaning

and empty gestures

I have found some things

that only appear to be real

and evil hidden

by thin veils of goodness

I have found and felt

the despair of existing

balanced forces exist

that is just one side

of being able to understand

I've meet people

who speak words from inside

whose gestures

tell about themselves

not all is evil

and there is a reality

my reality and yours

the electricity of being...

* * *


I lay bound in a pit of sorrow

the BLACKNESS drips cold... on stone

and emptiness is my warmth

with pinpoint stars for cushions

I am stretched across

universes of hard light

enter, the advent of insanity

of death hidden in everyone's mind

the end of misery

and the extinction of man

by this premature holocaust

that happened to late

* * *


On that day to end all days

it will begin...

as yesterday and today began

and will happen...

this bright orange flare of defeat

instantaneous hell...

and eternal peace

my one wish...

finally granted

On that day to end all days

those who quiver in corners...

are not forgotten

embrace this death...

as your mother

all end of life...

that we're aware of

learn our future...

through my words

On that day to end all days

so discover me...

in this explosion's glare

and touch your mind...

to dreams so fair...

On that day...

to end...

all days

* * *










* * *


to have happiness

is to be lost

in peaceful times

* * *


sparkling strength

forest waterfall

of greens and blues and white

constantly renewed beauty

of shimmering diamonds

tumbling about worn rocks

of great patience

crashing and screaming

to a foaming death

and reborn

to continue flowing

approached by many

known only to few

this parallels all life

* * *


who's this inside

that knows these questions

what's this thing

that sometimes takes control

is it evil or is it blessed

or is it my soul, finally at rest

* * *


be free, in that corridor

of sun's rays

explore twisting steps

of the shadow's maze

burn through myriad patterns

of jeweled stars

for exploring these prisons

of ghostly bars

have found infinite feelings

the understanding of white

empty of all troubles

I have diminished

life's fight

* * *


a time

the time

for feeling the way

the way things really are

absorbed into thoughts

thoughts of happiness and peace

the peace of living and enjoying

enjoying the coolness

the coolness of you

* * *


through blood caves of frustration

on murky water, with no place to flow

variations of hell painted all around me

and this black stench touches my soul

what chokes all life that here enters

and scatters shattered bones

for intruders to find

I give no clues to the answer

and fear to discover it

while so blind

with no hope

except that it's soon over

may my death

be a journey


* * *


I dare you to invoke those thoughts which are hidden


buried in groves of complacency

covered by the mire of contentment

I dare you to think with freedom of purpose

and life's light surrounding your deeds

glistening with the untold power within you

I dare you to live, as I dare you to die,

to accomplish that which provides the most satisfaction

and take pride, so that it may build in you

* * *


seen as the passage

of life and living

borne to the end gracefully

on eye of yellows

shielded from black sadness

no part in harm

made by the two of you

together it stands

no fear of feeling

those thoughts deep inside

no fear of enjoying

life's only ride

 (painting, Charles & Mary, 8/75)

* * *



so as the story is made to go on

and the player's separation ends it not


for in one other place it continues


for in one other time it is

discovery of life in this moments peace

of knowledge...

of touching...

of flowing...

so when found in places

of troubled surroundings

return to this haven

that you have known

(painting, Fawn, 9/75)

* * *


lament for the night

have you ever felt like the night

in one orchestra of star's light

with the moon tearing sharp voids in the sky

and on the morrow when I cry

sense of sorrow, crutches of pain

I begged release

and am now insane

unholy demon of whispers and thought

which I mentally wrestled and bravely fought

what price do I pay to know this spring

what is this battle

what does victory bring

will it be freedom

will it be hell

I speak to the night

but it never does tell

* * *

make the mind empty of all thought

with the breath of sleep on your lips

carefully relax your centers of tension

as the body floats through skies of soft colors

open a circular door to admit a hidden person

explore those dusty isles from which emerged

different, yes, this dream side

to change, merge the inner and outer you

and find that the result

is the total of you

* * *


corridor of shadowed desires

not admitted to conscious thought

harvest pleasures

heretofore unknown

and bask in the shining light

of fulfillment

* * *


the death of one

I give you the choice of many

select from the infinite variety of possibilities

it will not be as any life worn before

you have already paid the price

don't hurry

you have all the time in the world

* * *


the death of myself

remembered only by myself

mourned only by myself

reborn to this world of confusion

see the trickery of society

the fallacy of belonging

structured to rigid form is of the past

the present is the regrouping of thoughts

and the future is the achievement

of constant change

* * *


tunnel blackness


sorrow unknown


taste the future


one, with the future

and all it demands

one, with the past

just as you planned

one, with the present

you in command

* * *

fragile intercourse

too soon broken

has taken the life's spark

and returned to blackness

that which seeked the light

* * *


in the space between what I see *

and how I see * exist the shapes

of this moment * I sense the

lifespan and patterns of emotion *

the initial twist * a millisecond

of intertwining fire * and leaden

weight * dissipating * diffusing *

disappearing * the blue of yesterday

becomes the gray of tomorrow * the

mixing of dimensions * unravels the

weave of living * leaving only the

remains of this life * leaving only

the dust of accomplishments *

* * *


endless... endless thunder

rolling over tormented gray

as seen through viscous black

beneath sad... sad waters

this unwanted solitude

that holds me back

may justice call

an innocent plea

so worlds will know

that I am free

and no more assume this stance

for sorrows unknown

when the whispers of crying people

shatter tomorrow

the thorns of broken silence

will be felt by all

* * *


for Fawn

take this jewel

of ocean's giving

feel the sun's kiss

as it pierces fog

enjoy the colors

of a Haven's beauty

know that story

that explains it all

these are my presents

freely given

so as my love

I hear your call

* * *


integral stimulus

white on morning newness

grays of shadowed pasts

never to be returned to

delicate lace

shining as to absorb more sky's blue

I am free from that which sought me

morning progression

and left behind

* * *


I search those clouds that

rim one horizon of mine in mystery

I unravel those secrets that

compel me to be

I know my life, whether for

crying or for laughing

to be only mine

I find my comfort

in those tears that no one sees

* * *


the streams of mountain stillness calls

past ancient rocks that know the past

this sparkling sunshine of winter's snow

from high cliff's edge

it floats, not falls

collecting in icy pools

I quench my thirst

and drink deep this life

I'm destined to know

* * *


temptress of sorrow

feel my despair

crowded walls

so deeply etched

of corners

and the mystery of dark

to control

what I reveal

deep journeys

time is unexplored memories

return as outside myself

temptations of the unholy


seek for me the days of tomorrow

patiently I take my future

and with sorrow

follow my path

* * *



winter's snow

greeting the dawn

see thousands of suns

breathe from that fire

and know

that summer's symphony

is silenced

so too

like memories of you


they exist in me...

as vapor

turned to diamonds

* * *


for Fawn

(a good-bye with love)

as the night... I spiral to my end

one kiss of life I need to send

fly tomorrow's joy that will be known

look towards yourself when you have grown

bright needles glare

of lost starry tears

those blue filmy shadows

of brushed aside years

remember the feeling

of smiles experienced here

remember my touches

while knowing my fear

* * *

black shadow

stretched from horizon

to infinity

over what is mine

touches me, pierces me

zig-zagged, superimposed

flash of colored brilliance

burns with feelings I control

painted on the universe

for one second

missed by all

but still mine

* * *


walking wooded hills

and patches of sun

this trail of golden and brown

leads me on

to this hidden fortress

its walls jeweled with reflections

see the reenactment

of stories once told

this yesterday's mirror

has answers for me

* * *

I find my life structured

on mistakes of the past

there is happiness knowing

that life improves with learning

* * *

p o n 

(during submarine service)  

1 9 7 4 - 1 9 7 6 

copyright Patrick O'Neil

* * *