We Are The Wounded

Artemis Sere Obscurious We Are the Wounded

From "Obscurious", Version 8: Page 114, Published 2011

(This blog was originally published May 31, 2013. Updated and bumped to due relevance with the Coronavirus.)

In 2010, I met a man named Randall "Randy" Bunde. I tend to gravitate towards people that have a calm, sensitive presence. Randy was a tall fish in short water, with a gentle sensibility and pain-infused wisdom that you could read on his slight brow.

He'd weathered much over his 48 years--a heartwrenching divorce, distancing of his kids, and Colitis, a chronic condition that limits the effectiveness of your gastric organs. Few realize how impossible life becomes when your pipes don't work. You can't eat well, drink well, sleep well, function well as a normal human being. Pain is your center and your constant; discomfort and internal stress are your daily truths.

He knew my path well, as he walked a similar road in the early stages of his declining health. While I was fortunate to find a way to achieve equilibrium with the curses, he was not so. He went from pouch surgery to cancer in various places, seldom finding the healthy plateau that the chronically stricken wish for.  Last March, he passed away from complications of cancer, initiated by the ulcerative chronic state that struck him years before. While I was healing, he was falling apart--the two of us true dichotomies of chronic results.

Today, my friend would have been 50 years old. I wrote this poem for him and about him while he was still alive, a tribute to the war that those people who have chronic health conditions wage every day. Every minute. Every second. Every bowel movement, and every glass of water that doesn't go down well.

We are all wounded, in different ways, and it is true madness that we as a species can't find a way to take care of each other, as needed.

We have become as disposable as our consumer mindset.

I had no idea that Randy would exit from my orbit so quickly--a second lesson to keep close: life is fleeting, so treasure the precious moments that you have with you true friends, family and loved ones.

Happy birthday, Randy. Lightspeed, my dear friend.


in sickness
or in health
is not a choice
we have, but
a bond we all share
to care
for the fallen
and the wounded
of our world
for we each walk
on either side of that
crimson line
where decay becomes
the color of our days,
where there is no detour
and there is no escape,
one morning risen,
the next mourning,
a wake,
we all break down and
eventually lose our way
and even the chosen
must pay with life
for their grace
you are no different,
no better, not great
and at some point
you too will fall
into sickness and
require assistance
to stand up

Artemis Sere Obscurious We Are the Wounded


Artemis Sere Slay the Diplomat
Friend or foe
You never truly know
Trust is earned
Patience is sold
Color of skin
Cost of sin
Switch your coat
With a Cheshire grin
Extend your hoof
To shake as hands
Bow your horns
As custom demands
Build your bridges
Across the chasms
Tend to the stitches
When hopes spasm
Evangelist by trade
Optimist by fa├žade
Bringing light to the dark
With one Janus god
Tithe to the towers
Stained glass and ornate plates
Delivering the answer
Of coming fate
Welcome his coming
Before it's too late
Prostate as servant
Renounce your state
Resist the madness
As the heralds swap hats
Avenge assimilation
And slay the diplomat
Artemis Sere Slay the Diplomat

Shore of the Tortured City

Artemis Sere Shores of the Tortured City

This poem was written as a connected response to my colorful painting of the same name, featured as the cover of this blog and included below.

The piece captures the current gritty state of consumerism, society and humanity's addiction to greed. It depicts the abstract silhouette of a burning metropolis, as seen from across the plane of the polluted water it edges, while civilization on land is engulfed in catastrophic immolation.

The painting features regular and glow-in-the-dark acrylic on 24 x 36 canvas with a homemade gesso base layer. 

Shore of the Tortured City

Today I burn
The worries of the human world
As kindling for kindness
As fuel for renewal
The anger seethes
And fouls the air
From shore to shore
Pushing despair

And excess

Too numb to notice
Too complicit to change
Too invested to deviate
Too wasted to rage
Dragged to the edge
By liars and thieves
Led to revenge
By savage needs

And avarice

Who are we
When the numbers are done
When time is up
And nothing is won
The pollution remains
To choke our lives
The bloodshed rains
To secure our survival

And dominance

United but separate
Controlling and violent
Fading yet present
Pious and silent
We the people
More different than same
We were never equal
Sold a winless game

And wicked genesis

Watch as fires consume
Our hopes and dreams
Deconstruct through flame
Ashen each standing beam
On the shores of tragedy
We welcome the fall
Of our constant torture
Once and for all

We welcome bliss

Artemis Sere Shores of the Tortured City


Who are you
Who have no anchor
No past, no future
No happy ever after
Of uncommon roads
And off-beaten plots
Lost the path to light,
Hope left alone
To rot

Who are you
Without needle
Without way
No flicker of hope
The white spun gray
Lost in phantom forests
To a shadow’s call
Who are you bewildered one
Who are you after all

The said and done
Has come and gone
Wishes laid to waste
Rights wrung into wrongs
Vengeance runs tasteless
Epitaphs without song
Darkness without space
A hell everlong, torture

Who are you
But a nameless face
A rubbed away tombstone
A soul removed from grace
You’d construct oblivion
If you could find the trowel
To build a void betwixt
Past failures and today’s
So swing the mallet
Tenderize your heart
Bludgeon the will
Incise the disparate parts

Prep the leeches
To consume the disease
Eat deep and complete
Ye blinded beasts
Burrow into flesh
Feast on the meat
You are sacrifice
The end in deed
Up fron the underside
A stricken breed

Who are you
Who walks in the shade
No past, No future
No need for the human