Have I not hurt enough? ~ A poem

Has the earth decided 

That because I have roots

I may be whipped by the wind 

Until all of my leaves are torn away?

Have I not hurt enough?

Has the sky decided

That the dark, icy grip of the night

Is merely a payment I owe

For the beautiful, but distant stars?

Have I not hurt enough?

Has the universe decided

That since I am a speck in the galaxy 

To never allow me to forget 

That I am small and insignificant?

Have I not hurt enough?

Has it been decided 

That the suffering forced upon us

By forces over which we hold no power

Is no more than a part of Life?

Have we not hurt enough?


A. C. Mortale 


Lost Love ~ A Poem

You called me your greatest treasure

And then played me to your tune,

Just an instrument for your pleasure 

You, the earth, and I, the moon;

In retrospect, I was innocent, naive

Being yours was my obsession,

Eager to be loved, so quick to believe,

That I was more than a possession;

Now your touch when our hands join

That once made me feel cherished, 

Feels like greedy hands on a coin

Once craved, now a passion perished;

Our actions seemed like rehearsals

For a future love, not yet true,

I’m sorry, but I tire of running circles

Around the words “I love you.”

Your presence, or rather lack thereof, 

Shall no doubt linger on my mind,

But lonely is not cured by love 

Once love is left behind.

A. C. Mortale

If “I love you” falls from his lips (A Poem)

If “I love you” falls from his lips

Like stray sparks from a dying flame

And his eyes reflect like empty glass

His whisper, an echo of your name—

Step back, my dear. Step back.

Even the brightest, most passionate fire

Crumbles the world to ash and dust

These embers are quick to light and blaze 

Desire is not love, and neither is lust.

A.C. Mortale

An Eternal Burden ~ poem

Unwelcome crow has come to perch,

Upon a weak and dainty shoulder;

Its weight a hindrance, its caws chaotic

Sounding in the ears of its beholder;


Casting shadows while its beady eyes

Fixate on trembling hands and knees,

Always near, in relentless pursuit,

When the frightened mortal flees;


Its presence is an untimely promise

Of an end to life, one’s final breath,

However, dying is quite irrelevant

Far worse things come after death;


No shoulder left weightless, none bare—

Defeat has turned crow into companion,

Once great, people stood on mountains

But now they plunge into the canyon;


Crows, how lovely, take one or more!

Your worth, its presence can determine,

Without absolution, ignorance is futile

For eternal is a Sinner’s Burden.


A.C. Mortale




Expectations Among the Stars

The world is spinning.

I’m motionless.

I’m caught in a rift in time, watching in excruciating silence as people pass by, and I’m blocking them out, all of them.

It’s like I’m drowning, sinking deeper and deeper while a flurry of boats above me spread over the surface, masking the struggle of my submersion.

It’s like I’m holding a tall pile of papers, incapable of seeing around it as I climb uphill, afraid to lose a single important document because they contain my identity. But each step is worse than the last, and gradually, the wind pushes me back, sweeping away the precious papers.

Nobody else feels it. I’m just the quiet one, standing in the crowd with my hands shaking, because when I’m around people, I get chills. The cold seeps into my bones, and I’m losing control. I’m losing the part of me I feel I have when I’m alone. I’m losing myself.

In this world, I am a number—casually dismissed by wary eyes that scan over the lists of thousands. And yet, how can a number be weighed down by such heavy expectations?

“The top. Aim for nothing less.” These words resound in my soul, its echoes an endless reminder of the world I am to be pushed into, but with it, exists a fear. Assuming that I meet this expectation, what then? Perhaps, once I reach the top I will be tempted to look down and realize how close I really am to the ground. Perhaps the view of the mountain from ground level was more beautiful than the view of the world from the peak.

More frightening still is the idea that, at that peak, I will not be satisfied. The incessant voices of expectation urge me to be better than others, but the true competitors are not those who walk this path with me. We can race each other to the top, but success lies amongst the stars.

Yes, I am a number. Just one in more than seven billion people. Dismiss me with your eyes and mind. Expect of me the greatest. I will not fail to meet your expectations. Just know that when I have reached the top, free from the restraints of expectation, I shall be inclined to reach the stars.

Then, I will be one among hundreds of billions, and those blank eyes with which I was once so casually dismissed shall sparkle with admiration when they look up at the starry sky.

A.C. Mortale