Hazel Durham

The Laughing Stars

He lives deep inside himself with burnt out emotions,
He can stll hear his piercing scream's,
When he had a bad fall from a horse in a race,
That ended all his dream's,
His chance gone at becoming top jockey,
He clung desperately onto his fading career,
But the ugly truth has taken hold,
He is stalked by fear.

His bitterness wrenches his heart,
He lives in a small two roomed flat,
Simpe and plain,
He's headman now at a small riding stables,
He ties himself down with an invisible chain,
As his heart bleed's because he has fled,
From the spotlight with the side effects,
Of the steel plate inside his head.

He makes his life comfortable,
He has a fiery temper but he's a hard worker,
Every evening he sit's in the same spot in the local pub,
Talking to the same people,
Drinking his usual pint of Guinness,
Everything the same, until he drives the short journey home,
The mountains looming,
Like giant creatures lurking.

His dream's always come back to knock him out cold,
With his feeling's of been a loner and a loser,
His heart locked and the key lost on the racecourse,
His brown eyes turn black with rage,
Now he exists on a poor wage,
He survives with his good sense of humour,
And his weapon of sarcasm,
Filling the empty chasm.

He now stand's staring at the darkened stable yard,
Fleetingly for a second he believe's he has done well,
Then he glances at the galaxy of stars,
Looking and laughing down at him from afar,
With their aloofness and untouchable presence,
He remembers the scenes in the winners enclosure,
With the crowd cheers,
All he's left with is his deep fears.

His eyes have lost their light,
Without his souls inner sight,
He steps quickly inside his front door,
Away from his glory day's,
Away from the brilliant stars of the night,
Mocking him,
At losing his lonely fight.

Submitted: Friday, September 06, 2013
Edited: Monday, September 09, 2013

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Comments about this poem (The Laughing Stars by Hazel Durham )

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  • Rookie - 764 Points Kenneth Maswabi (12/17/2014 8:50:00 AM)

    i feel so alone just frm reading this poem.very sad.Thanks 4 the beautiful bundle of sadness. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 5,535 Points Daniel Brick (11/11/2014 8:44:00 PM)

    Hi Hazel Allan aka E Nigma believes in this poem in a way different from my belief in it. And he asked me to take another look at the poem and my reaction to it. I have to say I find his interpretation very persuasive. I assumed the man's life was virtually over in any any productive sense. Anthony DiAnno told you a real life story of a player terribly injured who gave up and self-destructed. That's the future I feared for your character. But Allan found a different way to respond to the poem and thus suggested a diferent future for the character. WHAT IF after carrying that weight for a long, long time he would look up at the the laughing stars and not hear laughter of contempt which humiliates him but the laughter of hope which inspires him. And then he gives himself a second chance, a comeback. It's at least a possibility because this is fiction and you can shape whatever reality you want. (I sound like Leonardo da Caprio in INCEPTION!) But your poem is excellent whether or not there is another chapter to this man's story. (Report) Reply

    Freshman - 1,249 Points E Nigma (11/11/2014 10:17:00 PM)

    I approve of this comment. It's great as a stand alone poem but I could totally see a second part to this story as well. Either way it is great! Ed

  • Freshman - 1,249 Points E Nigma (11/9/2014 11:02:00 AM)

    I like the story within this poem. The man has been broken but isn't really defeated he is just in a slump because he continues to live in the past and hasn't fully embraced his present state. He realizes all that is going on but until he accepts it and embraces it he will always be stuck in the past. Clinging to dreams that are no longer alive.

    At first when I was reading this poem I thought maybe the guy became paralyzed and he does BUT not in the physical sense it shows in the line... 'He ties himself down with an invisible chain' that says it's a fearful internal struggle replaying the tragedy over and over again in his head. He wants to ride again and still has the desire to so do it but fear keeps him from getting back up on that horse. If he wanted to forget it completely he wouldn't torture himself by hanging around the stables anymore or having anything to do with horses.

    But he still has that little bit of hope inside that he isn't maybe aware of tucked away deep in his subconscious. You can see he's obsessed with overcoming his fear it shows in the line... 'He now stand's staring at the darkened stable yard'. Which reinforces the fact that he isn't crippled he may have a plate in his head but he is able. It shows that not only is he out there working around that which he loves in the day he is also out there late at night in the dark searching within himself for the strength to get back up on that horse and ride again.

    You can see in the last line which is very important to this story that he is LOSING which means he is still in the race he hasn't LOST yet he will be in that race as long as he is alive which for me gives me hope that he will one day ride again. This really could be a 2 part story where in the second part he actually has someward inward or outward catalyst that pushes him to get back on and try again. Maybe something along the lines of a young child prodigy that lacks certain disciplines and experience in riding and he is so motivated by that, that he takes the child under his wing mentoring him/her and that lights a fire underneath his arse to ride again and finally overcome the fear that haunts his heart and mind. Really enjoyed this one hazel! (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 5,535 Points Daniel Brick (10/13/2014 9:33:00 AM)

    I thought the title of this poem was a positive view of the stars, that their laughing was a projection of our laughter, or a symbol of some cosmic order that was all-embracing. Instead it the last thing the poem records which grinds this victim deeper into depression and failure. His accident not only deprived of his career, it also took away his moral identity as a man who could take calculated risks, compete at the highest level, take pride in his accomplishment. His existence can be called pathetic in the pejorative meaning of that word. He continues to live in an environment of his past glory but he's totally alienated. He doesn't belong there anymore. His life is one endless moment of humiliation. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 33 Points Lucifera Santez (11/26/2013 5:38:00 AM)

    wow hazel, you rock.
    this is a masterpiece.
    as usual your amazing work.
    awesome hazel, this is awesome.
    i love it.
    :) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 596 Points Paul Brookes (11/17/2013 3:44:00 PM)

    Such a powerful poem of winning and losing life and death. I like the way it draws the reader in its drama and sadness.10/10 BB : O) (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,035 Points Kanav Justa (11/2/2013 3:30:00 PM)

    ... the way you expressed was simply awsom.... the choice of words... well done... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Abhishek Mishra (9/28/2013 4:37:00 AM)

    Speaking words..a great poem indeed: -)
    please read my poems and comment if you find them worth. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 155 Points Ellias Aghili (9/22/2013 4:33:00 AM)

    well, nothing is stable in our world except death...
    laughing stars is a nice topic and remind me lots of nice imaginations...
    i loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee this poem
    nice story (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,966 Points Valerie Dohren (9/19/2013 1:02:00 PM)

    Life has a habit of kicking one in the teeth and turning everything upside down - a great story expressing how things can change in an instant. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 12,662 Points Valsa George (9/16/2013 12:13:00 AM)

    For a person who once reached the acme and later fallen, life will be miserable and he will have a tendency to lose himself in the glory once gained and now lost. This makes him irritable and dejected. The travail of his mind is powerfully brought out! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Deepak Sawhney (9/15/2013 1:18:00 AM)

    The pinnacle is not only a dangerous place to be at, but very difficult to hold on to too. Unfortunately fate can be diabolical & pull a person down even before he reaches the top.
    A friend survived an air crash where his chances of survival were less than 1-2 %. A couple of months down the line, he had a major heart attack. He survived but found it nigh impossible to cope with the loss of would he could have been. I guess coping with tragic events are individual strengths/weaknesses.
    A beautiful & realistic write, laying bare the aftermath of one such event. (Report) Reply

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