/Darkness Lurking Within* – Ashlee Chiloane

Darkness Lurking Within* – Ashlee Chiloane

Ashlee Chiloane
Writer and Poet – Student at the University of Western Cape – SOUTH AFRICA


Darkness Lurking Within[i]

In the depths of the mind,

Deeper than the deepest mine.

Exists dark mist that corrupts our essence.

It is slippery as smoke, one cannot catch it.

It camouflages to one’s subconscious thoughts,

It requires meaningful focus to unmask.


“It maximise pleasure and minimise pain,

It’s what humans do,” the say.

Truth be told,

I am suspicious of them who utter such words.

Either they are naïve; cognitively impaired even,

Or, they are apprenticing to be sorcerers and sorceresses.

I refuse allow middle ground.


Now, picture this extreme:

On a mundane day you rest under a soothing shade,

You run your eyes around and you see beautiful trees,

Exquisite lake, pretty humans going on with their lives,

And close by you witness an 11 year old on a school uniform.

Somehow, you cannot cease to stare at this attractive child.

Suddenly you realise your gaze is now running lasciviously.


Disgusting, isn’t it?

It evokes gastrointestinal upset[1], doesn’t it?

You’d probably prostrate yourself

And, vow that such abomination

Will never cross your heart again.


But, why would we not do the same to:

Malice, slander, jealousy, anger, greed, pride,

And, even lust on a contemporary?

Perhaps, double standard?

Haven’t you read that out of the heart comes:

Murder, terrorism, corruption, molestation, and oppression?


Introspect yourself and uncover your deviant inventions.

The darkness has rooted a permanent home in your heart,

You will never dispose of it in all your endeavours.

Even so, you can emaciate it;

And, with chains of order and virtue[2] incapacitate it.


Be sure that in your days of strength and peace,

You never leave its cell unattended.

Nor render its existence archaic.

Lest, you will borrow a page from a psalm of David[3].


[1] Gastrointestinal upset – feeling of nausea and vomiting

[2] Chains of order and virtue – righteousness, good choices, right doing

[3] Borrow a page from a psalm of David – you will regret and wail as King David when he slept with another man’s wife, sinned against God, and wrote Psalm 51 to express his remorse, regret, and repentance.

[i] Authors Notes

The poem is addressing the social ills in our society, and resuscitating humanity in us to resist the urge or the inclination to immorality. It addresses the temptations to do wrong and encourage us to resist giving in to the temptations. The poem cautions humanity that every bad choice, harmless it may seem at times, have to be dealt with sincerely as if it were an atrocious act. Of course, I do not mean to overreact or catastrophize events, but treat all temptations seriously since all yield devastating ramifications if they remain unchecked.

The first stanza exposes that in our subconscious thinking we are more often tempted to make bad choices, which blend sometimes with our thoughts. At times, we ignore these temptations as our normal thinking. To evade these bad choices it requires concentration and discernment. The second stanza signifies absurdity of human beings. The third and fourth stanza paints a picture every human would likely agree that it is an epitome of absolute morality.

The fifth stanza challenges you to think about everyday simple moral failures that we sometimes take lightly; however, have devastating effects if not dealt with at their primitive stage. The sixth and seventh stanza offers an advice and hope that we always can overcome the darkness, and make good choices.


For correspondence: ashleechiloane05@gmail.com

Useful links: more poems @ https://allpoetry.com/Ashlee_Chiloane