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Robert Pegel: The Pain of it All/In the Cotton Clouds

Image: Unsplash, downloaded ( 28.11.2021.

Days of Longing

Be still

in the eye of the storm

when everything goes wrong

continue and just be.

Never is easy.

We don’t get to decide

how long the ride.

Go to bed one night

never wake the next day.

Don’t attach to this life.

Never asked to be born

so why be afraid to die

when it’s as natural as breathing?

Who knows what season

we will start or end in.



I don’t know anything.

Of this I am sure.

Stuck in the middle of a dream

hoping that someone will appear

at the final hour

and save the day.

Until that time

mind and body

please serve me well.

World weary days seem

to last forever.

Only so much

a heart can withstand.

Graceful Flight

Nature in harmony is proof of God.

Let your energy run through me.

Help to galvanize me.

Souls collide

in a celestial space.

Life and all its troubles

are a permanent part

of the puzzle.

Am I going down the path

that leads to understanding?

If not, reverse course

and set out again.

And again.

Fly gracefully

like I belong in the sky.

Last beyond

a cold indifferent world.

Stay in the moment

and celebrate a special life lived

on unfair terms.

Adapt to the circumstance.

Endure the weather.

Rest easy.

One day we will fly together.

Irrepressible spirits

Where nothing life

sends is overwhelming.

Just another emotional wave

to ride to shore.

Light as a Feather

I know you can see me

even though I can’t see you.

There’s a bond unbreakable

and a love unshakable


In my mind’s eye

I feel something bigger

than this world

is happening.

Hard to hold on

to this feeling constantly

in the face of the unknown.

Take a leap of faith

even if I land in the rabbit hole

of short-term doubt.

Keep moving forward trying

not to get lost in my mind.

Devotedly searching for

a peace out there somewhere

waiting to be had.

And though I push in the

right direction it remains

elusively out of reach.

All the longing doesn’t

bring it closer.

If thoughts of love

could move mountains

I’d wish you back here

standing next to me

and all would be fine in

the world again.

If only we could rule space

and time.

Faith isn’t light.

Survival isn’t easy.

Living without you

is more than I am able

to do at times.

Wish I were weightless

with the next gust of wind

I could float away

high above the clouds.

Never to be seen from

in the same form again.

Out of Body

The release is really happening.

Now float.

Just relax and accept it.

High above it all.

Even my own body.

Amazingly, like I’m a hot

air balloon.

Watch myself

from outside myself.

Never imagined death

could be like this.

So natural.

No fear at all.

Something powerful appeared

out of nowhere.

Peace and quiet.

Darkness then

immediate light.

Gentle guiding.

Just another movement forward

gradually lifting up

and disappearing in the

cotton clouds.

Jettisoning my lifeless body.

No need for it anymore.

It served its purpose.

Now it’s time to move on.

One level at a time.


Nothing matters

don’t fool yourself

into believing that it does

all merely a distraction

from what’s at the

heart of it all

free fall into the abyss

never to be seen

in the same form again

sprout wings and come alive

within the adventure

now there is new meaning

circling back to hope

and renewal

destiny is your

newfound friend

embrace the miracle

of the moment

you can transcend

the pain of it all.

About the Author: Robert Pegel is a husband and father whose only child died in 2016. Calvin was just 16 and died in his sleep of unknown causes. Robert writes to process the unimaginable and to try and connect this world and the afterlife. He also finds writing is a therapeutic outlet where creating brings him a sense of transformation. Robert graduated from Columbia University where he majored in English. He has been published in The Madrigal, The Remington Review, Trouvaille Review, A New Ulster, Goat’s Milk, The Pangolin Review, Bluepepper, The Galway Review, Ariel Chart, Grand Little Things and others. He has work forthcoming in 433 Magazine, Resurrection Magazine, North Dakota Quarterly and Mason Street. Robert lives in Andover, NJ USA with his wife Zulma and their Min Pin, dog Chewy.


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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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