The poetry of Zachary Dilks

Heart of Black

Where I go and where I’ve been are null compared to what’s within
The weathered paths I’ve pushed and scars from thickets pushing back
Still, I stall my nerves and travel, guiding as the road unravels
All in awe and baffled by these never ending tracks
They reach for both horizons, oh, these never ending tracks
Heart of gold to heart of black

Step by step and stone by stone I race so far, these feet, from home
And never stepped a foot beyond the threshold of my shack
But for something, I’ve been seeking, when I wake or when I’m sleeping
Weeping for those pieces lost; those pieces that I lack
I sift through mud and blood for all those pieces that I lack
Still, behold this heart of black

Crossed I over crimson rivers, through the woods of bones that shiver
Hoping that I’ll lose myself and never journey back
So, into the dense I wandered, there I sat and there I pondered
Screamed into the yonder and with darkness made a pact
In my loneliness and suffering, with nothing, made a pact
Oh, be bold, this heart of black

Here inside myself sat reaching, bargaining with time; beseeching
Begging for the clocks to halt and leave my soul intact
But came back no word or utter, nothing shouted, nothing stuttered
Only lonely breath and shudders from the warmth I lack
My breath that keeps me company inside this warmth I lack
Dark and cold, this heart of black

Suddenly that silence thundered, tearing all the ground asunder
Broke through shaky bones as if was under some attack
Though my feet began retreating, stopped I and there stood repeating
Pleading with the cosmos “give me what you’ve taken back!
I’d give my all away to have one day with what you’ve taken back”
Please make whole, this heart of black

When no more could I bear silence, turned toward myself in violence
Striking at my eyes and ears with barbed and poisoned tack
Nevermore then could I find the footprints that I left behind
Bereft and stricken deaf and blind to all my aches and cracks
In hopes I’d never have to feel this heart so full of cracks
Hard and tolled, this heart of black

Damned, I still hear nothing pounding, still see nothingness surrounding
Still, I feel these pains along these never ending tracks
Fated for immortal searching, always looking, always lurching
Cursing gods and devils that I’ll never get them back
I scorn this hell and heaven for I’ll never get them back
Eons old, this heart of black

Still, in crimson pools I’m wading, still, in broken woods I’m waiting
Still, I’m screaming out until my voice is hoarse and cracked
Left inside myself, I’m hiding, sifting through this time I’m biding
Pining for the day that I can get those pieces back
The day the dawn will take me and I get those pieces back
Take my soul and come make whole, this heart of black

Zachary Dilks is a poet/writer living outside of Austin, Texas. He writes essays, short stories, children’s books and classical forms of poetry. After the loss of his first born daughter, he dedicates himself to reach out to others in need through his works.


  1. This is a poem that clamors to be read aloud. It has the feel and rhythm of a Edgar Allen Poe creation- the dark swirl of rhyme and the pulse of lament, which carry the reader to a strange, forbidding place.


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