Castle in the air

There is a castle I live in, with glass walls that kiss the sky.

It holds clasped around it an air of mystique, of whispered secrets and hushed murmurs, cloaked around those four glass walls no one has seen within. There are no doors and windows. No way of entering at all. The glass is tinted, so that everything inside is merely a grey blur.

Inside: the grass is dead, the air stale.

Each day, I step outside, and I am remoulded, recast into different flesh, en vogue.

I step outside and my shadow is lighter, as though I have left a shade of it behind.

I step outside, and my world is anything I want it to be.

I can be one amidst a million again, a thread blending seamlessly into the cloth. Or I can be a single streak of silver against black.

I am a storyteller: telling fairytales of life inside the grey, never lying, nothing true.

Look at the tapestries, I entreat, flourishing the cobwebs that hang from the ceilings.

I am an enchantress: weaving threads of magic in place to fabricate my own reality.

Look at the grandeur, I urge. How the walls stroke the skies, crystal glistening in the moonlight, outshining the stars.

I am an architect: setting stone upon stone, carving a world into being.

Look at the glass walls, I whisper. For you shall see nothing beyond it.

I am anything I want to be.

Your eyes widen, in awe, in admiration. In wonder.

It a heady feeling, that sense of being put on a pedestal, as if the laws of gravity no longer apply to me.

As though I could fly as long as I don’t look down.

I can no longer stop, I have gone too high to fall.

I cannot bring myself to care.

I can fly.

Which is the dream now? Which is the lie?

Then one day, you arrive. You knock at the glass, hand rapping sharply on the walls with no doors. I do not respond. You should not be here.

You knock again.


I hold my breath and then sigh, leaning against the walls.

Footsteps echo into silence. You are gone.

I am relieved. Relieved of the truth, of how close you came to seeing it.

But there is a twinge of something I cannot identify right there. Regret? Longing? It is not pleasant, whatever it is, and I dismiss it.

I have only a second’s warning when glass explodes into the air, cracks spiderwebbing along the walls.

You walk straight through: through the tinted glass, the façade of castles and fairy tales, tapestries and skyscrapers.


You do not flinch.

Not when the glass shards pierce through your skin, blood dripping onto the dusty wooden floors.

Not when you take in the cobwebs, the damp, musty smell of neglect.


I want to scream. To rant and rage. To throw a fit.

You are not supposed to be here.

I say nothing.

The balance has shifted. The power is in your hands.

You say nothing.

I strike out like a cornered animal, glaring into your eyes, challenging you to make a single misstep, longing for you to just give me a reason to be angry. It simmers just underneath the surface, underneath this overwhelming shame, the guilt.

My pedestal has gone, and I am falling, falling. I look down.

I am Cinderella, without the –ella, only ashes.

I will not be ashamed, there is nothing to be ashamed of.

Exposed. Vulnerable. It’s too much. Too soon.


And then you make an obscene comment.



The transition is smooth. Seamless. There is no hitch, no falter in your steps. No pity in your eyes.

The air is stale, the grass dead, but you are the same.

I am grateful.

There is a castle I live in, with glass walls that kiss the skies. There are no doors and windows, no way of entering at all. The glass is tinted, so that everything inside is merely a grey blur.

I pause for effect with all the grace of a serial-gossip about to reveal the biggest secret of her infamous career.

But there are ways, I whisper into your ears. Cracks in the glass.

I nod emphatically for emphasis.

Who knows? One day, she might let you in.



117 thoughts on “Castle in the air

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  1. I absolutely love this.

    If my interpretation is correct I have been there before…past hurt caused me to lock myself in a castle (I used to visualize it as a wall but a castle without doors is so much better)…and then someone comes along that on the one hand you hope will break through but on the other hand you are not willing to let them in..still you hope. And then you think that the walls have kept them out and you are disappointed but relieved and then your walls are shattered and you are angry relieved vulnerable and so many other things….

    Thank you for sharing this it touched me. ❤️

    Liked by 4 people

  2. A wonderful piece. I do not want to interpret it here because I feel that with the way you have used metaphors as a way to describe it in many ways, this entire thing can be interpeted many ways. Thus it truly is fantastic and refreshing to read. I read it twice and I felt different both times about it, but if I read it again it will probably be different once more.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s an old saying that goes an artist is someone who wants to be seen and hidden at the same time, which I think describes the main character in this poem quite well. I like the line, ‘never lying, nothing true,’ that’s my approach to writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmm I find that I’ve mirrored that in my writing as well, though I hadn’t really acknowledged it until now. That’s really an interesting way to look at it:
      “Never lying. Nothing true.”

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here! It really means a lot ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! That means more than you could ever imagine. ❤
      Unfortunately, I'm trying to keep the site an award-free zone for now so I'm afraid I can't put up a post to acknowlegde it… thank you so much, though, for the gesture. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so beautiful Natalie! I am simply not able to interpret it or understand this completely but every time I read this I seem to connect with the narrator. It’s as if you’ve created an actual castle of your own and when I read about it, I delve into the imaginary world of glass walls, not able to comprehend every detail yet feeling as if I was meant to be in that world at that time. This post left me speechless for a long while, trying to understand the whole thing. A marvelous read!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. wow… your writing left me in an awe.. not just because it is so beautiful, but the fact that I can connect to the whole story that makes me shudder and pity and empathy to the character. Is the castle a metaphor for a person who shut down his/her heart for any people?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! That really means a lot to me ❤
      Unfortunately, as I'm trying to keep the blog an award free zone, I'm afraid I can't put a post to accept it. But thank you so much for the gesture. I'm honoured you thought I was worthy of it. ❤
      And congratulations on recieving it! You deserve it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This piece blurs the line nicely between elegance and intensity; even between poetry and prose, a compliment I’ve received for my own work. I also enjoyed the transitions from first-person to second-person. I’d call it “trippy,” but that word leaves quite a bit to be desired. I noticed a few minor grammatical errors, but your writing style kept me engaged throughout.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I just visited your blog and I can definitely see why they would say that… the writing was absolutely beautiful, and served to embellish an engaging storyline- which is something I feel my pieces are lacking in. I’m afraid my writing is teetering more on the side of poetry at the moment.
      And if you don’t mind, could you point out those places I’ve stumbled in grammer? I can’t seem to find them when I read through myself, and it would be so helpful.
      Thanks again! ❤


      1. Consider this line: “There are no doors and windows, no way of entering at all.” I don’t think that “There are” (plural) works, grammatically, with “no way” (singular). In this instance, I might change the wording to “There are no doors and windows, no entrances at all.” That way, all of the nouns are plural, and there is no grammatical disagreement between the verb (are) and the nouns. “There are no doors and windows; there is no way of entering at all” might also work, since it divides the sentence into two independent clauses; the first is plural, and the second is singular. This solution is grammatically acceptable.

        “I have only a seconds warning when…” I believe this should be “second’s”. The narrator only has the warning of a second; it is “a second’s warning.” The apostrophe is necessary to denote the second’s possessive relationship with the word warning.

        “I strike out like a cornered animal, glaring into your eyes, challenging you to make a single misstep, longing for it, give me a reason to be angry.” I think this would sound better as “longing for you to give me a reason to be angry.”
        Well, I hope this helps. Feel free to point out any errors you see in my own work, if you happen to be on my blog. (I’m hoping to add some new material soon, as I’ve alluded to in various updates.) Also, thank you for your kind words regarding my writing!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Mmm thank you so much, I’ll definitely update the piece and consider everything you’ve mentioned in my next one. I guess when I’ve broken so many other ‘conventional’ grammar rules already (incomplete sentences, starting with conjunctions, etc), I tend to let my guard down when it comes to rules that actually help a piece read better.
          Thank you so much for taking the time to point it out! It definitely takes a third perspective sometimes, and it’s so rare to get constructive criticism from a reader.

          You’re more than welcome, and I’d be happy to return the favor. Looking forward to seeing you around! ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, I read this a few times and I think that every time I felt something different. The first time around it was wonder, then sadness, then hope…. this piece is so great 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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