And Only The Darkness Was Left
by Alex Penland

a poem written by an ai text synth using a neural network and the titles of rebellious young adult novels during the potential final decades of the human race (and only darkness was left)

a labyrinth of bones
to the end of the land
the end of all things
and only darkness was left

I have no words
that I can make for this poem
because it is the end of all things
and the only thing left is my heart
I will be here till I meet you again
and I will have no other words

it is the night of all things (and only darkness was left)

As I stand now in the mist
In the last raindrop of the rain season
The first thing I will remember
Is how the morning air was

The last time that we slept in the same room
The last time we danced together
The last time I wrote you poetry
The last time we shared our lives

What makes a soul take leave of the earth
Leaving us to grieve

The first thing that we must do is leave
the land of the dead
and leave all sorrow behind us

It is the night of the last raindrop
And it is the night of all things

We are standing in the mist
And it is the end of all things
and only darkness was left

and only darkness was left

around the eyes.
But the eyes looked at each other,
at the man and at the woman,
and the man understood.

It’s a feeling of lightness and relief,
when you’re on the bottom
and everything seems to be above you
in the dark, and it’s as though
you’re floating free.

and only darkness was left (2)

and only darkness was left
over for the final seconds,
you see that?
And the final seconds
of the day, right?
And then there’s a moon
and a sun and this is–
this is that.
These are the two times,
this is the time and that’s
the other time.
And then we think about these
two things, the two lights,
the two spaces,
the two times.

So they’re in all ways
the same.
It’s just that you think
about them in different ways.

And if you’re like me,
when you’re trying
to think of–

If it’s morning,
you think of the sun.
And then, if it’s evening,
you think of the moon.

But it’s the same thing. 

Let me just write it down.

and only darkness was left (3)


I will give to you
the gift of fire
(and the gift of silence)

and only darkness was left (#)

As the last star faded into the dawn
And I began to hear voices singing
Not of God or the soul, but only of men
Whose souls he had taken
Whose souls he had taken


#### I 

The sun is rising out of a sky streaked with pink and purple. The birds are already beginning their morning songs.  The grass glistens wetly in the dew. Everything is still and expectant and it is a day I have waited to feel and when I feel it I am overwhelmed. I feel the air and I feel the light and the earth. I feel the birds as they sing. I feel the grass as I walk across the yard. I feel the wind as I stand on the back porch. And I feel a warmth in my soul that, like the morning sun, cannot be denied.

Alex Penland is currently studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh. They’re a Pushcart-nominated author, a Smithsonian alumnus, and an amateur linguist. Their work has been published in the Midwest Review and Orion’s Belt magazine and is upcoming in Interzone. Find them at


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