A Light

A light twinkles

In the distance;

It is my hope,

Fragile, yet strong.

Will a big gust of wind

Blow out my candle?

I am protected

By many walls:

Meds, doctors,

Counselors, family,

Friends and helpers.

That gust of wind

Can blow if it must,

But my light will not

Be extinguished.

I will use

The tools I’ve been given.

I will continue the struggle,

And I will win.

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Strong

Experience.

A light bulb turns on.

Words flow like breathing.

Comfortable.

Fellow warriors

Keeping each other company.

Along for the ride,

Together.

Be there for you,

Whenever you need someone.

Any time, any place.

Trust me.

I’ll hold out a light

So you can see your way.

Brothers and sisters

Of mental illness.

Strong.

Perseverance

A Miracle

Gliding along the currents of air,

I’m lifted by the light that shines on me.

Love permeates my being,

Like a spear piercing my side.

The nails are hammered through

My ragged wrists. I cry out,

My God, my God, why?

Have you forsaken me?

The dusk descends and they lower

My cross, loosen my body

And carry me to my tomb.

I stand on a mountaintop.

Throw yourself down!

God’s angels will save you.

Turn these stones into bread.

You are hungry. Go ahead.

Freedom! I am set free by God’s hand.

Risen at last and the tombstone

Is rolled away.

Bend Your Knees!

Do you wonder how I feel?

I want to curl up in a ball.

Go to sleep and never wake up,

Except I don’t live in a vacuum.

There are family and friends,

My wife, of course,

At the top of the list.

If I left the state of things

Would be grim, full of sin,

And everything.

You look so thin!

You look so nothing,

So drab, so flat.

You look like you’re losing

All your fat!

You are mine and I am yours.

Made for each other

In heaven, by George.

We’ll go out together

Or maybe you first.

That’s the way you want it,

On earth.

I don’t know what I’d do

With myself.

Wrestle dust balls from the shelf.

There’s much to look forward to

In this life.

But I can’t remember

Any but strife.

There’s much to hope for,

Much to dream,

But all I want to do

Is scream.

We’ll make it.

Don’t you worry.

There’ll be lots of fun and flurry.

We will gather all around.

We won’t stop for any sound.

Come with me to the holy gate.

Promise I won’t be irate.

We’ll enjoy your company.

We’ll be sure to bend our knees,

Jumping off the side of the boat,

In the castle’s shallow moat.

Trial Size

Sloping down and then back up, like a speeding truck, I am searching for your love. Transubstantiate, lift then push, then go all out, a mystery solved, doubts soothed, memories calmed, nightmares called what they are. Do you dream at night? I do. I fly through the sky on my back, steering with my feet. Trial size.

Both Ways

Sharing smothered thoughts,

Restricted feelings abound.

Hesitation rules the imagination,

Hiding from the truth,

Although it tortures me.

Yearning for stability,

Some kind of consistency.

If only I could have it both ways!

Poetry is Not the Giving Tree

Chillin’ in my chair,
Trying not to stare
Into the distance
As I feel my stance

Wobbly beneath me.
A busy day, costly
To my mind and body.
But brings home for thrifty

Purchases of necessities.
Do you blame me
For leaving early
Today? Every

Day, I give my energy
To my company,
Hell or high sea.
Sometimes I see

How it rearranges me.
I wonder if there could be
Some other job for me,
But it’s not likely.

So, even though
I don’t say no
To opportunity,
My situation tires me.

Could there be
Another way for me
To make money?
Poetry is not the Giving Tree

That I wish it could be.
Skeptically,
You look at me,
Saying, “But it could be!”

Oh, Poetry!
How you edify me!
But you don’t feed me.
Slinking slowly

Out of reality,
I have a fantasy
Of how it could be,
But, alas, I am not free

To write constantly.
I must work to see
My paycheck biweekly
Deposited, usually.

So you ask me,
“Don’t you want to be
All that you could be?”
It is enough for me

To pay my usury.
My creditors love me
For my money,
Not my poetry!

A Second Birth

Crawl down
Underneath the ground.
Bury yourself,
But don’t make a sound.

Fury follows you
Into the unknown.
It fries your flesh.
It crushes your bones.

You try to escape,
But there is no turning back.
You must keep going
On this dark path.

Can you see
The pain in my eyes?
Can you feel
The one I despise?

It all comes down
To one simple thing:
Will you forgive?
You must cut this string.

It binds you tight
To your inner fears.
It ties you up
In knots through the years.

Trying to live
With all of this hate
Boiling inside you
Will drive you insane.

Cut it all loose!
Set yourself free!
Run from this place,
And you will feel glee.

You must tear the truth
From all of these lies.
You must face it now,
You must stop the cries

Of the poor
And the needy.
The world never dies,
Degree by degree.

But instead we will sigh
And forget all our hurts,
Our cold isolation,
A second birth.