A Couple of New Poems about Death and Family

Even with everything going on this week I was still able to crank out a couple of poems — and I’m pretty proud of them. Sorry, they’re a bit depressing.

 

The Conclusion

It’s unforgiving and final –
the conclusion of your story.
You hope to slip into the darkness
unscathed and ready
but our end is unpredictable.

Each day brings you closer to your goodbyes –
if a goodbye can even be said at all.
Your memory lingers at first
but time passes and everyone must move on
without you.

Savor every connection a little more
because your demise is always just around the corner.
Not every finale is grand
but we all end up the same –
crumbling into nothingness.

Say what you need to say
before the silence
and don’t look back
because your countdown
has already begun.

 

Little


I’m little
in your eyes –
forever beneath you.

Control me,
silence me
as you always have.

My little voice
is unwelcome –
my words mean nothing.

My little existence means nothing
if it doesn’t make you
look good.

When I stand up
you assume
I want to fight.

I just want to be heard,
considered,
accepted.

Sitting at your table
takes more than blood.
Stay complacent.

Tolerate stinging judgment.
Keep the peace
no matter the cost.

But the cost was
my presence
and now I’m no longer little.

What’s worth the risk?

I have the best job in the world! I paint and write poetry every day. When my shift ends, I go home and do the same thing. I have envisioned this kind of life for as long as I can remember and now it’s actually real. I am so fortunate to get to do the things I love.

At one of our recent writer’s groups at work, we had the prompt “what’s worth the risk?” I immediately thought of my daughter. She was a high-risk pregnancy due to a medication I take. Here’s the poem I wrote:

 

The Risk in the Storm

A tear-soaked past
and a broken brain
were met with resilience
and an abundance of love.

The idea of you
was met with resistance –
the biggest risk
in the smallest package.

You came into this world
in lightning and thunder.
It was the longest night –
out of the darkness came your light.

You were once a dream out of reach
but now I lift you up
to taste the stars
grounded in my purpose.

Six years of giggles and tears,
six years to the moon and back.
You can fall down but get back up
because I promise my love is for life.

You’re the littlest girl
with the biggest heart
and brightest smile.
Let your storm change your world.

 

Now it’s your turn — what’s worth the risk?

Inner Turmoil: Mean People Suffer, Too

I had a grandmother who could be very judgemental and just downright mean. When she died, I learned more about her life and realized she was miserable. It’s kind of weird how that works out — if you’re miserable, you want to make everyone else miserable, too. Does anyone else see this play out with people in their lives?

I wrote this poem a few days ago about another person close to the family. This person has been absolutely horrible to me — selfish and disrespectful — but unfortunately, I think we share some of the same struggles. It’s really hard to feel empathy for someone who lacks it, but it’s there.

 

Push Me Away

 

You pushed
and pushed
and pushed
and when I broke,
you pointed your finger at me –
a classic case of
villain playing the victim.

You fabricated your facts
to ensure I was gone for good.

You tried to build an image –
a good person
with a good life –
but we saw right through it.

Carry on
with your lies and drama –
I feel your sadness.
If you weren’t miserable,
you wouldn’t treat me this way.

Months of silence
and broken hearts go by.
Despite the damage you’ve caused,
I hope you get the help
that you so desperately need.

 

I just have to keep reminding myself, “feelings are temporary.”

Watch Me Rise (poetry — not as much rage as before)

Watch Me Rise

 

Cruel words hurt
but lies transform relationships
into piles of dust.
Blow them away
for some inner peace.
If it’s light enough
to be carried by my breath,
it wasn’t meant to be.
Find a place
where your worth has weight.
Blow by blow
she knocked me down
but watch me rise
as I show her the door.
I wish growth
for both of us –
separate, in different directions.
My life goes on
without her in it.
Self-respect intact –
move forward from here.

Letting You Go (More Rage Poetry)

Letting You Go

 

My pen is my voice
and my fight has not dwindled.

Tears, rage, and sleepless nights –
you wasted my time and energy.

You broke my heart
but not my spirit.

Your bullshit will only exist
in my rearview mirror.

Your judgment belongs in a waste bin
and I’m taking out the trash.

I’m reclaiming my life.
You no longer have a place in my tired brain.

Empowerment comes
from letting you go.

Deep (Rage Poetry)

Deep

 

Betrayal runs deep –
the toxicity in your veins.

You poisoned my outlook,
my family.

A painful breakdown
leads to an equally painful breakthrough.

Your lies define
your place in the universe.

When you stomp on my dreams
you only get your shoes dirty.

My future is mine –
you won’t have a part in it.

Thank you for showing me
when to walk away.

Update on Writing Projects

I wanted to post a little update on my writing projects.

Freethought House, the publisher of my poetry book, was also going to publish my memoir about mental illness, recovery, and atheism. However, they recently had two people resign and they are no longer able to move forward with my project. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with it yet. Maybe break it up and post it here or maybe find another publisher.

I recently submitted two entries to a short story contest. I rarely write fiction but I really enjoyed working on my entries. I am now convinced that I should spend a little more time working on fiction. Winners will be announced on October 31st and I’m currently looking for more contests to enter.

Also, I will be submitting my erotic poetry book to a poetry collection competition later this month. I have been working on this book for a really long time and this is the kick in the butt I need to wrap it up. 

I have been struggling with depression for the past few months and recently had a med change because of it. While I’m waiting for the meds to kick in, these writing contests seem to be the distraction that I need. I love to write and this is giving me something to work towards. I’m having a lot of fun with it.

As always, I am so grateful for your support. I will keep you all posted on my projects from time to time. Wish me luck with the contests!

“Forbidden” — a poem from my book, Free to Roam

Forbidden

I’m drowning in your choppy sea of innocence.
You’re ass-deep in constricting dogma.

If you got your chance,
what would you do to me?

Green eyes and icy fingertips stripping me naked,
a bite that burns with intention.

Would you pin me down out of years of frustration
or newfound emancipation? We’ll never know.

This secret fantasy only plays out in your head
because god is always watching.

Sweet dreams, farm boy.
I’m going home to wash your shame off my dress.

 

My poetry book gives an atheist perspective on being a Midwest Mom. It is for sale on my publisher’s site freethoughthouse.com, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. (Signed copies are available at freethoughthouse.com.)

Get Out of Bed — Poetry from Another Broke Ass Millennial

Get Out of Bed

 

Fourteen dollars in the bank
and five days til payday –
I’ll hide in bed
because anxiety doesn’t cost a thing.

No fuel in my car,
no fuel for my feet,
no motivation to be found.
I want to stay in my room –
avoid facing a world I can’t afford.

Getting ahead is a lie.
It’s a never-ending game of catch-up
that I don’t want to play anymore.

A narrative all-too-familiar –
youthful dreams
burn in the barrel.
Expectations of yesteryear
are far out of reach.

I’m one missed paycheck
from disaster,
one heartache too many. 

Get out of bed
and make your voice heard.
Nothing changes
if we don’t rise up together.

Can’t move forward.
Can’t stay home.
There are mouths and minds to feed.
Don’t drown in silence.

Can you hear me?

“Mistreated” — A Poem from My Book, Free to Roam

Mistreated

Beads of envy line your forehead—
in your sick game,
you brought fire to the fight.
My impressionable spirit whets your appetite for attention.

Peck away at my frazzled brain.
My secret thoughts run down your chin.
Sour doubt and anxiety
appease your fickle cravings.

You could be anywhere—
watching, waiting, stewing in your misery.
Nowhere is safe.
You assert your crumbling power with fear.

A captive victim of your abuse—
your overbite stabs at my fragile existence.
You’ll never know the cost of your actions—
a price I’ll pay for the rest of my days.

I want vengeance
but I want freedom even more.
You’re gone but still very much present
in my broken brain.

Thoughts of progress are fleeting,
pain erodes hope.
Your suffocating grip lingers.
I’m shackled from my next chapter.

The cold shadow of trauma
blankets my world.
Maybe with time
healing light will creep back in.

 

My poetry book gives an atheist perspective on being a Midwest Mom. It is for sale on my publisher’s site freethoughthouse.com, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. (Signed copies are available at freethoughthouse.com.)