I couldn’t write anything other than academic papers for the longest time. Antrhung else felt forced and stunted. If I tried to write prose, I would end up with many balls of paper, but not one page I could live with completed.
Until recently, I so judged myself that I hadn’t even attempted to write a poem for 18 years. I’ve learned they don’t always have to Rhyme and they don’t even have to have a conventional structure. They don’t even have to be awesome. They just have to say something true. I broke down the old barriers I had in place.
With that in mind I am sharing two poems I’ve posted over the past couple of months, one in Warrior, and one in Hospoetry. Clearly, I was in two very different places (quite literally as I was on a psychiatric unit when I wrote one of them), but I am proud of both.
It is an act of bravery for me to share poetry because it isn’t something I feel very strong in. There are other things that I know I’m good at, but poetry is not necessarily one of them. For whatever they are worth:
I wrote some poems in the hospital this time. Weirdly, I wrote them before everything hit the fan, but I am still really happy I wrote them. I know I sort of jokingly posted the poems I wrote when I was 19 or whatever, but those were the last poems I was ever able to write. I’ve been sojudgmental and harsh with myself that I haven’t been able to write or create art or anything for a couple decades. All of the sudden, it’s like those chains have fallen free. I just want to share these two poems with you about how I was/am feeling a bit lost in the system at the moment. The first poem is literally the first thing I wrote. It just flew out. The second I wrote at 3am. Neither are masterpieces. Thanks for reading them.
Screaming silently behind this theatrical mask
the one that only slides when tears of rage,
tears of anguish, tears of terror, loosen its grip on my countenance.
Silent shrieks pleading for mercy, or comfort, or peace or quarter.
Noiseless because they seem unwelcome, unwanted, unheard, unattended.
Lost in a maze the same color
as the blood of others
who are lost while navigating
a hostile path of closed doors for
“their own good,”
while being directed to the Center
Of the labyrinth like sheep to the slaughter.
Efficient, economical, effective at pretending
we are at the Center of the winding corridors.
But I have been dragged to this place,
NOT of my choosing and it’s not MY maze.
The roses are being painted red and the flamingos
are out with the hedgehogs for the Queen’s croquet.
This is not my fairy tale.
This is not some place even of wonder.
This is somewhere much hotter,
where formulas are applied and the person is forgotten.
She trembles as her fingers work the
laces on her armor, knowing that her shattered
soul may only be strong enough for this last stand.
Wearily, she sighs and gazes out onto the
battlefield, soon to be littered with the shrapnel
of fighting yet another battle with The Beast.
The Beast is strong with venomous fangs and
talons that rend flesh from bone and yet,
She knows it cannot win this war.
Fierce, and with the flecks of golden sunlight in her
eyes, The Warrior explodes onto the field knowing
that The Beast must submit this time or she will never be free.
Clanging and Clashing, they struggle until the fires
burn out and they alone are left standing;
Warrior and Beast, locked in a momentous battle.
The Warrior knows she’s winning. She feels the
strength leave the Beast with every passionate
blow. Victory is not yet assured, but it is coming…