Poetry from Today
page 2

Contributed by individuals with mental illnesses
across  the internet especially for this event.
Our special and warm thank you to you All!!


THE MANIC-DEPRESSIVE CYCLE

I breath into my lungs and soul, 

The wind beneath the bright blue sky. 

My spirit stares into the sun, 

And burns its passion on my mind. 

     Through unseen tears I watch myself, 

     Speak lines drawn from a comic play. 

     From dark warm depths I tear my heart, 

     And place it, bleeding, on your tray. 

 



THE ARTIST & MANIC

 

--THE ARTIST-- 

     On searing crimson canvas moist, 

     The streams of black cut through the flesh. 

     A tender soul-song charms the night, 

     Its grief poured through the flautist's mesh. 

          The sane will read the rhymes and sigh, 

          Their world the poet longs to know. 

          The beauty of the art is born,

          Within a dungeon, dark, alone. 
 

                    --MANIC-- 

        Electric charge and fires flare, 

       A restless tension chokes the air. 

     I breathe it deep, I grind my teeth, 

        Rhythm pounding, thrill to seek. 

        Anger burning, heartbeat racing, 

      Crave the high with stress invading. 

        Dreams of power, lust, and heat. 

       I've gone too far, I can't retreat.




 
  LIQUID FOG
 

Gasping for air. 

Ocean waves crashing, 

Pounding the senses, 

Brutalizing life and hope. 

The tide firmly pulling from below, 

A leviathan abducting its prey. 

A desperate hand reaches to a distant shore, 

Where naive children laugh, 

And construct their fantasy mansions. 

The open hand disappears below the surf. 

     An echoed whisper calls: 

     "Move with the tide". 

     A limp will sinks into a surreal liquid fog. 

     Angry breakers quietly crash above. 

     Filtered streams of light rain down. 

     Lungs flood with a dull, familiar ache. 

     A heart gently rises and falls 

     As it is rocked in the waves. 

     Hands reach for soft sand from the bottom, 

     Lifting and releasing from curious fists. 

     A slow motion hour glass, 

     Warps of time moved and scattered, 

     Depositing in another reality. 

     Tropical fish in their choreographed dance, 

     Their bright colors fade to gray and black. 

     Don't expect an appreciation of splendor. 

          Slowly pulsating through cool channels, 

          Stopping at a coral barrier reef. 

          Eyes inspect the artwork of alien creatures. 

          Fingertips test the assumed sharpness. 

          Lips affectionately kiss the jagged edges, 

          Tenderly devouring the self-inflicted agony. 

          Pain has a new identity in this dimension, 

          Between the liquid onyx abyss, 

          And the distant sunny beach.

 


BIPOLAR: UNDIAGNOSED
 

Blood tests, glucose tolerance, germ cultures. 

"We found nothing wrong", shrugs the doctor. "It must be a virus". 

"But it keeps recurring", I reply. 

"Maybe it's related to your allergies", he adds. 

I try not to cry, thinking of the days of endless sleep, 

Body aches, and numb emotions. 

     The psychiatrist asks me, "Any history of mental illness in the family?" 

     "No", I reply. 

     The ghost of my aunt must have been screaming, 

     Longing to tell me about the state mental hospital. 

     But I never knew her, and I was never told. 

     "There's alcoholism", I add. 

     "Maybe that's what you're fighting, and you're under a lot of stress", 

     She says as she so methodically takes notes. 

          At work I walk down a long foggy hallway. 

          A well-meaning friend stops me. 

          "You know, people think you're being snobbish lately, 

          You never say hi or stop to talk". 

          I have no explanation. 

          I hadn't even seen the people. 

          All I can see is my destination at the end of the long tunnel. 

          Shaking and crying all evening. 

        I just know I'm going to fall apart. 

           Sitting for hours at night, 

        With my head resting on the phone. 

             Maybe someone will call. 

          Through the phone line I feel 

         A delusional connection to reality. 

         Staring at the clock at 2:00 a.m., 

      Waking at 5:00 a.m. wearing a jacket 

       That had been hanging by the door. 

        Had I gone outside during the night? 

            Energy soaring, thoughts racing, 

        Lights too bright, sounds too loud. 

         Trying desperately to act normal. 

         As the people in front of me

             become a kaleidoscope. 

                    I want to yell. 

   I want to throw things and smash things. 

       But I breathe deep, and I smile. 

       I have a break from work at lunch. 

        I sneak to my car and drive home. 

         Fists slamming on the counter, 

       Pulling hair, yelling in psychic pain. 

   I pour shots of Jack Daniels into a glass 

      And I can't drink it fast enough. 

            I crawl on the floor,

     huddle, rock gently, and pray for help. 

                Hiding behind

   cinnamon breath mints, I return to work. 

         And again wear my public mask. 

                A shrill bell rings,

           and I take a deep breath. 

   I step in front of my class of students, 

           For yet another performance.
 

 



A REASON FOR LIVING

When you look in my eyes
I can see your smiles

When we walk in the sand
Holding each other hand in hand

When we hold each other tight
At the end of each night

I know you are there
And I will always be there

You have given me a life
And a way to love myself
A way to take my dreams off that shelf

For that I will always love you!

Thank you for giving me
A REASON TO LIVE

Cheryl Winburn
10/19/02

 


Pacing in the Dark

  "It's your watch get up on deck" 
   Up I go I receive my empty rifle 
   And start my watch back and fourth 
   My duty is to guard our ship in the 
   Pitch darkness of a moonless nite 
   My mind begins to race I know he's there 
   Faster and faster I go looking into blackness 
   The deck I pace not knowing his face I pace 
   What was that? Will I die tonite? 
   Faster and harder I walk every muscle so tight 
   My heart is pounding ready to explode 
   Suddenly he is there in my face 
   He is gone but I can't scream I try and try 
   But only a whimper comes out 
   There I lay my bed all a mess my heart racing 
   I am covered in sweat and my legs are aching 
   From all my nocturnal pacing 
 

by John Haeckel
 


surreal Hobo by Jason

The hobo looked up from the
sleep that hobos sleep and saw
me waving a George Washington
buck at him, teasing his
poverty and the shakes the hobos
get after waking from their sleeps.
he smiled with rotten teeth that looked
like he'd been eating baked beans
since Bostonians first discovered
bacon and brown sugar and beans
went together quite nicely.
he reached to his crotch through
his left dusty pocket and
scratched a good, long time.
he mumbled something and stung me
with his drunktalk. 
"i've got a g-g-good time in my hand, sir."
he said, and he
pulled a green rolex and a condom
out of his pocket where his hand had been
and his crotch still was.
"f-f-for that georgie bill, I'll give you
fifteen minutes and a blow,"
he said.
"No thank you, sir," i said.
I had something better in mind.
I paused...
"Do you dance, sir?
I like to polka.
Can you polkadance, sir?" i said.
he said,
"well. . .well. . ."
just like that he said well twice,
trying to remember the moves.
he was willing to make it
up for a ten buck,
he said.
"I do believe I remember," he said
and he stood and I moved my feet
to a rhythm that wasn't there.
I jiggled. he jigged.
he became tired and had
to retire back to his cement
stoop.
He looked at his green timepiece
with squinty eyes and said,
"fifteen minutes and a good time was the deal."
he was all business. as much
business as a hobo could be.
"There was no deal," I said
and gave him the George.

written
10-06-1992 @ 01:56 
 


think

most people don't think of
depression as making a snowangel in the
mud
till the angel is six feet
deep
and the mud takes a
gulp.

written by Jason
11-02-1992 @ 20:07 
 


Depression

sitting in this room
all lit with yellow, faux
light, I can't feel me.
Or Anything
For
That
Matter.

written by Jason
08-17-1998 @ 12:08 
 



  killing myself

today, I wanted to
kill myself. it was
3am and it felt right
to think of it.

too many to count 
white
faceless
pills
were in my
right hand. 
the cup
in my left was cool
and pregnant with water.

I sipped at the
cup's corner's edge and thought 
of
my family and my friends,
of
the credit cards I
had tapped out yesterday,
of
the book I hadn't finished reading.

i threw the pills
across the room,
sat back and drank the
water dry,
living because of obligations
and the obligated,
alone
and
lonely.
it feels more right
now
than at 3am.

written by Jason
09-12-1993 @ 04:19
 


stillness

e feige jan95

when you peer
into the stillness
of the flowing river
what do you see

not the real you
but glimpses of what you think
you have been
and what you fear
you may become

as a little one
scraping your knee
all you need is comfort
you find none to be given

trying to be a part of the others
dandelion in a fuzzy meadow
you were the buttercup
different enough

for tomorrow you fear
you may live with the thistle
and have none to hold you

in the stillness of the flowing river
it's hard and it's easy
to see

the growing, flowering, wilting
of the buttercup
will continue many circles
as the dandelions attempt to change
as the thistles show their blooms

as the unchanging river
carries you
through who you were 
and who you will be.
 


The Pond

There's a darkness within me,

A thin layer of black silk water

covering sharp deep ice,

that snaps and crackles piercing my heart.

Burning me until I can see the reality 

of the coldness and meanness that is me.

I have an old soul, it's worn and it's weary,

beware of its anger it's too much to see.

Don't wade in that silk water, 

if the ice breaks,  I will consume you

and you too will see,  the reality that is me.

Tread wary it's dark out,

it is black in my soul now.

Moonlight hits the surface but reflects back to the sky.

Don't take a count of the souls I have taken.

Sucked lifeless and spit out like broken tree limbs.

White, black and ground fine 

in the white flame of my souls necropolis

Oh God! How I try, but the fire consumes me,

controlled by the bullets of white, pink and rose.

But it's there deep within me, this deadly destruction,

this bleak mystical tragedy that shakes at my hand.

No sleep for me now, I just don't deserve it.

The peace then for me comes only at death.

The cause then I live with.

Punishment fitting,

for all that I have been and all I can't be.

Living a lie of kindness

and sweet gentle tolerance.

While the ice on the pond

lies unstable beneath.

Anne Kasday 1998

A Self Portrait

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