Poetry from Today
page 3

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

 
                         DEEDS 

           Tis better you do that kindly
           deed 
           You've forgotten to do today; 
           Better you go to the friend in
           need, 
           Who's striving along life's way. 

           Give him a friendly word of
           cheer 
           'Twill help him to face the strife 

           A glad hello or a welcome
           hand 
           May brighten his path in life. 

           Putting off till some distant
           tomorrow 
           The words that you meant to
           say, 
           Won't lighten the burden of
           sorrow 
           That he's bending beneath
           today. 

           Reach out and extend the grip
           of a friend 
           "Twill take but a moment or
           two 
           And will help him to know that
           you understand 
           The troubles he's fighting
           through. 

           For when we have followed the
           winding path, 
           And come near life's setting
           sun, 
           'Twill count for naught what we
           meant to do, 
           Just the kindly deeds we have
           done. 

                                     Oren Alden
           DeMass 



 
DON'T QUIT
 

When things go wrong,
as they  sometimes will, 
When the road you're trudging 
seems all uphill 

When the funds are low 
And the debts are high 
And you want to smile, but you 
 have to sigh

When care is pressing you down
 a bit 
 Rest if you must...but don't you
 quit. 

 Life is queer with its twists and
 turns 
And everyone of us sometimes
learns 

And many a person turns about 
When they might have won
 had they stuck
 it out 

 Don't give up though the pace
 seems slow- 
 You may succeed with another
 blow 

Often the struggler has given up 
When he might have captured the
victors cup 
And he learned too late when the
night came down 
How close he was to the golden
crown 



Keep Just Love

(written by a woman with Bipolar Illness 
to her schizophrenic lover)

Intense, beyond my wild dreams
Little boy, he cried for so long
One true magician
Venous pumping blue-black
Empathy at once
Kaleidoscope shattered
Invitation to another level
my deity-demon lover

Innocence was stolen
damage to his shell
restrained his light
enveloped him with lies
A life of screaming
misery was learned 
Hurtful speech
in his ear
Mouth stitched tight

Just moving
Unknown places
Steering beyond the past
taking nothing
Running to find his life
ignoring his nightmares
Grabbing his pencils and brushes
he paints his picture
to truth

Why does he run?
How can I slow his rising?
You cannot
Courage is something I taught him
And you taught him Hell
Not a day goes by .....
that I don't think of his journey
Yearning to be loved
One little boy
Understands for a moment

written by D. K. Dalton, 1999

 

My Heart Bleeds Purple

Hard and fast
reeling
Desperate and falling
No faces
Clinging
The gray edge of pain
I can look back and see the softness
I look ahead
Black
Tangled
Slick
You are too many
Never the same
Slamming 
Feverish
holding me
Heated and frightened
One small tear
My heart bleeds purple for you

Written by D. K. Dalton, 1999


These next couple of poems were written when I was pregnant with my son:

The Yellow Apple Dance

I eat yellow apples and you dance
I speak and you touch me from inside
I walk and you follow
I rest and you awaken me for more
You are with me always
You move in me with grace
We are bond
You are not yet born, but we will never be this close again
I eat yellow apples and you dance

Written by D. K. Dalton, 1989



 

Faces (Apples Revisited)

Will you have it?
My face
Will you take mine?
My face
Will you kiss it?
My face
"How are you today, my face?"
"Apples, apples!" you say
We share the same face

Written by D. K. Dalton, 1989
 
 
 
 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


AManicDepressive

        Christmas 

        'Tis two weeks till Christmas and all though the
        house 
        Not a thing is prepared and its quiet as a mouse 
        The children are sad cause their mothers not there 
        She's ill in the hospital- its surely unfair! 
        But its happened before, and the kids have no hope 
        That this will different - they'll just have to cope. 
        It's been two long weeks since this relapse began 
        When she went without sleep for a house spic and
        span 
        Her speech was so rapid, they scare understood 
        Her excitement and restlessness more than it should 
        And her irritable mood, her anger and fear 
        Were way beyond normal, that much was quite clear! 
        Her family decided (it wasn't too soon) 
        To hospitalize her that same afternoon... 
        When they went down to visit the following week 
        She no longer smiled....and would barely speak 
        Her mood was so low she just wanted to sleep 
        To be left all alone to think and to weep 
        She stayed in her bed refusing all food 
        Nothing they tried made a change in her mood 
        The depression grew worse and the pain grew inside 
        Till the only solution seemed to be suicide 
        Then gradually the medicines given her worked 
        She emerged from the dark to the world she had
        shirked 
        The professionals call it manic depression 
        Or bipolar disorder...but thats just an expression 
        The people who have it really know best 
        How this illness can be an impossible test 
        To get back to the family I'm talking about 
        It seems they will have to manage without 
        The gifts and the turkey, the music and tree 
        Given up happily all will agree 
        In exchange for a wife and mother most dear 
        Who'll be home from the hospital just in time for
        New Year! 
        -c.s. 1992 


SNAP! 

        Messengers cluster together, cornered, confused... 
        Shuuuttt   Dooowwwnnnnnn........ 
        I become Bleak. 
        Soul starved. 
        A step off. 
        Thoughts gather at the junction, waiting for direction. 

        Ghost whispers..."step here, step there, smile, nod,
        complete the day." 
        I know the rhythm...distant, but familiar 
        I do it in my sleep. 

        SNAP! 

        Gears grind, shift. 
        One guard releases it's hold.  Then another. 
        Clear, open road scenery.  Light peeks through. 
        I move purposefully, confidently...there are tasks to
        be done. 

        SNAP! 

        The shadows explode!.  Brilliant radiance smashes
        in!!  Washes the soul with 
        glorious, delicious, escape!  EVERYONE is my
        friend!!!  I CAN DO ANYTHING!!! 
        Eyes wide, breath clear...I AM INVINCIBLE!!! 

        SNAP! 

        Gray wash. 
        I scramble to the side. 
        "Maybe I can outrun it this time." 
        Stumbling, sliding..down to my knees. 
        Fingers blanch through tightened grasp. 
        "no"...DID ANYONE HEAR THAT???? 

        SNAP!

        Messengers return from the round trip. 
        Patiently waiting instruction... 
        needing to know..."what next"? 

                                       - Linda Staples 



  
shapeshifter.....by E.F. 
December, 1994
 

i swear I just don't
understand 
this shapeshifting business 
my morning shave tells me
who I am 
yet as soon as I'm away from
the 
mirror it starts 

my wife calls me honey and
deer 
do I really resemble 
a shy, sticky forest creature? 

the telephone thinks I'm a
home 

my daughters say get ahold of
yourself 
and pour some milk 
could I do both at the same
time? 

my sons call me pop 
is that 7Up or Sprite? 

my cats talk to me in cat 
and I can understand them 

at the repair shop they tell
me 
i'm made of money... 
is that 20's or 50's 
and why won't the bank
believe them 

this shapeshifting tires me
out 
i think i'll carry a compact 
in my purse 

 

 My Mark

Curled in a ball, at the bottom of a hill
Plumbing the depths of my spirit
And calling forth my psychic energy
To start the climb once again.

My eyes focus on a spot, just 3 feet up the hill
I dare not look to the top
Too far away to contemplate success 
Too easy to concede defeat.

I try to rise...to walk...to climb,
My legs still weak from the fall...crumble,
So I crawl..my fingers grasping the dirt
Tear stains on my cheeks...to my mark

And collapse exhausted on the path...spent
Weak and tired...the hill seems so high
It's crest so far away...self doubt fills
My concious thought...so far to go, so far

I rest a while, clinging to my spot on the path
Till confidence returns...another mark is set
This time six feet up the hill
(Still not daring to look to the top)

I stand, and marvel that my feet hold my weight
As I slowly climb toward my mark
A little more sure-footedly than before
I reach my mark, sagging in relief and joy

Excited now, I mark a spot, further up the hill
And rise to climb, no thought for rest...
The need for height consuming me...and I stumble,
Slipping and sliding four feet down the hill.

The trip up that hill was long and hard
Fraught with gains and losses...I despaired
Of ever reaching the top...sometimes I gave up
Till one morning I awoke to set my mark...and looked

There in the silvery mist of the breaking dawn,
The sun just breaking through...was the top of the hill
I'd been toiling toward...majestic and serene
Beckoning to me..."Take those last few steps" I almost heard it say

It took all day, with slips and slides
Till I clambered over the top...and kneeled to kiss
The damp cold earth...enfolded in comfort and serenity
Peace and Joy...I had reached the top of the hill

Holding it to me...exalting in the good feeling
Yet, always aware that a misplaced slip or slide
Could pumment me down to the bottom again
To dark, hopeless, unending misery and grief.

Oh God, how I wonder at times like these 
If this was your plan for me...to be tossed about
On shiftless sands...at the bottom or top of the proverbial hill
With struggles and fear in between? 

                                  ~csullivan



So Sad...... 

       Death seems the painless way.....
I know I cant go on another day...
If only I could see his face?
NO!  I must leave this place.
Here I"m not meant to be...
It"s really very clear to me.
       Death whispers to me taunting....
It:s life that I find haunting.
They say I have joy to look forward to...
How..?  I just can:t see it through.
All my life theres been something missing...
I close my eyes, it:s death I"m kissing.
Tonight I feel his gentle breath...
Perhaps I"ll pass his final test...
And with the rising dawn.....
All the pain at last gone.
In angels arms I will rest.

                            ~Solo Angel



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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