Swarm

Anxious thoughts like scurrying ants swarm over me,carry away scraps and crumbs of rational thought.

Thousands of insect feet keep time to the fluttering beat of my over-emotional heart.

Sugar-water tears stream down my cheeks, a map of trails for this demon ant army.

They march in formation over my face, into my eyes, my nose, my mouth, feasting on the tracks of my pain.

I cannot sleep, for the thundering battles they make in my head.

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Depression Guilt  (a rondel poem)

I don’t know how to stop bleeding.
I wish I could be someone whole:
patch the ragged tears in my soul,
and find the peace I’ve been needing.

You try to help, your eyes pleading.
You did not cause this pain, I know
it hurts you, to see me bleeding.
Maybe you need someone who’s whole.

My own doubts I just keep feeding.
My pain — on you it takes a toll!
I wish I could get in control.
Guiltily, I keep repeating,
“I’m sorry, I can’t stop bleeding.”

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POETIC FORM:

Rondel – Poem consists of 13 lines in 3 stanzas. Rhyme scheme: ABba/abAB/abbaA (uppercase letters are refrains) Usually 8 syllables per line.

AUDIO FILE:

Tongue-tied 

NOTE: Depression is insidious. A dark and ravenous locust-cloud, it can arrive without warning and strip everything bare before you are able to find your wits. Warring with depression in myself can also become the battle of watching it attack those I love. These current writings are about that fight.

We are getting help.

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She once held her cup beneath the faucet of my mouth and drank deeply seeking understanding. Lately my words are clumsy incantations chosen with worry and whispered with care at the keyhole of her mind’s door. I keep getting the order wrong, mispronouncing the dialect. When she flinches, my own mouth floods with the acidic taste of smoldering ink and paper. I used to be the poet with the agile and well-oiled tongue — a skeleton key. But the locks are changed, there’s a secret code. I do not know the language and can’t remember how to conjugate the verbs.

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AUDIO FILE:

Wallflower

NOTE: Depression is insidious. A dark and ravenous locust-cloud, it can arrive without warning and strip everything bare before you are able to find your wits. Warring with depression in myself can also become the battle of watching it attack those I love. These current writings are about that fight.

We are getting help.

—–

She’s flirting with ghosts
who are stealing her soul
and all I can do
is tie my own hands,
sew my own lips
into a fake smile,
watch her fade into fog
a little more each day.

I am the rope tied to her ankle.
I am the Polo to her
distant cries of Marco.
I am grey and thin,
a beating heart resisting
my own evaporation.

She waltzes in a graveyard
while I sit this one out.
She’s borrowed my dancing shoes.

AUDIO FILE:

Feeding the Darkness

NOTE: Depression is insidious. A dark and ravenous locust-cloud, it can arrive without warning and strip everything bare before you are able to find your wits. Warring with depression in myself can also become the battle of watching it attack those I love. These current writings are about that fight.

We are getting help.

—–

It’s nearly four, and Darkness comes to nudge me from the depths of dreaming. Her cravings won’t be sated. Outside the window, a cry echoes once, then again — the black dog’s voice is neither howl nor bark, and yet both.

Darkness paces impatiently, her boots echoing with my heart’s “too much, too little, too much, too little” syncopation. I feel her in my skin and my soul sighs out a name. I feel the cold and warming bodies of my children and their children pressed to my naked breast, see my mother’s dry lips pursed in disapproval.

I invite Darkness to dine with me, again — to dine on me — as she has done before. It’s a borrowed, black, denim work-shirt she wears, and though it fits poorly, it pulls at me, like a black hole collapsing my lungs.

The distant black dog mimics a wolf — calling again, and the Wolf who shares my bed doesn’t flinch. She doesn’t sleep anymore, my Wolf. Instead, she warily watches as Darkness takes a seat at my table.

I offer my heart as an appetizer, always too eager to see this inky void filled and satisfied. The Wolf who used to lay her head in my lap now growls at the riverbank, staring into shadows. The new moon has drawn the clouds up over her head, trying desperately to sleep in peace. I’m not certain there’s any peace to be found in these small hours when the black dog calls.

Darkness eats daintily, wipes her mouth on my skirt, then flicks her ravenous eyes at my Wolf. Her greedy, plucking fingers are alder branches, stirring widdershins in the murky water of my soul.

She draws the tarot from her pocket, and the cards fall before me like winter leaves, thin and colorless. Five coins tumble into lonely orphans, with no bread. King of Cups stands on his head, angry and brooding, while the Lovers gaze anxiously on. The inverted Moon stares at her confused reflection in the water. High Priestess is here too, offering a hand through the labyrinth. But Darkness exhales a thick, wet fog, and gestures toward my Wolf. “Feed me.”

I attempt a bargain, counting out five coins, like sweet cakes, and my desperate heart breathes a name into the darkness. The Wolf’s fur bristles along her shoulders and I close my eyes, slipping finally into the deep end of the pool, where sleep swims elusively upriver.

—–
AUDIO FILE: 

August 2015 – a November Poem-A-Day Challenge – Diminishing Somonka

That night my world shook!
Your eyes met mine like a spear!
What a chance I took–
felt like jumping off a pier!
Your answer rings in my ear.
~
You shook me awake!
Oh, to see your lipstick smear–
unquenchable ache,
fueled by your smile, which was mere!
Your question rings in my ear.
—–
For today’s prompt, pick a month (any month), make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible months include January, February, March, (cruel) April, May, June, or even July, August, September, October, November, and December. Yes, there are 12 possible months; choose well, or write 12 poems (yes, I’ve thrown down the challenge within today’s challenge).

—–

POETIC FORM:

Diminishing Somonka
 
A form I created by marrying the Somonka and Diminishing Verse poetic forms:
  • two Tankas (5-7-5-7-7), written as two love letters to each other.
  • remove the first letter of the end word in each successive 7 syllable line.
 
Variation: Poets can remove sounds if they wish like “flies” to “lies” to “eyes.”
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AUDIO FILE:
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To Describe – a November Poem-A-Day Challenge – Diminishing Somonka

Spinning galaxies…
Bluest feathered bird that flies…
Deepest sapphire seas…
Night-sky bed, where the moon lies…
How shall I describe your eyes? 
~
In turn I will attempt
(The way you wear those glasses…)
To tell how you tempt!
different from other lasses…
one in a million asses!
—–
For today’s prompt, write a description poem. Pick someone or something to describe. Get in depth, or just brush along the surface.

 

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POETIC FORM:

Diminishing Somonka
 
A form I created by marrying the Somonka and Diminishing Verse poetic forms:
  • two Tankas (5-7-5-7-7), written as two love letters to each other.
  • remove the first letter of the end word in each successive 7 syllable line.
 
Variation: Poets can remove sounds if they wish like “flies” to “lies” to “eyes.”

—–

 

AUDIO FILE:

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World Weary – a November Poem-A-Day Challenge – Diminishing Somonka

I tire of this world.
Let me stay here on the floor–
back against you curled?
Read me tales of ancient lore?
I’m a boat, please be my oar?
~
Sweetheart, cry your tears.
In the morning you will fly!
Let go all your fears.
For tonight, with you I’ll lie, 
— on you keep a watchful eye.
—–
For today’s prompt, write a tragic poem. Two courses of action here: Write a poem that is heavy, or write a poem that is light. Or write a poem that could be heavy or light. For instance, a tragedy could be Shakespeare’s Hamlet or a bad hair day.

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POETIC FORM:

Diminishing Somonka
 
A form I created by marrying the Somonka and Diminishing Verse poetic forms:
  • two Tankas (5-7-5-7-7), written as two love letters to each other.
  • remove the first letter of the end word in each successive 7 syllable line.
 
Variation: Poets can remove sounds if they wish like “flies” to “lies” to “eyes.”

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AUDIO FILE:
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