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.”

—–

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.

—–

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.

—–

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: 

Nightly – a November Poem-A-Day Challenge – Diminishing Somonka

My Wolf, can’t you see,
how I long to hear you speak,
feel you howl at me —
slowly climbing to my peak
as more night with you I eke.
~
Throughout this dark night,
I have watched you, rising slow,
felt your beauty bright —
drawing out my howl from low
in my body, until — Ohhh!
—–

PROMPT:2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 2

For today’s prompt, write an animal spirit poem (or spirit animal poem). What I’m thinking is to make the title of the poem the animal and then write a poem as if you are that animal. Or look at ways you identify with that animal. Another possibility (if this is too New Age): Write a poem about an animal. Period.
—–

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:

Coffee – a haiku sonnet poem

the smell of morning
wakes me from sleep at her side
grounds for a new day

some days are two cups
sipped slowly in the quiet
beneath still- tired eyes

some begin with four
beating hearts, four pairs of hands
wrapped around warm mugs

some I sip alone
dawn to dusk in my silence
love’s taste lingering

my life — like my cup
brimming full and sweet

—–

POETIC FORM:

Haiku Sonnet – a 14-line poetic form consisting of four 3-line haiku plus a couplet of either five or 7 syllables per line. Similarly, a sonnet is made up of fourteen lines.
VARIATION: write fourteen 1-line haiku

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AUDIO FILE:

The Road – a Byr a Thoddaid poem

I hear its voice at the window.
Siren songs it sings in the willow.
The road keeps calling — echoes on the wind,
and winds on until dawn.
—–
POETIC FORM:
Byr a Toddaid – a 4-line stanza Welsh form consisting of a single quatrain or a series of quatrains, each divided into 2 combined couplets.  One couplet is 2 lines, eight syllables each with an AA end rhyme. The other couplet is 2 lines, one with 10 syllables and an end rhyme NEAR the end, and the other line with 6 syllables with a link to the end word of the 10 syllable line, then an end rhyme that corresponds to the end rhyme in the same 10 syllable line. The link is near the front of the 6 syllable line, and can be rhyme, alliteration or some other clever device to link the two words.  Couplets can alternate, so there are 2 main options indicated in the outline a below:
Option. 1:
xxxxxxxA
xxxxxxxA
xxxxxxxBxc
xcxxxB
Option 2:
xxxxxxxAxb
xbxxxA
xxxxxxxC
xxxxxxxC
—–
AUDIO FILE:

Penance 

Give me your eyes
so I may see
from your perspective.
You take from me, mine
–so you won’t be blind.

Give me your heart,
so I may feel
it’s broken places.
You carry my heart–
let it bleed in your hands.

I’ve been beating fists
against your walls until
I’m numb and bloody.
Repenting the sins
of youth in my old age.

Forgiveness must be
in a closet somewhere
with a rusty lock
and a long lost key
in a forgotten hallway.

It could save our souls.
But my prayers pool
in blood on the floor,
and you’ve taken
a vow of silence.

—–

AUDIO FILE:

Floating

On days when my heart
feels like just shutting down
–I sit with the stillness,
make almost no sound.

On days when my heart
feels like locking its doors
–I wear your old t-shirts
and sit on my floors.

On days when my heart
feels like going to ground
–I breathe in the earth and
I feel it’s heart pound.

On days when my heart
feels like it’s fighting wars
–I let my tears carry
me back to your shores.

—–

AUDIO FILE: