Category Archives: Free Verse

Mental Illness

In the United States,
One in five have one –
Plus more undiagnosed.
There are over twice as many
Suicides as homicides.

The person who has it
Doesn’t want it,
Has tried to stop it,
Tries to hide it, and
Fears to never be free.

No matter what kind:
It can’t be willed away.
Smiling doesn’t help.
“Bringing you down”
Confirms worthlessness.
Deriding “weirdness”
Increases helpessness.
Both build hopelessness.

Listen without judgment.
Fight impatience.
Offer kindness.

Unseen Barrier

An unseen barrier lurks
Between thought and action.
As unbreakable as untouchable,
It cages the frantic mind
As the body lazes weightless.

Anxiety Strikes

Like a bolt of lightning
Trapped in the body
Dashing from limb to limb
Seeking its freedom but only
Setting off extraneous thoughts and
Sending emotions into frenzies.

Individual Nightmares

Flickering lights
Dark, shifting floors:
A hologram turned to life,
Separating and splitting
People, casting them
Into individual nightmares:
The black, twisted memories
Of a cruelly tortured soul
Bent on revenge on any and all.
In macabre juxtaposition,
The toy train circles
Through crying bodies
Over hidden graves.

Dried Bouquet

Permanently bowed heads
Like somber penitants
Clustered close together:
A permanently mourning crowd
Encircled in bright crystal.

Digital Strings

A phone, an app:
Like digital strings
Controlling a person,
A stranger at work,
With the lure of a tip.


Lasso after lasso of heavy chains
Roped around with unerring aim
Both strict coccoon and heavy anchor,
Dragging inexorably down and down
Away from the light, from thought
Away from action, from speech
Locked in dark limbo willing or no
Until chains after chains release.


A bubbling, churning cauldron,
A witch’s brew of writhing acid
Taunted, enraged by attacks
Arises, unbidden and unwished
Eating its cage from within
Unless appeased by offerings.

A Shadowed Caricature

Twisting and straining
For a meager sliver,
A mere hint of light
Until gnarled, knotted:
A shadowed caricature.

Blinded and awestruck
By an eager river,
An ocean of light
Until overjoyed, overrevealed:
A bittersweet conflict.

The Darkness Came Slowly

The darkness came slowly.
Not a sudden eclipse
Or flip of a switch.
It was a long, slow sunset
To an unending twilight:
So gradual and quiet
You never noticed the dark
Until the sudden glare
As light broke through

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