By Walt Whitman
By Walt Whitman
It may be spoon fed to you before
you can choose, like a need.
Honeybees feed on dandelions
after a long bad winter, but this
is no nutritious food. A creeping
buttercup weed, sneaky undesirable
pest, secretly sprouting. Fast growing
deep roots you can’t see. Extermination
is necessary or it will take over a flower
bed. It’s tiring! Guilt binds you, keeps
you in the past, takes over thoughts
and feelings. It’s a hard battle that you
have to keep fighting without rest –
being vigilant and attacking at the slightest sign.
This is the second poem of my sequence about depression. Guilt has been the main culprit in most of my mental health issues; my parents gave it to me, not intentionally for sure, they thought they were doing the right thing and they definitely did the best they knew. I have made peace with them a long time ago because I love them, but I hate that they did this to me and my work in the last few years has been to get rid of this guilt and keep my life flourishing with feelings of self-love and worthiness.
There’s a woman staring
at me. I don’t know her.
I’ve seen her before
playing different roles,
wearing different costumes,
answering to different names.
She laughs in awkward moments.
Speaks without thinking.
Learns useless facts.
Loves without measure.
Cares for everyone.
Smiles easily, frowns easier.
Sometimes she runs around
like a drunken chicken.
Dances away her fears
and sings out of tune,
if she thinks no one is watching.
Often, she cries herself to sleep,
lonely tears. Once upon a time,
she had hopes and dreams,
but now she has no future.
This week, I am starting to post here the poems of my creative portfolio. I have completed a sequence of poems based on my experience with depression and anxiety for my creative project. ‘Mask’ is the first poem of the sequence and describes the beginning of that painful experience. If anyone of my readers can identify with this, please drop me a line with your thoughts. Or if you know of anyone who has experienced something similar, share the poem with them. I will post a poem of the sequence every Monday and, as you will see, there was a time when I didn’t know who I was anymore and I thought my life was over, but things did get better and stayed better.
I am also hoping for some feedback, any suggestions that can make these poems better.
Thanks for reading 🙂
She’s a chair. Not a comfy one,
but a corrective and supportive chair.
Not the kind of chair to sit and relax,
but at times you’ll feel the benefits.
She’s a sunny day, not too hot, just
right. The sun gently kissing your skin
and the night breeze making you feel
lazy, wanting to stay out until late.
She’s chicken soup. Good for the body
and soul. Whenever you feel down,
she’ll pick you up will carry you all
the way until you’re fit again.
She’s a pair of bright yellow wellies, rubber
duck shaped. When under the rain, no
matter how dark, cold or wet, she’ll remind
you of better days,
making you smile.
I dedicate this day to my daughter, who is an inspirational younger woman and makes me very proud. I wrote this poem for her in 2014.
My most memorable possession as a child,
was a pair of clogs. Of course it had to be shoes!
They were red with a black stripe and were on
my feet all the time, day after day! Those clogs
had the courtesy of moulding to my feet. But
I also appreciated the fact that they were so
easy to put on; when you’re five, not having
laces in your shoes is clearly a bonus. I would
get up every morning and put those clogs on.
They were like gloves but for the feet. Once
my mother put them in the bin, but I went back
to rescue my favourite shoes, and started
wearing them again. Although they were deformed
and almost certainly smelly, they were still perfect
to me. I have photos of a five year old me wearing
those clogs. I look superb in my flowery skirt with a red
and white top, but the real honour came from my red clogs.
Today I decided to publish one of my first poems, what I like about this poem is that he reminds me of the simpler and easier days of childhood. Whithout judgements and when it was so easy to feel superb.
It was an icy winter day, my parents handed
me to a stranger. We went on a train, to another land.
As I waved them goodbye, I didn’t know
I wouldn’t see them again, after that day.
I wouldn’t come home after school to my
mother’s honey and cinnamon cake, ever.
I wouldn’t be doing my homework at our
kitchen table listening to her singing
while cooking dinner. Nor would I smell
the herbal shampoo in her hair when she kissed me
goodnight. I would never see my father again,
reading his newspaper while smoking pipe.
In this other land, the house didn’t have the sweet smell
of pipe tobacco and no one was afraid. We went for walks
in the park every Sunday afternoon. We were happy and free!
But I can still see my parents becoming smaller and smaller
before they disappeared in the wintry horizon forever!
I know you want to help. But, when I’m sad, don’t try to make me laugh. When I’m low, don’t try to cheer me up. When I look fed up, don’t try to solve my problems, I don’t want solutions, I want to be miserable and cry my sorrows. I want to feel my grief deep inside, and the pain, all of it. Yes, I know there’s a hole on the sofa, with the shape of my bottom. And I know day time TV is depressing, I don’t need a friend to tell me that! And no, I don’t want to go to the cinema! If you stay, stay in silence, invisible. And if I speak, just listen. By Anabela V.
Pure cotton, soft feel, sky blue,
size 11, men’s, like new.
with business environments.
Open to change – sports or
perhaps the outdoors.
If you’re out there, likewise lost
and bored on your own,
don’t be shy! Get in touch, even
if you’re silk, wool, nylon, other
colour or shade of blue.
I’m sick of being the only sock
left at the bottom of the basket.
I dream of slipping into shoes,
boots or trainers, feeling the leather
or whatever material, absorbing
the sweat and get smelly with another.
By Anabela V.
I’ve been intrigued by this mystery of odd socks for a long time. I mean, why is it that they only disappear one of each pair? And where do they end up? Who takes them? I’ve imagined all sorts of explanations over the years. This poem is me accepting the odd sock reality. Keep Calm and Wear Odd Socks. What can I say?!
I know you want to
when I’m sad,
don’t try to make me laugh.
When I’m low,
don’t try to cheer me up.
When I look fed up,
don’t try to solve my
I don’t want solutions,
I want to be miserable
and cry my sorrows.
I want to feel my grief
pulling me down,
and the pain, all of it.
Yes, there’s a hole
on the sofa,
with the shape
of my bottom. And
yes, day time TV
can make you
want to cut
I don’t need a friend to
tell me that! And no,
I don’t want to go
to the cinema! No,
I don’t want to go
out for coffee.
By Anabela V.
I wrote this poem during depression. Sometimes you feel so miserable and you don’t want to feel any different. Your friends and family want to help, to cheer you up but you don’t want to be happy, you just want to feel the pain. Eventually you’ll come out of it, but that can’t be forced by no other than the self.
Just because you’re getting married, you don’t
have to turn into a moron. Rather than ranting
at your nearest and dearest, call efficiency girl
to the rescue – your budget won’t stretch. Over
the years, how you imagined it to be, you
might want to cut down a special treat. Yes,
completely natural to have your eyes set on
a special gown. Refuse to be influenced by the
multitude of beautiful things you see on Pinterest.
Choosing bridesmaids can be a minefield, how do
you approach the idea? Picture the scene: a
bohemian wedding? Current and decadent?
Gourmet food stations with a sense of theatre –
making the eating experience fun for your guests.
Celebrations going into the night, truly unforgettable.
By Anabela V.
I thought this was a good fun poem to start my collection here. This is a found poem, made up of collages from women and wedding magazines. It was my first found poem and I had lots of fun doing it, so it won’t be my last. This is something I will be experimenting with often in the future.
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