I know that you’re here. I feel you in the air.
The frost in the trees. The taste in my hair.
I know you’ve come back. You fool me no more.
I know what you smell like. I know what you’re for.
I feel depression crawling, clawing back to play.
I feel my eyesight change, from vividness to grey.
I feel the sleepy, creepy cold that coffee cannot slake.
I feel the touchy, tetchy mold that makes my brain cells ache.
I will give in. I choose not to pretend you’re gone.
I will give in. I acknowledge the control trip that you’re on.
I recognize my weakness, and I recognize your skill
You suck away my stamina and drink away my will
But I will not give up; giving up ain’t giving in.
I will not give up. This ain’t a game you’ll win.
I know that you’re here, and I’ll play on tonight,
But soon you will vanish, drift out of my sight.
So I pray for forbearance as I wait through the dark.
I seek now the patience of Noah on his ark.
The storm will soon end, and I will emerge.
For now I will nap, and just write this dirge.
It’s hard to hear all the anger
It’s hard to live with the strife
It’s hard to learn that conflict and hatred
Are the backdrop for living this life
It’s hard to talk with each other
It’s so hard to listen and hear
It’s hard when the very thought of someone
Can paint your emotions with fear
It’s hard to trust in the process
It’s hard to remember God’s promise
It’s hard to believe that divine light shines
From people who show forth no oneness
It’s hard to let go of harsh words
It’s so hard to hold onto patience
And it’s tragic how hard it always becomes
To hold on to kind affirmations
Anyone who told us that life would be easy
Was a fool or a liar at best
But why is it we all, no matter how privileged
Feel like we’re being oppressed
Waiting and watching
I am watching myself twist and gyre
I am waiting for the calm to come
A headache cries for a cure
My brain is pulsing and throbbing
Pop the two orange pills and wait…
In thirty minutes the peace arrives as the blood vessels release
Or whatever. Biology’s not my field.
But this today is no headache
A mind-ache perhaps or a soul-ache
The constriction different,
But no less real.
The cure less pharmaceutical,
But no less real.
An hour of yoga
A quarter of meditation
Or perhaps a few dozen lines of verse
Or so I want to believe
There are thoughts that subside into oceans of emotion
And feelings that glom into dread
There are monsters awake in the doldrums and neurons
I’m never alone in my head
I am nobody’s keeper —
— I am not responsible for their feelings
Yet I am the keeper of the monsters —
— I can tell them to sit down, be still
And I shall
There are two sorts of communities in my life:
The people without and the people within.
I am the keeper of the inside people
The monsters on the catwalk
The voices in the dark
They scold me
They call me
They think they make me
They don’t. I shall speak. And they shall listen.
But the outside people:
Their feelings are their own,
Their worries and fears
I will not take that blame
I will not own their pain
I am not their keeper
I will allow them their truth their meaning their hurt their joy their opinion their brilliance their stupidity
It’s not mine
And I will try, try to love them
Within and without
Has it been thirty minutes so soon?