Sunflower

The florets don’t share their color;
they maintain their vibrancy
and their contrast to the bland surroundings.

I rub my fingertips against the sunflower petals,
trying to extract their hue
that I might use it to paint my dark world
bright and golden.

The florets don’t share their color;
they maintain their vibrancy
and their contrast to the bland surroundings.

The pads of my fingers also remain the same–
bare of yellow–
only the skin-tone whorls and loops and arches
that existed long before my attempt at amelioration
can be seen.

And yet something in the murky cosmos,
though nearly imperceptible,
has changed.


Photo by Mike from Pexels


If you liked this poem, here are some other similar poems:

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O, Poem-maker

Poem-builder,
can you build a poem
of bricks of uninspiring numbness

Poem-maker,
can you make a poem
out of wallowing in silence
from the sadness
that arose from nothing?
Can you make a poem
out of the inability to get out of bed
on the weekends,
of only possessing motivation
when it is for others?

Poem-writer,
can you write a poem
about how heartbreak lingers
and never truly heals?
Can you write a poem
of lessons that should have been learned long ago
yet keep being taught
without being absorbed?

Poem-builder,
can you build a poem
of bricks of uninspiring numbness
that floods and muffles and mutes
every experience?
Can you build a poem
of concrete
with its dark, gray hue
and brutalistic shapes and lines?

Because I feel guilty
when I write these things
and don’t offer a solution,
a termination of the morose feeling
that pervades many of my waking moments.

Perhaps there’s a beauty in these moments, too,
and even if there isn’t,
they still need to be spoken.

I’m just not sure
if I’m the right one
to do the speaking.


Original photo by Alex Buretz from Pexels

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Fake Tomorrows

This cycle is too persuasive
and this cycle calls my name.

I long for words I’ve never written
and for songs I’ve never sung.
I long for feelings I’ve never felt
and for bells I’ve never rung.

I’ve imagined these possibilities–
my mind does this when I’m down–
It makes problems out of naught
just like a dust mote on a crown.

Though reminiscing about nothing
and self-berating causes shame,
this cycle is too persuasive
and this cycle calls my name.

Now, my blue skies all have faded
to shades both gray and dark
with no more hope of sunshine
to light the outlines oh, so stark.

I cannot fight or face it–
I’ve already gone too deep
I can’t climb from this chasm
Nor call for help nor leap.

So, please come Serotonin,
please come Dopamine,
please come Vigor for Life,
please come Fresh, and please come Green.

Take me back to my home–
I have somehow lost my way.
I became trapped by fake tomorrows
and by pretend yesterdays.

I’ve tried to end this poem
on a nice, uplifting note,
but today, I just can’t make it happen.


Photo by Aakash Sethi from Pexels

Today’s resource for knowledge and compassion is the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), which lists suicide prevention helplines throughout the world and in various languages. Just use the helpful map on their homepage to select your continent, and you’ll be redirected to a list of hotlines and websites that might be pertinent to you.

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D.C.

In a heartbeat, three simple words etched themselves on my tongue

Here’s another poem that I had written just slightly earlier than “That Night” on the opposite side of the same piece of scrap paper.


D.C.



I miss sitting with you.

I remember that day, staring at the rushing Potomac before us
And how your head was in my lap.
We were surrounded by history and new experiences,
But all I could think about was you, just you.

In a heartbeat, three simple words etched themselves on my tongue
And seared the back of my throat
And crushed my chest from the inside.
I opened my mouth and said nothing.

I often wonder if I had said what I was feeling in that moment,
Would everything be different now?
Would this aching core of mine be threatening
To tear me apart with its slashing claws and gnashing teeth?

All these months later, I am stuck once more.
I keep trying to run, trying to fly,
But your gravitational pull is too strong
For me to even leave the ground.

Am I trapped by your will or my own?

Your birthday forces fresh blood
Out of the wounds you inflicted.
How can I put into words how important you are to me
Without being reduced to tears?

So again, I stay silent,
And again, I am filled with what-ifs.


Image by David Mark from Pixabay

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That Night

You say that I’m pretty,
But I learned long ago not to accept your drunk compliments.

Photo by Arun Thomas from Pexels

I found a poem that I wrote on a piece of scrap paper several years ago, and I wanted to share it with all of you!

I wrote this poem as a way to process the emotions that I was dealing with when the guy who had broken up with me two months prior called me on video chat in the middle of the night. Dealing with an inability to say “no,” my genuine fear about his safety, and the complicated nature of our exes-but-best-friends relationship, I probably didn’t handle this night as well as I could have. Looking back on this experience, I have several notes for myself. For one, I didn’t owe him my time if he was genuinely making me feel uncomfortable. For two, he probably wasn’t in as much danger as I thought he was.

Since writing these verses, I like to hope that I’ve improved my poetic abilities. If I have, it’s all thanks to time, reading more poetry, and additional experience with writing. If I haven’t then, well, I guess I was just doomed to backslide. Either way, I left the poem mostly unedited because it came from such a raw place, and I didn’t want to lose that by fussing with it. So, without further ado, here’s the poem:

That Night

My heart beats faintly
Threatening to end this life,
To finish the work that you began.
It’s too slow, and I am stuck once again
With all my wordless forevers unable to break free.

You’re drunk, and I’m the person you call.
You list your plans for the next year.
You rip my heart out with that litany
Because I know when you say you want to do these things
You don’t mean that you want to do them with me.

You say that I’m pretty,
But I learned long ago not to accept your drunk compliments.

I mutter out a halfhearted thank you in return.

I keep you with me because you drank way too much,
And I’m afraid that something might happen to you
If I dare to hang up.

It takes hours, but you finally sober up enough
That I am no longer worried about your life.
I finally ask you the question
That has been gnawing at me all night:
“Why am I your go-to drunk conversation person?”

“Because,” you answer,
“you are my person.”

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