Let Me Sleep

It's not fair I can't fall asleep with the trees every winter
and only rise again when the distant sun returns
being left abandoned in this windswept landscape
is too much agony to endure year after year

Left to live as a corpse in this cold darkness
denied the sweet slumber offered to half of nature
unable to escape into an expanded unconsciousness
until I am awaked by the scent of spring flowers

Half my life is wasted waiting for the thaw
huddled into myself for safety and warmth
where the beauty of the silent snow
cannot creep into my veins

Patience is a virtue I have not been artful in
the ticking clock torments me and tears me down
telling me I must rise and not let time slip by
while my delicate soul continues to shiver
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January 2023

January punishes with pale grey glances
punctuated by ragged breaths of sharp wind
the air is empty of all familiar affection
no more lingering, soft caresses from the sun

The candles have all been extinguished on hearths
and families that had gathered for feasting
seem to have long since dispersed and dissolved
back into this new year of silent, bleak darkness

Expected to set goals while my soul is frozen over
exhausted by the pitiful effort of just trying to get by
themes of death thud against the weather worn door
while paper crane wishes are swallowed up in icy oblivion

Winter is a season where time stands still
and all perspective on life is lost within waiting and
the halfhearted insistence I'll feel good again in spring
promise me this practice of painful patience will pay off 

It Doesn’t Feel Like a Choice

Can a broken brain really fix itself?
maybe it requires a lot of help
but how can you seek out something
you're already certain you don't deserve?

I've tried relentlessly to turn
the tides of my mind toward the sun
but the familiar shore of rage and despair
is magnetic as it resists every effort

It's gotten no easier to resist this automatic
under toe of self-defeating thoughts
when it pulls my head below the waves
so swiftly and with such strength

Self-love practices that once felt like salvation
have turned sour under the miasma of this mind
shame and disappointment have piled onto the
frustration of not being able to be different

I had really hoped that it was a choice
that I could decide to feel better
but now I doubt that it's fully true
there are more factors to change than sheer will

It feels like an attack to keep hearing it's up to me
when I've been trying my very best
but it's still not enough to get by
I guess I should be glad it worked for a little while

Christmas is Over

Soft warm light suspended
in the brutal vacuum of snow
one final day of indulgence
before the empty months commence

January is the longest part of the year
a vicious nod to immaterial time
that contracts and expands as it pleases
to trap us in the cold violence of winter

The sunshine tide will slowly ascend
further up the shores of frozen evenings
to melt the aching numbness of 
vitamin D and dopamine withdrawal

But even the faithful repetition of 29 years
cannot convince me that the trauma of winter
will give way to green abundance once again
and melt this ice inside my veins

Waiting in this black and white is a reminder
that I still haven't found the patience
I was promised would come with age
just more pain piled on with yearly practice

The Path of Least Resistance

I'm tired in a way I can't put into words
the liquid soul I once housed with pride
has slowly dripped away, now I'm bone dry

Even the effort of asking myself what I want
is more than I can manage anymore
all I want is to want nothing

This spiritual fatigue leads me to what is easy
the path of least resistance is what I always pick
regardless of the potential for happiness

It just feels unlikely I'll ever uncover the strength
to lift my head back up to face the world as I did
and self-pity has become so sour on my tongue

I want to be an artist and add my own beauty to life
but my intentions get twisted and misconstrued
distracted by the imagined gaze of unknown eyes

So ashamed at the presumption of being worthy
tearing myself to shreds to demonstrate to the world
how aware I am that I'm not enough

How can you ask for help when you don't feel you deserve it?
how can you change direction when you're too tired
to keep walking?

Lost Appetite

Certain seasons of life pass by
in a painful haze of indifference
all appetite for living has been lost
a shade of sadness that turns the stomach
and leaves you without even a taste for longing

Sifting through the sterile earth
the ashen grey dust of memory
searching for even an aftertaste of delight
hope can only sprout in the fertile soil of
a desire for better things to come

When even yearning has gone sour
this prison of depression is complete
the gaping maw of all consuming despair
swallows up past, present, and future alike
into the black hole vacuum of its belly

Not even light can escape this sunken place inside
a yearly ritual of falling head first
into the black and white chasm of winter
exhausted limbs clinging to
a foggy faith in the coming spring

Burning to Be Enough

This ever-present emptiness
aches as it echoes
quick, shallow breaths
catch on inner absence

Wanting to wrap the words of others
around my wounds in place of proper dressing
no sentiments offered are ever satisfactory
to sterilize this self-induced infection

The inflamed ego agony of not enough
cannot be extinguished by anyone else
decades dedicated to feeding the flames
leaves little room for course correction

A wall of fire rising so high
sometimes it feels like all that is left
is to be asphyxiated by the smoke
and silently submit to the blaze  

Is It Practice or Pretending

Sometimes I miss the days
when hating yourself was cool
now that I was good at
cigarettes and self harm
underaged drinking and drugs
from disreputable sources
not caring about my future
was a free fall into darkness
but at least it felt free
self-hatred had a shadow
of pity and compassion
I could wrap around myself
at the very end of the day
a full-bodied surrender
to unshakable sadness

Shifting perceptions of self care
can start to feel like a curse
when you can never live up
to your own expectations
shame and self-doubt stack up
the irony of forced kindness
metallic aftertaste of unworthy
a constant struggle with
the authoritarian arbiter
of my own inner voice
will it ever get easier
to give myself grace
now my shadow is self-criticism
for being utterly unable
to practice what I preach

I’m So Tired Lately

Lead weight of lethargy
limbs made heavy
by slow flowing blood
cursed with a natural inclination
to bow before gravity's siren song

taking small sips of poison potions
in search of a lightening elixir
squinting eyes gaze at the sun
soft prayer for this feather soul
to grow glorious wings

Sloppy frustration of trying to swim
through water with baggy clothes
saturated by the dense atmosphere
of all the things that can never be known
while holding the boulder of what is

Energy wasted and unseen between
tangled networks of misfiring neurons
thoughts running thick like black ink
spilling over and staining everything
filled up with empty fear

Invisible burden of a world on fire
venom coughs from soggy lungs
silent sickness of a sinking mind
staring blankly upwards from
beneath the dark rhythm of the sea

Different Shades of Loneliness

I don't know which is worse
to be truly and utterly alone
or to be alone with someone
who doesn't even see you

Is it really better to have a warm body
that can never bare witness to your soul
than to be emotionally and physically on your own
in this over-populated, under-connected world

there is a sickening angst that curdles inside
bitterness and resentment grow in the shadows
where the light of being known never touches
sometimes disregard stings worse than rejection

A fiery desperation to be acknowledged
the falling sensation of a love without foundation
an inner self left writhing under skin-crawling falsity
rising in rebellion against half-hearted affection

Disgust and denial say this cannot be salvaged
but fear leaves me lingering in the decaying doorway
memories of what I once thought this might become
daggers that flare up passion in a desolate heart

Nothing could be worse than the violence of indifference
stepping out from a shelter that blocks all possibility of sun
to submit myself to the endlessly overcast, unprotected sky
not knowing if storms will come or the sun will rise