Poetry Feature for Linda M. Crate from the Anthologies

holding onto dreams

I remember
being bullied as a child
for everything:
being shy, my weight,
the color of my eyes,
my laugh, my refusal to
drink underage,
my clothes, my sensitivity—
anything perceived as weakness
was a weapon they’d use
against me,
it wasn’t until my uncle
took his own life
I realized that i didn’t want to die
just wanted the pain inside
of me to wither away like a flower before winter;
and I feel so guilty for being so lost
inside my own pain
that I didn’t realize he had struggles
of his own—
but he told me to chase my dreams
relentlessly and never let them go,
and so, I am here holding onto this anthem;
hoping one day I can make him proud.

check on the strong ones

I never want anyone to feel
so lonely, so empty, so useless,
unwanted or unnecessary as I did;
and so, I am the friend that will always
be there no matter how bad
it is for my own mental health—
the friend that will always make you
laugh and help when she can, the one who
will never tell you her struggles,
the one who says she’s fine when
she’s really not;
you all need to remember to check
in on your strong friends
because sometimes even our knees buckle
sometimes we cannot tell you the well rehearsed
lie that we are fine
sometimes our bones are heavy and our hearts
become stone leading us to the bottoms of oceans—
sometimes we need help lifting ourselves out of the waters
of our fevered minds, sometimes we need someone
brave enough to face mountains that are not theirs to face,
someone who will listen instead of waiting to speak

For as Long as I Remain

when i think of home
i imagine house
of my parents,
they live in a place with
an ageless face
whose beauty sighs in clouds
and blue skies and trees tall as
skyscrapers;
it is in the fields and forests i spent
a lot of time growing up—
the loner no one understood
unraveled herself in thick puffs of white clouds,
endless blue skies,
choruses of rambling creeks and babbling brooks,
in fields of orange wild lilies growing by the side
of the road,
in the wings of butterflies and crows;
there is peace to be found in the heart of this place
so i focus on those memories when i can
because not every memory is potatoes and gravy
some are heavy stones i try to chisel away—
but in nature i found pieces of me
that music and books couldn’t give,
and a peace that will cleanse me for as
long as i remain.


You’re Always There

when i remember home
it is inevitable
that i remember you
i wish sometimes
the rain could wash away
past memories,
but you are in my recollection;
in my bones
haunting me over and over—
when will it ever be
enough for you?
you hunger for something
that was never yours,
and i told you no;
but you tried to take it anyway—
then at college,
when i was finally loosening my petals,
beginning to feel safe
you found me;
“i bet you don’t remember me”, you grinned
all i could do was stare like a doe
caught in the headlights
of a vehicle
gutted by a ruthless hunter
hungry for blood
no matter the cost—
why couldn’t you leave me alone?
the forced kisses i insisted
you didn’t take,
the attempted rape;
now when someone tells me
i have a pretty smile it’s a trigger
and you are shooting over me
over and over again
until all i want to do is crawl
into the bones of a past self so you
cannot torment the current me—
it never works,
you’re always there.

This Place Isn’t Mine

i miss living in the town i grew up in, home cooked meals and dusty dirt roads; a village
of trees and stalks of corn taller than me—there were always adventures to be had in the
woods, always secrets the wind would tell me; i would always uncover some new
mythology of my name and bones—i miss being able to wake up to a sunrise and see a
sunset clearly, where the hustle of city life wasn’t so predominant; a place where i didn’t
feel threatened simply by existing—i miss the moments spent in tranquil nature, listening
to crowsong and dancing beneath the moon; visits to the beach or standing in the creek,
hearing the psalms of trees—i don’t like this place of endless sidewalks, buildings, and
the omnipresent arrival and departure of vehicles; i like the music of the country better: the mooing cows, the cawing crow, the songbirds, the barking dogs, and singing crickets;
everything is better than the constant beeping and whirring of people focused on being
somewhere other than where they are—i just want to wrap myself up until i can be
husked and boiled away from this place and come out shimmering, new, beautiful, and
reformed.

i understand why

found a puzzle piece
of me
you all tried to keep
hidden from me
all these
moons,
and i understand why;
the dark feminine says respect me
or perish
so the lot of you’d be dead
for all the disrespect you’ve always
dished me—
but I’ve stepped into
my power and magic,
and i feel more secure about
myself than i ever have;
it is easy to make an insecure girl
bend to your whim and will
and make her doubt herself until she
succumbs and obeys—
but i am no longer that little girl
who is terrified,
i have become the terror that will haunt
you in your nightmares;
i will not apologize because you should’ve
apologized for not accepting me as i was.


the girl that loved you died

my heart was a wilted flower,
and you plucked the petals;
let me bleed for a love you refused
to reciprocate because you were
taken with your fantasies of me
rather than who i really was—
had a lust that killed me,
but i rose from the ashes of your chaos
on these mighty flaming wings;
a phoenix whose tears may heal but her
fires burn
immortal of the flame
ancient daughter of the moon—
i am a warrior
always have been,
my rebellious nature and sharp tongue
have gotten me into trouble;
but i refuse to be
tamed—
wild as a forest fire and hurricane
you will never find anything but ruin should you
stand in the way of me and my dreams,
and so i recommend you stay far away from
my kingdom;
because the girl that loved you
died
and the dark feminine stands in her place
this dark phoenix will be your end

they say i’m aggressive

i am always told i am aggressive,
but why can’t a woman be fierce?
why should i apologize for the fact that
i won’t be taken advantage of?
got a sharp wit and a sharp tongue,
and whilst i can be flowers and compassion
i am also raging storms and lightening strikes;

a magic that no one understands
i am hecate’s daughter—

everyone misunderstands me
as they do my friends the crows and ravens,
but that makes me no less a queen;

i was born at night
the darkness doesn’t scare me
because i know how to survive the darkness

sometimes it is the light that is more terrifying
because you never know if it is a false dream
or a betrayer who is a fallen devil singing
the songs of an angel—

but i am a spooky queen
you shouldn’t cross me
because i dance with all the rage and wrath
of the witches, you burned in my family
eons ago,
and i am a woman you cannot burn;
a phoenix whose flaming wings and talons

can rip you to ruin.

there’ll be a rematch

i was lost in a dark limbo
hurt to think of love or you or anything

wanted to close my eyes,
thought of how pretty it would be
to observe the creek from
beneath the water;

i was suffering a deep depression
that almost swallowed me whole
except my family and friends refused to give up
on me no matter how sad or angry i was—

you claimed you loved me,
but love isn’t supposed to be an ache
that rips you apart until you feel like
a broken sunset
tripping over clouds until your light
fizzles into night;

i lost our child and your love and all respect
for myself because i thought you cheating on me
made me less beautiful and i saw an ogre
every time i looked into the mirror—

but, darling, you were the monster;
you woke the monster in me, too—

one day there will be
a rematch,
you’ll lose.


longer than i remember

i may be strange and unusual,
but i am in the land of the living;
full of so many worlds and characters
it could take centuries to unravel
them all from every universe of me—

people get lonely being alone,
not me;
i am actually addicted to it

silence is much preferable
to small talk—

and with all these ideas, i have,
i’m never truly alone;
even when no one is here
the words keep me company

no one seems to understand that—

they tell me i need someone,
but i have always had to lean on myself
for strength because no one has
ever been there for me;

so why do i need another person?

they say ultra-independence
is a sign of trauma,
but i already know because i’ve been
suffering with pstd and trust issues
longer than i can remember.

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Linda M. Crate

From Linda:
The themes of my latest chapbook center around rebirth, reincarnation, and learning from the past. It speaks upon how events from past lives can still impact us today, and sometimes looking and learning from the past can actually make us stronger. It is about overcoming emotional trauma and embracing the inner warrior and fighting for a better future.

Follow Linda on twitter @thysilverdoe
Check out her latest poetry chapbook “The Samurai”

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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