Poetry about Mental Health from Maria A. Arana

photo from Denny Muller on Unsplash.com

Window in the Dark

i walk past your slumber
catch a glimpse of your sleep
 
you toss to break away
doors to this dark room
 
night teachings of fear
i reach the doorknob and find gum
 
my fist connects with the window
shattering the glass into shards
 
i climb out
find a light switch
 
but shadows weave in
and grab hold of it
 
darkness reminds 
my hands bleed

i push myself back
past your bed
 
the pace changed my feet
now stuck on shoe glue
 
but your slumber resists
stays undisturbed
 
my cold breath screams out
our bedroom locks us in full retreat
 
while wind chimes whisk tunes unchanged
until my eyelids open


Spider's Mess

cobwebs overhead
tell nothing of what’s ahead
            fountains of blood
            mountains of flesh
inside this room
 
cobwebs hang icicles
tell nothing of what’s to come
            water falls like knives
            fire burns holes
inside my heart
and there you wait

This is what Faded Love Looks Like

we both knew 
this would happen
 
tell me you love me
tell me you care
 
then the times
when you don’t remember 
the last ache could spill over 
 
tell me it’s okay
tell me we’re through
 
playing games on the front lawn
where our soaked feet kiss the dawn
and memories still find their way home


Bio: Maria A. Arana is a teacher, writer, poet, and editor. Her poetry has been published in various journals including Spectrum, The Gonzo Press, and The Kleksograph. You can find her at https://twitter.com/m_a_Arana and https://aranaeditingservices.com

2009: A Recovery From Her Spiderweb by David L O’Nan

2009 A Recovery From Her Spiderweb

It had been 10 years 
A cold February Kentucky wind
Through a panic call
I guess united by fears
Silence, on a dark night drive
Clarity, lost through the wires
Arrivals to the death of Indigo.

A foolish man falls prey
To a Jekyll and Hyde constellation
Her screams, her pills, her knives & blades threatening
I have to be bare like the roses
Or else,
And now throw me to the pond,
Leave me a fish wanting to die.
In obscurity, floating with a manic dead mind.

You tried to weaken me, with words, with threats
Used me,
Driven me away to a trail of trauma
Like a long walk into a viewless forest.
Planted seeds of fire to my heart.

Trust comes on like impulsivity now
In a fright,
For what is real
And what is a monster with soft skin
I blister to my hands from a false touch.

That spreads like a virus.


 “Before the Bridges Fell” by me David L O’Nan Poetry book is out today on Cajun Mutt Press 

Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey Wren

Bending Rivers: The Poetry & Stories of David L O’Nan out now! 

Fevers of the Mind founder bio: David L O’Nan (WolfPack Contributor) 

New poem by Lily Maureen O’Nan

Untitled

Cough, cough.
Where did the light go,
Or what,
Does it really do,
For a mind on chaos,
Drugs?
You said to me,
"Don't go sideways,"
But I slid.
I fell, I stumbled.
Fuck our little, 
Bubble.
Polarized images seek,
To create a society,
Of death,
A culture of depravity.
All I'm left with,
Is thought,
And perceptual discord.


*a poem about psychiatric medication and relapse*

Lily Maureen O'Nan is a non-binary transfeminine, (they/she) writer and psychology major working towards becoming a disability rights activist in the process.  Lily is the sister of editor of site David L O'Nan.

A Fevers of the Mind Poetry Showcase for Duane L. Herrmann

Gasping For Air

Dark hole sucks
me in suddenly,
no warning
and I'm lost
falling, falling, falling.
No bottom, no end,
until time passes
while others stand
condemning
they know not what.
Private agendas
pursued regardless
of consequences
to the future.
The one in pain
gasps, seeing
destruction looming
restrained from stopping.

Automatic "ON"

There is a switch
I cannot find
somewhere
inside of me.

PANIC! PANIC!! PANIC!!!

It sounds alarms
instantly, before
I know it's happened.
Train thunders by
pulling me along.
Far down the way
steam has decreased
and my brain
can think again.
Others say: “Insane,
unreasonable, bizarre,
not fit...” No.
Just mental wiring.

Jumbled Together

Reading, I come
to jumbled letters
on the page.
A word, I think,
but what?
Makes no sense.
I close my eyes,
stop thinking,
let the letters sort
themselves right.
Open my eyes:
there is now a word
and I continue
reading.
Less, this happens
as age becomes
my pain, yet
I remember still


Letters Stand

A mind contesting
with its brain
over what the body
will do – 
or won't.
The daily, hourly,
struggle of one
so graced with dys-
lexia. Letters
on the page don't
stand still, or
stay in order.
Others have no clue.
Child doesn't know
all others aren't the same – 
this, the normal
he only knows.
I know.

Unfoldment

When your grip is slipping
off the rope
and there is no length left
for another knot
to hang on to....
What do you do?
What do you hold on to?
What can you do?
What will hold you up?

Wings

WINGS
will set you free!
WINGS
you didn't know you had.
WINGS
of unknown power.
WINGS
beyond belief.
WINGS to fly!



Bio: Duane L. Herrmann, an internationally published, award-winning poet and historian, has work featured in print and on-line publications as Midwest Quarterly, Little Balkans Review, Flint Hills Review, Manifest West, Inscape, Orison, Gonzo Press, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, and more, in  fifty-plus anthologies, over one hundred other publications, plus a sci fi novel. A fifth generation Kansan, with branches of his family here before the revolution, and a Native branch even longer, he writes from, these perspectives. His full-length collections of poetry include: Prairies of Possibilities, Ichnographical, Praise the King of Glory, No Known Address, Remnants of a Life, and Family Plowing. His poetry has received the Robert Hayden Poetry Fellowship, inclusion in American Poets of the 1990s, Map of Kansas Literature, Kansas Poets Trail, and others.  This, despite an abusive childhood embellished by dyslexia, ADHD, cyclothymia, an anxiety disorder and now, PTSD.  The father of four and grandfather of seven, he was surprised to find himself on a farm in Kansas and is still trying to make sense of that, but has grown fond of grass waving under wind, trees, and the enchantment of moonlight.

Poetry Showcase for John Zurn

brown wooden panel door beside gray concrete wall

The Carrot and the Pole

The carrot lashed on to the pole
led to a hollow hope.
The ring that pulled against my nose
dragged me through dos and don’ts.
The choking leash chewed up my neck
and held me back from living.
But every night I still come back
to thoughts that need forgiving.

Structure

The structure of the pills and rules
can keep emotions balanced.
Like a box of useful tools,
it helps the poet manage.
Sometimes it can crush the soul
because the structure smothers.
Other times it fails to hold 
and only courage matters

Some Call it Depression

Some call it depression 
when life turns dark and dull.
Others claim that effort
can take the pressure off.
Yet those who speak of feelings
mostly live in books.
Their minds believe in speaking
with self-important words.

Disconnected

Walking on egg shells
oaths made of doubt.
Prayers turn to silence
as mood storms dry out.
The soggy air sops up
the left over mind.
The hope of attention
is now lost to time.
Answers keep stalling
so questions drop-off.
This latest rejection
is hard to ignore.
God must exist 
he’s called here before.
But now he’s too busy,
and so never calls.

Bio: John Zurn has been faced with the challenges of bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder for his entire adult life.  Over the years he gradually learned that: medication, physical exercise, meditation and creative writing were vital for his long term recovery. Despite this challenge, he still managed to work as a teacher and counselor for over thirty-five years. Now retired, he has more time to write and publish poems and stories.  As one of seven children, his experiences growing up continue to help inspire his art and influence his life

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