Steeple piercing sky, you left the cathedral door cracked for the hunched-back,
For people like me, too feeble to turn handle, never nimble, none-too-quick,
And here there is an altar at which to pray, night and day, whatever one has to say,
And God must be listening from vaulted heaven, ne’er assaulted by cries from below
In tragic humanity’s last great show, throwing caution to the wind at every bend,
So does this poor man kneel and whisper, hushed tone echoing across stone floor
Before rising like incense to throne of truth and justice, with soul-deep moans,
Thank you for leaving cathedral door cracked neath steeple grand and imposing
We know you can make it through this valley,
That you can escape the darkness of this alley;
Only you doubt in your bout with depression
And repression of the fullest scope of real hope,
But that’s okay because we are here, very near,
And you are dear to us, thus we will not leave
Or forsake you to your burning burden alone;
Oh no! We know what it is like to hike this hill
And hear the shrill noise of fear in every part
Of the heart and feel a gaping hole in the soul,
For we are also children of the night
Who have faced this very same blight,
But we also found the bright light and alive life
To live not rife with pain but the greatest gain!
So we are here, too, to talk and walk with you
And, if you choose, to help you along the way;
You have nothing to lose and you are not alone!
Will you hear me when I cry,
Or will you just pass on by?
Will you see me in distress,
Or will you deny tenderness?
Will you open your heart to me,
Or will you only leave me lonely?
Will you answer when I call,
Or will you just let me fall?
Will you treat me like a person,
Or allow my condition to worsen?
Will you reach out a loving hand,
Or let me drown in this quicksand?
And now here I am, wondering why it is I breathe this breath,
When everything around looks and sounds oddly like my death…
Oh! Will you hear me when I cry,
Or will you merely pass me on by?
Note: Originally published in November 2015, now republished for the consideration of new reader-followers
Do you think of the person who looks for a place to lay his head,
Wondering where he’ll get his next piece of bread?
Who finds a place to curl up against the cold winter’s night
Only to be told to move when he has nowhere to go,
Except maybe six feet below?
Or the little girl who whirls around from alleyway to alleyway
Trying to find someone who cares but only ends up
With some pervert that binds her behind locked door?
Do you consider the old woman with shopping cart
Who makes dumpsters her grocery mart?
Or the wandering band from a foreign land
They used to call home?
Or the shell-shocked children of Gaza
Who search for toys among rock and rubble plazas?
Do you think oils spills that poison drinking water
Or the mountain of bills the poor cannot afford to pay?
Or the bullets that kill amidst the shrill screams of war?
Or the ill who have no medical care
Because they cannot bear the cost?
Or the man lost in his own world without hope of escape?
Or blackened drapes, sour grapes, formless shapes,
And untold rapes?
Say, what do you think when you blink your eyes at the world?
Before you say ‘happy holidays,’ think and sink into reality . . .
* * * * * * * *
Do you consider the person who looks for a place to lay his head,
Wondering where he’ll get his next piece of bread?
Terrified soul curled up in the corner like a foreigner to life itself,
Your very own emotions have caused an unbelievable commotion
Inside your mind to bind you in confusion and rank desperation;
Ah! But there is reparation for all of your pain and your suffering,
And there is One who understands and cares, who can help you
Bear your burden, bringing bright light into your darkened spirit;
And there are many, many others who care and will help you bear
With piety your burden of overwhelming depression and anxiety;
You are not alone though you are prone to feel exactly this way . . .
But, maybe, you’ve not been shown that others’ll hear your groan
And respond in compassion, support, affection ‘n love from above;
Do not despair! There is help to repair your ill-damaged psyche!
Pray, pick up the phone and much-needed help will be on the way!
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
Veterans Suicide Hotline: 800-273-8255
Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
When the demon of despair comes to make war
Send the One of Love to the door for the chore
Along with Truth to sound the warning bell
Before sending that dark wraith back to hell!
Allow the Spirit of Peace to gently flow in to
Repair the horrible damage inflicted by despair;
Raise your hands and sing to bring Lady Joy
Into the room along with her serenity broom
To sweep and clean out all feelings of doom;
You need not be victim to the dictum of despair;
Charge forward and chase away hollow despair,
And let Hope swallow the debris left behind
By this unkind and unwanted foe . . .
Yes, strike your blow! With such allies, strike!
How can you help but be lachrymose at the kiosk of life?
You peer into the lacunae of the souls of those who buy
Without even knowing why and you try to explain in vain,
But every person bears some irremovable stain of heart
That you yourself cannot even begin to clean
Because to that one the spot remains unseen!
And who’s to blame for such shame when what you offer
You offer for free to any person who might see the value
Of your gift to lift them out of folly and absolute despair?
Yes, your gift would repair their sickly minds and souls;
Instead, you’re left weeping, keeping your gift in hand –
Lachrymose at the kiosk of life . . . you cry as you try . . .
Cast down, rejected, born one lonely,
Surrounded by crowds bathed in love
Never touching sordid soul so unholy,
Encoffined in dark, no light from above.
This prison is mine, and I despair alone,
And comes no mercy on wings of wind,
Nor calls my beloved in passion’s tone
To loose my bonds and heart remend.
Will weeping sound and love be given
To the life-gone man who lies in state;
Affection enfold the cursed of heaven,
And on cold lips offered kiss too late?
Note: First published in May 2012
Hell appointed me my own personal dæmon,
So I know I am never completely a free man,
At least not free from his haunts and taunts;
He loves to keep me in a state of confusion,
And bait my muddled mind with flies of lies;
So now comes his usual eerie query:
Are you somehow an unseemly blunder
Cut completely asunder from heaven?
And the next question in his oppression:
Are you unique or rather painfully plain?
And then he begins his aggression:
You serve no purpose in the corpus of life!
You’re surplus baggage fit more for a circus;
You could be dead and no head would bow;
You’re lame, but the game goes on and on . . .
How long before you know you don’t belong?
Then my dæmon becomes more pointed:
You’re gallant in writing with no talent,
You’re defiant in speaking but not valiant,
You’re determined to make some difference,
But constantly run into a wall of indifference,
You talk but people balk at whatever you say,
And your days are long and people avoid you,
And you’re not employed in anything gainful,
But rather engaged in what is so disdainful;
You delude yourself sometimes into believing
That you’re brave when really you’re a knave!
And so my dæmon speaks and I’m quite weak
As I critique myself by the words I’ve heard,
Although I try to listen to the glistening words
Of my angel, but I cannot hear and tears come;
And I try to kneel but keel over on the floor
Where I bore a hole so I can go underground
Like a mole and so live underneath the earth
In psycho-spiritual dearth for all my worth . . .
Sometimes repression of depression is hard,
Chiefly when hell’s appointed you a dæmon,
Your very own companion from Tartarus!
Cracked sidewalks, garbage stacked in yards, walls crumbling
Like some ransacked city with plenty to distract the eye
From shreds and shards of beauty still peeping out of holes
In the ground, seeping through overflowing blueish sewage
Of filth, and some band plays of resistance in the distance,
Last waltz for the faults of an overgrown society gone insane
To become the bane of the world, hurled into despair with
No hope of repair, and so vacant eyes stare into nothingness
As politicians cry for votes and refugees sail in on boats,
And cooperationists gloat over their wealth while the health
Of this Babylon deteriorates and economists debate the rate
Of currency, fundamentalists berate, and the wealthy satiate
Insatiable appetites while the rate of decline continues on,
And the people dance to the wrong song as darkness descends
And evil transcends this city once shining on emerald hill;
Yet morning will come again without warning,
And light dispel the night without any fright.
Hold On In Faith.