-1This is dedicated to my older sister Rachel who was always there for me when I needed her to be, my little brother Jeff who I just met and saved my life, and my little sister Alicia, whom I hope despair never reaches.

Life is a funny thing. It has given me many insights into my own soul over the short span I have lived so far, and has provided me experiences that are hard to explain and were hard earned through the pain and suffering which seems to be the mode of thought for this era. I honestly think that technology has wrought upon us this impending air of depression and brought a darkened veil of it over the eyes of most of the people in America. Not to say that there wasn't depression and turmoil before now, just that most people didn't have the time for it.

A century ago, people were working hard every day, all day long, knowing they played a part in the economy in their own ways. These days, as a child growing up, coddled by the government and turned lazy by the sudden boom of technology of the past century, we find ourselves at a point in time where we have entirely too much time to ourselves to think of everything that has gone wrong in our lives. Whether this is true or not, I don't know. It's just a theory I entertain from time to time.

As I grew up in this age, at this time in human history yet to be made, I rose among humble beginnings and am still struggling to rise up out of the ashes of my own swiftly burning past. This is not going to be a tale of that past, in the sense of what you think, but a collection of my poetry dating from the time I was seventeen to the present and the changes I made along the way, including the dramatic ones of the past few years. Along the way will be commentaries from me, and I hope that you not only enjoy the ride, but gain inspiration to make something of your own lives.

Everyone is born to be great. They just have to discover what it is that they were meant to be great at and follow it passionately. It's not always what you think it is or will be, but something inside of you that has to be brought out as you come to understand who you are.

I began writing poetry at the age of seventeen, before I knew that the mood I was in was called depression and this poem is the first one that I ever wrote. Short, maybe not to the point, but it one that I wouldn't leave out.

The Saga of Man

Nature's bloom

The story of life

A mortal's doom

Stricken with strife

The spiral of death

From dawn of time

To reapers breath

Has no reason nor rhyme

The futile efforts of man so bold

Are nothing of sorts

When man grows old

We toil from dawn to dusk

Without asking why

We do what we must

Until the day we die

It will be too late

To be happy or sad

To love or to hate

Or to jump at each fad

To think we have grace

To think that we're special

When we're just a speck in space

Nothing more, nothing at all

Man's own egotism

Shall herald man's fall

I believe all poets who have gone through depression start at some point similar to this in their writing, where the shadow of impending doom lingers over everything they think, write and speak. Even if they themselves don't know or understand it, their subconscious speaks out through their conscious thought and tells anyone willing to see the signs what is in the thoughts of the poet. The feeling of being small and insignificant is normal, but nothing to dwell on. We may be small in the large scheme of things, but to those around us, we all play a very large part.

The Shadows

Do you see what the shadows hide

When you try to sleep at night

The creeping, sliding silhouettes

Greed, corruption and regrets

Eating into your subconscious

It feeds on your conscious

And creates your insecurities

What do you do with your inferiorities

When the shadows play

Your senses start to slide

Your sanity denied

Shadows dancing pirouettes

Another hypocrite in a world of hypocrites

A sleepless night for the furious

Dreading doom for the curious

And it becomes our insecurities

In the land of our inferiorities

When the shadows dance

Let your anger die

And let go of your wild side

Closing in, the world of silhouettes

Ridding the world of one more hypocrite

No help for the helpless

The world becomes once again survival of the fittest

And the rest becomes history

Another sin punished in the land of obscurities

When the shadows begin to close in

Perhaps it is folly to think that anything means anything, but looking back over my poetry as I compile it into this book, I realize now just how many signs I was putting into my writing, without even realizing what I was doing at the time. We all have the need to speak out and to be heard, but barely anybody wants to listen. This doesn't mean we should give up trying, but to be more careful to whom we reach out to. Sometimes a perfect stranger can be a better ear than some of our closest friends, Which is where I got my inspiration for the next poem.

The Tobacco-Bag Man

I saw a man sitting with a plastic bag

While walking down the road one day

Sitting by a city bus sign

He looked like an average guy

As I drew closer

He got ready a paper

For a cigarette he rolled in no time

The very next day

I saw the same man with tobacco bag

Sitting for the bus, rolling away

So I sat down next to him

And started talking a bit

I realized he had a lot to say

He talked about the world

And how it was unfair

He talked about the government

And how they scam every dollar

The more I listen,

The more I learned

The tobacco bag man was quite a scholar

Everyday after that

To that place I went back

To hear what he had to say

And watch him roll cigarettes from his tobacco bag

The fire with which he spoke

complimented the fact that he smoked

He looked so young, but

His eyes told what his tongue could not

An old man in the body of a youth

A soul old before it's time

troubled by ignorance uncouth

He began to teach me how to rhyme

"Everything in motion,

Has it's own rhythm"

He told me to find it and make it mine

The tobacco bag man

Never talked about himself

He always walked, never ran

He'd always greet me with a smile

As if he had a master plan

One day I went to meet him

And to my surprise, he wasn't there

I never saw him again

And it made me wonder

What happened to the tobacco bag man

Will I see him in thirty years

sitting at that same sign with his tobacco bag

Talking to some kid while breathing through an oxygen tank

Looking back on that time

I remember everything he had to say

And the impact that it's had on my life to date

If you're reading this, tobacco bag man,

I just want to say thanks

Thanks for helping me understand

Not that I'm saying you should go pick any stranger to talk to, just sometimes when desperation reigns high above our heads, we turn to someone, anyone, even the strangers on the street or at the bus stop. We don't think about what we're doing, we don't hope that it turns out to be the right thing to do or not, but more often than not, things turn out alright after a while. It always seems like a long time, but when all is said and done, a few years is a short period of time to go through even though it seems like an eternity while we live through it.

Bipolarousity

Swift anger

A bipolars' fear

Hidden depression

And trouble drawing near

Rising emotions

A bipolars' bane

Worse than acid lotions

It drives me insane

One little push

Sends me off the deep end

Like a sudden rush

I can feel my mind descend

Like a constant battle

Raging inside

Like a herd of cattle

I lose control of my mind

Happy; now sad

Laughing and then crying

Joyful; now mad

I feel like I'm dying...

Then after a while of this, it puts a strain on our minds. We go slightly crazy from it, crying ourselves to sleep at night because for some reason we can not get over all the bad stuff that was done to us in our life. We are broken in body and mind.

Breakdown

This fire inside

It burns me alive

Pain unendurable

Suffering incurable

They say you have to know pain to write

So I write and I write on through the night

You don't know what it's like to be me

Because only I have seen what I have to see

You can burn me

And cut me

Stab me, shoot me

But never will you kill me...

Nothing compared to the pain inside

To the lies that I try to hide

What's physical pain

When compared to the brain

It feels like a stain on my mind

Like I've been left behind

You can break the body

And the mind goes on

But break the mind

And the body's done

When will it all end

And how can I possibly defend

When I've gone off the deep end

When the pain just deepens

You can burn me

And cut me

Stab me, shoot me

But never will you kill me

My soul has been laid out

And I no longer have any doubt

My body has been laid to waste

And I feel that I must make haste

I've got to pick up and run

Before I pick up that gun

I just want to be left in peace

I Don't want to end up on the streets

I wrap my arms tight around my knees

And rock with the tears as they flow down my face

Like they're trying to keep pace

With my heart...

Breakdown; My mind went into lockdown

You can Burn me

And Cut me

Stab me; Shoot me

BUT NEVER WILL YOU KILL ME!!!

The only thing that seems real at this point is the pain. Pain and pain and pain beyond anything anybody could possibly ever know. Or so we think at the time. The truth is that 7 out of 10 Americans, at one point in their life, suffer from depression, hide it from the world and find a way to deal with it. 3 of the 7 Americans ends up committing suicide.

And for those of us who do not fall into suicide or depression there is still the chance of dying the old fashioned way, such as murder.

Life denied

The birth of a scheme

The well run dry

Dead at eighteen

In death he is free

His spirit let go

To a better place hopefully

Though what we don't know

For those he left behind

For those that cry

And the tears that blind

Why do the young have to die

May he live on in our minds

Even though he is gone

The tie that binds

Will prove to be just as strong

May his spirit fly

Let him rest in peace forever

Written in honor and memory of Christopher Cody Ballou-English

Along the same lines, are bullies. Now in movies today we are seeing more of the bullies that are mistreated at home or elsewhere and also dealing with depression issues of their own. I had a bully of sorts in my school that always gave me a hard time. A couple of years ago I was hanging out with a friend of mine and he said he had a friend who committed suicide, so I went over to this friends house with him for him to pay respects. I was a little bit surprised when I found out that it was the same bully, who I always thought was stronger, tougher, yet he succumbed to his weakness and let it drive the life out of him. It made me really think about things.

Innocent's Dying

There's no real reason

Why we're here or why we die

Just a simple trick of fate

These emotions of love and hate

It started when we were young

We were carefree and mostly dumb

But we weren't too blind to see

The innocents dying; 1, 2, 3

As young as we once were

We could still feel death's cold shiver

Always an accident that was blamed

The driver too fast or it was just a game

But as we got older

These deaths got colder

More detailed and way too close to home

Reading the words engraved in stone

Now I'm sitting here looking back

To the last death and the skins not black

Just a week or two ago

He lost all sight of hope

With a gun to his head and a bottle to his lips

How easy it is to lose sight of dreams

And regret becomes their funeral themes

Now who are we to blame

If blaming can wash away the pain

Death was bad enough before

And now suicide steps up to the floor

It started when we were young

We were carefree and happy and mostly dumb

But we weren't to blind to see

The innocents dying

...1...2...3...

Death

What is death

And why do we fear it

Who started this mess

And how does it fit

Life spirals down

And leaves us in the dirt

Why do people frown

When it's as natural as birth

The fear of the unknown

I laugh when I hear

We die and rot to the bone

So what is there to fear

All life leads to the grave

Nothing lasts forever

Why can't we be brave

Irrationality has gotten the better

We all die sooner or later

Why fear inevitability

Whether you be punk, goth, jock, or skater

You'll lie beneath the earth for eternity

Death Count

A year has passed already

Since that day a life stopped completely

A friend that met his bitter end

Just two short months after he became a man

Sometimes I sit and wonder why;

Why do the young have to die

Another acquaintance of mine dead this month

With a gun, too much, he'd had enough

A suicide and a murder

A year apart from one another

So you see the pattern the world takes on?

Misery and suffering and then we're gone

Sometimes you do and sometimes you die

And it's left up to family and friends to wonder why

Sometimes you have no choice

And sometimes you hear the instrument, your inside voice

Screaming for some justice in the world

Hope turning to regret and tide has turned

It's a tragedy spread by wildfire

Day in and day out, millions expire

And more people are left to mourn

Kids dying within two decades of being born

I still have no answer as to why; why do the young have to die?

We're left holding our breaths

Looking back, just counting the deaths

Suicide is on the minds of a lot of people. Not just those thinking about doing it, but people concerned about the people thinking about doing it. It even touched the mind of one of my best friend's son.

The Belt

A battered sanity hanging on a thread

What's going on inside his head

A solo youth moving slowly through the empty house

as quickly and silently as a little mouse

Bruises cover his face

Blood flowing still, but at a slower pace

Tonight he's had enough

He's tired of being tough

Just a boy at age thirteen

and tonight is his night of reckoning

Step-daddy got drunk again

And this time used more than his hand

The mother is in denial

She's been making him lie for quite a while

But tonight he's finally done

He's sick and tired of being the one

To deal with what shouldn't have begun

He grabs a belt from his step-dad's room

because his wasn't big enough to make the loop

Walking down the hall, he grabs a chair

And positions it where he thinks is fair

He climbs up on top

Loops the belt around the rafter and ties a knot

silent tears flowing as he makes out the letter

Not even wishing anymore that he had it better

He slides the belt through the loop at the end

And slipping it around his neck, let's it tighten

Wobble, wobble, wobble

The chair is ready to topple

The sound of a key in the door…

And the chair tips over

The letter slips out of his hand

A single tear makes it's way down his face

The door opens with a gasp

And now they have to live with their disgrace

The real story didn't happen this way, Thank God, but it came very close to it. Now I will share my views on suicide, starting with two that I wrote as I put myself in other people's shoes. I never did get around to writing my own suicide note. My life changed before I got around to it, but that's still later on in this book.

Suicide Note

If you're reading this, then I must be dead

Most likely from the bullet I put in my head

To those I left behind: my family; my friends

I'm sorry, but this is where my story ends

I couldn't take being alone anymore

I've gone through the very last door

Because nobody truly understands what I'm about

And because my head is too full of doubt

I have no girlfriend to date

And I'm working a job I hate

I'm the butt of every joke my new friends say

And if I step up, it's another hospital stay

I don't expect you to grieve or mourn for me

I know I'm not who anybody expected me to be

As the days pass by quickly

This gun looks evermore friendly

Becoming to me less deadly

And more a way out of being me

You don't understand, do you?

But that's ok, you were never meant to

Nobody ever does understand who I am

That's why you're reading these words written by my hand

Is it my fault that I suffer so?

Is it my fault I'm different than everybody else?

So radically gifted and yet erratically stinted

But then, nobody ever stopped to listen

To hear what I had to say

They always called me stupid and made fun

All because they never understood

But that's okay, I forgive them all

And in the end, it all rolls into a ball

Is there a god? Do you know?

I've always thought the answer was no

But I've been thinking as my sorrows deepened

And so, for my sins, I do repent

And I hope God forgives this one last offense

My suicide; my eternal weakness

Dear Mom and Dad

Dear Mom & Dad

Today is the last time you'll treat me this bad

I'm tired of being in this living hell

From day one, pain of some sort has been felt

Mom, remember when I was younger

And you said you wished you'd used the coat hanger

Remember the times you told me I was just an accident

The unwanted result of a careless incident

And Dad, remember how you've beat me every day

To the point where these scars will never fade

I hate you both and I hope you die

This is for every tear that I've cried

For every ounce of blood that I've shed

I'll never be able to fix what went wrong in my head

So tonight, when you're asleep, I'll take your gun

And place it between my nose and my tongue

For every wrong that you've done

The drugs I take no longer get me high

And I'm tired of wearing this mask of lies

When my blood begins to spill

I'm sure you'll be thrilled

I want to die

I want to feel the bullet go through the other side

And feel the snapping of tendons and nerves

I guess you could say I'm a little disturbed

For weeks I've planned this out

Today, I found your credit card and maxed it out

Ran you bankrupt and put you in debt

So now I can leave this world with no regrets

I stopped hoping for a better life

Because it amplified the pain inside

Well, now I have to go

The house is quiet and the chamber's full

Bang will be the sound of my brains hitting the wall

My saving grace were my little brother and sister who came into my life shortly before I turned 19. I had managed to track my father down online and was able to meet him in the year 2006, where I found out I had a little brother and sister. That was where the changes really began for me.

Fools and Suicide

A new generation of fools we are

Upper teens, lower twenties

We have made suicide an art

Anything has to be better, they sing

Well the blood that spills

Will not be mine, I swear

Myself, sometimes, I wish to kill

But I've found the thing to keep me here

I don't care about my soul

I could just as easily let the devil have it

With my suicide my penance for

The sins in my life, all that shit

Holy salvation is nice, I guess

But I have no hope that it will save my ass

So I don't live with the hope

Of somehow saving my soul

I love the Lord and Jesus Christ

But for them I do not live my life

Even though I have a cross branded upon my arm

That is to keep my demons from bringing me harm

No, it's for a handful of kids

My nephews, nieces, my little brother and sis

Who I can't leave without an uncle or make older brotherless

Not to say that all I wrote before this point didn't have it's own beauty to it, as macabre as it was. There are a few that I wrote that I do like, even though now I see all too clearly the hidden meanings of them. I would like to share a couple of these before moving on to the next stage.

Lacerations

We slip into this world so bleak

To be surrounded by the weak

Look around and know your place

See the mirror reflection of your face

Distorted, it denies, and then it cracks

Everything you ever tried to grasp

Smashing every dream you ever had

Millions of voices in your head

Screaming out all at once

Catching you up in their deluge

Take a look in the mirror

And see what you're afraid you'll see

Broken glass and broken dreams

Lacerations to your skin

Blood flowing dark and red from deep within

Laugh and the world laughs with you

Cry and the world laughs at you

Slipping deep within your mind

Trying to find the answers you once denied

What is the meaning of life

To feel pain or to share joy

A simple tool of destiny and fate's new toy

And then you scream

You try to awaken from the dream

But the dream becomes reality

The lie becomes the truth

And now it's plain to see

You can't escape your destiny

And then the dream shatters

Broken glass and broken dreams

Lacerations to your skin

Blood flowing dark and red from deep within

Laugh and the world laughs with you

Cry and the world laughs at you

No escape, no escape, no escape

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide

Reality closes in, choices open up

Choose to live, or choose to die

Choose to sleep, or choose to fly

Surround yourself with the weak

And once again you'll know your place

The voices in your mind have ceased

The distortion of the mirror goes away

A misconception of being saved

This breath you breathe will be your last

And then the mirror shatters

Broken glass and broken dreams

Lacerations to your skin

Blood flowing from deep within, dark and crimson

No more laughing, no more crying

The world has had the last laugh, the end is here

One of Them

I want to speak, I want to yell

I want to scream; curse; I'm going' to hell

Reaching for the world through a fiery veil

Reading through the lines of

Red and black and blood and guts

Wars gone on from before; lasting forevermore

Millions dying, only to get up and die again

These are the souls rejected from Heaven

Misery; suffering; decay intensifying

Demons and devils terrifying; slave-driving

People of all races and times, dying

And I'm one of them; we're some of them

In the world today, who's to say

How many people are pure and innocent

If there are any, I haven't seen them

And in the end; everybody sins

So they say we must repent

Who? The Christians!

But who has time when life's so short

When just walking down the road can get you hurt

Millions of people

some young and some old

The souls of sinners, one and all

People of all races and times, dying

And I'm one of them; we're some of them

And all I've seen in Hell

I think sometimes I'm alive still

Because it seems so much like life

Full of sinners and a lot of strife

But I know I'm dead; brain-dead

Cause every time I see a mirror, there's a bullet hole in my head

Dripping; gushing blood; ever pumping

Down my face and all across me

Wars gone on from before; lasting forevermore

People dying just to get up and die some more

These are the souls rejected from Heaven

And I'm one of them; we're some of them

We're some of them; all of us one of them

Red Rain

Red rain on the winds of tomorrows storm

Glimpses of ages past; future

When man was beast and the beasts ruled the world

6 Sixty-Six

The number of the beast

Born unto the whisper of the wind

Tragically wrought by the Devil's treat

Innocently brought to fulfill a task

One that would bring ruin upon a planet

The beasts that once were part of nature

Will rue the day they fell from grace

Sailing on the seas of yesterday

Lifting the veil of tomorrows secrets

Red rain and destruction

As prophesied by those omnipotent

Judgment Day will be no surprise

To those that could read the signs

An entire race devoured by greed

Inhumanity towards our fellow man

We stopped being part of nature

When we stopped being beasts and

Started the counting

To the day of reckoning

Winter winds and what is left

After the world was stained red

From the innocents killed and the blood shed

And in that moment when Judgment called

It was said that the rain was red

For every one of those people killed

God cried tears of blood for the mistake he made

When man was a beast and beasts ruled the world

Glimpses of the future; past

Red rain on the winds of tomorrows storm

Sensible Nonsense

Idiomatically speaking

We started on this road thinking

What good things lie awaiting our endless joy

As time gone on and words came through

Enjoyment seemed so far away

Along the winds of tomorrows day

Idiomatically, problematically

Even sympathetically and ideologically

Living in this world of sensible nonsense

We want joy, but give pain

Want happiness, but give sorrow

Where Truth turns to lies

And feelings end up hollow

Journeying through this world brings so much down

Upon our shoulders and yet we grow

With each passing day we become our own

Deciding which road we'll take

Depending on the choices we make

Periodically choosing which regrets we'll have

Learning along the way to think of what's been lost

Does it seem surreal to live so thoughtlessly

Destroying the world we live in

And yet in the end, does it matter when

We leave this life the way we started

Emptied of our treasures we tried to hold

Wondering if our memories would survive our bodies cold

When we leave this world of sensible nonsense

We want joy, but give pain

Want happiness, but give sorrow

Where Truth turns to lies

And feelings end up hollow

I want you all to think

About the actions performed from day to day

To the tears spent when things don't go your way

Will it all be worth the end result

When life could leave the body cold

At any minute of the livelong day

Sensibly we speak, and nonsense we perform

So richly given the power to act without thought

So poorly given the understanding of what our actions hold

Where our lives will go, or even when just to let things go

Sensible nonsense is what it's all about

The lies we tell when truths we want

The sorrow we feel when happiness sought

Down to the hollowness we end up with when

Our feelings are lost

We live only until we die

But in the end, shouldn't we live for more than that?

Grasping Tainted Tranquility

In this world of darkened deeds

Of those who are blind to everything

We slip into a twisting turmoil

Swiftly spiraling towards our death

Hoping for a change in our depression

Reaching for the light and ending

Reaching and grasping tainted tranquility

Alone and so cold, so cold and alone

Feeling the shiver of deaths breath

Stealing our souls from our still-warm bodies

Converting to the greed and destruction

That eventually dooms our kind

Noticing something wrong and not knowing what

Wanting a change and not realizing why

Reaching for a world of beauteous happiness

And grasping a tainted tranquility

A mixture of good and bad

A spiral for those that can accept their tragedy

And move past to open their eyes

To everything around them

You can wish for a world with no evil

And end up wishing in vain

But to accept it and move on

Instead of becoming hollow and empty

Leaves you grasping a tainted tranquility

During my time of depression, I ran across a thought that scared me senseless and made me extremely happy at the same time: the thought that someday I'll be a father and have children of my own. This thought scares me because I'm afraid that in some way I will end up screwing it up but I hope anyway that I'll turn out to be an alright dad.

Fighting For You

Slip your arms around me

Hold me tight to feel me breathe

Let me forget the pain that I hold in

Hoping this moment will come again

The smell of your hair

my eyes clenched in fear

Let me cry upon your shoulder

I'm tired of being strong, being the holder

Of such twisted thoughts

These evil memories of times thought lost

Wrap my hands in yours

And tell me that it will be all right

I just need to hear those magic words

As you hold me tight

Knowing you'll be there, to take my swords

When I take a break from this bloody fight

My hands are stained red

From the words let slip from inside my head

Feelings that I've hurt

And the memories that must be remembered

But every time I catch your eyes

I see only understanding

A peace I don't remember, but I have known

A comfort that stretches back to long ago

That which was felt inside the womb

For so long I've felt alone in a crowded room

Until I saw your face, looking back

My heart slows its pace, before it starts the next attack

Wrap my hands in yours

And tell me That it will be all right

I just need to hear those magic words

As you hold me tight

Knowing you'll be there, to take my swords

When I take a break from my bloody fight

Your little hand envelops mine

Holding on so fierce and tight

Your eyes, so much like mine

So full of love, so full of life

My future child, my unborn saint

Reaching back as I reach forward

Your presence in my heart is what keeps me sane

Meeting through the sands of time

Wrap your hands in mine

And I'll tell you it will be all right

Because we both need to hear those magic words

before we go back to our respective fights

Knowing you'll be there, holding your swords

Fighting for me, like I fight for you on these lonely nights

Even though at times I felt like losing it, I also kept around me a sense of humor. Some people don't understand or like my sense of humor and then others find it endlessly hilarious. I joke about things that are real to everybody because I've come to accept the truth and take comfort in it instead of not wanting to hear it. I thrive on the truth.

MPD

This voice inside my head

Driving me crazy

Making me lazy

And making me wish I was dead

It's destroying my sanity

Erasing my humanity

And taking the comfort out of my bed

This voice has a life of it's own

Talking to me

Needing to be

The meat upon my bones

Telling me to do things

To bear fangs

And telling me to burn peoples homes

This voice is the one that decides

Everything that I do

Morning, night, and noon

The voice does not apologize

And it becomes in my stinted sanity

The end to my humanity

Telling me to wear a mask of lies

This voice

...this voice

Echoing

...echoing

And when the time is right

...time is right

It thinks for itself

...you're damn right

This solitary voice

...burn it, you have no choice

The death of my sanity

...my split personality

Socks

What is happening to my socks?

I search and search for them

But it appears to be a lost cause

I wash them and dry them and then

They disappear

Seemingly into thin air

And my feet are not warm

No, not at all

And so I search everywhere

Every room and down the halls

Trying to find my missing socks

I think I used to have a lot

But they've been coming up missing

their numbers dwindling

And I've put their pictures on milk cartons

And on trees with the word 'Missing'

So if you find them, please call me

Tell me how they're doing

If they're happy with out me

Then send them back to me

For another year of foot-bound slavery

At the same time, though I tried to keep in mind that other people were going through the same thing. One of my fans committed suicide. I didn't know him for too long and I remember thinking if I could have done anything to help, and the answer was no, I couldn't. Another fan of mine asked me to write a poem about them, and gave me a few things to go on as we talked, without knowing that she was giving me stuff to write about. I handed her the poem later on and she said it was perfect. She asked me not to share it with anybody, because she didn't want anybody to know it was about her, but I share it now, because if this is to be a story about pain and suffering, then it must be about everybody's, not just my own. If you're reading this, then I apologize to you about this, but keep in mind I am not naming you, nor will I ever, not until you're ready to deal with this.

The Battered Woman

She sits in a darkened corner

Lights off in the house

As she sits and thinks about her

Own past, the demons abound

A child still when she had a child

And 13 years later she buried him

A bond between mother and child

Is stronger than anything imagined

And it destroyed her sense of mind

Battered and beaten by a husband who

Had little sense but lots of liqueur

The scars will never fade

From the times he beat her

And she allowed it

Because she saw herself an unfit mother

For her child to be murdered

years of tragedy and grief

tears like rain, running the streets

Devoid of any real thought

Just an obsession

To be so punished

Or so she thought

And God has a plan

Everything that has happened is meant

and now it's time to move on

To forgive if not forget

To let go of hatred and anguish

To see the light of love and hope

and see the beauty of the tress in the wind

and time moves on, forgetting not

The senseless tragedies of those

Who history does not mark

But still it happens

And life goes on

She sits in a darkened corner in a little room

In a house that's hers in name and title

Wondering where her life had gone

What happened to all those years

wasted, no, not wasted, in misery and grief

For in the end she's a better person

And through the darkness rises a spirit

Of beautiful light

Reaching for god, and wanting to be

Needing to be, yearning to be, free

Angry and alone, and time will heal all

Enough for just now, to let the tears flow

One last time

Before she moves on with her life

And so she embraces the night

The truth is, pain and suffering effects us all, in a different way for every single person, and no other person can help another except by being there, to listen, to relate and to show that yes, somebody cares. People dealing with depression need constant reminders of this very simple fact: somebody cares. Otherwise they lose all perception of things and fall into a hole which they can not rise out of. Sometimes all we can say to ourselves is, hey, I'm still here, I'm still hanging in there. Even this in itself carries an important message of ones own hidden strength.

1000 Psychic Wars

You see me now before you

The victor of a thousand psychic wars

Still standing tall

Still breathing in and out

Armed with just my strength of will

To stand against Demons sent from Hell

Fires burning brightly

Demons and worse armed to the teeth

Scabbing flesh falling from their bodies

Moving inhumanly, ungainly, speedy

Invisibly towards me

Sent to tempt me into their masters reach

I've been through hell and stand before you

The victor of a thousand psychic wars

Still standing, still breathing in and out

The mark of the cross branded upon my arm

Me and my cavalry charging in

God, his holy light and angels all

Sent to fight the next battle

I hope to know love someday. A lot of people are blessed to have been in love with someone early on in life, though usually it ends bitterly. Still I believe it is like the old saying goes: It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. The only time I ever had the feeling of being in love, and not just the loving feeling as towards family and friends was in a recurring, on-going dream I used to have. I would go to sleep and have a dream about the same girl, a sequence of dreams spanned over many years, and then finally I just stopped having them. My last dream about this girl, we were standing near the ocean and she was saying goodbye, she had to go somewhere and she wouldn't tell me where. I feel all to keenly the loss of not having known this type of love in real life, because I have a feeling it would have a much more vibrant feel to it.

In Love With a Dream

What is this I'm feeling?

When I look into your eyes

When I see your face turning

Ever so slightly

In my direction

Oh baby

Your fingertips ignite the passion within

Not lust, the basest of sins

Do I feel now at this moment

But a love most true

That it almost pains my heart

When I look at you

Almost unbearable to lose

This fragment of delight when

I hear your voice whispering

Saying all those things I wanted

To hear, in the dark, When I was all alone

And then you fade off into the distance

Wait don't go, where are you going?

I'll follow you, come back, I love you

Don't leave...

I'm in love with a dream

This same single dream that haunts me

Every night when I lay down to close my eyes

Same girl, same pretty smile

Same beautiful eyes, staring

Directly into mine

Oh I'm in love with a dream

Like the torture of a thousand needles

Peppering my skin ever repeatedly

I watch those movies about romance and love

And wonder when will it be my turn

I read those books where the hero finds his love

Saves her, and then the story ends

And then I fall asleep

And I see you standing there

Ever so sweet

Like my heart coming home

Like my soul so fulfilled

Like the Perfect Sunniest day on

The perfectly warm day

And in this dream I know you completely

And you know me

This... this... this...

Too much to describe with words alone

A perfect world, where sex does not matter

Just your company

Your eloquent chatter

And then you fade away again

Like so many nights before

Who are you? Where are you?

Where can I find you?

Oh torturously I find this as I awake

Gone again into the dead of night

I'm in love with a dream

This mini series of dreams

One leading on from the one before

Then that one leading off to another

A love so true it's a shame

That it belongs to just a dream

With those beautiful eyes that

Stare directly into mine

I'm in love with a dream

Torture is the most perfect word for

What I do to myself here

Trying so vainly to find what

May only be just a dream

And so I watch the same old movies,

Read the same old books

Trying to find a glimmer of something

I recognize from these dreams I have

And so I torture myself

And so I write this down

Trying to explain what I've come to know

This love that we have is oh so real

Even if it is in a world of images surreal

Dependant on you as you're dependant on me

To keep dreaming these dreams

And keeping you alive

Because even dreams have feelings

So hard to describe what they mean to me

These dreams of you and me

Your touch and your lips

Your words and your hair

So radiantly glowing, like the words

that drop from your lips

Like laughter on the breeze

Like raindrops not too wet

But just the right degree

Of, I don't know, but like

Kisses from the sky

And I feel so alive

I just wish that these moments

Could somehow last beyond

Into the waking world

I'm in love with a dream

The same dream series, that has no end

At least not yet

And so we have our moments together

You and I, breathing in that perfect air

Saying those perfect words

A love so true it's a shame

That it belongs to just a dream

With those beautiful eyes

Staring so intently, contently into mine

I'm in love with a dream...

Dear Love

Dear love

This is for all the people who love you

Dear love

I write this for you

And all of your fans

Ok, so this is what I see

People who say they're in love, but don't mean

it, and so they walk around with

Their feet in their mouths and their hands on the ground

Walking like monkeys with this idea in their heads

That it wasn't their fault, they tried their best

To make love see another day

To make it find another way

to work, and so we come to this

People who can't love people

They fall in love with love

And they confuse it for many different things

lust and a certain degree of pain

Masochists the lot of us,

yearning each day for our own lost cause

Love is our muse

Our reason for life

as we know it, assume

And we confuse it

Let it die, and we say

We tried our best

there was no other way

I see it, and you see it too, if you look

The husband who leaves his wife,

The wife that leaves her husband

in different circumstances

And the other cries

They try to reason, they try to rationalize

Why love hurts so much

Why love dies

They have this expectation of what love should be

and they fall in love with it

They love the idea of love

But when it comes to the actual hammer drop

They fall back, and become afraid

Neither side gives all that it can

And so it becomes what we see it as

A broken heart here, a broken heart there

Crying in the arms of a best friend

You know, it's funny, how people wonder

Where all this true love went

How people could die for another,

How you could love with all you've got

And they wonder if they'll ever feel that in their own lifetime

They waste away for want of it

And yet, they run away from it

They hide behind pickiness

oh one little argument and the bride runs off?

Oh one little heated discussion and the groom runs off?

People give up way too soon as life goes on

And so they miss their chance

They miss what it is they say they want

Running through life half blind

Love is our muse

Our reason for life

As we live and breathe

And die and become deceased

We try to love as we see it in our souls

But we run away and let it die out

A sad thing to see

In my eyes alone, at least, maybe

A fragile thing, love

And so I write this in the hope

that maybe, somewhere, someday

People realize, they find a way

To understand what love is about

And why people give it away

Why people would waste their lives

To try and find a way to mimic such a love

As they feel in their hearts

I guess this doesn't just go out to Love

Dear love, I'm sorry, but this isn't just for you

It's for all those kids that grew up

Dad on one side, mom on another

For those who don't know mom or dad

And for those who cant understand that

They didn't have what it took to make it

That they chased love and lost it

And so I hope that I leave you wiser in the end

That I leave you with some knowledge you may not have thought of

Too eager to find out what love is

Too eager to find it and make it our own

We rush into relationships and get turned down

Find ourselves at the end of a frayed rope

Wondering what went wrong, where did it turn

I don't know how to find true love

If I did, I would tell you

All I am is another person

In love with the idea of being in love

Having seen maybe just a little bit more

Maybe not, but I'm going to make sure

Brace myself for heartbreak and pain

And make my own way, maybe a little bit more carefully

Than people have before me.

Love is our Muse

The reason life keeps going on

An idea at best, maybe a hope, a wish

Something to get through our lives with

All I know is all I know

and so I must go

Dear Love

Don't give up on us

Dear Love

Give this generation of fools another chance

Dear Love

This next poem is my all time favorite. I worked the hardest on it to make it what it is, and I can only hope that in the end, it does justice to the great man's work that I tried to make it reflect.

Shakespeare

Lifted up by the hands of an angel

Your hands: touching; comforting

A goddess like you has only to ask of me

Anything you want and it is all for you

Perfect in your grace as I wallow in my stumbling

But you tell me that I'm perfect for you

The princess and the pauper

Forever divided by the lines of society

Where do we belong, if not together

Doomed to obscurity by those that whisper

A fatal chance has lead this dance

That brought us closer,

Seems like fate has lent a helping hand

And we find ourselves forever

On opposite sides of the road, forever damned

A family born to wealth, and you their heir

A family born to poverty and I, their slave

Forever at war, these two sides, unfair

Creating illusions of the things

They want us to be

Oh Romeo, you call,

Wherefore art thou

And I declare that we are

The sun and the moon, our hearts

Forever together in the sky above

Laughing and crying as

We share our deepest secrets

As those that would divide us devise

A way to hasten our loves demise

A fatal chance has lead this dance

And it's brought us closer

With that night of romance

I hear the wind whisper that

Even fate has lent it's helping hand

But we still find ourselves fighting

Struggling against the odds

The night is young, and so were we

I called out your name, but you did not answer me

The Capulets are fighting the Montagues in the street

And I find treachery in this house of evil deeds

My beloved lies dead

Cold as the winter snows

Hair like a halo, adorning her fragile head

Lovely still as she was in life

Poison to her veins and to my heart

Oh Juliet, my love, I say this to you

If not in life are we to be together

Then death I choose

With my hand I'll lift this dagger

This knife of foul evil and raise it high

Down into my chest, my very heart

I seek, for you, to end my life

But as my spirit rises up, and I look down

I have been betrayed, my beloved makes a sound

You were not dead at all

But their deceit to keep us apart

Tears at your bleeding heart

As you see what their wrath has wrought

I watch you make the same decision as I...

The blood stained knife is raised once more

And your spirit meets mine in the sky

A fatal chance that lead our dance

Brought us closer than ever dreamt about

No longer do we have to take a chance

Within each other has true love been found

In our deaths some good is to be had

The old feud between families is now forgot

One tomb between two crypts symbolizing flying doves

As they see what their fighting has brought

Together forever, our destined love.

Now for the tough part. But the hope of giving hope and strength to those in need makes the need come out in me to have out with all things. I have felt no need to explain my 'situation' to many people in my life, and I have the feeling that many people are like myself in this matter: afraid to go forward because of the way society still discriminates against… I will say it now, homosexuals. I was raised to hate gay people, to be racist and It's a part of myself I hate still and am aptly trying to work on it. To the opposite of the misconception of people, there is not just black and white, you're either gay or straight, there are shades of gray in between where you can love both men and women. That is where I, and many other people in America fall. Again, to disappoint the masses, there is also no choice in the matter. It's not like I up and decided one day that hey, I like guys a little bit more than people think I should. Just doesn't happen that way, I'm afraid.

It is no more a choice than it is a choice for us to be who we are in any other aspect of life. I fought and struggled with this for a long time before I even told anyone, but when I did tell someone, I chose a good friend of mine, who has not betrayed my confidence yet, and then I made a mistake. I told somebody I thought I could trust, who I can't trust anymore, but has still as far as I know, held my confidence on the matter. Either way, I don't really care anymore. It is a part of who I am and what I am, and if people don't like me for it, or look at me funny for it, then I say, who needs them.

The Bar

He stands in front of the tiny little Bar

On the corner of this forgotten street

A glance up at the sign, lit up neon orange

And it seems he hesitates, if but for a moment

Before heading inside

The bar is named the usual type for places such as these

Once inside, he looks around

Seeing myriad faces abound

All of them male, not a single woman

And he wonders if this is the right decision

Making up his mind, he wanders aimlessly

Towards the bar, to order a drink

White Russian, if you please

Tired of holding it all inside

Of doing what society prescribes

All one way and not the other

All of the stereotypes begin to smother

And he wonders again, if he made the right choice

Another drink and then a stranger

They talk for a bit, and decide to leave

Back to the strangers house, just for this eve

He says, I want you to know

That this is my first time, my first go

At anything like this, so take it slow

I've lived by stereotypes in a world

That is slow to understand us and why

We choose to live the way we do

Stranger says, that's ok, I've been there before

Many of us have who frequent that bar

But tell me one thing if you will

Why tonight, this night, you choose to kill

All the barriers you've set ahead of you

To accept that which you have tried to hide

And others would have you deny

I know why I did, years ago, but I'd like

To know why you, why now

And he replies that it just felt right

He had just turned 21 before, a few nights

Ago, and There it was as he was walking by

The little bar that he knew had to be

All that he read about them, in books he

Had read many nights in the past

And so the others could kiss his ass

Those that would have him change

He is who he is, he says

And that's what I will always be

Might as well embrace it freely

As the car pulls out from the lot

He looks back at that sign again

Hanging up in orange neon

Sputtering from disrepair

And he watches his old self disappear

On that horizon line as it passes

And he knows his life will be better

Having accepted this part denied by the masses

And he knows he will be back, to that gay bar

We've gone through my life now, as it has been for the past 5 years. I am now 22 years old, free of depression, and thanks to a mishap that happened earlier last year where I nearly died, I now enjoy the beauty of life and everything tied into it. My little brother who is high-functional autistic, saved my life when I accidentally overdosed on pills. I only meant to take one thinking I had it under control, when I didn't, and I ended up taking way more than I should have. Nobody thought that this boy could do something of this magnitude. He doesn't really get other people too well due to his autism and the fact that he noticed something was really wrong with me and phoned for help speaks to me above everything else. Without him in my life, I would have died on that day, and I am very glad that I didn't.

Miracles happen everyday, right in front of our faces. Most of us are too blind to see them. I still believe that there are far too many coincidences in life to just be coincidences. Things are tied in too well, and only looking back at the past as we move forward do we really see the effect of this close-knit pattern.

I would like to leave this on a positive note, so here at the end, I give to you my two newest poems. They do not have names, and I feel that they do not need names for them. The message in them carries far more weight than a name ever could.

Floating on the stream of time
grasping at Earth's lullaby
as I fall endlessly into the abyss
with only a passing memory of this
teeth rising up to meet passing sheep
or so to me they seem
flowing snakes below, dark brown and liquid blue
and seas of green, nature's fruit
Where path's meet and then fall apart
I know only this, follow your heart

We go about our lives
each and every day and night
not knowing what the next will bring
Every smile, every tear
a prelude to something greater
to which we have no clue
We are born, and we die
without knowing why
but what's between the two is what we call life
Where dawn and dusk are the only things that separate
Our waking moments into momentary
Discomforts and joys
Some say that it is not worth it
that the pain and suffering is too much to deal with
but I would rather have
Just one breath of air
Just one kiss of rain upon my face
Just one touch of wind as it blows through my hair
than to have felt nothing at all
Just one.

I feel that if I am able to come this far from where I was five, even ten years ago, before I even started writing poetry that anybody else should be able to do so as well, as long as they hang on and keep hope for better things. We all still have a lot of life to live, even if we don't think so. No matter how long the dark road goes on, the light at the end is worth the pain and confusion along the way. Never give up on life.

About the Author:

My name is Christopher M Brown. I was born in Tacoma, Washington April 4th, 1986. Raised in a trailer under circumstances, which by no means were as bad as others I've heard of, it was still tough for me. I obtained my GED when I was 16, dropped out of High School for good when I was 18, and now reside in Shelton, WA where I pursue the fun of physical labor until I feel I'm ready to go to College and stick with it. I want to get a Masters Degree in English and teach at a university for a while. I eventually aspire to open up my own style of school to deal with troubled kids. I want to help them as they grow, teach them the freedom of expression through art, and most importantly, I wish to show them that there are people who care.