Cannot breathe

12809596_1413579175413678_4036998646343994268_nGood bye. Two words. Easily said

impossible to mend a ravaged soul

take a photo of grief she may hide in plain sight

a snapshot in time does not a story tell

one great smile and everything is assumed well

even we, reminiscing glaze over story’s end

maybe it’s for the best …

making memories to endear rather than ravage

such the way of humanity and its glitter ball


beneath the smile, as bright as ever was

more luminous and beautiful perhaps

for undercurrent of savage sorrow

you were crawling out of your mind

it seems an offense to forget

under widest grins we suffer in silence

touched by the same unspeakable sin

of feeling too much in a world favoring compartments

for on the appointed day the photographer says

cheese! and on auto pilot I grin with every ounce of fake

afterward he exclaims, you can see the joy in your heart

it radiates

and sure enough

look closely you cannot tell

I am falling apart

I am coming undone

beneath the layers of my glimmering

it is spoken, smile! and you will feel better!

would that were true

a smile when you are sorrowful

one that cannot be seen through

often the ruin behind the glue

for all the world is a stage

people believe what is easy to convey

they never stop to look beneath

it is not what they wish to keep

in their collective memory

let’s be cheerful! Dismiss regret!

the sorrow we feel

welling under surface

must stay as secret lake

never admit

when you are the only person in a room

crying inside whilst outside you bloom

hello it’s good to meet you

hi there, it’s nice to see you

everyone says wow don’t you look great!

not aware when you get home you will

pluck out your eyes

made of stone

pull off the mask

kick off the shoes

tear down the dress

all the artifice

with no-one to hear your cry

for sorrow is never shared

it is a lonely lonely journey

suffered behind waves of denial

and you wish so much

someone would call you up and say

you were smiling in your photo today

but I saw a sadness beneath

can I come round and help you?

can I hold you when you cannot


47 thoughts on “Cannot breathe

  1. This is an excellent picture of depression. Not only do others often find it difficult to recognise (and relate to), I do believe that depressives develop an astonishing ability to mask their emotional state from those around them. This is moving writing.

  2. You have expressed sincerely the truth of life as it is. Behind each and every one of us- a heart yearns for the pain to go away. No longer wanting to parade around people and pretending that WE are fine when all is falling apart. Another fiery arrow has found its mark within- and MORE EMOTION ADDED TO THE LAST.

    The bible explains – ”Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden- and I will give you rest”
    I have been in this situation where no one could even begin to understand me! not that I could even open up my heart- due to rejection. I have sat in bed wondering if I would ever face another day. Even God at this point seemed so far away. Where could I go – but back to him and weep for a season- and ask that all my pain could be lifted. Even though I felt to pretend- it was safer- I could not escape from the love of Jesus. Even if I never felt it due to emotional hurt- he was present. If I never had Jesus to turn to – then what? I appreciate your words tonight- it reminded me that I and others -can overcome- TOGETHER. I also ache for reality and deep meaningful communication. Ciao.

  3. Well, I could spend hours speaking with you about this, instead I hope ” well done” will suffice with the understanding that “I get it”

  4. “When you are the only person in the room…..” Over the years, I have learned to be just fine in most social situations. In advance, I set the timer on my inner clock, as I can only pretend for so long. Courteous introductions, brief conversations and an appearance which seems friendly and sincere. During those times, I am sincere and I appreciate the people I have met. Handshakes and hugs, maybe a kiss or two on the cheek and then it is time to go. There is a sad familiarity to my loneliness ….the clock ticks and I leave before anyone knows. Thank you for sharing your gifts.

  5. Even the blank spaces between the words are moving. Sometimes people try to cheer us up but we don’t want to be painted upon in bright colors; we want something much simpler: to simply share the sadness that we carry, even if for a minute or two

  6. As I have said before, you have a gift for putting into words what people feel but have not the words to say. The ever so lonely hours of sorrow and pain are filled with naught but silent tears and unuttered primal screams. 🙂 ❤

  7. I have gone through this so many times. I love this so much because I can honestly understand where you are coming from. Just simply another beautiful piece done by a beautiful woman.

  8. This brought tears to my eyes, it’s not easy to wear that mask. You have put it so well with your beautiful words, I am sure many people will relate to this.

  9. Ah yes. This is where the empaths come in because they see beneath the smiles and the veneer that’s so easily scratched away. They know, and they feel, no matter what mask you’re wearing. But I’ve been on the other side too where I’m the scintillating one in the room when really I’m screaming inside and I’ve come home despairing that nobody could see (HOW COULD THEY NOT SEE?) because I’m hardly likely to break down and tell them and show them the underside of the fabric, ragged and full of holes. Am I wrong thinking that people who are meant to care should be able to tell even if you fake it well? I suppose I judge everyone by my own standards which is unfair.

  10. Thanks Candice. Yes things are going well at HA. I do miss your poetry over there though.

  11. No she hasn’t posted for a while but she’s fine and I’m sure she’ll be back soon.

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