Aeschylus Wrote

I was inspired by a quote from Aeschylus, which I found here: Aeschylus Quotes

Written August 4, 2016.


“My will is mine,” he wrote.
“I shall not make it soft for you.”
And I, across two thousand years
Feel fire in my blood.
How can I be
As sure
As strong
As honest
As those words taste?
They stand so tall alone
Spread wide
Like branches
Like wings.
The beauty of the hero’s might
Woven into black on white.
How can I make them part of me?
How can I be
That thought?

Camus’s Question

This one was a homework assignment: Pick a specific poem format, and write a poem in that format. It had to be something with a specific structure, not a freeform poem. This was not the first time I wrote a sestina for a homework assignment. The first one was about frogs. I don’t know where that one is, but if I find it somewhere in my piles of papers, I’ll definitely post it for you all. I really like the cyclical structure of the sestina. I recently read that it was most often used for a complaint poem back in the day, which makes some sense, since whiners tend to repeat themselves ad nauseam. I haven’t ever used the sestina for whining, but I’ve certainly found that it’s not suitable for every topic. You have to find a topic that naturally has a cyclical feel.

This sestina is based on an internal debate I had after talking to a friend who thought she might commit suicide. Fortunately, she’s still alive and kicking, and more emotionally stable now. This was crafted over a two-week period, and finished on October 6, 2008.


Camus once said the only question
worth asking is Should I give up?
Does this world have depth of meaning,
and is that meaning now enough
to keep me in this world and living,
or should I just let go and die?

I know a girl who wants to die,
to answer that important question.
She says she cannot go on living,
it’s not worth it to keep this up.
The things she has are not enough
to keep this life enriched with meaning.

Before I never questioned meaning.
I haven’t had the urge to die.
The things I have are just enough.
With confidence I answer the question.
I watch the sun go climbing up.
I have no reason for not living.

In fact I find such joy in living,
in everything I find a meaning.
Every day I’m climbing up.
It’s not that I’m afraid to die,
it’s just that, facing this big question,
I don’t see why it’s not enough

She says she cannot find enough
of joy or meaning to keep her living.
She hardly dares to face the question,
‘cause after death there is no meaning.
I think that she’s afraid to die,
but wants the pain to give her up.

She struggles with just giving up
and tells me I don’t know enough
to understand her wish to die.
She cannot understand why living
carries for me the ultimate meaning,
how I rejoice and Camus’s question

Came once asked a question about giving up
I find that life has meaning and that it’s enough
I have reason to go on living until it’s time to die

Artist-hood

This one was written on July 25, 2016. There were a few years there where I didn’t write, at least not for myself, and there is literally nothing in my poetry journal between September of 2010 and this poem. This is my breakthrough, I-can’t-live-like-this-anymore piece. I’m rusty, I can tell, but getting back into it. The more I work on this blog, the more I realize how much writing is a part of what makes me functional, and how depressing it’s been to live without, having grown away from it as I did. Thank you all for being so supportive in my journey of returning to myself.

There are a few more of my old poems coming, and then it will all be new work. Most of the time I try to let things sit for a day or two so that I can polish them, but sometimes I just get too excited. I hope I’m not overwhelming anyone with too many posts. Happy reading!


It’s hard to be a starving artist
They said to me
Are you sure you want to put yourself through that?
They asked, and I let them
I let them change me

Years later, I feel lost, drained, numbed
I hold on
To moments of art like lightning flashes in a fading storm
I don’t want to put myself through
The pain
The anxiety
The frustration
Of Starving-Artist-hood

And yet…
As she said so succinctly
I’m not sure I can keep putting myself through
Non-Artist-hood
Soullessness doesn’t look good on anyone

I see things that aren’t there

Written February 3, 2007. Just prompted by staring at my ceiling.


I see things that aren’t there
But I know better than to tell you so
In the lumps and swirls of paint on my ceiling a dragon swoops
From the knotted wood a little face peers at me
I see things that aren’t there
But I know better than to tell you so
I do believe in Wonderland
In magic places left to see
I see things that aren’t there
But I know better than to tell you so
Maybe I believe because it makes it easier
Not to give up
Not to back down
But I believe
And you cannot take that away
I see things that aren’t there
But I know better than to tell you so

When I see you, World

This is a celebration of being alive in spring time. Written sometime in the spring of 2006.


When I see you, World in the lush green grass,
you wash my sins away,
and all the little things I cannot bear to do
but have already done.
Dancing in the grey rain,
on the blue sea shore,
in the now that’s here all else forgotten
I can taste your salt
and touch the way you move.
Intricate dances of untold rhythms
A thousand steady syncopations
The beats pound into one
That openness that makes me close my eyes,
so they can’t shut the feelings out.
I sink my feet into your body,
throw my hands into your breath,
in the nows when you are smiling.

The Breath on my Neck

Another previously untitled poem from 2003-2004ish. It’s based off a real experience of sitting on the bus and feeling someone behind me, when I knew no one was there. It sounds creepy, but it didn’t feel creepy, it felt like a glimpse of the future. If I think about it, I can still feel that breath on my neck, and it still gives me shivers in a good way.


Poetry marched down my back
Sending shivers worming through my flesh
I felt someone who wasn’t there grip my shoulders
Turn me to face a thing I couldn’t see
Through the thick smudge of reality that sat smugly before eyes
I felt a breath
From another time
Or place
On the nape of my neck
Felt words I couldn’t understand
I thought of angels and demons both
Flying through my summer sky
And wished what they call reality
Didn’t hold me so tightly
I reached myself back
To the hands on my shoulders
To the breath on my neck
And tried to refocus my eyes