Tag Archives: mental health

“Smoke”

A life that’s filled with sorrowful regret
For when Intention and What Happens clash
Becomes a bitter, shrinking cigarette
Reduced, in time, to little more than ash.
A harmful word a person quickly spoke
May burn the hearer’s skin or speaker’s eyes,
But what appears a fire is only smoke—
A tiny, rainless cloud that soon will rise
And bring about no cough or choking fit,
No emphysema, cancer, early death
To present people letting go of it
And taking in a new and fresher breath.
Who wouldn’t wear a fretting, frowning face
While grasping vanished smoke no hand could trace?

An Elizabethan Sonnet by Paul Burgess

“Sirens”

You quickly cross that peril off the list
Because the danger, you assume, has passed,
But other sets of Sirens still exist
And might enchant you when no ropes or mast
Or loyal friends with wax to stop their ears
Restrain your mad, unquenchable desire
To touch the blazing sun that sears
Without enduring its consuming fire.

It’s easy to resist when you’re in chains
And friendly prison guards can’t hear your voice,
But one who’s absolutely free refrains
When fatal pleasure has become a choice.
Until you’ve walked by foes without your crutch,
Surviving battles doesn’t mean that much.

a sonnet by Paul Burgess

“Narcissus”

[Narcissus–painted by   Carvaggio]

“Narcissus”
As I gazed in a pond by a tree,
I was met by a copy of me
Who could mimic my talk
And the way that I walk.
He was fine as a fellow can be.

a limerick by Paul Burgess

 

 

“To Anxiety” [Complete; parts 1-3]

In response to the following prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-101-day-four/ [Since I rarely write anything so personal or serious, I would genuinely appreciate constructive feedback.]

A  3-part letter in blank verse [unrhymed iambic pentameter]

Pt. I
Although I’ve spent a lot of time with you,
And you would often hold me, stand by me,
Remain with me in best and worst of times—
To starve equanimity while feeding fear
With nourishment required by peace’s roots—
Your frequent recent absences bring no tears
To eyes no longer clouded by your breath’s
Impenetrable, nauseating fog.

Pt. II
I never could escape when trying to flee.
To struggle only tightened boa-like
Embraces slowly piercing heart with bones.
Exhausted and resigned to dying in your grip,
I ceased to claw, to scratch, to push away—
No more diversion, dreaming, fear, or hope.
Observing, only watching, touching you,
I saw your face more clearly than before.

Pt. III
The wave of panic darkening your eyes
Expressed your fear; you knew what I had grasped.
Though coiled around your nearly vanquished prey,
Without my help, your strength began to wane.
You’d only grown so strong because I’d fed you;
I was entangled because I’d pulled the knots.
You let me go because I let you go.
On future visits, bring your food or starve.

“Bad Shrink!”

Some shrinks with credentials unreal
Do little to help one to heal.
If your itchy old sty
Says people must die,
They’ll ask, “How’s that making you feel?”

A shrink with a bogus degree
Provides what I’d give you for free.
When patients are ill
And threaten to kill,
His reply is always “I see.”

Two limericks by Paul Burgess.

“Anxiety” Pt. III

In response to the following prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-101-day-four/ [Since I rarely write anything so personal or serious, I would genuinely appreciate constructive feedback.]

You will find the first part here: https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/anxiety-pt-i/

and the second part herehttps://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/anxiety-pt-ii/

“[To} Anxiety” Pt. III

The wave of panic darkening your eyes
Expressed your fear; you knew what I had grasped.
Though coiled around your nearly vanquished prey,
Without my help, your strength began to wane.
You’d only grown so strong because I’d fed you;
I was entangled because I’d pulled the knots.
You let me go because I let you go.
On future visits, bring your food or starve.

“Anxiety” Pt. II

In response to the following prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-101-day-four/ [Since I rarely write anything so personal or serious, I would genuinely appreciate constructive feedback.]

You will find the first part here: https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/anxiety-pt-i/

“[To} Anxiety” Pt. II

I never could escape when trying to flee.
To struggle only tightened boa-like
Embraces slowly piercing heart with bones.
Exhausted and resigned to dying in your grip,
I ceased to claw, to scratch, to push away—
No more diversion, dreaming, fear, or hope.
Observing, only watching, touching you,
I saw your face more clearly than before.

“Anxiety” Pt. I

In response to the following prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-101-day-four/ [Since I rarely write anything so personal or serious, I would genuinely appreciate constructive feedback.]

“[To} Anxiety”

Although I’ve spent a lot of time with you,
And you would often hold me, stand by me,
Remain with me in best and worst of times—
To starve equanimity while feeding fear
With nourishment required by peace’s roots—
Your frequent recent absences bring no tears
To eyes no longer clouded by your breath’s
Impenetrable, nauseating fog.

“Back in Granny’s Day” by Paul Burgess

When little Louie would complain,
It drove his granny quite insane.
She’d tell him, “Back in Granny’s day,
Jack the Ripper took her heart away.”