Tag Archives: Poetry

The Invisible Torturer

Anxiety ImageAnxiety, why do you torture me so?

The shaking,

The heavy breathing of panic, 

The buzzing in my brain that exercise doesn’t subdue,

The pounding stims that have started up,

The flicking fingers that will not still,

Anxiety, just stop!!


What is behind all this anguish?

I want to escape, but escape from what?

My senses are heightened for why I do not know.

My feet and legs want to run, and run, and run.  

But where?   

There is no destination that will take me away this.

The torturer is inside me.


Anxiety, let me go!

I want to be free, but you are too strong.

Your invisible claws have enclosed around me.

No one sees my torment, for you have taught me to hide.

I must hide this agony, because no one believes me.

I am told I am being silly, that it is nothing, that there really isn’t a problem.

So, I suffer in silence and go about my day.


For me, Anxiety and Depression tend to go hand in hand.

I continue to fight against Anxiety and it wears me down.

Depression moves in due to my weakened state.

I am being attacked on all sides.

Yet, no one sees this battle, for the battle is inside me.

I cry, I yell, I run, I write, I make art.

I do this to fight the never ending onslaught of Anxiety.


I am weary in this battle.

There are days Anxiety gets the upper hand.

More days than I would like to admit, but I persevere.

Battles may be lost, but I carry on to fight another day.

Because loosing this war is not an option.

I will not allow Anxiety to be victorious.

So I take deep breaths, I center myself, and I continue on.


(Image is of a drawing of woman in a dress sitting down while covering her face. Artist is  Clara Lieu.) 



Hear My Battle Cry

Here I am sitting at my lap top again trying to find words and at the same time I am listening to “Battle Cry” by Imagine Dragons.  I am in a battle now, a battle to just hold on, to make it through, and to survive.  Life shouldn’t be this hard.  How did my life get so hard? I will not give up, though.  I will keep fighting. This is my battle cry!

Hear My Battle Cry

I will make it through!

I will survive!

Hear my battle cry!


I may be hungry.

I may be cold.

I may be in pain.


But, I will make it through!

I will survive!

Hear my battle cry!


I may feel hopeless.

I may feel lost.

I may feel alone and isolated.


But, I will make it through!

I will survive!

Hear my battle cry!


My body may be taxed.

My mind may be flooded.

My spirits may be shattered.


But, I will make it through!

I will survive!

Hear my battle cry!


An Awakening

My son is thirteen years old and he just finished 8th grade.  He has proclaimed for years that writing is his nemesis. He is autistic and has been diagnosed with two writing disabilities, dysgraphia and a written expression disability.  He is highly verbal.  So much so, in fact, that his brain often times goes faster than his mouth and he ends up talking so fast while clenching his jaw that people have a hard time understanding him.

He sees such wonder and beauty in the world and is a total knowledge junkie like me.  He saw the ocean for the first time when he was seven years old and the way he describe what he saw was pure poetry, such detail and emotion wrapped up in wording that is not typically used by a seven year old.  He didn’t realize that he had described the scene before him with such beauty. He was so overwhelmed with awe that the words just came out of him. He still doesn’t believe me when I tell him the story of that first trip to the Pacific Ocean. He continued to express himself in poetic terms when describing new experiences, but he never clued into what he was doing.

My son struggles a lot with self-esteem when it comes to producing written material.  Reading and speaking come easy to him. Science, math, history are all subjects he enjoys, but when it comes to writing, he wants nothing to do with it. He explained to me as I was writing this blog, “I want to run away from writing. In fifth grade I didn’t even want to acknowledge that writing existed.”

The thing is, writing is necessary. It is everywhere in everyday life.  It is essential to learning and it is an essential job skill.   Writing skills are an important part of communication.  If writing is so important, what do you do when it is incredibly difficult to get your thoughts down in written form?  What do you do when you don’t have access to a keyboard and your hand doesn’t want to cooperate in forming letters with a pencil?  This is what my son has struggled with all his life. In most cases he has avoided writing when ever possible. Then came the option of typing, which he also struggled with, but has greatly improved upon with ongoing practice. The schools where he attended before also would not address his writing difficulties. With the help of a special education tutor these last few years, my son has really blossomed in being able to articulate his thoughts in the form of writing on the computer. 

My son has been homeschooled full-time these last two years. In the state we live in, students are required to show proficiency in interpretation of other people’s writings.  Interpretation can be difficult to someone who is autistic, particularly due to many who think in literal terms. My son is no exception. My son’s tutor recommended poetry to him as a way to try to practice slowing down when speaking to people. He was to start reading it out loud, but he did not feel comfortable doing that.  What I ended up doing instead this last quarter of the school year was help my son learn how to interpret other people’s writing by completing three poetry analyses and then having him write he own poems in any form that he wanted.

He has definitely struggled with this project.  The first poem he tackled was “The Road Not Taken”, by Robert FrostMy son is very literal and this first poem caused a lot of difficulties for him.  What we decided to focus on was helping him understand what a metaphor is.  The second poem he tackled was “A Bird, came down the Walk”, by Emily DickinsonThis poem was a little easier for my son to analyze, but he still had some trouble trying to figure out the meaning behind the poem was.  The third and last poem he analyzed was “The Raven”, by Edgar Allan Poe. This analysis came easy to my son.  He connected with the poem.  He knew right away what the poem was about, which is depression.  Unfortunately, my son is very familiar with depression.  He was diagnosed with depression when he was six years old. In fact, it was his depression that lead him to a counselor that began questioning if he was also autistic.  This questioning lead him to finally being diagnosed with Autism along with various anxiety disorders. 

With this poetry project, My son has become much better at interpreting other people’s writing, but I am also sadden that the poem he connected with was a poem about depression. This whole project has been an eye opener to both my son and I, a kind of an awakening. Again, I saw this ability in my son that still hadn’t been really tapped and brought out into awareness.  It seemed the right environment, a little prodding, and LOTS of encouragement was what was needed. My son learned that he could express himself in ways he hadn’t really consciously explored before. He still doesn’t think he is very good at writing poetry, but I reminded him that he is just starting.  It takes practice and patience to develop a skill.  

The last part of the project was for my son to write his own poems.  He has graciously allowed me to publish them here.  Again, he had so much trepidation about writing these poems. He felt it was something that he really couldn’t do very well and this thinking he had about his ability as a writer really bothered him.  He worked very hard on his metaphors. He really wants people to understand what he is trying to express in his poems.  He wrote them all on his own.  He had no help from his tutor and only a little advice from me on ways to structure a poem All the words are his.  All the imagery is his.  All the metaphors are his. I hope you enjoy.

Poem #1 – Written on June 2, 2016

The Unknown

The unknown, a place of festering dreams, ambitions, and fear.

A place some never dare see.

Some throw themselves into the fog of war, to fall into fire.

There are those who sidestep the smoke to never move at all.

Even the armed can be flatted if they sway.

Some spot greatness beyond the fog, but do not cross, they do not change.

Those who do become colossus.

A well-chosen path can turn an infant into a giant.

Traverse the unknown and find greatness.

Poem # 2 – Written June 8, 2016

Britannia’s Call Against Rome

Against the red flood, against the force of extinction!

They think us barbaric; think us monsters, even though genocide is their trade!

Their discord is they bring prosperity.

In which twisted life is loss of identity a paradise?

Their accursed banners have reached our shores.

We shall stop our quarrels to stop these invaders.

If we do not, we will fall into their maws!