Nothing to Lose

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Most people experience depression at some point in their life. If you have not, count yourself to be one of the fortunate ones.  I remember how it felt years ago when depression was a part of our life.  With life spiraling out of control you feel no one cares. At that point the feeling of nothing to lose sets in.  If left unchecked it could lead to a variety of sad outcomes. With the help of some good counselors, we made it through those dark times. Finding help is so important. Without seeking help, we see people going to deadly extremes. The poem below discusses how a depressed and disillusioned person might feel.

The cry of a lost soul echoes in silence;
An inaudible scream for help unheard;
Shame fills the mind of the hurting…
Who would want to hear my tale?
Who would believe me if they did?
Pressures of the day drift across my mind;
Demands push emotions to the limit;
Voices in my head seem to call for action;
Delusions play like virtual reality before my eyes.
Defense mechanisms kick in to bring relief.
No one is aware of my pain // no one seems to care;
Those voices in my head keep calling for attention.
What can I do to quiet their incessant nagging?
Everyone is closing in on me… I can’t take it any more;
I must do something to stop them.
I have nothing to lose // the end is near;
What else can I do…

Gargoyles Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Posting this on open link night at d’Verse Poets Pub.

Join us at:  https”//dversepoets.com

Are You Really There?

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When life begins to implode on you, it is tempting to begin questioning everything you believed. When prayers are not answered and God seems absent, it really sends you for a loop! This is what happened to me many years ago.  In time, all worked out and life got back on track. It was during this time that I wrote this poem.
My God… MY God… Why Have I Forsaken You?
“I will never leave you nor forsake you”
This promise I had learned
Then my God why am I forsaking you
Are you really there?
Is there method to all the madness
or are you just a good feeling
that comes and goes
to those who wish it so
You seem so far away
Too distant to hear my cry
Too removed to feel my pain
Answers don’t come life goes on
mixed with tragedy trouble and heartache
I have lost all hope
My life sits on the edge there’s no one here for me
No one to share the pain
Still I pray…
Are you really there?

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Photo Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, HA asked to write a confessional poem that revealed something of ourselves that we may or may not normally have written. I wrote this poem many years ago when, at mid-life, I went through a time when everything in my life seemed to be falling apart!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

All Alone

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Many years ago I went through a very difficult time in my life. Everything was turned upside down and I did not know which way to turn. Nothing helped. It was during this time that I felt like Job…lost and alone. So, like Job I questioned God. asking why I did not find help in my time of need. I, unlike Job, did not get a scathing reply, but in time things did level out and life was as good as it ever was before.

WHERE WERE YOU GOD?
WHERE WERE YOU GOD // WHEN I NEEDED YOU MOST
WHEN MY LIFE COLLAPSED AND MY LIFE TURNED BLACK?

GOD // WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I EXPECTED THAT YOU CARED
WHEN I BELIEVED // I TRUSTED // AND THOUGHT YOU HEARD?

WHERE WAS THE PROMISED PEACE OF MIND…
THAT THROUGH DIFFICULT TIMES I DID NOT FIND?

WHEN I WALKED THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH
I FEARED EVERY EVIL // I FELT ALL THE PAIN

WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I CRIED OUT IN PAIN
WHEN I PLEADED // I BEGGED // AND CALLED YOUR NAME?

WHEN I HURT SO BAD I WISHED I COULD DIE,
WERE YOU THERE TO SEE // DID YOU HEAR MY CRY?

I COULD NOT TELL // I FELT LEFT TO FATE…
WITH NO WAY TO HELP // BEFORE IT WAS TOO LATE

WOULD ALL THAT HAPPENED, HAVE HAPPENED ANYWAY
OR WERE YOU THERE // WHAT DO YOU SAY?

WHERE WERE YOU GOD, WHEN I NEEDED YOU MOST?

~1995~

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Frank, at d’Verse asked us to write a poem about frustration, disappointment or heartbreak.   Come join in with all the fun.

https://dversepoets.com

Faith

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Faith

My faith in God is not something to be proved. Rather it is something to be believed and lived. Faith is a belief about truth, with a little experience that helps reinforce it. I have found faith to be rather elusive at times in my life.

When all is well faith comes easy, but when “life happened”, as it does to all of us, it threw me for a loop! I was spiraling downward fast with no answers in sight.  My prayers went unanswered. Things seemed out of control. There was no way I could fix things. The only thing I had left was faith that God was in control, and things would work out for my good. Even then I had my doubts. I was frustrated and angry.

Through it all, I found prayer was what I needed to change me, not others. In time, and with help from some good counselors, life finally got back on track. I learned a lot about myself and about God. It definitely changed my understanding of faith. A lot of what I thought was faith was mostly culture and religion, but my belief in God and his eternal providence and grace is still strong.

Burning through blackness

Spring sun rises // Dark is light

Grace for the graceless

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Mish asked us to write a Haibun about some aspect of faith. It has to be written from our experience.  A Haibun has a concise prose segment followed by a  seasonal haiku. Come join us at d’verse.

https://dversepoets.com/

 

Shadow of Death

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Shadow of Death
I will climb mountains with you
Celebrate birthdays and anniversaries too
Cry over the birth of our children…
And morn over the loss of our parents
But // am I willing to walk with you…
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death?”
*
I will struggle to make ends meet
Sacrifice myself so you can get ahead
Take the kids to ball games // cheer them on
And, kiss boo boos when knees are skinned
But // am I willing to walk with you…
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death?”
*
Can we survive the death of a child
When cancer takes its toll
Survive the blinding demons of depression
When you no longer want to live at all
Will I be willing to walk with you…*
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death?”

When we have faced financial loss
And all we worked for goes down the drain
When infidelity and insecurity plague our life
And forgiveness seems the last thing on the brain
Will you walk with me…
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death?”
*
Relationships are tough // not all fun and games
We are guaranteed to have heartaches and pain
But // if we choose to be committed //for the rest of our life…
“Till death do us part” // as husband and wife…
We will walk together… We will always be there…
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death!

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Photo of Stain Glass Window at Weddington United Methodist Church – Dwight L. Roth

 

 

Cracked but Not Broken

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After twenty-five years of marriage things were unraveling.  Our boys were off in school and the empty nest syndrome was weighing down on us. Depression was challenging every part of our marriage. On our anniversary we went out to dinner and as was our tradition we exchanged gifts. She gave me the tile above inscribed with the words of hope for our marriage. I have had it on our wall ever since. A couple of years ago, it fell and cracked in half. I got some glue and cemented it together and hung it back on the wall. I thought, how symbolic of our marriage, cracked but not broken! Next year will be our fiftieth!

Cracked but Not Broken (a Quadrille)

Twenty-five years

Things were shaky

Gifts after dinner…

Tokens of love exchanged

For me ‘twas a tile

Words …of hope for the future

“Paint me a picture,

Draw me with you,

And together we can see the sunrise!”

Still together…

Cracked but not broken

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Tile: (c) Irene 94   –   from Halmark

Our prompt today in d’Verse was from Sarah Connor. She asked us to write about tokens of love that we find significant in our life. I decided to write a quadrille.

Come join us at d’verse:   https://dversepoets.com/

 

Did You Hear Me, God?

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Did you ever wonder why God did not answer your prayer? I believe everyone goes through those times of questioning. This is especially true when the circumstances are so bad that there appears to be no hope. Many years ago I went through a similar situation. I was depressed and despondent an did not know what the future held. As the poem says I reached out to God and could not feel his presence at all. With the help of supportive brothers and sisters, I finally came through and again renewed my faith and trust, believing that God really does love and care for me.

Where Were You God?

Where were you God // when I needed you most
When my life collapsed and I felt my worst?

God, where were you when I believed you cared…
When I trusted you to direct my path?
Where was the promised peace of mind…
That through this difficult time I did not find?

When I walked through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I feared every evil // I felt all the pain.
Where were you when I cried out in vain…
When I pleaded // I begged // I called out your name?

When I hurt so bad I wished I could die,
Were you there to see // did you hear my cry?
I could not tell // I did not know why.

I felt alone // left to fate
No way to help, before it was too late

Would all that happened have happened anyway…
Or were you there, what do you say?
Where were you God,
When I needed you most?

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth  –  my mothers funeral… unrelated to the poem.

Superficial

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Make 2018 a year to listen to others and hear what they are really saying.  Winter is a time when many suffer from depression. The shorter days and cold weather seems to add to their Blue feelings. Let this be the year of being real with one another. Our job is not to fix people but to be there for someone who needs a friend.

The “Just Fine” Mask

“How are you?”  “Oh, I am just fine!”

How easy to protect ourselves behind our mask

Social butterflies flitting here and there

A drop of nectar from me and one from you

Kiss, Kiss!

“How are you?”  “Well, I have been better.”

“Stop right there I don’t want to know”

Cutting you off …too much information

No invested emotion here

Kiss, Kiss

“How are you?” “Oh, I am so glad you asked!”

“Here we go again… do I really have to listen to this?”

“Tell me what is going on, I would love to hear.”

“Don’t worry it will get better.”

Kiss, Kiss

“How are you?”  “I am really struggling!”

“I am so sorry, tell me more.”

“What can I do to help?”

“I’ll call you soon!” “Then we’ll talk.”

Kiss, Kiss

“Hi how are you?”  “I’m fine!”

“I can’t deal with this anymore”

“Love you, goodbye!”

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

This one has been posted a year ago, but is a good reminder for the new year.

Hiding in My Shell

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Most of us experience depression from time to time. Some of us have suffered from deep depression that steals our joy and turns it into deep sadness. This is not just those who have PTS. It happens to new mothers, teens, married couples, working people, and seniors.  The good news is that it can be treated. For some it includes medication and counseling. We are just realizing how important treatment is in this country. Until we provide adequate treatment and help for depression, we are going to see violence and suicide rise. If you suffer from depression. Talk to someone who has the skills to help you through.

Depression

This pain

Deeper than anything

I’ve ever know

Envelops my being

Overwhelming my soul,

Consuming my spirit

Destroying all desire to live.

Quicksand sucks me down

Drawing me into the darkness…

Wanting nothing

Giving nothing…

Just that feeling of loneliness

That never goes away.

Hopeless and helpless

My joy turns to a great sadness

Pumping through my veins

Like a long stemmed rose

Long dead….only the thorns remain

Scratching my soul with each beat

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

How???

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How?

Losing Ground

Standing in the sand

Looking out over a beautiful world

While the sand erodes under these sore feet

Sucking like quicksand down into an ever changing surf

My mind spinning in astronomical directions

Wondering how this could happen

Crushed hopelessly

Sinking deeper

Help!