Shelved hopes

Silent shelved hopes
and bitter tears;
lifeless and disfigured
by mascara smears.

With gloom-wrapped shoulders,
she reaches out a hand,
but the majority pass by her,
and few can understand.

So she sits in stilled anguish,
waiting for a promising sign,
but the world is relentless
and only seeks to undermine.

She realizes she’s a burden,
another rift in society.
And so she sits and languishes
for all she’ll never be.

© 2021 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/homeless-beggar-woman-poverty-cry-3584319/

Writing prompt: A bottle of hope sat on the shelf

Say goodbye to the war

Detach and draw away
Under the covers
Cold and gray
Endure the cycle of decay
Bury your head
And fill it with dismay

These are the fallacies
We choose to believe
Filling up our heads
Causing us to grieve
Not even worth repeating
Such thoughts are just defeating

So push through and release
While all your troubles
Beg to increase
Say goodbye to the war
The one that’s hidden
Behind your door

© 2021 Michelle Cook


Photo credit:  https://pixabay.com/photos/cold-frost-winter-the-disease-2722002/

Loneliness

Loneliness
it comes in many forms
and I have known them all.
But I think the loneliest times
are when I’m surrounded
by a sea of expressionless faces.
Those empty-eyed, silent beings
always appear to be lost in
mind-numbing, alien-sweeping,
brain-snatching activity.
And if I stare intently enough,
focusing long and hard enough,
I can almost see those denatured
souls being surreptitiously sucked
out of every finger-tapping mortal
who has unknowingly fallen victim
to the technological advances
of our times.
It often leaves me queasy
and fearfully uneasy.
For I must admit that I too,
have fallen subject to the
interest of self-isolation
within the matrix.
Using it as a security blanket
for companionship
because community
no longer exists
within the confines
of my existence.
There are instances
when I do attempt
to turn the world around.
And with desperate breath
I try to disengage
from the illuminated rectangle
nestled nice and neat
between my pale palms.
But then loneliness sneaks in,
finding me once again.
And the screen in my hands
becomes the only life left
to be found.

© 2021 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/portrait-woman-black-and-white-2308893/

Burying yesterdays

The afternoon settles
into a quiet calm.
But it’s here
in this noiseless state,
where I find myself interrupted
by restless winds.
Those unexpected currents
stir up buried memories
of regretful sighs
and uneasy bitter truths.
Then with trepidation
coursing through my veins,
a quiet declaration is made.
I move in silent determination,
carefully traversing
those frustrating fields,
where chaotic blooms
begin to mushroom in my mind.
At last taking control,
seizing those past reflections,
wrestling with the delirium
of all those unspoken things.
And finally after hours
of agonizing lamentations,
those lingering grievances
begin to crumble
inside an iron-gripped will.
All those listless thoughts
long in their coming,
turning to ash,
fluttering lifelessly to the ground,
tasting their very last words.

© 2021 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: Pixabay.com

My childhood

I’m the girl who collected music boxes.  Each one was delicately carved and crafted as if they were made just for me.  I remember losing myself in each heart soaring note while the fragile little figures twisted and twirled, delicately dancing to the sighs of my youth.  Watching those tiny dancers was one of the only ways I could pass the time while locked away inside my dingy little room.  I remember the thin, mustard-yellow bedspread and the thread-bare golden colored carpet.  The uninspiring small room couldn’t have been more unappealing, and my imagination was my only saving grace.  There was always a book resting on my knee and a flashlight hidden beneath my pillow.  Those two items were critical to my overall health and well-being.  Although to be found reading at bedtime often meant facing a fate worse than death, but I still took my chances because reading was my only escape.  

The window above my bed was out of reach, too high to see anything except the smog-filled sky, and that dreary view seemed to envelop everything, even me. There were many occasions when I was ordered to stay confined to my bed, so I would perch on the edge of my pillow, setting the gauge on the quarter-sized timer that I’d bought for ten cents at the swap meet.  The dial was hard to turn and always hurt my hand whenever I tried.  But somehow, the ticking noise that abruptly followed after spinning the dial made it all worth it.  My spirit was somehow calmed and comforted by the tic, tic, tic.  The tiny treasure gave me hope that one day I wouldn’t be forgotten, and I thought perhaps someone would come and rescue me before the buzzer sounded.  Sadly, most days, I was just shushed back into silence once the dial made its final round.  I always wished the familiar chime would mean certain freedom, but that was just another lie I kept choosing to believe.

© 2020 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/rain-water-window-dark-night-room-2589417/

Unacceptable

His words fester beneath the surface,
weary words of disdain and ill repute.
But what can I do,
and how can I be anything more?
For I am just another daughter,
a regret still in the making.
And my existence is a constant reminder
of all he’s ever done wrong.

© 2020 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/woman-mysterious-traveler-journey-5718089/

 

There was nothing left to say

Capture

There was nothing left to say,
at the end of that fateful day.

The next morning,
the sky parted as usual
as the birds all sang in unison.
Each one responding
without a trifle
of a pink puffy, cloudy care.

The day lazily drifted by
as the trees did their perennial thing,
each one dancing and swaying
to the sound of the honeybees,
all very eager and harmonious,
in their afternoon endeavors.

Even the flowers
dressed in white,
parading around in their newest,
frilly attire,
couldn’t have been,
more carefree.
Each one so unassuming,
in their leisure,
yet studious displays.

Because like always,
it was just another ordinary day.
Another glorious day
to be alive.
At least that was the case
for everyone, but her.

© 2019 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/tree-dawn-bird-winter-weather-3189333/

Phone zombie…

Capture

The notifications are gone
Flags all disappeared
No new email
The silence is weird

Feels almost like
The whole world is dead
As more illogical thoughts
Fill up my head

Maybe I’m crazy
Or so I’ve been told
But the quiet is depressing
When the screen has gone cold

And isn’t that the issue
The problem we all face
Think I’ve become a phone zombie
And it’s such a disgrace

© 2020 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/iphone-template-mockup-mock-up-500291/

 

One Unsympathetic Night

 

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There was a time, long long ago,
when grief consumed and controlled me.
Desperate thoughts and delusions
carpeted the walls of my mind.
And if memory serves me correctly,
it all began one unsympathetic night.

I was lost in empty thought.
Resting quietly,
against the old familiar comforts,
which only a saggy, depleted featherbed can give.

But powdered blue notions,
ran rampant that eve,
spinning a trap, right in front of my eyes.
And nothing could have prepared me
for the ambush; I was about to face.

Typically, I have always been on the offensive,
but that night, I was taken by complete surprise.
It seemed as if a tornado,
one filled with erratic and overemotional thoughts,
had somehow landed on top of me.

I felt my chest tighten,
surrounded by every last unfortunate thought I’d ever had.
Even the cuckoo down the hall
seemed to chime a little less enthusiastically
as I wrestled with my mind.

Every hope, wish, dream,
seemed to vanish into thin air.
I was left nauseated by midnight blue reflections,
and I laid there motionless,
desperately waiting for dawn to arrive.

At first light, I knew something was still terribly off.
I became temporarily crippled,
the fear of ignorance—all-consuming.
The overwhelming feelings,
ones comprised of dolor and distress,
clung to the recesses of my troubled heart.
I was quite literally suffocating,
in-between swells of uncertainty.

It wasn’t long before mama came looking for me.
I must’ve had the look of death itself,
as the light in her eyes
grew instantaneously dim.

Mama worked to make sense of my sickly state,
and I tried to give her all that remained of my spirit.
But my half-smile looked more like a frown,
and there was just no way of deflecting
all the worry situated in her gaze.

I knew right then and there;
mama had recognized my face as her very own.
It seemed the dispiritedness in our humble abode
had finally caused the undulating waters to reach me.

As I now reminisce,
recalling the details of that one unsympathetic night,
I realize just how long it’s taken for the floodwaters to recede.
And even though the waves have since quieted,
I am still not the same girl I once was.

© 2020 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/sleep-bed-sheets-covers-comforter-839358/

 

Lost under the bluest of skies

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I remain lost
Under the bluest of skies
Nobody, not one
Sees the hurt in my eyes

I am not free
To be who I choose
No matter what I do
I always seem to lose

I once thought
That love was real
But the longer I live
The less that I feel

And the truth is
I’ve never belonged
This is how It’s been
My whole life long

© 2019 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/sky-cloud-plant-dandelion-blue-2969489/

 

When we ignore…

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They scatter, fall
Lose their way
Their lives uncertain
Full of disarray

They’ve taken risks
Leading them astray
Every decision a regret
They’ll now have to pay

They can’t go on
To start a new day
Unkind words leave them
In misery and dismay

Their agony is contagious
So we keep them at bay
Then they vanish forever
As their souls fade away

We cry out in anguish
Looking for a ray
But they’re gone for good now
There is nothing left to say

© 2019 Michelle Cook

*I wrote this yesterday as I thought about all the people around us who suffer alone every day.  We may not understand exactly what our friends are going through, or how to help them, but a simple word of kindness is all it often takes to make a difference in somebody’s life.  So I urge you to reach out to someone today.  You could be the one to save their life without even knowing it.  I’ve had friends do this for me; they never even knew how much their words meant to me, but they were everything in those moments when I was lost and felt like giving up.  Please don’t ignore your friends; they need you… ~M xo

All because of you

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If love can conquer all
Than I am a victor in your arms
And not even the plagues of the world
Can touch the light in my soul

For you have enabled me to shine
During the darkest most dismal days
Illuminating my way
Even when I could not

There were a myriad of times
When I walked through shadowed realms
And you were there
To help guide my way

You never left me alone on that arduous path
Embracing me daily
Your outstretched arms ever ready
Never faltering to motion me in

And every bend in the road
Was a heartwarming gift
Because you were there
Loving me as only you can

And now I am beholden to you
My love, my life
The one who nurtures
Every part of my being

What was once before me
Has dissipated at my feet
And it’s all because
You remained by my side

© 2019 Michelle Cook

Missing you…

lone-tree-1934897_1280

I just spent two long hours
Pouring out how I feel
Then deleted all the words
That I wanted to conceal

I was rambling on
And nothing made sense
I feel like everything I say
Is in self-defense

I guess I’m just feeling lost
Because everyone is gone
And most don’t understand
How I’ve felt all along

And so the tears have won again
Like they sometimes do
I guess this is just what happens
When I find myself missing you

© 2019 Michelle Cook