Your poems

"Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese. " - G.K. Chesterton

It may be that very few poets have written about cheese. Or perhaps those poets who have simply aren't acknowledged. The beauty of poetry is that anyone can do it and yes, we can write about anything. Even cheese.

The poets who share their art with us are living with mental illness, or are a loved-one or family member of someone who is.

Poems by Anna Quon

Hospital Poem

I’m tired
And my hair is falling out
I’m tired
And they keep feeding me
I’m tired and if I close my eyes
No one will see me
Except Baha’ullah

My prayers reach up like hands
Like puffs of smoke
Signalling my need
Which is great

They climb the stairs
Of my crumbling spirit
They hitchhike up the
Mountains of loneliness
For the promised sunrise

These prayers with hands and feet
Can feel their way to the place
I cannot go.
God picks them up
Like flowers,
Like small insects
And reads them like a book.

Their flowery scent in His nostrils
Their tiny legs
Tickling His hands.

He could crush them
Like a ball of paper
But he lets them be.

Me and my meds

Who can fill up
this emptiness?

Ghosts wander
the corridors
knocking their chains
against the walls

They are looking for someone,
anyone
to haunt.

I stand at the door
listening to the bell ring
and offer myself
but no one comes

the door to my head
is bolted
my drugs keep
me out
I sit on the curb
and hold my skull
as though it were
a delicate
shell.

Red shoes

I’m a broken-headed person,
Broken-hearted. Broke
Dressed in holes,
Dressed in rain,
Feet sore and sorrowing
from standing
On street corners,
And walking for miles
In another girl’s shoes.

Those shoes are real nice
But they don’t fit worth a damn
That’s what happens
When you steal another girl’s shoes

When I go out
it’s like the world’s caved in
There’s dark things scurrying
And scuttling away
Into the corners

When I go home
It’s like a husk
Of corn
All gnawed away inside

When I go home
I take off those shoes
And put them under my bed
They’re sparkly, for sure
They’re pricey and a rare rare red
Like a ruby

But I can’t walk for shit in them
Let alone dance

Let that girl
Give me my shoes back
Let her say
Sorry, honey, I made a mistake
I must have taken your shoes
Without thinking
I’ll smile at her and say
That’s ok
And hand back the red ones to her
These must be yours,
I’ll say,
As if I hadn’t taken them in both my hands
Like a pair of red apples
And run.

Sometimes darkness grips me

Sometimes darkness grips me
By the hair and flings me into
Itself, like a stone

Or eats me alive
Like a prehistoric fish
With jaws as massive as a
Garbage truck

It whittles me down to nothing.
But a pencil stub
And uses me to draw
Terrible picture
On the walls
Of my imagination

Darkness covers me with its claws
And sucks the breath from me
Like a cigarette

But that makes the embers burn brighter,
the end, nearer.
 
the coals from
the tree of my being,
ripe with fire,
glow and sing,
pulse
and undulate.

Used Up

For the things that make us weak
And the things that make us crazy,
And the things that make us curl up
And howl like a baby,
and the things that use up all our tears
and turn our hopes to ash
and drown our happiness
like a newborn kitten

For those things, I say thank you
As the world is a cleaner place
Once those things are all used up

What’s left behind
is a ring of kindness
like the stain from
a coffee cup

and gentleness,
dusty
as an old moleskin

and fearlessness
though not enough to stuff
a pillow
only enough-
to look like
recklessness
because what is there
left to lose?

That’s the way
I like to think
My illness has used me up.

Still, there’s jagged edges
To wear down

but let it be slow
the way a stone is rubbed smooth
by the sea

let all my mistakes
be small teachers
pointing to truth
like needles
of a compass
 
Let the breeze
That blows in all directions
Take hold of my sail and
Push against it like oxen.
Tack or gybe,
it doesn’t matter- as long as
the eye of the wind is open.
 
I’ll bring a telescope
For stars
A net for
Fish
And the little spark
of anger in a tinderbox
to take out when I want
to make
another fire
of all the things
I need to use up.