Skip to main content

The Terrible Awful by Alise Versella

I wrote this poem two weeks after Robin Williams died…

I was feeling the immense heaviness of the world around me and its sadness. I was feeling the pains of those closest to me: the failure in not being able to help them. I was feeling like a failure. And I couldn't even cry about any of it.

Sometimes we see tears as weakness but they're not. They're a beautiful sweet release that is so necessary. Society has strayed so far passed the simple, beautiful things. This poem is about getting back to them: Not subjecting ourselves to a cancerous society's ridicule. But of relishing in that which makes life worth living: music nature, simplicity, and a few wild stanzas. 

The Terrible Awful Keeps Me Stuck in My Head
Life cut short, or too much life but like fireworks set off in reverse?
Why is it so wrong to feel anything but happiness?
It’s okay to want to cry and scream and smash the vase
It’s okay to want to be left alone
It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay…
When is it not?
I feel so compressed upon my chest
So much like I can’t get air
I’ve been finding it harder to cry
Tears few and far between
They just don’t come just the choking snub
Stuck in my throat
What I wouldn’t give to cry it just feels so good to let it out
But the tears are stuck like everything else
I can’t spill the tears
Can’t write the words
Can’t paint till the flecks are stuck under my nails
I am stuck feeling uncreative
Pent up and frustrated
Bored and in need of soul healing
I need nature
I crave it
I need silence
I want to meditate
My muscles are tense
Give me therapeutic deep tissue
My stomach hurts
Give me homegrown, home cooked, vibrant sapling growth
I am sick of the unbearable feeling of guilt
The pressure of having to please
The urgency in forsaking my beliefs for others decisions
The feeling of a need for a reason
To explain all my ‘why not’s’
I hate the guilt in feeling judged
I live in a world where cancer is the norm
Where everything is a carcinogen
I just want to get back to a place where something’s pure:

Pure wildflowers and dew drowned grass
Pure sunshine dappling aquamarine waves
Pushed by a milk moon to dig its foam into the sand
Pure wild drumbeats and whiskey honey voices
And tambourines and slide guitar pounding with my heartbeats
Sprawled out in a sail boat blanket on a grassy sea of Central Park
Hiking canyon hills meandering from the magic cities
Old Hollywoodland and Broadway
Meditating through the winds of Big Sur
Typing away at alphabet letters on antique keys in bohemian Paris
Growing tanner and fuller on
Olive oil soaked bread and tomatoes and wine and pasta
That I garnished myself
Inhaling the scents of herbs and lavender
Window boxes full of marigolds
Fires at dusk to light our dreams up
Be pure
Be simple
Be free
And make of this life a few wild stanzas.

(This poem appears in Alise's new book "A Few Wild Stanzas", available here

Alise Versella:  I am a 24 year old poet living in the pinelands of New Jersey. Poetry has always been the ether in my veins and the oxygen I breathe. It is my Five Foot Voice, my Onion Heart, I am peeling back the layers of myself like a lotus unfurling its petals in order to grow fully in the waters that can sometimes weigh us down. I’m writing poetry to find myself, I’m writing poetry to save the world. My hope it that my poetry saves someone’s world from crumbling because I believe art has the power to hold us up when we can’t find the legs to stand. You can visit me at my Facebook page here or on my website here. And my third volume of poetry, A Few Wild Stanzas, is available here. 

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~


Popular posts from this blog

I AM STILL HERE by Janavi Held


This was composed by a very gifted and beautiful soul: a regular contributor to our poetry project, and dear friend of mine, Janavi Held, whose life is gradually being taken from us by an incurable illness. She has been suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Internal Adhesions for six painful years now, and neither her insurance nor the government healthcare will help her. She reaches out to us, her sisters, as a last plea. This is a poem she wrote yesterday on her birthday, in which she offers us the gift of her friendship. May it touch your generous hearts and inspire you to reach out to her in her plight.

Dear Friends,

The last time I was able to leave the house was by ambulance on my way to the hospital. After many long hours in the emergency room I was admitted and taken upstairs. After everyone left I sat on the hospital bed, knees to chest, bracing my body against the pain and trembling.

The light of this cold day was fading. I turned my eyes to the la…

IMAGINE A WOMAN by Patricia Lynn Reilly

This poem invites you to look upon yourself with loving kindness…
Gazing at your own true reflection, you will discover that everything you have longed for “out there” is already within you! I invite you to love your creativity fiercely. Faithfully plant seeds, allowing under-the-ground dormant seasons, nurturing your creative garden with love and gratitude. In the fullness of time, the green growing things thrust forth from the ground. It's a faithful, trustworthy process. AND it takes time and patience.  Blessed is the fruit of your creative womb! I invite you to trust your vision of the world and express it. With wonder and delight, paint a picture, create a dance, write a book, and make up a song. To give expression to your creative impulses is as natural as your breathing. Create in your own language, imagery, and movement. Follow no script. Do not be limited by the customary way things have been expressed. Your creative intuition is original. Gather all of life into your inner c…

DEPRESSION by Veronica Carpenter

Here goes my vulnerability A heart on a sleeve The typical person who looks at me May not see the same me that I live with daily The mind in the air, swirling with possibility When the darkness rallies/gathers/swirls When I am left to solitude This paper-thin garb unzips Here comes depression          
No I don’t want to advertise So flash a smile Those who are close get to see Through the veil, it’s really not that thick Circumstances in life like to stab at the rib Stumble, fall behind the door Shut out the world Feelings well and weigh down Strength hidden deep in the core So deep that sometimes it’s forgotten Here comes the darkness My old friend Sweeping through my every move  Doubts, fears, un-named masked men Oozing like honey, sticking to everything
Patience is required to get on this ride There is a cycle but its pattern is unknown Slowly my gift will unwrap itself Stay on the path Coming back to that which never truly left me Just laid sleeping out of exhaustion from the fight Dormant in winter…