Tag Archives: pain

To Help Keep the Poetry Going…

Normally, I reserve this blog only for all things poetry. And I promise there is more poetry on its way.

I’m sorry for this post, but it’s become necessary to do this, not just for my personal health, but because not addressing this issue will most certainly impact my life, and my ability to continue writing.

Due to an ongoing medical condition, I was forced to leave my job back in February. Up until June, I was hanging on by the skin of my teeth with the help of family and close friends. Now, I’m facing the possibility of losing my car — my only source of reliable transportation — if I don’t come up with at least $750 before 8/15.

To press home the point of what I’m up against, I thought I’d share something a little more graphic, since I gather most people might not understand how important it is I find a way to keep my car…

Here’s a photo of my left leg, from mid-shin down, taken earlier this evening. What you see is the damage still remaining 3 years after my immune system and disease tried to destroy my ability to walk completely, by eating away at the blood vessels, tissue, nerves and bone throughout my body — most visible in my feet.

HSP Scars Left Leg - 8-9-16

The Rheumatoid Arthritis is another symptom of the widespread autoimmune disease eating away at me. All of this limits my ability to walk to practically nothing, and requires I have transportation that doesn’t mean having to walk more than a handful of feet to get to it.

This is why it is so absolutely imperative I find the support I need to keep my vehicle. Without my car, I won’t be able to leave my house, and my ability to get medical treatment, medication, and basic necessities to life will disappear. If this happens, it won’t be long until I am unable to write at all, and the rest of the eventualities are too terrifying for me to even consider, at this point.

If you’re willing to help, you can do so on the Go Fund Me page below, where my friends and family have been contributing toward the goal of paying off my car and helping remove a stress that contributes to my continued illness.


Everyone who contributes can opt to receive special gifts, as well as complete repayment of the contributed amount, as soon as I possibly can. Just be sure to leave your name and address when you donate.

If you prefer not to donate via GoFundMe, you can e-mail me at esthermitchell(at)esthermitchell.com (replace “(at)” with @) for additional options to donate.

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. If I can keep my car, and lower my stress, I can complete books faster, which means more for you to read.


“Let It Go”

~Esther Mitchell, 2014~

You told me today,
That I just need to calm down,
That it’s not that bad,
That I should just let it go.
I smiled, and nodded, and walked away.
But what I wanted to ask you,
Was if you’d seen the leash I’m holding,
The door I’ve barricaded with my body,
To save you from the demons that push against the other side,
If I let go of this leash,
I unleash something I cannot control,
Its ravenous appetite never satisfied,
Until it pulls the last precious drop of my blood, of life,
From the hollow shell of my soul,
If I step away from the door,
Peel my body from this lock,
Rest my vigilance for even a breath,
I unleash a hell I cannot push back again,
I am Pandora before the box,
Untempted, because I already know the pestilence inside,
There isn’t any hope in my box,
My only hope rests in keeping it firmly closed,
And so I made my body the only key,
My throat sewn shut around the magic words,
That I could keep the demons from escaping.
You tell me I should pray about it,
But there’s no prayer that stays this battle,
No God capable of turning back this horde,
Your God abandoned me when this Hell was created,
My pleas echoed off your god’s deaf ears like bullets off Kevlar,
Until I was deafened to the sound of prayer,
Each word from your lips an artillery round,
Blowing open more places for the demons to come in,
More hollows where the words whispered in the night,
Until they were all I could hear, telling me to take the pills,
To use the knife,
To go back to the beginning, to fill my lungs with the water,
As they were that day.
You tell me to think positive,
That this, too, shall pass.
While you’re drowning me in your mantras,
You know nothing of what I face.
I am neither positively or negatively charged.
I am a lightning bolt,
A pounding pulse of electricity that lights up the night,
Fills the sky, takes it over, burns the ground where I walk,
And I am the night, the humming darkness before a storm,
The momentary tingle on your scalp, your tongue,
Just before my fire splits the sky.
I learned this when my world split in two,
Gained the ability to be invisible,
When it became too difficult for you to see me,
Charged the cloak of my own night,
With enough electricity to light the world,
Because the only way to drive my demons back,
Was to be something they feared more than I feared them.
I am the Gates of Babylon,
The portals through which heroes prostrate to pass,
My voice the guardian of secrets that bring kings to their knees,
My body a sacrament defiled to the roar of waves that sink kingdoms and empires.
Do not dare to tell me who, or what, shall pass through me,
Because you do not know the canals carved into my face,
By the rivers of tears you never saw, never stemmed.
You have not navigated the River Styx within my soul,
The murky water none can cross without my permission,
My tongue the ferryman, hand outstretched.
You haven’t the coin to unlock my secrets,
Because you don’t know what it means,
To cut out your own tongue,
To spare others from the demons who howl,
On the other side of my abyss.
You told me today,
To let it go, to just move on,
Because you have no idea,
The monsters I keep at bay.


“Prisoner of Words”

~Esther Mitchell, 2010~

You never told me that you loved me,
That you were proud of me just as I was,
That you believed in me, or even saw me.
For decades, the words lingered out of reach,
Locked behind the bars of your teeth,
Like a political dissident you didn’t dare let foul the air,
With feelings you could not embrace.
I grew up in sterile air,
Fed on nothingness and whispers of silence,
Breathing that which was not breathable.
I learned from the cradle,
To fear a god in which I did not believe,
That backs turn, and I am invisible,
When the words I have to speak,
Aren’t words you want to hear.
Now, I hear words I do not believe,
They fill my ears like the Dead Sea,
Buoyant, without substance, without life,
And yet, I drown where I should not even sink.
My lips feel wooden,
Around the words you expect in return.
I never learned to love you,
Because I never learned your love,
A wall of ice I cannot melt,
A broken trust too late to mend.
I’ve already extended the olive branch,
In trembling limbs reaching for the sun,
Only to shrivel up and retreat,
Against the chill of insincere platitude.
No, you never told me that you loved me,
And all the strength I’ve ever learned,
Came from another source,
And everything I’ve become,
Was made with my own two hands.


“Dead Inside”

~Esther Mitchell, 2014~


You never saw the moment you killed me,

When I became dead inside.


The ripping, tearing, bleeding apart,

The moment when it all crashed in on me,

When you left me a shell,

An empty, hollow husk in place of my heart.


You look with your blame-filled eyes,

And see only how I failed you,

Your tongue knows nothing but hate,

As the words trip over themselves,

Rushing to embed in my fragile being.


How dare I say a word,

Or have a single thought,

That doesn’t make you into a God.


You never saw the moment you killed me,

Or when I became dead inside.


The writhing pain sucking the breath from my soul,

Left me empty inside,

Bottled up, battered, and bruised,

Raped in ways even my most deviant of tormentors never imagined,

Forever stripped of the dignity to which I clung,

Even in the face of death.


You took away more than this shell,

Drove out my last and only hope,

Leaving only demons in your wake.

Pulled apart all that was whole,

As if the rabid dog in you,

Saw only fresh meat in me.


You never saw the moment you killed me,

The moment I became dead inside.


You stole everything precious to me,

And left me holding the knife,

Asking myself:

Would I?

Could I?

Should I?…

And why not?

What’s left to save in this bombed out husk of my soul?

It’s not murder, it’s not suicide,

It’s mercy, to end the torment of living,

When I’m already dead inside.

“Freeing the Clown”

~Esther Mitchell, 1996 ~

How can I say the words,

Trapped behind this laughter,

When my voice freezes in fear,

Afraid it’s my heart you’ll slaughter?

The lacking is within me,

It beats here in my chest,

A wounded heart, estranged to love,

A trust abused, a dreaded test.

How sad the first steps,

Should have to be yours, upon this ice,

For the past holds me from movement,

My fear and pain swirled like a painter’s palette.

Please help me take that step,

Erase my fears and set me free,

Show me it’s again safe to trust,

And just love me for me.

For I’ll egg your laughter on,

At my own expense,

But when the day is done,

the paint streaks away beneath the weight of pain.

I fear you see only the clown,

This paint upon my face,

And that you’ll hate the me inside,

And take away my only safe space.

So promise me solemn,

And promise me true,

That, at my worst and at my best,

I can always count on you.


~Esther Mitchell, 2013~

Tonight I’ll sit here,

staring through my eyes,

seeing what the world fails to see,

because there’s never time for me.

I’ll face the demon in the cupboard,

And those metallic whispers from the drawer,

And pretend, again, I don’t hear their taunts,

The silent bully, chanting “do it, do it, do it.”

I’ll close my heart within a shroud,

The armor no one sees,

And everyone appears to hate,

And tell myself I know the way back,

From this painful, desolate place.

I tell myself it’s enough I care,

That looking for another’s love is just weak,

And then I remember soaring in that sky,

And all my denials break, splinter, and fly apart.

So, tonight, I’ll sit here all alone,

In darkness, despite the surrounding glow,

And wonder why I bother being me,

When all I am appears to never be enough.

“Hidden By Night”

~Esther Mitchell, 2001~

I wake up screaming,

In the dark of night,

I reach for you,

Touch sheets cold and still,

And know my nightmares are all true.

I awake to thunder,

A roar and a flash,

And I’m there once again,

alone, staring at a flaming sky,

unable to make sense,

of what my eyes tell me is true,

but my mind doesn’t want to hear,

while my heart just screams and screams,

forever to be haunted by those echoes.

There’s a sound, like water drops,

And panic seizes my chest,

Traps the air within my throat,

And once again I’m drowning in air,

The slosh and steady drip of terror,

Closing all around me.

The blackness hovers around me, now,

The fears you drove away with your smile,

Your touch, your loving heart.

The pain you once silenced returns to me,

Made more real by your absence,

It kills me to know you’re beyond my reach,

No hope to go back, no second chances.

Red, orange, and yellow explode in my sky,

Descending into the blackness of oblivion,

And I perch on the edge of madness,

Salt and heartache all that remains,

As I wait for dawn to remove these shadows,

And I once again hide my broken, scarred heart away.