A Room So Still and Quiet It Hurts: A Collaboration of Warriors

I am reposting this piece in honor of National Suicide Prevention Month.

We must raise our voices and speak truth about the insidiousness of depression.

We dedicate this to everyone who has ever felt hopeless and helpless.  You are not alone.  It does get better.

National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)

Christine Ray

In a room so still and silent

That it hurts

Stark white walls

Razor sharp edges

Etch my soul

Draw blood

That drips slowly


From my mouth


I am trapped

Like a fly in amber

Time stands still

The air is thick

Holds me motionless

In this prison cell

I feel vibration

A silent scream building

From my depths

Rachel Finch

Barricaded, her aura stifles

in the quiet.

Walls closing in, silence


Her mind internally

burning, blistering.

His voice a faint echo,

worlds away.

Rana Kelly

I tell them they’re lying,

The monsters that cling

To the lobes and whorls

Of my ears.

They laugh and go on.

I pull the covers up

To my chin and let them in again

Until the tears are spent

And still,

They never repent.

Get thee behind me,

But I always look back

Waiting on them to pounce.

Kindra M. Austin

In a room so still, I draw mental images.

Shovelfuls of dirt are tossed and splayed;

loose earth lands with a dead sound

upon my ridiculous casket.

The images play in a loop like

spliced film–a silent movie.

Sarah Doughty

These bones have grown
weak and weary, while the rest
of the world has gone
dark and gray. Over time,
they’ve become more
than I can handle.
More than I can live with.
And these burdens I carry
are mine alone. No one
deserves to hold them
on their shoulders.
Which is why I’ll take them
with me. After the music
stops playing.


Eric Syrdal

In a room so still

I hear echoes of a former life

I hear the twisting and creaking

Of this thread I hang from

Knotted and frayed it

Binds my heart

In pieces that have shattered

So many times they no longer

Fit together

And their edges are so razor sharp

They cut me to ribbons

To remember what I once was

Ward Clever

I scream

I lost myself

The echoes dont come back

Ragged and raw, my chords vibrate

Revealing nothing from my insides

My voice swallowed up by the crowd

My inner voice silenced

I have become the echoes

Aurora Phoenix

in the silence

my shame shrieks torment

a piercing the walls drill

into my brain

the ceiling salivates venom

it licks the stiffness

from my spine

the floor nauseates me

as it breathes

rank sour breath

of the unlovable, whose caries

grew unfettered in an unkissed mouth

I shrink, a knotted ball,

from the reverberating stench,

the putrefying death knell

inverted, I am a tunnel

from which no light escapes

there is only the abject crawling

of my soul, face down

in the sewage

of my failed spirit


I hate this fucking room…

I hate being consumed with my doom…

As I sit here, looking at my shattered reflection in the perfect mirror

All I am  forever reminded of,

Is what I almost was…

Why can I not seem to get back on track?

All that was an almost happy life has gone to pure shit..

Blinded by the bright light at the end of the dark tunnel…

I should follow it…

Even if it means I am dead forever, and I can’t come back…

Even if it makes me weak…

I am just tired of being strong…

Maybe even tired of holding on…

There has to be another side..

A place where I can freely roam,

A place where I don’t have to hide…

Reality is overwhelming…

This room is so silent…that it fucking hurts

my head is full of too much traumatic memories…

I am running out of do-over’s at this point…

I have done everything to release

The only time I hear that I am good enough…

Is after I please a nobody…so I am just a good fuck…

I don’t believe in me anymore… I am out of good luck…

I need to be free from life… from turmoil…

I need to be free from being me…

I hate being stuck…


Aakriti Kuntal (Warped Kites)

Long hands, circumcision of thought, 

Flailing flesh, fish sucking the rotten sea

The window breast is now red from approach 

We hang there, we do

the captivity of bleached air is like nothing else

the death sentence of genes

Godless children of a different race

Our hearts are split and our brains feverish

slowly descending, soaked head to toe

into songs that contain only air

I twist the lock, your twisted face, a warped kite

Floating across ceilings,

You have decided to spread

a smile wide as the day, light up the dim structure of your face

Like blow torches growing mad above the taste of ashes

You have decided to smile

this one last time

And the ceiling watches,

its silence repulsive 

And the walls judge,

their jabber exhausting

Men like to slaughter what they don’t understand 

Common cold doesn’t dictate cancer

And neither mood nor perspective is the predecessor of mental sickness

The floor watches,

stained in a lovely red

The only living thing now 

is you

and you, you bleed 

Upwards into a cerulean sky

Lois E. Linkens

i don’t belong here.

they told me

success held the key to happiness,

a golden road through cloudy skies,

a nightingale’s song in the dead of night –

so i don’t belong here.

i don’t fit in,

i stick out like a black sheep in a field of white,

a pebble strung on a thread of pearls.

oh, that piece would be so fetching

with pearls alone,

and i am sure the shepherd grows weary of the sight of me.


The anguish of aliveness

No one wins

Sterile, self-defeating

Shrouded in intense sensitivity

Silence, secrets, sadness, solitude

A welcomed stillness

Such sweet solace

The weight begins to lift

A final gift


There is a peace

In release

A freedom beyond

This relentless realm

A breakable bond

From devils and demons


Olde Punk

The melodies are

my legacy

I’ve won some battles

but I am losing the war

choose not to remember

my last act

but all of the victories

that came before

as a samurai chooses

death over dishonor

my sepuku is the solution

to stop the coming horror

the monster with my smile

I know that my absence

will fill a room so still

it hurts but better

still than to see the world

I love burn with my

dark needs

Nathan McCool

You know when I’m there, after all the blood,

after all my ghost begin to break up and

dissipate like early morning radio chatter,

after the loss

of every god damn thing I’ve ever loved,

I can tell you that I earned the cognizance

that this was never a room.

Rooms have an exit, but there is no re-entry

into what my life used to be.

It’s a black hole, and on the other side

there is a universe of all dead bodies.

So if I dissect myself,

if I show you all my organs that could never

have managed to hold this cancer,

if I do it here at the altar of all my great


I just want you to know I’ve reached the

event horizon.

But here I do not struggle, I strive. I still

yearn to be a good man. Wish that my

heart would become supermassive,

and strong enough to maybe release

one singular ray of light into all this space.

Set one lone kite free of the gravity.

If I fall through the hole and I’m never seen again,

I want you to remember I wasn’t a coward.

I was the thing that withstood longer than

all else.

Because nothing can be here if it still

has a world to belong to.

And if you don’t understand that, in a way

I hope you never do.

But if you never saw my light, if I gave in

before it could break through

I’m sorry.

It’s not because I didn’t try.

So live or die,

Be free or killed by this monster of my mind,

I did the very best that I could.

Unheard Incantations: A Collaborative Poem

The words we cannot say
Will be wept
Into silence between us (CER)

Breathe deep, dear love;
Be still with me
Listen to my heartstrings
A song meant just for you (KMA)

Each tear
An eloquent elegy
To tortured truths (AP)

Each note played
On a hand carved lute
Strung with strips
Of my soul (JWL)

Your breathless aura
Beats in time
Undulating ululation
With my exhaled psyche (AP)

Intertwined, tangled,
Unified: whole
Healed. (JWL)

Yet with hearts torn open
Bleeding out the notes of our song
You turned from me (ME)

I am fire
In desire
I beg
Save me (1W-W)

Fetch me an instrument,
For the untrained ear
Is soothed by that
Which it cannot comprehend. (LEL)

Not everything is black and white.
For even the eclipsed moon
Is not without a little light. (SD)

Whispers through the distance
I remember
As you reach for my hand
my heart (CER)

Our words
Drip like fire
Into embers
Wanting back
Their flame. (SFF)

The words we cannot say
Will be wept
Into silence between us (CER)

Written by:


Kindra M. Austin

Sarah Doughty

Michael Erickson

Stephen F. Fuller

John W. Leys

Lois E. Linkens

Aurora Phoenix

Christine E. Ray

Cat Nap

My latest collaboration with Lois E. Linkens on Sudden Denouement

A Forum for Divergent Literature

by Lois Linkens and Christine Ray


sleep stalks me, finds me an easy target

slinks in to drag me under, into the depths
where unknown dangers lurk in my unconscious
what murkiness lies behind my drooping lashes,
what shadows hide between each whistling breath?
what sharpness snuggles buried
among the feathers in my pillow,
what traps will soon ensnare
and dangle me, just feet from death?

they hook me, by the ankle
and suspend me from the tree of dreams,
around which serpents rattle, tigers prowl,
insects scuttle, poisonous, foul.
blood rushing to my head
cheeks flushed
heart thundering
as i dangle helpless

great cats bat their armored paws
at my flailing hair
like beggars round a campfire.
their claws pull and snag –
draw drops of blood
that quench night blooming jasmine
waiting below

i wake with a start. temples throb and pulse,
the bed is dry as…

View original post 110 more words

Queue the Music/A Mad World Poem-Christine Ray & Stephen Fuller

A collaborative poem with my incredibly talented friend Stephen Fuller.  You can read more his writing at Stephen Fuller-Poetry


fills my ears like

gin in my glass

accolades for how well

I convey pain

others’ consume.

I am their proxy

their stand-in

these words



I give

tiny pins

that prick

nerves like


tying up

this human condition

I am grateful


for the shot

at the main stage

the time you give

me to speak for

the lonely

the voiceless

the desperate

the crowd

praises my performance

my art

feeling too much





this fancy

red carpet

dress returns

to an empty

dressing room

to drink the gin


Something Wicked in the Clouds- Christine Ray/Brave and Reckless & S Francis/SailorPoet

Originally published on Sudden Denouement


Ever been cloudbusting?

We lay on our backs

in damp fragrant grass

Look up at the sky

to trace a dream that seems

Soft and fluffy

like cotton candy.


We point up at rabbits

and dragons in the mist

Discerning ghost ships in full sail

Moments so sweet kids swallow

Them in their first sugar-filled

Carnival step to torment parents

Filled with a need for one still moment

To spite the chaos.  Life


Invent a new game from shadows

North winds blow in ominous clouds

We bust them up into Grimms

that twist into dark corners

Where Freud conjures out

Nightmares stripping bliss

Exposing naked fears

That freeze children in their place

We watch vaporous Hell Hounds

Chase fleeing maidens

Giant toads swallow koi


Release our Ids, wild and feral

Join the Wild Hunt

Chase the devil

Across the night sky

A hero or a demon

Determined by the color

of the rain that drips from

His wounds.

S Francis writes for SailorPoet

Turn the Night On- Christine Ray (Brave and Reckless) & S Francis (SailorPoet)

Won’t you stay,

My love?


Outside snow falls steady

Gusted by north wind

Tapping at our window

Inside these walls

A fire burns



So softly

Spread your

Raven hair

Upon my pillow



So gently

We will unfold

Our layers

Like origami flowers


Reveal the

Treasure at the core

Offer it like pearls

That dissolve

On our tongues


Won’t you stay my love?

turn the night on



Won’t you stay my love?

Turn the night on


Won’t you stay,

My love?


As bitter winds blow

and frost grows in ferns

Across the window

Inside these walls

A fire burns



So softly

Fall into my

Chocolate eyes

Across the pillow



So gently

I will rub

My hands across

Your silk skin.


Offer the

Tenderness in your core

In small gasps

That dissolve

On our tongues.


Won’t you stay my love?

Turn the night on



S. Francis can be found at SailorPoet

Our Undertow-S Francis/SailorPoet & Christine Ray/Brave and Reckless

Written in collaboration with S Francis at SailorPoet


In the sleepless nights since you left

I have become a ghost

Haunting lonely shores.

My restless legs cover miles

Before giving out.

I am raw, ragged


Who will walk with me through

The darkside of this morning

Where our kaleidoscoped story

Hovers above the water’s surface

Piercing me before they blur in the brine?


I clutch one eidolon

You drowsy and tousled in my tee shirt

Borrowed fabric softly falling

Shaping the constancy of arousal

The obvious distaff dangers unhidden


The rhythmic glitter of dawn on the surf

Belies dangers of the relentless undertow

pulls away and pulls away and pulls away


Swallowed milligrams of sunlight

Penetrate bare boned trees, symbolic.


The onus of my salvation.

An image given

By a phantom.

I drop to my knees and see red

Stains on the mica staged to process the sun.


A drop of blood escapes my mouth

lands on the salt of the water.

I taste the essence of my pain.

I close my eyes to escape

This new life of me without you.


In sleep the surf tosses me

my dreams churn in the sand.

I reach into the mud to

pull out our story

before the ocean steals it back.