Stages of Grief

hanging on the edge

of what was

and what lies ahead

time unravels in my aching hands

like slippery strands of twisted rope

reminding me of how shaky my grip

has become

i have fought long


to hold onto illusions

that nothing needs to change

that i have not changed

white knuckled

i have clung to control

like religion

whispering novenas in the sleepless hours

trying to convince myself

that i will conquer this demon

like all the others i have kept at bay

with flaming sword

righteous rage

stubborn will

ignoring trembling muscles

screaming joints

cold sweat running down my back

fatigue eating at me

an endlessly ravenous lion

the pain that burns







my body

my soul

i am forced to acknowledge

that this battle is bleeding me dry

and that this once

perhaps i must embrace



© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved



Rainy Morning Blues

Poetry is a faint buzz in my brain this morning

like a radio station

that I can’t quite get cleanly in tune

Cobwebs of dreams


still clinging to my synapses

despite ten hours of sleep

spirit is willing

body remains weak



items slipping through my hands

to the alarm of others

I have learned to laugh

at clumsy fingers

numb leg

lurching walk

because, really, what else can I do?

Try to engage

trembling hands

to pick up the threads

of my creativity

that circumstances

have pushed me away from

like a relentless tide

leaving me battered and bruised

The word enigma

echoing like steel in my head

Could be sexy


if I was the blind assassin

not a poet struggling

to remember

that she is more than breath

aching muscles

rogue limbs


© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved


i am a woman

in a large

glass box

that is slowly


filling with water

covering my feet

my ankles

my knees

padlocks of my

own design

keep me trapped

in this watery prison

the opaque panels

block me from view

murals painted with

images of my placid

face doing routine things

deceive the world

inside the box

the water

has reached

my hips

my waist

this water has weight

has heft

presses against me

locks me in place

speakers outside the box

play my prerecorded voice



lulling the audience

while the water

the soothing temperature of my bath

continues to rise

covers my chest

suffocates me

part of me fights

struggles to break free

longs for fresh air

longs for the light

part of me is tired

so very very tired

how easy it would be

to just let go

relinquish myself

to the darkness

the clock is ticking

as the water rises

dangerously high

up to my shoulders now

my voice will soon be gone

can I pull a Houdini

or will I drown

in this unholy

flood of my tears

my blood

my liquid pain?

Inside Job

bullets of pain

explode out through the lumbar spine

create a fractured starburst pattern

radiating out to hips

now akimbo

shoulder blades

knifed forward

in self-protective arch

pale fingertips recoil hastily

from the blast

although no shotgun residue

confirms their guilt

the jury is hung

from throbbing spinal cords

no verdict in sight


© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

Image Courtesy of Pixabay



woke up on the edge

of the cliff

unsteady feet

sliding on the loose gravel path

leading no where

I know that I



call for help

but my voice is hoarse

from disuse

only capable of

inaudible croaking

even if I could

calling for help

would mean admitting

that I have fallen in the hole

and cannot get up on my own

I know that I



reach out a hand

but my arms wrapped around

myself in a death grip

is all that is keeping me

from flying apart

I am slowly


sliding backwards

inch by inch

into the abyss

wondering why it is so hard

even now when the stakes are high

to say the word out loud



© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved


I said “etiology of pain”

he heard “ideology of pain”


can pain and numbness be Republican?

it could believe in trickle-down economics

or maybe its Democratic

but this doesn’t feel like a representative democracy

my vote for not experiencing it is not being given equal weight

it does seem to be exercising some pretty strong free-will

I could be persuaded that it is Libertarian

but this pain is the strong, silent type

keeping its beliefs to itself

choosing to remain an enigma


© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

Glass and Thorns – Christine Ray

My latest piece on Sudden Denouement

A Global Divergent Literary Collective

hysteria (1)
Betrayal is an inside job
wrecked by muscle and
neurons and
mitochondrial mutiny
lays waste
to formerly silver tongue
now struggling to find words
that used to flow like
ink through fountain pen
fatigue hangs round neck
chain woven of boulders, glass shards &
muscle spasms contort me
into balloon animal shapes
so alien, so grotesque
that they frighten the village children
like the pick axe
I plant above right eye
in hopes of blessed relief
don’t mind the blood
it’s barely an inconvenience
during insomnic ruminations
about long dormant-mutations
coded in DNA turned
time bombs
that ripped through my life
casualty count still being assessed
by medics in white coats
who write cryptic words
on shiny clipboards
while I bleed

[Christine Ray writes for Brave and Reckless and is a member of Sudden Denouement.  She is also curator at Blood Into Ink and barista at 

View original post 9 more words


Where are the words

that used to dance across the screen

cold water hitting hot oil?

Essence of my soul

that seeped out of fingertips

life blood smeared smoothly across the keys?

Permafrost now spreading slowly outward

in fern patterns

invades hands

crystallizes minerals deep in the bone

makes them brittle

makes them ache

raw and chafed

as I rub gently

in vain attempt

to restore healthy rosy hue

back into icy blue flesh


© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved


When I am Small



half pain

half numb

compressed in on myself

until I am hard light

Cocooned in the strait jacket

I spun

Will you enfold me

in strong arms?

Draw me up

into your body’s warmth?

Remind me how to breathe?

Guide my muscles

my bones

back into the shape

of a woman?


© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved