Jul 01
poem challenge: Rights
ellenb's picture

Fear of existence

I go outside –
I fear the strangers

I stay inside –
I fear my father

It seems like it will never end.
It seems like I am never safe.
Maybe that's what they want,
what they've wished for
and hoped for
and prayed for – 
for me to be scared,
for me to be terrified to live,
for me to stop existing in their perfect world,
their perfect
that makes me feel so out of place
my insides feel like they're burning.

Every time I think about leaving I wonder,
Who would want me?
Who would truly want me?
And then I realize
I'm selfish for thinking I'm the only one,
the only one who is suffering, 
the only one living with the burden of who I am.

That's why they call it a community.
Mar 02
ellenb's picture


I am the annoying weed that sticks out through the pavement,
that messes up perfectly paved sidewalks,
and makes you trip when you are not looking down.
I am pretty-
daffodils and dandelions and appealing and funny.
I am ugly-
sharp and needy and invasive and brash.
I can grow and grow and destroy.
I was there when they first poured the concrete,
and I felt like I was suffocating underneath,
like I couldn't breathe.
I will be there when it cracks and there is nothing left,
when the man-made substance finally falls.
I am here now,
And when I have grown enough,
I will realize that I never needed those sidewalks,
that they were pushing me down,
that I was never wanted.
That I am better off without them,
and I finally cracked the surface,
and I am free now,
and I am beautiful because of it.

Jan 14
ellenb's picture


Did you make me not believe? 
By design?
By anguish?
You, the divine creator,
how could you make me this way?
And yet you never answer because
I know
you do not exist,
I am an atheist.

Am I gay?
I asked this in seventh grade.
I asked this in eighth grade.
I asked this in ninth grade.
I asked this in tenth grade.
I asked this in eleventh grade
and finally got a response.
Not from you,
from myself.
I realized that I could not rely on you.
I know
you do not exist,
I am an atheist.
Oct 26
ellenb's picture


it's a photocopy of a dream,
stolen from my mind.
but this one's in black and white,
deceptive, and hard to find.

lately, you've been colorblind.
changing right in front of my eyes.
the worst kind of butterfly.
ill destroy you if you apologize.

so I'll take these memories and burn them,
no use to repeat these and never learn
Oct 17
ellenb's picture

Red Wine

Breath smells like red wine and cigarettes
Sliding doors, midnight strolls, place your bets
Disappear like smoke in rain change your mind
Coffees out, walls down, and words confined

Cards down, when were you ever around
Ace of spades, good old days on the campground
Fireplaces don’t create good atmospheres
Nature takes, bones break, I’ll stay out of here

Did you know I could hear those old phone calls
Sad strangers, what a danger, when night falls
On the table were the bills you should’ve paid
Laid decrepit, never read it, gave a second glance

It’s a lost cause never found my way out of the labyrinth
Stones unturned let your feelings burn, never stop badgering
Three of a kind those last words left behind
Oct 05
ellenb's picture

feelings feel feelings

Sep 19
ellenb's picture

credit cards

My wallet is filled with gift cards
That only have fifty cents left
yet too valuable to throw away
Punch cards disregarded
Receipts lay bottomless as
my youth became so guarded

My lungs are filled with chlorine 
Gotta wear SPF 100 sunscreen
unless I burn
Enjoy the sun, before the rain pours
adult issues I’m trying to ignore

Stay awake
Stay guarded
Don’t show emotions
That’s how this shit started
To go downhill at
two hundred miles an hour
Too young to know I
couldn’t do this without her
Sep 07
ellenb's picture


My dreams are tarnished like the knives in my auburn-stained kitchen.
Chipped paneling and cracked marble once paved the way for my future.
Moths are drawn to the flame of vulnerability and crickets chirp to the sound of a beating heart.

I step on the broken glass of my past as words shatter this fragile, archaic home.
This ramshackle state of a home translates to the incompatible voices that vibrate through it.
Speakers play old-fashioned music as a clock strikes motionless on the edge of destruction. 

How I wish for time to stay as quiescent as it once was. 

Sep 06
ellenb's picture

Guardian Angel

My heart is lost in the city
Looking for someplace to hide
Halting at stop signs and falling on pavement
Too young to know the reason why

Give me a helping hand or throw me a landline
Let me phone a friend or search for some sunshine
Picture the clouds have stopped crying at last 
Or let your heart break like glass

Tornados have since been forgotten
Lives swept up in other ways
My mom works two jobs, my dad sleeps on the couch
While I’ve been struggling with college essays

Pen on paper but it rips too quickly
Whether through anger or buckets of tears
Letting out my emotions, borrowing someday’s
While my guardian angel sits there and cheers

‘Horray! Horray! Let the dewdrops sing and birds whistle
Sweet harmonies with the screams of her pain!
Let me make music with the melody of her anguish
While I sit there basking in the joy of her suffering and
Sep 03
ellenb's picture


When layers of thoughts are broken like glass, our words can stay shattered.
People do not come with instruction manuals or warning labels.
Piecing back broken memories is like trying to stop a tornado from moving a feather.
Maybe some thoughts are meant to stay untouched.

The shadows of unspoken thoughts can create a fear of the dark.
The only things that form and remain true are the only things that truly exist.
The monster under my bed revels at the fact that I cannot communicate my uncertainties.
Listening to one’s troubles can be as difficult as admitting your own.

Why do I even speak?
I'm drowning in the memories I could never relay into words.
The swimming pool of my faults is filled with the tears that come with failure.
What are words if they are never truly understood?