Inner Strength


He feels it every day

Usually when alone

untouched and unspoken to

but often in a crowd as well

It comes with an ache, tugging at the heart.


It pulls him into the darkness

Thoughts of suicide come

and drift by; for another time

Feelings of dread cover him in a mild terror

that only he can perceive

Even when watering his plants his mind wanders

into the black and takes him back

to his underlying pursuit

to escape the dreams that taunt him


There are days when the ache

doesn’t come too often

It’s a time when there’s a strong focus for the day

and events take over like a smooth ointment

on an open sore

Even then there’s always an occurrence

uncontrolled hidden aggression coming from within

It’s like Tourette’s

a sudden flash or outburst without his control

Most of the time he can cover this

but sometimes not

The receivers never understand

they do not suffer and cannot relate

to the grieving undercurrent in front of them

They make a fun, he shies away.


He toils on and finds that he’s one and alone

in his affliction

There’s no one there to help him

as he cannot tell anyone of the real source

His close family and friends are themselves

complicit in the festered darkness

 that surrounds him

No friend at the pub can wash this away

No one can discover the hidden dread he carries

He loves his children deeply

but he would not burden them with his troubles.

He tries to deflect the despair by giving hope

He pursues his work and takes on volunteer activities

They keep him going and take him through the day

but darkness comes and with it the dark dog

returns to stare in his eyes.

On a bad day a drink is taken

followed by others

but none of them help

All they do is increase the peaks of terror

that he feels driving him to the edge

He has managed to control this and only partakes

when he has good company

Drinking with bad company is another thing


The garden helps; the digging, the hoeing

the watering It takes him back to a quiet peacefulness

that focuses him on creation

This loneliness can be too long though

and the ache returns as a memory comes

randomly to mind.


He bears this out with aggressive attention

to his work and manages to tail it off

as a call from the house

begs him in for tea

He puts the thoughts away

and gathers the proceeds of his work

to show inside

where they think he’s fine.



About Lindsay Craik

Writer & Poet Poetry, plays and short stories
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