The Monster

“Are you sure?”

*slams head into desk*

*rolls eyes*

*dramatic sigh*

Is anyone, ever, one-hundred- percent certain?




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Persephone Knows

This is a poem I wrote some time ago and published here in October of 2015. I’ve re-written it. I’d take the previous one down, but that feels ingenuine. I often take what I’ve made and rip it apart, before stitching it back together with different thread.

Since writing them, I’ve gone through many of poems and changed them. Without telling anyone. Just so you know. 😉

So without any further fuss
I give you –
Persephone Knows


My feet

They won’t walk right

My legs

They don’t shift light

My thoughts

So staggered

My sense

It’s shattered

No meter, no rhythm

Guess the lies never mattered


Beautiful how the truth can be.

Daringly sinister, you see.

The duality.


The beauty it can create.

Hearts it can incinerate.


Depending on the paintbrush

Using oils or lye

On which canvas

The why?


Even as the teardrops drip

And lips pout red

Something grows inside

As this truth is fed.


It’s really quite simple, darling.

Though that doesn’t make it easy.

It’s really not that hard.

Rather filled to empty.


Balances what’s inside me.

If I can’t be real

I can’t be free.


But now and then

I rummage and shuffle

Pretend I’m not me

Hide in this muzzle


Tips the scales and down I go

Falling until I hit bone and bow


When it comes to me,

Well, you see

Only hurt can smother the doubt

Always seem to take this route


So, I sit here and burn

Fight myself at every turn

Forget to breathe

Struggle and seethe


Scrape at the dead skin

Beg the truth not to win

Drowning in plastic again


I slam the windows

Barricade the door

But truth drags me by the feet

And I wash up on the shore


Drowning in flames

Dancing in the darkness

Shadows flickering

In duality’s likeness.


If only I’d remember

If only I’d learn

What always is salvaged.

Persephone knows

Death can be lovely

And flowers can be damaged.


If only I’d listen

I cannot hide pieces

And not be stricken.


The sun doesn’t always shine

The moon sometimes takes her time

I cannot smudge parts of my soul

And expect to live whole.


Truth cannot speak, only strike

Dormant matches in my chest

My beast never hides

Truth burns me best.


If only, if only

If only, I’d learn.


But always,


I choose to burn.


by Daphne Shadows


(this poem is disjointed instead of flowy, on purpose)

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How to Talk to Your Mentally Ill Friend


If you wouldn’t say it to someone with cancer…

If you wouldn’t say it to an amputee…

Don’t say it to someone with mental health challenges.


A person who is missing a limb can pray to God for help all day and night long. I’m pretty certain God (insert your Higher Power here, if not God) isn’t going to grow their limb back. We aren’t lizards. Not how it works.

Mental illness challenges are much the same. Not saying they’re the same as having your arms blown off, but you get me.


I get told to pray to God and He will take away my sadness.

One – depression and sadness are NOT the same thing.

Two – God gives us challenges on purpose. So we can figure out how to live with them in the way He wants us to. As well as help others who suffer from the same challenges. These things help us grow, challenge ourselves, rise to the occasion. Pretending like being bipolar is something I can just pray away is an insult to God and to myself. He has trusted me to handle this.

Perhaps it will go away. That happens.

Or perhaps it will be more like getting a knee injury. Occasionally, that knee will act up and I’ll have to deal with it.

There is no one way that mental health challenges work. Different person, different life experiences with mental illness.

But none of us can simply get up, decide to no longer have mental illness issues, and *poof* be healthy. Doesn’t work that way.

A cancer patient doesn’t get the diagnosis, decide to stop having it, and *poof* no more cancer. Uh-uh. They have to fight it. Give it everything they’ve got.

Sometimes the disease kills them.

Sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes it goes into remission and comes back, only to go into remission once again.


If you aren’t sure how to approach or talk to someone with mental health challenges, consider how you’d talk to a friend who has fibromyalgia or is in the process of going blind.

Mental illness isn’t a choice.



Yes, making good choices can alleviate it or even get rid of it. But that’s a process. And is true of all illnesses. Get diabetes or cancer, you’re going to have to change what you’re doing, eating, etc. Get panic disorder and you’re going to have to do the same.

We can all make good choices.

That includes aiming for understanding, empathy, kindness, compassion. Instead of telling someone with devastating depression or a mood disorder or any host of other mental illnesses, to simply “knock it off”, “get over it”, “choose to be happy,” “pray and trust God to take it away”, etc.

Perhaps your Higher Power will take it away. Just as He might take away cancer. But that’s not going to happen without the person trying, working for it, making changes, and suffering through a lot of pain that they didn’t choose to have.


We can be happy and depressed at the same time. Because happiness is the opposite of sadness. Not depression. Depression is an illness.

You wouldn’t tell someone to just knock it off and quit sneezing when they have a cold, would you?


SO IF YOU’RE UNCERTAIN whether or not to say something to someone who struggles with mental health issues (anxiety, depression, personality disorders, dissociative disorders, mood disorders, etc.) a pretty good guideline is:

If you wouldn’t say it to someone with cancer…

If you wouldn’t say it to an amputee…

Don’t say it to someone with mental health challenges.


Filed under Stream of Consciousness

Hi, My Toe Tag Says Daphne


When there is nothing to separate the night from the day

No borders in the ether

No fences about our cells

No boundaries for our skin


We are lost

No sun

No moon



They disappear

Only void



Everything the same

Words without meaning

Form without shape


When we only know the lack of walls

The terror of free falling

We don’t even wonder

Are those lipstick marks or bruises?


There is no distinction

Only blind attempts

Empty phrases

Hollow veins


We don’t realize

We are all in the morgue

Shuffling about

In dull hospital gowns

Bare feet and teeth unbrushed

Pretending to have a pulse



by Daphne Shadows


Filed under Not that Kind of Poetry

Where Is Your Head?


Where do you choose to put your head?

What do you choose to put in your head?


What goes on in our heads makes A HUGE difference.

What goes on in our heads can change something amazing and wonderful and beautiful into something boring, stupid, horrible, ugly, and painful.

What goes on in our heads can bring something ugly up to something possibly gorgeous.



We don’t know everything.

We don’t know what everyone is thinking, wanting, needing. We don’t know what everyone else has been through.

Half the time we don’t even know OURSELVES. What we want. What we need. What needs we’re getting met in unhealthy ways. What dreams and hopes we’ve buried alive.


We can program ourselves. Our minds.

We can’t control what emotions zing into our heads and bodies and hearts.

We CAN control what we feel. About emotions, about others, about situations, about ourselves.

Let me repeat that one again.



Emotions are signals FROM OURSELVES being sent TO OURSELVES.

We need to look at what our emotions are telling us.

Are we angry because we need to say no? Because our ‘no’ was ignored? Because we need to draw some lines in the sand and set some hard boundaries? Because we’ve got loads of suppressed emotions we’ve not dealt with, tried to ignore? There are loads of reasons.


We most likely already know what the emotion is trying to tell us. We know and we ignore it because we don’t want to feel it. We don’t want to slide up beside Reality and be like, “hey, what’s up dude?”

Oh no, we’d rather hide from Reality inside the nastiest sewer and peek out to see if Reality can see us. Only, eventually, we’ve stopped even realizing we’re in a sewer. While we in the bottom of the sewer drowning and hating life.



Now, we all get their in our own time. But sometimes we stay in that sewer of our own making for far too long.


Most often, to avoid pain.

Guess what.

Life comes with pain.

If you feel it, it goes away pretty fast. If you try to ignore it, you feel it every single freaking day and pretend you don’t. Until it gets so bad you have to deal with it or die for one reason or another. Let’s not forget stress really can kill a human being.

Let’s not get their, k?

And if you are there, don’t forget you can back away from the edge of the cliff at any moment. Your feet, your brain, your body. Your decision to make.


What most people do with emotions is avoid them.

If we don’t feel anything, we’re going to end up exploding eventually. We’re going to go numb, which is a next level pain, and THEN we will end up exploding, but we’ll get there eventually. Or you know, die.

Or we try to just keep feeling our emotions over and over again as if that’s going to do something.

Sometimes we really just need to get over it. Or reframe it. Or make a decision to not know what we’re doing in life and just move forward in a healthy direction we want to go in. We need to do something new. Make a different decision. Ask for help from a safe, trustworthy source that knows what they’re talking about.


What we almost always have control over is what goes on in our mind. I’ve got a bipolar mood disorder, intense bipolar anxiety, and depression. Along with a host of physical medical conditions. Like a digestive disease that causes me to need a prenatal vitamin because my body literally will not accept the food with the nutrients it needs. So I eat a limited amount and work with what I’ve got. What are most social settings revolved around? Food. I’m an emotional eater. I eat something my body doesn’t want and I’m in Hell for a week at the very least, not to mention I then get stuck in negative thought loops about how stupid I am for doing what I knew would hurt me. Again. So guess what Daphne doesn’t do a lot? Attend social gatherings.

Life is bloody hard. It’s hard for all of us. We ALL have something or multiple somethings that CHALLENGE US. But we can either see these things as problems or puzzles. It’s either the end of the world again or a challenge.

This can be hard when you grow up brainwashed into believing that the world was ending every moment of every day. I understand. It takes A LOT to change the way our brain is wired. Especially if we’ve been abused in such a way that we didn’t know we were being abused/brainwashed.

But we can change ourselves.

It takes time. But it happens. Baby steps.

We can assume responsibility for what is going on in our own mind, for what we do, for how we respond or react to ourselves, our issues, other people, situations, etc.

We cannot control others. But WE CAN CONTROL OURSELVES. We are responsible for our feelings. Our words. Our actions. Our decisions.




Today I went into exercising without having a routine pinned down. Which was irresponsible of me because I know that irks me. I like to know what I’m doing, how many reps of each, and what muscles I’m targeting. I like this because then I can hit it hard and go, go, go (with healthy resting periods of course) and I really feel like I’ve accomplished what I wanted to.

Instead, I ended up agonizing over what I’d do next, how many I needed to do, whether or not that would be too much since I’d just used that muscle group pretty heavily yesterday with weights, etc.

And I got pissed. Frustrated. There’s a physical and emotional rage that just hits me and sticks into my pores with grappling hooks made of steel and stubbornness.

So I went for a jog.

The entire jog I was just negative in my head. That rage just building and building until the jog was no longer satisfying.

I got almost all the way home and realized what I’d done.

First, I’d done something I KNEW would upset me.

Then, I’d gotten stuck in negative thought loops and made it worse.

I started attempting positive self-talk. And guess what? I felt better. I came home feeling great. I did some yoga, thinking positively. I meditated for like three minutes (which is better than zero minutes and it was my first day back to it in months).

I am by no means saying I am a pro or even good at positive self-talk. And I can’t even say that I always believe it. But I’m trying. And I believe that if I want to change my beliefs and what I believe I’m worth and deserving of… I believe that if I want to achieve a quality of life I can enjoy… then I need to change the way I think. I need to change my decisions about how I feel about my emotions. I need to change the stories I tell myself, about myself and others.

I truly believe that if I can rewire my brain with positive thoughts, I’ll live a positive life.

I mean, why not? Negative thoughts have given me a miserable life.


What goes on in our head is paramount to the quality of life we live.



We laugh about positive affirmations. We get snarky, call it ‘woo-woo’ or ‘new-agey’ or whatever else.

But let me ask all of us this question…

How did we get miserable?


We tell ourselves we’re ugly, fat, stupid, not good enough, too skinny, too loud, too quiet, too pale, too slow, incapable, not capable of doing what others can do, yada, yada, yada.


We feed ourselves negativity.

So we feel terrible.

Shocking. Really. *heavy on the sarcasm there*


We can reprogram our minds. I love what Kristen Lamb says.

“The mind cannot tell the difference between truth and lie. What we tell it, it simply accepts and obeys.”


And we can brainwash ourselves.

Into having a positive mind.








I promise.


And while we’re at it, smile. Physically. I know it’s goofy but just do it.

Get up. Move. Do some squats. Do some pushups. Even if you think you stuck at physical fitness stuff, do it. Do jumping jacks.

It’s pretty hard to be full-blown miserable when your body is in a motion that reminds it of joy, sex, etc. When we exercise we release endorphins, we FEEL better almost instantly. Try it. We no longer feel stuck or stagnant or trapped. Because we’re moving.


Try other healthy stuff.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

If we really WANT to feel better, live a different life – we will figure out a way to do it.

That doesn’t mean we don’t need help. Let me be real with you.


From the right people. The right support groups, therapists, books, videos, etc.

Never feel ashamed for needing help. We need each other.

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Cinnamon Swirl


Sunlight Melts

Like lemon drops

And butterscotch lace





An icy dam



Dripping down the side

Seeping through the cracks

Spilling over


Molten flame

Licking at the

Patchwork parts


The cold fights back


Like a broken flurry of

Plastic wrapped mints



Cutting deep



Heated satin

Cauterizes all breaches

Lapping up tiny

Peppermint tears


This house

Is a walk-in freezer


Burning exposed flesh





By Daphne Shadows


Filed under Not that Kind of Poetry

The Hollow Hearted Society

Weakness is masquerading as strength, walking among us with flashy muscles and a hollow heart.

What’s worse, is it rubs our noses in it.

What’s worse,

is some stay silent.



Weakness has slithered into our

Subconscious and rewired our sight

It has ripped from the corpses

Of its victims

And fashioned a strong looking Giant

It whispers

And we don’t turn away

We listen

We don’t fight back.

Is that why some join in?

For the lack of having to care

Exerting energy, compassion

The possibility of vulnerabilty

is it really

that terrifying

the a person would prefer

to burn another alive

so they never

have to learn what

a paper cut feels like?


Those who cry from the loss of a loved one

Or a life they thought was real

But found to be lies stitched together by the soul of one who

Pretends to have no heartbeat


They are eaten alive

By this instant gratifying, short lived pleasure dripping mask

This charade

That somehow

They are weak.


We are told the ones who are weak

Are those who fall down

More than once

And sometimes don’t tell

A soul

That theirs is slowly breaking down

And they don’t know what to do


We are told the weak ones

Are those who

Wake every day

With the knowledge

That their demons are still

Inside their blood, their skull,

In the marrow of their bones

And they have to fight them off


and Again

And Evermore

Or cede one moment and

Never return to breathe


Those who feel

I mean Really Feel

And live like it all matters

Those who find life


Worth fight for

Worth spilling would-be murderous blood

Worth dying for

Those who hurt

When another hurts

When a human is ripped away

From another soul

When a dog is


A cat set on fire behind that building

Those who sob at home

When they see the pain

On the children’s faces

On tv

Those who ache

Because they can do nothing

For their love

Wrongly Accused

Wrongly Hated

Wrongly Treated

Battered and broken and treated

Like so much trash

Those who want life

But don’t know how to fight



Those who cry

Who hurt

Rage in their heart

Wish for some

Magical power

To make it all better


We are told that these people are the weak ones.


That the people who

Shoot for fun

Who hurt because they can

Rape like its a rite of passage

Lie to get what they want

Pretend they feel nothing

When inside

They are bleeding from every cell

That feeds into their

Battered heart

Hardly beating within a hollow

Cage made of bones and paper scraps

The people who give up on

Those who aren’t strong “like them”

The people who ressent those who


Who can’t get back up right away

Like they pretend to

Who have to fight the same battle every day

Like they don’t bother to

Who keep getting hit with the same car

In their living room

Where there are no streets

No reason for someone

To drive through their home

And attack

Because they think it is fun

Because it feels good to hurt another

Because they no longer truly feel


But blood lust

And arrogance

An urge to strike

To force down

To hold mouths shut

and remove another’s power


We are told that these people are the strong ones.

Because they pretend they don’t feel

Until they don’t

Because they take what they want

By erasing another’s life


We are told that the people who are weak

Are the ones

Asking for help.

What scares me most, is when we believe their lies.

When we don’t stand up

We don’t cry

For people to see

We don’t step up to and beside those

Who have echoed what we know is truth

And speak truth with them

Even thought it is terror in our blood

And our bodies shake

And our hearts pound

But that’s the difference

We let the fear flow through us

as we stand for what we know

is hard

but right

What scares me is when

We don’t grab the hand

Of those who can’t find the words

Or the sense or the hope

And are seeking an anchor

A lighthouse

In another soul

So theirs doesn’t

Burn out


Like Gandhi once said,

“A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.”


We are all strong and we are all weak. Simply in different places and at different times.

To pretend apathy, hate, the cold heart… is strong, is to end any chance we have at a life worth living. At a world we can attempt to call humane. To pretend we are not who we are, is to put the gun in our own mouths, pull the trigger, and keep walking around, like we are somehow real.


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