Life or Death

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A poem to start off a great week by one of our supporters

Life or Death

A vice grip of sorrow and despair annihilate

my spirit

and destroy my will to fight

Confusion overtakes me

as I listen

and heed

the seductive hisses of darkness

I retreat back into its lair

where death and destruction await me

I am no stranger to this place

So I find my familiar corner

and I huddle in it

The stench of death permeates my nostrils

as I wallow in my filth

but I continue to just sit and stare

The taunting voices become louder and louder

as I continue to shrink back from who I am

The harassing words envelop my mind

as the gnarled hand Strangles my heart

Death has come for me

again

I cower

because I now realize the error I have made

in opening the closed door to

Death and Destruction

and I invited them back into my heart

my mind

my life

Why do I continue to tread in places that lead to Death?

Why do I continue to believe

the lies that destroy my soul?

I fear pain, rejection, sorrow, and betrayal

so I shut down

and retreat from everyone and everything

I escape from all that

brings light and hope into my heart and spirit

And I run towards all that ravages and destroys my body and soul

Why do I continually say yes to the darkness

and run into its deadly embrace?

Terror rises up within me as the full reality of what I’ve done becomes apparent

as a new realization dawns on me

I want to live

I begin to flail and fight against the grip of death

I kick and scream

for I do not want to be in this place because

I do NOT want to die

But no matter how hard I fight

the grip of death doesn’t relent or release

I scream louder

and I fight harder

because I cannot die

I MUST live

Suddenly I realize that a sliver of light

has penetrated the darkness

The deep black begins to dissipate

and shades of gray begin to replace it

As I scan my dwelling place

I realize that I am not alone

The ones who love me and want to help me are there

waiting for me to unlock

the cell door of my prison

The prison that I have put myself into

Cries of anguish escape from my lips

because I don’t know how to let them in

Terror rips through me

as my fears scream that I will die in this place

with help so near

I bow my head

to accept my fate of impending doom

I open my eyes one last time before I admit defeat and succumb

to the kiss of Death

Hope bursts through my heart because I now see

that in my hands I hold the key

My body starts to shake and tremble

and fear seizes me once again

because I hold the key

and I must choose to unlock the prison door

and I must choose to open my heart and let help in

I find myself at a crossroad

as I contemplate the key and all it represents

I could choose to open myselfto the new hope

and life

Or I could choose to shut down my heart

and remain in the despair

darkness and Death

I know in my heart, mind, and soul what I must do

Hesitantly,I arise out of my squalor

Cautiously,I walk towards my hope

Fearfully, I unlock the door of my heart

and I allow help, life, and love in

Trembling,I take the outstretched hand

of the One who can save me and bring me true life

He leads me out my cage and the others close in around me

to protect me and shield me as we walk out of the lion’s den

Shame covers me as we enter into the light

For I know I am the one who chose to respond

to the seductive lies of Death

But The One turns toward me as He senses my shame and guilt

With love and compassion filling His eyes

He places His hands so gently upon my face

His gaze never wavers from mine as He leans toward me

He puts His mouth on mine

and He breathes

Hope, love, kindness, and goodness permeate every cell of my being

Shame and guilt fall away

for the Breath of Life has filled me

I reach towards Him and I grasp His arm

He takes my hands and the purest of love courses through me

Why do I continually relinquish this grasp

of love, light, and life

for the sinister grip

of hate, darkness, and death?

I must continue to cling to my Hope

To continue to open myself to the ones who can help me

To continue to live in the light instead of sojourning in darkness

To continue to choose life

even when the seductive lies beckon me to partake in the seeming sweetness

of Death

– Diane Johnson 8/3/14

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