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Poetry

Please note: The Survivors Art Foundation is not responsible for the content of an individual's work or related site, which may contain graphic or triggering material.

Submit YOUR work/bio to the Poetry Gallery!


Alphabetical Index of Poets


Marcia Bates
MirrorNot@aol.com
A survivor of abuse, Ms. Bates writes emotionally compelling short stories and poetry.
"I am 50 years old, a mother and grandmother, I have been married 30 years. I am a Registered Nurse. I am a survivor of DID/child abuse. My favorite quote: (just to know me better) 'We can do no great things, only small things with great love.' -- Mother Teresa." See also her Short Stories.

Daddy's Girl
by Marcia Bates (all rights reserved)

I'd love to walk with you
Along the ocean shore
Feel the ocean waves
Hear the crashing roar

I'd love to walk with you
And feel the squishy sand
Run to walk beside
And hold your great big hand

Yell, "daddy, wait for me"
As I stop to pick up shells
Explore the ocean world
And listen to your tales

Cause daddy knows it all
About the big wide world
He's strong and really smart
And loves me with all his heart.

Sunshine warm and water cool
Gentle swirls of footprint pools
Daddy leaves a path  so wide
I step in his footprints, beat the rushing tide

My father's footprints in the sand
My father's love as he holds my hand
My father's warmth, as he holds me close
In a private world I don't oppose

To have his love, close by my side
Keep it safe inside my heart
So all that love can not depart
Hide it deep, that would be smart.

Little girl fears, little girl screams
Little girl wishes, little girl dreams
Little girl wishes, of a daddy make believe
Little girl wishes, daddy's love did not deceive

The Bird
by Marcia Bates (all rights reserved)

The little bird flew to the sky
To see if she could be
The little bird flew to the sky
Just wanting to be free

She wished to feel the gentle breeze
Blowing cross her wings
She wished to feel the warming sun
And fragrant breathe of Spring

To soar so high
Your heart would sing
To feel the strength
Of powerful wings

But, this sweet bird hides in her nest
And dreams of worlds above
Her severed wings prevent her flight
Done in the name of love

The wings were clipped
To crush the heart
That longed to soar above
Destroy all the hope of flight
From anger, pain, and love

Love that clipped the gentle wings
Demanding that she stay
Kept the bird inside the nest
But, still she went away

She soared one day, up to the sky
And never did return
Escaped inside her broken heart
Free of love's concern

Consequences
by Marcia Bates (all rights reserved)

Simple innocence, Trusting and pure
Expecting attention, Safe and secure

A lifetime of trust, Lost in a moment
Childhood innocence, How much it all meant

Shattered in pieces, Like glass on the floor
Devastation so thorough, It felt like a WAR

Shrouded in silence, Surrounded by pain
Secrets so hidden, You pray for insane

Separate the feelings, Forget all the shame
Hide all the memories , Take all the blame

Your life is a puzzle, Huge pieces are lost
Swept under the carpet, All crumpled and tossed

Questions unanswered, By ears that won't hear
Survival so fragile, It's coated with FEAR

He got what he wanted, You paid the price
CONSEQUENCES unnoticed, He didn't think twice.

Playground Songs
by Marcia Bates (all rights reserved)

I want to go round and round
And never stop
I want to climb
All the way up
To the top!
Swing me high
And touch the sky
I think that maybe
I can fly..
Run and hide.
You can't catch me.
"Olly, olly oxin Free."
Come out, come out
Where ever you are.
Can you catch
A falling star?
Hear the voices
See the smiles
Watch them run
For miles and miles
She grew so fast
The child had to depart
But she kept the playground
In her heart.

Teardrops
by Marcia Bates (all rights reserved)

There's beauty in raindrops
Redemption in tears
They wash away dirt
That's collected for years

Rain becomes an ocean
With powerful tides
Tears reflect emotion
That's hidden inside.

Store all the sorrow
Hide all the fears
Pray for the courage
To hold back the tears.

The rain smells so sweet
When the storm is complete.
The tears will deplete
All the pain of deceit.

Dewdrops and raindrops
Disappear when the storm stops
Eavesdrop on the teardrops
To find why the love stops.

Rain brings a rainbow
Or turns into white snow
Where does the pain go
When the tears start their sad flow?

Strength for the dry crops
Come from the raindrops
Nothing makes the pain stop
It just hides in the teardrops.


Candyce Brokaw
Ms. Brokaw is a survivor of sexual abuse and rape, and is Founder and Executive Director of the Survivors Art Foundation. She is a published illustrator and poet. See also her artwork.

Me
by Candyce Brokaw

On a golden island by the sea
Lived a child by the name of Me
Me danced and played, sang songs and swam
Climbed hills and trees and ran and ran

Me's father died suddenly one day
That's when Me went away
Me left her dog, her room, her toys
Me left the girls, Me left the boys

I never want to run and run
Cause Me is gone and so's the fun
Without Me I am so very alone
If you see her please send her home

I am Nobody
So sad cause I have no dad


Barbara Hope
Arts & Entertainment Executive Producer/Director, poet and stained glass designer, Ms. Hope is a survivor arts advocate and activist. She dedicates all her down time to Survivors Art Foundation.

All of Us
by Barbara Hope

Survivors, young and old, warm and cold,
Survivors with life, from birth,
Survivors of strife, from death.

Survivors of pain, from gain,
Survivors from greed, of speed.
Survivors of sex, oh, so complex!

Survivors of camps, of knives, of war,
Survivors, ALL OF US, nevermore.


David Paul Jobling
dpj@loom.net.au
http://www1.loom.net.au/home/dpj
Mr. Jobling is a survivor of childhood sexual assault, teenage sexual abuse and a long-term survivor of homophobia and HIV/AIDS related discrimination and abuse. He is also an actor and playwright, featured on our Theater Page.

Sunbeam
©1998 David Paul Jobling

The sun hangs high
Up in the sky
It's gonna hang around all day
I wonder why
It hangs so high
up in the sky that way?

My pride in you
Runs through and through
I love you like a bright sunbeam
and for my part,in my heart
you're the brightest beam I've ever seen.


What is the World Coming to Now?
©1977/1996 David Paul Jobling

What is the world coming to now?
Standing beside the dead sacred cow
why not be out on a limb
when break goes the bough?

Our false atomic sun
gives us rain of burning power
the poison money it earns
gains interest by the hour
satellites spin around
making psycho colours
"Do you no harm" they say
to expectant mothers.

Radioactive waste
destroying urban sprawl
the planet crumbles in space
so suck it dry to the core
Wonder will they ever learn
to suck with loving care
when will the Muses come
convincing us to share
life as it stands

life meaning we live
for a time
out of the vacuum

life meaning
hope is ripening
humans live to see

infinity is a trick of the light
atoms cooperate
to give sound barriers


Cindy Mott
mayburn@hotmail.com
http://members.tripod.com/~MottC/index.html
Ms. Mott is a prolific poet and also a survivor of abuse. The URL above leads to her own web site, where more of her work is available for view.

Pain So Deep
by Cindy Mott

The pain is so deep,
it won't let me eat or sleep.
hearing whispers in my mind,
confusing me with thoughts...
not so kind.
Shaking with so much fear,
to numb to even feel a red tear.
So dead and empty inside,
I feel myself going down a slide.
I only exist to be here,
feelings of no control giving me fear.
So cold, and little strength to fight,
If only, it was,
just one more night.

Power of the Past
by Cindy Mott

The past has alot of power,
like haunting ghost in the night.
It creeps up from behind,
leaving her weak and without fight.

It leaves her overwhelmed with guilt,
shame and blame to sit in her mind.
Layers of dark memories have been built,
leaving her feeling sad and worthless.

Her true identity has been lost,
and her forgotten soul has been buried.
The power of the past has a cost,
when it steals all hopes and dreams.

How do you let go ? and leave the past,
behind where it belongs.
So she will feel alive and free at last,
with no whispers dwelling behind in the darkness.


Theresa A. Niksick
Darsy31@aol.com
"I wrote about my father who was brutally murdered. They say that with every murder there is a least one other person who knows who committed the crime; this poem is to those people." Theresa is also a survivor of child abuse.

To Those That Know, From the Victims
©1998 Theresa A. Niksick

There's been no more happiness in my life each day,
for my father was violently taken away.

But I remember the good times and bad,
and OH I miss you so much dad.

Because this monster left him there to die,
all alone in his blood he had to lie.

Crying, OH crying out in pain,
no one to hear him but the man to blame.

Helplessly he lay there, every breath his very last,
pain, horror and suffering from the shot gun blast.

Helplessly he lay there, with no one to help him through,
OH god feel his misery, what are we to do?

Dear lord please hear me, this I desperately pray,
for justice on the man who took my dad away.

Someone hear my screams of missing what I had,
Oh god won't you please, give me back my dad.

This person that knows, please have a heart,
please come forward so we may have a new start.

I beg that you may see the light,
helping us is only what is humanly right.

Please do not try to hide this or pretend,
for we can never have our father back again.

Getting convictions on murderers is the best,
then maybe my pain and father can finally rest.

Our father had no choice, a victim he became,
if he were your father I know you'd want the same.

Putting murderers behind bars is the best that I can see,
what will become of the world if murderers stay free!!!!

The End

A Love So True and Pure
©1998 Theresa A. Niksick

Upon my knee sat this wondrous child
looked up to me a gaze so bright with a heavenly smile,
When the child cried, a tone so low
so sweet the sound that I've ever known.

The innocence of this wondrous face
to which I kissed and did embrace,
No worry at all on my child's face
or depression or despair there is no trace.

Not one ounce of unkindness or untruth
just love and innocence of his youth,
Looking up to us for caring, his eyes know nothing else
a vision of the past of one's self.

My child I wish you could grow up with only love in your heart
I wish nothing bad that you'll be a part,
I will try my best to teach you good things
and hope that you grow up with the same offerings.

My love for you will forever endure
from you in return a love so true and pure,
You in my life are my greatest joy
I love you so much, my sweet baby boy.

The End


Nancy Jo Smith
Acrey@SCRonline.com
A poet and a survivor of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, Ms. Smith is a writer of both poetry and narrative works.

Excerpts from "Wounded Soul" 3/1/93
by Nancy Jo Smith

All men, women and children have wounded souls
We enter this world of physical being with wounds
The act of birthing is an act with force
With danger
With fear
With shock from the dark to the light
and going from a water life, like a fish
To a dry land life

For many this is the first trauma
and so the first wound on the soul
Some were wounded in the water world
Some say we bring wounds from past lives
Some are wounded along the life journey
Some have purpose in being wounded
To learn what they might not otherwise do
Some never see the purpose
and the wound only serves to mold their
character with bitterness and the motivation
to do acts of evil upon the self and others


Suzanne Stutman
Dr. Stutman is a professor of English, American Studies and Women's Studies at Penn State University. She is the author of four books and over two dozen articles. Suzanne is also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

I Circle Round in Wild Dis Grace
taken from the book "Broken Feather" by Suzanne Stutman

I circle round
in wild dis grace
a lost and burning
pumpkin face.
My eyes and mouth
are fire
Lit
by truth and by
remembering.
I have no feet, no
hands,
No face,
I cannot sit, or
stand,
Or race,
I'm rimmed and ugly
in dis grace,
A lost and
burning
Pumpkin face.

She
by Suzanne Stutman

She cries out to me,
the child within
myself.
She clutches
at me,
tugging at my
thoughts,
and asking
to be remembered.

Her small fingers
reach through time,
And her sad, dark eyes
burn the symbol
of her pain
onto my soul.

If I Could Reach Out and Touch Happiness
by Suzanne Stutman

If I could
reach
out
and touch
happiness
I would
pluck
it
down
and
bite into
it
and
taste
its sweet
juices
and let
them
run down
my
face
and
mingle
with
my
tears.


Philip Wagner
FREECOURAG@aol.com
Much of Philip's family was killed in the Holocaust. He has spent many years "reading and studying, trying to understand the mentality of the perpetrators of war and cruelty and insensitivity."

Fraulein Irma Grese
by Philip Wagner

Entered barracks #11 eating an apple
She strolled in front of the woman standing for inspection
all except one who laid still in her bunk
she was dead and her bunkmate was weeping
The order came, Stop this crying
but she did not
The commandant ordered the woman to drag her dead friend
out of the barracks
into the snow at the center of the "appel platz"
where the order came to bind them together with rope
Fraulein Grese walked away
and the women of barracks #11 watched
the women, lying on the ground
hold each other in silence of the snow
until Fraulein Grese returned with a guard
and a gallon of gasoline
she lit a cigarette, offered one to the guard
Together they inhaled
tipping their faces back and forth into the sun
exhaling, she turned and walked back towards barracks #11
where she stood legs apart
confronting the women who stared out the windows
Bergen-Belson,September 31st, 1943
the fire lit the sky and melted the snow,
her voice over explained the situation
Disobedience will not be tolerated
and as the act of Irma Grese settled
as ash on the lens of the barracks window
a vision rose up over the barbed wire
two women madly in love
arms around each other
the rims of their bodies burning

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