Tines Derived from the Shame of Isolation

I want to love people
when lights flow, when sun warms
but does not bake.

When the rats bring the dark,
I want people to stay on other streets
in other cities.

I want to love people
It’s the only reason I’m here.

When it is dark,
people spark dry kindling of all my sunken fears.
I’m ashamed of the realm I create

All of the fork tines of my misery
stab my enthusiasm and I crawl away to hide
in bad, three-story caves with front terraces,
where it is dark,
where only my sickness keeps me company,
awaiting necessary painkillers,
awaiting necessary death,
awaiting my desire to love people.
I want to love people.

This one will be a contribution to One Shot Wednesday. I’ve missed a couple weeks and this week I’ll be #999, but what the heck! Go check out some of the fine poets over there!

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  1. #1 by MARANTHA JENELLE on May 17, 2011 - 5:14 pm

    I can sooooooooooooo relate to this! It would seem, Mr. Carl, that you and I have a lot in common. Both walking with our feet cemented to the mundane dreary world of dismal reality and our heads floating in the far reaches of the space of our imaginations.

    if you ever need a friend, send me an email to words2ponder@gmail.com.


    • #2 by Carl on May 17, 2011 - 10:41 pm

      Thank you for your comment, Marantha. Writing is my outlet, and after it is down on paper, I almost always feel better. I have to keep my disease and the thinking it causes from what I think the world really might be. I need to be careful, knowing that though it is not fun at times, my perspective is not the truth for anyone else but me. It is nice when others can identify, but I think we need to look at it as an outlet and a release rather than a complaint about how things are…

  2. #3 by screen_scribbla on May 17, 2011 - 5:39 pm

    Erm.. have you ever considered it may not be worth the effort – loving people, I mean. That you may be onto something. It’s pretty harsh, I know. But I’m just saying.

    • #4 by Carl on May 17, 2011 - 10:57 pm

      That scares me.

      I know I can’t reverse the bad times with simple will power, but I also know that when I have good periods, people are suddenly nicer. I have a mantra that I rely on at times, “I’m a loving human being; I’m lovable; and god (or whatever the name of your higher power might be, if you have one) loves me.” Just focusing on that mantra can sometimes make the world seem better.

      I think there are two safe conclusions: 1-One should accept however one feels more than one should try to force unnatural changes, and 2-For some people, the world can be very difficult to navigate, and that’s okay as long as they don’t try to fight the world.

  3. #5 by MARANTHA JENELLE on May 17, 2011 - 5:46 pm

    @screen scribbla…you are absolutely one hundred percent correct in that! in my fifty three years i have learned one thing and learned it well…people are to be avoided as much as possible. all they do is hurt your, ignore you, run your down, run your over, step on you, do more than step on you, use you for cleaner when they do more than step on you, and generally make your life a living hell. i have met very, very, very few that were exceptions to that concept and way of seeing things. and most of those are ones i have met right here on wordpress.

    and as far as “loving” those selfsame people, or, god forbid, being naive enough to expect them to love you, forget it, nine times out of then they equate “love” with a term used to get their own way.

    do i have faith in people on the whole?

    not in what is left of this lifetime!

    which is precisely why i am very nearly a total recluse. real easy solution to keeping them from hurting you, using you, abusing you…after all, if you don’t go near the fireplace you can’t stick your hand in the flames.


    no, fatalistic.


    • #6 by Carl on May 17, 2011 - 11:06 pm

      Marantha, I think you can see my prior comments…The concern I have when I have emotions such as the ones expressed in this piece, I have to understand that much of my perception is warped by my disease. On the other hand, I think the world is difficult for people who are not built like all the “successful” people, and I think it is best for us to know what parts of the world we should avoid and which parts of the world we work best in, but for me, it is bad for me to spend time complaining about how the other parts of the world work. I work to accept whatever I can but it’s not easy…

  4. #7 by Indigo Spider on May 17, 2011 - 6:28 pm

    In my dark hours of depression I relate to these feelings conveyed in this piece. My depression tells me I’m unlovable and unable to love and I feel just as this poem describes. Luckily, at the moment, my depression has been at bay and I scoff at the negative it tries to feed me.

    However, you capture those feelings, the darkest hours, very well. I especially like “All of the fork tines of my misery stab my enthusiasm and I crawl away to hide.”

    • #8 by Carl on May 17, 2011 - 11:08 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I find that these things stir around inside of me, and one of the great things about writing is that it seems to release much of the negative that the naturally occurs with the emotions of depression.

  5. #9 by carldagostino on May 17, 2011 - 7:10 pm

    When rats bring in the dark. Three story caves with front porches. Sounds like movie “Escape from New York” Marantha, despite your experiences there is a beautiful world out there but you must be willing to journey to find it. I will admit that the beautiful territory continues to be contaminated. You indicate that you have accepted your fate. None of us is forced to accept the unacceptable and we must have the courage and fortitude to rage against it. It was fate that millions of people would get polio, for example. Then Dr. Jonas Salk came along.

    • #10 by Carl on May 17, 2011 - 11:14 pm

      I don’t know if raging against disease is the right way to go about it. I think acceptance is mandatory and once that is accomplished, one can calmly go about changing what is happening in the environment or get away from the environment.

      Escape from New York? It can’t be that bad. I’m pulling it down if it is. But I was thinking of Brownstones with the cave part…

  6. #11 by pattisj on May 17, 2011 - 10:00 pm

    “Fork tines of my misery stab my enthusiasm” What a great metaphor. You get a gold star for that one, Carl.

    • #12 by Carl on May 17, 2011 - 11:19 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it.

  7. #13 by Apryl Gonzales on May 17, 2011 - 11:40 pm

    Beautiful Carl 🙂

    • #14 by Carl on May 18, 2011 - 9:39 am

      Thank you, Apryl. I appreciate your comment.

  8. #15 by moondustwriter on May 17, 2011 - 11:44 pm

    Carl gr8 to have you – lo and behold you aren’t #999
    I appreciate the sensitivity to chronic illness – as a nurse I’ve worked with Cancer patients and I have had chronic pain for 20 years. There are moments when all you can do is stab away.
    The focus off self is essential
    Wow sounds like you understand this
    So nice to meet you and to have you share your work at One Shot

    • #16 by moondustwriter on May 17, 2011 - 11:46 pm

      Also love is powerful medicine and your maker can use that love as a balm …

      • #17 by Carl on May 18, 2011 - 9:36 am

        Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I enjoy your work quite a great deal!

  9. #18 by brian on May 18, 2011 - 7:20 am

    love the dichotomy of this the desire but also the feelings that push one into seclusion…well penned…great visuals as well.

    • #19 by Carl on May 18, 2011 - 9:37 am

      Brian, Thanks much for reading and commenting. I appreciate it.

  10. #20 by Kay Camden on May 18, 2011 - 8:32 am

    Depression is a clever thing, isn’t it. Souring your taste for the exact things that make life worth living – the company of others, the beauty of the world, the outdoors. The exact things that might heal you. And it has you holed up away from those things.

    • #21 by Carl on May 18, 2011 - 9:38 am

      Yes, Kay. You are exactly right on that! Thank you for commenting.

  11. #22 by siubhan on May 18, 2011 - 11:55 am

    Carl, I have to agree first with patti and Spider that the fork tines metaphor is brilliant. It sounds like you are writing from a dark place but, despite all the discussion ’round here, are headed in the direction of the sunlight.

    Nice to see you back at the One Shot.

    • #23 by Carl on May 19, 2011 - 12:16 am

      You’re so kind to comment. It is great to be back with One Shot.

  12. #24 by steven on May 18, 2011 - 12:20 pm

    this pierced right through my pretense, shaking me, reminding me that loving people when it’s easy isn’t really what it’s about.

    loving people when it’s hard, and dark, and scary, that’s something else entirely.

    really great poem…

    • #25 by Carl on May 19, 2011 - 12:18 am

      Steven, Thanks so much for your comment. You’ve expressed some of the thinking behind this. I appreciate you reading and commenting.

  13. #26 by Val on May 18, 2011 - 6:41 pm

    It is indeed very hard to love (or even like) people when one is depressed. And, as you say in your poem, when times are better, when there’s sun, when one feels okay – people seem to be there for one.

    As you know, I recently slipped back into depression. I’m nearly out of it now, and things look a whole lot better, but I just wanted to crawl under a stone before, so I tried to avoid people. Things definitely do (as you observe) look wrong when one’s depressed, things are distorted, it’s impossible to know what ‘is’. Then again, what ‘is’ when one’s depressed is different from what ‘is’ when one is okay. They’re really like two different realities.

    One thing Carl, wouldn’t it be more helpful to call your depression an illness rather than a disease?

    • #27 by Carl on May 19, 2011 - 12:46 am

      Val, thank you for reading and thank you for commenting. It is good to see you. Illness vs. disease is a difficult question. I guess that I consider illness temporary in some way whereas the disease is something that sticks to you. I am going to be thinking about this. Why do you think illness is better?

      • #28 by Val on May 19, 2011 - 6:59 pm

        Hmm… if you think of, say, a diseased limb that needs amputating… once amputated, the disease goes away. If you think of a part of the body with an illness, the illness needs to be removed from the inside out or one needs to adapt by methods of compensation. (CBT is a form of compensation which works for some people and not for others. I’m one of the latter!) I think of depression more in terms of an illness as it really needs to be worked with from the inside out rather than the outside in.

        For years now, Carl, I’ve thought of depression – even at its worst – as a type of severe mental flu… left to its own devices it runs its course, though that course might be too long for one to bear, I do think that all illnesses have a natural cycle, depression included. The major problem with any mental illness is because it’s affecting the mind, it’s impossible to see the mind as a reflection of the organism that’s part of the body: the brain.

        I hope some of that makes sense. These days my processing isn’t very good.

        • #29 by Carl on May 20, 2011 - 6:51 pm

          I have more to think of it. I understand that illness is something that can be cured and disease is more something that needs alleviation. Disease tends to have symptoms whereas illness might not be perceived by an outsider. I think maybe it’s both.

  14. #30 by ayala on May 18, 2011 - 8:03 pm


    • #31 by Carl on May 19, 2011 - 12:47 am

      Thank you for commenting.

  15. #32 by mindlovemisery on May 19, 2011 - 11:38 pm

    Wonderful piece =)

    • #33 by Carl on May 20, 2011 - 6:51 pm

      Thank you for your comment!

  16. #34 by seabell on May 22, 2011 - 6:17 pm

    Wanting to love means that you (sometimes) don’t love people and I am not surprised since loving is not easy and people even less easy… Besides we love who we want, the way we want… No guilty! 🙂

    • #35 by Carl on May 23, 2011 - 10:50 am

      This is a good point, Seabell – One must love in order to know what it is like not to love…Thank you for commenting.

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