Poems about The Experience of Pain

So much of our trauma revolves around pain: emotional, physical, mental, spiritual—there is a profound feeling of loss, of grief, of what might have been. Pain creates its own blanket that can wrap itself around us until we feel we can’t even breathe or move-we become paralyzed. And when we get to name our pain, through words, we get to breathe again, move again, we are the authors of what we will create from this experience of pain. when the pain was so great I… when triggers transform into insights... when I forgave myself… when I discovered my smile…

In the House Where I Grew Up

The kitchen table
In the house where I grew up
Was wooden, cold and stained

Came apart in the middle
Like so many ruined meals
And other realities hard to digest

Silences which say more than words can say
Furtive glances the only I love you
Support incomplete, bond left unspoken

When we left the house where I grew up
The kitchen table stayed behind
But the dining room table came with us

A place to spend and fear the holidays
An anchor to hold us to our past
When we did not know how to be a family

Author Statement

“In The House Where I Grew Up” appeared in Zouch Magazine & Miscellany, in July 2011; The Friendly Voice, in April 2018; a Poetry Pacific, November 2018

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Patrick Connors,
 · 
July 8, 2022

Wasted

I don’t remember,
I try to see
Was it ever better?
It had to be
I felt it first
at the age of three,
It came up from the black
when it came for me.

In the blink of an eye
It consumed me whole
It felt like drowning
Like falling
Like freezing cold
Like fever
Like sorrow
Like burning rain
Like hunger
Like poison
Like prison
Like chains

I still carry it now
It’s a hole I can’t patch
Soaking wet, that won’t dry
Gnawing itch i can’t scratch
It’s a scar that won’t heal
A wound that bleeds and bleeds
Its not all that I am
But it’s in all of me

l numb myself and I try,
and I try not to get numb
And I clutch to the light on the days when there’s sun
But every step that ive taken
Is further from the place I want to be
Its clear from my footprints
Im moving laterally

But then you found me that day
You called out to me
You came with the light
And you gave some light to me
Your voice was like music
Your heart was pure gold
Your touch was like magic
We fit like a mold

You showed me your journey
What it meant to be strong
How it felt to truly love,
To be loved
To belong.

And for a moment I could make it
For a moment I could see
Together we could do it
Together...
You & Me
Together we’d do anything
I had you
You had me
But then my darkness met your darkness

And now you’re gone
It was all a dream

I promised to protect you
You promised not to run
I held the pain you gave me
You said
Be strong, it won’t be long
But when I fell and begged for mercy
That you wouldn’t do
Because the pain i asked you to hold for me
Was just too heavy for you.

So last night we danced together
One last time
To our song
And you said you’d always love me
But what we had was gone
So my love, forever, I’ll hold you
In the space where we first met
And I’ll try to become a better man
Who you’re trying to forget

I sit here with my darkness
If it’s all I’m meant to be
At least this sucking bleeding pain
Is familiar to me
I’m sifting through the carnage
Its heavier than before
Was it ever better?
It doesn’t matter anymore .

Now these memories of you and I
Are like weeping child
Watching his mother die

Like a wasted hope
Or a wasted plan
For a wasted life
By a wasted man

Author Statement

Depression, shame, loss, coping.

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Jay C, Canada
 · 
June 29, 2022
Featured Image

Shame

For more art, see @ukcanjamz

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ukcanjamz, Canada
 · 
June 23, 2022

Silent Suffering

The constant shame and self-judgement.
The many times I tried to tell someone and froze.
Feeling like I was a target for abuse to happen. What had I done to cause it?
My innocence was lost. Who would love someone like me?
Plagued by feelings of unworthiness.
Existing for others and never for myself.
Feeling lost, alone, unseen.
My true self hides in the shadows no more.

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MB, Canada
 · 
June 22, 2022

(Speak Up) – a slam poem

I look for codeine on the faces of boys, in the taste of thumbs wiping underneath my eyes, in the mattresses with three untucked corners and the stain of loneliness tattooed onto the hem of its comforts, where she fucks herself just to feel loved because no man should touch the demons in her spit, the death in her lungs, the disease of her mind. And I cannot give it away, because I am a sheep-in-a-wolf’s-skin virgin. And I feel that by speaking this, by the end of the night, I won’t be. That’s the relationship I have with humanity.
I have makeup on my hands from trying to make all of the ugly pretty, and they don’t teach you in high school how to breathe through the carbon; they tell you just to make diamonds. Tell that to the little girl halving my insides, locked in the cupboard because she doesn’t want anyone to hear her cry after the father figure of her life ripped himself from it in the burn of Velcro, and why the fuck did she make herself like Velcro? Did she not know it only burns for the surface left behind? That the bandaid feels no pain being ripped from the scraped knee of a toddler? That the mask simply falls after the masquerade, leaving the unseen seen and vulnerable? Why did she make herself of Velcro? Why did she make it so easy for broken to smoke his twelve pack inside of her… like the hand beneath her blouse, and why does everyone justify it with the insanity of age?
No! I was too young to be split like the hairs on my head, the ones my mother wasn’t pulling to make sure her palm connected. What sound are you even supposed to make when you’re being massacred in half? And I can’t stand myself long enough to fully love myself for the propriety in hating myself. And you had no right to tie my apple limbs around your own and shake the produce from my face - this is not a game of how quick we can spoil the fruit or break in the jewelry cases of little glass girls. Because she was a girl, and she trusted you.
And my words are not baseball bats in a messy, touching collision with your chest. My words will not bring the cheering masses to crest on the lonely shore of my lonely mind, because these words are not poetry.
These words are the words spent too long in silence. They are the words ripped from a young girl’s rusty, faucet-throat when she’s screaming nothing but the made bed of silence. These words mean nothing to those standing on the shore of the riverbank, watching the currents as they drown boys too young and baptize girls too old; and they will not matter to the bodies beneath them, cheeks bloating in the salt of their embryonic pockets.
But these words matter to a girl at war with herself and god. To a sister constantly worrying when she will lose to the water. To this girl, who is screaming her eyes dry to you now, because these words nesting in the caves of my throat have been silent for too long.

Author Statement

I understand staying quiet, and I understand feeling like you need to tell someone or you’ll explode — I stayed silent about it for a long time before I was forced to open up about it, with none of the people displaying healing, loving, or helpful reactions. It wasn’t until a decade later (and 7 years after the creation of this poem) that my disclosure was finally met with the love and support I’d originally craved.

My hope in this piece is that people take away the knowledge that speaking up can be empowering, but that breaking the silence is best when it feels right for you, and with the people that feel right. There isn’t a strict timeline or obligation, just what is best for you and your circumstances. But when you get to the point where you’re able to share your truth… I hope it can relieve some of the pressure. I hope that it’s healing. I hope you reach a point where you don’t feel like you have to censor yourself anymore, or that you’re a sealed envelope, forever to hold the secrets of your experiences inside you. Your power is in your life, your experiences, and how you choose to share them.

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Nullibicity, United States
 · 
June 18, 2022

In my early years

In my early years
Living in many tears
They unknown passed by
Which made me tremble
As much as the hands that came by

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Eugenie, Switzerland
 · 
May 21, 2022

Trauma

What happens to my trauma?

Does it vanish like a magician’s trick?

Or does it eat away at me burnt up-
empty and sick?

Or does it harden me brittle and quick?

Or does my trauma become sweet revenge of healing into wholeness I greet?

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SD, Canada
 · 
May 21, 2022

POEM ONE

Fearing with much dread,
Is my Life with its every breath.
Sure I am dying alive,
But don't want to end it now.
The sorrow and strange torment on me,
From head and within and unseen.
Pain getting me to the very edge,
My only succour lies in God above,
To feel with tenacity sick voices and aches,
In my soul and head and my life.
I fight and struggle to be at peace,
No one understands and no one sees.
Yet all assume I am rudderless,
Seeing not a chained prisoner but healthy dullard.
The mental ailments and soulful disasters,
Which has got every other sphere of Life destroyed.
Many times I am pushed to say goodbye,
To the constant torments but grace holds me back.

Author Statement

Given I was alone and no one around understood my pain or believed my experiences, writing was a deep exercise to shed the toxic weight weighing down my soul, and expressing my pain so as to keep holding on and as a means of healthy escapism. It is a bit cathartic.

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Patrick Onwuka, Canada
 · 
May 21, 2022
Featured Image

Commotion

Pow!
Went My Head On The Ground,
Daddy’s Words Remaining Foul,
Blood Rushed Out Of My Head,
Like Spilt Blood Of The Undead,
Call The Police Mama Said,
Shut The Fuck Up Before I Shoot You,
Y O U Get On The Bed.
Thats Our Child You're Leaving There To Die,
His Pants Unzipped Her Pussy Dry
Father Father, For You I Cry
Let This Man Have A Heart Attack
Let Him Fry.
Looking Down I Call… Brother
Whilst Daddy Pushing Me Down With No Hesitation
Ever So Lovely
Ever So… Beautiful
My Darling
Sun Filled Radiant Child
He Shrugs
Struggles Once More,
A Quick Moment Of Pleasure,
Inside …. Me,
Mine…,

Reshaped,
Scratched
Bruised,
Rearranged Uterus,
Still Swollen In Pain Now,
Cracked Up Coerced Voice
Hands Agitated,
Pinned Down,
Shaking
Body Breaking
Boom!! What Shattered
Glass Against The Ladder
Fast Moving Bullet
Came Faster Than Daddy Inside Me

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ehiko, Canada
 · 
May 21, 2022

The Gatehouse