Childhood survival skills can create unadjusted adults.

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Embrace our children afraid to be loved, past innocent affection dissolved.
Arms grip air amidst troubled faces with sad eyes do glare.
From lonely nights in darkened rooms.
They sit in front of talking boxes showing light-hearted cartoons.
There is no safety where our little ones must wait.
Outside acceptance, small hands protect the purities state.
Learn to hide,
Dare not to share,
No one is safe, and nobody cares.
Children bloom to adulthoods charm believing they will be safe from all of life’s harm.
A closed heart’s proclamation “There is nothing to fear!”
Lovers unite to work out their vulnerable lune.
Partners listen to children unravel a handed-down tune.

The defense mechanisms we all employ to remain safe.

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It is not my fault;
You caused our fight.
You’re the reason I’m angry.
You’re the part of me that gets put down.
You make me feel crazy.

I know what it is like, because I remember;
When I too was home alone every night.
When I lost a loved one that generated such pain.
When I turned from the world just wanting to drown.
When I was ridiculed as being selfish and lazy.

You’re the one I blame;
You’re closed minded with narrow sight.
Your choice for your life is not…

Why is it so difficult to forgive ourselves?

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The past choices I made continue to haunt me. They might have been slight changes in my attitude or destructive relationship-ending decisions. But they required me to act in a way that created a difference in the lives of the people I love.

When I separated and eventually divorced my wife of eighteen years, the decision transformed many lives around me. Friendships ended due to allegiances, my relationship with my own family deteriorated, and the emotional struggle inflicted on my daughter’s feeling of broken security became a priority to fix.

I spent so much energy trying to repair what changed…

The need to acknowledge emotion before forgiveness

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I find it challenging to forgive others for actions that purposely cause harm to myself or others. I have a tendency to believe that to offer forgiveness means I am giving something personal away. The right to feel pain from a heartbreak, anger over an injustice, or a held fear from lost innocence.

I hold on to these emotions as a prize for living through the event. The idea of offering forgiveness so easily is unappealing. I instantly reject it as a proclamation that, “I am all better”. …

Set free your strange thoughts upon a loud world.

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Poetry is music.
A song creates nothing.
The beginning beat rises from a first line.

Another line links images locked in some Wizard’s lost mind.
A stanza becomes born from an ocean swimming blind.

To paper, a couplet was released into form.
Two lines on a screen, each a magic mind worm.

A song whispered into the darkness with nothing to say.
The Magician takes nonsense, weaving lines into rhyme.
Continuing the puzzle, strange meaning, another line.

Torn from the void, a tercet rings true.
Three beats from a drum wake this Wizard in you. …

The alchemy of grief in building a stronger relationship.

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I don’t depart from anger.
I leave not out of hate.
I journeyed from your daily life for change could never wait.

An unknown future guide we follow.
There has never been a set course.
My comfort was delivered from innocent pride.
It paved a road where depression would collide.

I remember your broken tears of shock.
Then you pulled away.
A day I wished never to come.
The day I walked away.

Your mother and I departed.
I moved out of the home.
I carry a memory with me. …

When a gathering for dinner becomes a celebration of life.

Photo by Muhammad Murtaza Ghani on Unsplash

A crowded dinner table sharing laughter.
Family with friends creates a glorious memory.
Silence a busy mind.
Live without a burden in time.

Experience a secret whispered.
Toast this gathering with the finest of wine.
Drink to your company’s never-ending joy.
Taste a combination of vibrant spices never encountered before.
Feel a mystical energy flow.

An unearthed emotion spreads throughout love’s banquet.
Allowing guests to speak under an enchantment.
Grasp at this night’s heavenly soul.
Holding to those you long never to scorn.

Music rides a past wave dimension of sight.
Dancing through the shadow of ego’s self-conscious fright.
Full from a…

When you are too frightened to answer death’s call.

Photo by Hamidreza Torabi on Unsplash

The figure stood alone below my window in the alley. It was motionless, surrounded by puddles littered by an evening rain. The streetlight behind the form revealed something glimmering from its hand.

I reached for my phone and selected the camera feature. I then brought the image to focus zooming onto a thin manicured hand clutching a long blade.

The image on the screen shook from being magnified. I moved up, making out curves below a tight-fitting black raincoat. Strands of wet hair clung to the material as I maneuvered my phone slightly upwards past the chest of the figure…

Christopher Madsen

Writer and Philosopher Poet masquerading as a blue collar worker. Check out my author page at

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