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Disturbing Poetry

Updated on August 29, 2016
These teardrops fall inky from my pen and click from my fingertips.
These teardrops fall inky from my pen and click from my fingertips. | Source

Don't Get Comfortable

Life is not all clean and bright. Some parts of it are dark and painful in deep and cutting ways. Usually, people do their best to hide those ugly wounds from the world. For many, it's simply unacceptable to let those soul-shaping parts of us see the light of day.

Here are some of mine.

I've poured out a small helping of anguish and anger for you to read. If you are reading on after this introduction, I assume you are here to feel something. If so, read ahead. As I have warned, no punches will be pulled.


Some material on this page may be triggering or otherwise emotionally disturbing to rape or molestation survivors.

Glacier phoenix waiting to be reborn
Glacier phoenix waiting to be reborn | Source
Rob Burke [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Rob Burke [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Phoenix of the Glacier

Dropped by a glacier,

a terminal moraine

begins where cold ended

where vast crests of ice

came to die

and dropped their stony load,

now covered with soil

a rocky cairn for times long gone.

A battered farmhouse sits on that hill

paint peels and broken windows gape,

its decomposing carcass

where my childhood came to die.

A skeleton stripped of meaning,

a splintering wooden fossil

buried by time so shallow yet so viscous

it is now innocent in its post-senescence.

I am not.

I am a dirty phoenix,

the frost of the glaciers reborn.

The iceberg's gravel armors me

as tender skin could not

proof against the feverish, sweaty hands

of a ghost whose corpse has yet to die,

proof against his stifling weight

atop my childish form

which is nothing

compared to lying beneath ice

that endured for fifty thousand years or more.

If I could live a thousand lifetimes

perhaps the ice I have become might melt,

leaving behind only the strength of stones.

By Wilfredo R Rodriguez H (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Wilfredo R Rodriguez H (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons


When I close my eyes I see you.

Does this mean some emotion between us?

You come to me in dreams -

your sick desire obvious.

The scar upon my breast

burns where you suckled.

I don't bother to run anymore

because you're inside me.

I smell your breath in my face

in the hot wind of August.

I can't deny the feelings I have for you

or that I think of you every day.

You climb into my bed,

unseen by all but me.

Shall I let the feelings cover me

as your body once did?

The smell of light rain on hot, dry asphalt

calls up your teeth on my breast.

Every time I hold a knife

I think of you inside me.

Every time I hear the word whore

I remember your touch.

Photo by Jon Sullivan, courtesy
Photo by Jon Sullivan, courtesy

A Killing Rage

a revenge fantasy

Who knew the dead

could travel through time?

My loins feel the thrust of him

where his blade marked the way.

A cold steel caress

across my breast,

an indelible print

from his hand.

I ache to feel him

under my hands

helpless, choking,


In dreams, my face feels the blood of him

as stinging heat

burning in my eyes

like long awaited tears.

By Vassil (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Vassil (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

His Time Machine

Sometimes I forget

that I'm not fine.

Then living reminds me

otherwise -

the stink of Vaseline,

the feel of sticky vinyl seats

and suddenly...I'm six years old

choking on snot and vomit

and in his power.

It's been thirty odd years

but he invented time travel

with grabbing,

sweaty hands

and my torn lace tights

crumpled dirty on the floor.

The wrong thought

and I am back

in his time machine,

small and helpless

once again.

Photo by Jon Sullivan, courtesy
Photo by Jon Sullivan, courtesy


when bad memories get together and play with my head

The nail buckled away from my thumb

in a steady burning rush of blood.

I choked on the snot of my tears

as I screamed into the wadded up sock

taped into my mouth...

The blood from my mouth hit the sidewalk,

landing like a red butterfly on the concrete

as he pulled back his fist to punch me again...

She pushed me under the water again,

her nails gouging into my scalp and cheek

as she forced my head down...

The cross swayed above my face

as flesh slapped together with sweat and blood.

The pain shot through my belly,

and arced to my broken ribs...

The knife slid across my breast,

carving a flaming line

like a mouth drooling blood

and his teeth bit into my flesh...

...And then the closet went dark as she closed the door...

By Ainhoa91 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Ainhoa91 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


a commentary on notebooks burnt in anger

Bits of ash tantalize,

suggest words one can almost see.

Sooty metal spirals twist into my abdomen

catching on sensitive vital organs of the soul.

Once they were glistening binders

of the written word, the drawn line

but now they are weapons -

tools, plowshares beaten,

burnt into swords,

curving blades that stick and fester

in tender flesh.

By Villy Fink Isaksen at da.wikipedia (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Villy Fink Isaksen at da.wikipedia (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

War in the Name of God

Gunfire pierces through the night

and screams arise throughout the fight.

A child hides under a broken bed

dying voices in his head

whistling bombs light the sky

and he wonders if he'll die.

Forgive us, lord, for what we've done

In your name and your fair sons'-

Call it war, call it jihad

it's all in the name of God.

When we die it's hard to tell

which heaven, which hell.

It's all the same, some mother's son,

some bearded child - life just begun

bleeding on the ground.

The earth is thirsty everywhere it seems

in the desert, swamp, and all extremes.

Forgive us, lord, for what we've done

In your name and your fair sons'-

Call it war, call it jihad

it's all in the name of God.

Death - the new pornography

of all the senseless wars

to the cameraman corpses are but whores

whose price is never paid

but in the heartbroke mourning

payment's taken without warning.

Forgive us, lord, for what we've done

In your name and your fair sons'-

Call it war, call it jihad

it's all in the name of God.

Full color, tears in any language

look the same to any mother.

To her, God is the voice of a child

still living at the break of day

under a bed, streaks on a dirty face.

© 2009 Kylyssa Shay

Did you feel anything? Were you touched, hurt, disgusted or confused? Tell us about it!

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    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 

      4 years ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thanks for sharing Kylyssa, children should be loved, looked after and be protected. So sad when a child has to suffer. My experience can't compare as I was eighteen when I was raped, the blue and black marks he left on my throat took a long time to disappear. Who knows what goes on in such a sick mind. Even today I can't bear somebody walking behind me up a staircase. I stand and wait for them to pass. One thing I have learned is that your hate can destroy you. I learned to let go and gave my hate over to the Lord to deal with. I believe that he got his 'payback' nobody can violate somebody and get away with it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very wild stuff, great lens.

    • Kylyssa profile imageAUTHOR

      Kylyssa Shay 

      6 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @AnonymousC831: Thank you very much. Unfortunately, lenses that are in WIP (Work in Progress) mode don't have like buttons, making it even harder to get them out of WIP.

    • AnonymousC831 profile image


      6 years ago from Kentucky

      Kylyssa I was truly touched while reading your poem, very well done. I would give it a like but I'm not seeing a like button.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 

      7 years ago from UK

      Beautiful poetry, Yes the subjects are dark but the poetry is alive and inspiring

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very deep and personal...Most fail to acknowledge the darkness that poetry brings to like. I greatly enjoyed your poems and I, myself, tend to write more on the darkside. Check out my poetry lens if you ever get a chance.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 

      8 years ago from UK

      Such meaningful words, wonderful poetry. I certainly wasn't hurt or disgusted but touched, absolutely. Thank you for sharing these poems

    • sheriangell profile image


      10 years ago

      I was touched deeply by your courage, honesty and extreme ability to share something so personal so very well.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 

      10 years ago from New Zealand

      Wow. Very powerful and well written. Thanks for sharing and I hope that writing this brings healing. Excellent poetry, I just don't know what to say.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Brave. Precise. Powerful. "One anguish - in a crowd - /A minor thing - it sounds -/And yet. unto the single doe/Attempted of the hounds/`Tis terror as consummate/As (though) Legions of alarm/Did leap, full flanked, upon the host..."

    • profile image

      luvmyludwig lm 

      11 years ago

      A very powerful example of how ugliness can become beauty when it's filtered through the soul of a beautiful person. lensrolled to my poetry lens.

    • FlynntheCat1 profile image


      11 years ago

      Painful, but very good poetry. I'm glad you put this up, in a ... what's the right word...? As in, better published than not, but it hurts that it has to exist. Bah, you probably know that.

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 

      11 years ago

      Thanks for Sharing

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      11 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Wow. (I can't think of much else to say.) But that's "wow" meaning, "Yes, how could I NOT feel anything reading this?" You're writing is so ... brave? Sorry, I'm not really sure what adjective to use.


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