Tag Archive | strength

Bête Noire #OctPoWriMo (Day 5 of 31)


(It’s still day 8, in which I kind of, sort of cheat) I #AmWriting, but it took on a life of its own and became something else, for some other time, SO, I tiptoed into the archives and borrowed some old words to replace the ones I was going to use )

Prompt – I Finally Understand

Anxiety – I’ve come to an understanding . . . I will never fully understand it. BUT, I now can recognize and fight it when it pays a visit.

* * *

Bête Noire - by Crystal R. Cook

If I knew why the world
sometimes crumbles,
when the earth
neath my feet is sound,

I might forget to fall.

If I could see
the raging storm
was only a summer breeze
of a passing season,

I might not hide at all.

If I was certain
flood waters
were not rising too fast
for me to safely swim,

I might not have to drown.

If I could just believe
the fears I fear
were lies, unfounded,
figments of my mind,

I might keep both feet on the ground.

Confounding little voice, whispering in the mind
infinitesimal, insignificant – ultimately powerless . . .


acknowledged, fed –  held close to the heart like mother nestling a babe, wrap it like a cloak, a chrysalis safe and warm, cower within till it torments no more . . .


it’s an illusion, a blanket of lies keeping the light veiled in shadow, growing heavy, heavier in the darkness, suffocating, stealing breath, parasitic thief consuming, devouring reality, regurgitating anxiety, apprehension and despair . . .

bête noire 

undeserving of avowal, recognition, appellation . . . purge, disembogue, cast out, unbaptize, reject, refuse, restrain, dethrone the beast from lofty place to bowels of depths unknown . . .


ascend past heights attainable by intrusive, binding thought,

look back and you will fall

spread wings of grace and you will soar.

~ finis ~

Crystal R. Cook


Previous Challenge Posts ~

#OctPoWriMo 2017

Day 1How Did You Get here?

Day 2 – We Write Because We Must

Day 3 – Cherita Poem – Metal

Actually, you CAN


It’s in those moments we find our strength . . .

That little voice inside your head
says just give up, you can’t do this.
Not strong enough, not brave enough,
not smart enough for this.

You can’t

That voice? It doesn’t belong to you.
The only thing you cannot do
is believe anything it says
that’s the only thing you cannot do.


Silence it, ignore it
tell it to go away.
Every time is says give up,

do it anyway.


Strength in broken pieces – Tanka Verse

Artist - Antonio Canova

Artist – Antonio Canova

Broken, still she stands.
Open wounds, never to heal.
Fragments of lost dreams,
pieces of past promises
keep her from falling apart.

Crystal R. Cook

Tanka Verse 5-7-5-7-7

They said . . .

When they told me
he would never talk,
I taught him to sing.

I mimicked his little sounds
until he began to mimic mine.

When they told me
he may never walk,
I taught him to run.

I put his little hands in mine
and helped guide his feet
toward our goal.

I fell to my hands and knees
and raced along
the floor by his side.

When they said
he would not read,
I began showing him words
and teaching him sounds.

When they said
he would not write,
I gave him a crayon
and said you can,
and he became a poet.

When they said
he would live
in his own world
I opened the doors to mine
and waited for him to enter.

Now when they say things
I raise my voice to the heavens.

God hears me
and gives me strength
to help him overcome
the limitations
they say await him.

Crystal R. Cook

Pay the toll or ride once more . . .


Here we go again.

The world’s begun to spin,

round and round

and round it goes,

and here we go again.


The carousel

appeared before me,

filling me with fright.

I think . . . I thought

I know . . . I knew,





A phantasmic carnie asked,

“Do want a ride?”

I never met his gaze

though I’m certain I declined,

but he lifted me,

and without warning

I was spinning, spinning,


under his control,

and when the ride

came to an end,

he held out

his gnarled hand,

demanding to have his toll.


Inside my head

I continued to spin

I’ve no reason to pay,

I didn’t ask to play,

there’s no payment

I owe to him.


Still he stood,

and asked again,

“Do you want a ride?”

His hollow eyes

stared through me,

and his lips curled

into a twisted

sort of grin.

He said,

“Pay the toll,

or ride once more,

then we’ll talk again.”


I don’t quite know

how many times

I went round and round

and round

before I woke,

but when I did

he stood before me,

and once again

he spoke.


“Pay me what I’m due,

and you may take your leave.”

I found my voice,

and screamed in silence,

“I haven’t anything,

not even a penny

for which to pay.

I don’t know

what it is

you seem to

want from me.

Won’t you please,

just please,

I’m begging you

to turn and go away.”


He threw back his head

with a wicked laugh

and said, “Why should I

be the one to go?

Don’t you know?

It was you – It was you

who came to me.

Silly child, open your eyes,

see what you can see.”


And then I remembered

I’d been given a choice

when anxiety came to call

I could have stood

against it,

I could have fought

with all my might,

but I faltered

and I fell

and I cowered

from the fight.


I opened my eyes

to look upon

what I’d been too

afraid to see.

I steadied my heart,

I stood to my feet,

but when I looked,

there was nothing,.


waited there

for me.

Crystal R. Cook