Both the Dream and Nightmare

My uncle’s suicide

opened my eyes

which made me realize I did not really

want to die,

I just wanted the pain inside

carved out;

did not want to feel such a tempest

of rage and sadness—

I feel everything so deeply

this intensity

sometimes scares me,

but it is the only reality I know;

I cannot feel things

as I have been told that I am supposed to—

I have always been sensitive,

where people think my kindness is my weakness;

but they’re making a mistake for the flames

of my rage burn as bright as my love

I can be compassion and flowers

but I can also be chaos and nightmares—

they don’t want me as anything less than the dream,

I am certain;

but I am both the dream and the nightmare.


That is Scary

Emotions are not weakness

feeling things does not make

someone weak


I believe true weakness comes in

the form of people who feel

nothing at all


those so emotionally numb that they

decide to carve everything that makes them

human out of their souls,


and that could never be me;

it is not who I am?

they say fake a smile but i cannot—


sometimes reality is too dark

on my soul

feel like I am  being dragged beneath


a current

that I cannot get out of,

constantly under threat


of losing my strength;

being pulled under

I am a strong swimmer but anyone can drown—


that is what I fear,

I think,

anyone can drown;


depression does not discriminate against

the successful or the unsuccessful

does not care if you are a dreamer or you’ve


been pulled out of the marrow

of all your dreams—

that is scary.


Sadness is not a Gift

I reached out to you

only to have you, push me away

you said that you would be there,

but you weren’t;

and I guessed that’s why I unable to trust anyone—

I know everyone is not you,

but there are enough people like you that

I don’tknow who to trust;

I seem to love people who cannot love me

regardless of whether

it’s friendships or relationships—

do not mean to, of course,

who would choose that pain?

I guess I see the broken,

and I think they’ll understand enough not to

break me further;

yet that’s not always true

some of them are parasites drawn to my light

taking everything they can from me

until they are no longer hungry

leaving me aching for their friendship—

but I cannot help but can love

it is programmed deep in my soul

to be the person for others that was never there for me,

and i guess feeling everything intensely is what

some would consider a gift;

but when I am sad I am really caught wedged

in a darkness in which I cannot always easily escape,

and that sadness is not a gift.


About the Poet

Linda M. Crate’s poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has six published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017), splintered with terror (Scars Publications, January 2018), more than bone music (Clare Songbirds Publishing, March 2019), and one micro-chapbook Heaven Instead (Origami Poems Project, May 2018). She is also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books, June 2018).