‘Poetry Break’ by Ben Helton

Poetry comes from the highest happiness or the deepest sorrow.

~A. P. J. Abdul Kalam~


Canopy and Canvas

Watch them whip like planted stanzas
still firm in their rigid stances
beckoning any bird with the nerve to perch upon the frigid branches
longing for anything other than the wind with which to bend and dance with
coniferous canopies a canvas

for lightning strikes of blinding light
who like a neon knife
carve hearts in trees like these for life

where once was worth deferred
now new birth in birches and firs,
mighty pines refined and broken oak cloaked in chosen hope

leave it to He who perfectly weaves
a verse with the breeze
to allow rogue rays to leak upon the leaves
to such a degree

that if it didn’t
we couldn’t breathe

****
Benjamin Fletcher Helton 
Instagram: @fletcher_lexical

Compelling

my impairment’s

less apparent

than those afflicted physically

feeling empty admittedly

less of what I was meant to be mentally,

imbalanced chemically

diagnosed clinically,

with this pen an extension of all the grief it’s ever given me

yet every breath is a precious gift,

still let me preface this

lexical exeges
with a glimpse of the mental illness I wrestle with
Feels like I’m standing on a ledge or the edge of this precipice
looking down upon these people living life like it’s effortless
that’s the unfortunate portrait that unless my distorted perspective shifts
I’ve been arrested by this restlessness

still I’m clinging to my faith and all that i believe in

even when it seems like every demon’s

overarching reason for breathing

is creeping in my dreams

whether awake or sleeping,

and it’s hard to walk by faith with all these floorboards creaking

 

daily basis,

face with this

mind masquerading as rage adrift

in oceans of pain

but hope remains

and the refrain is this:

I am not a Facebook quiz

 

Because I don’t color code my closet

But lost it when my own blood’s run awash in the faucet

when I coughed it from all the screaming that caused it

 

And

 

I’ve bleached my skin

to kill possible contamination,

figments of my imagination

 

And

 

I’ve never rapidly flicked a light switch

but spent my time feeling for a knife to slice through this night with

 

And

 

rationally I concede

that these

compulsive thoughts are often hard to believe

and stand miffed in the midst of the doubting disease

 

And

 

I am vexed

yet onward press

to march nonetheless,

through this desert parched

and Your words give me rest.

****
Benjamin Fletcher Helton 
Instagram: @fletcher_lexical

Rise and Fall

“Oh divine kaleidoscope of what’s died, and hope
a season’s interlude

affixed between summer scorch and winter frost
that which once was lost,
in you,
renewed

who dance by light of harvest moon
the glow by which your hues we swoon
sight of which is gone too soon

when last leaf
anchored by withered stem, half-heartedly wrestling with timid winds descends
like gentlest kiss,
the final stitch in wounds we never knew we had

And comes to rest in earth’s caress,
Oh repurposed dirt,
a mess, yet blessed

Mercifully adorned in the dying reborn
underfoot,
unwavering,
weary eyes savoring

this golden tapestry,
glimpse of majesty,
new life masquerading as tragedy,

photosynthetic respite from death’s grip,
the lifeblood of pain, nevermore in vein (vain)
The curse- made a verse, a welcome refrain

Oh kaleidoscope of what’s died
and hope,

You promise to return again.”

****
Benjamin Fletcher Helton
Instagram: @fletcher_lexical

Author’s Bio:

'Poetry Break' by Ben Helton two drops of ink

Benjamin Fletcher Helton is a poet, lyricist, and writer. Having been clinically diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as a young teenager, he’s been on an often arduous journey, but maintained a ridiculous sense of humor, developed a love for linguistics, and despite experiencing moments of anguish and questioning his purpose, finds identity and and comfort in Jesus Christ. He cannot thank his mother, late father, brother, sister, and close friends enough for their unwavering support and affirmation in his life, and hopes to inspire readers through transparent honesty and vulnerability.

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S.W. Biddulph

Scott Biddulph is a published writer, author, and poet from North Georgia. He began writing as a youngster and followed his lifelong dream of reaching people through the written word when he returned to The University of North Georgia in 2013 to finish earning his BA/English with a concentration on publication and creative writing. His publications include the following: an eBook, Apples of Gold: A collection of inspirational short stories and poems (Smashwords, 2010) and a paperback, Voices from the Heart, (Createspace, 2012). His poetry is published in Papers and Publications Undergraduate Research Journal. Vol 3 (2014) and the award-winning Chestatee Review (Spring, 2015), among other places (Check his LinkedIn profile for a full list of his publications). He is currently working on publishing poetry, creative non-fiction, academic essays, and his memoir. ******** Scott has also worked as an intern editor for the University of North Georgia Press. As a freelance editor, he has done the layout and design of several books and magazines. He is currently working with several authors on various publication projects in which he is either ghostwriting, editing manuscripts, or doing the layout and design of their books. ******** Finally, and most importantly, he is a father, grandfather, husband, and dedicated Harley Davidson rider. He and his family enjoy the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains where they live—especially their screened in back porch where they love to bird watch. ******** ~ "I love realism. I love writing about the raw, down-to-Earth, heartfelt realities of life. I love to write in a way that reaches into the human soul—to take the greatest pains and struggles in life, and make them a blessing to others. Fantasy is a wonderful, interesting thing—but real-life situations, feelings, fears, and dreams are an unexplored ocean of stories that need to be told." ~ ~Scott Biddulph~

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