so much for hope


let me drown in pillows
i’ll sink into the blankets
and let the storm pass overhead
memory foam seas take me away
let the bed frame be my lifeboat
and the headboard a gravestone
“here lies someone who tried
and who was never good enough”
curtains drawn and light dim
the sound of life moves by
there are sirens in the distance
but their music comes too late
i’m already too far into the depths
to be dragged down any further
they sing and fade away
and i lay dashed upon the rocks
never to return home
and never to leave my sea bed
i remember the days of joy
when the voyage was not so brutal
and we looked on to distant skies
with the innocence of youth
“ah. so beautiful,” we cried
“so much possibility
so much wonder”
so much for hope.

It might not surprise you to know that, lately, I’ve been feeling really run down. As I was lying in bed letting misery get the better of me, I had the passing thought of sinking into the softness of the mattress. Then I had a second passing thought that if I stayed in bed like I was doing, nothing would ever change.

Writing is pretty amazing in a lot of ways. Stories help us escape our reality, but the process of writing is therapeutic. I’ve been a huge proponent of writing therapy for many years, now. I’ve used it in my own life, as I did with this poem, but I also advocated for writing therapy in my professional career as a grant writer at a behavioral health nonprofit. There is so much science behind the benefits that writing provides to people experiencing depression, especially with regard to learning and practicing the technical skills of writing.

Today I was sad, and that sadness caused me to unexpectedly spiral back into the gloom-dungeon that is my depression. Writing helps me find the way out again. If you’re going through something similar, I recommend taking fifteen minutes out of your day to write out whatever it is that you feel. Let the writing carry away the pain so you can see beyond it.

And always remember that if you’re having a hard time or considering taking your own life, please seek help. Ask friends or family if you’re able. Find a behavioral health clinic or therapist in your area that can see you right away. Or, if you don’t have access to family or a therapist who can help, go to a local emergency room and let them know what you’re going through. They can help provide you with the resources you need to make it through. You’re worth it. (Call or text 988 to reach the national suicide and crisis hotline.)

Your friend,

CC Lepki

Within the trees I bared my soul


Within the trees, I bared my soul
to sympathetic ears;
all the bitter memories
that plagued me through the years.

A skipping stone within my hands
and tears along my face,
I gave up that misery
along the river’s banks.

And when the winter froze my heart,
the woods became my spring;
melting all the ice away
to quell my suffering.

Within the trees, I bared my soul.
Within the trees, I prayed.
In the pleasant wooded grove,
my worries were allayed.

It’s another nature-based poem! I used Robert Frost as inspiration for this one, since he’s one of the poets whose work regarding nature I most appreciate. Still, I tried to make it my own. The intent was to have the poem truly embody my own feelings and experiences with nature.

In every place I’ve ever lived, I always make time to visit state and community parks. As a teenager, my favorite place to spend time with friends or even find a bit of alone time was in the local park. I would spend hours there, playing on the playground equipment, climbing trees, or walking aimlessly. It was the most difficult time of my life, but I was always able to find a small amount of peace among the trees.

Nature really is therapeutic. It gives in abundance and asks for nothing in return. It’s the safe place we can go when society becomes too demanding or complicated. I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Your friend,

CC Lepki

The Good and the Bad


Pleasant moments are treasures in the darkness;
hidden away and uncovered by adventurers and kings;
shared among those who keep secrets
and whisper them as jokes between friends.
They are illusive as fairies living on windowsills,
frollicking in garden pastures and forest groves
until someone steals a glance; then they disappear
or hide in the corner of the eye, giggling
because happiness is the only way to pass the time.

Melancholy is the way of the world
when the sun awakes, but covers are drawn
over the head and people die inside thinking of existing.
It is silence in the evening; deep yawns and aching bones
that say, “you’re alive and times are bad,”
though friends and strangers insist it will get better.
All the moments of loneliness rear their head
and bite at heels, driving onward to the comfort of oblivion
as the world looks on in shame at flights of angst.
Because sadness is a sin only the weak dare commit.

Pretty Face


Is he good enough to grab your heart
or will he just grab your 
aspirations mean nothing to them
You’ve got a pretty face
You’re a pretty face
The times when it matters
you don’t
Time won’t be good to you, anyway
who cares who you are
who cares what you love
who cares that you care about anything

Those lovely eyes are a window
to an empty house
waiting to be filled by him
loved within
Smile for me, babe
Don’t let them see you waste away
Paint on the surface
girl, you deserve this
Doesn’t it feel so good

Yeah maybe he touched you
but you liked it like that
Cause you look like you do
and you dress a certain way
You asked for it
begged him to
Let’s let him get away
He promises to be so good
would you rob him of everything
Don’t cry
Don’t feel
Don’t show us that you are real

Is he good enough to grab your heart
or will he just grab your
aspirations mean nothing
Nothing is meant to be
If it’s meant to be
then it can’t be changed
it can’t be changed
it can’t be

Grounding Exercise


Dishes in the sink;
sweat stains on the couch;
the smell of old wood.
Light filters through windows
in prisms of color
that streak the ground in pastel rainbows.
Particles of dust dance in the air–
an everlasting waltz.
His skin smells of soap and spice.
The stubble on his cheek
leaves trails of red across soft, pale skin.
Calloused and scarred fingers
trace gentle circles on my hips,
reminding me ever gently
that this is love;
this is life;
this is home.

What I’m Worth


Worthy to be loved
Worthy to be seen
Worthy to bear the fruit
To stand in the shadows of kings
to bear the burdens of artist and ingenue
to hold the weight of the future in my womb

Unworthy to share machinations of thought
Unworthy to be heard
Unworthy to choose a path beyond the cultivated garden
where my mother was beaten to submission
where her light was stolen and smothered
where she did no greater good than the day she bore a son

One day you’ll be president
One day you’ll be Queen
One day the world will stand in awe of what you’ve done
A little lie because we don’t want them to know
a little lie to give some hope
a little lie because you’re worthy to be loved
but only in body
and even then
only for a while

Ink for Blood


Static burns in my chest
scraping raw the edges
where hope meets reality.

I once dreamed in technicolor
though the world tells me
that black and white is the limit.

Who are you to stop me
from bleeding color into life;
a desperate hope though it is?

I have ink for blood,
and I’m not afraid to use it–
to lose the pigment that fills me.

Though the static leaves scars
and the dream has long faded,
hope remains.

There is nothing else.

A Held Breath


We started off our ‘20s with a
Bang Bang Bang.
The only upside is that things can
only go up from here.
When you’re living rock bottom
the basement looks like a ceiling.
The glass is so pretty
the way the sunlight sparkles through;
we stand mesmerized like ants
as all hope burns away.
Those fantasies and dreams
were never built to last;
like straw houses standing alone
while we hold our breath–
the promises were broken before my first gasp,
and will stay that way
long after my last.
They call me an optimist;
I’m afraid they might be right.