“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


rising falling

i put this up and took it down and put it up and took it down and worried and agonized and the cat walked across the keyboard more than once, got involved in almost cat fights more than once, and i put this up and took it down, and deleted my tweet about it, and worried some more, because it's a true story and it's not a pretty one, and because my belly ached for 2 days after it happened, and because i was afraid y'all would think oh my god, here we go again, more stuff, more unhappiness, and then i knew that that  was the real fear, the true  fear, the fear of putting it out there.  and so here it is, up again, without a picture, full of fears of all kind.


rising falling, by d smith kaich jones.

in response to today's prompt at dVerse poetics.  fears and phobias.

he is waiting for me in the green humidity,
all ragged breath neediness and falling down life;
he cannot breathe cannot stop the panic cannot stop the disease cannot stop my anger
at my anger,
at the overgrown limbs slapping leaves and leftover rain against my windshield
scratching raspy clawing at me,
at my struggle to get to him
in time
one more time,
his falling down house a bad phone call away,
in the middle of falling down nowhere
down muddy ruts through falling down fields
his gasping fearfilled falling down life falling again harder
and again.

i see his car through the leaves, a hole in the middle of the woods he calls home,
driver's door open striped shirt chest rising falling 
he cannot breathe cannot find air cannot find peace
the fear is growing he cannot breathe the knowledge a monster so big;
i feel my panic feel his panic and i am through the trees, jeep on all 4 wheels,
with the pills
with the medicine
with the money
with the fear i cannot do this anymore.

his body is shaking his chest rising his face tear streaked he looks too thin
his hands need help,
they won't stay still,
but he grabs my passenger door crying i can't do this anymore anymore
his voice aloud, my voice silent, the same words spoken.
i hold out pills, i tell him chew
i tell him sit,
i turn the air conditioner colder,
open a bottle of water with lying hands, hushed, steady;
i talk about nothing and everything and i stay until he is breathing
until he is safe though the shakes don't stop
until his embarrassment pushes me to go.
i leave him behind bundled in loneliness hidden by trees



  1. I'm not sure of the exact scenario here, but I feel the fear, the dealing with this situation. Very tense, emotional. Voice sounded true and honest. I liked very much.

    1. muchas gracias. i left it vague because i'm not sure the he i talk about would want the whole story out there. thank you again.

  2. I am glad you put it up again. this is fear, i felt it, breathed it in, sent it back out. this is you, the way you write, the fabulous way you write.

    holding my breath. thinking of him, left behind in loneliness, perhaps, but safe, and breathing, once again.

    rising. falling. day in. day out. this is what we do.

    1. bless you. he is safe and breathing and, fingers crossed, will be for a long time. xoxo

  3. This literally tumbled down my screen as I read it. Real Fear...and line after urgent line choked with anxiety...it just left y mid reeling as to the cause....he lives in a run down house...or maybe something long lasting, something that happened a while ago and he has lived in fear ever since...this poem is going around and around in my head and may do for some time....bravo...this nails the prompt

    1. many many thank yous, my friend. i can only tell my part of the story, though his part is greater. this was hard to write, but necessary. again, thank you! (and thank you for the perfect prompt.)

  4. dang...a vicious write...but good on you for overcoming the fear and posting this...to me that is a victory...and its written very real and intense....there are so many layers of fear in this honestly...am i doing the right thing, will i get caught...great story telling poet

    1. oh - i love that you used the word vicious. god, that's exactly how it fell from my fingertips, full of anger & fear & more anger. thank you, thank you.

  5. Oh my, I'm so glad he is doing well now...what a fearful experience..and to have to face it day in and day out..clearly your heart is in this poem ;)

  6. i am not sure i understand fully the words. but i understand the fear.
    your fear became MY fear in each next sentence. trying to breathe while he was
    trying to breathe. while you were trying to breathe. i found myself barely breathing.
    for whatever reason you wrote this, i am grateful for your bravery.
    and because you drive a Jeep to a dark muddy place, and because you...simply do this.
    in my fondest, tilda

  7. wow. such power in the introductory paragraph and in the poem which follows....

    i think i've been "there" many times....and i shall certainly be "there" many more times in future life....

  8. I have questions. But they aren't for asking; they're better left where they are as I read this a third time and try not to make sense of it but just to feel it. As if I had a choice; the fear in this in palpable and I'm glad you shared it with us.

  9. How terrifying for you and for him.
    I can imagine the feel of falling down,
    but this is so much more. Thanks for sharing your heart.


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