Battle Poem

Ilana Davis
Ilana Davis

Sensitive Topic: This post includes imagery of war.

While sharing my feelings through conversation proves to be difficult time and time again, I have found solace in writing and poetry. Rhythmic lines and simple rhymes help gather my thoughts and put them into something resembling cohesion. 

When I’m faced with dark and anxious thoughts, it often feels as though my mind is battling itself, sometimes even to the point of defeat. But recognizing these feelings and recording them have helped me time and time again, to the point that I could document the battle that takes place within my thoughts:


A decade has passed and the war of emotions in my mind has yet to cease

Intrusive thoughts armored with irrationality and despair disturb my peace

And my mind, once a vibrant thriving city, resembles a war torn nation,

Masked by an atmosphere of lifeless defeat


Ten years of foreign and unwanted sensations held my life captive

Would I face panic attacks or eternal sadness today?

Either way the confusion only cultivates a growing dismay

And each bomb, bullet, hit, and pill destroys my mind further


Ceasefire sometimes ensued, leaving me feeling only numbness and emptiness

No feat felt too powerful to conquer, but no feat felt too powerful to lure me from my bed of distress and I was left to survive in a cycle of hypocrisy that I, alone, created


Years of battle is damaging and exhausting and I am tired

I am tired and I am losing desire and determination to continue fighting

I have conquered death and loneliness, terror and sadness

But now I am tired and wounded, impaled through the chest by a bullet laced with regret


Still, I have felt happiness and excitement, curiosity and inspiration

My motivation comes in the form of travel and music, puzzles and TV

But the joy is taking refuge elsewhere and I guess that makes me a refugee within my own body


Though I still laugh when I’m meant to

And smile when greeted

My laughs never felt hollower 

And my smiles more forced


I can’t finish puzzles or finish TV shows or finish my thoughts

It’s difficult to see the progression of time and the linear plots

As my life remains stagnant

Lost to infinity with all the memories that I’ve forgotten


Music has become a means of distraction from the bombs within my mind

If I listen closely to the vibrations of the chords and schemes of rhymes

Maybe I won’t notice the dreadful thoughts that wait for my

Weak, war-torn mind to wake in misery each morning


But my white flag of surrender has yet to be raised

Within days of combat lay hundreds of forgotten men

Memories of repression lost to my mind, never seen again

But the dead and wounded memories have risen, and I think I can now see them


If anyone is finding it difficult to express the thoughts that run through their minds, there are more ways to do this than just by conversing. Finding an outlet for words that seem unspeakable are so important, and can bring one closer to finding the proper help they need.