Anxiety & Panic Disorders · Depression · Post-Traumatic Stress

Natural Disaster

By Nicole Kiss

Forming its rotation
In the wasteland
Of my mind
Vacating all that’s mine
Taking all my shrines
To past and future
All that’s left is present time
Wind is shaking
All I know is vascillating
Between the pros and cons of sin
Am I in contradiction
With the things that
I have listened to and know
Cold seeps in cracks of the window
Pain is watching the destruction
And then wishing it was you in vain

Insane, deranged, infected brain
Crazed by any other name
Would still mean I’m the one to blame
For getting in the basket of that old ill-fated
Crane your neck to see my pair of shoes
I’ll perish soon
My parachute is broken
It’s still closed and
So here’s hoping
That the ground will open up its
Mouth of dirt and fungus
Fill it’s lungs,
Stick out its tongue
And I’m the snowflake
I am lowgrade
Not sick enough
To leave yet
But still sick enough
To heave and
Not see heaven yet
But I am buried
By the burden of this debt

It’s internal, see?
Cannot see externally
Apparently, eternally
I’m cursed to be
One can never tell
That toil
Takes a toll
I till the soil
Of my soul
And still find oil
But it does not mix well
With the living water
That allows the seed to grow
Impedes the flow
of Grace
I need to throw
Away the tar
And go back to that place
So far
Retrace the scars
And find out where the tissue
Blocked my heart

This fibrillation is frustrating
Muscle twitching
Cardiac infarc-tion
In my own mind
Cause I am my own
Despised and divided
By my own beholding eye
I cannot stand the constant
Lance of my own sword
Passed on to me from all the words
And circumstances of my birth
And hopes and dreams are only worth
Their weight if second chances
Are a thing
But I’m not sure what I believe
Cause what I see and what I
Hope for
Are two conflicting no-tions
Tectonic plates that shift on and
Off and on without my op-tion
Back and forth and back like an o-cean

Wave goodbye
To good and right
Cause lack of dark
Is lots of
Light is luminescent
But it answers all the questions
You had no intention of ever
Task-ing you with a version of the truth
Pass-ing it on to you
Like a baton
In a race you never chose to run
It’s more like being chased, a gun
Is placed upon the temple of your

Face the music now
There’s no choosing in this town
Take the yoke and pull the plow
They’ll whip the sweat right off your brow
Showing weakness or
Losing pretense
Or using your own common sense
Is grounds for treason
No reaction or the beatings
Will never cease for
No apparent reason
The cost of your existence
Is each second that you breath in and
Out of from under your control
I need to be outside the rule
Of your green thumb nat-ion
Greed Trumps moral pat-ience
Hate from in and out and up and down
And all direc-tions

So I will shun the world
I’d rather give in to the force
Of the mental swarm of bees
That I set forth
My storm was formed
Through conflicting cold and warm
To the skull’s strategic soft spots
Laughter takes a wrong turn
Rug burns
Vision blurs
Fists serve as lessons learned
The sting reminds you not to cause a stir
But now that the punisher
Is safely six feet under
Will you stay so under-
Like it’s God’s plan-ning
For you to keep with-standing
Like those statues with no hands or feet?

Defeat, retreat, or take a seat
There is no option in between
But know a moving target is more likely to be seen
But less ea-sy
To take down
Tornadoes that touchdown
Parade around
They barely touch the ground
They do not stay in place
You see it in the distance
But you cannot get away
The nature of a storm,
Even death and fear and war
Is a cycle that is sure
Placating nomenclature
Is the only offered cure

Hurricanes get human names
So they won’t intimidate us
Or hint to us of fate
How we’re lacking in our faith
Or how we’d rather be sedate
Then feel the pain
That reminds us we’re alive
And helps us stay that way
Now, tell me who’s insane
The ones who feign their strength
Or those admitting they’re afraid



Nicole Kiss is an explorer of art forms. With a BA in Music and Psychology from Greenville College, she utilizes music, poetry, and drawing to express her struggles with depression, anxiety, and lupus. She hopes to someday pursue a degree in counseling to help others and pass on the creative coping she’s picked up along the way.


This poem is intended to be a spoken word/performance piece; at some point in the near future, hopefully we’ll be able to collaborate again with Nicole and post a recording of her performing!

For more information about PTSD, check out NIMH’s rundown.

One thought on “Natural Disaster

  1. I love the headlong rush of this poem. I grew up in Texas and Oklahoma, so the idea of mania as a tornado in the brain is something i can relate to. And “the mental swarm of bees” is wonderful. Good work!


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