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Joshua Phelps Aug 12
are you listening?

can you hear me?

can you hear,
can you see
what's going on
around us?

Do you hear the sirens
that are going off
in every direction?

Everyone is leaving,
Everyone except you.

For you,
the sirens
fall on deaf ears

and you stay,
right where you are
watching the disaster unfold, in awe

The embers begin to flick and flare out
travelling down this stretch of road

and here you are, without a care
Blissfully unaware, the fire
is already taking hold in this town.

can you hear me? are you listening now?

You feel a tug of the arm,
Signaling it's time to go.

your reluctance is telling
But you know you can't stay.

You know that
you have to go.

Memories last forever.

But for you,
You know
the hardest part

Is starting over.
inspired by "bed head" by Manchester Orchestra
Joshua Phelps Nov 2020
There’s a fire on top of the rooftops,
Bombs are falling from planes nearby,
people are scrambling for cover,
And help is M.I.A.

Debris falls all around us,
Bricks tumble, our hearts fumble.

We ask ourselves: Will we make it out alive?

We fear for our lives,
We fear for our families,
But the enemy doesn’t care.

We’re gonna need more than a prayer
To get through this hell
that is World War III.

We know there’s no time to wait,
We have to keep going,
Or we may be another target,
Another casualty
of heartbreak.

As we hear the surrounding screams,
We dare not look back,
As the enemy closes in around us

The sounds of gunshots
Bounce off the walls,
And one by one, the loved ones around us,
like dominoes, take the fall.

We dodge, we duck
For cover.

They shoot, fire,
And another casualty
Another loved one
lost.

Our hearts beat faster and faster,
As our hopes of survival are quashed.

Adrenaline courses in our veins,
And time starts to slow down.

We begin to wonder
And ask ourselves once more:
Will we make it out of this hell?

We didn’t ask for this.
We didn’t want this war.

But here we are,
fighting just to survive.

We don’t eat, and we don’t sleep,
All we do is run away
And hope we live to see another night.
This poem is loosely based on collective wars going in the world. The Syrian civil war was the main source of inspiration for this submission. More information about the war can be found here: https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/syria
Joshua Phelps Nov 2020
The path we take is like a long, winding road.
Twist and turns leads us in the face of danger,
But the danger is no stranger to us.

We’ve been down this road before.
We’ve been through hell and back.

Yet somehow, even though this experience.
Is different from the rest,
We’re scared.

We fear for our lives.
And those around us.

We want relief. We want normalcy.
But we know we must wait.
We must endure, we must persist,
And we must carry on.

We can see the horizon ahead.

Like a light at the end of the tunnel,
We know we’re not far from freedom.

We know if we push forward,
We can escape from this hell,
This purgatory we’ve been trapped in
For several years.

The end is in sight,
And this time
we will make it out.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken a turn for the worst. Hospitals are filling to capacity, families are losing their loved ones, and many are scared for their own lives. Due to partisan politics, relief won't happen anytime soon, but we must cling on to hope. Vaccines will soon be rolling out later this year for the first responders, and general availability for the rest of us in the Spring. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. We must push forward and make it out of this hell.
Joshua Phelps Sep 2020
One year since your passing,
I didn't know I still wasn't ready to say goodbye.

Unlike the other lives lost in years past,
Yours cut me deeper than the rest.

Like watching an older version of myself,
Carry out a wish I could never fully attempt,
It left me mortified, scared I may follow in your footsteps.

Months later, dreams came and went.
I'd often wake up, wondering why I'd envision myself
Jumping off the Eads Bridge.

I never thought I'd be having these thoughts again.

They say history repeats itself.
But I promise you: I won't repeat the same mistakes.
I won't become a part of the past.
My brother took his life on Sept. 8, 2019, two days before World Suicide Prevention Day. The title "Suicide September" is a cryptic reminder of the month my brother took his life and the year that followed the moment I realized I'm still not okay.

But I will be.
Joshua Phelps Aug 2020
The months fly by,
And my heart longs
for your touch again

Something as basic
As human interaction,
Now gone right before our eyes.

Hindered by a pandemic
We try our best
To keep each other safe
and to keep each other alive.

It's like our life is playing by like
A movie on the screen.

Separated by choice,
Out of necessity,
We fight to stay alive,
In a world taken over by the virus.

The pain cuts through every day,
And I fight hard to rise above the waters.

It's getting harder to stay away from you.

My heart still longs for you after all this time.
And I miss you terribly.

I understand we must stay apart for now,
But I don't know how long I can last.

My emotions are like a sinking ship.
I'm fighting to stay afloat.

Without you, I'm doing the best I can,
To keep me from drowning in this sea of despair.
When the coronavirus pandemic made rounds around the U.S. earlier this year, my friend I decided it was best we stay apart to protect ourselves. He's high-risk, and I'm at moderate risk.

We were very close, and last year, it was on a somewhat intimate level before we decided it was best to remain friends.

I miss him so much.
Joshua Phelps Jul 2020
Devastated by personal and political turmoil
The world, now in month seven of an outbreak,
Face tensions that have increased almost tenfold,
Since the virus took over.

Riddled with anxiety and uncertainty,
The people of the world watch in fear,
As the numbers climb, and people they love
Pass away from an illness
That took many innocent lives this year.

Feeling trapped,
Ensnared in the confines of their homes,
They're left to their own devices, viewing articles,
About a virus that scientists have yet to eradicate

Riddled with fear and doubt,
The people of the world wonder:
When will the world return to normal again?
Instead of posting links of how I've begun to lost hope, I tried to write this in a general perspective of how we're all feeling during the coronavirus pandemic. In the U.S., poor governmental response has left many without hope.

I hope something changes and a light shines our way to see out of this darkness that enshrouds us.
Joshua Phelps Jun 2020
Just when I think I left the past behind,
My demons finally caught up to me.

Self-destructive tendencies,
Manic, mental, inability
To overcome this disease that plagues me.

It's cyclical,
It's haunting,
And it's exhausting.

I want to feel whole again.
I want to be happy.
I want to feel okay again.

I don't want to head down this road once more.

It seems I'm following a self-fulfilling prophecy,
Because all I seem to do is crave a substance,
That I know will only bring temporary happiness.

Dear Diary, I'm here to say,
I'm back once again, my thoughts in disarray.

I promise I'm trying.

I'm trying to overcome this years-long battle.

Dear Diary, I have to be honest with myself,
And honest with others,
Otherwise, what's to say I am trying to get better?

This writing is a testament, a statement,
A promise.

Dear Diary, this will be my last letter.
I've had enough.
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