Jason R. Barden

The September Selected Poet is Jason R. Barden

Please feel free to email Jason at: jbarden78@charter.net



Red whirlpools of tainted memories
Brings me to shattered knees
The cool winds blow, chilled to the bone
The brain creeps forward all alone
My leg is growing thick tree bark
I am sitting alone in the forsaken dark
Trying to sleep, taunted by you
Disturbed by thoughts of nothing new
Drenched in a cold stinging sweat
You proclaim another pungent threat
Filled my brain with brittle foam
Leaving me without you, all alone


Tension causing muscle pain
Problems causing mental strain
Stress tightens its icy grip
Torture raining down, a constant drip
Absence of all life's energy
The sickened faces taunting me
A twisted expression of days dreaded
The ligaments are stretched and shredded
The body hurts in all places
In tiny corridors and larger spaces
Doubled the torment each passing day
The persecutors come out to play
They wield their knives behind their cloak
They probe, and prod, and poke
The birds overhead shriek and claw
I have run right into another wall
Now I have no energy to move
Depleted by gestures of the insanely rude
They claw at my face, accelerating the grief
I am tired beyond all possible belief
It hurts from the inside out, the pain
Tormented by the givers of mental strain
They give service with such a twisted grin
It builds, and builds, until I am done in
They keep telling me and showing
That the lethargic pain is ever growing


Peering through tiny cracks in the rock
Filling jumbled thoughts that interlock
I am the square peg forced into your triangular hole
Set aside and beaten in by the angry inconsiderate troll
My sore ears have been torn off and abused
By the cruel words that you so viciously used
Bleeding from my fingers as I claw at the spaces
A multitude of suspicious obscene faces
The hideous background you continue to paint for me
In the dark cell that refuses to set me free
I have fallen through the ice into your tiny room
Looking for hope but feeling the doom
Say it isn't so, it isn't true
That neither of us are me or you
How long have I been down here anyway?
You are telling me it has been less than a day?
But it seems so much longer than it has been
Maybe a year, or two, or maybe ten
Throw down a rope so I can climb out of here
You will never hear from me and I will disappear
Because I already have gone vacant inside
In this tiny hole where I am forced to survive


The air is thin, my mind is null
Disrupted thoughts in my skull
Closed in, trapped, shut inside
Hidden beneath, exit denied
Gasping for air, panic and anxiety
I am buried alive, this tortured me
I long to feel the wind across my face
Instead I am forced into this tiny space
So many boundaries, all around me
The walls are all I ever see
Is there happiness on the other side?
Hidden downward, entry denied
My lungs are starving for fresh air
How much more can the mind bear?
Give me freedom and enlarge my space
Let me feel the breeze across my face
It is me you have denied
I am closed in, trapped, shut inside
Is this the final embrace?
Will I suffocate in disgrace?

Jason R. Barden began writing poetry around the age of thirteen. At age thirty-three, he transitioned into dark fantasy and horror fiction. His first novel The Spitting Post is available at Amazon and other online retailers. In addition to writing, he enjoys hiking and photography.