Lyrics, Linguistics, and Lexical Genius

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
Poetry chapbook detailing my time through treatment. Blog @

Submitted: March 04, 2013

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 04, 2013




Lyrics, Linguistics, and Lexical Genius

Treatment for Depression and Mental Illness Seen Through My Eyes


By Don Lambo










































She screams silently behind a smiling sentinel

Guarding her feelings from the men in white for reasons unknown to us


A fuse is sparked; a still assassin in the form of a misstep or misspoken word of a friend


The screaming is silent no longer

The corridors carry her sordid dirge


Open hearts of all but mine recognize her pain. I’m stricken with ignorance as she lets go of torment through a one-way door


My attempts to prevent her actions were only salt in her wounds. Talent and beauty wasted and there’s nothing I can do


Empathy makes an appearance and strikes it’s grim chord for a brief moment as my disconnect is restored


Still, I feel only the presence of suffering but not its caliber

In the past I’ve averted it with laughter.


Please don’t, please with sugar on top.

But my begging drowns in a raging sea.


I can do nothing more than stand idly by and cringe to the screams of the girl –

her, I can’t recall




















Fettered Vision


I can’t see out these windows

The world outside’s been blurred

I’m forced to write what I see inside,

but I can’t spare the word


I think it’s my imagination;

I really see the same

But my perception’s gone of the world outside --

in the asylum for the insane.



































Tales From The Asylum III


A blazing fire begets impotent ash

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

I dust off my mind so it can begin to inspire

Inspiration drawn from a finite well

Well, well, well, what do we have here?

I hear you don’t want to be here?

Here’s a pen and a paper to write

Right over there she asks if I care

Care to join me while I sit and think?

Thank you conscience now let me buy you a drink

We’ll drink to solitude and being alone with our thoughts

Think we should leave? Take a taxi or walk?

Awoken with a start

Startled by my doctors

Doctored dreams inspired by medicine

For medicinal purposes this poem comes to an end.





























Animal Farm


Animals voluntarily trapped and content

Fettered and happy

They’re just numbers and notes on a doctor’s chart

Indicted data and statistics stuck in a subtle jail

Set free when someone sees fit

Here on our own but owned by the state

Rights unknowingly signed away

Now you’re here to stay

I’m going to run away today.




































I Called To a God Who Wasn’t There


I called to a god who wasn’t there

And held the rope into the air

As I tethered my weapon onto the tree

The finch sung their nightfall symphony

Doused in blood, sweat, tears, and sap

I hoped my throne, the branch, would snap

Lazy hung the rope made in haste

As did the smoke my cigarettes chased

I was facing death with her empty glare

She offered me her sordid wares

She beckoned to follow and I began to slide

I wished to fall and be with my bride

But I retracted suddenly and lifted my collar

Never to falter I thought as I called her

I told her boldly of my steel will

She responded in her voice so shrill

She spoke of the trade she’d proposed before

But I resisted the pull of her sullen allure

Fully aware of her insipid presence

I pushed her away and thanked for her lesson

She’d taught me that death untimely is a fleeting dream

And that release from life isn’t as freeing as it seems























Sitting With My Sadness


Unfortunately they’ve finally figured me out,

Stripped me down to my core of sadness

Sorrow and melancholy manifested in emotional suicide

Dead inside, a foundation with no construction,

No desire to build up,

No desire to fill the shell that is myself

A shell made of actions covered with words

The truth burns,

It hurts knowing my life hasn’t started

Especially knowing whose fault it is



































Filled With Emptiness


I’ve been contesting this vehement impatience without success

Depression manifest in bare walls

All in all, I’ve had enough

Stuffed in a spacious cell

Palpable sadness fills an empty asylum

I’ve committed a crime of thought

Fought too hard and lost

A sore loser who doesn’t play well with others

Never got along with his father, mother, or brother

Why bother? They’re why I’m here

Aren’t they? Shouldn’t I take the blame?

I shouldn’t. Everyone’s fault but mine is easier.

Indeed sir, but why does it matter?

You’re here now and need to move forward.

It’s the only cure for your disorder.

Not the one in your head, your disordered life

Regardless who bought it you’re paying the price

Instead of whining give smiling a try

Not your feigned façade, a real smile this time,

You can’t do it can you, don’t give up yet

It’s a learning process you’re too smart not to get.

























Back and Forth and Back Again


Back and forth and back again 
Redolent of the thoughts that taint my brain 
Indolently walking off my pain 
Back and forth and back again 

Passing trite paintings of identical flowers 
Passing by seconds and minutes and hours 
I tell myself I’m not insane 
Back and forth and back again 

I’m doing laps like Michael Phelps 
I hope this medication helps 
Just illusionists like David Blaine 
Back and forth and back again 

Mother arrives for her brief visits 
Not to stay for more than sixty minutes 
She begs for longer but asks in vain 
Back and forth and back again 

I’m only here because they’re afraid 
Of what I almost did and what I said 
Until I’m safe, here I’ll remain 
Back and forth and back again 




















Haikus II


These windows tease me

With elusive illusions

Sublime barriers


Meds besiege my mind

Forced entry and inner war

I beseech ceasefire


Problems rectified

A monumental success

But trapped nonetheless


































The Corner II


I want my ideas to ruminate and extrapolate and grow cultures on the agar of my mind

However it appears my medication forces them into hiding

Drab and uninviting is the décor of my corrupted psyche

An abused couch faded from what might have been pink is now gray and colorless and exhales the dust of dreams unrealized when mounted

Moths and medication have eaten away at its upholstering

Supposedly a writer once sat here to glean inspiration from the events in his life but now they spill out from the tears on the idea upon which he sits

And so he cries but he can’t so he tries to at least tear up and when that doesn’t work he grabs at the string to turn off the lamps but that comes right off in his hand

He just curls up in a ball of empty thought in his comfortable but undecorated cell and attempts to let sleep take him somewhere he can be inspired.
































Tales from the Asylum II


Created as an asylum for the insanity it breeds through painful indignity

A warrior of the psyche fighting two battles

The first is a tumultuous quest for triumph on the field of thought

The second; a coup against your benevolent captors

Between introspective reflections, constant checks to prevent being hung by a rope of monotony

While there’s order in the hall I plan a momentary escape

For God’s sake, I’m not insane

The wire to my explosive mind was cut and my mind has long been defused

Nonetheless I return to my comfortable cell and wail into my paper with my pen

Then back to reality again so slumber can take me to another

In between phases I long for a companion while my thoughts are away

In my dreams I can pretend and tend to the wounds my sutures left

Let me go home

It doesn’t condone my actions

Just my existence





























Home Again, Home Again


Her song keeps my company on the telephone

She can’t be seen but I’m not alone

From an abandoned lot I stare down my castle

I’ve lost my breadcrumb path like Hansel and Gretel

I’ve slain the dragon but left my sword in his lair

The scene of the crime with rain in the air

My fair lady do I venture within

Without a candle do I enter the din?

Do I return to the arena of thought?

I take one step across the lot

But I stumble; I’ve had one drink too much

Using alcohol as my mental crutch

I tell her I’ll do it for one final time

Then I hang up and move towards the asylum































Ratify My Mental Constitution


Ratify my mental constitution

Declaring independence from the illusion of happiness

Secession from my fascist state of mind

This fascination with medication is a digression from ultimate recovery

The fulcrum of discovery on the lever of my depression will catapult me into a motivated lifestyle

I’ll stop lying to myself by saying a pill will fill this empty shell

I’ll feast on inspiration until I’m engorged with a high of life



















































A Journal To Me


A journal to me

is a canvas of our

expression upon which

we flick our thoughts

with a snap of the wrist

to shape a splattered

portrait with the morbid

twist of sullen verse


sheet after sheet

I peer into the

cogs of another mind

I’ll respond in kind by

finishing their

peripheral thoughts


Because a thought

incomplete is a

bittersweet invitation

for two unmet souls

to come face to face
























Her Tongue that Slithers


Her tongue that slithers around her words

Her lips with facts are unconcerned

Her thoughts that burn with cheap revenge

Her heart estranged from an empty head


Her voice is a cunning symphony

Of echoes resounding hollowly

She bleeds deceit from every pore

Drowning in false witness bore

My search for truth with love denied

I’ll find a girl who’s never lied




















Geoffrey’s Song


The perfection of parenthood that I chase

Is a timeless smile on my child’s face

Faced with a dichotomy of moral and mind

Are my fate and his future intertwined?

Our destinies entangled in a sordid double helix

Chastity of psyche to protect these subtle feelings

A million reasons why I shouldn’t be here

With a million to the contrary when another appears

Plus one; one digit to upset the odds

A divine blessing; a sign to carry on

It’s the constitution of soul that can’t be denied

A metaphysical document; self-ratified

So I’ve chosen my path and donned my stalk

And with the tools that I’ve gleaned upon it I’ll walk

































I forgot where I was going 
and fell into her embrace 
Each tooth of her tender smile was showing 
As I feigned a lack of grace 

The fall may all have been fabricated 
And I think she sensed it too 
But still it sparked a storming sensation 
That we both knew to be true 

It afforded a touch skin to skin 
On the bed of ground where we lay 
And with boyish guilt I glimpsed in 
on a moment many moments away 































Geoffrey’s Song II


Chased by the love I left behind

A temporary respite from the grip of my mind

I ran from my thoughts like a feline in rain

Now I’ve halted to face them no matter the pain

Pain unparalleled to the alternative path

Inflicting and embracing the sin of self-wrath

And although the road ventures far from my home

I’ve got companions who suffer so I don’t suffer alone

I brought my brain and forgot my heart on purpose

There wasn’t room and I’m doing them both a service

Because separation is key in this unfortunate case

They interfere with themselves when they get in each other’s ways

So while my heart is away my brain can be at peace

Tranquility of thought and emotional release































If Her Words Hold Truth


If her words hold truth I’ll hold her hand 
And together we’ll journey to somewhere 
If it led to treasure in shallow sand 
We’d overstep it without a care 
And when our paths divide we’ll weep 
When we remember where we’ve been 
There would remain one hope for us to keep 
That our paths will cross again 







































I question the validity

Of my furtive surreality

It’s my contention that it exists

But to the contrary says cognizance

And if indeed I chase a fleeting dream

Then is all life not as it seems?

What else have we conjured as fictitious notions

Do objects in motion truly stay in motion?

Dimensions of veracity remain undiscovered

Deceptions of conscience in my mind beloved



































Geoffrey’s Song III


Our coffers are full but stained blood-red 
They echoed when empty with words unsaid 
Kindred spirits connected but estranged 
Separated when our lives were rearranged 
Strange and sullen circumstance 
met with sordid consequence 
Selfless self-sacrifice of noble intention 
Brought to my attention in untimely fashion 
Contemplation on an exemplification of dubious moral 
A heart of gold never shone so sorrowful 
The veneer reflected a destitute truth 
But glared over the figure of his infinite worth 

































In Winter At Home


In winter at home the masses moan 
And curse the season as the shiver 
But come the summer they love to live here 
When the sun is so temperately shone 

As I arrive in the sunlight sodden states 
I expect perfection of air 
But in arduous heat I woefully stare 
at a thermometer that quickly titrates 




































This Love Too Will Come To Pass


We lay down and I wince in mind 
As we welcome the embrace of gentle grass 
I leave the ugly thought behind 
That this love too will come to pass 

But love undone I do not fear 
For I've endured its grip 
It grifts two souls when they draw near 
and connect; lip to lip 




































This Story Continues When I Cease To Be


This story continues when I cease to be 
If not, my endeavor remains unsung 
Can I carve words in history 
Still after air voids my lung? 









































The Hair I Found Upon My Collar


The hair I found upon my collar 
Was too long 
My head was not its origin 
I examined the specimen 
That hung from my finger 
And concluded it was hers 
I ordered my mind to search 
For the moment 

She waited on the unforgiving stone bench 
And the wind plucked it 
As I bent down 
To place a kiss on her brow 

Her hands clasped her face 
As she wept for her trying day 
The burden crept shoulder to neck 
And weighed down a strand 
Until it dropped onto the spot 
Upon which she found solace 

In the theater 
We weren’t watching 
Because the feature presentation 
Played in each other’s eyes 
We applauded with our lips 
But after the show 
A mustang lock wished to stay 

My mind returned empty handed 
However he didn’t quest in vain 
I thanked the lonely hair 













You’ve Done Everything Right


You've done everything right 
If so, why does it end? 
None can control time's boundless might 
On clock-hands we depend 

If I were indeed folly-free 
We'd need not say good-bye 
Darling, you think impossibly 
Now dab your eyelids dry 

There must be some mistake I've made! 
And thereof I depart contrite 
Darling, your remorse will fade 
For you've done everything right.































Fourth Of July


Painted against the most pure black canvas 
A point cuts the sky 
Slowly to die 
Vanishing then reappearing hundredfold 
An electric pallet of an eccentric artist, 
who carelessly peppers my vision 
The hues fade into a smoky silhouette of their former brilliance 
Hanging pithily 
Then falling listlessly 
To the tolling that resonates with my throbbing heart 
I can feel it echo in my chest 
Man’s fabrication of starlight 
We boast our scientific might 
But our vanity is candle-bright 
Beside the dimmest heavenly sight 




























Where Illness Beckons The Trees


Don’t come with me to the place 
Where illness beckons the trees 
Where your sapless skin will ache for embrace 
Of a sating summer breeze 

Where love blooms quicker than the vegetation 
In which love has been known to fall 
Sparse, if ever, grows this scarce sensation 
Quickly to whither, or never at all 

Stay home because I need time to close 
The wounds the sutures left behind 
Only time and doctors and sober prose 
Are my furtive cures; undefined

Just exhale, because time’s not on my side 
As I build a ladder to the moon 
I’ll illuminate the night sky while I make the tide 
And I promise I’ll come home soon 

I’ll rewind my clock-hands and sing a song 
As I sneeze away the sands of time 
To clean my slate, and right the wrong 
Of my actions between the rhyme 

Step forward, those whom I pity most 
To you, I offer a solemn hand 
Here are all in sorrow engrossed 
But in consonance we stand 

A parting word to those who suffer 
And through a grift of mind endure 
The path to healing only becomes rougher 
If you’re running to find the cure 

Many miles of the mind I strode 
Before light from the end of the tunnel shone 
And although it was a lonely road 
We never walked alone 





For A Journey Complete


Every step was a journey 
And every footprint 
A story 
There are words in the valleys 
Between the grooves 
Left by my treads 
They dance with bacteria 
Infectious, the both 
But words can't slip 
Into a narrow mind 

As my journey continued 
I found it was easier 
To escape your shadow 
Than your footprints 
My shadow waned with the light 
But I always had feet 
And there was always ground 

As my journey continued 
The trail stretched behind 
Regardless of the direction 
I chose to walk 
My journey grew 

As my journey continued 
I would rest when my feet ached 
And I would sleep when 
The ache was in my head 
And I would eat when 
The ache was in my stomach 
When the ache was in my heart 
I wept 
But the ache remained 
When I'd covered the trail with my footprint 
And all my steps were stepped 
The ache subsided 
My heart ached 
For a journey complete 







If my hands could talk as they shook

Would they speak volumes or just a book?











































Those For Whom I Have The Most Pity


It’s those who discount the mundane 
Those who scrap for tenacity 
Those who barely remain 
For whom I have the most pity 
I, sufferer of unremitting melancholy still 
Can glean golden moments from the imperfect day 
And the aggregate of small joys does distill 
My soiled mind; cleaned away 
But she, and them, and they who despair 
They’ve earned my sympathy through their strife 
I stand idly by; I wouldn’t dare 
To arrogantly impose on another’s life 
The beauty of semantics in our sublime existence 
Prevented entrance by one’s own resistance 































St. Paul’s


The boys in Armour are smoking pot 
While the Con girls stagger drunk to class 
In the place where sophistication can be bought 
And childhood comes to pass 

Cliques are set by family wealth 
Be it old, new, or none 
Money corroded my mental health 
Until my time there was done 

In the library where minds are bright 
A student passes a lustful glance 
At a girl who takes all her studies right 
When she’s not studying his pants 

As we sit the mighty Harkness round 
He feigns a dropping pen 
A not so subtle snorting sound 
Tells us where he’s been 

When all the teachers have taken bed 
The upperclassmen rule the dorm 
Newbies have heard what the rumors said 
How they initiate the lower Form 

I still remember my time there fond 
At the herald to Harvard, Princeton and Yale 
At the campus built around a pond 
Where everything’s for sale 
















I Met Her In A Mental Institution


She arrived when her heart became too heavy to carry by herself 
So I helped 
When I stumbled and fell 
She caught me 
When I wept 
She coddled me 
We battled our emotions in harmonic alliance


“Make it longer Baby” – Emily

“Okay.” – David


I Met Her In A Mental Institution


She arrived when her heart became too heavy to carry by herself 
So I helped 
When I stumbled and fell 
She caught me 
When I wept 
She coddled me 
We battled our emotions in harmonic alliance

Defiantly, we trotted in the path of sadness

Where we’d spent so much time before

Of course that course was old

But it was also new

We knew it to be trued

For who but us would soon forget

The path that sadness to33ok

You never found her not nuzzled in a book

I was puzzled by her diligence

Her cuteness pervaded my senses

Her fervor for learning provided incentive

To continue my treatment with the same

I couldn’t find wrong with her grey, Swedish eyes

Nor in her smile

Nor did those lips tell lies

I sigh with delight

When she wiggles with joy during the night

Or during an afternoon where the sun swells

By the pool

And she reads the Economist the whole way through

And I read GQ

This stream of memories continues

Sinfully sound play dates

By the pond she couldn’t pronounce

Where a kiss was all that was needed

To complete our day



No one will see.

Just for a minute then we’ll go back to leap

While her immovable morals nudged her away

Her love for this boy was reason to

Forget about morality

If just for a few minutes

She considered it

just a tidbit of debauchery

With just enough tid

And not too much bit


And I’m not going to waste my brainpower

On describing how nice and attractive she is

Because that would be silly

Like her sense of humor

Or rather how humor has a sense of her

I could just say I love her

But she knows that

And I know that

As a matter of fact

It seems everyone knows that

So if we leave facts at facts

And we leave the obvious intact

And let opposites attract

Then the matter

of if I love her

Is moot

You can always find her in the moment

Because that’s where she stays

when she’s not getting high and painting

In that case she’d be elsewhere

Where no one can possibly find her

She’s definitely in her own world then

She takes ideas and runs with them

On the elliptical

However I’m skeptical

over whether or not

She takes them into consideration

100% Concentrated

on life’s intricacies

Mint condition

but she’s been out of the package for years

Interfering with signals from my brain

Refrain from the word insane she requests

Reasonably within the bounds of my intentions

Never second guessed except by herself

But she knows

A second guess is never as good as a first

There’s a ravine where she used to cry rivers

I like to sled down the sides

Because her tears are snowflakes now

And I’ll never forget

The night we didn’t go out dancing

But danced anyway





































Let’s break the rules and smash the remnants 
With what’s left we’ll build our independence 
We’re more important than society’s fence 
You and me, living in blissful arrogance 










































The Throws


Heart and mind combined at odds 
Hormones bestowed by mischievous gods 
Body, separate, but not against 
All three by her become incensed 

Love’s a deceptive and rewarding curse 
Bewitched at the moment when four lips purse 
Autopilot or have you got no pilot at all? 
What a thrilling art it is to fall 



































We Never Went Dancing


“Baby we never went dancing!”

I told her as I wept

“We danced all day and night my darling!

Even as we slept.”


Because what’s a dance but love manifest?

To fall; the most thrilling art

To make memories that bind two divided souls

Together when we’re apart


I do recall dancing in a taxicab

After a night of running wild

When I looked into your moonlit eyes

They danced as you smiled


Yes! And the night by the river darling!

When you told me it wouldn’t end

Your words danced into my hopeful ears

Like music, but sweeter when penned


Whether we’re locking lips or swinging hips

Or simply holding hands

Sometimes we dance unknowingly

But “I love you” is a dance





















Lungfuls of Stardust


Hanging limp in the night sky 
Eyes closed, deep breaths, inhaling lungfuls of stardust 
The dust of dreams unborn and unrealized 
Torn between the sun and moon 
I'll return soon 
But there's no rush 
Because I'd rather stay between night and day 
Where equilibrium reigns benevolently 
Between yes and no so I never have to decide 
Content with limbo, straddling the fence, legs on either side 



































Fistfuls of Sand


What if I wrote a book that detailed the minutes

and stretched them into hours

as my mind often does?

Time is relative but clocks act predictably;

it forces us to question why we relate the two

and depend on tick tocks and bell tolls.


What if I could hold seconds in my hand

like beads of beach sand

and dribble them onto my palm

at whichever rate I chose?

Maybe grains of sand are seconds

and instead of stopping

to pick them up we just make footprints.































Sadness Is No Sickness


Baby, I’m sick!

I don’t feel quite right

Are you coughing my dear?

Has your throat become tight?


My breath shakes like the tree

Trapped by his own root

When gales rattle his trunk

And rob his branches their fruit


How frightening that sounds!

You’re certainly ailed

Although I don’t hear you cough

And your face hasn’t paled


It’s obvious how sick I am!

I’ve wept the whole day through

There’s an ache in my heart I can’t explain

You believe me, don’t you?


Yes, of course I believe you!

Your lips never lie

But sadness is no sickness

To the contrary; it’s healthy to cry


Darling I simply feel awful!

Can’t the two be mixed?

Your sorrow is a natural part of life,

It doesn’t need to be fixed


I’ve no desire to feel this way

It’s as if I’m locked in without a key

There will never be a key to happiness, darling

But there will always be you and me











The Truest Smile


By logic exists the truest smile

Veiled by logic just the same

But I saw the purity of guile

Between a two-lipped frame


The truest smile, in a mirror seen

And none to confirm my find

Proof would prove it hadn’t been

To a memory, it was consigned




































Girls and Boys of Halcyon Days


Glory day! The unlit bridge to victory!

Hazard through the onyx tide

For a glance in the halls of history

Or the empty walls of pride


Glory day! Court keepers take position!

For her, their weakness glows

Keep fear inside and indecision

Hidden from your foes


Raise your weapon at the mob

Armed, but at their mercy

Hearts begin to throb

And cease, and fancy


When pictures hit the press

I’d guess; wary to impress

That reinforcing memories

Exposes less and less


Does it impress my mother?

Will my father find another?

Who brings the joy that glory did

In halcyon days as the miracle kid


Glory days have just begun!

The halcyon paved the way

A monument can be undone

When names are cast in gray


Shadows shake the untouched dust

From a gilded engraving

A metal that will never rust

Is a metal they saw worth in saving


The engraving told of a halcyon day!

When our hearts fostered their pride

We would grow amongst the disarray

Until victoriously misty-eyed






I Read His Mind


I read his mind and designed a prototype

To combine pen with paper

Entombed; saved for later

Saved up to pay but I prefer slave labor

Scarred where it was scathed by anger

A small retainer, an administrative fee

Sent via cash wired electronically

It’s them or me, I whispered softly

Insanity, I plead frantically!

How romantic, Romeo and Juliet in action

History’s first kiss ended in tragedy

Writers; don’t lose sight of reality

































Rampageous, Who Are You?


The room down the hall

Electrical shock

Both faces beckon

Knock knock knock


Rampageous, who are you?

Or back where you came

How can I know you

And not know your name?


































The Grave I Dug


Into lone; done out of love

To dull a once-sharp pain

I sat inside the grave I dug

Admiring the rain


My broken spade on either side

My frame was muddy wall

Riddled roots that I could climb

If I were six feet tall


It was perched upon the pile

Bare hands had displaced

As long as I keep smiling

She’ll never be disgraced































His Charlotte


A letter for his Charlotte,

A tribute to their time

A record where emotion rests

Where birches commence

The climb in the valley passageway

The portal to her peak

The wanderer’s printed testimony

Serves warning to the weak


Charlotte, come below the clouds!

Is clarity worth the cold?

Love delivered from such a height

Returns, one hundredfold
































I Died On the Train to Philadelphia


I hugged the mid-Atlantic coast

Embraced, by white December tide

Over frosty tracks to Philly,

In an empty train, I died


I saw my world in shades of grey

Ever darker; white to black

I died en route to Philadelphia

With Boston to my back


My final thought was

© Copyright 2020 Don Lambo. All rights reserved.

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