Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Don't Give Up

Hello again, dear reader. 

For those of you who haven't heard about Project Semicolon, here is their mission statement:

"Project Semicolon is a global non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and love for those who are struggling with mental illness, suicide, addiction and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love and inspire. Stay strong; love endlessly; change lives."

I first heard of this project through my Twitter feed, and I have been thinking about the semicolon a lot in recent times. And the more I think about it, the more I like it. The semicolon is not the end; the semicolon is merely a pause in a story, in a sentence. The words continue after the pause; the story continues. 

And that, dear reader, is the basis behind this poem. I hope you enjoy it.

Rod E. Kok
December 1, 2015

I won't give up,
nor will I
give in.

My story will not end
by my own hand.

Although I am led
by un-holy thoughts,
I will fight
to the bitter end.

When my eyes look away,
I will pray
for strength to close them.

If my body's desire
is to serve itself,
I will try to treat it
as the temple it is.

I won't give up,
this story
will not end.

Yet it seems so simple
to take that easy way out.

Don't give up;
I won't
give in.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015


How do I explain
the workings
of a fragile mind?
How can I make you

I do not choose
to be weak.

Of all my words,
which ones will you
Of all my words,
which ones
are believable?

I do not choose
to be dark.

I did not want
to hurt you;
I did not want
to burden you
with my frailty.

Thankfully you heard me,
you held me,
you did not judge me.

You understood
my nonsensical ramblings,
the admittance of guilt,
my fear of
giving in.

I did not choose
this bipolar life,
yet it is what I live.

I do not want
to fall.

But when I do,
I choose to go
to you.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Man

I heard the man,
whispering in my ear.
His soothing voice
drew me in,
his choice of words
convinced me.

I saw the man
in a mirror;
he was perched
on my shoulder,
his talons held me
in their fierce grip.

I felt the man
touch my soul;
a dirty black spot followed
his every caress.
Pain coursed through
my very core.

I fought the man;
every blow
caused him to laugh.
He fended off
my weakening attack.

I followed the man,
submissively I obeyed.
He led me astray,
every fork in that road
was the wrong one.

I cursed the man,
but he shoved me along;
he forced me to go
where I was too weak
to resist.
My words
had no effect.

I heard the man
He spoke of things
too dark to mention.
Yet he made it all seem…

I allowed the man
to keep me alive,
to get me lost,
to give me pain.

It seemed I had
no choice,
no choice but to give him
my soul.

I want it back,
for I hate
the man.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

In Memoriam

Hello dear reader,

This poem was written a week after tragedy struck. My great-nephew was killed in a farm accident, at the age of 2 1/2 years. I wrote this for his parents Deb and Dan. 

Rod E. Kok
October 13, 2015

It seems our skies
were darkened that day;
a day which started
like every other.

It seems that brightest lights
do not reach that hole
left inside us all;
sunlight's warming rays
feel cold and distant.

It seems that gentle streams
will never soothe our thoughts,
their rippling waters
are not caressing our ears
with nature's lullaby.

Clouds last
but a little while;
soon we will see beyond
their silver lining.

Words of light
will illumine our path;
soon we will not stumble
over our tears of sorrow.

Songs of praise
will fill our hearts,
we will sing with joy
of the comfort we have.

Our skies were darkened
on a day which started
like any other.

Yet we will always have
our greatest memories
of a boy who was loaned
for just a little while.

We know that boy
is in the arms
of Jesus;
those very arms
which hold us up.

Hold fast, be steady.
His arms are enough
for you
and your son.

Saturday, October 3, 2015


Good day and happy weekend, dear reader. Welcome to day 3 of OctPoWriMo. Today we are prompted to write shape poetry. We are to write about something that drains us, something that depletes our energy. My words today do not talk about this out right, but I hope you can see what my experiences are as a bipolar person. I hope you can feel my tiredness in verse 1, along with the opposite in verse 2. It is subtle, but it is in there. Along with that, I hope you see the stairs. 
Please enjoy.

Rod E. Kok
October 3, 2015

down these
stairs, my mind
plays tricks on me
as I descend into the
dark recess of depression.
I find the cold floor; I am curled
up in a ball, trying to stay warm as
I wait for help to come and rescue me.

          up these
      stairs. Your
         strong arm is my
 guide, your love takes
         me out of darkness; You
 wrap me in your warmth, your
   breath fills me with hope. My prayer
is to never go down these stairs again.


Friday, October 2, 2015


Hello again, dear reader. Today’s prompt is to write ‘cinematically’. I am sort of going my own direction with this, as I am not so much describing the scene(s) of a movie, but rather I am describing the feelings that a movie puts into me. One of my favorite shows is ‘The Illusionist’, and thus my poem is inspired by this story of magic and love. Please enjoy.

Rod E. Kok
October 2, 2015

Pure magic exists
in a world
where true love
is hindered.

What is this illusion
of grandeur,
this feeling of
self importance?

One cannot force
to love.

There is magic
in a kiss,
a tender caress
is conjured from
the heart.

Enchanted music
fills one’s soul
when skin touches skin.

An alluring glance
from warm eyes
casts a spell
on my very being.

But when forces contrive
to keep us apart,
all we need
is magic.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Cloudy Day

Good day, dear reader. Today marks the first day of OctPoWriMo 2015. The challenge this month is to write 31 poems in 31 days. I am very excited to once again be part of this journey, to engage fellow poets, and to renew acquaintances from last year's efforts. I hope you come back each day to see the new offering. I only hope I have the strength to complete the challenge.

My first poem this month is based on the prompt 'clouds'. For those of you who are new to my work and don't know anything about me, I am a bi-polar poet who writes very personal and emotional poetry. Having just come out of a mild episode of darkness, this piece is me. The prompt could not have been any better, and I thank Morgan Dragonwillow for that. 

Please enjoy.

Rod E. Kok
October 1, 2015

Cautious whispers
Lurk inside my head
Obscuring my dreams
Under night’s dark blanket.
Daylight brings relief,
Yet clouds still surround me.

Damaged thoughts
Alter an unwilling mind.
Yet silver linings still exist.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Country Roads

Hello dear reader

As I was driving home today, I was listening to some country music and the singer sang about raising cain. Something about that phrase stuck in my mind, and this poem was born as a result. I hope you enjoy it.

Rod E. Kok 
September 23, 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mightier than a Sword

Hello dear reader

It has been quite some time since I have written anything meaningful or worth publishing. I really have not been feeling it. My muse disappeared. I'm not bold enough to say it has returned, but I am really proud of this poem, and what it means to me. Please enjoy, and try figure out who (or what) I am writing to (or about).

Rod E. Kok
June 30, 2015

My eyes fill
with tears of joy,
for I see you
for the first time
in a long time.

My heart beats
just a little faster,
knowing that I
am holding you
once again.

I don't want to
let go,
I pray my eyes
do not deceive.

A light caress,
my fingers find
inspiration, drawn
by the beauty of
this canvas before me.

My mind is alive,
I see your life's blood
swirling in patterns
I never knew

In a moment of
I feel your breath
on my soul.

We belong together.
I promise to never break
this embrace.

In the face of temptation,
I will reveal
that you truly are
than a sword.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hardest to Write

Dear Reader,

It is done. #NaPoWriMo 2015 is in the books, and I have successfully followed every prompt, and I have managed to write 30 poems in 30 days. Wow! I have mixed feelings about this. Part of me is happy that it is done, part of me is really going to miss it. I could not have got to this point without my wife Dianne. She encourages me and proof reads my stuff before I publish it. Thank you, my dear. I love you. And to Lizzi, Jesi and Cindy....another whirlwind month of craziness, tears, hugs and (allegedly) pictures (AHEM LIZZI!!!). Thank you 3 musketeers so much. And finally dear reader, thank you. Thank you for bearing with me, and thank you for all the feedback on my work. Let's do it again in October.

Today's prompt was to write a poem from the bottom up. So, we had to write the last line first and work our way up to the first line. This is harder than it sounds. But I did it. And trust me dear reader, this poem, out of all 30, was the hardest to write. 

Rod E. Kok
April 30, 2015

This month of poetry
has been
a lot of work, but
as my thoughts flowed,
my pen recorded
this magical time as
memories were born.

I’m glad I was able
to take part,
for it truly is
is an experience
I will never forget

I am overwhelmed
with emotion
now that my mind is
telling me
this journey is
about to end.

My heart is heavy
and my eyes
are filled with tears,
for the last one
is the hardest to write.