Dark Beast

Pervasive thoughts
swing me from peace
and calm off the
abyss into the depths
of fear and panic
where my heart
in my ears
my muscles
and my
clutch each other
in a vain attempt
to console
but tension
does not
bring about
I must
s l o w l y
and, if need be,
sequester myself
away from well-meaning
people who are NEVER
able to restore my calm
by their good-intentioned
words of rational beseeching.
What I fear the most is this dark beast that creeps up on me without warning.

Mish is our host at dVerse Poets and asks us to write on “What are you afraid of?”

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  1. I could see and feel the tension. When I get claustrophobic, the anxiety is very much like this for me. Thank you for sharing, Gayle. Wishing all dark beasts of every kind would hit the road!!


  2. I think you describe anxiety perfectly in this piece.


  3. Glenn Buttkus

     /  August 2, 2016

    Sounds like a panic attack. We are fragile creatures & stress/anxiety is not our friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s been a part of my life since I was a tiny girl…no, it’s not a friend but I can cope much better these days. Thanks for your visit, Glenn.


  4. Stay from those people…keep calm and breathe deeply and think positive thoughts. This is powerful share of those dark thoughts, the beast ever lurking behind Gayle.


    • I can cope better when I’m alone and don’t have the input of others. I do much better these days, Grace…thanks!


  5. Very powerful.


  6. So true! I fear those dark beasts, too. I hope your having great day today.


  7. A spot-on description of anxiety, Gayle. I could feel it as I read your poem. My own dark beast has been tamed for a while now, since I retired and I spend a lot of time in the safety of our cottage, although it emits a growl every now and then. I have to keep it on a tight leash.


  8. That’s a panic attack. Been there, although haven’t recently, thankfully.


  9. This really conveys fear and tension and no way out. Powerfully conveyed.


  10. Very smart presentation.

    I can’t help but giggle here:
    “in a vain attempt
    to console
    but[t] tension”

    … because I am basically still 12.


    • Thank you, p.s. Now when I read it I saw “butt tension” too. I think it may be stuck in my head that way now…maybe I’m basically 12 too. 🙂


  11. The fear and anxiety you pen here took me immediately and vividly there. You convey this so well. The internal fight to simply breathe and break past it.
    “and, if need be,
    sequester myself
    away from well-meaning
    people who are NEVER
    able to restore my calm”

    This is the best advice,


    • Thank you, Raivenne. It seems that many have experienced these “dark beasts.” I used to feel bad that my loved ones couldn’t help calm me but now I know that being alone helps the best.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Intense writing! Beautifully written. 🙂


  13. Yeah.. i think it is kinda hilarious
    in a sad way too.. when folks think
    they can talk folks out of generalized anxiety
    to full blown panic attacks in words when it
    is mostly driven by a physiological response
    in neurochemicals.. and neurohormones out
    of balance in body flow.. and for me at
    least at one point the Air Force
    Psychiatrist who studied
    me assessed me as
    having the worst
    case of anxiety
    he had seen.. including
    his cases of combat fatigue
    and PTSD same.. and my other
    Doctors prognoses were i would
    be on anti-anxiety meds the rest
    of my life for sure.. but the pARt they
    miserably left out was the body part
    of the anxiety connection to the Mind..
    as what i.. particularly on the Autism Spectrum.. did not
    have.. is Emotional Regulation and Sensory Integration
    that is Innately.. Instinctually.. and Intuitively driven by
    MoVinG the Body Freely in distance and space in an
    artful way freely.. as all natural physical intelligence
    as any lessons in mechanical
    cognition ways on how to do it..
    just takes away from
    releasing tension
    as mechanical cognition
    by very definition of the beta
    waves of mind required to exercise
    that type of reasoning instruction driven
    intelligence is stressful in itself and counter
    productive too.. problem is.. some folks are literally
    afraid too.. to do anything without instruction as that
    too is a type of fluid intelligence that not everyone shares
    equally as some folks are very literal verbal thinking folks
    who must have instructions in words to get the job done..
    so sure.. the human condition is complicated and every
    one views the world differently and there is
    no one prescription of healing for
    everyone same when
    it comes to the
    real hUman heARt
    of EmoTions regulation
    in SpiRit eXpreSSinG ways
    of experienCinG and giVing
    FeeLings and the integration
    of Senses in mind and body
    balance that can certainly
    be metaphored
    as a soul
    in self
    ways too.. of animal
    homeostasis that most
    animals enjoy except for human
    beings who are taught a full load
    of illusory fears from birth.. and of course
    the traumas that are real that come from
    culture as whole from birth to death..
    anyway.. to make a somewhat
    longer story shorter..
    the psychiatrist after he
    saw how successful i was
    in totally eliminating my anxiety
    and doing things that most people
    in the world are not brave enough to do..
    like dancing solo in front of hundreds of
    folks pushing 6,000 miles now in the
    36th months of doing that now..
    quit his practice
    to teach movement
    therapy instead of just
    pushing anti-anxiety drugs..
    Lesson learned for me and
    him and those who do remember
    what being human even is in action
    and practice and much work of simply
    being in animal homeostasis balance..
    Anxiety made my life almost not worth living..
    i have zero anxiety now.. and whenever i have
    a chance to tale this story.. i just do it.. as i escaped that
    hell and thrive every second of every day with zero anxiety my friEnd..
    and if my therapist hadn’t seen it herself she might not have believed
    it as she
    named it
    a literal miracle
    when i went from
    not being able to do
    almost anything in life
    to anything at all i wanted
    to do free of all anxiety sTiLL
    now.. no woo here.. my friend.. science2..
    as even science is finally determining that
    the body keeps score and our mind lives
    to toe..
    with sure..
    heaRt.. Spirit
    and SoUL that
    can liVe Free as a bird..
    floating without a fear on
    A horizon of iSREAL NOW…:)


    • Well, it’s interesting that when you mentioned that movement can help release the anxiety, I remembered that at times when I would be in full blown panic mode that I would just begin yawning and shaking (shivering)…natural movement that the body would just take over to help release the tension. Paying attention to our bodies is key in many ways but what you said is so true…this panic business shows up in different ways for different people. I’m glad that you’re free of anxiety, Frederick.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Anxiety, yes, I know this beast… you express it so well.


  15. My wife has had some severe panic attacks. At first doctors thought they were seizures. I hope you find peace


  16. this is an emotive poem. the tension and agony is so vividly expressed. 🙂


  17. The dark beast if our thoughts can be crippling leaving us geeked with anxiety and fear. I can tell your fear is very real within ️your words…bkm


  18. Good intentioned words of rational beseeching are never good.


  19. This is so incredibly intense! Kudos


  20. Yep. Here’s what I do to help someone going through an anxiety event: keep my mouth shut and my advice to myself. By the way, your poem flowed very much like the breathing my mom would experience when she was assailed by anxiety. Very effective!


  21. Incredibly effective poem in structure and content. I paused at the word “rational.” We hang on to the belief, hope really, of rationality. But are we a rational species? I know we are capable of rational thought and action, but how often do we use that capacity?

    Thinking a lot about that lately as I try not to fear all that is happening in our world.


  22. Right…



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