Back And Forth: To And Fro


Wrestling with this inferiority complex,

confounded by the unkind realities of truth.

Pessimism is my self-preservation reflex,

I’m not a believer,  with absence of proof.



There are caverns where I retreat,

my own corner of self-imposed exile.

Lay low until the demons fleet,

and I feel confident to absent my domicile.




Reach for the tangible, only to find it impalpable,

there’s a fragile balance I must maintain.

Damaged; sentenced to the damnable.

always the abyss, my domain.



So close to the brink,

I fight to hold myself back,

the edge is closer than you think,

a vulnerable veneer, is one easy to crack.

crowdded ceowsdeesconversationchaos


Indistinguishable conversations, converging: a monotonous drone,

losing my  grip, the mechanics of stability;

starting to slip. In this crowd I want to run, to be alone,

I  cede; a hostage to my debility.


A montage, a collage of illustrations; creations in my head,

contorted and distorted, twisted scenes.

My diet; my butter and bread,

feed my sleepless dreams.


©2016 Kathleen Stefani and Combing The Catacombs, unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without  express written permission from the sites author is strictly forbidden.

Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kathleen Stefani and Combing The Catacombs; with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.




18 thoughts on “Back And Forth: To And Fro

  1. Thanks Dean, as always I appreciate your comments. I really had a problem doing this one. I don’t know if I succeeded in what I was trying to express. Been dealing with depression lately and wanting to somehow describe it in words, to try and release it, and maybe find some relief. I am of course never satisfied with anything, and always want to redo it, making me even more depressed.
    Working on a lot of other ideas, but having a hard time bringing anything to fruition.
    Have a question for you, maybe you know. What is the difference between a post and a page?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a quite powerful piece, very well written with strong imagery. I can relate to it on many levels. I am an incredible pessimist at times, and have some issues when I am depressed. Life seems to have so many difficult cycles in it. On the brighter side, you and I have several things in common. I adore Thomas Wolfe and have actually titled two of my poems, Look Homeward. I am a big fan of Southern Literature and read both past and present authors in those golden few moments that I have free to read. One of my favorite current writers is Rick Bragg.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks L.T. I appreciate your comment, and yes, I also adore Wolfe. He is somewhat out of style now from what I understand, but he will always be my favorite writer. I read his prose and I am there, I am the storyteller observing. Very powerful. I do like Southern Literature as well, past and present. Unfortunately, I have not kept up with a lot of it recently. I was for many years a subscriber to Oxford American. One of the finest publications ever.
      I am going to try and find your Look Homeward pieces, thanks for letting me know.
      I was really not happy with this piece, even the title, if I think of another one that suits to mind better, I will change it.
      I was trying to express how my depression feels and what it is like, the feeling of being trapped and helpless, and of course the pessimism. This one was tough, but I think I released a lot of pent up feelings. Life is a series of cycles, as you said, some good and some bad, we just have to learn to live with them as best as we can. I am looking forward to your writings.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think writing does help channel our feelings, I have worked through my feelings of guilt through writing. I also think our writing pieces can evolve through rewriting and the revamping of titles. Thank you for the compliment, I will come back and attach the links to those (I think I had forgotten I had one with that title previously, so now there’s two, ha ha.)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I only started doing this after my therapist recommended it, and yes, it is very helpful. I never did well in school, so I am always very critical of what I write. i found the two pieces, I wrote about it in another comment. I don’t write very many comments on the people I follow. It’s hard to keep up with everyone’s stuff.I need to go back and read stuff from my earliest followers, I feel I have neglected them, but there just does not seem to be enough time in the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Silent Spectator. I am happy that you felt that way about that piece. My intention with this one, was to write how it feels to suffer from anxiety and depression, to put it in words that could be understood how I feel personally. Writing it made me feel better and released a lot that I had in me. Not only this piece, but writing in general, is good for stress and anxiety. I appreciate your feedback. Thank you so much for reading and responding.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much Apple. I suffer from depression and anxiety and was trying to express how it was that I felt when I had an attack. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. I always appreciate kind words, but I am also asking for any pointers, corrections or criticism as well.


      2. After I finish commenting on your comments, I am going to read more of yours. I am really had at leaving comments, but I am so grateful for yours that I will do my best to let you know what I think. Thanks a million times for all the comments.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. hi grevisangel, i just want you to know that i really appreciate how you write. there are a lot of times i have a subject in mind, i start writing about it yet i won’t be able to finish ’cause i also have challenges of my own when it comes to writing. then, i read blogs and sometimes i read the same subject that i have in mind, and they write it the way i would want to write my own. that’s when i get amazed and moved by what i read and also the reason why all of my comments are positive. same goes when i read yours, i got really excited and carried away especially when i can relate and got impressed on how you put your thoughts in writing. i just want to let you know that what i comment is exactly what i feel and just in case you’re wondering why my comments are positive 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello again Apple, I am really encouraged by what I have read from your responses, because I am essentially the same way when I write, especially after reading other writers pieces. I try for originality, but I don’t know how that is possible because you are constantly influenced by what you read. I know at some point some of those ideas, and even words may be absorbed by the writer. I worry about doing that, then I worry about my work not being that good after i read someone elses’s, so I sometimes get discouraged. I have so many pieces started, some of them are just a few lines, and then I go on to something else. I have idea that come and go. I have to be in a certain mood to finish a piece.. I am working on one now that I will probably finish. The others I will get back to at some point.
    I do keep notebooks of thoughts and ideas as well. Sometimes I know what I want to say in my head, but I can not get it out to my liking. I don’t like to write simple lines, but in my mind they are, especially after I read other peoples. I have not been writing much positive subject matter lately because I have been really depressed. when I first started writing more social commentary stuff, I didn’t think I would be able to or even want to. What really got me into that was a contest that the site Rhymezone has yearly. I entered that, and the theme was one of, community. again, all of my entries were not so positive. I guess my writings are a refection of what I see and how I feel. I am limited in what I can write. I have only been doing poetry, and I stick to basically the same structure. I would like to do some free form and experimenting, but I always feel I have to be restricted to these boundaries I have tried writing haiku and I had not written one since I was in grade school. I did them wrong, they are still on here, but they are not done correctly. I was thinking 5,7,5 was the amount of words, not syllables. since I wrote those. I have not attempted any others. I have written a few positive pieces. i really appreciate positive comments, and am happy that you like my stuff, but please do not hesitate to correct me or criticize something if you think it needs it. The only way you can learn is through what other people think. I always want to improve. A thesaurus is my best friend.


  5. Hi Grevisangel, I’ve read your reply. There I found that you’re waiting for my comment. I believe I already had 😊 However, I think you reckon my deeper understanding of your writing. You have lots of strong pieces but I felt you the most with this one. I’ll give my best to express my thoughts.. I love your choice of words. They represent your true feelings. Each word carries the weight coming from within. It’s a journey where we battle against ourselves to fight our fear of the uncertainty. Where we get mad of all the ugly truth and learn to be ourselves. Where we refrain from being our own prisoner until we feel it’s safe to face to world. Yet we become so fragile as we keep on trying only to find ourselves alone in the end. My conclusion: Our greatest enemy is ourselves and our mind is our battlefield and everyday is a war to win the battle. 😊 I just came home from work last night and I wasn’t sure if my brain was thinking right.. I hope my comment today brings justice to this great piece. More power to you Grevisangel 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  6. HI Apple, once again, I am astonished at how you are able to interpret my pieces. I think your critique(I’m not sure that’s the right word), says exactly what I am trying to impress upon my readers. You get it and you say it in an elegant and gracious manner. I feel your words are an extension of what I am trying to say, and I think you write what I can’t, what is missing from mine, you seem to fill in.
    I am not good at comments, I find answering them and making them to be harder than writing. I suppose that is something I need to work on as well, but I am so appreciative of your compliments, it might start to go to my head. Just kidding! I think you are and can be a great writer, you have gift and you can hone and develop it more, and expand on what you have learned.
    This particular piece is about my living with depression and anxiety. I tried to write how it feels to be a prisoner of the up and downs, the moods, the fear, the low self esteem,and the hopelessness that I often find myself caught up in. Thank you again.


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