Depression Poetry

DEPRESSION by Janet McCann

I think of my parents living through it,

spaghetti with home-grown tomatoes for dinner,

an egg for breakfast. Downturn, slump.

I feel it in my stomach, hollow, hole,

concavity, dent, lack of roundness,

off-kilter sphere. There are pills for it

of course, they smooth out the sharp shards

at the bottom of the dent, but the declivity

is still there. “Hard times,” my grandfather

said. They lived mostly on the kitchen

garden. Preserves. I saw the jewels of their jars

shining on basement shelves. Slowdown. Standstill.

I have the megrims. There is a crater

in the macrocosm, nothing

is filling it up.

Janet McCann is a Texas crone poet who is retired from Texas A&M University.

Depression Prose

The Day Bruce Springsteen Saved My Life by Francesca Moroney

On a Tuesday morning in the middle of January, I sob loudly inside my car, parked in the school lot. Frost covers the windows. Behind me, the baby sleeps in her car seat, head slung low on her chest. I am four months postpartum with my fourth child, and my body feels like lead, struggling even to turn the key in the ignition. Around me, busy parents enter their cars, alone, and I envy them—all of their children safe in the care of others. Cars exit the lot, turn signals blinking in the brittle light, but I can’t move. It’s not the crying that keeps me inert, but this pressure below my sternum, a lump that feels like a large, hungry animal flung against my chest, plus a feeling that everything I’ve ever loved is waving goodbye from behind a thick, soundproof pane of glass. There is nothing in my life that does not exhaust me. I do not know how I will get home. I fear I will petrify and my other children will find their sister at the end of the day covered in tears and urine, or that I have forgotten how to drive, how to yield at intersections and pull over for emergency vehicles. I know I must not stop atop the railroad tracks, but I worry I might ignore that knowledge when the time comes. I am still crying and the baby still sleeps when I hear Bruce Springsteen sing, You’ve been hurt and you’re all cried out. Suddenly, I feel somehow less original—relieved by the presence of someone else’s pain and depression inside my head. If the achy, angsty voice from within my speakers can make his own unbearableness sublime, surely it can make mine bearable. The lyric escapes my lips quietly, like a secret, or a prayer—after all, I am not so far gone as to have forgotten how vital it is to not wake a sleeping baby. My hands are cold on my hot cheeks when I wipe away my tears, and I hope I will remember to warm them before lifting my daughter from her seat and carrying her inside. I put the car into gear and check my blind spots before pulling away, trusting in Bruce when he promises a thin white line of love, alive at the edge of the dim highway, a beacon I might follow, a way to survive, at least, the drive home.

Francesca Moroney is a mother, writer, teacher, and reader, living and working with her five teenagers and three large dogs in southwestern Illinois. She has been published in the Journal of Light and DarkAesthetica Magazine, and fws journal of literature and art. Her prose poem, “The Jane Collective,” was a semi-finalist in the 2019 Stories That Need to Be Told Contest of Tulip Tree Publishing. 

Depression Poetry

While I’m Battling Depression, I Read of a Man Sentenced to Death for Blasphemy by Timi Sanni

I do not sleep tonight, my eyes choose the certainty of light / stare up at the ceiling and write poems in the air as the night brews and boils outside, then again as the night calms in the anticipation of dawn. The world stops revolving & I’m stuck in this cocoon, so I constrict my lungs with the need to breathe / again / to rejuvenate the wilting flowers in the heart of my being. The internet carries my mind into the horror of a man who now wears a necklace of thorns. I do not want to imagine these thorns as skeletal hands squeezing the breath out of a man, bathing him in his life blood, because can one know what it means to die / to be dead & still look it in the face, unflinching? I know so much about sins because their claws have made a map of scars around my head, but death is an alien bringing extraterrestrial fears into this alliance of bodies. My depression is a mirror & blasphemy is a mountain. But repentance is thunder breaking rocks into powder. I imagine myself in the body of the judge / in the mind of the convicted / in the breath of a bystander and find peace in the remembrance of God and the hereafter’s promise of justice because life is built along the road of death / & death is a crossroad to glory or another death.

Timi Sanni is a Nigerian writer and literary enthusiast studying Biochemistry at Lagos State University, Nigeria. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Radical Art Review, Writers Space Africa, Ethel Zine, Cypress: A Literary Journal, Rather Quiet and elsewhere. He recently won the SprinNG Poetry Contest 2020 and is the recipient of the Fitrah Review Prize for Fiction 2020. When not writing or studying, he is either painting or exploring new places. He is an editor for Kalopsia lit. Find him on twitter: @timisanni

Depression Poetry

Leaving The Ruins Of Yesterday by Rahma Jimoh

The sun journeyed into the moon
Another time to leave the ruins of yesterday
And the shackles swiveled in for aeons
It’s time to dance with the singing breeze
As it leads on to a night orchard
To climbing life’s rocks & hills
With the rainbow as a ray of hope.
Hope, now a ringtone in my world
As I am a diamond in the making
And I am gold in the furnace
Why I brew now to burn brightly later.
Rahma O. Jimoh is a poet and essayist. An ardent lover of nature and tourism. She has been published in Sub Saharan, SpringNg, The Quills, The Mamba, Poetry Pea, Hedgerow and elsewhere. She hopes her works leave footprints on the sand of time. She blogs @
Depression Poetry

Redemption of Bodies by Iliya Kambai Dennis

Your tongue is in conflict with your teeth
The same way you struggle
To maintain your stamina on the ground
But your grandma says you are a child of water
A way of saying your mother is a mermaid
Or your father had sex with your mother in her dream
To conceive you & you were born
Stepping out with your legs instead
Even when the doctor says you suffer from neurological fear
That only a therapy can get your lying body walking
And we tried to crave poetry from your mother’s song
To help align your blotch figure with imagery
We write you poems and sing lullabies
And tell your mother to carry you in wishes
Therapies are not as strong as prayers
They wrap you in a spectrum
And allow you to fold into a beautiful song
Of redeemed bodies that have reconciled with nature
Iliya Kambai Dennis hails from Kaduna state, Nigeria and is a graduate from Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto. He is passionate about writing. He often find himself writing poems when obsessed. He sees writing as an art that heals. His works have appeared in Youth shades magazine, Afreecan read, praxis magazine, African writers, BPPC Anthologies, FWGE and elsewhere.
Depression Poetry

Post Natal by Ellen Uttley

I throw away a mouldy bottle

in a kitchen, filled with crap

piled high with guilt and clutter

bean tins and baby hats.


I walk through my house, in tiny steps

over, and through, debris.

I kick aside a washing pile

that blows through the house like leaves.


From upstairs, I hear crying

and my numbed heart does not tug.

But dread echoes round my aching chest

sucked raw, and dripping blood.


A little face looks up at me,

a new one every time.

Bald and spotted and screaming

and I’m not sure that she’s mine.


Ellen Uttley is a working class writer and mother-of-two, from a mining town in northern England. She enjoys working across a number of different genres and themes, with poetry and prose covering everything from mental health and motherhood to the myths of Ancient Greece. Her prose has appeared in the Hive anthology Surfing the Twilight and her poetry is due to feature in this Augusts issue of Streetcake magazine.

Depression Poetry

All the Way Towards Another Tomorrow by Yuan Changming

Since              yester twilight
Along             the borderline of tonight
With               fits of thirst & hunger
Among           storms of pain
Between        interludes of frenzies or insomnia
Near               despair & desperation

Amidst             the nightmare
At                      the depth of darkness
Through          one tiny antlike moment
After                 another…
Until                 awakening
To                     the first ray of dawn


Yuan Changming edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include  Pushcart nominations, Jodi Stutz Award in Poetry (2020) & publications in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17), & BestPoemsOnline, among 1,709 others worldwide.

Depression Poetry

The Definition of Okay by Sarah Frazin


See: not okay.

Not okay.

See: stressed.


See: depressed.


See: unstable.


See: disaster.


See: doomed.


See: broken.


See: lost.


See: okay.

Sarah Frazin

Sarah Frazin is a queer writer and graphic designer located in Southern California. A lover of video games and writing alike, she often spends her time obsessing over fictional characters. She can be found lurking on Twitter under the handle @femmeNPC.

Depression Poetry

In (Your Own Head Nobody Is Your) Mate by Daniel Clark

The bashful day won’t dawn. It shirks and skirts
along fleshy walls – you thought all cages must
be metal? that dragons all breathe fire? – tickling
drowned blue orbs. I am inmate and guard, gaoler
and gaoled; sanity means order, direction, structure,
putting every detail in its place like how they sort
elements into that big table then use quadrilateral
voids to paper over the cracks, those pesky vacuums
of knowledge that sink a pursuit nobler than xenon,
argon or krypton… if they can use zips to attach pieces
of cloth, why must I hold myself together?

Daniel Clark Serotonin Photo

Daniel Clark is a working-class writer from the UK. His words have appeared in Blue Marble ReviewDreams WalkingFifty-Word Stories and Cuento Mag.

Depression Poetry

Major Recurrent Depression by Samantha Moya

2:30am, a glass of water straight from the tap,

somewhere between violets and lilies –

(I stopped buying flowers because they were too expensive.)


Kicking off the blanket because it’s too hot, pulling it back up because it’s too cold.


I loved your dimples and thought they were kind, and so did everyone else.


I inherit this disposition; my childhood home is falling apart,

and it’s almost funny because it seems like a metaphor but it’s quite literal.

The roof is caving in, the floor is sinking,

and I think the cobwebs have ruined my VHS tapes.


I smashed the clock I remember from my youth.

I wasn’t trying to stop time but I was trying to stop something else from moving.


Everyone says don’t take it personally but how is it ever not personal

Sometimes I read Virginia Woolf’s suicide letter to her husband –

it’s unbearably sad but it’s also a love letter.


Scars are figurative and very real –

I have the stretch marks from my old body

and the place where I stuck a razor when I was 26.


It’s embarrassing how old habits don’t die,

you’d think that eventually it should all wash away,

like runoff in the gutter.


Samantha Moya is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder. She studies Political Science and does her own writing and arts on the side. She is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico and currently resides in Boulder, CO with her partner and two dogs.