Hidden Pain

I’d like to thank Joseph Pinto for the inspiration for this piece.
If you’d like, take a moment to read his post Whelve.

invisible drama
not acknowledged
outsiders only see camouflage

but the damage
dispensed from previous generations
lingers deep

self-preservation from the ugliness
slows the hurt
but offers no resolution

only a temporary roadblock
to the pain buried inside
which will surface


The War Within

criticism, shame, and pressure
weighed heavy on her innocent psyche
the process of accepting more pain

impeding her maturity
life’s mistakes chosen unwisely
battles wearing her down

a breaking point
finally came

she chose to unearth her decimated being
destroying the mold of generations
retrieving and reclaiming her true self
way past due

Carolyn Crossley


I am the fire spirit risen
from Aries, I have been riven,
on the birthday of Artemis
I was born of a stardust promise.

I am to be sought not bidden.
From in a dark place hidden.
On the cusp of the gloaming,
I may be found the hillsides roaming.


Summer nights, running through forests of love
Entwined like tree branches intimacy found.
Lips kiss as if greedily taking in water.
Bodies intermingled like vines, sought and received
Wrapped in each other’s arms, passion sated.

First Born

In the November snowfall.
Through the darkness of night. My courage in both hands.
The hours drifted by. The pain was numbed by gas and air.  Suddenly, you were there – belovéd firstborn.


When one loves
more than the other
no good can
come of it.
The other cheats and tells lies
A divorce follows.


the saddest thing is
to be mourning the living,
our estranged children


October sorrows
recalled memories – birth, death,
awaiting rebirth
our promised eternity
free from human pain at last!


Carolyn Crossley, ©🦊VixenOfVerse, is a poet and writer from the Northwest of England. Previously published in the first The Short Of It book – The Sound of Brilliance, she has also been published in the anthologies, Poetic Vision and Purrfect Poems. Carolyn has a thriving WordPress blog: Backfromdarknesstolight.com containing haiku, senryu, and other poetry forms. Carolyn’s first feature on The Short of It was on November 20, 2020, and featured again this year on 5/27/2022.


Submissions are now closed but if you’d like to be featured on The Short of It in the future,
click here for the submissions guidelines.


Timo Schmitz

No one can hurt you again

I feel you in my veins
One touch ahead,
Don’t get mad,
I protect you! 

Toxic or not?

We are never on the same level,
yet we need each other so much,
is it toxic or did we lose sense
– for compromises? 

I want to listen

I want to listen to you,
I want to get along with you,
I always wish you just the best,
I hope this connection forever it lasts,
yet we are strangers…

Becoming and Deceasing

Rain is dropping on my head,
whether happy, whether sad,
rain is light and has no mood,
life giving on the earth clued,
but coming together, destructive,
dropping all life abductive.


Timo Schmitz is a language fanatic, philosopher, journalist, poet, and book author from Germany, where he lives and studies. He authored poetry books in German, English, and French. His poetry was also featured in Luna’s Poetry Bar as well as I Write Her. This is Timo’s first feature on The Short of It.


Submissions are now closed but if you’d like to be featured on The Short of It in the future,
click here for the submissions guidelines.




Revised from the original posted on I Write Her:

deep scars embedded in our psyche
we were marred by loved ones we should call traitors

we feel the need to hide the frayed nerve endings deep inside
the repeated shocks to our system and sensibilities can make us mute

but let’s not go quietly

our enemies expect silence from us
but we deserve better than remaining restrained

not screaming to the rafters calling out their crimes
buys them a better life than they are due

the one we were owed

be strong, be loud, and let your wounds heal

Beginning, Middle, End

by chance
life begins amongst strangers
a start of birthed possibilities
propelled without consent

entering this world
substantive expectations spur entities on
with an unconscious hope for empathy and guidance

yet living is a potluck
one possibly enjoyed
but for them
probably not

filled with variables beyond their control
with only but a few moments
bent favorably in their direction

too soon
the barely living
trudge towards the inevitable
a half-achieved existence for most

with regret
many pass
with tears
they leave in agony
their death
the unfortunate finish they’d not hoped for

Seeking Light

dysfunction, years in the making
substantive love denied
fuckery freely given
innocence betrayed

rough starts
and disastrous endings
inhaling the methane of my own shit
lungs never quite breathing freely

almost at the end
sinking the lowest
gave rise to aspiration
and just like that, there was hope

Behind Closed Doors

Victoria Strukovskaya – Unsplash

Inspired by Sadje’s What do you see #81 &
VJ’s Weekly Challenge – What could you talk about for 30 minutes without preparation?

thick green creepers
a beautiful cover
on locked unit 28-5

the lush foliage slyly hides
the horrors
behind those doors

mutti wouldn’t approve
barring anyone entrance
revealing her shameful secrets

**VJ’s prompt – For those who are unaware of my dysfunctional relationship with my mother, Mutti would be the topic I could speak about without preparation for at least 30 minutes, if not a lifetime.

With Manic Efficiency

She takes the large dish in hand
rinsing it well before feeding it to the dishwasher,
noticing the stains in the sink.

With care and with rubber gloves,
she bleaches the darkness out of existence,
being careful not to inhale the fumes.

Next, all the messes, in every room
awaiting her professional touch,
laundry, toilets, floors and more.

It’s important to have it all in order,
she tells herself, a function of stability.
A calm exterior belies the mess inside.

She’s become the facilitator of happiness,
taking care of everyone else’s this and that
of expectations, a role of dependability.

What does it get her beyond the praise
left unspoken far too often
in the doing and undoing in the messes of others?

It’s been said “Cleanliness is next to godliness,”
also “Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely,”
Nice sentiments. She just wants to be whole.

Too many times, she gave away too much of herself,
so that there’s nothing left, now that they have left her.
She’s running on repetition and it’s all that she knows.


she was incapable
of doing what was right
wasn’t moved
to undo the damage her actions left behind

no remorse
no empathy
no compassion
no connection

narcissists can’t be what we need
nor do what we deserve
nor heal themselves enough
to give us a desired remedy

it’s like time stood still
in the formation of their soul
solid and impenetrable
never truly warming to us