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Keep Your Back Against The Wall by Asuncion, Bernard F.
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The Best Back Against The Wall Poems

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Above Forever

Biting into the dead,  
he tastes  the aftertaste of burnt ashes!
The meal of her emotions,
buried alive within silken strands.
Blood inside sorrow burning,
sweet desire weeping...
Yet, it cannot possibly extinguish his pain.

Bleeding heartbreaks do not expire.
His eternal torment is fortified.
Into two pieces he is equally divided.
One who feels he has his back against the wall!
The other who has not a care.
Free falling teardrops,
salted within life's passionate carnage.
Nails in his mouth for he is iron born,
attaching beauties have felt his plunging sword.

His sanctuary is a dream catcher.
He's stuck inside it's Web,
hanging there above forever,
until she takes his last breath away.
Always now, in this moment was he formed.
Long before time, he was destined to be hers 

Until they meet again his heart pauses.
He will not know eternal glory,
until her love courses through his veins!
As he has promised, he will succumb to her  
The angels then will sing 
Rejoicing bells will ring out grateful notes
Both will finally atone for their sins!

A collaboration with Liam Mcdaid. Thanks for accepting my invitation.

When Liam first sent over his verses I had no idea where we would end up.

I thought you might find the process of interest. Here are the words Liam started us off with. 

Biting into the dead  remains of ashes burnt  
buried alive blood inside sorrow burning 
sweet desire weeps bleeding heartbreaks 
in two divided one who has had the back against a wall 
Freefalling teardrops within life's passion 
nails in the mouth attacking beauties sanctuary 
a dream catcher stuck inside a Web 
hanging there forever 
until you take my last breath away 
always yours until we meet again 
eternal glory as angels will sing 
rejoicing bells ring grateful

I hope you enjoy the inside look.


Copyright © Richard Lamoureux | Year Posted 2016


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Remember Her

I always liked the way she played with her hair....
across from the vast expanse of the bed,
legs up, with her back against the wall,
I saw what she felt....
and she could hold me with her deep angel-eyes ----
oogle me to stare long, or leap upon her wondrous teases;

It was a time to play in some boy-girl laughing land,
some 'gentile' course devoid of the harsh of the world,
she too lovely for such petty,
too splendid with one wave, with one annointed gaze
my darker footsteps fade....
no pain to clutch in her most welcome arms ----
the world could wait....
ten thousand years,
I've longed such love more infinite with me (now soft),
she of fine recipes and finer whims to tickle the itch
in my soul,
the immediate meld of our hands,
shall need no other assurance

" I am here, always, " she breathed upon the cold steps,
winding through life crooked with doubt
.....how monolith her mist sifts sweet upon frozen winds,
and warms my sullied heart ----
that fades.....fades fast while she's amiss!
how empty this old urn without her ----
dead my able bones,
and the heart which my melancholy makes,
helpless, sick with deeper wans,
greater-goods shall not prevail this lame steed for long

Though I best remember her and smile,
and call the good of it my memory has found,
eased with her sweet-lovely ----
but too sweet for one mighty man,
and her wings swift with silken downs,
o'er the flowered hills;
she goes, this bird of gypsy will,
her flight crimson til dusk;
this dove she flew but once,
and her affections have been awhile....
the tear is long and its drip dire,
though I shall try to remember her
(and smile)



***Based on a movie I saw,(though some
of it comes from pleasant recollections(lol!)
very sad, but she returns in the end!***

Written in 2014





Copyright © Keith O.J. Hunt | Year Posted 2017


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Things Lost: Not Always a Loss

Things Lost:  Not Always a Loss

I often write when things go bad
So I found a pen and a notepad.
I began, "I'm writing because I am sad
Over the loss of a love that I once had."

I paused a moment to reflect 
Upon thoughts I had to collect,
Over the life I had to reject,
And the hardships I didn't expect.

Lost and Found are words in opposition.
Any dictionary will give their definition.
But you'll not find an emotional description
Of a heart when its in a fragile condition.

Once we were happy in our place and time.
I belonged to him and he was all mine.
But we were like words written out of rhyme,
A ladder without rungs that can't be climbed.

I remember us, for it wasn't a dream.
Love isn't sewn with permanent seams.
As the sun replaces night's moonbeams,
Respect was lost because of his schemes.

He forced me to make the final call.
I stood with my back against the wall.
When he stumbled and took his fall
I knew in my heart that we'd lost it all.

Like Humpty Dumpty, when he fell,
He was broken, that much I could tell.
My life became such a living hell
When he gave in to Satan's spell.

Love can be lost and found again.
No, I've no clue as to how or when
But I know this, broken hearts do mend.
One day mine will be able to love again.

I had a dream that came true, you see.
It wasn't just a sleeping fantasy.
I was lost but when I shook free.
The reality was that I'd found me.

Finally I came to realize that what I lost
Was the oppressive weight of an albatross.
Once that burden had been tossed
I knew my flight was worth the cost.

Love shouldn't know strategies of war
Nor keep emotions held from afar.
Allow it to shine as the brightest star
Or it will wither and die as if kept in a jar.

Shakespeare's words make me quake,
"Expectation is the root of all heartache."
From a drugged sleep the dreamer wakes
To feel again, the pain of heartbreak.

I've learned some important lessons.
I've found we can't choose our confessions.
God sees all of our indiscretions,
So let no one become your obsession.

There are things we sometimes lose:
Like comfort when we wear tight shoes.
Don't be the match that lights the fuse.
You can just walk away if you choose.

I once lost myself among other things,
Grew tired of being a puppet on strings.
As a caterpillar I know what change brings.
I became a butterfly when I spread my wings.











Copyright © Lin Lane | Year Posted 2015


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Epilogue

Written November 2, 2015


With my back against the wall
I fall
Down never ending staircases
That spiral down below
To seas where books float downstream
Along open pages reflecting past memories
Spinous leather bound by visionaries
Bookended and upended
I'm nothing but a cog
A pawn in this epilogue
Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are dead
And with them I make my bed
Lost in the littered pages of history
My life is bordering the brink
So does it matter what I think?
You'll miss me if you blink
Writing this book in disappearing ink


Copyright © Brandon Carter | Year Posted 2016


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Painting your emotional portrait

Scream both hands into the air, 
Arch your back against the wall, 
Plant both feet upon the floor, 
As you proudly show your all,

All your laugh, all your yearn, 
All your fears from way deep down,
Exposing all you‘ve ever hid, 
Spread out on the ground,

And this brush will pick each small piece up, 
And wash it to the screen,
This brush will recreate the truth, 
All your truth that’s ever been,

It will show the moan from your ache, 
In white and black and grey,
This painting will celebrate your thirst, 
Your emotions on display.



Copyright © Lewis Raynes | Year Posted 2018


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Wildflower Afternoon

With your nerves stretched paper thin,
you tend to lose control.
When you are down- -no chance to win,
and feel need to sell your soul.

Finding your back against the wall;
no dreams, no tricks of fate.
No harvest waits to gather in the fall.
A butterfly morning breaks.

I’ll not blame the poor days on fate,
nor give up on life too soon.
While butterflies flit I linger late
on a wildflower afternoon.

Charles Henderson


Copyright © Charles Henderson | Year Posted 2013


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Give the Bride Away

We often hear of hardship with single motherhood,
how tough it is to raise a family on her own.
How a drunkard and a basher never makes life good.
Winning the gambling debts; losing the family home.

But there's another side that often can be found
inside the personal columns; for there isn't one for sad
Desperate messages disguise a heart that is really down.
Simply 'Happy Birthday Vicky' loving you - your Dad.

… Married young and he worked hard; his little girl was born.
He bored us to death with endless photographs we saw.
Those stories he repeated were the stories we had worn. 
He never realized we'd been through all this before.

When his little girl was three he comes home to find,
everything that he had worked toward had gone!
He spent his time in a park working out his mind,
for this was hard to take when he'd done nothing wrong.

Divorce and settlement - well that came hard enough.
But this hurt him only half as much as knowing,
that he was to be denied the friendship and the love,
of his lovely little girl that kept him going.

He became frustrated, as lonely time went on.
Contact that he had were lawyer letters in the post.
Everything he tried turned out for him wrong;
the legal systems justice had got to him the most.

His little girl now confused, decided on her very own,
she didn't want her old Dad for she’s got another one!
Too young to know she's used against her Dad who’s so alone.
Christmas and Birthday cards return ‘address unknown’, undone.

I decided I should cheer him up in some kind of way.
He said he hadn't seen his little girl for some time now.
I asked him to come over and share our Christmas day.
He tried to be his old self that his mind would not allow.

When he saw our kids excited, this just turned the knife.
In tears he said he's sorry, rose and bolted for the door.
He could see those special moments he missed in his life.
It was better not to follow for this seemed the final straw.

I heard he fought a losing battle in the solace of the drink.
Once a happy man now with his back against the wall.
Most of his friends have drifted from the man they think
has given up upon himself - the biggest tragedy of all.

Suddenly from out the blue, shouting the bar champagne;
looking older and clean-shaven, and very, very sober.
I had never seen him happier and he looked proud again.
We drank his toast and asked him what had turned life over. 

He handed out cigars, bringing out his daughters letter,
to let him know her wedding’s on the twenty-first of May.
It was written in gold letters to a man who won’t forget her,
asking him to please be there - to give the bride away.


Copyright © Lindsay Laurie | Year Posted 2016


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While the animals were sleeping

His love 
was above 
the pain
from the 
stained glass 
and aftermath
of abuse

he cradled me
while disabling
reasons

he'd say 
shhhhhhhh
the animals love you.
and if you stop crying
they'll come 
and sing to us

I 

inhaled his breath
and believed that 
if I breathe invitation
i'd hear 
the wild wolves 
howl while they prowled 
around us..

He said..
it's not us they hunger
they seek the thunder
under the same sins and stars..

I 

felt special 
and for just a few minutes
felt the devils arms around me..

I 

believe that 
the rain washes us clean.

then one day 
early

too early

jesse was alone
the animals were sleeping..
as it rained

he blamed himself 
for the health 
of a sick earth...

got the bible 
and his gun

closed his eyes and sung
to god.

as we scurried the floor
to gather his brains
and tried piecing his head 
back together

i

sat back against the wall
and tasted the blood 
of an angel...

my finger still lingers
the scent...

 

 

 


Copyright © kimmy thieleke | Year Posted 2013


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Breath Again

 trapped in a dream forever i was gone 
a mind of deception a love that was strong 

     my back against the wall with stabs to the heart 
my love, my life,,has driffted apart 

     you say you love me, i can hear the lie 
you say, you don't lie, but the angels cry 
  
     they cry a sunny day, cause it hurts so bad 
in this time in our life we feel so sad 


     were lost in a maze trying to find eachother 
lost like a child with no warmth of a mother 

     i wanna die cause i hate this life 
i close my eyes and fight this life 

     my world has falling and i lost a friend 
please help me god, so i can breath again 
     


Copyright © Joe Hinojosa | Year Posted 2012


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pandoras box

changing the rules
changing realities
listing the rules
color coded names and numbers
take me away replace the whole charade
never mention it
and cash it all in for a trade
worry free

list of names
forwarned with a package
three days before the curse
maybe you wil give it up try again
wash your hands clean of this oxymoron
parade the clowns on april fools day
the numbers before the lottery
back against the wall
the clowns all face it eventually

nice way to kick the bucket
what a wow
euphemism
what a trumpet
lady blue picking the flesh off the bones
make it easier if i could
but we ressurect the reason for the abstract itmes

inside this box
a secret hiding place
clues to find me amidst a headless blunder
bleeding in the screams of irony
doubting good intentions
sell it all
double entent
agent come clean
force you in the wide open
and the cats back in the bag

ring the bell
and the box stays closed
now deal with the envelope
stay in my shadow
lick the stamp
names and numbers
what game of thuinder
tru to the color
im losing the value of the ships im sinking
never made me wonder
will i sleep good tonight
quivering on the streets
im falling asleep
will they find me
replace the secret with the magic 
replace the magic with the tragic

string them along
knock by knock
one good turn
and ring the bell


Copyright © Troy Jeremy Nelson | Year Posted 2009


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In The City

Somewhere out on that horizon,
out beyond the neon lights,
I know there must be something better
but there isn't anything else in sight.
It's survival in the city
when you live from day to day.
City streets don't have much pity.
When you're down, that's where you'll stay
in the city.
I was born here in the city
with my back against the wall.
Nothing grows and life isn't very pretty
when there isn't anyone here to catch you when you fall.
Somewhere out on that horizon,
far away from the neon sky,
I know there must be something better
because I can't stay another night
in the city.


Copyright © Billy TheKidster | Year Posted 2013


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This Moment

Moment to think.
Moment to clear my head.
Moment to reflect, look in the mirror, and take accountability.
Moment to love my reflection back.
Because its life or death for me.
A moment to sit and not think about anything.
A moment to be without trying to be anything… just a moment.
Yep, yep it means everything.

A gun to my head, once pulled the trigger.
Split second pulled away.
From my head in that moment that meant everything.
Back against the wall trying to figure it out.
Don’t have answers but a moment of clarity.
A moment with my back pressed up against the wall.
A simple walk outside, yes, that meant everything in that moment of all that pressing pain.
A moment to step out, to spill it out.
Brave.

The moment I did, God handed me a key.
A moment of weakness manifested to strength of a better being.
The past is that past, but right… Now is everything.
In this moment.
Suffering is just a hurdle but sometimes looks too hard to jump over it.
People, places, and things won’t let you get over it.
So I take walks on the beach.
And the horizon shows that I’m not limited at all.
In this moment.
Because now means everything.
In this moment of being.
©StephanieGutierrez2015


Copyright © Stephanie Gutierrez | Year Posted 2015


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A Real Dilemma

I was reading in the papers,
of worldly problems that there are!
The one I'm most concerned about,
is the most critical, by far!

There's unemployment, crime, and politics,
just to name a few!
A lot of major problems,
a lot of stuff to do!

But, we face a real dilemma,
I learned from "Dear, Heloise"!
It ain't a threat to our survival,
like from flooding or disease!

It must be real important,
that would be my guess!
Because "Heloise" is real selective,
on what she sends to Press!

It's, How should Toilet Tissue be hung?
That's our biggest problem of all!
Should it flow, like a waterfall, over the front,
or come down the back, against the wall?

Written 8/5/12



Copyright © RALPH TAYLOR | Year Posted 2012


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Above Forever

Above Forever

Biting into the dead,  
he tastes  the aftertaste of burnt ashes!
The meal of her emotions,
buried alive within silken strands.
Blood inside sorrow burning,
sweet desire weeping...
Yet, it cannot possibly extinguish his pain.

Bleeding heartbreaks do not expire.
His eternal torment is fortified.
Into two pieces he is equally divided.
One who feels he has his back against the wall!
The other who has not a care.
Free falling teardrops,
salted within life's passionate carnage.
Nails in his mouth for he is iron born,
attaching beauties have felt his plunging sword.

His sanctuary is a dream catcher.
He's stuck inside it's Web,
hanging there above forever,
until she takes his last breath away.
Always now, in this moment was he formed.
Long before time, he was destined to be hers 

Until they meet again his heart pauses.
He will not know eternal glory,
until her love courses through his veins!
As he has promised, he will succumb to her  
The angels then will sing 
Rejoicing bells will ring out grateful notes
Both will finally atone for their sins!

A collaboration with Richard Lamoureux and Liam Mc Daid 


Copyright © liam mcdaid | Year Posted 2016


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Naked

Back against the wall 
blasted on a canvas 
camouflaged trigger thoughts
subliminal mind control 
incase you wonder who you are
bags beneath my eyes 
followed an illusion
on a trip with a suitcase
turned my back without saying goodbye
Now its Passion on the image 
with a cross over my heart
I go Gambit on the cards 
Imagine dragon conversations 
Im fluent gasoline combustion when i talk
Polluting life's a chamber 
Filter trap Martial arts.
Mechanical malfunction 
Grind my gears 
but ill feel sorry for ya'll
Tears turn salt 
Thats a turn off 
The sweat on my forehead needs a job
Hustle dont forfit 
Victory is sweeter than revenge 
I go raw never orange 
Its important to have rules 
Its expensive when its imported 
Get a message across the world 
They're trying to solitaire it in one suit 
But the truth is naked adam and eves forbidden fruit. 




Copyright © fernando vergara | Year Posted 2015


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Against the wall

Against the wall
I'm pressed 
gasping for breath
Your lips traveling down my neck
your fingers searching for gold
and they've found success
my dress sliding down
my back against the wall
my legs around your waist
It's all happening so fast.
I mean I can't even remember
how we started
But I know it will finish
the intense pace were going at
It's been a while since I've felt passion like this
I slap your hand for leaving marks
where people can see
but keep letting you do it 
because the process of getting
feels so good to me
I'm losing restraint
I say no but it goes unanswered
I say stop but we keep going 
In the back of our minds were 
both knowing that this is trouble. 
The act versus doing the right thing.
I feel like were both fools. 
But what can we do? 
All I know is tonight your smell is intoxicating
I could drink you and I am more than willing.
Your hair falling all over my face as I fall into you.
Bodies colliding. Smells combining. 
Pleasures rising. 
And we reach the climax. 
But somewhere deep inside 
I know tomorrow I will continue to desire.
You.


Copyright © Shahana Jackson | Year Posted 2012


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Last Prayer

i stand here my back against the wall, nearly defeated, sedated physically, mentally well and alive. Death threatening to cease the beating of my heart, my blood runs cold, i pray, lord please allow me to die. These trials and twisted tribulations you predict have hardened my soul, my body has been bruised, battered and torn. I feel as if i too have carried a wooden cross, been persecuted by my peers and now i too wear a crown of thorns. My life is held Within your hands, my death within Lucifer’s, a war i alone will stand and fight, though sadly will not win. I am conscious of the consequences i must serve, it is surviving eternity i cannot contemplate, or fathom the sins you must forgive. Sinfully i have walked your righteous path, morally i hold contempt prisoner within my heart, my faith diseased, walls constructed and built. You alone share my darkest regrets, my unshared secrets, you Recognize that in my mind i have raped, cheated, plundered and repeatedly killed. To serve you i must repent, completely turn from my ways, fall to my knees, pray, trust only in you, born again, and then saved. To walk hand and hand with you, sadistically i must suffer, shed blood, be horribly mocked, betrayed and ironically enter heaven’s gate through a six foot grave. My back is against the wall, a decision must be made, live for you or as you promised spend eternity in the lakes of fire burning, screaming, forever in pain. Demented though isn’t it, it seems like a reflection of my life, the only difference lord, these flames can be extinguished if only you would allow it to rain. I stand here naked, vulnerable, offering you a glimpse, a very open and deadly game of truth or dare. The simple truth, i cannot believe my head is bowed right this moment, the dare if you choose to accept, lord, please make this my last prayer.


Copyright © Thomas Gieseler | Year Posted 2010


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Super-Woman

Super-Woman Wake me I’m dreaming I’m I still breathing Pinch me I must be dreaming Is my heart still beating? I remember falling right to the ground But I fell right into her arms Now we are flying through the cloud And I can’t see anybody around She placed my head upon her chest And made me feel better She sheltered me from the storm And stayed to keep my body warm While I was in her arms The money, fame and fortune could never compete With her in my life The long and hard search would be complete She never seizes to amaze me How every now and then she saves me I’ve titled her the wonder woman Cause she’s an extra-ordinary human She’s my Super-Woman When I got lost She came to rescue me No matter what the cost She paid it with me When I had my back against the wall She never gave up trying to save me Against impossible odds and all She fought hard to keep me safe When there was a mountain between us She climbed it No matter how deep the sea was She dove in She is my angel dressed in armour Cause she’s one of a kind She’s my life and safe harbour Cause she’s the reason I’m breathing She broke the bonds of my invisible chain Only God knows how she stops the rain She’s a super hero Cause she always pulls us through She’s my Super-Woman


Copyright © Oluwaseye Ayinla | Year Posted 2015


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LORD THANK YOU

I thank the Lord from Sunday to Sunday,
The sun's shining today & I hear no gun play,
See I used to stand tall
with my back against the wall
but now it's only one way, [ Jesus' ] 

See I detoured from the dead end streets,
I'm equipped with Bible knowledge now
so I'm putting distractions under my feet,

I say to self, if it's evil
then I'm passing it by,
I've seen too many people
walking by the caskets & cry,
looking up and they're asking HIM why,

See we all felt these pains & it hurts,
Too many soldiers with their faces
and hood names on a shirt,
See when The Messiah came to this earth,

He was on a special mission,
He had some stop paying taxes 
some stop fishin',
We were blessed with a Great Leader
and 12 guys who played their positions,

They followed Our Shepherd and dispensed the gospel,
the lives of Jesus and his apostles,
were excepted in some places
but some places were hostile,

BUt with Lords will the mission was completed,
He shed blood on Calvary
and the devil was defeated,

and our sins were washed away,
I praise GOD ALMIGHTY
and I thank him for this day,
THANK YOU GOD


Copyright © louis brown | Year Posted 2015


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Undeserved Kindness

How tenderly you cared for me
when you found me broken on the road
did lift me up gave me your own cup
removed from me my heavy load
 
You dressed my wounds with healing balm
every injury you sought repair
I do not think I'd be alive today
without your love and finest care
 
You took me in to your own home
every hurt did you seek to ease
a lifetime of their damage done
the bruise and cuts of the abusive
 
All the words that struck like whips
not a place on me untouched
I cower and cringe like an animal
back against the wall I've clutched
 
When I cried you sat by my side
gently held me in your embrace
your patience here coaxed my fear
till I could look you in the face
 
I would follow you where 'ere you go
just to hear the kindness of your voice
where you live I will make my home
there to learn your ways my choice
 
To lay in pain was deaths refrain
but instilled a desire to life
but promised me that I would see
a world where lived no strife
 
So in my mind I'm no longer blind
you will achieve this reality
for I know if I live like you
a life in paradise will be
 
For all the wrong you sought to heal
for within the joy of heart I feel
I cried when I saw a body malformed
the ridicule of the mean those they scorned
 
You were hard of hearing could barely see
but the schoolyard kids laughed heartily
so many places for lessons to learn
but only yourself was your concern
 
It was long ago I left you behind
to pursue and learn the gentle mind
no interest have I to follow the crowd
of the livin' large and out loud 
 
Luke 10:
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
 
 
COPYRIGHT © 2012 C Michael Miller
Via Duboff Law Group LLC


Copyright © Poetryof Providence | Year Posted 2012


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An Uppercut I Remember

Dad hit me only once, an upper cut to the solar plexus. It nearly lifted me off my feet. I was 17 then and already fairly tall, 6’1.” He was 48 and of medium height, 5’8,” a fireplug who if provoked could whirl like a dervish if you can picture that. 

He had been a prisoner of war in Ireland and then became a boxer in the United States after the English expelled him from Ireland around 1920. 

Fortunately, he caught on with the Commonwealth Edison Company in Chicago and worked there as a trouble-shooting electrician for almost 40 years. 

One day he reached over a hot wire too fast to save a rookie from experiencing a shock of 12,000 volts. He took the volts instead and that crippled one arm and brought about an early retirement. While recovering, he seemed more concerned about ruining his accident-free record. 

But I’m getting years ahead of myself. I’m talking now about the day 30 years previous when he caught me with that uppercut in the dining room. 

What had I done, you might ask? 

Well, in the ignorance of youth, I had hidden an open jar of catfish stink bait between the cushions of the living room couch where I knew my father would sit to talk with my friends, all of us just home from high school. 

He liked to talk with them and they with him.

In no time at all, the stench from the catfish bait filled the living room and he stopped talking and started looking around in a rather menacing way. 

I had thought he would laugh because 10 years earlier he had told me, when I was perhaps in the second grade, about the time he and a fellow worker, Oscar Bergman, another electrician, had been making the rounds in their Trouble Truck, as it was called, in the alleys of Chicago. They would stop as required to take turns climbing poles to get the electricity back on after a strong summer storm. 

As the saying goes, it was 100 in the shade and not much shade was available that day in the alleys. 

Apparently it was Oscar’s turn to climb the next pole and while he was up there, my father flattened a patty of horse dung he had found in the alley. He put it in the pocket of a jacket Oscar had left on the back shelf of the cab of the truck, a jacket Oscar had worn in springtime. 

Horse dung in Chicago’s alleys was common in the 1940s. Vegetable vendors would ride up and down in horse-drawn carts hawking their produce, all of it fresh from one of the farms on the outskirts of the city. 

But on this day when Oscar got back in the truck he yelled something to my father who was then climbing the next pole. 

“Joe, there’s a helluva stench in the cab of the truck.” 

Oscar had a very thick Swedish accent, as thick as my father’s Irish brogue, and as a young child I had a chance to hear them converse when my father brought Oscar over to the house. They had become close friends, different as they were, and the music of their two accents was wonderful to hear. They communicated with gusto. 

Oscar’s remark about the stench from the dung patty, however, has remained with me all these years: 

“Joe, there’s a helluva stench in the cab of the truck.”

In childhood I said it over and over with more relish, I’m afraid, than a nighttime prayer I had been asked to memorize. I think it is still a prayer taught by some parents. It was called “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.” 

In any event 10 years later when my father found the stink bait I had hidden in the couch, he didn’t find my trick as funny as the one he had played on Oscar Bergman. 

No doubt he was embarrassed in front of my friends who I had told about the set-up in advance. No doubt they were smiling if not stifling a laugh. 

I ran out of the living room as soon as I saw my father leap off the couch. He caught me in the dining room and delivered that uppercut. 

Decades later now there are times when I can still feel that punch although he didn’t turn his fist when it sunk into me. I always wondered why he failed to do so.

When I had gotten eyeglasses for myopia in third grade, he had taken me down the basement to teach me how to defend myself based on skills he had learned as a boxer. 

Showing me how to fake with my left and deliver my right, he told me that if I ever got in a fight to turn my fist each time I landed a punch. Telling that to a third-grader was a remarkable event in itself. But I remember it to this day. 

I listened to my father all through childhood and also watched what he did. Like many children fortunate enough to have a father in the home, I learned good things and bad things that way. 

It turned out at school that he was right about other boys bugging me about my new glasses. Three fights in three days, all of them broken up by the nun in charge of the playground during recess. 

But the day my father got me with the uppercut in the dining room, I didn’t cry and I didn’t flinch, just leaned back against the wall. To cry would have been bad form for the first-born son of an Irish immigrant. 

Crying wasn’t an acceptable response to physical pain in the house I was raised in. No doubt that was because my father had endured much physical and emotional pain throughout his life, especially in that British prison in Ireland where the guards broke both his legs with rifle butts and then let him sit on the cell floor for quite some time without medical attention.

So I kept my mouth shut and watched him walk away. First time I ever saw him with his head down. 

He was obviously ashamed and embarrassed that he had hit me, something he had never done before or after in spite of infractions I would have thought far worse. 

I did well in school, which saved me in his eyes, but I was far less than a well-behaved child. 

I learned a couple of things, however, from that uppercut, one of them funny and the other quite important later on in life as an adult. 

The funny thing was I kept thinking how lucky Oscar Bergman was to escape with just a horse-dung patty hidden in the pocket of his jacket. 

But later in life, memories of the uppercut reminded me never to strike any of my five kids, whatever the problem. Looking back, that is something I am happy never to have done. 

I can tell you, though, some of my children's mischievous deeds were far worse, I thought at the time, than hiding stink bait between the cushions of a living room couch. And those are stories dear to my heart I hope someday to write. 

Who knows what my kids might think if they happen to read them, especially those of them still in the throes of raising children of their own.


Donal Mahoney


Copyright © Donal Mahoney | Year Posted 2017


Details | Back Against The Wall Poem | Create an image from this poem.

God's River

In your river; 
My heart, like a ruined waterwheel;
Whatever it turns, in any direction , 
there is water flowing all over.
And even if I leaned my back against the wall, 
In front of me the water flows

Before your sun; 
My heart like a palsied shadow 
Wherever my face turned; stung from the eyes of sun
How shall I, while I am a palsied shadow,
to flee from these eyes!  

Oh Lord.. 
From ragged clay you created me
Don't distract my heart with waterwheel,not your river 
Don't blinds my wretched shadow from your sun 
Oh Lord.. 
My heart quivering like the heart of quicksilver 
Show me the road.


Copyright © Fatima Nusairat | Year Posted 2015


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Brother

Brother
  Tareq Hasan

How are you brother? I'm your younger brother
Last roaming around, taking the sins of Shield bearer
Logo ways of deceit,
Pain in my back against the wall to prevent
Today, severe pain, strength, and not running
What does not seem to be forgotten brother!

Abroad made me guilty
Relatives of crime is difficult to forget,
Non-silent witnesses stood in the dock
I pleaded not guilty in the court of the mind.

This is how criminal civil society
How much of your mind offender locality,
After you I did not do ,,,,
Why break the bonds of Zur, a m Purge Float.

Here I am on this day, that you
Odorous creams read desist dress
No one's ideal love,
But I'm crying quietly asleep City
 Palace  the foot touches the sky
Who is guilty and made no Very fair.

You have to craft rules bhalasara brother
Sikta I respect you, no seats
Still, under the distant  Leave  Will not
So how can you Great humanity
The beloved younger brother to forget ..

Violate brother no longer like before life
I'm tired today on Logo
Coming out of my body
Murray still remains up to death
No barane to know what goes on.

Brother You, my friend, you people build a Manufacturer
Compared to you, not you,
It may come sooner or later,
Your door, the younger brother of the body to be frozen.


Copyright © TAREQ HASAN | Year Posted 2016


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MY SCARS ARE MY VICTORY Part One

I live a life and to others i give, I loved and cared but no one see my crying tears, I am brave and i am strong but no one know my fears; for many years i lived with scars as plentiful as the stars but i dance, sing, recite and write my pains away. My damning scars are polished with my receptive personality and my delightful smiles but slowly both days and nights i fight those mental scars which lived deep within me.

Kingdom rise and Kingdom fall but my scars are my victory. 

I have been crushed and secretly they thought i would die, yes they all wanted me dead but i am still alive because i realize that the power of life does live within me. I did fall to the ground but i rise and now i am standing tall; yes they did shake me and tried to break me but no they couldn't destroy me because they didn't create me. 

Kingdom rise and Kingdom fall but my scars are my victory.

I have been battered, bruised and wounded, I fell to the ground; you heard my cry but you couldn't feel my pain. For a helping hand i did ask but you help me not, while i was suffering and having nothing to eat, you passed me by sitting in the street; in vain i did call out your name but with words you answered me not instead you just hissed your teeth. About me you don't care, you just hide and seek, with my back against the wall you still want to take it all, when i rise and when i did fall you still took it all. 

Kingdom rise and Kingdom fall but my scars are my victory.


Copyright © Carlton Dean Morris | Year Posted 2016


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False Trust

You hold me back!

I thought I loved you
I thought you were the one
That would stay true
Day by day
I’m losing you

Love can be 
Such a scary word
Trust can be
So quickly lost 
How can they say
Love lasts forever
When it’s just a 
Failing endeavor 

These odds
Are piling up
I feel like 
Giving up
Always broken
Lost my hope in 
You!

Love can be 
Such a scary word
Trust can be
So quickly lost 
How can they say
Love lasts forever
When it’s just a 
Failing endeavor

This love is dying 
This sin is trying
To ruin me 
When everyone holds me back
Showing the strengths I lack
I feel so lost with my back against the wall
I know in the end I will fall 
Without a hold from you 

Get the hell away from me
I need to learn to breathe
This heart has been torn in two
All because I trusted you 

Love can be 
Such a scary word
Trust can be
So quickly lost 
How can they say
Love lasts forever
When it’s just a 
Failing endeavor

You taught me how to hate
But I’ll show you it’s never too late
You tried to take my life
I’m gonna show you how to fight


Copyright © Zach Mitchell | Year Posted 2014