We swayed to the beat of reggae,
both willing surrender to closeness,
hearts booming,
soaking the love like a sponge

when the music was done,
the crowd walked away,
even as we lingered looking at stars, holding closely to moments
profound and fleeting

the weight of the crash
came over me,
thinking you said words you
didn’t say,
fog clearing,
realizing you did just mean
for us to be a summer fling

maybe not,
if I adopt polyamorous views,
couldn’t sink into you,
if only given permission,
a request you can’t bear,
wounds and scar tissue prevent you,
caught up in what ifs and defense,

a replaying of history denies life opportunity to hurt you again,
if you just had a child,
it would all be worth it,
to be left by a lover
you willed to stay,
a lifetime connection formed

children teach the purest love,
motivators for hurdles,
mountains to overcome,
but take it from someone
who has her own,
they solve nothing of pain
or festering wounds

abandonment, ghosting,
they’re here and then gone,
each new knife in the heart,
should keep me by myself,
but it’s just like you said
when we talked on the hill,
my heart stays evergreen,
ready for the next break,
in hopes what I’m seeking is real.

Emily Cloward © 2018

Mending Heart

Last night I saw a friend of mine, one I once wrote a poem for, I shared with him when wonder was new, believing he could be a final destination,

but someone else was also there, taken by surprise at his attentive nature, sweet messages throughout the day, unafraid of filtering words I say, consistency building moment to moment, blissful being in his presence; my friend, he likes me too, a burden I hadn’t felt before, instead of acting as if all was well, I spoke to him with words sincere,

I don’t know how to navigate these roads, I met you first and felt a bond, so new, no promises acquired, now meeting him, it just seems there is more compatibility, can’t see two at once, that’s not my style, I free flow with brutal honesty.

It’s probably all for the best, I can’t provide you what you wish, a family, a child of your own, allowances not on the table, I can’t expect for you to change, nor I. Needy and expectant, I could soak in endless amounts of attention, from someone willing to provide and receive the love I wish to set free.

I thought this would silence him, most confessions do, but he replied soft and sweet, a feeling rare, accepted, new,

I hear the words you say to me, I bonded with you, truthfully, I don’t want you out of my world, or mind, if that means we’re friends, to me, that’s fine, let’s meet and talk, laugh and cry, I’ll hold your hand and kiss your cheek, respect your choice and honesty, just don’t let go of me.

and so we met, spoke as I wept of life and stories past, I begged him pardon for my tears, he had no fear of them, catharsis for the weary soul, indicative of hearts not closed, when seen with empathy and care, now harder to leave a kindred spirit,

we hugged, I kissed you on the cheek, then sent you on your way, you messaged me what you thought of our wonderful, lovely time.

I responded that I wept some more, not wanting to hurt his beautiful soul, a soul who cares enough to try, his words a calm, gentle reply;

I’m not hurting, I like when you are near,

now my heart floods with joyful tears.

Emily Cloward © 2018


Let’s start with now and work our way backwards
A timeline of my life thus far
Some think I should be moving onward
Not thinking so much of the past
But when it haunts your every present
It’s hard to make that last

But, Emily, it’s been played over and over
There’s no point in bringing it up again
The fact is you don’t have to make apologies
For what it is you went through

You don’t have to be sorry for being a sponge
or easy to hurt, and vulnerable
Big girls cry, that’s what Sia says
And she’s the one to know

Covering her eyes, her face with a mask
With such a beautiful voice behind

She suffers in pain, like so many do
Because they can’t see what’s in the mirror
Someone that endured countless pain
Maybe not the third world type
And don’t get me wrong, I feel for them
I wish I could do so much more
And maybe I can, and probably will
But I have a battle to fight on this soil

Cycle breaking, sick cycle breaking
The minutiae never ends
I’ll continue this fight until my last breath
I’ll show my girls what they’re really worth
They won’t get to say how awful they look
Or complain about a roll of fat
Or feel like their worth is in what makeup they wear
They don’t need to feel all of that

Growing up to find a man is lame
I’ve been through all of those silly games
And now I have someone I love,
But it’s nothing like a fairy tale
We teach our girls to be saved by princes
Instead of holding the reins themselves

I’ve given my all to the man I love
and though I won’t give up easily
If I was ever alone,
I would force myself to stay that way
Until I could say
Without a doubt, that I’m of endless worth
So that each slight or nagging pull
To believe the voices in my head
Would be a moot point instead

Today is Recovery, Phase 3, Day 1
My binging, purging days are done
My drinking to numb myself just to cry later
Is all too mundane to think about
It’s time to stop being in love with my sadness
And be in love with myself

Emily Cloward © 2015 – 2018

Ray LaMontagne

Hope to mend from festered wounds,
fill empty voids with love and light,
a choice to feel the weight of worlds,
aware of humanity’s frightful plight,
he won’t be bent like a paper back,
he sings in echoes, raw and right,
yet when he speaks, he’s shy, succint,
his voice at best through chords he sings,
guitars and lights, solos and riffs,
shivers running down my spine,
frequency tuned to what he says,
tears streaming down my troubled face,
like healing balm to keep my voice;
raise it fierce, soft and sweet,
grateful for the gifts he brings,
oh, Ray, you mean so much to me.

Emily Cloward © 2018

12:12 am

Waking up, I realize he’s not here, again.
I find him on the bedroom floor,
not sure what time he came in.
Last night, a few words were exchanged,
he had more important things to do,
a game had started he had to finish,
or pixel points would be taken away.

He poked his head in once or twice,
after new games were accepted,
then I retired to bed, defeated,
unwilling to wait for his game to never end.

Frustrated tears stained my pillow,
sleep swiftly came and went,
and now I wake up to the reality that
I cannot fathom continuing
the wait for pittances of interaction.

I distance my heart further,
knowing it’s all I can do for now,
and that one day he will be abandoned,
that our game will end too.

Emily Cloward © 2016 – 2018 (Revised)

Find more of my poems at The Literati Mafia

Dogma Casualties

We are a new collective, The Literati Mafia, and would appreciate your support in reading, following, and providing any feedback on our work.

I journeyed here to hide away
from those I felt misunderstood,
recent, renewed bravery
now I stand in places I once stood
interactions longed for, needed
new outlook and healing balm,
hearts open, peaceful dominion
prospects now for future calm.

Called my dad the other day,
crying couldn’t be controlled,
released decades of words unsaid,
he listened without reproach
I waited ’til the puzzle fit,
investigation almost done,
he didn’t author all my pain,
that burden’s course finished its run.

I used to think of what he owed,
my anger strong, hurt pushed inside,
I spoke to him with distant voice,
entitlement to fill the void;

Why – because he was born gay?
conformed not to society?
mom couldn’t fix him with her love?
dogma took us all as casualties?

I guess we were, but he tried,
as much as circumstance allowed,
now we both mourn the loss of time
unrecoverable, yet hope abounds.

Emily Cloward © 2016 – 2018 (Revised)

Find more of our work at The Literati Mafia


The Broken

There’s a hope with each new connection for sustainability, understanding, affection, love; the sum parts that make a whole, not the parts themselves.

Sustainability without understanding is tolerance, passing each other as days begin and end with meager acknowledgment.

Understanding without sustainability is fleeting friendship, the kind where love bombs and fancy words bring a sense of hope that fades the instant distance starts calling.

Affection without love, whether professed as a way to obtain it, or fickle and in-the-moment only, when endorphins are high and words flow freely; bitter loneliness. A cycle many willingly repeat, hoping that sustainability and understanding will grow.

It doesn’t seem to in these situations, tunnel vision for lust and distance, come around again like a carousel after feeling the bite of reality.

We are the broken, incapacitated by beliefs about ourselves and others, what they should be in relation to our own damaged hearts.

We walk in broad day light with painted on smiles and canned responses, still searching for something that may not exist.

Deep down we want all of these, the whole, and searching is the only choice.

Emily Cloward ©

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The Melancholy Spitfire

When I started blogging in 2011, my first blog title was ‘The Melancholy Spitfire’. I didn’t write much on that blog, and took a long break after deleting it. I regret that I did, I had some good entries there, now lost forever. When I mustered up the courage to start another blog, I named it ‘Wounds to Feel’, and as the blog progressed and I felt myself becoming healthier, I changed the name to ‘Wounds to Seal’, then ‘Wounds to Dispel’.

A blog name is something very personal, a change from one blog to another is a personal decision too. I didn’t feel I wanted to have posts available from a time in my life that was dark and murky. I prefer poetry mainly as opposed to diary entries. Poetry speaks to a wider audience, and not every detail of a situation needs to be explained. Finding this out has given me a sense of freedom and catharsis, choosing words that speak to my experiences and also feeling them flow through me and onto the page.

After talking with a friend and fellow poet, I decided I wanted to go back to ‘The Melancholy Spitfire’. I suppose I’ve hidden from her in my life too often, attempting to find words that are more widely accepted, but deep down she’s always there. She has been a nemesis, but now I acknowledge her place in my life.

All of my blogs have been WordPress based, with the same background image on each one. I can’t part from the image of a woman, eyes closed, hair flowing in the breeze, with all of the thoughts floating around and out of her head. That’s how I interpret it, at least.

I’m very grateful for the community here. I’m grateful for the words you all have expressed. I am not always able to read as much as I would like, but I do read your work. It has effected me positively, and encouraged me to keep writing. I’ll never stop.



Curious feelings of what ifs and who’s next; will they be enough to calm my expectations if they’re mostly being met? It’s a ruse, always has been, and now as I ponder who I should be to those I’m charged with, to myself, I’m left with more questions, concerned at the state I’m in, numb while acting out.

Anger a very real friend, resentment boring its way to my deep crevices, yet as most know, a meager shield for deep hurt. I’m afraid of cracks being fully revealed in a world where being normal is seen as the standard, cool as a cucumber, laid back and relaxed; seems like foreign theory to me, wound tight with anxiety, finding brief solace in abandon, then feeling the high leave as fast as it came.

Seems I’m the one to blame, just as Sunday School taught me, original sin and confessions needed for redemption, supplication to a being, hoped for forgiveness, just to sin all over again; the destructive cycle of self-abuse and penance.

More than penitent, I’m now just ambivalent, ready to spew what comes forth from my lips, knowing the words were formed long ago, like vast canyons created through violent earthquakes. The blood in my veins like life giving water, roaring through parts undiscovered, and now I believe it would take a skilled survivalist to endure me.

Emily Cloward © 2018

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Health, family, self-esteem, healing, recovery, poetry, love.

Love is last, the kind where I expect another person to fulfill me. The cycle is old, I’m tired, and just want to focus on myself. It’s okay to be alone when being with someone is even more lonely; and I’m not alone, not really.

Emily Cloward © 2018

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