Iowa Writes


The silence is deafening even though my breath is barely      audible,

The absolute emptiness is oppressive, confining me to      nothingness,

The paucity of stimulation is so isolating

But I don't want to see anyone,

Do anything,

Fear is my only feeling,

Fear that I am forever sentenced to this desolation,

Dreams are not cause for hope, nightmares are the norm if I      even sleep

Long enough to have them,

I am afraid to venture out of my cocoon, risking being hurt, or      worse yet

Feeling invisible, I feel no hope for the future, no longing for      the past,

No desire to remain in this emptiness, in this silent state of      nothingness

In this empty, silent state of nothingness I have lost myself.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

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Debbie Johnson was born in Nebraska and has lived in Iowa most of her life. She has a B.S. in Food and Nutrition-Dietetics from ISU, where she graduated in 1986. She worked as a Consultant Dietitian in nursing homes before she was disabled in a car accident in 2004. Now she does volunteer work at an Adult Day Center and NAMI. She has lived in Nevada, Iowa for the last 23 years and wrote this poem as part of The Patient Voice Project.

The Patient Voice Project offers free creative writing classes to individuals with chronic and mental illness in the Iowa City area. Created by students at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and Arts Share, the classes are conducted in both one-on-one and group sessions and are intended for all age ranges and ability levels.

This page was first displayed
on January 31, 2011

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