All The World’s A Page


This poem is not intended to be anti-Facebook, anti-social media or critical of anybody who posts thereof. Hopefully people will read between the lines and see the larger picture, which is that most of us just want to be approved of, accepted and relevant in the world, with social media as a means to an end. And there is nothing necessarily wrong with that, in and of itself, if we approve of ourselves first.

Mama’s Sacrifice

Drove her girls home from school that May

Seemed like just another day

She always liked their after school songs

But she woke that day feeling something wrong


Turned the corner, opened the garage door

Someone was laying in pools on the floor

She saw through the glass it was her mate

The gun and whiskey sealed his sad fate


Anguish erupted with bile aftertaste

Her love and dreams in an instant erased

She suffered in circles of emotional pain

Haunted by visions of those crimson stains


She couldn’t allow his daughters to see

Whisked them away but nowhere to flee

Left with no choice but live in her dad’s home

A widowed disaster, afraid and alone


Returned to his daily, drunken abuse

She had no escape, felt there was no use

Beaten and battered in alcohol rants

Her girls tucked in hiding like terrified ants


She searched for and found disastrous release

To stop the voice, make the tolling bell cease

A bar she could run to, where she could hide

Kindred spirits in glasses inside


Sat down by a man with crystal eyes

She returned his gaze with trembling thighs

He swept her away in a satin embrace

Her heart raced in circles, a lost paper chase


Months passed by from that one night affair

A son grew inside her, a gift of despair

Shamed by a bar parking conception stain

But her love for him could not be restrained


She wanted him to live, to be set free

To receive the gift of new destiny

Not doomed to suffer with her in that cell

Sentenced to a live out a bottomless hell


At birth, she sobbingly gave him away

A living abortion, a love castaway

The rest of her life spent in tortured wonder

What ever happened to her boy blunder?


Decades past by, then a stranger’s letter

She hoped for once it was something better

She fainted after she read what it said

Flooded by the dam that burst in her head


It was a note from her son, and it began

with comfort, he’d grown up a contented man

Concluded with love to her he hoped would suffice

“Thank you, Mama, for your sacrifice”


Copyright © 2017 by Chip Schaller

All rights reserved

8th Step Struggles

I was plucked from the nest, left at the door

Had no mothers warmth, felt her no more

She did what she had to, was left with no choice

I would never meet her, never hear her voice


Fostered and raised by soldiers of care

I was bruised and beaten for wasting air

Dismissed or abused, treated like rust

Drowned in the holy water, swept with the dust


 They had discussions but never with me

Never what I thought or what I could see

Relegated to clown hood, just a dumb joke

I was wheeled out to perform, to prod, to poke


My fear and anger both burned from within

A back that was broken with oppression of sin

Guilt trips to nowhere on shoulders of blame

I was saddled with guilt, ridden by shame


I later found freedom, a way to get out

A sweet escape, an alternate route

A road to destruction, a sure path to hell

But a way to drown out the tolling bell


Stopped all the voices, let me be here

In the now and present, free from fear

Inherited genes, a loud within voice

Made the bad choices not even a choice


Where’s my amends? That’s never asked

Who’s sorry to me? That ship has passed

Decades of suffering, but there’s no amends

Years of abuse, but no one else bends


Will I hear ‘I’m sorry’ for all the harm done?

A mea culpa for an abandoned son?

These worn out steps are of no use to me

Recovery zombies who can’t even see


They don’t even know me, these steppers of doom

who say “make amends”.  For What and to Whom?!


 Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

Note – this is a poem that expressed what I was feeling at the time that I wrote it. It should not be construed as denouncing 12 step programs or any community groups in any way.

The Ghost In Black – A Poem of Addiction


Broken hopes and shattered dreams

Despair begins it’s cruel attack

Faceless fears and voiceless screams

Hosted by the ghost in black


Part One – The Man

Abandoned at birth to a foster cage

Rejection fear, his only friend

A living abortion on a lonely stage

Exiled to a cell in a life without end


Raised and abused in brutal care

Childhood cries all laughed aside

Hijacked by hurt, no wing or prayer

Concealed his pain from his expectant bride


Married their mistake, divorced his ambitions

With a flask he hated but never laid down

A fish in a bowl of alcoholic perdition

Escape and suffocate or stop swimming and drown


He built a wall and decomposed

All or nothing thoughts left no way out

Depression welcomed, unopposed

Bones picked clean by vultures of doubt


He threw desire to change away

Sped the erosion, his collapse

Routine boredom’s fast decay

Made yesterday’s traps today’s relapse


Their last five years were wasted plight

This straw on his back, these latest fears

A final drink to purge the sight

Of hurt and sadness in her tears


His wife and child were late fall grass

Their little girl, the apple of his red eye

On a ship in a bottle with a half empty glass

He’d never get to say goodbye


Part Two – The Woman

Three years now since they found their life

Face down dead in their living room

His mournful eyes revealed his strife

His toxic blood had sealed his doom


No way to support them or means to bother

A stack of bills, unable to pay

Moved back in with her drunken father

Crying on her bed each day


Her white picket fence passed away

Where were her dreams and plans?

All collapsing on that day

They died beside her only man


The doctor’s pills brought her relief

Numbed the hurt and soothed the pain

She took them to erase the grief

Nothing to lose, nothing to gain


Tortured with her only child

hiding, crying, trembling with fear

Her tragic loss unreconciled

Too much pain to form a tear


With a bath tub of warmth and pharmacy friends

A way to escape, to turn a blind eye

No way she could ever make amends

She’d never get to say goodbye


Part Three – The Girl

Ten years had passed since mama’s death

Thirteen since her father’s wake

She whispered black tar under her breath

Hid tracks of a life she chose to fake


She got her wings, a sweet escape

A prison break from an inherent cell

A welcome diversion, a way to undrape

To silence the endless tolling bell


Anguish and anger’s burning voices

Guilt trips to nowhere on shoulders of shame

On this path she had no choices

Saddled with sorrow, ridden by blame


So many partners, no way to know

Who the father was, no way to be sure

Her baby boy still starting to grow

Was born dependent on more than just her


Fought the thoughts of her newborn’s pain

She wanted to live and begged to die

A fatal dose of lost love in her vein

She’d never get to say goodbye


Epilogue – The Baby

 In the foster home, the baby was crying

Alone but bundled with detached care

Invisible to sight but eagerly smiling

The ghost in black was waiting there


Copyright © 2017 by Chip Schaller

All rights reserved