This month’s topic is Mental Illness, choice of Kashaf.
As always, The Strix brings you different perspectives
via Expression Crossing Continents.
Kashaf, John, Manuel and our newest member Eric
created pieces of art with the topic in mind.



Those sweaty hands trembled as I started typing to release the rest of the stress after having smoked the big cig (much to the distasteful looks of the onlookers as I walked my way into a pit of anxiety). The earphones dug deep in my ears, blasting with songs they didn’t understand. My pulse had gone crazy in the past few minutes. The shaking keypad in front of me blurred, as I had another head rush, thanks to the trillion thoughts blinding my conscious.

I sat there, on a lone chair in what looked like a basketball court, minus the players, the basket or the ball. A few kittens scuttled around my uncoordinated legs. Careful not to step over them, I stretched my legs, expecting the anxiety to leave through the tips of my toes. The little kittens fearfully hopped away. Now it was safe to say, I was left alone. Shifting in the chair, I plugged in my earphones to drown out the world around me, and the one in my head. I gulped down the lump in my throat, and tried the mindfulness techniques, breathing deeply, all in vain. I stared out, disappointed. So disappointed.

A very familiar face whose name I barely recollected passed by to an awkward smile from me and a weird hand wave- my nervous coordination all distraught, just like my hopes strangled with all the paranoia. That sole human existence disappeared and yet again I looked into the infinite emptiness around me, mirroring my insides. It was as if I repelled any form of humanity at least up to a good few meters, far enough to make me feel stranded in a world where I was the only living thing alive. A soothing song came up on my playlist and my shivering fingers rushed to change the song to something sadder, to something that told me I wasn’t alone in the utmost dismay of manners. I have long waited for others to understand these songs I listen to, to understand why I listen to them. It makes me feel weak.

The wait has been long, arduous and strips me off any emotional energy that I should have had. I had no more words to type, the anxiety gripping me from all sides, like the only consistently blinking dot in the otherwise deserted radar. My body shook, my legs were all jelly, I couldn’t move. The only thing doable was to turn up the volume of the music, close my eyes, stop the tears from welling, and try my best to not stop breathing.

I was trying my messed up best, to save myself.

~ Kashaf S.
~ from WordWarrior’s


Mental Illness

Invisible agony,
Suffering misunderstood.
All runs in the family,
From childhood to adulthood.

Invisible scars,
Inflicted by comments.
Cut deeper, such verbal vomit.

Invisible demons,
Consuming the soul.
Entities that stay, regardless the seasons,
Leaving a black hole.

“All is mental,
Snap out of it,
Life is gentle,
You have the strength to get out of the pit.”
Or so they say
Pretending to understand
Those gray days,
Pretending to understand
The invisible agony.

Mental but real,
MENTAL but painful,
MENTAL!!! but an unwanted ordeal
YES!!! MENTAL!!! But fatal.

~ Manuel O.
~ from EmotionsOfLife


War Torn

I am the soldier
left behind on this battlefield
cut off from supply
I forage for what I need to survive
weapons jammed
out of ammunition
only my basic instincts
are here with me
and they are double agents
I am far behind enemy lines
when I am left alone with my thoughts
and these daemons are resilient and cunning
they clamor to the shadows
and lay in wait
for my casual thought to wander past
then they ambush my heart
with words and deeds of yesterday
they pummel and bash
my hopes and dreams into the stuff of nightmares
which then swell their ranks
the ever increasing masses of voices
calling for my execution
with no hint of a blindfold, cigarette
or last meal
I am propped up before this firing squad of self
doomed to repeat this execution
this war crime
accepts no pardon
from local magistrate or head of state
I have no advocate in this case
my sentence is carried out

~ Eric S.
~ from MySwordandShield



Mommy, I have something to tell you.
Can we talk later dear? Mom’s a little busy right now.

But i need you this time, Mom. I don’t know if I can hold on for long.

Dad. I have this problem. Could you help me? Or at least give me your thoughts?
Man up son! When I was your age i had worse problems.

Dad, everyone is not equal; my problems might be easy as squatting a fly to you, but try squatting that lion from my mind’s eye.

Dude, I have difficulty getting some shut eye for the past nights.
Lol! Are you getting emo bro? Try counting sheeps! Haha!

How can I count–no, how can I even THINK of sheeps when anxiety keeps me company in my bed?When morning comes I feel empty. (I guess that too sound dramatic.)Just nothing.

You can have my food, man. I don’t have much appetite lately.
Oh, are you on a diet? Weee thanks! More for me. 🙂 This pasta tastes great, it would be a waste to throw it away.

Despite the void that I feel, I cannot stomach to fill myself with food. No, I’m not on a diet, but yes, let’s not be wasteful. So by all means, have my tasty spaghetti. 

Lisa…I’m tired of life.
Well, we all are. Deal with it; some people had it worse, you know.

Lisa…I don’t know how to deal with it. I was hoping that you would help me. But I guess you’re too preoccupied with your own problems, huh? Sorry for sharing.

Sorry for being weak, everyone.
I really tried my best.
It’s just difficult to fight yourself

~ AlpeJohn
~ from JuanderingArtist


Expression Crossing Continents



Topic by Kashaf

©Kashaf S.

Featured Image by Kashaf
Logo by AlpeJohn

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