Dead Youth- A Poem

On The Brink Of Collapse

Trigger Warning: “Dead Youth” is one of the darker poems on this blog. It contains imagery that some may find disturbing. If you are a sensitive person, you may want to avoid this poem.  



Ripped apart


Every inch of skin

Peeled off

Till only bones remain

WIth each cut

I lose a little more of myself

Until I am but a fragment

Of who I once was

No longer whole

Barely human

Haunted by the ghost

Of the person I was

And the ghost

Of the person I wanted to be

But never became

“Dead Youth” is a pretty cool title, huh? I wish I could say I came up with it myself but the truth is I used a title generator and it came up with something similar which inspired this title. So, I guess I can say I partially came up with the title.

What is this poem about? (asked no one except myself) Well, it’s about how time breaks us. How when we are young we are so hopeful that things will get better. But as we get older our optimism wavers. Eventually, reality hits us and we realise that somethings just suck and that will never change. It is what it is.

As I mentioned, this is one of my more darker poems. And has a lot more imagery that I usually use. We have all the cough syrup I’m on to thank for that. Let me know what you thought of this poem in the comments below. Or simply stop by and say hi.

For more poetry click here.

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110 thoughts on “Dead Youth- A Poem

  1. Beautiful. Even the tags are all like extra lines in the poem. I like reading about your context and meanings at the end, maybe it would be nice for more poems to come with a disclaimer about what kind of syrup the writer’s been drinking or not.

    1. Haha would 10/10 recommend cough syrup for writers. Thank you and yes I agree. The dark comes along with the light. We can’t just be light and happy all the time.

  2. I read your description, Pooja. This poem has multiple interpretations, as poems sometimes do. Some, much darker than your description. I thought of people who cut themselves, from the line, “With each cut.” Sadly, as a teacher I had students dealing with that. 😢

    1. Thanks so much. That’s actually what I was talking about. I used to self-harm as a teenager. I’m sorry some of your students do that too but it’s good they have a teacher like you that cares.

      1. You are welcome, Pooja. It is not easy to write about difficult (personal) topics. Sharing those stories takes courage and vulnerability. Doing so can help others and bring healing to the writer. I applaud you for your willingness to bring a challenging experience to your audience. 💗

      2. Follow-up comment- I left the HS classroom in 2019. I now work with adults online. Fortunately, there are many dedicated and caring teachers out there. 💗

  3. Are you ok, sweetie? The poem is very descriptive; I can feel your pain. I’m just worried about you, but since I’m not there to give you a hug, I’ll send a virtual one. 🤗. Hope that helped!

    1. This is definitely much darker than your usual posts. The imagery is provocative and your explanation doesn’t dissuade one from thinking you’re going through and have been through some very difficult times to have had this come out, even if it was induced by cough syrup!

      I stay away from pretty much all cold remedies because they trigger depression and even suicidal thoughts, even when I wasn’t feeling that or thinking about it before taking the remedies. When I was younger I got sick with a lot of colds, so this medication induced depression was a real struggle. Once I stopped taking it I was amazed how my anxieties and depression went way, way down to the point where I was able to manage it through other therapies I chose.

      Blessings to you!

      1. Thank you so much. Most medications in general make me feel a little more depressed than usual. When I feel something darker I tend to just express myself instead of expressing it. But I also try not to hold on to the negativity.

        1. That’s a great approach! Just being aware that we’re having the feelings is important to being able to deal with them. I know it sounds simple to say that, but too often we just get caught up in the depression and struggle to observe it as having a physical cause, and then know we can ride it out.

          Before I was aware of the triggers and the causes of my depression episodes, I would get sucked down into that vortex, be fully connected with the depression and struggle to get ti feeling positive because I was believing all the negative thoughts that were coming up.

          Once I became aware that there were triggers and physical causes, I was able to keep my head above water and work on telling myself that once the medication passed out of my system, or when I dealt with the trigger (such as getting more sleep) I would feel better. Being able to ride it out and keep positive with myself made an enormous difference in handling those episodes.

          I’m glad you have a way of dealing with this to be able to get through it.

          1. Thanks so much and yes I so agree. Being aware of our feelings and where they’re coming from makes a huge difference When you know exactly what the causes are you can actually deal with them and not let them get to you.

  4. We change a lot as we grow older. The innocence gives way to something that’s darker, forged by the harshness of our reality. Beautifully written, Pooja. I hope you’re recovering well

  5. I really like your poem Pooja and I’m not a fan of dark as you know but there is a realness here in the struggle that many wrestle with. I have read it over and over.. these last lines…

    “And the ghost

    Of the person I wanted to be

    But never became”

    Can you say more of what you meant.. I really love them.

    1. Thank you so much! I guess we all have a certain idea of what we want to be when we grow up but reality is different and as adults our lives are sometimes less exciting than we imagined.

  6. This poem makes me think of pain being so deep that one just wants to cut it away, down to the bone and start fresh and new in new skin, and with a new spirit that’s happy and not in that darkness within ourselves. If we could cut away the layers of hurt, rejection, heartache and pain, that’s exactly where it would go, right to the bone, and even to the heart, mind, body, and soul. Thank you for sharing. Have a great weekend.

  7. Paints a strong image the poem. Enthusiasm becomes harder as people get older definitely. Not least due to physical weaknesses, but also the mental strain of life before that day …

  8.     It’s a mystery to me how symbolic things become more potent than reality. A child’s anxiety is soothed by a teddy bear even though it is an inanimate object and not a person or animal. There is a natural anxiety about starvation that motivates the seeking of food, but after enough food has been eaten, the next morsel like the straw that broke the camel’s back is symbolic in the way it can relieve anxiety about unrelated subjects. Food fights a threat to survival and so becomes generalized as a tool for defense. It then in symbolism becomes a tool to fight any threat including a loss of self-esteem. And it is seen in language. Fighting and hunting involve sword fighting, knives etc. But in language we use expressions like “cutting remarks” and “cutting criticism.”
        It’s a mystery how it is that most things are symbolic and not the reality that is sought. Like the teddy bear, the moon is an inanimate object and not a person or spirit. For the teddy bear, one could say that there was a ‘creator’ of the object and perhaps also for the moon. What’s desired is the connection to the ‘persons’ connected to the symbols. The symbols like thoughts and fantasies have mistakenly become more real than the actual reality — … I guess, I don’t know… it’s all very puzzling.
        OK then, I will not give you cutting remarks; so I’ll give you the moon and a plush bear, although I’m not the creator of either. I’m getting lost — maybe I should write a poem…

  9. I never use trigger warnings. Life should be experienced, not avoided. Even the darkest of places in one’s life/spirit/soul/mind/existence should be available to all. What does not kill us makes us stronger. Trigger warnings contribute to the weakening of the species. We must know the dark places, so that we can recognise and appreciate the light.

    1. That’s one way to think about it. Personally, I know some things can be triggering for me and I would prefer to avoid the trauma so I want to be respectful to others who feel the same.

  10. As a child we desire adulthood for the independence it offers, as an adult, we desire the childhood for the carefree attitude it allowed.
    How weird rights? It comes full circle.

  11. You definitely have explained how I felt during my teenage years! Thanks for sharing the poem. Reminded of not so great memories but I’m on a healing journey right now.

  12. I love this poem. A lot of times it’s good to face the dark in order to see the light and expressing ourselves through words can help. It’s like a freeing feeling. Keep sharing. 🙂 Sending positive vibes your way too my friend! 💕

  13. Sending some love your way. This poem seems to speak of pain and depression. I hope you’re doing okay. Write me at if you need to share, discuss, bounce some thoughts off of. I’m here. Hugs, C

  14. It sounds like you’re getting better.
    I liked the poem, it’s kind of like something I wrote a few months ago. So yeah, I like these kinds of writings

      1. I’ve been thinking of sharing it, but I’m a bit hesitant, because it’s not the kind of poem you’d see on a blog.
        But maybe I should, though

        1. I understand, it’s different than what you generally share. If you’re up to it you can definitely share it but don’t feel pressured to.

  15. Now, looking back at the time when I was young, I realized that it was my narcissistic environment that was forcing me to form unrealistic goals to torture myself. If I knew then what I know now, I would have practiced more self love and self affection, to set up reachable goals, to work on happiness for myself, to pay more attention to people who really loved and had regards for me, to avoid those who only claimed that they had regards for me. Well, hindsight is 20/20. So…

    1. Yes, it’s never too late to learn. I feel the same way. There is so much advice I would have given my teenage self if I could. I think my environment made everything worse too.

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