Your ability to endure and overcome the most difficult, as well as unexpected, situations in life makes you a survivor. And surviving through the struggle should be celebrated in the ways it can be, whoever you are and whatever storm you have survived. So for the survivor that you are or for the survivor that deserves recognition, here are 24 poems about surviving.
Poems About Surviving
1. Still here
Life keeps knocking me down
but I stand here resilient
still a worthwhile mind
even if not as brilliant
I may seem scattered
but that illusion is shattered
when you learn I’m so organized
professional even with brain compromised
They told me I might not be able to talk Would’ve lost
my career if I listened to doc
I said “hell no! I will not be idle”
fought with my life-force vital
Helpless and silent would NOT be my life
I’ll take the risks, put me under the knife
Eyes half work but see more than most
No way on disability would I coast
Mind gorgeously cracked
adventure to embark
Most days I trash myself expecting more
but I accomplish so much when I’m sore
It’s time I recognize and be proud
I could have laid down but I stood up loud
2. Standing on the robust stake of surviving
Standing on the robust stake of surviving.
No one from both sides can’t topple me down
and I turned into an ardent Beatle of surviving.
Find the nacre from both parts of life
since the trillions of cells have already been freed
and most importantly the treatises of the old world
turned to the useless matters through the cadence
I and me
Nothing but the surrealistic reason for surviving.
I survive that’s enough
though I’m grasping a rope of fire.
But yet at the end of the day,
it’s the power of stake
which overcomes everything.
Since I’m standing on the robust stake of surviving.
3. Surviving The Storm
Along the foothills marsh-mists rise and fall;
Through glass I see their trail of fog across
The window-sky and sense a coming squall.
The leaves of shadow-deer and pine now toss
And curl around my shaky beach-craft words.
Alone at summer’s end…limned sea waves roll
And ice-glass glaciers flash like slashing swords.
How store away this year…this summer scroll?
Join walkers in suburban malls, or hide
From man, and watch the sailship’s rigging blow?
I’ll live a hermit’s life… while worlds collide
Now caught in cosmic strife, and hail, and snow…
Among storm traces write o rhythmic sea,
Till springtime comes again, and sets me free.
– Thelma Schiller
4. Life Is About Surviving
Do not be a nut,
Life is truly not
About winning and losing;
It is about surviving;
It is about enjoying life to the fullest,
And at every opportunity,
To be the best
That you can be.
Do what you can do today.
You are who you can be presently.
Time is walking away,
Without having feet,
Without wearing shoes or sandals.
Time, like a fleet
Of geese or cardinals,
Is constantly flying away.
Who sometimes sings
Happiness or sorrow.
One never knows,
When the wind blows,
What kind of sound
That the leaves make,
When they hit the ground,
For God’s sake.
– Hebert Logerie
5. Survive …
A fireplace is just the place
To burn up logs and limbs,
It makes the heat that’s quite a treat
When life responds to whims.
The ashes left – best put to rest
While memories remain,
Get out the broom to clean that room
So you don’t go insane!
The woodpile’s stacked and still intact
And Winter’s coming soon,
Your hearth and home, a safety zone
And not a lover’s tomb.
So warm that chill, you’re living still
And love is still alive,
Perhaps the charms of broken arms,
Your token for survive!
– Joy A. Burki-Watson
6. Somehow Surviving
Something told me
I told you
I wrote a song
with you in my head
while I lay on my bed
feeling those reelings of dread
repeating the words that were said…
silently i tried to
I tried to stop trying
lied to stop lying
cried to stop crying
Somehow we’re all dying
…its a strange place to be
but somehow we’re surviving
– Kristin Schanbacher
7. The Surviving Thought
How long, ah me! this weary heart hath striven
With vanity, and with a wild desire!
How long, and yet how long, must this frail bark be driven,
While these unsteady, fitful hope-lights given,
One after one expire?
These earthly visions prove, alas! unstable;
And we are all too prone to clutch them fast,
Though false, aye, falser than the veriest fable,
To which a ‘thread of gossamer is cable-‘
They cannot-cannot last!
Our eye must soon behold the appalling writing-
The settlement of proud Belshazzar’s doom!
These timely buds must early feel a blighting-
This earthly strife-ah, ’tis a sorry fighting!
The victory-the Tomb!
The dreams fond youth in years agone had cherished;
The hopes that wove a rainbow tissue bright-
Are they all gone-forever gone, and perished-
Ev’n the last bud my silent tears had nourished-
Have all been Death’s delight?
And will he come and mock me with his booty,
And twirl my visions round his bony finger?
And will he tell my heart no other beauty
Upon the earth is mine-no other duty,
Than for his mandate linger?
Up, rise, thou vital spark! not yet extinguished,
Assert thy heritage-exert thy might;
Though in the sloughs of sorrow thou hast languished,
And pain and wrong’s envenomed part out-anguished,
One ray breaks through the night.
There is, there is one blessed thought surviving;
The heart’s sure fulcrum in the saddest strait-
An overture to this unequal striving-
A hope, a home, a last and blest arriving!
Bear up, my heart, and wait.
Bear up, poor heart! be patient, and be meekful;
A calm must follow each untoward blast;
With steady eye look forward to the sequel;
The common road will then seem less unequal,
That brings us home ‘at last.’
Come trial, pain, and disappointment’s shiver,
Ye are my kindsmen-brothers of this clay;
We must abide and I must bear the quiver
A little while, and we shall part forever-
Beyond the surges of that shoreless river
Ye cannot ‘come away.’
– David James Scott
8. You Keep Surviving
Your sort by many looked on as not good enough
But you does hang in there when the going is tough
Like all born of poor parents of the lesser gods
From babyhood you have been battling the odds
You are one who does not have a god on your side
But there are many like you homeless and often hungry and unemployed
And you never once mention the word of suicide
Though any opportunity in life of you has been denied
Condemned to fail by your birth circumstance
Of success in life robbed of any chance
Your parents at present serving prison time
To steal for to live has been their only crime
In a Human World where hunger and poverty and homelessness are no longer rare
Some of the wealth have far more than their fair share
Homeless and often hungry and sleeping rough
You keep surviving though life on you is tough
– Francis Duggan
9. Surviving The Abyss
Surviving the abyss is tough
Its been long years of being trapped in a nightmare
Been imprisoned in a place where hypocrisy dwells
Been trained to embrace the word fear
Always been reminded on how it feels to be scared
Surviving the abyss is a great journey
It requires strength beyond reality
It needs helping hands that are seem not present
It longs for understanding that is unseen
And yet, for those who made it…
– kristiane fallarcuna
Life is colourful
But not in the way I’d like,
Its shades keep changing
From lemon to blue to burgundy,
Feels like I’m living
In a constant state of melancholy.
Tried hard not to stare
At the melody that kept swirling
In front of my eyes
And through my ears,
Sometimes I forgot breathing.
And it trapped me into the deep
Clawed hard to come up from beneath,
But it was hard to hold on
The walls were too steep.
Never thought I’d wish
For a colourless life of black and white,
Of boring creatures and ordinary sight..
Never thought I’d be the one
To want my seeds to sow,
To want my roots to dig deep and grow.
Maybe flowing with the wind
Is not for me,
Free-falling is not the same as flying,
Peter should leave me alone now,
I don’t want to end up dying.
Thought I almost saw
Heaven from where I was,
But it lay barren
With no gates or guards,
Or even angels or gods,
Either the books or my mind are lying,
It is overrated to wish for dying.
But I made it through
Somehow I swam back ashore,
Fought the muddied waters that blinded me,
Somehow I found my door.
And to sanity I return,
With lessons and scars that still burn
It’s good to look ahead with clarity,
It’s good to be back to reality.
11. Is there a mountain?
Is there a mountain in your day for you today,
Something you have to do, or fail?
Someone difficult to meet perhaps and get along with,
Someone you see as a task, that person who just doesn’t fit?
Someone no longer there, who cannot be seen or touched,
Whose absence from your day makes things a little too much?
Is life a hill for you today, a slogging upward path,
Where you’ll count your steps one by one, and then take two more back?
Is it pain that saps your willingness, is it fear, embarrassment, or worry,
Makes the day ahead a little too steep to set out on in a hurry?
Or Debt, that wall of glass too sheer, too slippery for a foothold,
Hangs there like a frosted fog that chills you with a numbing cold?
Maybe today is just one more day on your solitary lonely trek
That bereavement, divorce, or just not being loved is the test?
Each day is a maze of questions, a confusion of zigzags and choices,
We all look up some mornings wishing we had easier options.
The trick is to not see the mountain, the trick is to know in your heart
What the world needs is for you to be in it, and each day is a brand new start.
Your path is the way up the mountain for you to find and to share,
The hills we climb are inside us, they don’t take us to just any Where –
Success or failure doesn’t matter, it’s not triumph or victory or glory;
Each day that place you come to, that you are there will be your Story.
– Tommy Randell
12. Hold On
On the beaches of our lives,
We must dodge the fire
That our struggles comprise.
Never allow yourselves to tire
Or else we’ll be blown to bits
By the shrapnel that drives
Into every soul’s dark precipice.
No! You must carry on!
Before all around us
Lay dying and gasping,
Our will to live almost gone.
13. Midnight Brings The Dawn
It seems that all my life I’ve seen some darker times
Now and then the times I knew were more than I could stand.
But, learn we must, from all hard times and soon we come to know
It’s trying times that we go through that makes a boy a man.
When we feel weak at heart and think we’ll never make it
Our spirit strengthens us to somehow carry on.
It’s then we learn that just at midnight things could get no worse
And soon we see the darkness fade and midnight brings the dawn.
Every midnight has a dawning
Every dawning has a day
Where daylight shines on things remembered
And some things lost along the way.
And every passing daylight
Brings evening into play
Where we’ll face another midnight
That brings, yet, one more dawning day.
It seems a pattern thus emerges,
Monotonous as it may seem,
Every midnight brings a dawning,
Filled with all our daylight dreams.
Dreams are meant to bring survival
To those who may have lost their way.
Who found the darkness of the midnight
Kept the dawning light at bay.
So, as near as I can figure,
There’s this we can rely on
However bleak the darkest midnight,
After midnight comes the dawn.
– John Posey
14. Our Caves
Our hearts have chambers, four in all;
like caves, they are defined and seen.
But there are hidden caves within
where our emotions live between.
The Cave of Love, the largest one,
is filled, but sometimes shuts its door.
Much better to keep it ajar
so give and take can flow, restore.
And next to it, the Cave of Faith;
it feeds our hearts with gifts of trust
in God, our Earth and those we love;
and also in ourselves, a must.
Along with Faith, the Cave of Hope
puts sunshine in our hearts so bright,
that lifts us up no matter what,
through sunny days or dark of night.
The Cave of Service in our heart
is filled with help to fellowman;
must keep its contents flowing out…
a part of our survival plan.
At last, the Cave of Thankfulness
provides an echo loud and strong.
Our hearts get fuller with the joy
when gratefulness sings its sweet song.
Heart chambers hold the beat and flow
that keep our bodies so alive.
But unseen caves where “heartfelt” lives,
our magic inner selves survive.
– Sandra M. Haight
15. The Night Rains Hot Tar
The night rains hot tar into my throat,
the taste is good to my heart’s tongue,
into my heart the night pours down its moon
like a yellow molten residue of dung:
the night pours down the sea into my throat
my heart drains off its blood in love and pain:
the night pours a Negro song into my throat,
bloodred is the color of this rain:
like a bowstring of song across my throat,
the wind through the pine-trees behind the shack,
the loneliness i wear like a torn coat,
the ghetto-terror kneeling thief-like on my back,
the scream of a black man being burned alive,
a black woman raped, blood trickling down her thigh,
the anguish of her children, their anger to survive,
the coal dust in their veins to come to fire before they die!
– Lance Jeffers
Trying hard to be grateful
Thankful for being alive
But how can I love the life I’ve been given
When it’s so hard to just survive?
17. Surviving The Storm
When full force of a storm has been experienced
You truly understand what it means to be alive!
Being here after such violent turmoil has occurred
Invigorates a battered soul, so grateful to survive!
The suns rays breaking through dispersing cloud
Symbolises the best this cherished life has to offer.
The warmth is never more appreciated and enjoyed.
It’s clear what extremes you sometimes are to suffer.
Fragility of our existence has been made apparent
With destruction showing how insignificant we are
Shock and awe are reactions to what nature sent,
As we reflect it is not mankind that wields real power.
Everyone comes together to repair damage done
Labouring to return everything to how we want it
Knowing one day another ferocious test will come
Again proving we shall not be masters of this planet.
– Richard Waters
18. Land’s End
Surviving in its fragile skin,
a white egret rises
from the gulf of its strength.
I want the lightest needle of a pine
to fall on my hand,
a pine with ravaged limbs.
I’d stare through salt-blind eyes
at a remote fragile sea. I’d roar.
I’d make the skeleton of grief.
I’d roar like you, unreconciled sea.
– Robert Winner
19. Surviving Winter
a lover’s trap
A romantic scene
But the Menacing sleet
Tap, tap, tap on the windows slap!
I adore you snow, yet
I feel like you’ll never let me go!
you’re So bitter cold
My teardrops freeze-
You’ll make a blizzard
If you please
Even the bare trees shiver
Arms in the air
At the mercy of your stare
you turn love to
With pleasantries as nice
As a strangers goodbye
And then I’m sliding
On a patch of black
You leave me breathless
Who knew your tiny flakey kisses
Would cover such an enormous spanse
Leaving my fate to chance
And bury me so deep
I might die of frost
Waiting here stuck
In the snow
You wouldn’t know
You turn a cold shoulder
Watch me strain
And laugh as I spin my wheels
No purchase to gain
To begin again
And always will remember
What your leaving brings-
Gave me back
– Veronica Coyne
In the darkness of despair I saw no light
Hallucinations fed my deepest fears
Conscience eroded by self pity
Hope for redemption, all but disappeared
Somewhere from deep within my soul
A spark ignited flames inside my head
Positivity fought the demons of the night
Blew away uncertainty and dread
Like a drowning man, fighting for breath
Clutching to a slender shred of hope
Fear of death came racing to my aid
Survival instinct, threw me a rope
I hauled myself beyond the reapers blade
Realised I had too much to lose
Changed my attitude, found my faith
Won the war against the curse of booze
– David Eager
21. Surviving Society
Am I different or are they mean?
Is society conditioning us to weed out the weak?
Thus only those with a strong constitution survive?
Society and it nuance are destructive as anything to the human psyche.
Run, Run, Run
my advice to you kid when becoming an adult
leave the rat race behind you
find a way, your path, not theirs.
Much happier you will be
when you seek for you
and not for them.
Society is a machine, a well-oiled machined
chewing; eating anything which tries to impend its progress
progress is the engine of change
needed to keep you small.
The smaller the individual, the easier to control
the less brainwashing
all they need is the television and its programming
in order to keep control or bring about social unrest.
They bring about social change on a whim
as they grow bolder
but they forget to grease the wheels of society
and revolt is their downfall.
– Stacy George
22. Broken But Surviving
He gradually chipped away at my heart and smothered my soul
He tried to shatter my dreams and my future he stole
So many scars and so much pain
Never a rainbow after the rain
I felt as if the air in my lungs was being drained
I kept asking why did I exist
There were times I felt like slitting my wrists
I cried so much my eyeballs were dry and sore
I’m tired of doing this, I can’t take it anymore
Please lock the door and throw away the key
Why does he keep doing these things to me
He has killed my spirit and broken my self-esteem
I’m trying so hard to hold on to each dream
I don’t even have enough energy to walk away
My thoughts are few and I have nothing to say
All I can do is hope and pray
That I will make it to see another day
I can feel the pain in my chest
Mentally my mind cannot rest
Each morning when I open my eyes
I look in the mirror and to my surprise
I feel as though I’m wearing a disguise
I feel so weak and have no pep
I have no desire to take another step
I feel so broken like I’ve been choking
All I do is say, “Thank you!”
My life feels twisted inside and that’s all I feel I need to do
Crying on the inside trying to hide
So many broken pieces I feel like something inside has died
I hate those moments when you can’t talk because you’re afraid you’re going to cry
Making up excuses while trying not to lie
You may have broken me down but I will not let you win
I will fight this battle with God by my side through thick and thin
I may smile like nothing is wrong
And pretend like everything is alright
But I’m going to change my tune to a different song
And I’m going to win this fight
I may be hurting inside right now
But I have God to show me how
How to mend my heart and repair my soul
God will give me strength to make me whole
I will never allow anyone to rip me apart
No more scars to pierce my heart
No more punches in my rib cage
No longer allowing you to cause any type of outrage
No matter how much you have broken me down
With God and prayer I will turn my life around
My scars will heal and I will grow stronger
You will not break me any longer!!
– Yvonne Hudson
This is not an ode to things that are sharp
like knives, tongues or strings of a harp.
This is an ode to those with the guts
to move on after surviving the cuts
of these killers, edgy and cold.
Only legends must be told –
Of the fingers that were grazed
but remained unbroken and unfazed
unlike the shattered, sharded mess
it proceeds to clean up, no stress.
Or the feet that were stung by blades of grass,
a piercing pain worse than slivers of glass
which cracked heels can not shield,
yet playfully prance in the fields.
The gums holding teeth that were chiseled
by the violent brush and its bristles.
They bled but come what may,
hold on to bear the timely torture next day.
Let’s not forget the knees and hands
scraped by the stones and sand.
They despite their unfortunate fate,
continue to carry their own weight.
The chin underneath the beard
which the razor does not fear,
soothed by an alcoholic ocean
of cleansing after-shave lotion.
The skin of the palms
that remains calm
in spite of looking pale
from the clawing of clenched nails.
The thumb that didn’t know better
while receiving an unopened letter,
revealing daggers of ink
and a heart that will sink.
And the wrists of those
who ended up morose
over the mistakes they made,
seeking solace in a blade.
This pain can be ignored
whether it came by pen or sword.
The blood’s just a transient tone of the skin,
Time will cover it up after a short spin.
And while scars may be left behind,
let these badges of honor remind
that in adding a hint of red to your color
these sharp edges became a tad bit duller.
24. Mercy of Nature
Nature never apologizes
It simply unfolds
Its pattern is not right or wrong
Yet unpredictable and bold
Disasters are common
Contrast with nature’s beauty
Natures flow is our flow
Where within us
Is surviving cruelty
Uncertainty is the intolerance
Of humanity within
Survival our instinct
Life’s Prisms locked in.
Those prisms reflect
Different shades of light
Is Freedom its flight?
Nature never apologizes
We need certainty
Of a future
That rises above