Fueled by Fears and Fascinations. Salvador Dali

The Poetic Answer to the World Going to Shit.

A poem & meditation on today’s existential melancholy.

Joshua Burkhart
7 min readApr 26, 2021

I woke up today with a deep sense of melancholy. As someone who has wrestled with depression, I immediately set about identifying its source.

Sometimes it’s a disappointment in life. Sometimes it’s just chemicals.

Today it feels like a whole lot more, a feeling into the nature of things that on one hand leads to this heavyweight in my stomach & on the other defines ever more strongly my drive “to be.” Not because of what others see or how I was raised or the fictions in my head but because this act of “being” is by the very peril of its nihilism my greatest act of meaning.

Hence the following poem & the meditations that came with it.

The Poem

tumble me in the surf & tide, the rhythm of vein from which we are born.

crash upon me the waves of time & taste these saline lips — body curled — hand reaching. let heaven & earth twist beneath the covalent bonds, lungs on fire, hungry for life — eyes salt-stung as the light breaks through.

i will find my footing upon this shore as the twist of helix before me. i will craft of these scenes — crescent sighs, troughs of pain — your temple portico.

i will summon You with the psalms of the crashing tide & You… You will shine upon me your terrible beauty; shine upon my blood & brine.

To me poems can act as a sort of spell or affirmation, reminding us of our core. In this case the desire to rise above the crashing, unsettling nature of experience into a deeper spiritual relationship. One that sees clearly what we are saying when we gesture vaguely & claim “it’s all one,” or “it’s all interconnected.”

Sometimes writing a poem is enough for me. It settles whatever was moving around inside. Today I had to go further as no matter where I went or what I did this sense of weight & weariness went with me.

Acknowledging what sucks.

The only way through today’s melancholy, that I could find, was to sit with it and say yes.



Joshua Burkhart

Transformation coach specializing in mental health, spirituality & relationships — the way we connect to self, society & cosmos. link.snipfeed.co/joshuaburkhart