Pernicious – a poem about narcissists

Image by Chris Martin from Pixabay

Note: Watch this poem as a music video below.


You spew words
Brandishing them like shiny swords

You start fights
Enraging — your sarcasm bites

You wink eyes
Charming crowds with your Cheshire cries

You put down
Demeaning all who doubt your crown

You hide crimes
Hiding facts with deceptive rhymes

carnival mask decorated with pink flower
Photo by Ibolya Toldi on

You speak lies
Deceiving in a svelte disguise

You shine light
Starring onstage — it’s yours each night

You eat souls
Leaving your prey in half-dug holes

You scheme plans
Caring just for what fills your hands

You shroud deeds
Concealing truth in unkempt weeds

Image by intographics from Pixabay

You cause harm
Wounding souls with your serpent arm

You fill rooms
Bowing low in ornate costumes

You wreck lives
Slashing spirits with sharpened knives

You feel owed
Reaping profits you never sowed

You plague skin
Polluting minds with darkest sin

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

You place blame
Isolating your ragged game

You waste love
Injuring hearts by push and shove

You run free
Dodging your explosion’s debris

You sneak flings
Cheating without removing rings

You wear masks
Portraying myths with seamless tasks

You break laws
Punishing even minor flaws

You hide you
Burying your dangerous hue

May 2, 2020

It’s an oddity that while exploring feelings — especially through poetry — old pain occasionally surfaces. Wounds you thought long healed sometimes break open with fresh misery.

It’s been years since I loved those mirrored in this poem. They are decades gone from my life, but their scars are still with me. Most days I can escape them, but there are times I must acknowledge them. The wounds occasionally need to breathe so they can heal again.

These words, though angry, are healing to me. I hope they are also healing to you.

This poem as a music video:

This poem originally appeared on Medium on July 28, 2020.

More poetry to enjoy:

Love Can Be – a poem about love’s possibilities

Giving Up – a poem about the worst days

Keep Getting Up – a poem about fighting mental and chronic illness

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  1. I love this poem. Just like you, I have experience with narcissists. In intimate relationships they are especially damaging. I understand revisiting the old wounds and allowing them to heal again. In life we come across things that bring up flashes of the past and we do have to deal with it. I let mine heal through visual art. Again, wonderful poem.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. I could swear I responded earlier, but WordPress says I didn’t. For that I apologize.

      I love the visual arts and think they can be great for healing. Where can I see examples of your work?

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