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Dawn’s books: 365 TIPS FOR WRITERS: Inspiration, Writing Prompts and Beat the Block Tips to Turbo Charge Your Creativity, BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL: How We Survive as Writing Parents, Love is Like a Rainbow: Poems of Love and Devotion, Songs of the Dead, TOTALLY SCARED: The Complete Book on Haunted Houses (with Martha Jette), The Yellow Rose, DOGS FOREVER: Poems for the Dog Person (with Jennifer Wilson), Follow That Dream, On the Wings of Pink Angels: Triumph, Struggle and Courage Against Breast Cancer, The Perfect Christmas, A Million Doughnuts, Hunter's Upcycling Adventures, Satyrs Are Cool: Poems of Mythological Creatures (with Jennifer Wilson), The GHOST Group, Book One (The Ghosts of Sarah Travers and The Crying Valentine), Touched by Fire, Shadow of Samhain, Terror In The Night I - Alien Abduction Exposed! (with Martha Jette and Usko Ahonen), The Warrior Way, Parenting Pauses: Life as a Deaf Parent, April Showers, The GHOST Group Book Two (The Ghost of the Irish Setter and The Ghost of the Missing Hiker), Remember the Soldier, Wolf Whispers, A Ghost on Every Corner, Yesterday's Words, Faded Reflection, Wandering Soul, God's Birds, Burning the Midnight Oil Revisited, Seasonal Songs, Fabulously Frugal: How to Manage Your Money, Live for Less and Build Up Your Savings, Poems for the Grieving Heart, Imprint, Ramblings & Misgivings, Dream World, We Will Never Have Enough Days, Savage World, Remembering Sunny, The Dream Forest, Self-Care Suggestions Book, True Ghost Stories, The Idea Workbook: How to Choose and Use Your Ideas, 101 Quotes on Poetry, The Big Book of Writing Challenges, 10 Ways to Boost Your Mental Health, Meditating Heart, The GHOST Group: Book Three, Free Stuff For Writers, Lost Soul, 5 Tales, The Power of Words, Tarnished Heart, Write for Your Life! The Health Benefits of Writing, A Tiny Light, The Newbie Author's Guide to Getting Your Book Published, Write Like the Wind! Inspirational Notes for Writers Forthcoming book:Make Someday Today!


Within the pages of this chapbook, you will delve into the profound and harrowing journey of author Dawn Colclasure. Her collection of confessional poems is a reflection of the darkest chapters of her life. Dawn's narrative unfolds from the haunting echoes of a turbulent childhood marred by abuse and violence to the heart-wrenching betrayal of trust through sexual assault. Through her verses, you will bear witness to the moments when hopelessness eclipsed the possibility of a brighter future, prompting her to grapple with thoughts of self-harm. As a survivor of severe burns, Dawn endured relentless bullying and painful rejection, ultimately leading to a profound sense of low self-esteem, self-hatred, and the suffocating embrace of depression. "The House That Madness Built" stands as a testament to a life entrenched in turmoil, a life that spiraled into the depths of alcoholism and despair. Yet, it is also a story of resilience, redemption, and the stark moment of reckoning when Dawn was forced to confront her addictions. This collection takes you on an exploration of her choices between life and death, a profound and transformative odyssey that paints a striking portrait of the human spirit's enduring will to survive.



All I remember,

I flew through the air—

My parents told me the rest.

A van hit my mother,

and I was tossed from her arms

That explains the memory of flying.

It didn’t end there,

as all tragedies that result

from drunk driver accidents never do.

My mom and I were both hospitalized,

she’s missing half of her left leg, and I,

a burned left arm and cheek

with both our bodies’ casualties of that day.

I was forced to live with third-degree burns,

something I hated in the beginning.

The burns made me vile,

my fingers removed,

from the left hand, which I rarely used.

I endured years of being labeled a “freak,”

Because of those burns that left me disgraced,

Alone with marks on my face and my arm.

Years of surgeries to alleviate the damage;

at least my left ear was restored,

and I received fingers for my left hand,

from the toes in which I had.

Skilled surgeons and compassionate nurses

helped throughout those painful years.

And to this day, I’ll never forget

the compassion and kindness shown.

I still live with scars from the burns I endured.

Only now, it’s not so bad.

The scars on my face

and those on my arm

are a part of who I am now.

I embrace who I am as I stand out,

and I’ll never hide away again.



The jack-in-the-box suits me.

Innocently minding its own business,

yet in a craze,

it leaps out;

a smile pasted on its face

to give the impression

that everything is fine.

No more tears.

No more sorrow.

No more sadness.

No more anger.

The empty beer cans

scattered around it

act as a testament to those

who know better.




the burning fire in my heart,

the lingering sense of hatred.


knowing that no one can stop me

in my maddening nightmare.

a thorn lodged in my brain,

blindness to all light.

where darkness is my only friend

and hatred my ally.


like a wild animal. a beast of utter burden.

a dream that is crushed beneath the feet

of giant lords of sanity.

a hope dashed,

a speck of sand flicked into the air,

as though all other life is so easily eliminated.

as though there is no limit

to the powers of abomination and doom.

a bird wailing in agony for mercy from his pain.

the phoenix submitting to the flames

of its own making.

injustice that reeks in this godless world.

a sail across Hades’ river of Cocytus,

were nothing but wails for mercy

ricochet in my mind;

souls that only wander, never rest.

the only way out is death,

and even death eludes me

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