top of page

Three Poems by John Ganshaw

by John Ganshaw

Leave All Behind

There you stood staring into the mirror thinking you were alone, but you weren’t,

I was standing before you, peering through the window, seeing your

pain and hurt. I witnessed everything that you tried to hide. I was the one

who suffered with you, but only watching and never helping. Frozen in

time and unable to speak, Screams of torment released only the silence

of despair and shame. The beatings you carried have lived for years,

each that healed on your skin shall forever live in the memory of my mind.

I feel each strike as I look back through the minefield of time. So many paths

have been beaten down but I still return to you. Each night you cried

I pulled back the curtains and shed them too. I felt you shaking through the

night though you never felt my grasp as I wished to hold you tight. I saw all

your accomplishments when others didn’t give a glance. I treasured all that

you would become when others kept burying you. Through all these years I’ve

shed a thousand tears for each that flowed down your cheeks. I knew your dreams

and plan to escape. I lived my life for all your dreams, all your hopes, and all

your wishes. I know all you sacrificed for the love of others. I close my

eyes and still see the shyness and fear. I see the love for others and

your strength to not give in. The will to fight for what you believe. All that

happened was locked away. Now, the key to that passage has been found.

That door is wide open and no need to fear. I’ve come back to take you

to a better land. The darkness of the past has turned to light. Take my hand

and hold it tight so we can finally be together for the rest of our lives.


Truth in Time

They take advantage of all your life

some for sex, others for money

some wanted both

some lovers, some friends, some for prey

where is the family?

see your compassion, see you care

they just want what they think is theirs

the hurt is caused and the pain inflicted

you are numb and close your eyes

Tell yourself it’s all ok,

by now you know how to get by

lock it away behind the doors in your mind

hide behind the smiles you share

let them see, you know the facade

the truth is yours to keep

in the end, no one understands

you alone can feel the pain

the sun will rise and it will set

that is all that matters in the end

in time all will be known

how much you give but never take

they will get all they want

tired now no need to fight

maybe it will cease someday

perhaps in time, you can tell


Smiles Run Deep

See his smile that goes a mile or so wide

Oh, the happiness that this wearer must bring

this gift of love and life light up the sky

this joy must originate from the depths inside

it radiates such beauty and grace for all to see

capture and admire what the outside appears to be

he lets us relish in his facade from afar

keeps hidden the pain, stored in bottles at a bar

the sadness that lives is kept hidden from view

we are mesmerized by his muscles to peruse

in awe of his prowess and athletic brawn

unaware of the despair that he longs to be gone

the outside view is enough for us to judge, yet

haven’t a clue, or care, who he is

make up a story that suits our needs

how content and jubilant this young man must be

unknowing that within he cries and no one cares

his monsters and demons lurk in the shadows there

he battles those foes every day, that smile of his

is always just an arm's reach away

we dream how lucky he must be, to flash

those pearly whites for all to see. how fortunate

and blessed this young god must be

unaware of his emptiness that’s kept buried so deep

we view what we want and nothing more

no need to see all he keeps underneath

how sad for us, we will never know

that smile we see is just our need

to hide the truth that lies beneath.

and in death, few will weep


bottom of page