Harnessing The Madness – Jacqueline Cioffa


Harnessing The Madness


Don’t worry Hush, little mama

Dry your acrid, bittersweet, woeful tears


Don’t you cry, pretty mama

Your darling, happy, freckle-face baby is struggling, fevered, and

deliriously HOT


Oh, okay, go on then

Go ahead and cry, little mama

Cry those real, big-old-salty tears

Enough to fill an ocean

Squash the fire under mountains of regret, and molten lava erupting


Don’t worry, hush lullaby mama


Your baby girl is a strong, solid swimmer

You taught her that

You and her, submersed


Her JOY full love of water


Bouncy, giggly, freedom submerged while cemented together hand in


She was fearless in your arms

Unafraid of stormy seas, tsunamis and heavenly floods


Little girl’s flapping her arms now, mama

Crazed, and kicking hard to swim to the top


Oh hush now, pretty mama,

don’t worry your fraught, exhausted mind or fret


Water trumps fire, and this girl


Your darling baby






Harnessing the madness


Submersed, safe and sound in the Marianas Trench

Her screaming, gurgling lungs breathe better


In utero


Go on now, mama, gather your salty tear filled buckets and buckets and buckets

Pour them right over her head


Fire burns out, smoldering wet


The melody is haunting and heartbeat sweet, familiar

And sigh so lovely, lovely, lovely


Your baby feels all the feels, smells in color and vibrates clickety-clack

sounds underwater


Hush, now child, don’t you cry, too

Together in tandem


Your mama is there, she’s right there

Feet firmly rooted by rocks, wood and earth on solid ground

Smiling down


Harnessing the madness with her bleeding, thumping, overflowing

bursting heart


In two-time rhythm

Same heart, hers and yours

Keeping time together


She tosses a life jacket attached to an unbreakable umbilical cord, made

from solid oak, and knotty pine twine



The rope plays shadow games on the surface, as the water sways to

and fro

Under the prettiest, blinding white sunlight

Bubbles of air and H2O




Hush now, mama, keep pouring  those frozen buckets of ice-cold-doubt

Over your girl’s scorching, sizzling brain on fire head


Hush mama, your little dolly is just a girl, and not a funny fish


She’s going to be A-OK, alright?


Hush mama, her head’s on fire, and lungs are all wet

But, she’s paddling hard and fast towards the surface


Flailing and searching for your firm grip, and steady resolve

Inside her shaky, trembling fingers


Oh, sweet heartbeat

The birds chip, and an indigo blue, clear sky, sunshine lights up the dark,

murky, clouded depths


Blue is the loveliest color


Pretty, strong, and powerful

Little mama is calling her name


Right there, oh, there she is


Mama’s shadow, bounce-back light and love reflection

Makes circle formations, bubble distress calls, and H2O air




Right above the surface,

Mama stands tall, barefoot on the green grass

Beside her baby girl, all along


Mama, your dolphin lung baby is gasping for air underwater, squashing the flames, and surrendering


Floating freely, buoyant, as the salt tides push her to the surface, and the scorching sun’s beautiful, intoxicating light feels warm and inviting


She sees her mama’s pretty face for the first time, smiling and kind




Bound forever by love, and heaven on earth


Little girl remembers, hope floats


Her one and only, mama’s fierce motherly love waits, prays and watches


Her all-grown-up girl


The gyspy, free-flying, Mustang wild spirit, good, mad woman

Grow roots, and quiet her wings


Thank you, dear mama

Yours, and only yours




Anchors the soul

©Jacqueline Cioffa


Jacqueline Cioffa was an international model for 17 years and a celebrity makeup artist. She is a dog lover, crystal collector and stone crab enthusiast. Her work has been featured in the anthology, Brainstorms, and numerous literary magazines. Living with manic depression, Jacqueline is an advocate for mental health awareness.

She’s a storyteller, observer, essayist, potty mouth and film lover who’s traveled the world. Her poignant, literary fiction debut, The Vast Landscape, gives new meaning to intense, raw and heartfelt. Fans of the emotional, soul stirring first novel will not be able to put the exciting sequel, Georgia Pine, down.

Look for Jackie’s stunning column, Bleeding Ink on Feminine Collective.

Connect with Jackie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Jacqueline Cioffa on IG, and at Jacqueline Cioffa.

10 thoughts on “Harnessing The Madness – Jacqueline Cioffa

  1. “Blue is the loveliest color.” Jackie, this is beautiful. Your ethereal words always transmit beauty and peacefulness. But you can also feel the struggle and pain in finding your way out darkness. Thank you Nicole for sharing, I’m looking forward for more poetry from my favorite warriors. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Stephanie Ortez for your lovely, and thoughtful comment. There is no better home for this piece than The Lithium Chronicles , and Nicole Lyons. I’m honoured as always to be here with so many eclectic and raw talents, including you.
      “Blue is the Loveliest Color,” is a chapter heading from GEORGIA PINE, one of my favorite lines, and ‘in utero’ is the beginning chapter from THE VAST LANDSCAPE, which you know is dedicated ‘To My Mother,’ my anchor, lifeline, and very favorite human. I’m grateful for her love, and resilience every single day. PS She calls herself the “queen of the Assholes,’ and trust me she wears the title proud.
      love you, be well always…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear Nicole,

    Thank you, for the grand honour to be on The Lithium Chronicles once again with ‘Harnassing the Madness.’ This piece is as close to how I feel in my heart about my mother, and our journey together through the battle that is Mental Illness. She is my warrior, as are you dear friend…Thank you for throwing me a life raft, and your support of my writing, and me. It means the world.

    You are a treasure and a sparkling, strong quartz, and fire red powerful, Bloodstone gem. Trust me, the pleasure is all mine. I am enjoying watching your soar with your writing as well as saving so many with your advocacy.

    From my Bleeding Ink heart to yours, always


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