That time, playing in the muck,
foot emerging without a boot, hopping and laughing all the way home…
Then, later, on the bus
the impact of the car the windshield cracking like a giant spider blood all over the dead lady’s face
All in the past –
sunroof open kids riding along, music blaring
But trauma is a spider
Arachne reaching into happy places and as much as I speed up to avoid her, fight to disable her attack; she weaves herself new limbs, begins the onslaught anew
And I am stuck in the mud again
no longer limber enough to dance my way home in the rain.
The Car Crash first appeared here in March of 2020. Edited for this version. Image my own.)
Measured in spoonfuls
Still feel the angst of
pressured from within
spend unavailable resources
push against the walls
with little to show
surrender to impotency
and wait for the next surge.
Sister was a hurricane –
destruction her path
Tried to calm, encourage
but her core was damaged
Try to reach her now,
across death’s abyss
her legacy swallows me.
Snapdragons transport me
back to Father’s gardens – the pleasure of pinching delicate floral lips
Forbidden, was I
tiny feet banished from tiers of ordered colours – how he worshipped those rows
Hours spent on knees,
as if in prayer… attention lavished on nurturing growth while I shrivelled on sidelines
Longed to dig beside him,
sully my hands and share his passion, ignorant of an inner drive to weed Felt only walls of separation the coldness of perfection, so in my wilful way, I rebelled against taboos
On tiptoe, stepped between
the bobbing arrangements marred the well-tended soil and pinched the snapdragons.
first appeared here in March, 2018. Edited for this edition. Art my own) Snapdragons
A nine-year-old skips
along the centre line of an abandoned street imagination empowered by sunshine blue skies
Till the low rumble
of aircraft startles her and she runs for cover praying to an absent God to take her now, young heart too bruised to carry on.
A fifteen-year-old huddles
in a dank underground corner already violated by a war she did not ask for, shamed by her body’s betrayal praying for a death more forgiving
A mother holds her baby close
tremors such an indelible part of life now grasps for a God she once believed in sees the vacancy in adolescent eyes the joylessness of her weeping child prays for a way out of this hell.
Searching for the alchemy
to transform this chaos – Do they understand depravity, those who dwell in exurbs, blinded by their own opulence?
Children are dying, pawns
in a political sham – I know we’re tired, but now is not the time to sleep.
(Tuesdays, I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson. Image mine)
Look at us building fences
pretending we have differences
Do we not hunger the same
hunt in the same places?
Do we not strive with equal intent
build our nests with the same ferocity?
Forgo passion for survival?
Let us stop pretending
Let down these walls
admit to our vulnerabilities
align our purposes, and
fight a more fearsome foe.
first appeared here in March, 2018. Image my own) Fences
Like Atlas, I bear
the world’s weight call it responsibility – a painful delusion requiring walls Life has its own rhythm – light and dark, joyous and sorrowful – orchestration outside of my domain
is limitless in its capacity – open-hearted acceptance protection in itself.
Trading one focus
for another permits appreciation – I vow to assert love and forgo control.
Absent solar motivation
I contemplate grey for grey’s sake…
How despite the dullness
grey does offer a valid backdrop for white’s delicate presence
(Tuesdays, I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson. Image my own)
I’ve been a grumpy lion
lashing out in pain – punctured shell smarting by an objectionable barb.
I am a prideful feline,
with a formidable roar – an offensive defence intended to intimidate.
Even so, you ventured near
and in a single act of good, disarmed my furious outrage, calmed this bellowing beast.
Like a mouse, you quietly –
with understated grace – gestured with such kindness, I withdrew all complaint.
You restored my faith in beauty,
revived a nostalgic sense of bliss, offered possibilities: sweet and unexpected; soothed my soul
An not, I have noted, without
self-sacrifice on your part – I am not so egocentric to have missed the cross you bear.
Your gentle demeanour prevailing
over my abhorrent rant, is a worth a million thank you’s to a wounded-heart cat, like me.
(Image my own. This poem first appeared here February, 2015)