Particulars of Peace

The past is a narcissist,
Assumes forgiveness
encourages participation
makes promises to restore
harmony, but the walls
of his imprisoning nature
seldom change – stay away

I seek a place, nestled
in the present, where
I can dwell in simplicity –
nothing too taxing on mind
or pocketbook, a modest
abode with room for a pen
and an outdoor kitchen

Burdened by sensitivity
life becomes deplorable,
I can abide the presence
of dog, but never cat –
allergies create restrictions
makes finding the perfect
place for respite difficult

The numerology of 8
would be preferable
a figure demonstrating
balance – as above, so
below – could settle into
eight with confidence
reassure my partner
that I’ve found peace.



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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

14 thoughts on “Particulars of Peace”

  1. I agree with the phrase “the past is a narcissist”. It can affect our future, but if it is bad, we must let it go and move on. I like that you gave the “past” a personality-nice use of anthropomorphism. The poem seems to take on a less serious tone in the second half, where you write about the small things in life (not being able to own a cat due to allergies, balancing a pocketbook). Overall, I take this poem to be portraying a person who is trying to take their mind off of a bad past by focusing on the simple things in life. Am I on the mark with my interpretation?

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      1. Interesting-your comment makes me think that perhaps it is because your peace of mind relies mainly on changing the past. You are not really concerned about the little things, though they are the only things you can control, so you choose to focus on them. At least, that is how I interpret it based on my own experiences.

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      2. I would like to ignore the past, however; it has shaped so much of who I am. The past is not changeable, so I strive to make some sense of it that frees me. As I get older, I crave a life without complexity – except the unavoidable, of course.

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      3. I agree with you. I feel as if I rationalize my past as well. However, I think it is important to examine the past from different perspectives. That way, we can come to peace with what we have experienced, realizing that no way of looking at it is wrong or right.

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  2. Well done. Here’s part of article as example of one who found a way:Right after the election, Erik Hagerman decided he’d take a break from reading about the hoopla of politics…Mr. Hagerman developed his own eccentric experiment, one that was part silent protest, part coping mechanism, part extreme self-care plan. He swore that he would avoid learning about anything that happened to America after Nov. 8, 2016.
    “It was draconian and complete,” he said…It was just going to be for a few days. But he is now more than a year into knowing almost nothing about American politics. He has managed to become shockingly uninformed during one of the most eventful chapters in modern American history. He is as ignorant as a contemporary citizen could ever hope to be.
    James Comey. Russia. Robert Mueller. Las Vegas. The travel ban. “Alternative facts.” Pussy hats. Scaramucci. Parkland. Big nuclear buttons. Roy Moore. He knows none of it. To Mr. Hagerman, life is a spoiler…
    It takes meticulous planning to find boredom. Mr. Hagerman commits as hard as a method actor, and his self-imposed regimen — white-noise tapes at the coffee shop, awkward scolding of friends, a ban on social media — has reshaped much of his life…The fact that it’s working for him — “I’m emotionally healthier than I’ve ever felt,” he said — has made him question the very value of being fed each day by the media. Why do we bother tracking faraway political developments and distant campaign speeches? What good comes of it? Why do we read all these tweets anyway?…
    “I had been paying attention to the news for decades,” Mr. Hagerman said. “And I never did anything with it.” At some point last year, he decided his experiment needed a name. He considered The Embargo, but it sounded too temporary. The Boycott? It came off a little whiny. Mr. Hagerman has created a fortress around himself. “Tiny little boats of information can be dangerous,” he said…
    ~ Sam Dolnick, excerpts from The Man Who Knew Too Little (NY Times, March 10, 2018)

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  3. Yes!! To “dwell in simplicity – / nothing too taxing on mind / or pocketbook, a modest / abode with room for a pen …” You have captured my dream. Hooked on “Thoughts Become Things” daily blurbs from Mike Dooley, I initially specified my wish as a travel trailer; got that and changed the wish to “spacious writing room” … turns out, I have that – the whole spacious wide world – ample “room for a pen”!
    Like your stanza on the number 8 associated with peace – turn it sideways and infinity beckons.

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